Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

[Reuters] China Cracks Down on Pagers

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Mon, 24 May 1999 16:53:23 -0400
From:          Marc Rotenberg <>
Subject:       [Reuters] China Cracks Down on Pagers

China Cracks Down on Pagers

12:10 p.m.  24.May.99.PDT

Shanghai has ordered local paging stations and computer information
vendors to stop providing news reports, the Xinmin Evening News said
on Monday.

Information suppliers, including telephone and computer-based
services, must stop disseminating political news temporarily,
including news downloaded from the Internet, the newspaper said.

The Shanghai Posts and Telecommunications Bureau recently called in
131 information vendors, advising them of the decision and saying some
firms had provided information that was pornographic, superstitious,
or harmful to state security, the newspaper said.

The bureau "demanded all work units immediately suspend broadcasting
of news for the time being," it said.

Many paging systems carry stock and foreign exchange information.
Telephone and computer-based information services also provide similar
information as well as some reports which could be interpreted as

The city government also reaffirmed a ban on "information involving
state secrets, damaging state security, and disturbing social order,"
the newspaper said.

Anyone who wanted to post political news on a domestic Web site must
also gain permission from local authorities, according to the

The city government also banned the posting of what it called
inflammatory information on Internet noticeboards.

China has seen explosive growth in the use of the Internet, but it has
also viewed this as a potential threat to its authority.

Some dissident groups, mainly based outside of the country, have
used the Internet to bypass the tightly controlled official media,
which Beijing sees as a tool of the ruling Communist Party.

While domestic dissidents are scattered and disorganized,
authorities have been particularly nervous about political
challenges as China approaches the 10th anniversary of the bloody
crackdown on political dissents on 3-4 June, 1989.

Beijing called in tanks and troops to crush massive pro-democracy
protests, killing hundreds of people, in and around Tiananmen Square.

Marc Rotenberg, director                *   +1 202 544 9240 (tel)
Electronic Privacy Information Center   *   +1 202 547 5482 (fax) 666
Pennsylvania Ave., SE Suite 301     * Washington,
DC 20003   USA              +