Recently, news outlets reported that several Chinese blogs were rendered inaccessible on Thursday evening, July 15. Among these blogs was a Chinese lawyer's website, whose subject matter is known for being particularly outspoken and controversial by Chinese standards. The lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, was quoted as saying:
"They should at least notify me and tell me what's wrong with my blog! It's unfair and there's no transparency at all..I think [it's because] I tell the truth. People like to see the truth, but the government doesn't."
It is not yet known if the Chinese government is behind the recent silencing of blogs. Even before the rash of blog shutdowns on Thursday evening, several blogging sites have been at least partly blocked, examples of which include Google's Blogger site, the U.S. version of Twitter, and Sohu.com's microblogging services.
Sohu, however, reported that its recent weekend shutdown resulted from routine site maintenance. Users, however, aren't necessarily buying this story, as the excuse of "site maintenance" has been used by microblogging sites before, in an effort to cover up spates that they maybe having with government censors.
Although there's no way to tell at this point to what extent the Chinese government will continue in its Net censorship efforts, one thing is certain: Chinese Internet use will only continue to grow.