How China keeps protest news off the Internet

A paramilitary policeman participates in a national flag rising ceremony in Beijing, China.

The Chinese government has operated a vast system for Internet censorship for some time. It's a multi-tiered approach that the government is employing presently as protests against authoritarian regimes spread from country to country.

Big Western sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have been blocked for years in China. But that's only part of the story. The government also censors or blocks usages of certain words, most recently "Egypt" or "Jasmine," referring to the Jasmine Revolution.

Brett Solomon from the digital freedom advocacy group Accessnow.org says the government also employs bloggers to pose as regular citizens and steer online conversation and thought toward a pro-government point of view.

Rebecca MacKinnon of the New America Foundation, co-founder of Global Voices Online, tells us there are plenty of ways for Chinese citizens to get around what she calls The Great Firewall of China, although few people bother.

Also in this program, the app Pocket Hipster. It's supposed to analyze and mock your existing music and then offer you suggestions for new artists you might like. But we can't get it to work. Is that part of the plan? Is it too hip to even function?

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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