Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the Central Propaganda Department’s
demand that China’s media
only use information from the state-owned Xinhua and China Daily outlets when reporting on Google Inc’s January 12 announcement
to withdraw from operating in China.
The department’s order also said
news reports about the issue must not be published in prominent places.
Google made its announcement after
reportedly detecting a highly sophisticated targeted attack on its
infrastructure, generated from China.
targeted interference in online communications in China
raises significant concerns about the security of journalists in China who
gather and share information online and report independently in the public
interest,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
In a statement on its website,
Google said at least two gmail accounts run by Chinese human rights activists
had been attacked. Dozens of users who are involved in human rights advocacy in
China and who have gmail
accounts based in the United States,
China and Europe
had also been routinely accessed by unknown third parties.
The statement said Google would no
longer appease China’s
demands to censor and filter information available on its China-specific search
engine, Google.cn. Google.cn employs about 700 staff in China.
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
also expressed concern on January 12 about alleged interference in Google and online
communication services in China.
look to the Chinese Government for an explanation.The ability to operate
with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy,” she
said in a statement.
On January 14, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry defended China’s
cyber industry, stating that the internet was open and government management of
the internet was in accordance with the law.
“Google’s announcement is a welcome
step forward in encouraging global media groups to take a stand against
policies that infringe on the rights of all internet users – including
journalists and activists - to privacy in their communications,” White said.
The IFJ urges China’s Government to cease issuing orders to
censor and control media content in China.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide