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China regulations impose new controls on online videos

[JURIST] China [JURIST news archive] is imposing new controls on online videos, according to Chinese government websites Thursday. Under new regulations, videos will henceforward have to be posted on the websites of state-controlled companies. Websites will also be banned from providing videos that reveal state secrets, encourage social upheaval, or distribute pornography. It is unclear how the new regulations, which will take effect on January 31, will be enforced or how they will affect videos hosted on websites based outside of China. An explanation of the regulations was posted on Chinafilm.com [website], a website operated by the state-run China Film Group. AP has more.

China has long been criticized for attempts to clamp down on Internet expression, including its prosecution of cyber dissidents and online journalists. In July 2006, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] took Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! [corporate websites] to task for allegedly undermining freedom of expression in China [PDF report] as part of a campaign, to "combat internet oppression" worldwide. The report claimed that the Internet companies have been complicit in efforts by the Chinese government to silence government critics. Also in 2006, a Chinese court sentenced [JURIST report] writer Li Yuanlong, a reporter for the Bijie Daily newspaper who wrote essays on websites banned by the Chinese government.

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