South Asia and Beyond

China Activates Emergency Level of Censorship After Mass Protests

 China Activates Emergency Level of Censorship After Mass Protests

Chinese officials initiated the highest level of censorship of the protests calling for an end to the strict COVID curbs and ramped up crackdown on tools used to bypass the nation’s internet control, according to reports. Describing what Shanghai residents chanted in demonstrations as “pernicious political slogans,” the authorities urged websites to “strengthen their content management,” according to a leaked notice published by China Digital Times, a Berkeley-based website dedicated to archiving content censored in China. The leaked directive was reportedly issued following a meeting at the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator, on November 28, during which officials ordered online platforms to initiate “Level I Internet Emergency Response, the highest level of content management”. “Given the recent high-profile events in various provinces,” information about street protests and related reports from foreign news outlets shared on the country’s internet “must be rapidly identified, dealt with, and reported,” read the notice. In a separate notice, officials were told to launch a “thorough clean-up” of virtual private networks (VPNs) and other tools that people use to circumvent the country’s internet restrictions, reports The Epoch Times.

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