Chinese iTunes users are reporting problems with the website, prompting speculation the government could have blocked the service in response to a common pro-Tibet campaign album.
There is no official confirmation that this is the cause — or indeed that the site is getting blocked — but it surely is most likely, offered that the difficulties started on Monday, 1 day following the Art of Peace Foundation started promoting its release, “Songs of Tibet”.
The album consists of music from the likes of Sting and Alanis Morissette, plus a 15 minute speech by the Dalai Lama. The publicity drive integrated the announcement that 40 Olympic athletes had downloaded the album after the group supplied it free of charge of charge to competitors. Some of them in fact did so whilst in Beijing for the Games.
After message board erupted with reports from Chinese iTunes customers complaining that they couldn’t access the site, Apple confirmed difficulties. A firm spokesperson in Beijing mentioned “We are aware of the log-on difficulties but we have no comment at the moment”. She wouldn’t give facts on how several users were affected. (Source: yahoo.com)
The official Chinese edition of iTunes doesn’t contain music (but does consist of the iPhone apps store). Even so, users can log onto other versions of the service, most typically the principal US version. (Supply: betanews.com)
Chinese users posting on support forums say it isn’t unheard of for the site to have connection problems, but they are usually fixed swiftly. The four day outage is so unusual that some, such as Art of Peace Foundation director Michael Wohl, believe the government should be blocking the internet site.
It definitely would not be a 1st for the Chinese authorities. Even though the nation now has more Internet users than any other nation, its harsh censorship laws allow officials to close any internet site containing pornography, violence, or material deemed a threat to national security — which is typically utilised to silence pro-democracy campaigners.
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