Internet Development and Information Control in the Peoples Republic of China [Updated February 10, 2006] [open pdf - 79KB]
"Since its founding in 1949, the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has exerted great effort in manipulating the flow of information and prohibiting the dissemination of viewpoints that criticize the government or stray from the official Communist party view. The introduction of Internet technology in the mid-1990s presented a challenge to government control over news sources, and by extension, over public opinion. While the Internet has developed rapidly, broadened access to news, and facilitated mass communications in China, many forms of expression online, as in other mass media, are still significantly stifled. Empirical studies have found that China has one of the most sophisticated content-filtering Internet regimes in the world. The Chinese government employs increasingly sophisticated methods to limit content online, including a combination of legal regulation, surveillance, and punishment to promote self-censorship, as well as technical controls. U.S. government efforts to defeat Internet jamming include funding through the Broadcasting Board of Governors to provide counter-censorship software to Chinese Internet users to access Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia (RFA) in China."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33167
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/main/home.jsp