Keeping a watch on Chinese government sites and especially their state broadcasters such as China Radio International (CRI) has been interesting to say the least. Yesterday's piece about the facts and profile of BBC and VOA interference performed by the Chinese Government was just the start of a series of pieces here that will talk about, tease apart, and analyze the Chinese Government war against foreign broadcasts.
On the CRI website yesterday, it was noticed that the chinese Government would easily release information about three pending executions of convicted murderers by lethal injection, but in the heat of a widespread international conversation on international press freedom, CRI, CCTV, and the Chinese Government have been noticeably quiet. Although there have been some suspicions that Iran or Libya could be involved in malicious interference, experienced residents of those countries who regularly monitor shortwave frequencies have said now as in the past that neither Iran, nor Libya, would ever be able to act with the sort of strong efficiency we see in this round and pattern of interference.
An overnight session of monitoring the CRI English Service from February 27th, 2013 to February 28th, 2013 had negative results in respect to mentions or reference to BBC or VOA broadcasts, nor were there any mentions on any programs of China being active in any sort of media campaign. This does not seem to point to innocence on China's part, however. There is actually consistency and corroboration to the rumor that secret orders were handed down to reign in foreign broadcasters as mentioned in yesterday's piece, and this corroboration comes directly from China's silence.
Over the many ages of Chinese Government having the sort of structure and rule they have, the telling statements of guilt has always been their silence, and as we all know, silence speaks a thousand words! Chinese Government has engaged in one consistent practice of behavior that forms the modus operandi we all have become so accustomed to. Within the pattern of behavior is where the real story is told and analysis can be done.
A Wikipedia entry on the topic says the following:
Since broadcasting began in 1996, Chinese authorities have consistently jammed Radio Free Asia broadcasts. In 2002, the Broadcasting Board of Governors reported that "that virtually all of VOA's and RFA's shortwave radio transmissions directed to China [...] are jammed," including their Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan, and Uyghur language services.
In 2008, the Oslo-based Voice of Tibet reported that jamming of its radio communications intensified during the 2008 Tibetan unrest, as authorities increased the number of disrupted signals it employed to block outside transmissions.
Other targets for jamming include the BBC World Service, and Sound of Hope radio network.
ResponseIn 2011, some international radio broadcasters, including the BBC and VOA, announced plans to scale down or close their Mandarin shortwave service for China due to spending cuts and frustrations caused by jamming efforts BBC and VOA instead chose to invest more heavily in internet radio; both received financial support from the U.S. Department of State to fund and research internet censorship-circumvention software, such as Freegate and Ultrasurf, to enable their Chinese audience to access their programs online.
Broadcasters have also sought to educate their audiences on the use of anti-jamming technology.
One correction to this article has to be made: China has been broadcasting since before 1996, so, perhaps there needs to be some clarity that it was Firedrake interference that started being broadcast in 1996??
As of the last 24 hours, one of the most respected, expert, radio monitors in the world said something that tells us in great detail exactly what is going on! Here is that quote:
"The Beam is on slightly South of Oman and the BBC is in the clear with weak jamming underneath and as I start to turn the beam towards the East BBC drops and the Jamming comes on top and I settle on about 20 degrees East of North. The Jamming is clearing coming from China NOT Iran. The S metre drop just 5db from 15db over 9 and stays that way."
Here is a recording of THAT instance in the last 24 hours taken on the following date, time, and frequency: BBC World Service Frequency 17.790.2 Khz - February 28th 2013 - 9.46.56 AM (Time Zone Witheld)