Sunday, March 27, 2005

China, Still Blocking Websites

It's been a long time since I've talked about China blocking websites because it goes on all the time without many people complaining. The last time the Chinese government blocked websites and caused controversy was when two Chinese blogging sites were shut down and the Typepad domain was blocked one year ago. That blockage got lots of attention and a few days later the Chinese blogging sites were back up. In January Typepad was quietly unblocked, making it accessible from China, though SixApart hasn't responded let alone many other people. Over the last year the government has been shutting down thousands of internet cafes to stop "immoral net use."

But just two weeks ago students started protesting a message board crackdown allowing only university students to access the Shuimu forum (now this site says the domain has been sold and plays some Japanese/English song). There's even a photo album of the protest with images of paper cranes participants made in memory of Shuimu. No word yet on what happened to these people or if there were any encounters with authorities at all. Since the domain has been sold, I doubt the board will be back, but a new one may be created that will be limited to students from the very start. Because the protest did get some international attention the government may be wary of blocking university bulletin boards in the future.

Update: Here's the song "first love" that is playing.