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Capsule Review

You've Got Dissent: Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing's Counter-Strategies

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You've Got Dissent: Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing's Counter-Strategies

You've Got Dissent: Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing's Counter-Strategies
By Michael Chase and James Charles Mulvenon
Rand, 2002, 114 pp. $20.00 Purchase

This fascinating monograph by two analysts -- one of whom, Mulvenon, is widely regarded as a top expert on the People's Liberation Army -- describes the cyberwar raging between China's Communist Party and its opponents. The tale will disappoint those who believed that the Internet age would sweep away tyranny and repression. It turns out that a variety of the party's techniques -- from hacking to brute intimidation, updated forms of censorship to manipulation of corporate greed -- work remarkably well even against so clever and persistent an underground movement as the Falun Gong. The authors conclude, however, that the party's approach will work only in the short-to-medium term. As survivors of the Internet boom know, moderation in one's estimates of the power of information technology may prove the soundest point of view.

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