December 8, 2013

Behind China's Cyber Curtain

Christopher Beam, The New Republic

The Associated Press

On the bus ride from Chengdu, the teeming capital of Sichuan Province, to Aba County in northern Sichuan, my cell phone signal flickered in and out. The ten-hour journey winds through some of China’s most dramatic landscapes, from conifer hills to sprawling red plains backdropped by snowy mountains—not exactly mobile-friendly terrain. The 2008 Sichuan earthquake made things worse, paralyzing phone networks that in some areas have been spotty ever since. But as we approached Aba County, something changed. I stopped getting messages on WeChat and QQ, China’s most popular mobile apps. My Instagram feed wouldn’t refresh. When I tried to load e-mail, an error occurred: “Could not authenticate cellular data network: PDP authentication failure.” I still had...

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TAGGED: China

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