Chinese Censors Take Aim at AirDrop And Bluetooth

China wants to restrict the use of mobile file-sharing services such as AirDrop and Bluetooth in a move that will expand its censorship machine.

The national internet regulator on Tuesday launched a month-long public consultation on the proposals.

They want service providers to prevent the spread of illegal and “undesirable” information, among other things.

Activists fear that this will further hinder their ability to mobilise people, or share information.

Bluetooth, AirDrop and such file-sharing services are crucial tools in China, where the so-called Great Firewall has resulted in one of the mostly tightly-controlled internet regimes.

In recent years, anti-government protesters have often turned to AirDrop to organise and share their political demands. For instance, some activists were sharing anti-Xi Jinping posters using this tool on the Shanghai subway last October – just as the Chinese president was awaiting a historic third term as the country’s leader.

AirDrop is especially popular among activists because it relies on Bluetooth connections between close-range devices, allowing them to share information with strangers without revealing their personal details or going through a centralised network that can be monitored.

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