Fragile China

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European governments determined to block their citizens' online access to Nazi memorabilia, racist rants, and tobacco ads probably could get some useful advice from Chinese censors. A new report by researchers at Harvard Law School confirms that the Chinese government has been remarkably successful at preventing people from visiting Web sites it considers subversive. The researchers, Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain and technology analyst Benjamin Edelman, identified some 19,000 sites that were "inaccessible from China on multiple occasions," including those run by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, religious groups, and major media organizations. "If the purpose of such filtering is to influence what the average Chinese Internet viewer sees," Zittrain says, "success could be within grasp."

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