Investigative Report on How Internet Is Used to Persecute Falun Gong Practitioners in China
During the past year, the foundation work for Golden Shield Project has been finished. The Chinese security system starts to purchase some complicated surveillance technology from western enterprises. Ultimately the aim is to integrate a gigantic online database with an all-encompassing surveillance network – incorporating speech and face recognition, closed-circuit television, smart cards, credit records, and Internet surveillance technologies.
---International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development in Canada, Oct. 2001
The preliminary work of Golden Shield Project cost US$800 million, equivalent to 6,400 million RMB.
---Channel 4 of CCTV, 2002
There has been a dramatic rise in the number of people detained or sentenced for Internet-related offences, such as circulating pro-democratic information or supplying publications that are critical of the Chinese government, an increase of 60 per cent in 2003 as compared to the previous year's figures. Presently, at least 54 people have been detained for sending e-mails, establishing website or exchanging Falun Gong information.
---Amnesty International, Jan.28, 2004
According to incomplete statistics, 97 Falun Gong practitioners have been detained or jailed in forced labor camps, and three died of persecution because of browsing on internet, from July 1999 to April 2004. Li Changjun, a Falun Gong practitioner and a Master Degree holder from Huazhong University of Science & Technology, was born in 1968. He was an employee of Wuhan Land Tax Bureau, Hubei Province. On May 16, 2001, Li was illegally taken into custody by police, together with some other Falun Gong practitioners when they were preparing truth-clarifying literature (at least six Falun Gong practitioners, who were also holding Master’s Degrees or even doctorates were arrested at the same time.) After more than 40 days of brutal torture, Li Changjun died at 10:08 p.m. on June 27, 2001. When his family saw his body later, they found it emaciated and seriously disfigured. His face, neck, and many other areas of his body had turned purple and black from bruising. His hands were held tightly into fists, his teeth were deformed, and his back was so severely burned that it looked as though the flesh had been cooked. It was a truly tragic sight. Chen Qiulan, a Falun Gong practitioner, was from Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province. In July 2001, she was abducted for pasting Falun Gong literature on internet and tortured to death in Daqing Detention Center on August 24, 2001. She was only 47 years old when she died. Bai Xiuhua, a Falun Gong practitioner from Acheng City, used to work as a census taker, employed by the police substation in Jiancheng Sub-Plant, Harbin City. She was arrested the third time for learning to hook onto internet and to prepare Falun Gong literature which clarifies the truth of Falun Gong on July 2002. She was taken into custody in Detention No.2 of Department No.7, Harbin Public Security Bureau. Later, she was transferred to the Wanjia Forced Labor Camp in Harbin City. She was tortured to death on August 28, 2002. Her family was not informed until after her body was cremated.
---World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, May 2004
“Air has freedom and water has freedom, why couldn’t the internet be open to all??”
“I’ve got your software again today and appreciate the development of the technology very much. You provide us with a thread of ‘fresh air’. Under high pressure, people are close to suffocation. How much we need your help!”
--- Messages left on “Garden Website” by Chinese internet users after blocking through the internet block
Part I Golden Shield Project, an investment over 6,000 million RMB, is used to violate human rights and support suppression
From Sept.26 to 27, 2002, Li Runsen, a member of the Golden Shield Project executive team, said at the Public Security Scientific & Technology Information Conference held in Beijing, that “Golden Shield Project is a project of informationizing the nation-wide public security system, and the electronic police construction of the public security departments across the country’ including the establishment of a strong ‘network police team’”. Li Runsen specialized at the meeting that, “Jiang Zemin stressed that ‘information and network safety relate to the safety of the country’.” In 1998, Golden Shield Project was put forward by the Chinese Public Security Department and is to be completed around 2006. 
In October 2001, a 39-page investigation report by International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development in Canada indicated that, “the Chinese Security System announced an ambitious project to set up a nation-wide digital surveillance network which connects to national, regional or local security organizations and displays an overall picture of network in China. Beijing intends to establish a remote-control surveillance system driven by a database, which is capable of obtaining the registration record of every Chinese citizen in real time; meanwhile, connecting to enormous camera network to guarantee the speed-up of response time from police to demonstrations.”
“The telecommunication safety system named ‘Golden Shield’ reveals how Chinese police and security departments make use of technologies developed for commercial purpose by transnational companies in shadowing and suppressing people with different opinions from the Chinese government. The system equips the Chinese authorities with unprecedented power in monitoring and tracing activities of human rights and democratic activists.” 
The author of the report, Greg Walton, expressed while being interviewed by the “Voice of America” that, “‘the Golden Shield’ system is able to distinguish sound and tell an internet user’s identity, location and interest in browsing internet. In fact, it makes possible the function of the so-called ‘huge firewall’ used by the Chinese government extended to millions of personal computers. Undoubtedly, it is harmful to Chinese citizens’ right of privacy and freedom of speech.” 
In the report of Amnesty International, with its headquarters in London, on January 28, 2004, it is mentioned that there has been a dramatic rise in the number of people detained or sentenced for Internet-related offences, such as circulating pro-democratic information or supplying publications that are critical of the Chinese government, an increase of 60 per cent in 2003 as compared to the previous year's figures. Presently, at least 54 people have been detained for sending e-mails, establishing website or exchanging Falun Gong information. In addition, numerous people were arrested for circulating the truth of SARS epidemics on internet. Those arrested include students, political dissidents, Falun Gong practitioners, workers, authors, lawyers, teachers, state public service clerks, former government officers, engineers and businessmen. They are put in jail mainly because they signed online appeal; they appealed to punishment of corruption; they planned to set up democratic movement organizations; they exposed the truth of SARS epidemics; they had connection with oversea organizations; they opposed the suppression of Falun Gong; or they asked for rehabilitation of the democratic movement in 1989. Most of them were imposed a “crime of subversion” or a “crime of endangering state security” and were sentenced to 2 to 12 years of prison. Most of the arrested are young. 
The Amnesty International United Kingdom Branch Chair Kate Allen said, “All those arrested because peacefully expressing their opinion on the web are prisoners of conscience, and should be released immediately without condition. At the same time, we urge all business who are selling web censorship equipments to China use their power of influence, let Chinese government allow freedom of speech on the web, release those arrested because publishing different opinion on the web, due to their basic human rights have been violated. 
In February 2003, the Carnegie International Peace Foundation issued a research report on relationships between totalitarian governments and the Internet. The report pointed out that it is not like people expected the Internet would damage dictator’s information control. In facts, many totalitarian countries, including China, have effectively limited people’s ability to access information through the Internet. China developed a system of websites that use technology to block different political opinions, or they filter off all information that not benefiting Chinese government. 
According to CCTV’s report, the Golden Shield Project has cost $0.8 billion, which is 6.4 billion yuan RMB. This amount are mainly used on artificial intelligent to monitor the web, such as sound distinguishing, face distinguishing, etc. One of the important targets of the Golden Shield Project is public location all over the country. For instance, establish a closed nation wide TV or CCTV camera web on the Tiananmen Square, and major streets in each Provincial Capitol.
Fig. 2. Report from CCTV4 on the Investment into the Golden Shield project.
The Open Magazine in Hong Kong published an article in its December, 2003 issue, and “the most terrifying part is the Golden Shield Project intending to digital closely monitor the whole country Once this system into practice, all public areas in the nation would monitored by hidden cameras, all telephone, Internet communication, financial transactions, personal activities, train or airplane international travels would collected into this huge database, so tha tpeople every move would be under the monitoring of the government. China would truly become a terrifying Brother Empire like described in the book “1984.”
2．Jiang Mianheng Involved in the Planning of Golden Shield Project
Jiang Mianheng is the first son of Jiang Zemin. After Jiang Zemin was in power, his son was assigned as Director of Shanghai City Metal Institute of Chinese Science Academy, then appointed as Vice President of Chinese Science Academy in November, 1999. Later he was the Board Member of China Net Communication Limited (CNC), Shanghai Vehicle Industry Inc., and Shanghai Airport Inc., etc.
Jiang Mianheng is deeply involved in the development of Chinese telecommunication industry. After 2000, Jiang Mianheng started involving into the Golden Shield Project. The World Weekly Journal said in June, 2002, Jiang Mianheng expressed, “China must to haze a nation wide network, independent from the Internet.” This project would include a nation wide closed monitoring TV or CCTV camera net, plus Internet monitoring system. A Chinese American lawyer, Mr. Zhang Jiadun, who lived in China more than 10 years wrote in his book China is About to Collapse, Jiang Mianheng is pushing to establish a Chinese Web that independent to the WWW, which means to establish an huge firewall to filter foreign information.
Jiang Mianheng had many talks about this Project at many occasions. He personally visited many technology institutes within the Chinese Science academy. In September, 2002, Jiang Mianheng went to check on Computer Network Center of the Chinese Science Academy, listened to their report, gave positive commends, and further instructed their working directions. We learned that he specially mentioned the monitoring technology. Currently, the Chinese Science Academy is fully working according to his instructions. According to Beijing Morning News report on October 23, 2003, “Marketing Department Chair, Ms. Liu Yuzhu of the Culture Ministry said, an Electronic Web-bar Monitoring System” is building nation wide, where part of the system in Sichuan and Guangxi Provinces are done. The whole nation wide Cultural Marketing Information Monitoring System will be finished in 2005.
In January 2000, a secret document passed down called “Secret Managing Rules of the Computer Information System Network with Internet.” The new rules said, the secret rules of managing is ‘Who ever go online, who ever be responsible.’ Who ever provide or post information on the Internet, must secretly go through approval procedures.” The document also regulated, who ever host bulletin, chat room, web news, must be approved by certain secret working offices, is clear on responsibilities. Any work unit or individual are not allowed to post, talk or spread State secrets on web bulletin, chat rooms, or web news groups.
While some Analysts pointed out, the definition of State Secret is very blurry. The Chinese government has the right to define exactly what is State Secrets, which means all governmental information can be defined as State Secrets. BBC’s report on January 26, 2000 pointed out, this rule indicates China is tightening its control over the Internet.
The Reporters Without Borders head quartered at Paris, issued a report in 2003, “In China, there jailed the most people who are in prison because publish on the web.” This revealed how tightly Chinese government control people’s speech on the Internet.
Fig. 1. Jiang Mianheng visiting the Computer Network Center.
3. Other major participants in the Golden Shield project
Currently, the major members in the leadership group for the Golden Shield project include Minister of Public Security, Zhou Yongkang, Director of the Science Council, Ministry of Public Security, Li Lunsen, and Assistants to Minister of Public Security, Zhang Xinfeng and Zhu Entao.
Among them, Zhou Yongkang is former governor of Sichuan Province. He gained Jiang Zemin’s favor due to his tough suppression of Falun Gong in Sichuan Province and later got became the Minister of Public Security. On December 9, 2003, newly inaugural Minister of Public Security Zhou Yongkang continued to promote the policy of suppressing Falun Gong in a meeting with the principal officials from various departments and/or bureaus under the Ministry of Public Security, saying “cracking down hard on Falun Gong is the focus of work in Chinese public security system.”
In his speech in the 4th meeting of Science Council, Ministry of Public Security, Li Lunsen pointed out that one of items in the Golden Shield project was the establishment of the information security monitoring system in the public network. He said that the establishment of this specialized project has played an important role in fighting “Falun Gong” and other enemies.
In addition to the offices inside the Ministry of Public Security, the Golden Shield project has leadership groups and staff in all provinces and cities. According to partial statistics, there are more than 350 key persons in all the Golden Shield project offices throughout China.
On December 6, 2002, 300 people in charge of the Golden Shield project from 31 public security departments in various provinces and cities throughout China participated in the 4-day inaugural “Comprehensive Exhibition on Chinese Information System.” In the exhibition, many high-tech products centering around the solution strategies for the Golden Shield project are displayed, which included the information system for population administration, information system for criminal detection, mobility system specially designed for traffic police, video monitoring solution schemes, human face recognition, internet security, comprehensive system for public law enforcement, fiber optic broadband internet LAN solution schemes, internet modem and data exchange projects, etc.
Also, the Golden Shield project has been given a special regard by a member of the “Jiang’s gang”, vice premier of the State Council Huang Ju. On September 2, 2003, he met personally the national delegates of the Golden Shield project in the Great People’s Hall. Zhou Yongkang attended the meeting.
The operation of the entire internet monitoring and control system falls in the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Security and the Department of National Security.
The emphasis of the Ministry of Public Security is to monitor and control the Internet within China, which includes crackdown on the “opposition” websites as well as filtering and blocking undesirable information. The tasks are carried out by the Bureau for Public Information Network Surveillance under the Ministry of Public Security. Similarly, this is a gigantic bureaucracy. It has established offices in the capital cities of all provinces and cities on various levels. Currently, there are more than 300,000 internet police enlisted in the Ministry of Public Security. They consist mainly of young employees who have internet expertise and computer skills. In addition to the enlargement of the internet surveillance police, the authority has also established the Internet enforcement forces formed by personnel chosen from the governments on various levels, in order to enhance the monitoring and control of the networks. The main responsibility of the Internet enforcement forces is to log onto the Internet from time to time and then check, correct or delete any “secret-leaking”, “rule-defying” or “erroneous” information on the Internet.
The emphasis of the Department of National Security is to “completely prevent any overseas propaganda to Chinese Internet users, as well as block the overseas communications with Chinese Internet users.” The Department of National Security even proposed to disallow the Chinese Internet users to use any free overseas email accounts and block all overseas search engines. Currently, there are also over 30,000 national security personnel specialized in monitoring and controlling the Internet. Their main responsibility is to monitor the content of the Internet traffic and block websites, in order to prevent the “harmful information” from spreading and distribution. In the meantime, they also periodically check the Internet café that are popular in China nowadays.
According to the sources inside China, about Internet information blockade issue, a serious conflict occurred between the Chinese public security units which were responsible for Internet information security and the Chinese national security units which were responsible for national security in August 2003. The national security units complained that the public security police’s controls over Internet information security were “full of loopholes”, “slow down”, “probably sympathized with hostile elements abroad in private,” etc. In the beginning of September, the Depart of National Security formally issued a document which generally blamed the public security police for their poor work. This aroused the annoyance of officials in the public security department who were responsible for Internet information security. Afterwards, the Central Government’s Political and Legal Committee, the top level unit which both the public security and national security units belong to, issued the instructions which demanded the national security units to further cooperate with various public security units for Internet supervision, and be ready to take over some duties of the public security police.
Fig. 3. Chinese police are checking the Internet, controlling the Internet café through the monitoring system.
The following lists some public security’s Internet monitoring units:
Public information and Internet security supervision section of Huangshan city police station
Tel: 86-559-2314191 ext 3191
Public information and Internet security supervision section of Sanmenxia city police station
Address: Yaoshan Zhonglu in Sanmenxia city, Henan province
Public information and Internet security supervision section of Zhengzhou city police station
Address: 110 North Erqilu in Zhengzhou city
Internet supervision section of Suzhou city police station
Public information and Internet security supervision team of Hebi city police station
Address: Xinghe Street of economic development district in Hebi city, Henan province
Tel: 86-392-3328491 ext 32068
Computer security supervision section of Zhumadian city police station
Tel: 86-396-2912501 ext 22721, 22710, 22723
Internet supervision team of Pingdingshan city police station
Tel: 86-375-2924113 ext 23600 or 23610
Information and Internet security report center of Daqing city police station
Tel: 86-459-6374179 or 86-459-6379220 ext 2057,2281
Report email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet 110 of Ningxiang county police station
Internet police in Ningguo city
Tel: 86-563-4022789 ext 3530
Computer security supervision section of Xinxiang city police station, Henan province
Address: 15th floor in Public security building, Development district in Xinxiang city, Henan province
Xinmi Internet police
Tel: 86-371-9888380 ext 30000
Public information and Internet security supervision team of Nanning city police station
Tel: 86-771-2891278 or 86-771-3999364
Public information and Internet security supervision division of Anhui Provincial Police Department
Agency: Anhui Guomai Information Industry Company Ltd.
Address: 282 Anqing road in Hefei city
Public information and Internet security supervision division of Hunan Provincial Police
Information and Internet security supervision division of Lianyungang city police station
Tel: 5298288 or 5298300
Public information and Internet security supervision division of Cangzhou city police station
Public information and Internet security supervision division of Zibo city police station
Report phone: 86-533-2189680
Report email: email@example.com
Public information and Internet security supervision section of Shijiazhuang city police station
Public information and Internet security supervision division of Wulumuqi city police station
Suqian information and Internet security supervision division
Technique support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public information and Internet security supervision division of Qujiang city police station
Jilin City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision Section
Address: No. 51 Beijing Road, Jilin City, Jilin Province
Phone: 86-432-2409718, 2409719
Meizhou City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision Section
Phone: 86-753-2169804, 2169379
Heyuan City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision Section
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Zhalantun City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision
Baoding City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision Section
Contact: Li Junhu
Phone: 86-312-3095102, 86-312-3071100 ext. 2459
Zhoukou City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision
Phone: 86-394-8386850 ext. 22618
Address: Zhoukou City Public Security Bureau, No. 27 Road, Zhoukou City
Shenyang City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision
Mudanjiang City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision
Phone: 86-453-6282716, 6282717, 6282718, 6282708, 6282468
Zhangjiakou City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision
Tongling City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision
Phone: 86-562-2831818 ext. 3080
Maoming City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision
Jiaozuo City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision
Phone: 86-391-3933008 ext.20305
Longkou City Public Security Bureau Computer Communication Supervising and Managing
Nanning City Public Security Bureau Public Information Network Security Supervision
Photo 4: There are 12 network monitor and control departments in Qingdao City, Shandong province.
5. All Kinds of Blockade and Monitoring Technologies
- must use the ID card to access the net, "truthful" "compassion" and so on phrases are prohibited in the chat room
In recent years, China has invested more and more strengths in the national gateway blockade, and exploited all sorts of technologies to prevent the information circulation and monitoring. It includes:
- Filter national rank key words. The first is website filtering, namely filters the key words in the network address.
- Filter web page contents. The key words are mainly 6.4, Falun Dafa etc.
- Domain name hijack. It is an illegal technology disregards the international pledge regulation, which changes other user’s IP address to a fake one within its network, causes all the users in the network scope unable to visit others' address.
- Block the IP from websites with different political views. Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Falun Gong’s Minghui etc are all on the fixed blockade list. The Chinese authority also adopted some high-tech methods, include: blocking the website, monitoring and filtering emails, attacking objection public figure and Falun Gong websites, monitoring and tracking users etc.
- in order to strengthen the supervision and management of the internet bar, some cities network police have specially developed special software, installed it in the internet bar server. The software can not only automatically filter and cut off some known bad information, moreover may automatically record and track the user's operation, and can send out the warning to the net police, prompts the police to investigate.
- Track sensitive wording. At the connection point with overseas, the mainland network police besides "force out" any overseas website, causes the mainland users unable to find and view the website, the net police may also install the special equipment. The software carried by the equipment has automatic reconnaissance and recognition function, and can be setup at will. It is similar to the internet automatic search, which is used to monitor 100 million emails and each kind of information every day. For example, after the software is set up, when the emails or information include "Falun Gong", "6.4" and other sensitive phrase, the software namely can track automatically and recording user's name, IP (address) and so on, the net police then follow the information to find the user that breaking a prohibition. Many overseas user are not clear about it, talk to their friends in China about some "reactionary and sensitive" topics in emails, actually it is all within the network police's monitor.
In addition, the network supervision department has also established all kinds of management and regulations which aim at the internet bar and ordinary internet users. The following report is about internet users in China have to use their ID card to access the net, so the net police can monitor and track.
Photo: Internet users in China have to use their ID card to access the net, so the net police can monitor and track.
6. Attract Technical Personnel with Money to Illegally Develop “Filter and Monitoring” Technologies
- The Acoustics Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences that developed “Falun Gong content examination system”
On February 18, 2003, Zhongxin website, an official Chinese media published information: “The Institute of Acoustics in Chinese Academy of Sciences developed ‘Falun Gong content examination system’”. The report says, the Institute of Acoustics in Chinese Academy of Sciences has spent huge manpower and nine years of study with great concentration, and established a set of three level supervising and filtering system which has single computer, gateway and government supervision: “On a single computer, once the user wants to visit websites containing Falun Gong phrases, the system can immediately filter; at the same time of filtering, the system would report to the gateway, the gateway then report to the government; The governmental supervision departments can entirely control the internet users’ read information and situation, and promptly and effectively start up the corresponding measure.” (The characteristic of this system is not three level supervising, but content (concept) filtration. It is not the key words filtration, namely the so called intelligent filtering and monitoring)
The internet users in China responded extremely intensely in regards to this information. 90% of the comments to this information on Xinlang website scolded China’s network blockade and the developers in Chinese Academy of Sciences. Some users considered it to be “nonsense, ridiculous!” Some then explicitly expressed the disappointment to the scientists that researched this project. It is extremely rare to see such comments in China which has severe network blockade and allows no freedom of speech.
Because of the strong scold from the internet users in China to the Institute of Acoustics, the Laboratory of Acoustics had to shut down their homepage, it has not been restored until now. The Department of Speech and Information Interactive of the institute belongs to "the high-tech research and development". However this "the high-tech research and development" happens to be managed by Jiang Mianheng.
On March 5, 2003, while the internet users nationwide are criticizing the Institute of Acoustics after publishing of “Falun Gong content examination system” on February 18, Jiang Mianheng visited the institute. With the benefit enticement, he requested the Institute of Acoustics to continue the scientific research project which violates the human rights and is unpopular. The web site of Chinese Academy of Sciences reported, after listened to the work report from Tian Jing, the manager of Institute of Acoustics, Jiang has made a speech. “He says, in the recent years, the Institute of Acoustics has yielded the innovation result which cannot be substituted, under the joint effort of the institute management and all the staff. The Academy’s high-tech bureau is extremely satisfied with the work of the Institute of Acoustics. I hereby express the regards, the thanks and the congratulation to all staff of the Institute of Acoustics. Taking this opportunity, I want to discuss several views. Firstly in the aspect of the national strategy demand, the working direction of the Institute of Acoustics is accurate, and its function is not replaceable."
7. The Following is A List of the Well-known Websites that are blocked in China
Block Google is the idea of Jiang Mianheng: Inspected on August 2, Blocked Google on August 31
According to the information provided by an insider of an information industries department, the person in charge of the network exportation, the internet administrative center (CNNIC) and so on of the Academy have been to information industries department 502, and watched the second-generation high speed internet demonstration report. One of the contents is to test the data retrieval speed. The reporting personnel possibly wanted to flatter Jiang Mianheng, therefore searched for "Jiang Zemin" on Google, but did not expect the top news of the first page was “Evil Jiang Zemin” from Clearwisdom website, the forth news was “Jiang Zemin’s Illegal Way to the emperor” from the Epoch Times, the ninth one was “The further report on Jiang Zemin perishing the party and betraying the country” from Renminbao website. There were ten news in total, however three news were from websites associated with Falun Gong. Jiang Mianheng was very angry. The people there instantly felt that Google had to be in trouble. At the end of August, it really finished. (Information industries department insider) Boxun News boxun.com (5) http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2002/09/200209051251.shtml
World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong
Mail Address：P.O. Box 84， New york, NY 10116
Website： http://www.upholdjustice.org/, http://www.zhuichaguoji.org/