Use of Over the Firewall Software Became a Crime, Xinjiang Strengthen its Internet Control

The Chinese government’s Internet control policies become harsher over time. In Xinjiang, a internet user received a letter from the local police that he was under criminal investigation because he downloaded a common over the firewall software.

The spokesman of “World Uyghur Congress” Dilshat Reshit analyzed that the government is afraid of unofficial information being shared in Xinjiang

Many Internet users have criticized that the government’s actions are illegal.

An internet user uploaded photos of the “Case Clues Approval Form” on Twitter, which refers to an internet user in Changji, Xinjiang, who was suspected for downloading “a violent terroristic over the firewall software” on October thirteenth.

The form indicated that this software, which can pre-install other software, find files, play games, send texts, etc., was classified as “second degree violent terroristic software” by the Public Security department.

The details of the personal information of this Internet user, such as phone number, name, national identification number, address etc., are all listed on the approval form.

The current situation of the involved Internet users is unknown.

The spokesman of the “World Uyghur Congress” Dilshat Reshit said during an interview with this station, that the authorities fear the circulation of unofficial information, so downloading the over the wall software became a crime under the criminal investigation.

Dilshat Reshit said that people who read the outside information will be suspected by the authorities as a terrorist that threatens the society. This is nothing more than the government trying to limit the access to outside information. Therefore, the flow of information, or the spread of information will cause the authorities to panic.

He believes that due to ruling crisis, the authorities will continue to strengthen the control of information flow in Xinjiang, however, this practice might leads to conflicts.

According to Dilshat Reshit, China’s continued monitoring, restraining, and suppressing policies, actually reflect the government losing their power, and people’s dissatisfaction with their government have reached its limits.

“I believe that the Chinese government are most concerned with the Xingjiang’s local confrontations against China.”(Dilshat Reshit)

According to Hong Kong “Apple Daily”s verifications, the said software is a commonly used over the firewall software is called “fqrouter”.

An Internet user, Qin Gongfen, developed the software. On January 7, 2015, he announced on Twitter for the closure of the software.

However, an Internet user “Xiu Cai Jiang Hu” claimed that he’s still using the software, and confirmed that this over the firewall software can still be used.

“Xiu Cai Jiang Hu” said: “we need to read information on English medias, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, to rectify the Chinese official words.

I am worried, but I will still us it, because I am not indefensible, since the over the firewall software is not expressly prohibited by law.

And the officials are also using it too, so why can’t I.”

He criticizes the practice of the authorities, and called them a mess; questioned the officials for using over the wall software as well. He believes that the officials and the public should be treated equally.

“Xiu Cai Jiang Hu” said: “China society ruled by a single man, and everything’s a mess. If he say that you broke the law, then you broke the law; say that you didn’t, then you didn’t.

The officials also use this software, they’re also getting over the firewall, it’s the same for us civilians. Officials should not have privileges over the civilians. If they can use it, so can we.

When they want to control you, they will claim that you are unlawful. they can add “unlawful” before anything, and make it illegal.”

Another Internet user, Jia Pin, estimated During an interview with us, that right now, classifying the use of over firewall software as a criminal behavior is a policy only against Xinjiang, but he’s concerned that similar practice will be extended to other provinces, while the freedom of speech is gradually tightening.

Jia Pin states: if downloading over the firewall software is included in the list of terroristic activities, then this kind of things in the Xinjiang will be very common, because the ethnic problems are very serious here, often being accompanied with fierce confrontations, and the local government takes it very seriously.

And this is very likely to happen, because the limits on the freedom of speech are tightened everyday. As of now, in Xingjiang and mainland cities, comments on the Internet can cause some unnecessary troubles, so the freedom of speech is more and more suppressed.

Jia Pin also pointed out that it is not easy to get over the firewall to get information now days.

Jia Pin states: It is easier to get over the firewall in the mornings. However, from noon to evening, it can take hours to get over the firewall and still failed sometimes. It is very hard.

In recent years, China has strengthened its counter-terrorism actions in order to maintain stability, especially to the “Xinjiang independence forces” in Xinjiang.

A new media research report published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has said that the social networking sites may be used as a channel to subvert the regime of other countries.

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