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Beijing tightens control on satellite receivers
The Epoch Times
4/29/2004



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Since March, the Beijing Broadcast Television Bureau has been working with public security, industry and commerce bureaus to tighten control on the unauthorized distribution and installation of satellite receivers.

According to Beijing Youth, there are reports of people selling satellite receivers via cell phone and the Internet. The Television Broadcast Bureau said, “This activity is disturbing the local satellite broadcasting and threatening Beijing’s security.”

According to Voice of America, a Chinese media official said Shanghai is planning to install monitoring equipment on all commercial Internet cafés in the city to prevent users from gaining access to banned websites, thus increasing its control over information.

The monitoring system will prohibit users from illegal websites including all pornographic sites. Falun Gong, a meditation/cultivation practice banned four years ago after becoming enormously popular, is also a banned web research topic. Sites critical of government policies are also banned.

Analysts believe that the Chinese Communist Party’s real intent is to censor websites that expose the dark side of the government by using the ban of pornographic sites as a front to ban other sites. Many pornographic websites can be easily accessed, observers said, and authorities until just recently have been tolerant of such sites. The SARS crisis last year made many Chinese people distrustful of the official media and the growing need for overseas media outlets may be cause for the booming sales of satellite receivers.

According to sources, Beijing Broadcast Television Bureau issued the policy, “Reward and Punishment on Reporting Satellite Equipment,” to encourage individuals and work units to report unauthorized installation of satellite dishes. For people who are yearning for more outside information this is “adding frost on top of snow” — or in other words, making the situation worse.

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