LinkedInLinkedIn Corp., the operator of the largest networking site professionals, has reportedly been blocked in some areas in China–the world’s largest Internet market.  As reported by BBC News, authorities in Beijing have already been cracking down on Internet discussion groups and micro blogging sites.  This endeavor has escalated with the outbreak of intense political situations in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other countries.

Before the website went offline, a user Bloomberg reports as Jasmine Z created a discussion group named Jasmine Voice to share opinions on pro-democracy protests currently spreading through the Middle East.  The comments allegedly alluded to the idea of such a revolution spreading to the Asian country.  Despite suspicions, BBC News reports that there is no evidence that Chinese authorities are responsible for disrupting access to LinkedIn.

However, China is known for their strict control over what its citizens can view over the Internet.  Facebook and Twitter are already prohibited in China because of their failure to comply with the country’s rules to self censor information on politically sensitive topics.  Websites and other content featuring politically sensitive subjects are blocked, and it has been found that there has been an increased filtering in response to uprisings in other countries.  Searches for the word “jasmine” are now blocked from, China’s most popular website.  Additionally, the name of Jon Huntsman, the United States ambassador to Beijing, was also blocked because of his alleged attendance at a pro-democracy rally.   Numerous pro-democracy demonstrations were held over the weekend in China and police made several arrests.  According to BBC News, the suggested cause is the protesting of calls made on, a website that is banned inside of mainland China.

While some Chinese citizens are voicing their dissatisfaction, members abroad are also striving to take action.  The campaign group Reporters Without Borders has criticized the rise in Chinese net censorship, frowning upon the lack of “all forms of freedom of expression.”  Bloomberg notes a statement made earlier this February in Washington by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.  In this statement, Clinton announced American support for global internet freedom.  More specifically, that the United States would work towards helping people in “oppressive Internet environments get around filters, stay one step ahead of the censors, the hackers, and the thugs who beat them up or imprison them for what they say online.”