China blocks web access to NYT
The Chinese government swiftly blocked access Friday morning to the English-language and Chinese-language web sites of The New York Times in mainland China in response to the article describing wealth accumulated by the family of Wen Jiabao.
The authorities were also blocking attempts to mention The New York Times or the prime minister in postings on Sina Weibo, an extremely popular mini-blogging service in China that resembles Twitter.
The foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing early Friday morning did not answer phone calls for comment.
China has the world’s most extensive and sophisticated system for Internet censorship, employing tens of thousands of people to monitor and delete entries, and to even write new entries that are favourable to the government.
“This is what they do: they get mad, they block you,” said Rebecca MacKinnon, a senior fellow specializing in Internet free expression and privacy issues at New America Foundation, a nonpartisan group based in Washington.
A spokeswoman for The New York Times, Eileen Murphy, expressed disappointment that Internet access had been blocked.
By 7 am Friday in China, access to the English- and Chinese-language web sites of The Times was blocked from all 31 cities in mainland China tested. The Times had posted the article in English at 4.34 am Friday Beijing time, and finished posting the article in Chinese three hours later after the translation of final edits to the English-language version.
In January 2010, Google decided to move its servers for the Chinese market to Hong Kong after failing to reach an agreement with
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