David Kirkpatrick

July 7, 2009

China is a quick study …

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:43 am

… when it comes to cracking down on unruly citizens. After watching Twitter rise above other communications in Iran during the ongoing green wave, China made certain to fix that state control bug during its recent Uighur riots.

From the link:

“They cut off the Internet to shut down communications,” said Wu’er Kaixi, an ethnic Uighur who fled China after helping lead pro-democracy protests there twenty years ago. The Uighurs are a minority concentrated in Xinjiang province that China has struggled to assimilate.

Beijing did not want Internet users to upload pictures and videos like they did after deadly riots last year in Tibet, Wu’er said.

China locked down communications much faster this time, he said.

Twitter became inaccessible in China around 3 p.m. local time Monday, according to complaints posted by users on the site. Users of Twitter and similar Chinese sites had been posting messages about the riots through the services. The Chinese sites were not blocked on Monday afternoon.

Twitter and other foreign Web sites, including Flickr and Microsoft’s Bing search engine, were blocked for several days last month. The period included the date when China brutally suppressed the 1989 protests that Wu’er helped lead, an anniversary the government hoped would pass quietly.

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