Radio Free Asia Responds to China Blocking Google Searches with the Letters ‘RFA’

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March 30, 2010

Washington, DC – Radio Free Asia President Libby Liu issued the following statement today in response to the news that China’s Great Firewall temporarily blocked all Google searches in China, due to an unintentional association with the long-censored term “rfa.” According to Google, the phrase “gs_rfai,” which began appearing in the URL’s of Google searches globally, triggered the problem. Google’s statement went on to explain that in China these search results are being blocked due to the presence of the letters “rfa,” because they are associated with Radio Free Asia.

“This development is a stark reminder to the world of China’s repressive control of the Internet and free speech for its citizens,” Liu said. “The sensitivity of China’s Great Firewall to filter any searches with the letters ‘rfa’ shows the extent to which online censors will go to restrict the Internet.

“It’s time for China to stop exerting draconian control of its cyberspace, and allow accurate and objective information to flow freely within its society.”

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