The Chinese government is allegedly tightening its control over Internet as a growing number of people in the country use it as a potent tool to vent their grievances and fight for their legal rights, the Tibetan administration in-exile has reported.
Quoting a special report by Freedom House, a US-based non-governmental organisation that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in a statement issued here said, “Political freedom and human rights confirm the worsening condition of internet accessibility in China and the risks thereof.”
“China's internet controls, which were already among the most extensive in the world, have grown even more sophisticated and pervasive under the new Communist Party leadership,” added the statement.
The report includes an assessment of internet access in China and how it is curtailed; a new generation of censorship and manipulation techniques that govern content; and the laws and regulations used to find and punish individuals who disobey the rules.
According to the report, ethnic minorities like Tibetans and Uighurs have particularly faced the brunt of tightening control on the Internet, it said.
“The report cites that in Tibet and Xinjiang, the police searched mobile handsets for banned content, and jailed dozens for using digital tools,” CTA said, adding that Tibetans, Uighurs and other individuals and groups subject to monitoring have been frequently targeted with e-mailed programmes that install spyware on the user's device,” the report cited.
Earlier, after the large-scale protests in Tibet in 2008, hundreds of Tibetans were arrested and imposed harsh prison sentences for allegedly writing articles on websites.
In 2013, as international concern at the rising number of self-immolations in Tibet mounted, many Tibetans had been detained for allegedly inciting and publicising the protests, including by sending photographs overseas via mobile phones.