It’s funny how SARS and SMS seem to be closely linked. The first news of SARS spread by SMS, and later the government of Hong Kong turned to SMS to quell rumors of a city-wide quarantine. It’s also become a useful method for alerting people to the location of SARS outbreaks. All of that has been useful… However, now the Chinese government is worried that people are causing panic via SMS and have arrested 13 people for spreading SARS rumors via SMS. Of course, the Chinese government isn’t known for it’s support of human rights and was notoriously slow in responding to SARS – so it’s unclear if this is about preventing panic, or keeping news quiet.

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