Media regulation

Suing the Net Nanny

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As reported earlier on Danwei, a Shanghainese man is suing his Internet connection provider China Telecom because his U.S. hosted website was blocked, and China Telecom will not or cannot explain to him why.

His is writing about the case on his blog (mostly in Chinese, but his English explanation is here). The case is being heard in Shanghai on Tuesday May 29, 2007.

The people at Memedia, an excellent website that presents regular roundup of news about blogs, citizen journalism and media in China (in Chinese), starts its latest post with some thoughts about the case, translated roughly below. Note that the Chinese Internet censorship mechanism that Danwei calls the Net Nanny is usually referred to as GFW (Great FireWall) by Chinese netizens.

At last, the Great Firewall (GFW) is being sued, although of course the target is a temporary one: China Telecom. Whatever the result, this is an important step (it seems GFW has already realized the situation - the plaintiff's website is already unblocked, but this itself embodies the problem: it's like whack-a-mole).

In other parts of the world such as Syria, bloggers are already striving for a free Internet. We don't know who will be the first to leave the blacklist of enemies of the Internet. 

Or should we just systematize the GFW?

The first time the People's Daily website reported on GFW, it was an "improvement" that we could not resist. Another "improvement" is the expansion of the human team behind GFW. When hackers found and distributed the list of "sensitive words" ... the list was so long, who could blame people for hating and cursing GFW? 

GFW is everywhere and it's affecting freedom of thought, so is it any wonder that even Douban [a social networking site popular among China's young, educated urban professionals and students] is disappointing us [referring to the website's recent deletion of some "sensitive" content].

The image used here was taken from Memedia.

UPDATE: Danwei has not been able to get any first hand information about this case and if it went to court today. A comment on the bloggers website says:

Time magazine is dying to get hold of you!

There are currently 1 Comments for Suing the Net Nanny.

Comments on Suing the Net Nanny

I am the blogger you reported. Thx ur reporting.

I got a phone call from the responsible judge on 2:00PM Beijing time, May 28. The first trial time was delayed by court. We have to wait for new schedule. There is no promised time deadline from the court.

If you have any thoughts, you can send it to yetaai at

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