by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 6, 2012
The hacking group Anonymous said Friday it would continue targeting China, after announcing it had hacked hundreds of Chinese websites to protest against Internet censorship in the country.
Most of the sites Anonymous China claimed to have hacked were working normally early Friday, although some still carried error messages, among them an official site for the ruling Communist Party in the southern city of Hezhou.
But the group, which announced its existence last month via Twitter, told AFP in an email it would continue targeting Chinese sites.
"It will keep going. The targets are selected," it said.
Anonymous said this week it had hacked 300 Chinese websites and posted messages to the government and the Chinese people.
One read: "To the Chinese people: your government controls the Internet in your country and tries to filter what he sees as a threat to him."
Another said: "Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible. Today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall."
China has the world's largest online population, with more than half a billion users, but its government tightly controls the web, using a vast and sophisticated censorship system known as the "Great Firewall".
This week's hackings came after the government last month shut down websites, made a string of arrests and punished two popular microblogs after rumours of a coup linked to a major scandal that brought down a top politician.
China artist Ai Weiwei ordered to remove home webcams
Ai, who was held in secret detention for 81 days last year as part of a widespread clampdown on dissent in China, said authorities had telephoned and given him a "clear order" to stop the live feed from his Beijing house.
"They asked me to turn them off, shut them down," the 54-year-old told AFP, adding that he was given no reason for the order.
Ai was released from detention last June, but given a one-year probation during which he must stay in Beijing, and lives under almost constant police surveillance.
Before his detention, Ai had angered authorities with his investigation into the collapse of schools in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and into a 2010 fire at a Shanghai high-rise that killed dozens.
His art work has sold worldwide and he was named the world's most powerful art figure by influential British magazine Art Review last year.
The website hosting Ai's webcam project, http://weiweicam.com, went blank from late Wednesday, as the artist tweeted, "the cameras have been shut down. Byebye to all the voyeurs."
"I explained to them: you have 15 cameras on me, and the camera I set up in my bedroom is exactly the same camera that I had above my head during my 81 detention days," he said on Thursday.
"So I am doing you a favour to (let you) really know what I am doing and have a close watch."
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