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Blog   |   China, Internet

China's Great Cannon: New weapon to suppress free speech online

The headquarters of Baidu in Beijing. New censorship tool the Great Cannon is said to have redirected traffic from the popular Chinese site in a massive distributed denial of service attack. (AFP/Liu Jin)

China, rated as the eighth most censored country in the world, in a report released by CPJ today, has long had a strong line of defense against free speech online. Its Golden Shield Project, launched by the Ministry of Public Security in 1998, relies on a combination of technology and personnel to control what can be expressed and accessed behind the Great Firewall of China.

Blog   |   China

Jailed journalist Gao Yu saw what was coming. So should the IOC

Gao at a press freedom conference in Paris, in April 2008,(AP/Jacques Brinon)

Gao Yu was right, I was wrong. Gao, who was handed a seven-year prison sentence in a Beijing court on Friday, and I met at a conference organized by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in Paris in April 2008, a few months before the Beijing Olympic Games were to get underway. CPJ had worked hard to publicize the mistake made by the International Olympics Committee in awarding China the Games in the first place.

Blog   |   China

Veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu awaits her fate

Chinese journalist Gao Yu, pictured at a Hong Kong press conference in 2007, is expected to be sentenced in China on April 17. (AFP/Mike Clarke)

A verdict is expected Friday in the case of veteran journalist and staunch government critic Gao Yu. The 71-year-old freelance journalist, who writes about politics, the economy, and social trends for Chinese media in Hong Kong and overseas, was tried in November for disclosing state secrets.

April 15, 2015 12:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Internet, Security

China's CNNIC issues false certificates in serious breach of crypto trust

Google's landing page for China is viewed on a laptop in Hong Kong. False credentials were issued for Google and other domains by Chinese digital certificate company CNNIC. (AFP/Frederic J. Brown)

In a major breach of public trust and confidence, the Chinese digital certificate authority China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) certified false credentials for numerous domains, including several owned by Google. The deliberate breach had the potential to seriously endanger vulnerable users, such as journalists communicating with sources. The breach was discovered by Google and published on its security blog on March 23. Despite this serious lapse, it appears CNNIC's authority will not be revoked, and that its credentials will continue to be trusted by almost all computers around the world.

Blog   |   Burkina Faso, China, France, India

Ban of India's Daughter and other films silences debate on key issues

A poster advertises a screening of Timbuktu at the Pan-African Film Festival in Burkina Faso. The Oscar-nominated film on Islamic militancy was barred from a Paris suburb. (AFP/Ahmed Ouoba)

What do Delhi, Beijing, and Villiers-sur-Marne have in common, but Ouagadougou does not? The first three recently banned access to films their governments deemed inappropriate. But a film festival in the fourth, the capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa, is stepping up security to show an acclaimed but controversial movie about Islamic militancy in neighboring Mali.

Blog   |   China

How China uses J-visas to punish international media for critical coverage

A journalist raises a hand to ask a question of Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the National People's Congress, during a press conference in Beijing. A survey of foreign journalists in China has found authorities are using delays in visa renewals to punish international correspondents for critical reports. (AP/Ng Han Guan)

In November 2013, delays and some outright refusals in issuing visas for foreign correspondents in China were making headlines. A few months later, in its March 2014 survey of members, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) described the situation as "grim." An emailed report on results of the most recent survey (which can be viewed here) found the visa registration process was smoother than in previous years, but "Chinese authorities are continuing to abuse the press card and visa renewal process in a political manner."

March 3, 2015 2:05 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Internet

China doubles down on counterproductive censorship

In a move unlikely to surprise those who access the Internet from mainland China, the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently blocked several popular tools used to bypass the "Great Firewall" national Internet censorship system. Citing the need to protect "cyberspace sovereignty" and to "maintain cyber security and steady operation," the Ministry changed firewall rules to block three increasingly popular commercial virtual private network (VPN) services.

January 28, 2015 5:15 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Turkey

After Charlie Hebdo attack, vigils, protests and publishing bans

Click on the image above to view a StoryMap of reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attack. (StoryMap/Samantha Libby)

Protests against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were held in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa over the weekend, as crowds demonstrated against the magazine's portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, according to news reports.

Blog   |   China

China's long-distance tactic to suppress Uighur coverage

When we conduct the research for our annual list of jailed journalists, we rely on a range of sources. And we come across a lot of information that doesn't always make it on to our list. With China once again the largest jailer of journalists--44 this year--our research team spotted several stories that deserve notice, even if they don't fall precisely under the "jailed journalist" heading.

Blog   |   China

In China, mainstream media as well as dissidents under increasing pressure

Protesters carry a placard of jailed journalist Gao Yu at a demonstration in Hong Kong in July. (Reuters/Bobby Yip)

In 2014, a record number of journalists imprisoned in China was documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists. The 44 in prison this year is an increase from 32 in 2013, and is the largest figure for China since CPJ began tracking imprisoned journalists in 1990. In recent years, the generally rising numbers for China have been driven by the detention of journalists from ethnic minorities, mostly Tibetans and Uighurs. Many straddle the increasingly blurry line between journalism and activism.

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