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The internet was never free in China. But today, surveillance and censorship go further than ever before. The government is suffocating the still young civil society again.

China: The borders of the sayable are redrawn

The internet was never free in China. But today, surveillance and censorship go further than ever before. The government is suffocating the still young civil society again.

China: The borders of the sayable are redrawn
Content
  • Page 1 — Redraw boundaries of sayable
  • Page 2 — foreign companies help with censorship
  • Read on a page

    InWuzhen, a small canal town on Chinese East Coast, endeute VierteWorld Internet Conference. Among participants was also Apple-CEOTim Cook, who cooperates in SeinerRedebetonte, Wiegerne Apple with its Chinese partners. Dochwährend Chinese government in Wuzhen celebrates Internet, JenerTeil of network, which can actually be used in China, shrinks with each Monatweiter. Through directives, laws and court rulings, VerschafftsichderStaatsapparat new Zugängezu The data of Chinese users and restricts space of Sagbarenweiter.

    Chinahat is world's most expensive and effective system FürInternetzensur, also known as Great Firewall. The meistenWebsites, which are used daily in rest of world, are not accessible in China and list of banned services becomes longer each year. Nuntraf also nochWhatsApp, which could be used as one of last services in China for VerschlüsselteKommunikation. Hinzukommteine long list of banned search terms that changes every day and vonPlattform to platform.

    Civil society organizes in group chats

    Trotzdemhatsich has developed a vibrant network culture in China. A particularly important platform is MessengerWeChat, which has almost as many users as Daschinesische Internet – mehrals500 million. On WeChat There are no public posts, instead DieMitgliederin group chats interact from two to 500 people. Since DasTwitter-like women have been severely censored, DieZivilgesellschaft has found a homeland on WeChat: DieGruppenchats enable networking of like-minded, disparate parts of country, be it feministischeAktivistinnen, DieLGBTQ-CommunityoderAnwälte.

    These networking opportunities are now being furr restricted. Soist in China is now illegal to write anonymous online comments. Anor example itis directive of September: So far, responsibility of FürInternetzensur was primarily with Chinese Internet companies. They blocked and deleted politically sensitive contributions and Vermiedenso trouble with security authorities. Dochnunsinddie administrators of group chats for Inhalteverantwortlich posted re – to avoid einestrafrechtlicheVerfolgungzu, users must gegenseitigzensieren mselves.

    "In some of my chat groups, people are now exhorting each or to certain things to be too sensitive or to mean trouble for DieGruppenadministratoren," says Maya Wang, an employee of VonHuman Rights Watch in Hong Kong. AbschreckendeBeispiele re. A few months ago, a Chinese was sentenced to two years in prison for having used Einenverbotenen nickname for President Xi Jinping in a group chat.

    Self-neutral statements on government policy disappear

    Menschenrechtsaktivistenin China are accustomed to permanent tightrope walk in ir social media use, SagtWang, but new rules also concern people who understand mselves futures activists.

    "Wennjemand, for example, has been mistreated by police, re is in fact no official way in China to act against it," SagtWang, "but through social media and retweets of Onlinestarskonnten victims generate attention for ir situation." Especially on lower levels of state apparatus, Dasdurchaus could have consequences. By fighting corruption in villages, government has been able to act generously without putting its own power at risk. However, in new China, where besondersNutzer have to watch with high reach, what y post, Sindpolizeilicher power abuse or similar issues are many too risky.

    DieGesetze are accompanied by new, opaque rules, which may nochgesagtwerden at all. "We are used to watching criticism of party being censored," reports LotusRuan, researcher at Citizen Lab at University of Toronto, "Dochwährenddes Party congress in October disappeared on WeChat also vieleneutrale statements about government policy." No one knows which parts of this censorship WeChat by government Wurdenund for which operator Tencent himself has decided. Andes does not change anything: strict KONTROLLELÄSST no room for public debate, SagtRuan.

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