Interesting article in The Nation about censorship and technology in China.
This opening paragraph says it all:
Back in the late 1990s, when I was working as a journalist in China, I happened to read Timothy Garton Ash’s The File. It’s a personal account about what happened in East Germany soon after the Berlin Wall fell, when East Germans were suddenly able to access their Stasi police files. As it turned out, secret police informants included neighbors, lovers, spouses and in some cases even people’s own children. One evening over dinner with some Chinese friends, I described the book and asked how they thought things might play out in a post-Communist China. One friend replied: “That day will come in China too. Then I’ll know who my real friends are.” The table fell silent.
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