Internet censorship in China
This article needs to be updated. In particular: Many actions of Internet censorship are reported by state-run media and third-party media.August 2019)(
Internet censorship affects both publishing and viewing online material in the People's Republic of China. As of 2019 more than sixty online restrictions had been created by the Government of China and implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, companies and organizations.[anachronism]
According to CNN, China's Internet censorship is more extensive and advanced than that in any other country in the world. The Chinese government blocks website content and monitors individuals' Internet access. As required by the Chinese government, major internet platforms and messaging services in China established elaborate self-censorship mechanisms. Some have hired teams of thousands to police content and invested in powerful AI algorithms.
Many controversial events are prohibited from news coverage, preventing many Chinese citizens from knowing of their government's actions. Such measures inspired the policy's nickname, "The Great Firewall of China."
Amnesty International notes that China has "the largest recorded number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world" and Paris-based Reporters Without Borders stated in 2010 and 2012 that "China is the world's biggest prison for netizens." Commonly alleged user offenses include communicating with groups abroad, signing online petitions, and calling for government reform. The government has escalated its efforts to neutralize coverage and commentary that is critical of the regime after a series of large anti-pollution and anti-corruption protests. Many of these protests as well as ethnic riots were organized or publicized using instant messaging services, chat rooms, and text messages. China's internet police force was reported by state media to be 2 million strong in 2013.
Carrie Gracie wrote that local Chinese businesses such as Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba, which are some of the world's largest Internet enterprises, benefited from the way China restricted international rivals in the market.
Although censorship affects the whole nation, it does not affect China's special administrative regions such as Hong Kong and Macau. These regions enjoy a high degree of autonomy, as specified in local laws and the "One country, two systems" principle. However, it was reported that the central government authorities have been closely monitoring Internet use in these regions.
- 1 Background
- 2 Legislative basis
- 3 Enforcement
- 4 Technical implementation
- 5 Targets of censorship
- 6 Specific examples of internet censorship
- 7 International influence
- 8 Evasion
- 9 Economic impact
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The political and ideological background of Internet censorship is considered to be one of Deng Xiaoping's favorite sayings in the early 1980s: "If you open a window for fresh air, you have to expect some flies to blow in." The saying is related to a period of the Chinese economic reform that became known as the "socialist market economy". Superseding the political ideologies of the Cultural Revolution, the reform led China towards a market economy, opening it up to foreign investors. Nonetheless, the Communist Party of China (CPC) wished to protect its values and political ideas from "swatting flies" of other ideologies, with a particular emphasis on suppressing movements that could potentially threaten the power of the CPC and the stability of the Chinese government.
The Internet first arrived in the country in 1994 as a tool for the emerging "socialist market economy". Since its arrival and gradual rise of availability, the Internet has become a common communication platform and an important tool for sharing information. Just as the Chinese government had expected, the number of internet users in China soared from nearly 0 percent in 1994, when the Internet was introduced, to 28.8 percent by 2009.
In 1998 the Communist Party of China feared the China Democracy Party (CDP), organized in contravention of the “Four Cardinal Principles”, would breed a powerful new network that the party elites might not be able to control. The CDP was immediately banned, followed by arrests and imprisonment. That same year, the "Golden Shield project" was created. The first part of the project lasted eight years and was completed in 2006. The second part began in 2006 and ended in 2008. The Golden Shield project was a database project in which the government could access the records of each citizen and connect China's security organizations with one another. The government had the power to delete any comments online that were considered harmful to the Chinese government.
On 6 December 2002, 300 members in charge of the Golden Shield project came from 31 provinces and cities across China to participate in a four-day inaugural "Comprehensive Exhibition on Chinese Information System". At the exhibition, many Western technology products including internet security, video monitoring, and facial recognition systems were purchased. According to Amnesty International, around 30,000–50,000 internet police have been employed by the Chinese government to enforce internet laws.
The Chinese government has described censorship as the method to prevent and eliminate "risks in the ideological field from the Internet".
The government of China defends its right to censor the internet by claiming that this right extends from the country's own rules inside its borders. The white paper, released in June 2010, called the internet "a crystallization of human wisdom." But in the document, the government lays out some of the reasons why its citizens cannot gain access to all of that wisdom. Another section of the same white paper reaffirms the government's determination to govern the internet within its borders according to its own rules. "Within Chinese territory, the internet is under the jurisdiction of Chinese sovereignty. The internet sovereignty of China should be respected and protected," it says. It adds that foreign individuals and firms can use the internet in China, but they must abide by the country's laws.
The Central Government of China started its internet censorship with three regulations. The first regulation was called the Temporary Regulation for the Management of Computer Information Network International Connection. The regulation was passed in the 42nd Standing Convention of the State Council on 23 January 1996. It was formally announced on 1 February 1996, and updated again on 20 May 1997. The content of the first regulation stated that Internet service providers be licensed and that internet traffic goes through ChinaNet, GBNet, CERNET or CSTNET. The second regulation was the Ordinance for Security Protection of Computer Information Systems. It was issued on 18 February 1994 by the State Council to give the responsibility of Internet security protection to the Ministry of Public Security.
Section 5 of the Computer Information Network and Internet Security, Protection, and Management RegulationsEdit
The Ordinance regulation further led to the Security Management Procedures in Internet Accessing issued by the Ministry of Public Security in December 1997. The regulation defined "harmful information" and "harmful activities" regarding internet usage. Section Five of the Computer Information Network and Internet Security, Protection, and Management Regulations approved by the State Council on 11 December 1997 stated the following:
No unit or individual may use the Internet to create, replicate, retrieve, or transmit the following kinds of information:
- Inciting to resist or obstruct the implementation of the Constitution, legislation or administrative regulations;
- Inciting to overthrow the government or the socialist system;
- Inciting division of the country, harming national unification;
- Inciting hatred or discrimination among ethnic groups or harming the unity of ethnic groups;
- Fabricating or distorting the truth, spreading rumors, destroying the order of society;
- Promoting feudal superstitions, obscenity, pornography, gambling, violence, murder, terrorism or encouraging criminal activity;
- Publicly insulting or distorting the truth to slander other people;
- Defaming state organizations;
- Other activities against the Constitution, legislation and administrative regulations.
State Council Order No. 292Edit
In September 2000, State Council Order No. 292 created the first set of content restrictions for Internet content providers. China-based websites cannot link to overseas news websites or distribute news from overseas media without separate approval. Only "licensed print publishers" have the authority to deliver news online. These sites must obtain approval from state information offices and from the State Council Information Agency. Non-licensed websites that wish to broadcast news may only publish information already released publicly by other news media. Article 11 of this order mentions that "content providers are responsible for ensuring the legality of any information disseminated through their services." Article 14 gives Government officials full access to any kind of sensitive information they wish from providers of internet services.
In December 1997, Public Security minister, Zhu Entao, released new regulations to be enforced by the ministry that inflicted fines for "defaming government agencies, splitting the nation, and leaking state secrets." Violators could face a fine of up to CNY 15,000 (roughly US$1,800). Banning appeared to be mostly uncoordinated and ad hoc, with some sites blocked, yet similar sites are allowed in one city, yet blocked in another. The blocks were often lifted for special occasions. For example, The New York Times was unblocked when reporters in a private interview with CPC General Secretary Jiang Zemin specifically asked about the block and he replied that he would look into the matter. During the APEC summit in Shanghai during 2001, normally blocked media sources such as CNN, NBC, and the Washington Post became accessible. Since 2001, the content controls have been permanently further relaxed, and all three of the sites previously mentioned are now accessible from mainland China. However, access to the New York Times had been denied again in December 2008.
In the middle of 2005, China purchased over 200 routers from an American company, Cisco Systems, which enabled the Chinese government to utilise more advanced censor technology. In February 2006, Google made a significant concession to the Great Firewall of China in exchange for equipment installation on Chinese soil, by blocking websites which the Chinese government deemed illegal. They reversed this policy in 2010, after they discovered that a spy had been passing information to the Government and inserting back doors into their software.
The internet services were cut off in Xinjiang from July 2009 to May 2010 up to 312 days. Netizens could only visit local websites, besides a few National Government websites.
In May 2011, the State Council Information Office announced the transfer of its offices which regulated the internet to a new subordinate agency, the State Internet Information Office which would be responsible for regulating the internet in China. The relationship of the new agency to other internet regulation agencies in China was unclear from the announcement.
On 26 August 2014, the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) was formally authorized by the state council to regulate and supervise all internet content. It later launched a website called the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) and the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs. In February 2014, the Central Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group was created in order to oversee cybersecurity and receive information from the CAC. Chairing the 2018 China Cyberspace Governance Conference on 20 and 21 April 2018, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, committed to "fiercely crack down on criminal offences including hacking, telecom fraud, and violation of citizens' privacy." The Conference comes on the eve of the First Digital China Summit, which was held at the Fuzhou Strait International Conference and Exhibition Centre in Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province.
On 4 January 2019, Cyberspace Administration of China starts a project to take down "pornography, violence, bloody content, horror, gambling, defrauding, Internet rumor, feudal and superstition, hurl invectives, parody, threat, 'Title Party', hate and inciting, spreading 'bad lifestyle', spreading 'bad popular culture'"(淫秽色情、低俗庸俗、暴力血腥、恐怖惊悚、赌博诈骗、网络谣言、封建迷信、谩骂恶搞、威胁恐吓、标题党、仇恨煽动、传播不良生活方式和不良流行文化).
On 10 January 2019, China Network Audiovisual Program Service Association announced a new regulation which censors short videos, "danmakus", prohibits UGC of "content related to politic or social" and prohibits content such as "the pessimistic outlook of millennials", "one night stand", "non-mainstream view of love and marriage" as well as previous prohibited content such as politic sensitive content.
China is planning to make "using information technology to forge face" illegal which is described as the way to prevent "parody and pornography."
On July 2019, Cyberspace Administration of China announce a regulation which said that Internet information providers and users in China who seriously violate related laws and regulartions will be subject to Social Credit System blacklist. It also announces that Internet information providers and users who are not meeting the standard but mildly violation will be recorded in the List to Focus.
Internet censorship in China has been called "a panopticon that encourages self-censorship through the perception that users are being watched." The enforcement (or threat of enforcement) of censorship creates a chilling effect where individuals and businesses willingly censor their own communications to avoid legal and economic repercussions. ISPs and other service providers are legally responsible for customers' conduct. The service providers have assumed an editorial role with regard to customer content, thus becoming publishers and legally responsible for libel and other torts committed by customers. Some hotels in China advise Internet users to obey local Chinese Internet access rules by leaving a list of Internet rules and guidelines near the computers. These rules, among other things, forbid linking to politically unacceptable messages and inform Internet users that if they do, they will have to face legal consequences.
On 16 March 2002, the Internet Society of China, a self-governing Chinese Internet industry body, launched the Public Pledge on Self-Discipline for the Chinese Internet Industry, an agreement between the Chinese Internet industry regulator and companies that operate sites in China. In signing the agreement, web companies pledge to identify and prevent the transmission of information that Chinese authorities deem objectionable, including information that "breaks laws or spreads superstition or obscenity", or that "may jeopardize state security and disrupt social stability". As of 2006, the pledge had been signed by more than 3,000 entities operating websites in China.
Use of service providersEdit
Although the government does not have the physical resources to monitor all Internet chat rooms and forums, the threat of being shut down has caused Internet content providers to employ internal staff, colloquially known as "big mamas", who stop and remove forum comments which may be politically sensitive. In Shenzhen, these duties are partly taken over by a pair of police-created cartoon characters, Jingjing and Chacha, who help extend the online "police presence" of the Shenzhen authorities. These cartoons spread across the nation in 2007 reminding Internet users that they are being watched and should avoid posting "sensitive" or "harmful" material on the Internet.
However, Internet content providers have adopted some counter-strategies. One is to post politically sensitive stories and remove them only when the government complains. In the hours or days in which the story is available online, people read it, and by the time the story is taken down, the information is already public. One notable case in which this occurred was in response to a school explosion in 2001, when local officials tried to suppress the fact the explosion resulted from children illegally producing fireworks.
On 11 July 2003, the Chinese government started granting licenses to businesses to open Internet cafe chains. Business analysts and foreign Internet operators regard the licenses as intended to clamp down on information deemed harmful to the Chinese government. In July 2007, the city of Xiamen announced it would ban anonymous online postings after text messages and online communications were used to rally protests against a proposed chemical plant in the city. Internet users will be required to provide proof of identity when posting messages on the more than 100,000 Web sites registered in Xiamen. The Chinese government issued new rules on December 28, 2012, requiring Internet users to provide their real names to service providers, while assigning Internet companies greater responsibility for deleting forbidden postings and reporting them to the authorities. The new regulations, issued by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, allow Internet users to continue to adopt pseudonyms for their online postings, but only if they first provide their real names to service providers, a measure that could chill some of the vibrant discourse on the country's Twitter-like microblogs. The authorities periodically detain and even jail Internet users for politically sensitive comments, such as calls for a multiparty democracy or accusations of impropriety by local officials.
Fines and short arrests are becoming an optional punishment to whoever spreads undesirable information through the different Internet formats, as this is seen as a risk to social stability.
In 2001, Wang Xiaoning and other Chinese activists were arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for using a Yahoo! email account to post anonymous writing to an Internet mailing list. On 23 July 2008, the family of Liu Shaokun was notified that he had been sentenced to one year re-education through labor for "inciting a disturbance". As a teacher in Sichuan province, he had taken photographs of collapsed schools and posted these photos online. On 18 July 2008, Huang Qi was formally arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing state secrets. Huang had spoken with the foreign press and posted information on his website about the plight of parents who had lost children in collapsed schools. Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist, used his Yahoo! email account to send a message to a U.S.-based pro-democracy website. In his email, he summarized a government order directing media organizations in China to downplay the upcoming 15th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy activists. Police arrested him in November 2004, charging him with "illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities". In April 2005, he was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment and two years' subsequent deprivation of his political rights.
In mid-2013 police across China arrested of hundreds of people accused of spreading false rumors online. Chinese authorities have said the crackdown is directed at abuses such as fraud, fakery, and slander. But the accusations against many of the arrested microbloggers have a political edge with many of the rumors called outrageously false by the government dealing with the sins of officials: corruption, venality, and sexual escapades. The suspicion is that the crackdown is intended to break up online networks of like-minded people whose ideas could challenge the Communist Party. Some of China's most popular microbloggers have been arrested. In September 2013 China's highest court and prosecution office issued guidelines that define and outline penalties for publishing online rumors and slander. The rules give some protection to citizens who accuse officials of corruption, but they say that a slanderous message forwarded more than 500 times or read more than 5,000 times could result in up to three years in prison.
The Great Firewall has used a number of methods to block content including straightforward IP blocking, DNS poisoning, deep packet inspection for finding unencrypted sensitive keywords and blocking protocols, and more recently Active Probing.
The Golden Shield Project is owned by the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China (MPS). It started in 1998, began processing in November 2003, and the first part of the project passed the national inspection on 16 November 2006 in Beijing. According to MPS, its purpose is to construct a communication network and computer information system for police to improve their capability and efficiency. By 2002 the preliminary work of the Golden Shield Project had cost US$800 million (equivalent to RMB 5,000 million or €620 million). Greg Walton, a freelance researcher, said that the aim of the Golden Shield is to establish a "gigantic online database" that would include "speech and face recognition, closed-circuit television... [and] credit records" as well as traditional Internet use records.
A notice issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on 19 May stated that, as of 1 July 2009, manufacturers must ship machines to be sold in mainland China with the Green Dam Youth Escort software. On 14 August 2009, Li Yizhong, minister of industry and information technology, announced that computer manufacturers and retailers were no longer obliged to ship the software with new computers for home or business use, but that schools, Internet cafes and other public use computers would still be required to run the software.
A senior official of the Internet Affairs Bureau of the State Council Information Office said the software's only purpose was "to filter pornography on the Internet". The general manager of Jinhui, which developed Green Dam, said: "Our software is simply not capable of spying on Internet users, it is only a filter." Human rights advocates in China have criticized the software for being "a thinly concealed attempt by the government to expand censorship". Online polls conducted on Sina, Netease, Tencent, Sohu, and Southern Metropolis Daily revealed over 70% rejection of the software by netizens. However, Xinhua commented that "support [for Green Dam] largely stems from end users, opposing opinions primarily come from a minority of media outlets and businesses".
Targets of censorshipEdit
According to a Harvard study, at least 18,000 websites are blocked from within mainland China, including 12 out of the Top 100 Global Websites. The Chinese-sponsored news agency, Xinhua, stated that censorship targets only "superstitious, pornographic, violence-related, gambling, and other harmful information." This appears questionable, as the e-mail provider Gmail is blocked, and it cannot be said to fall into any of these categories. On the other hand, websites centered on the following political topics are often censored: Falun Gong, police brutality, Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, freedom of speech, democracy, Taiwan independence, the Tibetan independence movement, and the Tuidang movement. Foreign media websites such as Yahoo! Hong Kong and the Voice of America are occasionally blocked while as of 2014 the New York Times, the BBC, and Bloomberg News are indefinitely blocked.
Testing performed by Freedom House in 2011 confirmed that material written by or about activist bloggers is removed from the Chinese internet in a practice that has been termed "cyber-disappearance".
A 2012 study of social media sites by other Harvard researchers found that 13% of Internet posts were blocked. The blocking focused mainly on any form of collective action (anything from false rumors driving riots to protest organizers to large parties for fun), pornography, and criticism of the censors. However, significant criticisms of the government were not blocked when made separately from calls for collective action. Another study has shown comments on social media that criticize the state, its leaders, and their policies are usually published, but posts with collective action potential will be more likely to be censored whether they are against the state or not.
A lot of larger Japanese websites were blocked during the afternoon of 15 June 2012 (UTC+08:00) to the morning of 17 June 2012 (UTC+08:00), such as Google Japan, Yahoo! Japan, Amazon Japan, Excite, Yomiuri News, Sponichi News and Nikkei BP Japan.
Chinese censors have been relatively reluctant to block websites where there might be significant economic consequences. For example, a block of GitHub was reversed after widespread complaints from the Chinese software developer community. In November 2013 after the Chinese services of Reuters and the Wall Street Journal were blocked, greatfire.org mirrored the Reuters website to an Amazon.com domain in such a way that it could not be shut down without shutting off domestic access to all of Amazon's cloud storage service.
For one month beginning 17 November 2014, ProPublica tested whether the homepages of 18 international news organizations were accessible to browsers inside China, and found the most consistently blocked were Bloomberg, New York Times, South China Morning Post, Wall Street Journal, Facebook, and Twitter. Internet censorship and surveillance has tightly implemented in China that blocks social websites like Gmail, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and others. The excessive censorship practices of the Great Firewall of China have now engulfed the VPN service providers as well.
One part of the block is to filter the search results of certain terms on Chinese search engines. These Chinese search engines include both international ones (for example, yahoo.com.cn, Bing, and (formerly) Google China) as well as domestic ones (for example, Soso, 360 Search and Baidu). Attempting to search for censored keywords in these Chinese search engines will yield few or no results. Previously, google.cn displayed the following at the bottom of the page: "According to the local laws, regulations and policies, part of the searching result is not shown." When Google did business in the country, it set up computer systems inside China that try to access Web sites outside the country. If a site was inaccessible, then it was added to Google China's blacklist.
In addition, a connection containing intensive censored terms may also be closed by The Great Firewall, and cannot be re-established for several minutes. This affects all network connections including HTTP and POP, but the reset is more likely to occur during searching. Before the search engines censored themselves, many search engines had been blocked, namely Google and AltaVista. Technorati, a search engine for blogs, has been blocked. Different search engines implement the mandated censorship in different ways. For example, the search engine Bing is reported to censor search results from searches conducted in simplified Chinese characters (used in China), but not in traditional Chinese characters (used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau).
In September 2007, some data centers were shut down indiscriminately for providing interactive features such as blogs and forums. CBS reports an estimate that half the interactive sites hosted in China were blocked.
Coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of the government suppression of the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, the government ordered Internet portals, forums and discussion groups to shut down their servers for maintenance between 3 and 6 June 2009. The day before the mass shut-down, Chinese users of Twitter, Hotmail and Flickr, among others, reported a widespread inability to access these services.
Social media websitesEdit
The censorship of individual social media posts in China usually occurs in two circumstances:
1. Corporations/government hire censors to read individual social media posts and manually take down posts that violate policy. (Although the government and media often use microblogging service Sina Weibo to spread ideas and monitor corruption, it is also supervised and self-censored by 700 Sina censors. )
2. Posts that will be primarily auto-blocked based on keyword filters, and decide which ones to publish later.
In the second half of 2009, the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter were blocked, presumably because of containing social or political commentary (similar to LiveJournal in the above list). An example is the commentary on the July 2009 Ürümqi riots. Another reason suggested for the block is that activists can utilize them to organize themselves.
In 2010, Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo became a forbidden topic in Chinese media due to his winning the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Keywords and images relating to the activist and his life were again blocked in July 2017, shortly after his death.
After the 2011 Wenzhou train collision, the government started emphasizing the danger in spreading 'false rumours' (yaoyan), making the permissive usage of Weibo and social networks a public debate.
In 2012, First Monday published an article on "political content censorship in social media, i.e., the active deletion of messages published by individuals." This academic study, which received extensive media coverage, accumulated a dataset of 56 million messages sent on Sina Weibo from June through September 2011, and statistically analyzed them three months later, finding 212,583 deletions out of 1.3 million sampled, more than 16 percent. The study revealed that censors quickly deleted words with politically controversial meanings (e.g., qingci 请辞 "asking someone to resign" referring to calls for Railway Minister Sheng Guangzu to resign after the Wenzhou train collision on 23 July 2011), and also that the rate of message deletion was regionally anomalous (compare censorship rates of 53% in Tibet and 52% in Qinghai with 12% in Beijing and 11.4% in Shanghai). In another study conducted by a research team led by political scientist Gary King, objectionable posts created by King's team on a social networking site were almost universally removed within 24 hours of their posting.
The comment areas of popular posts mentioned Vladimir Putin on Sina Weibo were closed during the 2017 G20 Hamburg summit in Germany. It is a rare example that a foreigner leader is granted the safety from a popular judgment on the Chinese internet, which usually only granted to the Chinese leaders.
Specific examples of internet censorshipEdit
1989 Tiananmen Square protestEdit
The Chinese government censors internet materials related to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest. According to the government's white paper in 2010 on the subject of internet in China, the government protects “the safe flow of internet information and actively guides people to manage websites in accordance with the law and use the internet in a wholesome and correct way.” The government, therefore, prevents people on the internet from “divulging state secrets, subverting state power and jeopardizing national unification; damaging state honor” and “disrupting social order and stability." Law-abiding Chinese websites such as Sina Weibo censors words related to the protest in its search engine. Sina Weibo is one of the largest Chinese microblogging services. As of October 2012, Weibo's censored words include "Tank Man." The government also censors words that have similar pronunciation or meaning to “June 4,” the date that the government's violent crackdown occurred. “陆肆”, for example, is an alternative to “六四” (June 4). The government forbids remembrances of the protest. Sina Weibo's search engine, for example, censors Hong Kong lyricist Thomas Chow's song called 自由花 or “The Flower of Freedom.” since attendees of the Vindicate 4 June and Relay the Torch rally at Hong Kong's Victoria Park sing this song every year to commemorate the victims of the protest.
The government's internet censorship of the protest was especially strict during the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in 2009. According to a Reporters Without Borders’ article, searching photos related to the protest such as “June 4” on Baidu, the most popular Chinese search engine, would return blank results and a message stating that the “search does not comply with laws, regulations, and policies.”  Moreover, a large number of netizens from China claimed that they were unable to access numerous Western web services such as Twitter, Hotmail, and Flickr in the days leading up to and during the anniversary. Netizens in China claimed that many Chinese web services were temporarily blocked days before and during the anniversary. Netizens also reported that microblogging services including Fanfou and Xiaonei (now known as Renren) were down with similar messages that claim that their services were “under maintenance” for a few days around the anniversary date. In 2019, on the 30th anniversary of the protest, China's AI censors crank up.
Reactions of netizens in ChinaEdit
Western news articles claimed that Chinese netizens responded with subtle protests against the government's temporary blockages of large web services. A news article from The Guardian, for instance, stated that Chinese websites made subtle grievances against the state's censorship by sarcastically calling the date June 4 as the 中国互联网维护日 or “Chinese Internet Maintenance Day.” Owner of the blog Wuqing.org stated, “I, too, am under maintenance.” The dictionary website Wordku.com voluntarily took its site down with the claim that this was because of the “Chinese Internet Maintenance Day.” Chinese netizens use subtle and sarcastic internet memes to criticize the government and to bypass censorship. Netizens created and posted humorous pictures or drawings that are similar to the Tank Man photo on Weibo. One of these pictures, for example, shows Florentijin Hofman's rubber ducks sculptures replacing tanks in the Tank Man photo. On Twitter, a Beijing-based AIDS activist, Hu Jia asked netizens in mainland China to wear black T-shirts on June 4 to oppose censorship and to commemorate the date. Chinese web services such as Weibo eventually censored searches of both "black shirt" and “Big Yellow Duck" in 2013.
As a result, the anti-western sentiment was further promoted by the government. President Xi praised blogger Zhou Xiaoping for his "positive energy" after the latter argued in an essay titled "Nine Knockout Blows in America's Cold War Against China," that American culture was "eroding the moral foundation and self-confidence of the Chinese people." 
Debates about the significance of internet resistance to censorshipEdit
According to Chinese studies expert Johan Lagerkvist, scholars Pierre Bourdieu and Michel de Certeau argue that this culture of satire is a weapon of resistance against authority. This is because criticism against authority often results in satirical parodies that “presupposes and confirms emancipation” of the supposedly oppressed people. Academic writer Linda Hutcheon argues that some people, however, may view satirical language that is used to criticise the government as “complicity,” which can “reinforce rather than subvert conservative attitudes.” Chinese experts Perry Link and Xiao Qiang, however, oppose this argument. They claim that when sarcastic terms develop into common vocabulary of netizens, these terms would lose their sarcastic characteristic. They then become normal terms that carry significant political meanings that oppose the government. Xiao believes that the netizens’ freedom to spread information on the Internet has forced the government to listen to popular demands of netizens. For example, the Ministry of Information Technology’s plan to preinstall mandatory censoring software called Green Dam Youth Escort on computers failed after popular online opposition against it in 2009, the year of the 20th anniversary of the protest.
Lagerkvist states that the Chinese government, however, does not see subtle criticisms on the Internet as real threats that carry significant political meanings and topple the government. He argues that real threats occur only when "laugh mobs" become "organised smart mobs" that directly challenge the government's power. At a TED conference, Michael Anti gives a similar reason for the government's lack of enforcement against these internet memes. Anti suggests that the government sometimes allows limited windows of freedom of speech such as internet memes. Anti explains that this is to guide and generate public opinions that favor the government and to criticize enemies of the party officials.
Internet censorship of the protest in 2013Edit
The Chinese government has become more efficient in its Internet regulations since the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen protest. On June 3, 2013,Sina Weibo quietly suspended usage of the candle icon from the comment input tool, which netizens used to mourn the dead on forums. Some searches related to the protest on Chinese website services no longer come up with blank results, but with results that the government had "carefully selected." These subtle methods of government censorship may cause netizens to believe that their searched materials were not censored. The government, however, is inconsistent in its enforcement of censorship laws. Netizens reported that searches of some censored terms on Chinese web services still resulted in blank pages with a message that says "relevant laws, regulations, and policies" prevent the display of results related to the searches.
In July 2017, the character Winnie-the-Pooh was blocked on Chinese social media sites following the spread of a meme in which photographs of Xi were compared to Poohbear and other characters from the works of A. A. Milne and in 2018 the film Christopher Robin was denied a Chinese release. This followed an incident where Chinese authorities censored a nine-year-old for comments about Xi's weight.
In February 2018 Xi appeared to set in motion a process to scrap term limits, allowing himself to become ruler for life. To suppress criticism, censors banned phrases such as "Disagree" (不同意), "Shameless" (不要脸), "Lifelong" (终身), "Animal Farm", and at one point briefly censored the letter 'N'. Li Datong, a former state newspaper editor, wrote a critical letter that was censored; some social media users evaded the censorship by posting an upside-down screenshot of the letter.
On 13 March 2018, China's CCTV incidentally showed Yicai's Liang Xiangyi apparently rolling her eyes in disgust at a long-winded and canned media question during the widely watched National People's Congress. In the aftermath, Liang's name became the most-censored search term on Weibo. The government also blocked the search query "journalist in blue" and attempted to censor popular memes inspired by the eye-roll.
On 21 June 2018, British-born comedian John Oliver criticized Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping on his U.S. show Last Week Tonight over Xi Jinping's apparent descent into authoritarianism (including his sidelining of dissent, mistreatment of the Uyghur peoples and clampdowns on Chinese internet censorship), as well as the Belt and Road Initiative. As a result, the English language name of John Oliver (although not the Chinese version) was censored on Weibo and other sites on the Chinese internet.
Controversial television show South Park was banned from China in 2019 and any mention of it was removed from almost all sites on the Chinese internet, after criticizing China’s government and censorship in season 23 episode, "Band in China". Series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone later issued a mock apology.
Foreign content providers such as Yahoo!, AOL, and Skype must abide by Chinese government wishes, including having internal content monitors, in order to be able to operate within mainland China. Also, in accordance with mainland Chinese laws, Microsoft began to censor the content of its blog service Windows Live Spaces, arguing that continuing to provide Internet services is more beneficial to the Chinese. Chinese journalist Michael Anti's blog on Windows Live Spaces was censored by Microsoft. In an April 2006 e-mail panel discussion Rebecca MacKinnon, who reported from China for nine years as a Beijing bureau chief for CNN, said: "... many bloggers said he [Anti] was a necessary sacrifice so that the majority of Chinese can continue to have an online space to express themselves as they choose. So the point is, compromises are being made at every level of society because nobody has the expectation of political freedom anyway."
The Chinese version of MySpace, launched in April 2007, has many censorship-related differences from other international versions of the service. Discussion forums on topics such as religion and politics are absent and a filtering system that prevents the posting of content about politically sensitive topics has been added. Users are also given the ability to report the "misconduct" of other users for offences including "endangering national security, leaking state secrets, subverting the government, undermining national unity, spreading rumours or disturbing the social order."
Some media have suggested that China's Internet censorship of foreign websites may also be a means of forcing mainland Chinese users to rely on China's own e-commerce industry, thus self-insulating their economy from the dominance of international corporations. On 7 November 2005 an alliance of investors and researchers representing 26 companies in the U.S., Europe and Australia with over US$21 billion in joint assets announced that they were urging businesses to protect freedom of expression and pledged to monitor technology companies that do business in countries violating human rights, such as China. On 21 December 2005 the UN, OSCE and OAS special mandates on freedom of expression called on Internet corporations to "work together ... to resist official attempts to control or restrict use of the Internet." Google finally responded when attacked by hackers rumored to be hired by the Chinese government by threatening to pull out of China.
Using a VPN serviceEdit
Internet censorship in China is circumvented by determined parties by using proxy servers outside the firewall. Users may circumvent all of the censorship and monitoring of the Great Firewall if they have a working VPN or SSH connection method to a computer outside mainland China. However, disruptions of VPN services have been reported and the free or popular services especially are increasingly being blocked. To avoid deep packet inspection and continue providing services in China some VPN providers implemented server obfuscation.
Changing IP addressesEdit
Since free hosting blog services like Blogger and Wordpress.com frequently face blockage, some China-focused services explicitly offer to change a blog's IP address within 30 minutes if it is blocked by the authorities.
Using a mirror websiteEdit
Modifying the network stackEdit
Using Tor and DPI-resistant toolsEdit
Although many users use VPNs to circumvent the Great Firewall of China, many Internet connections are now subject to deep packet inspection, in which data packets are looked at in detail. Many VPNs have been blocked using this method. Blogger Grey One suggests users trying to disguise VPN usage forward their VPN traffic through port 443 because this port is also heavily used by web browsers for HTTPS connections. However, Grey points out this method is futile against advanced inspection. Obfsproxy and other protocols also allow users to evade deep-packet inspection.
The Tor anonymity network was and is subject to partial blocking by China's Great Firewall. The Tor website is blocked when accessed over HTTP but it is reachable over HTTPS so it is possible for users to download the Tor Browser Bundle. The Tor project also maintains a list of website mirrors in case the main Tor website is blocked.
The Tor network maintains a public list of approximately 3000 entry relays; almost all of them are blocked. In addition to the public relays, Tor maintains bridges which are non-public relays. Their purpose is to help censored users reach the Tor network. The Great Firewall is dynamically blocking these bridges by mimicking tor users' requesting ips. According to Winter's research paper published in April 2012, this blocking technique can be circumvented by using packet fragmentation or the Tor obfsproxy bundle in combination with private obfsproxy bridges. Tor Obfs4 proxies still work in China as long as the IPs are distributed through social networks or self-published bridges.
Tor now primarily functions in China using meeks which works via front-end proxies hosted on Content Delivery Networks (CDN's) to obfuscate the information coming to and from the source and destination, it is a type of pluggable transport. Examples are Microsoft's Azure and Cloudflare.
It was common in the past to use Google's cache feature to view blocked websites. However, this feature of Google seems to be under some level of blocking, as access is now erratic and does not work for blocked websites. Currently, the block is mostly circumvented by using proxy servers outside the firewall and is not difficult to carry out for those determined to do so.
The mobile Opera Mini browser uses a proxy-based approach employing encryption and compression in order to speed up downloads. This has the side effect of allowing it to circumvent several approaches to Internet censorship. In 2009 this led the government of China to ban all but a special Chinese version of the browser.
Using an analogy to bypass keyword filtersEdit
As the Great Firewall of China gets more sophisticated, the users are getting increasingly creative in the ways they elude the censorship such as by using analogies to discuss topics. Furthermore, users are becoming increasingly open in their mockery of them by actively using homophones to avoid censorship.< Deleted sites have "been harmonized", indicating CPC general secretary Hu Jintao's Internet censorship under the big picture of creating a "Socialist Harmonious Society". For example, censors are referred to as "river crabs", because in Chinese those two words together form a homophone for "harmony".
According to The Guardian editor Charles Arthur, Internet users in China have found more technical ways to get around the Great Wall of China, including using Steganography, a practice of "embedding useful data in what looks like something irrelevant. The text of a document can be broken into its constituent bytes, which are added to the pixels of an apparently innocent picture. The effect is barely visible on the picture, but the recipient can extract it with the right software".
Rupert Murdoch famously proclaimed that advances in communications technology posed an "unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere" and Ai Weiwei argued that the Chinese "leaders must understand it's not possible for them to control the Internet unless they shut it off".
However, Nathan Freitas, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard and technical adviser to the Tibet Action Institute, says "There’s a growing sense within China that widely used VPN services that were once considered untouchable are now being touched." In June 2015 Jaime Blasco, a security researcher at AlienVault in Silicon Valley, reported that hackers, possibly with the assistance of the Chinese government, had found ways to circumvent the most popular privacy tools on the Internet: virtual private networks, or VPNs, and Tor. This is done with the aid of a particularly serious vulnerability, known as JSONP, that 15 web services in China apparently never patched. As long as the users are logged into one of China's top web services such as Baidu, Taobao, QQ, Sina, Sohu, and Ctrip the hackers can identify them and access their personal information, even if they are using Tor or a VPN. The vulnerability is not new; it was published in a Chinese security and web forum around 2013.
According to BBC, local Chinese businesses such as Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba, some of the world's largest internet enterprises, benefited from the way China has blocked international rivals from the market, encouraging domestic competition.
According to Financial Times, China's crackdown on VPN portals has brought business to state-approved telecom companies. Reuters reported that China's state newspaper has expanded its online censoring business. The company's net income in 2018 has risen 140 percent. Its Shanghai-listed stock price jumped up by 166 percent in 2018.
|International service||Chinese eqiuvalent|
|Facebook Messenger||Tencent QQ|
- "II. How Censorship Works in China: A Brief Overview". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 30 August 2006.
- "Chinese Laws and Regulations Regarding Internet". Chinaeclaw.com. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Posted July 6, 2015 by (6 July 2015). "Internet censorship in China - CNN iReport". Ireport.cnn.com. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/business/china-internet-censor.html. Missing or empty
- Hoffman, Chris. "How the "Great Firewall of China" Works to Censor China's Internet". https://www.howtogeek.com. How to geek. Retrieved 15 August 2018. External link in
- "Background: Firewall of Shame", Global Internet Freedom Consortium, 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- "Inside China", Miles Yu, Washington Times, 8 February 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- "2012 Internet Enemies: China" Archived 19 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Reporters Without Borders, 12 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- "China employs two million microblog monitors state media say". BBC News. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- Carrie Gracie. Alibaba IPO: Chairman Ma's China. BBC. 8 September 2014.
- "China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) - Hong Kong". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
- "» Great Firewall of China Torfox". cs.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- R. MacKinnon “Flatter world and thicker walls? Blogs, censorship and civic discourse in China” Public Choice (2008) 134: p. 31–46, Springer
- "» Great Firewall of China Torfox". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
- Goldman, Merle Goldman. Gu, Edward X. (2004). Chinese Intellectuals between State and Market. Routledge publishing. ISBN 0-415-32597-8
- Goldsmith, Jack L.; Wu, Tim (2006). Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World. Oxford University Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-19-515266-1.
- "The Great Firewall of China". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- 首屆「2002年中國大型機構信息化展覽會」全國31省市金盾工程領導雲集 (in Chinese)
- "What is internet censorship?". Amnesty International Australia. 28 March 2008. Archived from the original on 27 April 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- Bristow, Michael (8 June 2010). "China defends internet censorship". BBC News.
- Qiu, Jack L. Virtual Censorship in China: Keeping the Gate Between the Cyberspaces. International Journal of Communications Law and Policy. 4. 1999.
- Taubman, G. (1998). ‘A not-so world wide web: the Internet, China, and the challenges to non-democratic rule.’ Political Communication. 15, 255–272.
- Guan, S. (1995). Intercultural communication (in Chinese). Beijing: Beijing University Press.
- Abbott, Jason P. The Political Economy of the Internet in Asia and the Pacific Digital Divides, Economic Competitiveness, and Security Challenges. New York: Praeger, 2004.
- "CECC: Freedom of Expression – Laws and Regulations". Archived from the original on 23 June 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
- Harwit, Eric. "China's Telecommunications Revolution." New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
- Bradsher, Keith (20 December 2008). "China Blocks Access to The Times's Web Site". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
- "China cracks down on web use, with Western help". CTV. 9 July 2005.
- "Cisco aided Chinese Internet censorship, lawsuit says". Thomson Reuters. 3 June 2011. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.
- Grossman, Lev; Beech, Hannah (5 February 2006). "Google Under the Gun". TIME. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
- Branigan, Tania (18 January 2010). "Google investigates China staff over cyber attack". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- Branigan, Tania (23 March 2010). "Google row: China's army of censors battles to defeat the internet". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- 如何在断网下坚持 312 天？三位新疆网友的生存指南.[dead link]
- Wines, Michael (4 May 2011). "China Creates New Agency for Patrolling the Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Status: Not Free. "China Country Report | Freedom on the Net 2017". Freedomhouse.org. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- 2018-04-21 21:48:46. "Xinhua Headlines: Xi outlines blueprint to develop China's strength in cyberspace - Xinhua | English.news.cn". Xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- 2018-04-22 07:35:11. "China's first driverless bus makes its debut ahead of Digital China Summit - Xinhua | English.news.cn". Xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "今日热点舆情(1月4日)"围堵"12类有害信息 打造清朗网络生态空间". Xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
- "网络短视频节目将先审后播 不得宣传"非主流婚恋观"" (in Chinese). Xinhuanet.com.
- "网络造谣者将被列入失信主体黑名单". Legal Daily (in Chinese). 29 July 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- ScienceBlog.com. "China's 'Eye on the Internet' a Fraud". Retrieved 12 September 2007.
- "Chinese Internet Browsing Rules & Guidelines". Freeman China. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2007.
- Tai, Zixue (2006). The Internet in China: cyberspace and civil society. New York: Routledge. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-415-97655-8.
- Einhorn and Ben Elgin, Bruce (23 January 2006). "The Great Firewall of China". Business Week magazine. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- Kine, Phelim (27 May 2010). "China's Internet Crackdown". Forbes. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- Alfred, Hermida (3 September 2002). "Behind China's internet Red Firewall". BBC. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- Karatzogianni, Athina (2006). The politics of cyberconflict. London: Routledge Taylor & Francis. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-415-39684-4.
- 万载爆炸事件：新闻大战功与过 (in Chinese). people.com.cn. 10 March 2001.
- "Chinese city bans anonymous web postings". United Press International. 7 July 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2007.
- Bradsher, Keith (28 December 2012). "China Toughens Restrictions on Internet Use". The New York Times.
- Social Media To Curb 'Rumors' In China Archived 29 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, by Jaime FlorCruz and Tian Shao, CNN, 22 September 2011
- Cohn, William. "Yahoo's China Defense." New Presence: The Prague Journal of European Affairs September 2007: 10.2.
- China Quake School Critic Receives One-Year Sentence-Group, Reuters, 30 July 2008
- Case Update: Detained Rights Activist Huang Qi Formally Arrested Archived 15 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, HRIC, 18 July 2008; Jake Hooker, Voice seeking answers for parents about school collapse in China is silenced, International Herald Tribune, 11 July 2008; HRIC Press Release: Rights Activist Huang Qi Detained on Suspicion of Holding State Secrets Archived 8 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine, 16 June 2008
- Imprisoned for Peaceful Expression, Amnesty International
- "China Mounts Vigorous Crackdown on Popular Online Opinion Makers", Chris Buckley, New York Times, 10 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- "China WhatsApp crackdown only scratches surface of worsening internet censorship". CNN. 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- "What Is Deep Packet Inspection?". PCWorld. 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- 金盾工程前期耗8亿美元 建全国性监视系统 (in Chinese)
- Walton, Greg. "China's Golden Shield" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2011.
- "China News: Ministry Of Industry And Information Technology". China Digital Times. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- Chao, Loretta (8 June 2009). "China Squeezes PC Makers". Wall Street Journal.
- Cui Jia; Wang Xing (10 June 2009). "Porn filters 'are not spyware'". Global Times. Archived from the original on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
- Jacobs, Andrew (13 June 2009). "Experts Say Chinese Filter Would Make PCs Vulnerable". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
- 四大门户调查显示：超八成网友"拒绝"绿坝 [Polls by four leading portals say over 80% of netizens "reject" Green Dam] (in Chinese). cnBeta.com. 11 June 2009. Archived from the original on 25 June 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
- Gao Lingyun (11 June 2009). 八成网友拒装"绿坝"，金惠、大正受命封口 [80% of netizens refuse to install "Green Dam"; Jinhui, Dazheng ordered to remain silent]. Southern Metropolis Daily (in Chinese). Retrieved 11 June 2009.
- 过滤软件之争"争的是什么 [What is controversial about the filter software controversy?] (in Chinese). Xinhua. 12 June 2009. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
- Martinsen, Joel (12 June 2009). "Everyone loves content filters, Xinhua says". Danwei.org. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
- Jonathan Zittrain, Benjamin Edelman. "Empirical Analysis of Internet Filtering in China". Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- China and the Internet. International Debates, 15420345, Apr2010, Vol. 8, Issue 4
- "GreatFire.org". Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Jonathan Zittrain and Benjamin Edelman (20 March 2003). "Empirical Analysis of Internet Filtering in China". IEEE Internet Computing (March/April 2003). Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School (Cyber.law.harvard.edu). Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Marquand, Robert (4 February 2006). "China's media censorship rattling world image". Christian Science Monitor.
- Xia, Bill. "Google.cn's Self Censorship." Chinascope. May/June 2008.
- "'Cyberdisappearance' taking hold", Sarah Cook, Taipei Times, 14 July 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "CMB special feature: Cyberdisappearance in Action", China Media Bulletin: Issue No. 29 (14 July 2011), Freedom House. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Cyberdisappearance in Action", Sarah Cook, Freedom House, 14 July 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- King, Gary; Pan, Jennifer; Roberts, Margaret E. (22 August 2014). "Reverse-engineering censorship in China: Randomized experimentation and participant observation". Science. 345 (6199): 1251722. doi:10.1126/science.1251722. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 25146296.
- China, GitHub and the man-in-the-middle greatfire.org 30 January 2013
- I can see through the Great Firewall! greatfire.org 17 November 2013
- Inside the Firewall: Tracking the News That China Blocks, ProPublica, 17 December 2014.
- "Egypt not trending in China". English.aljazeera.net. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Wang, Nan (August 2008). "Control of Internet search engines in China--A study on Google and Baidu". CiteSeerX 10.1.1.458.3215. Cite journal requires
- Thompson, Clive (23 April 2006). "Google's China Problem (and China's Google Problem)". The New York Times. p. 8.
- Schwartz, Barry (28 April 2006). "Technorati Blocked in China". SearchEngineWatch. Archived from the original on 14 May 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2006.
- Nicholas D. Kristof, Boycott Microsoft Bing, New York Times, 20 November 2009.
- "Students protest restrictions on most influential BBS". China Digital Times. 20 March 2005. Archived from the original on 29 October 2005. Retrieved 18 May 2006.
- Why Did China Shut Down 18,401 Web sites? Archived 5 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Staff Reporter and Peter So (4 June 2009). "Hundreds of websites shut down as censors order 'server maintenance'". South China Morning Post. p. A3.
- Sky Canaves (WSJ China Journal) (3 June 2009). "Closed for Business: More Chinese Web Sites". Wall Street Journal (WSJ Blogs).
- Wired Up, written by Austin Ramzy, Time Magazine, 17 February 2011
- "China's Facebook Status: Blocked". Archived from the original on 11 July 2009.
- "China Blocks Access To Twitter, Facebook After Riots".
- Swartz, Jon (3 June 2009). "Social-networking sites Twitter, Flickr go dark in China". USA Today. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- Giles, Ciaran (22 November 2009). "Internet activists discuss online democracy". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "The Nobel Peace Prize 2010 Liu Xiaobo".
- "Scope of Censorship Expands After Liu Xiaobo Death - China Digital Times (CDT)". China Digital Times (CDT). 17 July 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- Fighting rumors: A new way to supervise the Chinese internet sphere, Thinking Chinese, 3 October 2011
- Bamman, David, Brendan O'Connor and Noah A. Smith, Censorship and Deletion Practices in Chinese Social Media, First Monday 17.3 (March 2012).
- Marks, Paul, Revealed: How China censors its social networks, New Scientist 8 March 2012.
- China's social networks hit by censorship, says study, BBC News, 9 March 2012.
- https://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/10/how-internet-censorship-actually-works-in-china/280188/, The Atlantic, 2 October 2013.
- China’s Weibo blocks potential criticism of Vladimir Putin, Financial Times.
- Skipper, Ben (7 December 2015). "China's government has blocked Wikipedia in its entirety again". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- Fox-Brewster, Thomas (22 May 2015). "Wikipedia Disturbed Over Fresh China Censorship". Forbes. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- "Chinese Wikipedia Blocked by Great Firewall". China Digital Times (CDT). 20 May 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
- "China Now Blocked From Accessing Wikipedia". The Epoch Times. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
- "The Internet in China". Chinese Government’s Official Web Portal. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years". Reporters Without Borders. 28 March 2014.
- "Closed for Business: More Chinese Web Sites". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "China's robot censors crank up as Tiananmen anniversary nears". Reuter. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
- Johnson, Bobbie. "Chinese websites mark Tiananmen Square anniversary with veiled protest". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- Chin, Josh. "Tiananmen Effect: "Big Yellow Duck" a Banned Term". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/12/world/asia/china-turns-up-the-rhetoric-against-the-west.html Edward Wong, The New York Times, 11 November 2014.
- Lagerkvist, Johan (2010). After the Internet, Before Democracy: Competing Norms in Chinese Media and Society. Berlin: Peter Lang. pp. 155–156.
- Lagerkvist, Johan (2010). After the Internet, Before Democracy: Competing Norms in Chinese Media and Society. Berlin: Peter Lang. p. 156.
- Link, Perry; Xiao Qiang (2013). "From "Fart People" to Citizens". Journal of Democracy. 24 (1): 82. doi:10.1353/jod.2013.0014.
- Xiang, Xiao (2011). "The Battle for the Chinese Internet". Journal of Democracy. 22 (2): 47. doi:10.1353/jod.2011.0020.
- Loretta, Chao; Sue Feng. "Green Dam Troubles Mount". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
- 胡, 泳. "困境与共谋：中国网民权利分析 (in Chinese)". East Day. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
- Lagerkvist, Johan (2010). After the Internet, Before Democracy: Competing Norms in Chinese Media and Society. Berlin: Peter Lang. p. 157.
- "Michael Anti: Behind the Great Firewall of China". TED. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "Subtle censorship at its finest: Weibo took out candle icon ahead of Tiananmen anniversary". Offbeat China. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "China Is Experimenting with a New Form of Internet Censorship". Business Insider. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- Osborne, Hannah. "Tiananmen Square Massacre: Chinese Censors Ban "Big Yellow Duck" from Internet". International Business Times. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "Winnie the Pooh censored in China after President Xi Jinping comparisons". cbsnews.com. CBS News. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Winnie the Pooh film denied release in China". BBC News. 6 August 2018.
- Denyer, Simon (18 December 2014). "'Not as skinny as Obama, like Putin is okay.' China censors schoolboy's suggestion that Xi lose weight". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- Phillips, Tom (28 February 2018). "Cesored! China bans letter N (briefly) from internet as Xi Jinping extends grip on power". the Guardian. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
- "Extending Xi rule 'would be a farce'". BBC News. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
- Denyer, Simon (13 March 2018). "In China, a reporter's dramatic eye-roll went viral. Then searches of it were censored". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- Mozur, Paul (13 March 2018). "A Reporter Rolled Her Eyes, and China's Internet Broke". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- Beijing, Didi Tang (17 March 2018). "Chinese reporter's dramatic eye-roll goes viral before she disappears from view". The Times. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- Connor, Neil (14 March 2018). "China reporter's devastating eye-roll wiped from internet by censors after it spawns viral memes". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- Stanway, David; Qiu, Stella (21 June 2018). "China's Weibo blocks comedian John Oliver after Xi Jinping roasting". Reuters. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "Chinese social media censors John Oliver". BBC News. 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- Yeung, Jessie (21 June 2018). "China censors John Oliver after scathing 20 minute video". CNN. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- May, Tiffany (21 June 2018). "John Oliver, Having Mocked Chinese Censorship, Is Censored in China". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- Kuo, Lily (21 June 2018). "China's Twitter erases John Oliver after scathing Xi Jinping skit". the Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- Sharf, Zack (7 October 2019). "'South Park' Removed From Chinese Internet After Critical 'Band in China' Episode". IndieWire. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
- Otterson, Joe; Otterson, Joe (7 October 2019). "'South Park' Creators Respond to China Censorship: 'Xi Doesn't Look Just Like Winnie the Pooh at All'". Variety. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
- "Congressional Testimony: "The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression?"". Microsoft.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2006. Retrieved 30 August 2006.
- "Roundtable: The Struggle to Control Information". Frontline (PBS.org). 11 April 2005.
- Lu Enjie (26 April 2007). "MySpace now available in China – minus politics and religion". Texyt.com.
- "MySpace.cn使用协议条款" (in Chinese). MySpace.cn. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2007.
- Carter, Tom. "The Chinese Internet Crash of 2007 – Calamity or Capitalism?". Archived from the original on 6 December 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
- "Money's Nice, but Freedom's Nicer". WIRED. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Going online in Cuba: Internet under surveillance" (PDF). Reporters Without Borders. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2009.
- "Human Rights Watch".
- Arthur, Charles (13 May 2011). "China Cracks Down on VPN Use, Guardian News". The Guardian. London.
- Arthur, Charles (14 December 2012). "China tightens 'Great Firewall' internet control with new technology". guardian.co.uk. London: The Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Sarah Newman. "NordVPN Works in China, But Only If You Do This First". vpnmentor.com. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
- "Blogspot blocked in China, beijingnotebook.blogspot.com".
- "All WordPress blogs blocked in China, greatfire.org".[permanent dead link]
- "WordPress.com DDoS Attacks Primarily From China, Tech Crunch".
- "The Best Hosting Services to Sidestep China's Great Firewall". Thomascrampton.com. 26 March 2008. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "Google mirror beats Great Firewall of China – 06 September 2002". New Scientist. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- Espiner, Tom (3 July 2006). "Academics break the Great Firewall of China". ZDNet.
- "How To Hide Your VPN Connections In China, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Pakistan - GreyCoder". greycoder.com. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "obfsproxy". Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "What Is Deep Packet Inspection?". pcworld.com. 1 February 2012.
- "Torproject.org Blocked by GFW in China: Sooner or Later?". Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Tor partially blocked in China". Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "China blocking Tor: Round Two". Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Picturing Tor censorship in China". Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Winter, Philipp. "How China Is Blocking Tor". Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Inc., The Tor Project. "Tor Project: Mirrors". torproject.org. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Tor: Bridges". Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- https://www.usenix.org/system/files/conference/foci18/foci18-paper-dunna.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX46Qv_b7F4&feature=youtu.be&t=949
- "doc/meek – Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki". trac.torproject.org. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
- Steven Millward (22 November 2009). "Opera accused of censorship, betrayal by Chinese users". CNet Asia. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Branigan, Tania. “How China's Internet generation broke the silence”, The Guardian, 24 March 2010
- Arthur, Charles, “China and the internet: Tricks to beat the online censor”, The Guardian, 25 March 2010
- Yeo, G., & Li, E, X., “Rise of the dragon: China isn't censoring the Internet. It's making it work”, “The Christian Science Monitor”, 23 January 2012
- Weiwei, Ai, “China's censorship can never defeat the internet”, “Journal of Social History”,16 April 2012
- "Chinese Hackers Circumvent Popular Web Privacy Tools", Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, 12 June 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- "China's VPN crackdown is about money as much as censorship". ft.com. 22 January 2018.
- "Censorship pays: China's state newspaper expands lucrative online scrubbing business". Reuters. 28 March 2019.
- "Social media and censorship in China: how is it different to the West?". BBC Newsbeat. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
|Look up internet or censorship in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Transwiki: Bypassing the Great Firewall of China|
- greatfire.org Keywords and URLs censored on the Chinese Internet
- Cyberpolice.cn (网络违法犯罪举报网站) – Ministry of Public Security P.R. China Information & Network Security (in Chinese)
- hikinggfw.org: A site that lists and detects all blocked websites by GFW.
- : A site to test if a resource is blocked websites by GFW.