Sunday, March 16, 2008

Google China Internet Filters

Understanding how filters

The anti-censorship community has been hard at work today trying to figure out just how Google’s new Chinese search engine prevents access to controversial content. Nart Villeneuve, pretty much the smartest guy out there working on Internet censorship, offered a post yesterday with some early insights into how sites are being blocked.
One of the observations Nart made: is working from a blacklist of URLs, possibly provided by Chinese authorities, possibly generated from following traffic to search results and adding domains that are consistently blocked by the firewall. This blacklist includes activist sites, news sites, homepage hosting and forum sites.
Please read more here.


~Search for images of "Tiananmen," as in Tiananmen Square, scene of the 1989 student democracy protest, on the China site, Most of the time the results turn up pictures of the Beijing plaza: a flock of birds soaring above the grounds, the square all lit up at night, tourists posing for the camera. Run the same search again on, the uncensored version used here in the United States, and the images are strikingly different. The highest-ranking results are photographs of tanks rolling into the square to put a stop to the demonstration more than 16 years ago. "Google uncensored shows a bunch of tanks streaming in there," said Danny Sullivan, founder and editor of Search Engine Watch. "Google China has smiling, happy people."
Please read more here.

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