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Friday, June 8, 2007

Flickr Censored in China?

According to reports from some of you, Flickr photos are currently blocked in China (so you can still access and browse the site, but all images disappeared). The Flickr staff writes:

It seems that access to our image servers is being blocked for users in much of China. Our technical staff has looked into this at depth and determined this is not a technical issue from our end. We will keep an eye on the situation and update if we get any developments.

And in a later update, they add:

We are checking periodically to see if the block is still in place, but haven’t detected any change. We hope that this is a temporary issue and we currently believe that it will be. In the meantime, we are investigating our alternatives.

Just two days ago, Amnesty International warned:

The virus of Internet repression is spreading. The ’Chinese model’ – of an Internet that allows economic growth but not free speech or privacy – is growing in popularity, from a handful of countries five years ago to dozens of governments today who block sites and arrest bloggers.

Unless we act on this issue, the Internet could change beyond all recognition in the years to come. More and more governments are realising the utility of controlling what people see online. And major Internet companies, in an attempt to expand their markets, are colluding in these attempts.

(Google is one of the companies Amnesty International refers to in their release – as is Yahoo, owner of Flickr.)

[Thanks ShellehS/ JasonIT!]


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