Pshop credit: Discarded Lies
Breaking this afternoon, via Information Week:
The people of China no longer have access to YouTube, a company spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.
“We understand there are reports of users being unable to access YouTube within the People’s Republic of China,” the spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. “We are looking into the matter and working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible.”
The spokesperson offered no explanation as to why the video-sharing site had become inaccessible, but a BBC news report indicates that Chinese authorities blocked access to YouTube because it hosted videos of Chinese soldiers beating monks and other Tibetans.
A Chinese government spokesman told the BBC that China is not afraid of the Internet, but declined to confirm whether YouTube had been blocked.
The Chinese government has been anxious to avoid a repeat of last year’s riots in Tibet, particularly on March 10, which marked the 50th anniversary of the failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, which forced the Dalai Lama to flee the country.
Last year, during the March riots in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, China blocked access to YouTube.
At the time, YouTube offered the very same statement it offered this year: “We understand there are reports of users being unable to access YouTube within the People’s Republic of China. We are looking into the matter and working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible.”
You’ll recall back in 2006, YouTube parent company Google succumbed to China’s censorship demands in order to obtain a license for its search engine. The company “agreed to omit Web content that the country’s government finds objectionable. Google will base its censorship decisons on guidance provided by Chinese government officials…Google officials characterized the censorship concessions in China as an excruciating decision for a company that adopted ‘don’t be evil’ as a motto. But management believes it’s a worthwhile sacrifice.”
Will they sacrifice again?