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Image after the riot  (Source: Xinhua)
The Chinese government is cracking down on the Internet and Twitter

The Chinese government has cut off internet service and blocked access to Twitter in a region of the country, after deadly riots left 140 people dead in a remote northwest region of the country.

Chinese media reports indicate 140 people have been killed in the Xinjiang Urumqi Autonomous region, and a total of around 800 people -- with that number still climbing -- have been injured.  Chinese search engines no longer yield any search results when Chinese internet users search for "Urumqi."

Residents of the city say internet has been completely cut off in Urumqi, and they have not been told when it will be restored.

Now that the protests reportedly have spread outside of Urumqi, it's possible others will face internet crackdowns later this week.  

In addition to internet restrictions and a crackdown on Twitter, YouTube also has been temporarily blocked by the government, which is attempting to create a certain level of damage control.  The internet will reportedly remain off to help stifle the spread of the riots, but official word from the Chinese government isn't expected to discuss the recent internet shutoff.

The Chinese government is well known for cracking down on internet users after similar events, and also closely controls what kind of content can be seen by internet users.  The government has drawn criticism from some PC manufacturers and security experts over its Green Dam filtering software that must be installed on all PCs and laptops sold in the country.

Despite the power of the Great Firewall of China, many internet users are able to find ways around the firewall so they are able to still read any content they like.  These freedoms, including the use of social networking sites and YouTube, is the reason the Chinese government also is cracking down on Twitter and YouTube.

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Is the Internet the new rock and roll?
By siliconvideo on 7/6/2009 12:46:08 PM , Rating: 3
Is the Internet the new rock and roll? In my opinion the old Soviet Union was brought down by rock and roll, blue jeans and MacDonald’s (among other things). Back in the 70's the Soviet youth were clamoring for these western cultural items. This clamoring eventually forced the Soviet government to open up more to western society and values (good or bad).

Now it appears the Chinese are clamoring for information flow using such services as Twitter, Youtube and web sites. They always appear to get around the fire walls to get to the information and the government just cracks down harder.

They real question is which is more powerful, the flow of information or the attempts to stop that flow. If the flow continues, then the government will loose the iron fist control of the populace. The government might just have to change or collapse like the Soviet Union did in the 70’s.

If the flow stops then the government will continue with its iron fist rule and societal growth both technologically and socially will slow down to a crawl. The Chinese government is in a hard place, stop the flow and maintain control or let the flow go and possibly loose control.

I know there’s a lot of other variables to look at and this is just looking at the situation form one direction.

There’s the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”

By MrJim on 7/6/2009 1:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
The old Soviet Union was brought down by the US military budget and that they had messed up their agriculture, no food for its own citizens.

By Morphine06 on 7/6/2009 1:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
Wade Gustafson: He just ate - he didn't finish! He's goin' to MAC-Donalds instead of finishin' here.
Jean Lundegaard: He sees his friends there. It's okay.
Wade Gustafson: It's okay, MAC-Donalds. Heh. Whaddya think they do there? They don't drink milkshakes, I assure you.

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