You've Got Dissent! Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing's Counter-Strategies

You've Got Dissent! Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing's Counter-Strategies

You've Got Dissent! Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing's Counter-Strategies

You've Got Dissent! Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing's Counter-Strategies

Excerpt

This report analyzes political use of the Internet by Chinese dissidents and the Chinese government's strategies to counter this activity. For this report, a broad definition of the term dissident is employed that includes not only political dissidents active in the People's Republic of China (PRC), but also activists residing overseas, members of the Falungong group, Tibetan exiles, and others who use the Internet for purposes considered subversive by Beijing. The report is based on interviews with numerous government officials in Washington, D.C., and Beijing, as well as discussions with dissidents, Falungong members, human-rights advocates, and academics based in China and North America. The conclusions are also informed by a comprehensive review of the growing academic literature on the political impact of the Internet in China and other authoritarian countries, as well as relevant Western and Chinese media reports. The authors conducted field research in several cities in China and performed extensive datagathering on the Internet, including visits to hundreds of web sites, chat rooms, and bulletin board sites. The research reported here was initiated in early 2000; the report was revised and updated in January 2002.

This study was conducted in the International Security and Defense Policy Center of RAND's National Security Research Division (NSRD). NSRD conducts research and analysis for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Commands, the defense agencies, the Department of the Navy, the U.S. intelligence community, allied foreign governments, and foundations.

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