China Blocks LiveJournal

The Chinese government began blocking access to the popular blogging site LiveJournal on Friday, cutting off its citizens from the roughly 1.8 million blogs the service hosts. SixApart, the company behind LiveJournal, says there are 8,692 self-reported Chinese bloggers on the site, a number that’s likely low since it’s based on information volunteered in user profiles. China has blocked the site before, for no clear reason — then unblocked it again just as mysteriously, without any concessions from the company. The timing of the block coincides with the National People’s Congress meeting in Beijing, says Xiao Qiang, a Chinese dissident and founder of the China Digital Times. According to Xiao, the event is often accompanied by stepped up security and a worsening of China’s notorious internet censorship policies

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