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The Chinese Government has instructed all bloggers to register their sites and identify the person responsible by the end of June or face fines of up to one million yuan (about $121,000.) Other Internet sites already are required to register.
The press advocacy group, Reporters without Borders, said in a press release, “The Chinese authorities use this type of announcement above all to intimidate website operators and bloggers.”
“The authorities also hope to push the most outspoken online sites to migrate abroad where they will become inaccessible to those inside China because of the Chinese filtering systems.”
In some countries, bloggers in political danger email their posts to a trusted person outside the country, who then posts to a blog. China also is taking steps to make that arrangement impossible.
According to Reporters without Borders, the Chinese government system blocks access to hundreds of thousands of websites, including many dealing with news, ethnic minorities, human rights, the Falun Gong meditation movement, and pornography.
China also practices what’s known as domain name system hijacking, redirecting often unwitting users away from sites it deems problematic, to alternative sites or to an invalid address.
However, if history has any lesson, at least some bloggers in China will find a way to make their news known.