posts about or somewhat related to ‘censorship’

New York Times reporter James Risen, via Twitter.

James Risen recently won the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Journalism Award for excellence in journalism.

The Pulitzer Prize winning national security reporter has long been hounded by the US Justice Department to disclose his confidential sources from his 2006 book State of War.

As the Washington Post wrote back in August, “Prosecutors want Mr. Risen’s testimony in their case against Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA official who is accused of leaking details of a failed operation against Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Risen properly has refused to identify his source, at the risk of imprisonment. Such confidential sources are a pillar of how journalists obtain information. If Mr. Risen is forced to reveal the identity of a source, it will damage the ability of journalists to promise confidentiality to sources and to probe government behavior.”

While accepting the Lovejoy Award, Risen had this to say:

The conventional wisdom of our day is the belief that we have had to change the nature of our society to accommodate the global war on terror. Incrementally over the last thirteen years, Americans have easily accepted a transformation of their way of life because they have been told that it is necessary to keep them safe. Americans now slip off their shoes on command at airports, have accepted the secret targeted killings of other Americans without due process, have accepted the use of torture and the creation of secret offshore prisons, have accepted mass surveillance of their personal communications, and accepted the longest continual period of war in American history. Meanwhile, the government has eagerly prosecuted whistleblowers who try to bring any of the government’s actions to light.

Americans have accepted this new reality with hardly a murmur. Today, the basic prerequisite to being taken seriously in American politics is to accept the legitimacy of the new national security state that has been created since 9/11. The new basic American assumption is that there really is a need for a global war on terror. Anyone who doesn’t accept that basic assumption is considered dangerous and maybe even a traitor.

Today, the U.S. government treats whistleblowers as criminals, much like Elijah Lovejoy, because they want to reveal uncomfortable truths about the government’s actions. And the public and the mainstream press often accept and champion the government’s approach, viewing whistleblowers as dangerous fringe characters because they are not willing to follow orders and remain silent.

The crackdown on leaks by first the Bush administration and more aggressively by the Obama administration, targeting both whistleblowers and journalists, has been designed to suppress the truth about the war on terror. This government campaign of censorship has come with the veneer of the law. Instead of mobs throwing printing presses in the Mississippi River, instead of the creation of the kind of “enemies lists” that President Richard Nixon kept, the Bush and Obama administrations have used the Department of Justice to do their bidding. But the effect is the same — the attorney general of the United States has been turned into the nation’s chief censorship officer. Whenever the White House or the intelligence community get angry about a story in the press, they turn to the Justice Department and the FBI and get them to start a criminal leak investigation, to make sure everybody shuts up.

What the White House wants is to establish limits on accepted reporting on national security and on the war on terror. By launching criminal investigations of stories that are outside the mainstream coverage, they are trying to, in effect, build a pathway on which journalism can be conducted. Stay on the interstate highway of conventional wisdom with your journalism, and you will have no problems. Try to get off and challenge basic assumptions, and you will face punishment.

Journalists have no choice but to fight back, because if they don’t they will become irrelevant.

Bonus: The NSA and Me, James Bamford’s account of covering the agency over the last 30 years, via The Intercept.

Double Bonus: Elijah Parish Lovejoy was a minister in the first half of the 19th century who edited an abolitionist paper called the St. Louis Observer. He was murdered by a pro-slavery mob in 1837. More via Wikipedia.

Images: Selected tweets via James Risen.

As Turkey Bans Twitter, Twitter Use Surges
Turkey banned Twitter Thursday night because of “biases" and "systematic character assassinations" it says take place on the network. Namely, that people are sharing audio recordings and other evidence of alleged mass corruption in the Erdogan government.
Despite the ban, or maybe because of it, Twitter use within Turkey just skyrocketed. Via Venture Beat:

After banning Twitter last night, the actions of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have failed spectacularly.
Immediately following Turkey’s ban, Twitter issued an SMS workaround. Then, ”#TwitterisblockedinTurkey” became a globally trending topic on Twitter. Into the night, usage of Google’s free DNS service exploded to circumvent the blockage of Twitter’s domain. Now, social media analysis firms Brandwatch and We Are Social report that Turkish tweets last night and this morning are up by a massive 138 percent…
…Turkish users collectively tweeted 2.5 million times since the ban went into effect, potentially “setting new records for Twitter use in the country,” according to a different study reported by the Guardian.

As Zeynep Tufekci explains, people in Turkey “banned the ban” by sharing tips on using proxies and adjusting DNS settings to get around government blocking:

By the end of the evening, I repeated the same line in interviews and also on Twitter: the only people “banned” from Twitter are pro-government supporters not wanting to openly circumvent. But then even some of them started popping up, arguing the ban must be a mistake or a devious plot by the opponents in the judiciary where they had been battling a faction. It was 3 am in Turkey and it seemed that many people on my Twitter list, who normally would be asleep by then, were awake, rejoicing in the freedom they’d clutched. They were not going to let go. Jokes were proliferating about the weakness of the ban, the fact that pro-government supporters had mostly decided to stay away, and the fact that the prolific Tweeter and mayor of Ankara from the ruling party had not been able to resist the temptation. He had circumvented.

Image: A woman paints Google’s Public DNS on her body, a method being used to get around Turkey’s Twitter ban, via @_cypherpunks_. Related, graffiti in Turkey is appearing that promotes the same.  

As Turkey Bans Twitter, Twitter Use Surges

Turkey banned Twitter Thursday night because of “biases" and "systematic character assassinations" it says take place on the network. Namely, that people are sharing audio recordings and other evidence of alleged mass corruption in the Erdogan government.

Despite the ban, or maybe because of it, Twitter use within Turkey just skyrocketed. Via Venture Beat:

After banning Twitter last night, the actions of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have failed spectacularly.

Immediately following Turkey’s ban, Twitter issued an SMS workaround. Then, ”#TwitterisblockedinTurkey” became a globally trending topic on Twitter. Into the night, usage of Google’s free DNS service exploded to circumvent the blockage of Twitter’s domain. Now, social media analysis firms Brandwatch and We Are Social report that Turkish tweets last night and this morning are up by a massive 138 percent…

…Turkish users collectively tweeted 2.5 million times since the ban went into effect, potentially “setting new records for Twitter use in the country,” according to a different study reported by the Guardian.

As Zeynep Tufekci explains, people in Turkey “banned the ban” by sharing tips on using proxies and adjusting DNS settings to get around government blocking:

By the end of the evening, I repeated the same line in interviews and also on Twitter: the only people “banned” from Twitter are pro-government supporters not wanting to openly circumvent. But then even some of them started popping up, arguing the ban must be a mistake or a devious plot by the opponents in the judiciary where they had been battling a faction. It was 3 am in Turkey and it seemed that many people on my Twitter list, who normally would be asleep by then, were awake, rejoicing in the freedom they’d clutched. They were not going to let go. Jokes were proliferating about the weakness of the ban, the fact that pro-government supporters had mostly decided to stay away, and the fact that the prolific Tweeter and mayor of Ankara from the ruling party had not been able to resist the temptation. He had circumvented.

Image: A woman paints Google’s Public DNS on her body, a method being used to get around Turkey’s Twitter ban, via @_cypherpunks_. Related, graffiti in Turkey is appearing that promotes the same.  

I don’t even know if anyone is reading this anymore.

Russia Blocks Four Opposition Media Portals — (via globalvoices)

Background, via EFF:

Russia’s government has escalated its use of its Internet censorship law to target news sites, bloggers, and politicians under the slimmest excuse of preventing unauthorized protests and enforcing house arrest regulations. Today, the country’s ISPs have received orders to block a list of major news sites and system administrators have been instructed to take the servers providing the content offline.

The banned sites include the online newspaper Grani, Garry Kasparov’s opposition information site kasparov.ru, the livejournal of popular anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, and even the web pages of Ekho Moskvy, a radio station which is majority owned by the state-run Gazprom, and whose independent editor was ousted last month and replaced with a more government-friendly director.

The list of newly prohibited sites was published earlier today by Russia’s Prosecutor General, which announced that the news sites had been “entered into the single register of banned information” after “calls for participation in unauthorized rallies.” Navalny’s livejournal was apparently added to the register in response to the conditions of his current house arrest, which include a personal prohibition on accessing the Internet.

(via globalvoices)

The Olympics Are Coming
Welcome to Russia.
Committee to Protect Journalists: Media suffer winter chill in coverage of Sochi OlympicsIn the run-up to the Sochi Winter Games, official repression and self-censorship have restricted news coverage of sensitive issues related to the Olympics, such as the exploitation of migrant workers, environmental destruction, and forced evictions.
Index on Censorship: A complete guide to who controls the Russian news mediaIn early 2000s various state agencies took financial or managerial control over 70 percent of electronic media outlets, 80 percent of the regional press, and 20 percent of the national press. As a result, Russian media continued to be used as tools of political control but now these “tools” were no longer distributed among competing political parties and businesses, but remained concentrated in the hands of a closed political circle that swore loyalty to President Putin.
Radio Free Europe: Russian Media Tests Boundaries Of State CensorshipIt’s not easy being a journalist in Russia, where attacks against reporters have made it one of the most dangerous places to work, and the government has sidelined much of the free press. Still, some media outlets remain highly critical of the authorities. Their journalists say their main difficulty isn’t so much that they’re not able to report about the country’s problems, it’s that no one’s listening.
Freedom House: 2013 Russia Country ReportAlthough the constitution provides for freedom of speech, vague laws on extremism grant the authorities great discretion to crack down on any speech, organization, or activity that lacks official support. The government controls, directly or through state-owned companies and friendly business magnates, all of the national television networks and many radio and print outlets, as well as most of the media advertising market. Only a small and shrinking number of radio stations and publications with limited reach offer a wide range of viewpoints. In December 2013, Putin abolished the state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, which had developed a reputation for objective reporting, and folded it into a new entity called Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today), which would be run by pro-Kremlin television commentator Dmitriy Kiselyov and Margarita Simonyan, the head of RT, the Kremlin’s propagandistic international television network. The Kremlin has also increased pressure on formerly outspoken outlets, such as the business newspaper Kommersant, which is now considered to be a progovernment publication.
Image: Cover, The Economist. The Triumph of Vladimir Putin.

The Olympics Are Coming

Welcome to Russia.

Committee to Protect Journalists: Media suffer winter chill in coverage of Sochi Olympics
In the run-up to the Sochi Winter Games, official repression and self-censorship have restricted news coverage of sensitive issues related to the Olympics, such as the exploitation of migrant workers, environmental destruction, and forced evictions.

Index on Censorship: A complete guide to who controls the Russian news media
In early 2000s various state agencies took financial or managerial control over 70 percent of electronic media outlets, 80 percent of the regional press, and 20 percent of the national press. As a result, Russian media continued to be used as tools of political control but now these “tools” were no longer distributed among competing political parties and businesses, but remained concentrated in the hands of a closed political circle that swore loyalty to President Putin.

Radio Free Europe: Russian Media Tests Boundaries Of State Censorship
It’s not easy being a journalist in Russia, where attacks against reporters have made it one of the most dangerous places to work, and the government has sidelined much of the free press. Still, some media outlets remain highly critical of the authorities. Their journalists say their main difficulty isn’t so much that they’re not able to report about the country’s problems, it’s that no one’s listening.

Freedom House: 2013 Russia Country Report
Although the constitution provides for freedom of speech, vague laws on extremism grant the authorities great discretion to crack down on any speech, organization, or activity that lacks official support. The government controls, directly or through state-owned companies and friendly business magnates, all of the national television networks and many radio and print outlets, as well as most of the media advertising market. Only a small and shrinking number of radio stations and publications with limited reach offer a wide range of viewpoints. In December 2013, Putin abolished the state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, which had developed a reputation for objective reporting, and folded it into a new entity called Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today), which would be run by pro-Kremlin television commentator Dmitriy Kiselyov and Margarita Simonyan, the head of RT, the Kremlin’s propagandistic international television network. The Kremlin has also increased pressure on formerly outspoken outlets, such as the business newspaper Kommersant, which is now considered to be a progovernment publication.

Image: Cover, The Economist. The Triumph of Vladimir Putin.

Interactive: What does your country ask Google to censor? 
Sebastian Sadowski visualized data from Google’s Transparency Report and put it into an interactive graph sorted by country.
Image: Screenshot of the Transparency Report by Sebastian Sadowski.

Interactive: What does your country ask Google to censor? 

Sebastian Sadowski visualized data from Google’s Transparency Report and put it into an interactive graph sorted by country.

Image: Screenshot of the Transparency Report by Sebastian Sadowski.

Without advanced technology, authoritarian regimes would not be able to spy on their citizens. Reporters Without Borders has for the first time compiled a list of five “Corporate Enemies of the Internet,” five private sector companies that it regards as “digital era mercenaries” because they sell products that are used by authoritarian governments to commit violations of human rights and freedom of information. They are Gamma, Trovicor, Hacking Team, Amesys and Blue Coat…

…Their products have been or are being used to commit violations of human rights and freedom of information. If these companies decided to sell to authoritarian regimes, they must have known that their products could be used to spy on journalists, dissidents and netizens. If their digital surveillance products were sold to an authoritarian regime by an intermediary without their knowledge, their failure to keep track of the exports of their own software means they did not care if their technology was misused and did not care about the vulnerability of those who defend human rights.

Reporters Without Borders, Era of the Digital Mercenaries.

Today is World Day Against Cyber-Censorship and for it, Reporters Without Borders is focusing on the five countries and five companies it believes are the worst in the world when it comes to censorship and surveillance.

A must read.

[Iran] is developing “intelligent software” that aims to manipulate, rather than fully control, citizens’ access to social networks. Instead of blocking Facebook, or Twitter, or even Google, the regime… will allow controlled access to those services. As Iranian police chief Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam put it to Iranian local media, cheerfully: “Smart control of social networks will not only avoid their disadvantages, but will also allow people to benefit from their useful aspects.”…

…[T]he “intelligent software” announcement is itself revealing: It suggests the increasing normalization of censorship — and, more specifically, the increasing normalization of strategic censorship.

This is the highly effective Chinese model put to use by another regime: Block content if you must, but monitor content first of all. Allow your citizens to indict themselves with the freedom — “freedom” — you give them. And that is, as a strategy, very likely the future of repression — one in which access to the web won’t just be the black-and-white matter of blocked vs. not , but rather something more insidious: curtailing Internet freedom by the very illusion of granting it. As Iran’s Moghadam noted, “Smart control of social networks is better than filtering them completely.” What’s scary is that he’s probably right.

Megan Garber, The Atlantic. The Age of Surgical Censorship.

Meantime, Iran has cut off access to most Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that its citizens use to get around government filters.

In announcing the move, Ramezanali Sobhani-Fard, head of parliament’s information and communications technology committee, told the Mehr news agency, “Within the last few days illegal VPN ports in the country have been blocked. Only legal and registered VPNs can from now on be used,” according to Reuters.

Iran is reportedly in the process of creating a “Halal” Internet, or a countrywide intranet, that is closed off from the rest of the Web.

Chinese internet expert and Tea Leaf Nation founder David Wertime tells Harvard’s Berkman Center about China’s internet peculiarities.

From Nieman Lab’s summary:

In what ways is the Chinese Internet a better source for grassroots Chinese sentiment than traditional quotes and sources? In what ways is it worse? More broadly, what best practices can and should journalists use when mining social media for sentiment?

FJP: For more from us on China, you may want to see this post, and this one too.

In Vietnam, 17 bloggers and activists will stand trial [today]. This trial will be the largest of its kind in Vietnam—14 of the defendants will appear at once. They have been charged under Article 79 (“activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s government”) of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The allegations include: attending workshops on digital security; writing and linking to blog posts that are critical of the Communism Vietnamese government; calling for peaceful protests and political pluralism; and association with the Vietnam Reform Party (Viet Tan). If convicted, the defendants could face sentences ranging from five years in prison to capital punishment. Three of the accused activists—Nguyen Xuan Kim, Thai Van Tu, and Le Sy—have fled the country and the Ministry of Public Security has issued a warrant for their arrest.

2012 was a year of crackdowns on free expression in Vietnam, including the introduction of new censorship laws. But just as important as the new regulations was the ongoing harassment, intimidation, and detainment of bloggers who had spoken out against the Communist regime. Dozens of social activists were arrested, some of whom received harsh prison sentences, and many of whom have been detained for over a year without trail. In the summer, the mother of imprisoned Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan died after setting herself on fire to protest her daughter’s detention on charges spreading anti-state propaganda.

China to Businesses: You Will Help us Censor the Internet →

Via the New York Times:

As the Chinese cyberpolice stiffened controls on information before the Communist Party leadership transition taking place this week, some companies in Beijing and nearby cities received orders to aid the cause.

Starting earlier this year, Web police units directed the companies, which included joint ventures involving American corporations, to buy and install hardware to log the traffic of hundreds or thousands of computers, block selected Web sites, and connect with local police servers, according to industry executives and official directives obtained by The New York Times. Companies faced the threat of fines and suspended Internet service if they did not comply by prescribed deadlines.

The initiative was one in a range of shadowy tactics authorities deployed in the months leading up to the 18th Party Congress, which is scheduled to end on Wednesday, in an escalating campaign against information deemed threatening to party rule. The effort, while spottily executed, was alarming enough to spur one foreign industry association to lodge a complaint with the government. Several foreign companies quietly resisted the orders, which posed risks to communications and trade secrets that they take pains to secure.

The Times article notes one local company was told it would be fined approximately $2,400 and lose Internet access for six months if it did not install the required hardware and software.

China Blocks Google
China’s blocked pretty much all of Google as its 18th Party Congress to choose new leaders takes place. Services down include Mail, Maps, Docs, and Google Analytics among others.
Via the Washington Post:

Google and many of its most popular subdomains, including Google e-mail, have been blocked by a “DNS poison” in China, according to Chinese Web monitoring site GreatFire.org, an extraordinary step in Web censorship even for the Chinese government. Attempting to access the Google services in China leads to a vacant IP address.

Via GreatFire.org, which monitors online censorship in China and reported the block:

We’ve argued before that the authorities didn’t dare to fully block GMail since it has too many users already. Fully blocking Google goes much further. … According to Alexa, it’s the Top 5 most used website in China. Never before have so many people been affected by a decision to block a website. If Google stays blocked, many more people in China will become aware of the extent of censorship. How will they react? Will there be protests?

Image: Twitter screenshot from GreatFire.org

China Blocks Google

China’s blocked pretty much all of Google as its 18th Party Congress to choose new leaders takes place. Services down include Mail, Maps, Docs, and Google Analytics among others.

Via the Washington Post:

Google and many of its most popular subdomains, including Google e-mail, have been blocked by a “DNS poison” in China, according to Chinese Web monitoring site GreatFire.org, an extraordinary step in Web censorship even for the Chinese government. Attempting to access the Google services in China leads to a vacant IP address.

Via GreatFire.org, which monitors online censorship in China and reported the block:

We’ve argued before that the authorities didn’t dare to fully block GMail since it has too many users already. Fully blocking Google goes much further. … According to Alexa, it’s the Top 5 most used website in China. Never before have so many people been affected by a decision to block a website. If Google stays blocked, many more people in China will become aware of the extent of censorship. How will they react? Will there be protests?

Image: Twitter screenshot from GreatFire.org

Like any editor in the United States, I tweaked articles, butted heads with the sales department, and tried to extract interesting quotes out of boring people. Unlike my American counterparts, however, I was offered red envelopes stuffed with cash at press junkets, sometimes discovered footprints on the toilet seats at work, and had to explain to the Chinese assistants more than once that they could not turn in articles copied word for word from existing pieces they found online. I also liaised with our government censor…

…I was told that we could not title a coal piece “Power Failure” because the word “failure” in bold print so close to the Olympics would make people think of the Olympics being a failure. The title “The Agony and the Ecstasy” for a soccer piece was axed because agony was a negative word and we couldn’t have negative words be associated with sports. We couldn’t use the cover image I had picked out for a feature on the rise of chain restaurants, because it was of an empty bowl, and, [our censor] told me, it would make people think of being hungry and remind them of the Great Famine (a period from 1958 to 1961 when tens of millions of Chinese starved to death, discussion of which is still suppressed). Even our Chinese designers began to roll their eyes when I related this change to them, and set them to work looking for images of bowls overflowing with meat.

Eveline Chao, Foreign Policy. Me and My Censor: A reporter’s memoir of what it’s like to tell the truth about today’s China.

Chao was Managing Editor for an English-language magazine called China International Business and writes about the ins and outs of censorship in the newsroom despite, as she writes, “Business content is not censored as strictly as other areas in China, since it seems to be understood that greater openness is needed to push the economy forward and it doesn’t necessarily deal with the political issues Chinese rulers seem to find the most sensitive.”

In 2003-2004 I worked for an English-language paper in Saudi Arabia and while the censorship mechanics there are different from what Chao illustrates, her anecdotes had me nodding at their familiarity. — Michael

fjp-latinamerica:

The VO1CE Project: citizen journalism and developmentThink citizen journalism, think crowdsourcing, think video-documentaries, think advocacy, think mapping, think civic media. This is what the Vo1ce Project is about. An idea developed by Angelo Greco and Marija Govedarica focused on training citizens in underserved communities to report on sensitive issues and then publishing their findings on a web-based platform. Vo1ce’s goal is to foster community development by engaging marginalized localities in documenting and sharing information.“We decided to focus, at least on this early stage of the project, on covering censorship because the problem is everywhere, and we think it affects every single layer of the communities in the Americas”, said Greco, a graduate from The American University, during an interview in a cafe in Mexico City.Currently, Vo1ce has ongoing projects in Serbia, the USA, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. Angelo was visiting Mexico City looking for citizen journalists, journalists, activists, and human rights advocates willing to join the censorship project that is about to take off in the Latin American countries. After his stop in Mexico, he traveled to Medellin, Colombia, also looking for supporters. (Interested in joining the cause? send an email to info@vo1ceproject.org)Why are they focusing in Latin America?The complexities of the region in terms of the challenges faced by underserved communities and the interest of professional journalists to mentor citizen journalists are a great mix they’ve found in the region, said Greco.According to Greco, the main challenges ahead for Vo1ce will be to find journalists and activists willing to join the cause, developing a friendly-yet-professional mobile app to help capture and transfer footage and then find the best way to publish the findings of their different projects in a visually compelling platform.The Vo1ce Project is an NGO currently going through a fundraising campaign.Image: Angelo and Marija founders of the Vo1ce Project.

Follow FJP Latin America: Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook.

fjp-latinamerica:

The VO1CE Project: citizen journalism and development

Think citizen journalism, think crowdsourcing, think video-documentaries, think advocacy, think mapping, think civic media. This is what the Vo1ce Project is about. An idea developed by Angelo Greco and Marija Govedarica focused on training citizens in underserved communities to report on sensitive issues and then publishing their findings on a web-based platform. Vo1ce’s goal is to foster community development by engaging marginalized localities in documenting and sharing information.

“We decided to focus, at least on this early stage of the project, on covering censorship because the problem is everywhere, and we think it affects every single layer of the communities in the Americas”, said Greco, a graduate from The American University, during an interview in a cafe in Mexico City.

Currently, Vo1ce has ongoing projects in Serbia, the USA, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. Angelo was visiting Mexico City looking for citizen journalists, journalists, activists, and human rights advocates willing to join the censorship project that is about to take off in the Latin American countries. After his stop in Mexico, he traveled to Medellin, Colombia, also looking for supporters. (Interested in joining the cause? send an email to info@vo1ceproject.org)

Why are they focusing in Latin America?
The complexities of the region in terms of the challenges faced by underserved communities and the interest of professional journalists to mentor citizen journalists are a great mix they’ve found in the region, said Greco.

According to Greco, the main challenges ahead for Vo1ce will be to find journalists and activists willing to join the cause, developing a friendly-yet-professional mobile app to help capture and transfer footage and then find the best way to publish the findings of their different projects in a visually compelling platform.

The Vo1ce Project is an NGO currently going through a fundraising campaign.

Image: Angelo and Marija founders of the Vo1ce Project.

Follow FJP Latin America: Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook.

New Statesman Tries to Bypass the Great Firewall
The New Statesman’s current issue focuses on China and the magazine has created a Mandarin version of it as a PDF. Their hope is to get the publication around Chinese censors by using various torrent sites.
Via the New Statesman:

What will [Chinese readers] find inside? A story very different to the one they are told by the state-controlled press. Inside the issue, the former newspaper editor Cheng Yizhong speaks about how the Southern Metropolis Daily exposed the brutal “custody and repatriation” procedure used by the government on those without the correct ID, and the confinement and fatal beating of Sun Zhigang in 2003 (and subsequent cover-up). In 2004, Cheng was detained in secret for more than five months by the Guangdong authorities in 2004 for “economic crimes”, before being released.
In an exclusive essay, Cheng recounts the stifling conditions of media censorship in China, opening up about a media culture bombarded by “prohibitions” and riddled with informers who report directly to the government, in which only a minority of journalists are brave enough to fight the system.

Also in the issue is an interview conducted by activist artist Ai Weiwei of “a member of the “50 cent party” - a commenter paid half a dollar every time he derails an online debate in China”; Tibetan issues; persecution of human rights lawyers; and how artists of all stripes learn how to self-censor in order to succeed.
To preempt their domain — and the articles — from being blocked within China, the publication has uploaded the PDF version of the issue onto file sharing sites, writing, “Here is a direct link to the PDF, here is a link to the torrent file, here is a magnet link for the torrent, and here is a mirror of the torrent on Kickass Torrents. Please share.”
New Statesman, Taking on the Great Firewall of China.
Image: Ai Weiwei on the cover of the current issue of the New Statesman.
H/T: BoingBoing

New Statesman Tries to Bypass the Great Firewall

The New Statesman’s current issue focuses on China and the magazine has created a Mandarin version of it as a PDF. Their hope is to get the publication around Chinese censors by using various torrent sites.

Via the New Statesman:

What will [Chinese readers] find inside? A story very different to the one they are told by the state-controlled press. Inside the issue, the former newspaper editor Cheng Yizhong speaks about how the Southern Metropolis Daily exposed the brutal “custody and repatriation” procedure used by the government on those without the correct ID, and the confinement and fatal beating of Sun Zhigang in 2003 (and subsequent cover-up). In 2004, Cheng was detained in secret for more than five months by the Guangdong authorities in 2004 for “economic crimes”, before being released.

In an exclusive essay, Cheng recounts the stifling conditions of media censorship in China, opening up about a media culture bombarded by “prohibitions” and riddled with informers who report directly to the government, in which only a minority of journalists are brave enough to fight the system.

Also in the issue is an interview conducted by activist artist Ai Weiwei of “a member of the “50 cent party” - a commenter paid half a dollar every time he derails an online debate in China”; Tibetan issues; persecution of human rights lawyers; and how artists of all stripes learn how to self-censor in order to succeed.

To preempt their domain — and the articles — from being blocked within China, the publication has uploaded the PDF version of the issue onto file sharing sites, writing, “Here is a direct link to the PDF, here is a link to the torrent file, here is a magnet link for the torrent, and here is a mirror of the torrent on Kickass Torrents. Please share.”

New Statesman, Taking on the Great Firewall of China.

Image: Ai Weiwei on the cover of the current issue of the New Statesman.

H/T: BoingBoing