China blocks Internet access to New York Times

BEIJING Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:08am EST

The headquarters of the New York Times is pictured on 8th Avenue in New York in this February 5, 2008 file photo. China, widely criticized for its censorship of the media, this week blocked access to The New York Times, the newspaper said on Saturday. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

The headquarters of the New York Times is pictured on 8th Avenue in New York in this February 5, 2008 file photo. China, widely criticized for its censorship of the media, this week blocked access to The New York Times, the newspaper said on Saturday.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Hershorn

BEIJING (Reuters) - China, widely criticized for its censorship of the media, this week blocked access to The New York Times, the newspaper said on Saturday.

When computer users in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou tried to connect on Friday to nytimes.com, they received a message that the site was not available, the newspaper said.

There was no access to the site from Beijing late on Saturday without the protection of a virtual private network (VPN).

The State Information Office said it had no information on the case.

The Foreign Ministry said this week that China, which eased its rein on the Internet before and during the Beijing Olympics in August, was within its rights to block websites with content illegal under Chinese law.

China regularly blocks sites it finds unsavory, particularly those related to Tibet or critical of the Communist Party.

Access to the Chinese-language versions of the BBC, Voice of America and Hong Kong media Ming Pao News and Asiaweek were blocked early this month, Asiaweek said.

China has the world's greatest number of Internet users, allowing its citizens vastly increased access to information.

In response, it has set up a team of personnel who police the Internet to remove sensitive content and posts, warn bloggers who cross the line and block access to certain sites.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom and Nick Macfie, Editing by Dean Yates)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.