“中国官方称视频网站国有化的目的，是 为了‘为社会主义服务’以及更好的‘遵从社会主义的道德标准’。中国政府实际上是想借此保证，只有通过官方审核的视频作品才能在网上播放。中共中宣部几乎 天天为私有的以及国家网站的网页内容做出明文规定，而只在极少情况下给出规定理由。不按照规定行事的网站要面临被处以高额罚款，甚至停业整顿的风险。类似 ‘中国将成立一个能源部’或是‘对证券市场，银行及保险业的监督机构将合并’这样涉及政府计划的内容要立即从网页上删除，因为这些都是‘莫须有的谣言’。
中国人大颁布的互联网新闻报道规定，其中几点现 在得到公开：第一，各网站只许刊登新华社报道的消息，只许转载‘人民日报’发表的评论文章。其他新闻渠道一概不得使用；第二，各网站必须对网页上所有新 闻，报道，文章，论坛，个人博客的内容进行监控。评论性文章，观点性作品必须经过审核批准后才得以发表。各网站不要主动在各类论坛中提出新话题，鼓励网友 展开讨论。对个人博客的管制力度要加大。特别是对驳斥人大下达的指令精神以及批评中国政治体系的文章，要马上删除，并封锁该博客。第三， 各网站要加强网 页上积极观点的主导性，要主动在网页上引导公众树立积极向上的观点。对于积极的声音要给予强调和肯定，在网络上创造一个支持人大决议的环境。
Great Firewall of China Faces Online Rebels
WUHAN, China — As an 18-year-old student with an interest in the Internet, Zhu Nan had been itching to say something about the country’s pervasive online censorship system, widely known here as the Great Firewall.
When China’s censors began blocking access to the popular photo-sharing site Flickr, Mr. Zhu felt the moment had come. Writing on his blog last year, the student, who is now a freshman at a university in this city, questioned the rationale for Internet restrictions, and in subsequent posts, began passing along tips on how to evade them.
“Officials in our country claimed that Internet censorship is done according to the law,” Mr. Zhu wrote. “If so, why not let people know about this legal project, and why, instead, ban the Web sites that publicize and examine those legal policies? If you’re determined to do this, you shouldn’t be afraid of criticism.”
Mr. Zhu’s obscure blog post and his subsequent activism is a small part of what many here regard as a watershed moment. In recent months, China’s censors have tightened controls over the Internet, often blacking out sites that had no discernible political content. In the process, they have fostered a backlash, as many people who previously had little interest in politics have become active in resisting the controls.
And all of it comes at a time of increasing risk for those who choose to protest. Human rights advocates say the government has been broadening its crackdown on any signs of dissent as the Olympic Games in Beijing draw near.
For a vast majority of Internet users, censorship still does not appear to be much of a factor. The most popular Web applications here are games and messaging services, and the most visited Internet sites focus on everyday subjects like entertainment news and sports. Many, in fact, seem only vaguely aware that China’s Internet universe is carefully pruned, and even among those who know, a majority hardly seems to care.
But growing numbers of others are becoming increasingly resentful of restrictions on a wide range of Web sites, including Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, MySpace (sometimes), Blogspot and many other sites that the public sees as sources of harmless diversion or information. The mounting resentment has inspired a wave of increasingly determined social resistance of a kind that is uncommon in China.
This resistance is taking many forms, from lawsuits by Internet users against government-owned service providers, claiming that the blocking of sites is illegal, to a growing network of software writers who develop code aimed at overcoming the restrictions. An Internet-based word-of-mouth campaign has taken shape, in which bloggers and Web page owners post articles to spread awareness of the Great Firewall, or share links to programs that will help evade it.
In almost every instance, the resistance has been fired by the surprise and indignation when people bumped up against a system that they had only vaguely suspected existed. “I had had an impression that some kind of mechanism controls the Internet in China, but I had no idea about the Great Firewall,” said Pan Liang, a writer of children’s literature and a Web site operator who first learned the extent of the controls after a friend’s blog was blocked. “I was really annoyed at first,” Mr. Pan said. “Then the 17th Party Congress came, and I received an order that my Web site, which is about children’s literature, had to close its message board. It made me even angrier.”
Like others, Mr. Pan used his Web page to post solutions for overcoming the restrictions to some banned sites, and then he used a historical allusion to mock his country’s censorship system.
“Many people don’t know that 300 years after Emperor Kangxi ordered an end to construction of the Great Wall, our great republic has built an invisible great wall,” he wrote. “Can blocking really work? Kangxi knew the Great Wall was a huge lie: just think how many soldiers are needed to guard those thousands of miles.”
A 17-year-old blogger from Guangdong Province who posted instructions on how to get to YouTube, overcoming the firewall’s restrictions, was no less philosophical. “I don’t know if it’s better to speak out or keep silent, but if everyone keeps silent, the truth will be buried,” wrote the girl, who uses the online name Ruyue. “I don’t want to be silent, even if everyone else shuts up.”
The Chinese government seems particularly wary of video-sharing sites like YouTube, and has recently tightened regulations on domestic Internet providers in ways that are aimed at controlling such services.
Others, meanwhile, have gone beyond launching Internet-based responses like these and taken more direct action. One such person is Du Dongjing, 38, an information technology engineer in Shanghai who sued a branch of China Telecom for contract violation because of the service provider’s unacknowledged restrictions on Web content.
In this case what initially angered Mr. Du was the surprise blocking of his own business Web site last February. The site markets personal finance software, and had no editorial content of any kind. When the service provider failed to explain why the link went dead, Mr. Du took the phone company to court.
His lawsuit was rejected by a Shanghai court in October, but the case has been heard in appeal. “The Americans have an expression, ‘You can’t fight City Hall,’ ” Mr. Du said. “However, I believe that with the help of today’s Internet, the mood of the public, I can win this case. I can even make a contribution to improving Chinese democracy.”
Even as anticensorship activism spreads, views are divided about whether a grass-roots campaign can prevail. Some see strong continued popular resistance to the limits imposed by tens of thousands of well-financed government technicians operating powerful computers and predict a breakthrough.
Yuan Mingli, who created an anti-Great Firewall evasion group because of his love for Wikipedia, said the government was already at work on new generations of Internet technology aimed at insulating Chinese users even more from the rest of world. But he predicted its failure. “That’s impossible, fundamentally, because people’s hearts have changed,” he said, adding that the system would “eventually break down precisely because China cannot be completely disconnected to the outside world anymore.”
For some of the anticensorship activists, creating a broader awareness of censorship is itself a victory. “If you don’t know what’s on top of you, than you won’t fight back against it,” said Li Xieheng, a blogger who wrote a program he named Gladder, meaning Great Ladder, to help users of the Firefox browser overcome Great Firewall restrictions. “It’s just like many people not feeling that China isn’t free. They’re not aware of it and feel things are natural here, but that’s just the power of media control.”
Mr. Li said he expected the Great Firewall to continue adapting to the tactics of its opponents. The movement, though, has proved the power of public opinion as an important limitation of the censor’s power, he said. “Why don’t they just take Google down?” he asked. “It’s because they don’t want to have a scene and have everybody know. A lot of people came to know about the system because of Flickr, and that is something the system needs to weigh.”