China's cyberwall nearly concrete

Wednesday, 6 November 2002, 11:49 AM EST

While the Great Wall no longer deters would-be invaders from entering China, experts meeting in Washington on Monday said the Chinese government continues to maintain a nearly rock-solid cyberwall.

At a panel discussion held by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, experts warned that China has recently improved its censorship technology -- much of which is provided by U.S. companies. The panel also claimed that China now employs some 30,000 "Internet police" to monitor its citizens, and that is has increased arrests of dissidents and journalists posting illegal content on the Internet.

"I was the first victim of Chinese censorship on the Internet," said Lin Hai, a Shanghai computer scientist who spent 18 months in a Chinese prison for distributing forbidden e-mail addresses to an online dissident magazine.

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