Anti-Porn Curbs Mask Chinese Crackdown on Dissent
Google blocked as Beijing ramps up Internet controls
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2009 6:39 AM CDT
Kai-Fu Lee, president of Google China. Internet users were unable to access Google after the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center accused it of providing links to vulgar sites.    (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
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(Newser) – The Chinese government ramped up restrictions on Internet use yesterday, sharply curtailing access to medical research on sexual health. It's the latest escalation in what Beijing calls an anti-pornography campaign that will culminate in new filtering software, called the Green Dam, that will be installed on all new computers from next week. But China experts see the moves as part of a broader push against free expression and political opposition, reports the New York Times.

On Wednesday night China blocked access to Google, ostensibly because it provides access to adult material. But the agency that oversees the porn fight also monitors political dissent, and in past years the government has used the veneer of anti-porn campaigning to close publications and block anti-regime content. "The two are closely associated," said one researcher with Human Rights Watch. "These campaigns work hand in hand."