Internet crackdown

This hasn't been the easiest of years for anyone with critical things to say about China's government. After months of crackdowns, arrests, and tightening around dissent of any kind, China is now signaling things might get even worse.

The official Xinhua news agency reported late Tuesday night that China's powerful Central Committee has pledged to get tougher on social media, "strengthening management" of websites that have served as fairly open platforms for Chinese people to discuss issues of the day, often critically. A likely target: the wildly popular Sina Weibo microblog platform. The news is most likely another step in the clamping down any criticism in China ahead of the country's power transition next year, but it's unclear what the real ramifications will be or how far officials might take things.

Already, several news media outlets reported Wednesday that arrests had begun, with arrests across China of people accused of spreading rumors and posting false documents online.