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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Facebook Inaccessible in China After Violent Clashes in Urumqi

Posted by Author on July 10, 2009

By Tim Culpan, The Bloomberg, July 9, 2009 –

July 9 (Bloomberg)
— Facebook Inc.’s social-networking Web site was inaccessible in China as the government blocks information after violent clashes in one of its regions.

As of 1:36 p.m. Beijing time, there were at least 36 reports of Facebook.com being unavailable from China, according to Herdict.org, a project at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, which tracks Web outages. Local access to the YouTube.com video site of Google Inc. was also broken, and connections to Amazon.com Inc.’s online store were irregular.

China’s government, which maintains tight control over the Internet, media and information flow, severed access to e-mails and the Web this week in the western city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province amid ethnic clashes that left more than 150 people dead and 1,000 injured. Authorities blocked Google’s search engine last month amid criticism it spread pornography.

“The government wants to show it’s doing as much as it can to prevent links to information from overseas as well as from inside China,” Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA China, a Beijing- based technology consultancy, said by phone. “It won’t work.”

Facebook.com couldn’t be accessed from Beijing or Shanghai as of 11 a.m. local time, while connections were possible from Seattle and Brisbane, Australia, according to WebSitePulse.com. Yahoo! Inc.’s Yahoo.com Internet portal and Microsoft Corp.’s Hotmail.com e-mail service were reachable from all four locations, according to WebSitePulse.com.

“It does appear to be running slowly” in China, said Larry Yu, a spokesman for Palo Alto, California-based Facebook. “We’re looking into the matter, what the reason is for the service running slowly.”

‘Prisoner of State’

Amazon.com, the world’s largest online store, sells “Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang,” the banned memoirs of the former chief of the Chinese Communist Party, who was under 16 years of house arrest until his death in 2005. He secretly taped his account of the infighting among party officials before they ordered the military to crush pro-democracy demonstrations on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. Clicking on the book’s Web page from China blocks the whole site for at least 15 minutes, and it can be re-accessed once the Internet browser’s history is cleared.

This may mark the first time the government has totally suppressed access to Amazon.com, broadening previous restrictions on Web pages for individual books, Clark said. …… (More from Bloomberg)

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