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Violations of User Rights

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Violations of User Rights: Key Findings

May 2012-April 2013

A 2012 amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law took effect in January 2013. While not all its provisions were negative, the amendment did appear to strengthen the legal grounds for detaining suspects incommunicado if they were suspected of anti-state activity—a category that includes individuals like Cao Haibo, a cybercafé employee sentenced in a closed trial in November 2012 to eight years in jail for discussing democracy online. Other online activists faced physical attacks, interrogation and house arrest.

Many were deprived of due process: After 2013 unrest in Xinjiang, at least twenty individuals were sentenced because they “used the Internet, mobile phones and digital storage devices” to incite terrorism, local reports alleged, without elaborating. Also in 2013, as international concern at the rising number of self-immolations in Tibet mounted, the Times reported at least a dozen Tibetans detained for inciting and publicizing suicides, including sending photographs of burning bodies overseas via mobile phone. International monitoring groups documented unprecedented levels of surveillance targeting Tibetans, including searches of mobile devices. Police surveillance powers were bolstered by new rules encouraging users to register their real names online in December 2012. Some Beijing businesses offering internet were told to install government spyware or disconnect.

Several U.S-based media outlets revealed in January 2013 that Chinese hackers had infiltrated their computers and staff email accounts, while analysts traced several hackers operating globally to physical locations in China—in one case, to a specific military location in Shanghai—and revealed an escalation in their technical sophistication. Less well-documented is the exposure faced by Chinese web users. A Chinese military report in May 2012 said nearly 9 million Chinese computers were infected with malicious viruses, while international hackers claimed responsibility for illegally accessing China Telecom’s vast stores of personal data.

Article 35 of the Chinese constitution guarantees freedoms of speech, assembly, association, and publication, but such rights are subordinated to the CCP’s status as the ruling power. In addition, the constitution cannot, in most cases, be invoked in courts as a legal basis for asserting rights. The judiciary is not independent and closely follows party directives, particularly in politically sensitive freedom of expression cases. China lacks specific press or internet laws, but government agencies issue a variety of regulations to establish censorship guidelines. Regulations—which can be highly secretive—are subject to constant change and cannot be challenged by the courts.

Prosecutors exploit vague provisions in China’s criminal code, laws governing printing and publications, and state secrets legislation to imprison citizens for online activity such as blogging, downloading censored material from overseas, or sharing information by text message, e-mail or social media platforms. Recent legislative amendments fall short of international standards for protecting defendants, and in some cases strengthen police power. In 2010, the National People’s Congress amended the State Secrets Law,[1] obliging telecommunications operators and ISPs to cooperate with authorities investigating leaked state secrets or risk losing their licenses.[2] Since authorities can retroactively classify content to justify a prosecution under this law, its formalized extension to the digital realm is deeply problematic. An amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law that took effect in 2013 bolstered the legal grounds for detaining suspects in undisclosed locations in cases pertaining to national security—a category that includes online offenses against the state. It did introduce a review process for allowing police surveillance of suspects’ electronic communications, which the Public Security Ministry allows in a range of criminal cases, but the wording of the amendment was vague about the procedure for that review.[3] In addition, local officials periodically use criminal defamation charges to detain and in some cases imprison whistle-blowers who post corruption allegations online.[4]

Trials and hearings lack due process, often amounting to little more than sentencing announcements, and detainees frequently report abuse in custody, including torture and lack of medical attention.[5]

Reporters Without Borders documented a total of 69 netizens in Chinese jails as of February 2013.[6] Individuals sentenced during the coverage period included Cao Haibo, a cybercafé employee who received eight years in jail 2012 for promoting democracy online.[7] Long-term detainees include 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-year sentence on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” for publishing online articles, including the prodemocracy manifesto Charter 08.[8] Though these represent a tiny percentage of the overall user population, the harsh sentences have a chilling effect on the close-knit activist and blogging community and encourage self-censorship in the broader public.

Members of religious and ethnic minorities face particularly harsh treatment for transmitting information abroad and accessing or disseminating banned content.[9] In the aftermath of ethnic violence in Tibet in 2008 and Xinjiang in 2009, local courts imposed prison sentences on at least 17 individuals involved in websites that reported on Tibetan or Uighur issues, often in closed trials.[10] Many details of the charges and sentences were not reported even to the defendants’ families, but at least two Uighur website managers, Memetjan Abdulla and Gulmire Imin, were jailed for life. After more unrest in Xinjiang in 2013, at least 20 individuals were sentenced because they supposedly “used the Internet, mobile phones and digital storage devices to organize, lead and participate in terror organizations, provoke incidents, and incite separatism.”[11] Also in 2013, as international concern at the rising number of self-immolations in Tibet mounted, the New York Times reported that at least a dozen Tibetans had been detained for allegedly inciting and publicizing the protests, including by sending photographs overseas via mobile phone.[12] A Tibetan-language notice apparently posted by public security officials in Gansu Province warned that circulating banned content including “websites,” “emails and audio files,” and “SMS texts” would result in severe beating, according to Reporters Without Borders.[13]

Three other extrajudicial measures used to punish internet users are detention in “reeducation through labor” camps, house arrest, and covert detention.

  • Reeducation through labor

Public security officials can sentence suspects to up to four years in work camps without trial, an unpopular procedure that has drawn increasing calls for reform.[14] State media have become unusually vocal regarding the system’s potential for abuse.[15] In November 2012, Chongqing village official Ren Jiayu, a 25-year-old who had been sentenced to two years’ reeducation through labor for pseudonymous microblog comments about Bo Xilai, was released early after generating widespread online support; the event, and a CCTV interview with the former inmate, attracted over 1.5 million comments on Sina Weibo.[16] This minor success may reflect nothing more than the change in Bo Xilai’s political fortunes. In early 2013, however, in a possible prelude to centralized reform, state media reported that provincial authorities in Yunnan and Guangdong were preparing to abolish reeducation through labor.[17] The official Xinhua news agency later backtracked, saying the media had “read too much” into these developments. The status of the reform effort remains unclear; some experts still view a major overhaul as unlikely.

  • House arrest

This features invasive surveillance at the detainee’s home, where internet and mobile phone connections are often severed to prevent the individual from contacting supporters and journalists. This is apparently intended to reduce external interest in the detainee’s welfare, though it can have the opposite effect. Liu Xia, who is married to Liu Xiaobo, has been isolated at home since his incarceration, but this has generated repeated attempts to contact her, and Associated Press journalists evaded her surveillance detail to interview her in 2012.[18] While there are several cases of long-term house arrest, it can be adjusted arbitrarily over time. In September 2012, academic and blogger Jiao Guobiao was first banned from traveling to an overseas conference and placed under strict house arrest for several days, then arrested and detained for two weeks after publishing an online article about the disputed Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands, and finally released, to continued surveillance.[19] Some groups compile tallies of dissidents known to be held under house arrest, but there are no statistics available to show which of them may have been targeted specifically for their online activity.[20]

  • Covert detention

State agents can abduct and hold individuals in secret locations without informing their families or legal counsel. This long-standing practice, which initially lacked a legal foundation, came into the spotlight in 2011 as authorities reacted to the threat of Arab Spring–style protests.[21] Among dozens of cases reported that year, prominent artist and blogger Ai Weiwei was abducted and held from April to June 2011 and subsequently fined for alleged tax evasion.[22] In 2012, as noted above, the National People’s Congress enacted an amendment of the Criminal Procedure Law that strengthened the legal basis for detaining suspects considered a threat to national security in undisclosed locations, among other changes. In response to public feedback, a clause was added requiring police to inform a suspect’s family of such a detention, though they need not disclose where and why the suspect is being held. Despite this improvement, the amendment maintained vague language that is open to abuse by police and security agents.[23]

Internet users have occasionally fallen victim to forced psychiatric detention, a measure used to commit individuals to mental institutions and prevent them from seeking redress for injustice or engaging in other unwelcome behavior. The whereabouts of at least one detainee, Li Qidong, who officials hospitalized in Liaoning in 2009 after he criticized the government in online articles, are not known.[24]

Law enforcement officials frequently summon individuals for questioning in relation to online activity, an intimidation tactic referred to euphemistically online as “being invited for tea.”[25] Activists have also been instructed to travel during times of political activity or heightened public awareness of their cause. Security agents sent photojournalist Li Yuanlong on a “forced vacation” from his native Guizhou Province in 2012, after he published shocking photographs of children who had died of exposure on a popular website, prompting calls for accountability from local schools and officials.[26]

Internet users sporadically report encountering violence as a result of online activity. In August 2012, masked men raided the offices of a Hong Kong citizen-journalism platform and destroyed computers, apparently in retaliation for the site’s coverage of local politics. Hu Jia, a dissident who is active online, reported that security agents beat him during an eight-hour detention in March 2013, on the day before Xi Jinping took office as president.[27]

Users hoping to avoid repercussions for their online activity face a rapidly dwindling space for anonymous communication as real-name registration requirements expand online, among mobile phone retailers, and at public internet facilities. The authorities justify real-name registration as a means to prevent cybercrime, though experts counter that uploaded identity documents are vulnerable to theft or misuse,[28] especially since some verification is done through a little-known government-linked contractor.[29]

In December 2012, the CCP’s governing Standing Committee approved new rules to strengthen the legal basis for real-name registration by websites and service providers.[30] The rules threatened violators with “confiscation of illegal gains, license revocations and website closures,” largely echoing the informal arrangements already in place across the sector.[31] Comment sections of major news portals, bulletin boards, blog-hosting services, and e-mail providers already enforce some registration.[32] The MIIT also requires website owners and internet content providers to submit photo identification when they apply for a license, whether the website is personal or corporate.[33] Nevertheless, the new rules are significant in extending regulation to the e-commerce and business sectors, which typically benefit from more freedom than their counterparts in the news media, civil society, or academia. The rules oblige these providers to gain consent for collecting personal electronic data, as well as outline the “use, method, and scope” of its collection; yet they offer no protection against law enforcement requests for these records.[34] Chinese providers are required to retain user information for 60 days, and provide it to the authorities upon request without judicial oversight or informing the user.[35]

Microblog providers have struggled to enforce identity checks. Online reports of Sina Weibo users trading defunct identification numbers to facilitate fake registration indicated that the requirements were easy to circumvent.[36] Sina’s 2012 report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission anxiously noted the company’s exposure to potentially “severe punishment” by the Chinese government as a result of its failure to ensure user compliance.

When social-media sites offer online payment systems, many users voluntarily surrender personal details to enable financial transactions. Mobile phone purchases have required identification since 2010, so providing a phone number is a common way of registering with other services.[37] In fact, one analyst estimated that approximately 50 percent of microblog users had unwittingly exposed their identities to providers by 2012, simply by accessing the platform from their mobile phone.[38]

Implementation of the real-name policy may continue to vary, not just because it is hard to enforce, but also because registration makes it harder for the state’s hired commentators to operate undetected. One study reported that some officials openly encourage commentators to use pseudonyms and fake ID to hide their affiliation with the propaganda department.[39]

Real-name registration is just one aspect of pervasive surveillance of internet and mobile phone communications in place in China. Rapidly developing phone technology offers new opportunities for the surveillance state. A 2011 Beijing city initiative to produce real-time traffic data by monitoring the location of the city’s 17 million China Mobile subscribers sparked concern from privacy experts, who said it could be used to trace and punish activists.[40] The timeline for the program’s implementation is not known.

The deep-packet inspection technology used to censor keywords can monitor users as they try to access or disseminate similar information. Private instant-messaging conversations and text messages have been cited in court documents. One academic study reported that queries for blacklisted keywords on Baidu automatically sent the user’s IP address to a location in Shanghai affiliated with the Ministry of Public Security.[41] Given the secrecy surrounding such capabilities, however, they are difficult to verify.

Police periodically try to force mandatory surveillance software on organizations and individuals, with mixed success. Cybercafés check photo identification and record user activities, and in some regions, surveillance cameras in cybercafés have been reported transmitting images to the local police station.[42] However, users successfully resisted attempts at mandatory installation of antipornography software known as Green Dam Youth Escort in 2009, after experts voiced privacy and censorship concerns. Some Beijing companies were threatened with disconnection in 2012 if they failed to install government-designated software capable of logging web traffic, blocking sites, and communicating with local police servers.[43] A similar effort to force businesses offering wireless internet access in Beijing’s Dongcheng district to purchase expensive surveillance equipment in 2011 caused some to disconnect rather than pay.[44] Others ignored the directive without repercussions.

As with censorship, surveillance disproportionately targets individuals and groups perceived as antigovernment. Reports citing anonymous government officials noted that a camera grid system known as “Skynet” may have “a camera on every road in Tibet” as part of the effort to contain self-immolations.[45] A Tibetan rights group reported police inspections of mobile phones for banned content in Lhasa in March 2013.[46] A June 2013 report by Human Rights Watch put these activities in the context of a three-year campaign by 5,000 teams of CCP personnel conducting surveillance throughout the Tibetan Autonomous Region.[47]

Beyond regional flashpoints, the national “Safe Cities” program offers security officials an advanced system for monitoring public spaces across China.[48] The “social stability maintenance” budget that supports these programs surpassed China’s defense budget in 2012.[49]

Both international and local firms jockey for lucrative surveillance-related equipment contracts in China. During 2011, two lawsuits were filed in U.S. courts against the American technology company Cisco Systems, asserting that there was evidence the firm had customized its surveillance equipment to assist Chinese security agencies in apprehending Falun Gong practitioners and democracy activists. Cisco denied the allegations, and the cases were pending as of May 2013.[50] Uniview Technologies, a Chinese firm that offers software allowing police to share images between jurisdictions in real time, is owned by the U.S. private equity company Bain Capital.[51]

China is a key global source of cyberattacks, responsible for nearly a third of attack traffic observed by the content delivery network Akamai in a 2012 worldwide survey. [52] The survey traced the attacks to computers in China using IP addresses, meaning the machines themselves may have been controlled from somewhere else. In January 2013, following the precedent set by Google’s revelation of hacking in 2010, the New York Times announced that Chinese hackers had infiltrated its computer systems and obtained staff passwords in the wake of the paper’s censored exposé on wealth amassed by then premier Wen Jiabao’s family.[53] The revelation prompted similar reports of hacking from Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.[54]

The scale and targets of illegal cyber activity lead many experts to believe that Chinese military and intelligence agencies either sponsor or condone it, though even attacks found to have originated in China can rarely be traced directly to the state. However, the geographically diverse array of political, economic, and military targets that suffer attacks reveal a pattern in which the hackers consistently align themselves with Chinese national goals. In one 2012 example, the Indian Express reported that hackers based in China had targeted computer systems of India’s Eastern Naval Command headquarters in Visakhapatnam.[55] The most convincing documentation of a state connection was reported by U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant in February 2013, after the company traced sophisticated attacks on American intelligence targets to a military unit in Shanghai.[56]

Hackers, known in Chinese online circles as heike (dark guests), employ various methods to interrupt or intercept online content. Both domestic and overseas groups that report on China’s human rights abuses have suffered from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which temporarily disable websites by bombarding host servers with an unmanageable volume of traffic. In a development that echoes the trajectory of China’s overall information control, hackers increasingly intimidate service providers into cooperating with them. A massive DDoS attack on the exile-run Chinese-language news website Boxun in 2012 threatened the entire Colorado-based hosting company, name.com, and was accompanied by an e-mailed demand that the company disable Boxun for good.[57] Name.com resisted and helped Boxun switch servers, but hackers with the power to bring down whole businesses may well find other companies more compliant.

Another well-documented tactic is spear-phishing, in which targeted e-mail messages are used to trick recipients into downloading malicious software by clicking on a link or a seemingly legitimate attachment.[58] In a 2012 analysis, the U.S.-based computer security firm Symantec linked the group responsible for the 2010 Google breach—dubbed “the Elderwood gang” after a signature coding parameter—to a series of “watering hole” attacks, in which the hackers lay in wait for a self-selecting group of visitors to specific websites. The targeted sites included defense companies as well as human rights groups focused on China and Tibet; one of the sites was Amnesty International Hong Kong.[59] Most concerning, according to Symantec, were the gang’s frequent “zero day” attacks, which exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities in the source code of programs that are widely distributed by software giants like Adobe and Microsoft. Groups that can pull off these attacks are scarce, since uncovering security loopholes requires huge manpower and technical capability, or internal corporate access to the source code itself. Yet the Elderwood gang “seemingly has an unlimited supply” of zero-day vulnerabilities at its fingertips.

Chinese web users have also been victims of cybercrime perpetrated by hackers both inside and outside the country. Tibetans, Uighurs and other individuals and groups subject to monitoring have been frequently targeted with e-mailed programs that install spyware on the user’s device.[60] Other attacks affect the broader population. In 2012, a military source reported that 8.9 million computers in China were infected with Trojan-horse viruses controlled from overseas IP addresses. [61] The hacker group SwaggSec announced in 2012 that it had broken into the database of the state-owned China Telecom, and that the company neglected to make a public statement or change its passwords. China Telecom subsequently confirmed the attack, but said any stolen data had “little value.” However, a Chinese internet security expert acknowledged that China’s internet was vulnerable, as many business owners and government officials lack the skills and awareness needed to defend themselves against cyberattacks.[62]



[1]Zhong Hua Ren Min Gong He Guo Zhu Xi Ling, Di Er Shi Ba Hao” [Presidential order of the People’s Republic of China, No. 28,” April 29, 2010, http://www.gov.cn/flfg/2010-04/30/content_1596420.htm.

[2] Jonathan Ansfield, “China Passes Tighter Information Law,” New York Times, April 29, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/world/asia/30leaks.html.

[3] Luo Jieqi, “Cleaning Up China’s Secret Police Sleuthing,” Caixin, January 24, 2013, http://articles.marketwatch.com/2013-01-24/economy/36525447_1_police-abuse-police-investigations-police-officers.

[4] Justin Heifetz, “The ‘Endless Narrative’ of Criminal Defamation in China,” Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong, May 10, 2011, http://coveringchina.org/2011/05/10/the-endless-narrative-of-criminal-defamation-in-china/.

[5] See for example, “Tortured, Dissident Christian Lawyer Talks about His Ordeal,” Asianews.it, September 15, 2011, http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Tortured,-dissident-Christian-lawyer-talks-about-his-ordeal-22641.html;

Paul Mooney, “Silence of the Dissidents,” South China Morning Post, July 4, 2011, http://pjmooney.com/en/Most_Recent_Articles/Entries/2011/7/4_Silence_of_The_Dissidents.html.

[6] “World Report: China,” Reporters Without Borders, http://en.rsf.org/report-china,57.html. Unreported cases may put the total number of jailed internet users considerably higher.

[7] “China Internet Cafe Worker Cao Haibo Jailed,” BBC, November 1, 2012 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-20172104 Cao’s sentence was reported in November after a May trial.

[8] Sharon Hom, “Google and Internet Control in China: A Nexus between Human Rights and Trade?” (testimony, U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Washington, DC, March 24, 2010), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111hhrg56161/pdf/CHRG-111hhrg56161.pdf .

[9] Falun Gong practitioners are often given harsh sentences for online communications, according to Patrick Poon, Executive Secretary and Director of Hong Kong Office of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, who communicated with Freedom House by e-mail.

[10] “Attacks on the Press in 2011: China,” Committee to Protect Journalists, http://www.cpj.org/2012/02/attacks-on-the-press-in-2011-china.php

[11] Chris Buckley, “China Convicts and Sentences 20 Accused of Militant Separatism in Restive Region,” New York Times, March 27, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/world/asia/china-sentences-20-for-separatists-acts-in-restive-region.html.

[12] “Tibetans Held for Mobile-Phone Dalai Lama Images,” China Media Bulletin, December 6, 2012, //www.freedomhouse.org/cmb/76_120612#5.

[13] Reporters Without Borders, “Authorities Openly Threaten Those Who Circulate Information with ‘Torture,’” news release, March 29, 2012, http://en.rsf.org/chine-authorities-openly-threaten-those-29-03-2012,42216.html.

[14] Dui Hua, “Reform of China’s ‘Re-Education Through Labor’ System is Slow Work in Progress,” Dialogue no. 36, August 29, 2009, http://duihua.org/wp/?p=2756.

[15] “Victims of Re-education Through Labor System Deserve Justice,” Xinhua News, January 28, 2013, http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/758696.shtml.

[16] Oiwan Lam, “China: Campaign to End the Unconstitutional Re-Education Through Labour System,” Global Voices, October 20, 2012, http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/10/20/china-campaign-to-end-the-unconstitutional-re-education-through-labour-system/; Abby, “Spotlight on China’s ‘Re-Education Through Labor,’” Global Voices, November 28, 2012, http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/11/28/spotlight-on-chinas-re-education-through-labour/.

[17] Cao Yin, “Yunnan Puts Laojiao Approvals on Hold,” China Daily, February 7, 2013, http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-02/07/content_16210279.htm; Huang Jin and Chen Lidan, “Guangdong to Stop Re-education Through Labor System in China,” Xinhua News, January 30, 2013, http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/8113531.html.

[18] Isolda Morillo and Alexa Olesen, “China Nobel Wife Speaks on Detention,” Associated Press, December 6, 2012, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-exclusive-detained-china-nobel-wife-speaks-out. International news reports also follow well-known individuals like Tibetan blogger Tsering Woeser, who is periodically placed under house arrest, most recently in June 2013. See, “Tibetan Writer Woeser Again Placed under House Arrest,” Radio Free Asia, June 20, 2013, http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/arrest-06202013171541.html.

[19] PEN America, “Writer and ICPC Member Dr. Jiao Guobiao Released,” news release, October 1, 2012, http://www.pen.org/rapid-action/2012/10/01/writer-and-icpc-member-dr-jiao-guobiao-released.

[20] “Deprivation of Liberty and Torture/Other Mistreatment of Human Rights Defenders in China,” Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), June 30, 2013, http://chrdnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/FOR-WEB_Partial-data-6-30-2013-updt-7-5_VC-7-10-R-2.pdf.

[21] Edward Wong, “Human Rights Advocates Vanish as China Intensifies Crackdown,” New York Times, March 11, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/world/asia/12china.html.

[22] Kate Taylor, “Arts Group Calls for Worldwide Sit-In for Ai Weiwei,” New York Times, April 14, 2011, http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/arts-group-calls-for-worldwide-sit-in-for-ai-weiwei/?scp=9&sq=&st=nyt; Wu Yu, “Ai Wei Wei Bei Zhi 'Se Qing', Wang Min 'Ai Luo Luo'” [Ai Weiwei was criticized for pornography, netizens fought back], Deutsche Welle, November 19, 2011, http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15543929,00.html.

[23] The amendment took effect on January 1, 2013. Observers praised other aspects of the measure, including tentative steps toward increasing police accountability for surveillance “China’s New Law Sanctions Covert Detentions,” Committee to Protect Journalists, March 14, 2012, http://cpj.org/2012/03/chinas-new-law-sanctions-covert-detentions.php..

[24] Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), The Darkest Corners: Abuses of Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment in China (CHRD, 2012), http://chrd.equalit.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/CRPD_report_FINAL-edited2.pdf.

[25] Oiwan Lam, “China: Bloggers ‘Forced to Drink Tea’ with Police,” Global Voices Advocacy, February 19, 2013, http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2013/02/19/china-bloggers-forced-to-drink-tea-with-police/; Michael Sheridan, “China Offers Its Dissidents Tea and Subtle Tyranny,” Sunday Times, January 13, 2013, http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Asia/article1193304.ece.

[26] “Photojournalist ‘Sent on Holiday’ After Covering Death of Five Children,” Reporters Without Borders, December 5, 2012, http://en.rsf.org/china-photojournalist-sent-on-holiday-05-12-2012,43764.html.

[27] Isaac Stone Fish, “Chinese Dissident Allegedly Beaten as Xi Jinping Becomes President,” Passport (blog), Foreign Policy, March 14, 2013, http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/03/14/chinese_dissident_allegedly_beaten_as_xi_jinping_becomes_president.

[28] Danny O’Brien, “China’s Name Registration Will Only Aid Cybercriminals,” Committee to Protect Journalists, December 28, 2012, http://www.cpj.org/internet/2012/12/chinas-name-registration-will-aid-not-hinder-cyber.php.

[29]Du Zi He Cha Wei Bo Shi Ming Guo Zheng Tong She Long Duan” [Real-Name Verification of Weibo Suspected Monopolized by Guo Zheng Tong], Hong Kong Commercial Daily, December 30, 2011, http://www.hkcd.com.hk/content/2011-12/30/content_2875001.htm; “Beijing Yao Qiu Wei Bo Yong Shi Ming Fa Yan” [Beijing Users of Weibo Required for Real-Name Verification], BBC, December 16, 2011,  http://www.bbc.co.uk/zhongwen/trad/chinese_news/2011/12/111216_beijing_weibo.shtml.

[30] “National People’s Congress Standing Committee Decision Concerning Strengthening Network Information Protection,” China Copyright and Media, December 28, 2012, http://chinacopyrightandmedia.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/national-peoples-congress-standing-committee-decision-concerning-strengthening-network-information-protection/.

[31] Joe McDonald, “China Real-Name Registration Is Now Law in Country,” Huffington Post, December 28, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/china-real-name-registration_n_2373808.html.

[32]Wen Hua Bu 2009 Jiang Da Li Zhen Zhi Hu Lian Wang Di Su Zhi Feng” [Ministry of Culture Will Curb Trend of Internet Indecency in 2009], Net Bar China, January 6, 2009, http://www.netbarcn.net/Html/PolicyDynamic/01061954388252.html; Chen Jung Wang, “Shi Min Zhi Rang Gao Xiao BBS Bian Lian” [Real Name System Intimidates High School BBS], CNHubei, November 29, 2009, http://www.cnhubei.com/200511/ca936578.htm; “Zhong Guo Hu Lian Xie Hui: Bo Ke Tui Xing Shi Min Zhi Yi Chen Ding Ju” [Internet Society of China: Real Name System for Bloggers is Set], Xinhua News, October 22, 2006, http://www.itlearner.com/article/3522.

[33] Elinor Mills, “China Seeks Identity of Web Site Operators,” CNET News, February 23, 2010, http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10458420-245.html.

[34] Tim Stratford et al., “China Enacts New Data Privacy Legislation,” Publication from Covington & Burling LLP, January 11, 2013, http://www.cov.com/files/Publication/83ff413a-af68-4675-850e-a0f54533d149/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/240e4b51-6450-4403-8cfe-b0cea77c8370/China_Enacts_New_Data_Privacy_Legislation.pdf.

[35] “China,” OpenNet Initiative, August 9, 2012, http://opennet.net/research/profiles/china-including-hong-kong.

[36] C. Custer, “How to Post to Sina Weibo without Registering Your Real Name,” Tech in Asia, March 30, 2012, http://www.techinasia.com/post-sina-weibo-registering-real/.

[37]Shou Ji Shi Ming Zhi Jin Qi Shi Shi, Gou Ka Xu Chi Shen Fen Zheng” [Mobile phone real name system implemented today, SIM card purchasers have to present their ID documents], News 163, October 1, 2010, http://news.163.com/10/0901/00/6FF3HKF8000146BD.html.

[38] Song Yanwang, “ Jing Hua Wang Luo Huan Jing Xin Gui Yin Huan An Cang Weibo Shi Ming Zhi Ling Yung Ying Shang Mian Lin Da Kao” [Internet Clean-Up Regulations Conceal Obscure Issues. Weibo’s New Real-Name Registration Rule Poses Challenge for Telecom Operator], Net.China.com.cn, March 15, 2012, http://net.china.com.cn/txt/2012-03/15/content_4875947.htm.

[39] Rongbin Han, , “Manufacturing Consent in Censored Cyberspace.”

[40]Beijing Ni Yong Shou Ji Xin Hao Zhui Zong Shi Min Chu Xing Qing Kuang” [Beijing plans to track mobile phone users in real-time], Yahoo News, March 3, 2011, http://news.cn.yahoo.com/ypen/20110303/237829.html; Cecilia Kang, “China Plans to Track Cellphone Users, Sparking Human Rights Concerns,” Washington Post, March 3, 2011, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2011/03/china_said_it_may_begin.html.

[41] Becker Polverini and William M. Pottenger, “Using Clustering to Detect Chinese Censorware,” Eleventh Annual Workshop on Cyber Security and Information Intelligence Research, Article No. 30, 2011. Extended Abstract available at:  http://www.intuidex.com/whitepapers/CSIIRW_Chinese_Censorship_Paper.pdf.

[42] Naomi Klein, “China’s All-Seeing Eye,” NaomiKlein.org, May 14, 2008, http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2008/05/chinas-all-seeing-eye.

[43] Kevin Voigt, “International Firms Caught in China’s Security Web,” CNN, August 24, 2012, http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/24/business/china-foreign-companies-internet/index.html.

[44] Zhao Zhuo, “Beijing Bu Fen Ka Fei Ting Ting Zhi Ti Gong Wu Xian Wang Luo” [Some cafés in Beijing suspend Wi-Fi service], Beijing Youth Daily, July 27, 2011, http://bjyouth.ynet.com/article.jsp?oid=79986791.

[45] Malcolm Moore, “China Using Massive Surveillance Grid to Stop Tibetan Self-Immolation,” Telegraph, November 9, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9667701/China-using-massive-surveillance-grid-to-stop-Tibetan-self-immolation.html.

[46] “China Launches Crackdown on Personal Cellphones in Lhasa,” Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, March 11, 2013, http://www.tchrd.org/2013/03/china-launches-crackdown-on-personal-cellphones-in-lhasa/#more-1288. Radio Free Asia also reported police requisitioning computers and cellphones belonging to Uighur students for inspection when they returned to the region for the school holidays. “Chinese Controls on Uyghur Students Ahead of Ramadan,” Radio Free Asia, June 13, 2013,  http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/students-06132013105142.html.

[47] According to Human Rights Watch, the goals of the campaign included “categorizing Tibetans according to their religious and political thinking, and establishing institutions to monitor their behavior and opinions.” Human Rights Watch, “China: ‘Benefit the Masses’ Campaign Surveilling Tibetans,” news release, June 19, 2013, http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/06/18/china-benefit-masses-campaign-surveilling-tibetans.

[48] Andrew Jacobs and Penn Bullock, “Firm Romney Founded Is Tied to Chinese Surveillance,” New York Times, March 15, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/world/asia/bain-capital-tied-to-surveillance-push-in-china.html.

[49] Edward Wong and Jonathan Ansfield, “China’s Communist Elders Take Backroom Intrigue Beachside,” New York Times, July 21, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/world/asia/chinas-communist-elders-take-backroom-intrigue-beachside.html.

[50] Somini Sengupta, “Group Says It Has New Evidence of Cisco’s Misdeeds in China,” New York Times, September 2, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/technology/group-says-it-has-new-evidence-of-ciscos-misdeeds-in-china.html; “Suit Claims Cisco Helped China Repress Religious Group,” Thomson Reuters News & Insight, May 20, 2011, http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2011/05_-_May/Suit_claims_Cisco_helped_China_repress_religious_group/; Don Tennant, “Second Lawsuit Accuses Cisco of Enabling China to Oppress Citizens,” IT Business Edge, June 9, 2011, http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/tennant/second-lawsuit-accuses-cisco-of-enabling-china-to-oppress-citizens/?cs=47334; Mark Chandler, “Cisco Supports Freedom of Expression, an Open Internet and Human Rights,” The Platform (blog), Cisco, June 6, 2011, http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-supports-freedom-of-expression-an-open-internet-and-human-rights/.

[51] Jacobs and Bullock, “Firm Romney Founded Is Tied to Chinese Surveillance.”

[52] Akamai, 3rd Quarter 2012 Executive Summary.

[53] Nicole Perlroth, “Hackers in China Attacked the Times for Last 4 Months,” New York Times, January 30, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/technology/chinese-hackers-infiltrate-new-york-times-computers.html.

[54] Samuel Wade, “New York Times Hacking Highlights Other Cases,” China Digital Times, February 1, 2013, http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2013/02/new-york-times-hacking-highlights-other-cases/; Nicole Perlroth, “Washington Post Joins List of News Media Hacked by the Chinese,” New York Times, February 1, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/02/technology/washington-posts-joins-list-of-media-hacked-by-the-chinese.html.

[55] Manu Pubby, “China Hackers Enter Navy Computers, Plant Bug to Extract Sensitive Data,” Indian Express, July 1, 2012, http://www.indianexpress.com/news/china-hackers-enter-navy-computers-plant-bug-to-extract-sensitive-data/968897/.

[56] David E. Sanger, David Barboza, and Nicole Perlroth, “Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking against U.S.,” New York Times, February 18, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/technology/chinas-army-is-seen-as-tied-to-hacking-against-us.html.

[57] “Boxun News Site Attacked Amid Bo Xilai Coverage,” Committee to Protect Journalists, April 25, 2012, http://www.cpj.org/2012/04/boxun-news-site-attacked-amid-bo-xilai-coverage.php.

[58] Dennis Fisher, “Apple Phishing Scams on the Rise,” Threat Post, June 24, 2013, http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/new-trojan-mac-used-attacks-tibetan-ngos-032112.

[59] Kim Zetter, “Sleuths Trace New Zero-Day Attacks to Hackers Who Hit Google,” Wired, September 7, 2012, http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/google-hacker-gang-returns/; “The Elderwood Project,” Symantec (blog), September 6, 2012, http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/elderwood-project.

[60] Dylan Neild, Morgan Marquis-Boire, and Nart Villeneuve, “Permission to Spy: An Analysis of Android Malware Targeting Tibetans,” Citizen Lab, April 2013, https://citizenlab.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/16-2013-permissiontospy.pdf

[61] Jia Lei and Cui Meng, “Ma Xiao Tian Yu E Wnag Luo Jun Bei Jing Sai” [Ma Xiaotian Appeals for Suppressing ‘Cyber Armament Race’], Takungpao, May 29, 2012, http://www.takungpao.com.hk/news/12/05/29/ZM-1484251.htm.

[62] Steven Musil, “Hackers Claim Breach of China Telecom, Warner Bros. Networks,” Cnet, June 3, 2012, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57446348-83/hackers-claim-breach-of-china-telecom-warner-bros-networks/.