Sunday, May 10, 2009

Censorship list leaked

A set of internal working documents from the
censorship department at Baidu, were recently
leaked. These documents are quickly appearing
on blogs, forums and across the internet both in
China and around the world. A China Digital Times
post includes a comprehensive list of the websites
that are being censored by Baidu. The documents
also include staff names and their performance
records, company contacts censorship guidelines,
operating instructions, as well as specific lists of
topics and even words to be censored. Additional
company information is included in the time frame
from November 2008 through March 2009.
Some of the blacklisted topics include information
on “defending human rights and appeals,” Falun Gong,
the 1989 Tiananmen Square student massacre,
information on Chinese Communist Party leaders,
ethnic minority issues and the human organ trade.
Each topic contains a list of keywords such as
“quit the CCP,” “dictatorship,” “suppression,”
“China’s human rights” and “brainwashing.”

According to a report published by the University of
Toronto last year that compared the transparency of
search engines in China, censorship was found to be
blocking sites at a rate of more than 26% of the tested
websites. Baidu censored the most. In addition western
search engines also provided censorship. Yahoo censored
21% of the websites and Google 15%.

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