After an anonymous netizen filed an official application to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for the disclosure of the legal basis allowing foreign websites to be blocked in the mainland by the Great Firewall (see CDT’s translation of the application), the Internet and information regulator sent back this reply:
The office of the Government Information Disclosure Leading Group received your application for information disclosure on July 21 2014. According to Regulation of the People’s Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information (Decree of the State Council, No. 492), the answer to your inquiry is as follows:
Our Ministry does not have the information you applied for.
August 6, 2014
The ministry’s dismissive response, which began circulating on various social media services, led some netizens to comment:
MyDF: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Internet in our country is regulated in accordance with law. The State Internet Information Office: We have never issued an official document to block Google. Relevant agency: Blocking Google is an idea from above. Netizen: Is there anything out there that’s above the rule of law?
陶景洲: The most telling information is that the Ministry of Information has no information.
doing：There are ten thousand grass-mud horses running across my heart.
wdlth：Department response: We also can’t access those sites, so our Ministry does not have the information you applied for.
Translation by Mengyu Dong.