Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
11 March 2004
Without Borders has condemned growing censorship of the Internet
in China as access has been blocked to Chinese versions of the
Wall Street Journal and Deutsche Welle sites since the opening
of the annual People's National Congress on 5 March.
on 27 February a discussion forum on Inner Mongolia was closed
Beijing authorities have reaffirmed a desire for liberalisation
during the People's National Congress. Unfortunately this
openness is confined to the economic field, because as far as
free expression is concerned the government seems to be getting
even tougher," said the international press freedom organisation.
that the Chinese leadership is tightening the screw on the
Internet even further by attacking the major Western media," it
Chinese sites of the Wall Street Journal and Deutsche Welle have
been made inaccessible through their IP address (address that
identifies an Internet site). The navigation software, failing
to access the required web page, automatically redirects the
user to a Chinese search engine. Both these online publications
have been blocked in the past, but only temporarily.
living in China ran the Nutuge discussion forum, that was closed
in February. It mainly posted information about Mongolian
culture and history. It did not deal with "sensitive" political
and religious matters. Set up in 2002, it had become one of the
most popular sites in Inner Mongolia.
discussion forum was closed by its host, on the demand of the
public security ministry, following the posting of a message
that was judged "illegal". The political situation of Inner
Mongolia, occupied by China since 1947, is comparable to that of
Reporters Without Borders spoke out
against growing practice of filtering of discussion forums on
the eve of the congress on 26 February.
Chinese authorities possess advanced technology that allows them
to monitor Internet surfers in real time, to intercept their
emails and to filter online news. Several hundred thousand sites
- including that of Reporters Without Borders - are blocked
inside the country.
people behind bars, China is the world's largest prison for
Street Journal, Chinese version
Welle, Chinese version