Microsoft takes down Chinese blog

Remember that Internet portal that Microsoft deployed in China last summer? (I blogged about it in PEEK.) To recap, there were certain words and phrases that were going to be banned from use... like "democracy" and "freedom."

Now they've taken it a step further-- they've taken down the blog of one of China's most outspoken journalists. Rebecca MacKinnon has had her eye on this story since the beginning:

Anti is one of China’s edgiest journalistic bloggers, often pushing at the boundaries of what is acceptable. ... His old blog at the U.S.-hosted Blog-city is believed to have caused the Chinese authorities to block all Blog-city blogs. In the final days of December, Anti became a vocal supporter of journalists at the Beijing Daily News who walked off the job after the top editors were fired for their increasingly daring investigative coverage, including some recent reporting on the recent police shootings of village protestors in the Southern China.

The important thing to note here is that it's not the Chinese government that has taken down the blog; it's Microsoft, the independent corporation. He's since restarted his old blog mentioned above, but this is a truly frightening level of corporate complicity in government-recommmended and -enforced censorship. For more on corporate behavior in China, check out "Capitalizing On Government Repression" by G. Pascal Zachary, as well as AlterNet staff writer Joshua Holland's series of articles on the WTO talks in Hong Kong a few weeks ago.

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