Google has found itself on the other side of China’s “great firewall’” of Internet censorship. YouTube is presently inaccessible in China, while its foreign minister has assured Reuters that the ruling party is “not afraid of the Internet.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters that he had no knowledge about YouTube being blocked, but Google confirmed to Reuters that the service is unavailable to users in China. The company said that it was working toward a solution, and avoided placing blame on the Chinese government.
The Chinese government has a longstanding practice of filtering Internet traffic by using techniques such as DNS poisoning. Its targets have traditionally included news, religious groups, and anything else that could be construed as critical of its policies, as well as pornography.
According to Reuters, Qin said that Internet regulation was necessary in order to prevent the spread of,”harmful information and for national security.” He also said that China’s 300 million Internet users and 100 million blogs was proof that China’s Internet was “open enough.”
If the government has objected to YouTube’s content, it is likely that Google may cooperate in censoring it, as it does with Google Web search. In any event, here are some YouTube videos that its citizens are missing, with apologies to the ruling party:
Tiananmen Square Protests:
Protesting Parents of Earthquake Victims Jailed:
Human Rights: Dissidents Placed in Mental Hospitals:
Support for Sudanese War Criminals: