China's leaders have agreed guidelines aimed at preserving "cultural security" and expanding Chinese soft power...Analysts say the meeting was largely aimed at strengthening the party's tight control over the media and the Internet. But...Xinhua said the meeting should be seen as a strong signal for China to do better in the cultural field, where it has been lagging.

Chinese regulators have shut down 6,600 websites in their efforts to clamp down on “illegal public relations deals” that employ similar tactics for commercial gain. Telecommunications authorities shut the websites down as part of a campaign against bad public relations practices launched in April by the State Internet Information Office and several other government agencies.

August 1, 2011

Some governments are using advanced technologies to chill free expression, to stifle dissent, to identify and arrest dissidents," Deputy Assistant Secretary Baer said. "Through our diplomacy and through direct support for embattled activists worldwide, we are helping people stay one step ahead of the censors, the hackers, and the brutes who beat them up or imprison them for what they say online.

Press freedom advocates and Ethiopian Americans are declaring a partial victory in their fight with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a U.S. government agency, over the censorship of the Voice of America radio programs to Ethiopia.

Online, you can so easily find the thousand other people who share your perverted views. You then get a vicious spiral of groupthink, reinforcing the worst kind of ideology...totally divorced from everyday humanity. The real challenge is to work out how we can maximise the extraordinary capacity of the internet to open minds – and minimise its now evident tendency to close them.

State-controlled Belarusian Radio has reportedly banned a popular glasnost-era Soviet song by rebellious rocker Viktor Tsoi. When it was first released in 1986, "Peremen" (Change), was seen as a call to the younger Soviet generation to demand political change, and Soviet authorities tried to restrict it.

The Chinese government has criticized unnamed "overseas media organizations" and said their reports that former President Jiang Zemin had died "are pure rumor." But instead of telling the world about the health of Jiang, Beijing responded by stonewalling and censoring the Internet to the extent that even information on the hospital where the former leader is being treated was blacked out.

...carefully consider who was offering to pay for it. The money would come from the Hanban, an arm of the Chinese government...That’s the same government...that jailed Nobel-prize winner Liu Xiaobo for 11 years...and the same government that employs 50,000 citizens to scour the Internet in search of dissent.