China increasing Internet censorship: AP report

An Associated Press story takes a look at increased surveillance and censorship in China in the lead-up to the Communist Party Congress next week. “”For China’s 162 million web users, surfing the Internet can be like
running an obstacle course with blocked websites, partial search
results, and posts disappearing at every turn,” said the story by reporter Alexa Olesen. The piece also looks briefly at how one blogger, who is also a lawyer, is suing his Internet Service Provider over censorship. An excerpt:

In the lead-up to the sensitive Communist Party Congress, which convenes Monday to approve top leaders who will serve under President Hu Jintao through 2012, authorities have been casting an even wider net than usual in their search for web content they deem to be politically threatening or potentially destabilizing.

“What you see now is unprecedented,” said Xiao Qiang, director of the China Internet Project at the University of California, Berkeley. “They are forcing most of the interactive sites to simply close down and have unplugged Internet data centres. These are things they haven’t done before.”