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China pulls plug on blogs

Another attempt to 'strangle web use'

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Chinese authorities have been accused of censorship after closing down two blogging sites.

Used by more than 15,000 people, Blogbus.com was closed "until further notice" on 11 March after a letter was posted on the site that was critical of the government. Another site, Blogcn.com, had its plug pulled three days later.

"After closing websites and discussion forums, the Chinese authorities are now targeting blogs, one of the last outlets for expression still open to Internet users," said the international press freedom organisation, Reporters Without Borders.

China has a long history of cracking down on Net use. It has shut down cybercafes, closed Web sites, blocked access to content and arrested people for posting messages online.

Last month Reporters Without Borders launched a petition in support of Chinese dissident Du Daobin, after he was arrested by police accused of posting subversive messages on the Internet.

The group says the moves against bloggers "top off the authorities' efforts to strangle web use". ®'

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