China Tightens Electronic Censorship: ‘Protest’ Ends Phone Calls

Photo: Yoshi Canopus (CC)

Photo: Yoshi Canopus (CC)

The New York Times reports on some disturbing developments on China:

BEIJING — If anyone wonders whether the Chinese government has tightened its grip on electronic communications since protests began engulfing the Arab world, Shakespeare may prove instructive.

A Beijing entrepreneur, discussing restaurant choices with his fiancée over their cellphones last week, quoted Queen Gertrude’s response to Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” The second time he said the word “protest,” her phone cut off.

He spoke English, but another caller, repeating the same phrase on Monday in Chinese over a different phone, was also cut off in midsentence.

A host of evidence over the past several weeks shows that Chinese authorities are more determined than ever to police cellphone calls, electronic messages, e-mail and access to the Internet in order to smother any hint of antigovernment sentiment. In the cat-and-mouse game that characterizes electronic communications here, analysts suggest that the cat is getting bigger, especially since revolts began to ricochet through the Middle East and North Africa, and homegrown efforts to organize protests in China began to circulate on the Internet about a month ago.

“The hard-liners have won the field, and now we are seeing exactly how they want to run the place,” said Russell Leigh Moses, a Beijing analyst of China’s leadership. “I think the gloves are coming off.”…

Article continues at New York Times.

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  • Anonymous

    If you want to keep your citizens in check, you let them say whatever they want on the phone or on the internet, you just record all of it and look for anything incriminating or embarrassing. If you cut their call off now they know you are repressive, but if you let them blab, and blab they will, you will be privy to everyone’s secrets! See China, you still have a lot to learn.

  • MoralDrift

    If you want to keep your citizens in check, you let them say whatever they want on the phone or on the internet, you just record all of it and look for anything incriminating or embarrassing. If you cut their call off now they know you are repressive, but if you let them blab, and blab they will, you will be privy to everyone’s secrets! See China, you still have a lot to learn.

    • Zbigniew Brzezinski

      I am glad you see through the bull you would be a great dictator!!!

  • Zbigniew Brzezinski

    I am glad you see through the bull you would be a great dictator!!!

  • Bwmmiller

    Try posting the truth in some comments. Somebody is watching! try using certain words, without spellchecker changing them. Are the computers manipulating us?

  • Bwmmiller

    Try posting the truth in some comments. Somebody is watching! try using certain words, without spellchecker changing them. Are the computers manipulating us?

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