Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A new Great Cyber Wall of China on the Twenty-Fourth Anniversary of Tiananmen Square

Today marks the Twenty-Fourth Anniversary of Tiananmen Square, and with all the fanfare taking place about Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting the United States in the next few days, I decided to call the PRC's Embassy in the U.S. to ask why VeritasRadio.com has been blocked/censored in China, as reported by our listeners there. I know they have bigger fish to fry (especially today) with their leader visiting Los Angeles this week. First, I called the PRC's Embassy in Washington, D.C. and was given the proverbial runaround. Please send an e-mail and we'll get back to you, etc., etc., etc. I kept asking to speak with someone on the record and they all claimed lack of English proficiency. They finally transferred me to the assistant to the Consulate-General in Chicago. I discussed the issue and the gentleman stated that because we are located outside of Chicago (they transferred me there) the matter was outside his jurisdiction. Obviously, no one wanted to deal with the censorship issue. As a last resort, I then proceeded to tell him that perhaps we could send an emissary to Los Angeles this week where we could ask President Xi Jinping directly why China is erecting a new Great Cyber Wall of China and censoring the internet. I finally got his attention. He then listened, asked for all the details, and promised to promptly look into this matter. Not even an hour later our Web site magically appears to be available in China once again. Coincidence or not, we are glad to be back in China. But let's not forget June 4, 1989 as a "defining moment" for contemporary China. One of the reasons for the loss of life in Tiananmen Square was ending newspaper censorship. My call today, even in a small way, serves to memorialize those who have given their lives for free speech and transparency.

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