Feeds

Chinese social sites lift post-coup controls

Comment is free ... but could get you in a lot of bother

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The Chinese authorities have as promised allowed social media giants Tencent and Sina to re-open their popular micro-blogging platforms to comments, although these firms could face a tough time going forward as government censors increase their scrutiny.

Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo were singled out by the Party after apparently unfounded rumours of a coup in Beijing spread via the Twitter-like services a fortnight ago.

Aside from shuttering 16 web sites and arresting six so-called ‘rumour mongers’, the authorities took action by doling out an unspecified punishment to Sina and Tencent and forcing the firms to purge their sites of any more rumours which could be deemed harmful to the State.

David Bandurski, a researcher at Hong Kong university, translated the message greeting Tencent users on Saturday on his China Media Project blog.

Users and Friends:

Recently, rumours and other illegal and harmful information spread through microblogs have had a negative social impact, and harmful information has been relatively predominant in comment sections, requiring concentrated cleansing. For this purpose, this site has decided to temporarily suspend the comment function on microblogs from 8am March 31 to 8am April 3. We express our apologies for any inconvenience.

Bandurski explained that while the message makes out as if the action has been undertaken by Tencent under its own initiative, the order undoubtedly came from the government’s Orwellian-sounding State Internet Information Office.

He added that the government-led crack down on web rumours, while portrayed as an attempt to fight for truth and accuracy, is actually the opposite.

“The underlying principal is the political control of information,” he wrote.

With a once-in-a-decade change of leadership set to take place in the Party next year, web firms like Sina and Tencent will come under increasing scrutiny from the government’s army of censors.

However, the real work of censoring content is actually left to the web sites themselves.

It has been suggested that many could find their margins squeezed ever tighter as they employ more staff to make sure content on the platforms doesn’t break increasingly strict censorship laws. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.