Skip to primary content


How to Booklet: Blogging in Repressive Countries

Reporters Without Borders publishes a Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents, it is downloadable in English, French, Chinese, Arabic and Persian.

Here is promotional material about the handbook:

Reporters Without Borders has produced this handbook to help…with handy tips and technical advice on how to remain anonymous and to get around censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation. It also explains how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicize it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.

The reason Reporters without Borders gives for publishing the handbook:

Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.

Here is what the Handobok itself says about China and its censorship help from USA companies:

…how did China get hold of such advanced and effective censorship equipment when only a decade ago the country had no major Internet firms ? With the help of big US companies, led by Cisco. These firms, to get a slice of the enormous Chinese market of already more than 100 million people online, have closed their eyes to how their technology is being used. Some have probably worked directly with the regime to set up filters and surveillance.

Beijing has even got the world’s major search-engines to go on bended knee. Yahoo ! agreed a few years ago to remove all material offensive to the regime from its Chinese version. For a long time, Google refused but now seems to be moving in the same direction.

The country’s police and courts also treat very harshly website editors who don’t obey the rules laid down by the governing Communist Party. 75 cyber-dissidents are currently in prison for trying to post independent news online, some of them serving sentences of more than 10 years.

So before you set up a blog in China, it’s best to find out what the rules are. Bloggers living in the country holding the world online censorship title have to be cautious and crafty


Thanks to the Blog Herald for the pointer.

Comments are closed.