China is cracking down on the coverage of riot and demonstrations in Tibet, and has now banned access to YouTube and Google News within the country. This is an attempt to stop the rapid spread of video footage and reports that have already been widely publicized throughout the world. In addition to YouTube and Google, China has also restricted the broadcasts of CNN and BBC World.
Speaking on the ban, CNET said that YouTube has become a sort of symbol of free speech, and that governments who ban it are immediately branded as repressive. China, however, is no stranger to regulating the access to information and websites. YouTube has been blocked in the country before, and on Google, the “Great Firewall of China” continues to stop searches for a number of sensitive topics in an attempt to halt the discussion of these issues.
Google has yet to comment on the issue, but it will be interesting to see what they have to say about this.