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Authorities insist on surveillance and filtering software in all Internet cafés, companies

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns the latest escalation in the Chinese government's Internet censorship and control system in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

In order to monitor and restrict the volume of information available to Tibetans, the authorities are insisting that all Internet cafés and companies that make computers available to the public in Tibet install the sophisticated filtering and surveillance software that was recently imposed in Beijing and other parts of China.

The Chinese government is cutting off Tibet from the rest of the world. China's highly developed surveillance software is being used to stifle free expression. Censorship in Tibet is reaching alarming levels. As in Xinjiang, the authorities are trying to obtain total control over news and information in order to be able to nip any unrest in the bud.

Furthermore, since 1 August 2010, anyone wanting to connect to the Internet from a public computer has had to identify themselves by means of a card with a magnetic strip. This means that all the content consulted online can now be traced back to individual users. The authorities are using the fight against paedophilia and pornography to justify these repressive measures.

Tibetan blogs are being filtered almost automatically. Dolkar Tso, the wife of Karma Sandrup, a leading activist who was recently jailed, has opened a new blog a total of five times, after the authorities closed each of her previous blogs ( http://drolkartso.blog.sohu.com/%20%20 ).

Many blogs that are hosted abroad, such as Himalayanfontblog ( http://222.186.191.24/blog/ ) and the poet Woeser's blog, which are both very popular, are being censored in Tibet. International online media and the websites of international human rights NGOs are also inaccessible. The only online newspaper that can be accessed is the government's.

A list of the most important Tibetan media that are blocked:
http://www.Tibet.net
http://www.Thetibetpost.com
http://www.Phayul.com
http://www.Outlooktibet.com
http://www.Shambalapost.com
http://www.Pressoftibet.com
VOA Tibetan News: http://www1.voanews.com/tibetan/news/

You can test whether a website is accessible at any time from behind the "Great Internet Wall of China" by going to this web page:
http://www.websitepulse.com/help/testtools.china-test.html

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