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China’s vast Internet prison: Washington Post

| By: Dan McDevitt

From the article: “Offering a glimpse of how censorship actually works in China, Ronald Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, released a report recently on digital streaming services. Similar to Periscope (which is banned in China), these apps, such as YY, 9158 and Sina Show, have become a craze. Mr. Deibert’s researchers downloaded these three, and between February 2015 and October 2016 extracted 19,464 keywords that trigger censorship on chats associated with each application. Rather than monolithic control, they found censorship is decentralized and somewhat chaotic; the platforms are often expected to adhere to a kind of “self-discipline” rather than direct orders. Mr. Deibert’s group discovered that the most popular app, YY, with 844 million registered users, automatically sends a report back when a user types a banned keyword; the report includes not only the user’s name but also who the message was sent to and the message itself.”

Read the full Washington Post article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/chinas-vast-internet-prison/2016/11/09/aee94536-a52c-11e6-8042-f4d111c862d1_story.html?utm_term=.d678baaf7780

The referenced Net Alert report can be found here: https://netalert.me/harmonized-histories.html

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