It's not as though the Internet is totally open in China, and in fact many users don't realize what they are missing, just that they can't reach certain sites. However, as the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, or what China likes to refer to as the June Fourth Incident, approaches, China has pumped up its censorship of the Web.
According to multiple media sources, China has blocked Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, and other sites, starting on Monday. According to the Associated Press
, China has been blocking college and university-affiliated websites, as well as media sharing sites.
Authorities targeted message boards on more than 6,000 Web sites affiliated with colleges and universities, along with Chinese mini-blogging site Fanfou and video sharing site VeryCD. Notices on their home pages said they would be closed through Saturday for "technical maintenance."
Apparently, the Chinese have been watching Microsoft's latest moves as well: the new search engine (or as Microsoft terms it, decision engine) Bing has been blocked as well.
The incident actually began with the death of pro-market, pro-democracy and anti-corruption official, Hu Yaobang, on April 15th. Protesters wanted to mourn his death, eventually leading to protests and demonstrations, culminating in the events in Tiananmen Square which were smashed by the Chinese military on the night of June 3 through June 4th, 1989.
The number of dead and wounded remains unclear. Unofficial figures estimate between 2,000 and 3,000 were killed.