Menu
China intensifies Internet censorship ahead of military parade

China intensifies Internet censorship ahead of military parade

China is cracking down on online rumours, and targeting censorship circumvention tools

As China prepares to celebrate a new national holiday, the country has been tightening its grip over the Internet by squelching online rumours, and cracking down on tools that can circumvent its censorship.

On Sunday, China's Ministry of Public Security said it punished 197 people for allegedly spreading misinformation over local social media and messaging services.

The rumours covered controversial topics including the financial woes of the Shanghai stock market and the recent explosion in the Chinese city of Tianjin. One rumour, for instance, claimed that more than 1300 people had died in the blast at Tianjin, when the official toll puts the figure at over 140.

The suspects involved deliberately attempted to mislead the public and create panic, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The crackdown comes as the country is about to celebrate a new holiday on September 3, which will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II. In Beijing, the government will be holding a large military parade.

China has a long history of censoring any content deemed offensive or controversial, especially when it relates to government affairs. This has involved blocking foreign websites such as Facebook and Twitter, in addition to arresting suspects involved in alleged rumour-mongering.

A year ago, China even began blocking access to all Google services, just days before the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, a topic considered taboo in the country.

Internet users can still circumvent China's censorship through special software tools, but lately, the government has also been trying to crack down on the coding that can run these services.

GoAgent and Shadowsocks, two of these tools, have been removed from GitHub, a software development platform popular among developers.

It's unclear why GoAgent was taken down. But as for Shadowsocks, the Chinese developer behind it was forced to delete the code from GitHub, following a visit from local police.

"I have no choice but to obey," the developer "clowwindy" said in a posting on GitHub, which was later deleted.

Shadowsocks was a popular censorship circumvention tool, according to GreatFire.org, an activist watchdog group that seeks to end China's Internet censorship. The tool was both free and open source, helping to make it widely used, GreatFire.org said in an email.

But even as the Shadowsocks code was deleted, other developers have made it available again, and posted it to GitHub.

A developer of the original Shadowsocks code was contacted, but declined to comment, except to say: "I believe people will take over this project and it will continue without me."


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetShadowsockssecurity GitHubGoAgentChina censorship

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments