What do censorship and surveillance programmes look for? What can this tell us about internet usage in China?
Can we contrast with the perceived surveillance state of the West? What are the implications for a company in the Chinese market?
Unsurprisingly, there are lots of questions still to be answered about the state of the internet in China.
First Monday has this month published a very interesting paper, presenting an analysis of data from a year and a half tracking the censorship and surveillance keyword lists of two instant messaging (IM) programs used in China.
I thought it would be useful to sum up what Crandall et al. found, so you don’t have to read the whole thing. Although this study looks at IM clients, there are certainly findings that can be extrapolated across public services, such as Baidu and Sina Weibo.