China: Blogger Zhou Shuguang a.k.a. "Zola" barred from leaving country, "potential threat to state security"

Rebecca McKinnon reports on 27 year-old blogger Zhou Shuguang, aka "Zola," whom the Chinese government have banned from leaving the country as a "potential threat to state security." Snip:

The tagline of [Zola's] blog says in English: "You never know what you can do till you try." He seems to be hitting up against the limits of what the Chinese authorities will let him do.

Zola has stirred up controversy by turning himself into a commercial brand while at the same time committing citizen journalism. He has been called many things by many people: The "nailhouse blogger." "Enfant terrible of the Chinese blogosphere." A Chinese journalist-blogger friend of mine calls him "post-modern."

Now Chinese authorities say he is "a potential threat to state security." For that reason, they barred his exit from China to Hong Kong on Sunday. He was on his way to Germany to serve as a judge for Deutsche Welle's Best of the Blogs awards.

I first learned of Zola's detention on Twitter, where he posted live updates about what was happening – which other people in his Twitter network quickly relayed across the Internet. He posted an update on his blog about the situation on Saturday afternoon, telling his readers to follow his Twitter stream for the latest developments. (A Google News search at 4pm Hong Kong time today turned up no mainstream media reports on his situation, which shows how slow the MSM has been to take advantage of the Chinese twittersphere…or they don't consider this news…)

"Zola" barred from leaving China: "potential threat to state security" (RConversation)