CPJ’s ranking is helpful in that it makes the world pay attention to countries that censor the Internet. I do not know much about other countries, but I know about China. I believe that the outside world (as well as people within China) cannot actually know how many people are jailed because of Internet speech. The successful cover-up of this information makes China’s rank lower than it should be, but coming in at number eight regardless indicates how bad the situation is.
Since January, my Web site, Boxun News, has lost contact with at least two reporters–their phones are disconnected and nobody is home when we’ve gone to check on them–and another reporter was arrested when she showed up at a protest on March 5.
Boxun also recently released a report showing that many provinces have begun to arrest and harass more Internet users by tracking IP addresses in the past few months.
Watson Meng is the founding editor of U.S.-based independent Web site Boxun News.