It was said that the blocking of the MIT website was due to the existence of a famous Chinese forum -- "Unnamed Space" sponsored by Chinese overseas students who frequently visit the MIT website. Although this forum is neutral in every way, still, since last fall it has been blocked.
The latest news shows that other blocked websites include those of Stanford University and CIT (California Institute of Technology). Jiang's regime has even gone so far as to warn American universities not to support Chinese students in creating such kinds of websites. The fact is that American universities generally provide students with free web space unless they violate the law. There are no specific regulations as to how students make use of their space.
The latest censoring of websites has negatively impacted China's image as it attempts to open to the outside world. Some prestigious international organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and many major media have protested and leveled criticism against China's blocking of these and other university websites. It is well known that China has blocked many overseas news websites, including CNN, BBC and the New York Times, etc. When U.S. President Bush visited China last year, those journalists who came along with him found that they could not log onto their home news websites; these problems led to numerous complaints. As a result, China unblocked several websites such as The New York Times, etc, during Mr. Bush's visit. However, the censorship returned to normal soon after he left.
China's information blockade is an important means to strengthen the Party's power. There are many Chinese overseas websites that are blocked. What are also blocked are forums and personal websites sponsored by web advocates. Under such strict restrictions, web users constantly think of ways to break through the blockade set up by the Chinese government. Many overseas non-profit organizations are also trying very hard to help domestic web users break through the information blockade as well.
Currently, some break-throughs have been made using Freenet (http://freenet-china.org) and Triangle Boy web.
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