Sunday, March 04, 2018

China tries to censor the web outside its borders, with pressure on some tech companies

Paul Mozur writes in a front page article in the New York Times Saturday, “China exerts digital control beyond its borders”, link . The subtext is “broadening efforts to censor and influence foreign websites”.

Although China can block many sites and social media within its borders, these filters are not always effective.  (Last time I looked, Blogger,, as a Google product, is banned in China but Wordpress is not, and most flat sites reach China;  I get emails from the Middle East and China so I know my content gets found there.) 

But if I read the article correctly, China seems to want foreign social media to censor content worldwide because it is likely to reach dissidents in China anyway. It seems to be putting pressure on Twitter.  It can’t put pressure on companies it doesn’t allow in the country, however.

There have been cases where Chinese citizens have been arrested for comments they have published when outside the country or even for conversations they have had with foreigners when hacked.  That is one reason why EFF has encouraged all websites to use https for the protection of foreign visitors and has encourage competence in using TOR when communicating with clients, when one doesn’t know one’s clients vulnerabilities.
In 2013 I kept getting emails about registering my legacy doaskdotell in China, which I had no interest in doing.

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