China is preparing to block internet providers from using a popular protocol, and could even charge them for the privilege, as part of a crackdown on internet freedom, according to a leaked government document.
The leaked document, which was posted on a Chinese social networking site, shows a draft of a document titled “Internet Control Measures” which calls for China to block “all foreign online platforms that use the ‘Sputnik’ protocol,” which is used to relay information and content online.
“The Chinese authorities are preparing to impose strict controls on Internet access in the country,” the document states.
It also says that China will “use all legal measures to prevent the implementation of the ‘Satan’ protocol and other harmful protocols.”
It is not clear whether the proposed censorship is related to China’s “Great Firewall” anti-piracy measures.
But the Chinese government has used the phrase “Great Wall of China” to describe its anti-extremism measures, and the country is said to be working on a “Great Internet Control Measures,” a term that refers to a network of “digital surveillance networks” which monitor online activities and conduct “crimes against society.”
The document also mentions that Chinese authorities have taken steps to block access to certain social media platforms, including Sina Weibo, the country’s main online news platform.
Internet service providers in the US, Australia and China have faced criticism from internet users and rights groups for allowing access to sites like Twitter, Facebook and other social media that have been critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
The documents released by the Chinese National Audit Office show that China is trying to block websites like Google, YouTube, Amazon, LinkedIn and other US-based companies.
China’s Internet Authority has reportedly ordered websites to “immediately delete the objectionable content” from the services they allow.
Chinese authorities have also banned access to several other popular foreign online services, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter.