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Study Reveals Techie Terms Censored Online in China

• Technologyreview.com
 

China’s surveillance of its citizens’ digital activities is common knowledge. However, questions remain concerning what content is targeted by government censors and how these blacklists change in response to current events.

A new study released this month in First Monday uncovers more than 4,000 unique keywords censored over the last year and a half on Chinese instant messaging platforms. Focusing on Skype and the microblogging service Sina Weibo, the researchers cultivated their keyword list using reverse-engineering techniques such as packet sniffing, which captures and analyzes packets of data as they pass through a network.

More than 20% of the terms targeted on Sina Weibo, it turns out, related to technology, including specific URLs, spyware, and technical terms.

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