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Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 18:46:00 +0100
To: Multiple recipients of list CYBERMIND <CYBERMIND@LISTSERV.AOL.COM>
From: CND-Canada Editors[SMTP:cnd-canada@cnd.org]
Sent: Sunday, January 21, 1996 5:01 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list CNC-L
Subject: CND-Canada, January 22, 1996 (CA96-003)
C h i n a N e w s D i g e s t
(Canada Regional Service, CA96-003)
January 22, 1996
Source: CND 01/16/96
_From: Wu Wei

China Tightens Control on Internet

China News Digest, 22 January 1996

BEIJING - A planned international Internet gateway in Guangzhou, Guangdong will not be built in the foreseeable future, CND learned from the PTA.

The PTA, currently in hold of a 128 Kbps link in Beijing and a 64 Kbps link in Shanghai, is one of the only four bodies that are authorized by the State Council to build international links. Another two are the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the State Education Council, each in control of two international links in Beijing. The forth body is Ji Tong Telecomm, a subsidiary of the Administration of Electronic Industry. As the official owner of China's Golden Bridge project, Ji Tong is the only one among the four that has not had a single international link. Sources close to the company said that, while others were busy establishing one IP network after another, most of the Golden Bridge was still on paper, waiting for the money to come down.

In a decision made in mid-December last year, the State Council not only restricted the number of providers of international links, but also restricted the number of places to host international Internet access. Beijing and Shanghai, the only two cities that already have such linkage, are allowed to host more.

The planned Guangzhou gateway was announced last November as part of the PTA's ambitious multi-million ChinaNET backbone project. The administration said that, despite the cancelling, the ChinaNET project is to be carried out as planned. The new high-speed international links planned in Beijing and Shanghai will be built. The links are supposed to be mutual backups, using satellite and optical fiber, and at least two different international ISPs.

As China's government is in fear of the negative effects of Internet popularity, all Chinese ISPs are ordered to stop processing new-user registration by January 8, 1996. One ISP told CND that a new regulation about China's Internet was in preparation. Beside electronic mails, it will also regulate access to information sources including USENET newsgroups, anonymous FTP sites, gopher sites and WWW sites.

Last June, a person named Shannon Yeh flushed many E-mails that sharply criticized the Deng regime and praised past Chairman Mao into China. This incident was considered a serious political issue in IHEP, China's Internet birthplace. Some recent E-mail exchanges related to December 9, a student movement sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party in 1948, were said to be the direct alarm to Premier Li Peng about the potential harm to the Party. He reacted to this by slowing down the Internet development in the country.

In accordance with its open-door policy—open-gate could be a better term in this networking context, China is not willing to shut all gateways to the international Internet community. It is seeking advanced technical tools to get rid of the risk of opening the gate. CND learned from several research institutions that they are working on a firewall, a device to defend unauthorized access to a network, that not only takes care of network security issues in its normal technical sense, but also can filter out sensitive keywords, such as June 4th, in the data flow.