The Internet: Podcast Dissidents – Steve Friess

From Newsweek, an article about the use of technology to distribute banned information in China:

China has tried hard to keep Han Dongfang from communicating with the Chinese people. The democracy activist was jailed for 22 months and then forced to leave the mainland for organizing protests associated with the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. His name has been blocked over the years in Internet searches and his efforts to broadcast via radio have been all but thwarted by technology able to scramble radio waves.

Yet earlier this year, podcasts of Han’s Hong Kong-based pro-worker commentary began circulating on the Internet, opening a new front in the high-tech battle between China and free-speech activists. In podcasts”audio and video files circulated online”those advocates may have found the ideal medium for breaching what critics call the Great Firewall of China. As yet, nobody’s figured out how to scan such material for utterances of those telltale buzzwords that trigger the blocking of Web sites, e-mails and blogs. Filtering audio content is currently impossible, and a government ban on all audio or video e-mail attachments would cripple the nation’s Internet communications. [Full text]


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