The Great Firewall of China

24 MB MP3

It’s the first time that the Communist party — that has tried to control information systematically — has run up against such a slippery medium. This is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. You do it here and it falls off anyway. …after all, there has never been an Internet or email before.

Perry Link, 6/20/05 on Open Source
Chris’s Billboard

Censorship in China might be compared not with a man-eating tiger nor with a fire-breathing dragon. No, says the American China watcher Perry Link, Chinese censorship is more like a giant green snake, an anaconda, coiled quietly in a chandelier in a dusky room. Normally it doesn’t even move, or spell out what cannot be said, printed, or blogged, because it doesn’t have to. It lets people take their chances. At the same time, the reality of Chinese bloggers – coming under government registration at the end of this month—is not the seething or revolutionary uprising of individual opinion that we might imagine from the blog record elsewhere. Chinese blogs are not yet very outspoken; they’re barely even political: they pass personal information site-to-site about a society they consider fragile. So what’s the meaning of the coming crackdown? We’re peeking over the great firewall of China.

Perry Link

professor of East Asian Studies

[over ISDN from New Jersey]

Ha Jin

author of War Trash

[in studio, WGBH]

Andrea Leung

blogger: T-Salon, which she publishes as a hobby

[over phone]

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