chapter  8
20 Pages

Censorship and surveillance in Chinese cyberspace: beyond the Great Firewall patricia m. thornton

On June 20, 2008, President Hu Jintao marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Daily (Renmin ribao ), the official voice of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), by paying a formal visit to the central offices of the newspaper. Congratulating those assembled for their service to the people, Hu called upon the staff to do an even better job of “performing its function as the organ of the Party’s Central Committee guiding public opinion.” Shortly thereafter, in a move indicative of just how vital new information technologies have become in renegotiating the boundaries between the Chinese state and society, Hu used a computer terminal to hold the first ever online chat between a reigning president and the Chinese people on the popular online portal of the People’s Daily, the “Strong Nation Forum” (qiangguo luntan ).