Many a scholar has postulated that the internet cannot be truly censored.
Not just for technical reasons, but because the net is so pervasive. It would be like holding back the tide.
However, the Chinese government are giving it a good try. They have erected their very own Great Firewall of China.
For people surfing in China, the web is a much smaller place. Websites get blocked at both national and regional levels, to prevent the populace being corrupted by evil capitalist influences.
By all accounts, it is very easy to get round the government firewall, but most Chinese don't know what they are missing.
Apparently most Chinese people don't realise government censorship is happening. It just looks to them like the internet has a lot more "broken links" and, if that's all you're used to, there's no reason to expect otherwise.
US Search Engine giants Google, Yahoo! and MSN are currently getting a lot of flak for helping the Chinese government with the task.
To secure their foothold in the world's largest emerging technology market, they have set-up Chinese versions of their sites that remove results on "sensitive" topics like human rights and Tibet.
The only information you'll get if you search for "lamas" in google.cn is on the four legged, foul breath variety.
The decision would not seem so bad coming from another company, but Google used to pride itself on the morality of its business strategy and devotion to free speech.
Microsoft's Chinese version of MSN, which claims not to censor its results, returns very similar results to Google.
A search using the subversive words "human rights" returns 83 per cent pro-government websites on google.cn, versus 78 per cent on msn.com. Perform the same search on google.com and only 28 per cent of the results will be pro-Beijing websites.
Censorship on yahoo.cn is almost complete - 97 per cent of sites returned for the same subversive searches were pro Chinese government.
Searching for "Tibet independence" or "6-4" (June 4 is t he anniversary of the Tiananmen Square riots) won't just give you any results, but will get you barred from the site for an hour.
Yahoo! has allegedly gone further, by assisting Chinese authorities to apprehend a Chinese dissident. Li Zhi was given an eight-year jail sentence in December 2003 for " inciting subversion", because of his comments criticising official corruption posted on online discussion groups. The prosecution relied on data supplied by Yahoo!'s Hong Kong subsidiary to secure the conviction.
According to Reporters Without Borders, 49 cyberdissidents and 32 journalists are in prison in China over internet postings criticising Chinese authorities.
It seems blogging is a very dangerous sport in China.
Having used the words "china", "censorship" and "lama" in this column, which also appears online, I'm more or less asking for my website to be banned in China - a tragic loss for a developing nation, I'm sure you will agree.