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Chinese Version of Wikinews Blocked In China

timothy posted more than 5 years ago

Censorship 87

DragonFire1024 writes with this story from Wikinews that says "access to the Chinese Wikinews website has been blocked in China. Wikinews can also confirm that the English version of the website is still available in China. ... Users using the social networking site called Twitter have reported that the site was "blockade[ed] today by the mainland" of China. Others, writing on the Wikimedia Foundation's mailing list also state that the Chinese version of Wikinews is blocked in major Chinese cities such as Beijing."

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I, for one (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406067)

I'm not from China, and I don't really follow the Chinese state of affairs too closely, but you've gotta say one thing about them: those slope-headed bastards sure know how to cook a cat. God damnit, I like a good kitty-on-a-stick. It's almost as good as sucking a plump, juicy, black cock and getting a nice squirt of jizz down your throat. As a fellow Slashdotter, I'm sure you can relate.

--Rob

Re:I, for one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406069)

I'll drop a brown rope to that!

Re:I, for one (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406147)

Hey it;s Tommy the Troll. I am responsible for the Apple troll as well as the one going Windows Clickaround troll. Expect more since Slashdot has a shitty moderation system. You will be seeing more of me. I don't do any of the "nigger nigger" trolls since they are tasteless and require no talent. Ok Carry On!

Re:I, for one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406187)

Brown rope troll here, I love your work. Carry on, good sir.

Re:I, for one (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406535)

I know I'm just encouraging them (who thinks discouraging instead would make a difference?) but this thread actually did make me lol.

IT WAS WORTH THE KARMA.

Re:I, for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407231)

bleh.. your troll sucks. Because Chinese don't eat cats. You're thinking of dogs.

Poor productivity (4, Insightful)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406081)

Just imagine if the Chinese government used all this effort on something that was actually productive.

Re:Poor productivity (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406101)

Just imagine if the Chinese government used all this effort on something that was actually productive.

Then they wouldn't need as much government and millions of deserving people would be out of work.

Re:Poor productivity (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406113)

Linux is a UNIX-based OS, and my favourite distro of it is Macintosh OS X, because it has the full support of a major corporation, unlike other distros, which are all operated by maybe one or two nerds in a basement together. The last thing I want is for a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS

Re:Poor productivity (3, Interesting)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406169)

It's scary that their government probably has more people in it than the US has citizens.

Re:Poor productivity (5, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406275)

Do you honestly believe that 25% of the Chinese population works for the government?

Re:Poor productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406497)

Not all of us are citizens.

Re:Poor productivity (4, Interesting)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406587)

I questioned that off the cuff comment because of your response and went looking. It really depends on how you define "works for the government" but most people view that as 'get a paycheck from government' and not a handout, slavery or forced labor.

I don't have good figures so this is a guess based on light reading. China has a very large government structure. They have state owned banks and other state owned industries. Leaving out the forced labor and slavery I think I could reach 10 - 15 percent. If I add it in I'll exceed it.

In my meandering I came across this small blarticle about the U.S. government's 'downsizing'. Enjoy.

http://www.occams-razor.info/2003/01/the_true_size_o.html [occams-razor.info]

Re:Poor productivity (1, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406735)

If you include all the industries we in the we just bailed out with state money maybe we are not too different.

We in the west will quite happily turn to state ownership when it suits us judging by the recent banking and auto bail outs.

The problem with our system is then when the good times roll again it will not be government that really benefits, it will be private shareholders. At least in the Chinese system of state ownership then the profits get absorbed by the government as well the losses.

This is something mentioned at the very end of the article you posted when he talks about the contracting agencies taking very nice profits for providing key federal staff. That article made very interesting reading by the way, thanks for the link.

Re:Poor productivity (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407059)

The problem with our system is then when the good times roll again it will not be government that really benefits, it will be private shareholders. At least in the Chinese system of state ownership then the profits get absorbed by the government as well the losses.

Which would be okay if the government of China, you know, existed to serve the people. It does not. Like all governments it exists to self-perpetuate.

As it is, what you basically said was "At least in the China you get fucked coming and going!"

Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26411987)

"In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely."

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/archives2/archives2mail/mail408.html#Iron [jerrypournelle.com]

Re:Poor productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26416987)

Ah yes, forced labor, slavery is stealing our assembly line, rather than as appropriate hunger free people, the Third World should be. In contrast, most of them forced to buy their own food, motorcycles and consumer electronics produced worldwide. Bitter tears just ran my cheek to their cruel fate.

Worst of all, ghost, they are now flooding the interwebz with neoliberal communist lies they hide in the real situation. It must be brainwashed or black helicopters floating about.

Re:Poor productivity (1)

d12v10 (1046686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406705)

Yes.

Re:Poor productivity (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407013)

Depends what you mean by works for.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6692895.stm [bbc.co.uk]
Some calculations have concluded that in East Germany there was one informer to every seven citizens.

It's quite possible that the Chinese secret police have as many informants as this. Certainly people who have worked in China believe that informers are so common that you shouldn't talk about anything political sitting in quiet cafe for example.

One in seven Chinese still means that there are less people working for the government than the population of the US, but not by much.

Re:Poor productivity (1)

wITTus (856003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406703)

I'm not that sure if the same system (democracy) works for china as it does in the US. Too many people with too much different opinions. I think China would immediately split up in many little nations...

Re:Poor productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406793)

I'm not that sure if the same system (democracy) works for china as it does in the US. Too many people with too much different opinions. I think China would immediately split up in many little nations...

Yeah, democracy obviously only works in countries where the population is uniform and conformist like the US.

Re:Poor productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407411)

Uniform and conformist enough to be satisfied by two single partys. Try that with more than a billion people, most of them living under poverty line and without education.

Re:Poor productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406301)

If it was the same government, the world would be in a bigger danger then.

Re:Poor productivity (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407713)

But they are. They are keeping their population under control.

So what's next? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406095)

I keep seeing "China blocked this" and "China blocked that" stories on Slashdot but I honestly want to know what the purpose is of reporting these blocks.

How do we as a community move forward on this? What do we hope to gain by publicizing these blocks? How long will it take to make these gains? Is it true that most Chinese don't really care about the blocks?

Re:So what's next? (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406329)

Censorship is a subject of interest of Slashdot. It interests many people here, including myself. When Australia, US, France, Russia blocks a website of importance (or even a small website) for whatever reason, it is reported. What is gained by publicizing them is information. We know that if we go to China, Google won't yield trustworthy results about recent events concerning China. We know that Wikipedia, Wikinews or even Slashdot may be blocked. We know that Tor works to circumvent this. We know that the Chinese people is informed by biased media.

Re:So what's next? (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406393)

"or even Slashdot may be blocked"

Hey, it's not! I guess it's because the techies working for the Great Firewall operator are Slashdot fans too, and apart from techies nobody really cares :)

Re:So what's next? (2, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406521)

It's also important to note that while the communist party doesn't like being undermined they are religious in their zeal to stamp out corruption. They recognize that they can't fully control the population and their presence must be desired.

All of the people I talked to in China (even in private) seemed to be proud of their government and their country. They all got incensed when I made any sort of inquiry into what it's like to live in a communist nation or their thoughts about communism. "We are not communist! We are a republic!" That was the answer I always got or something to that effect. They elect their leaders and if those leaders in any way do anything which could potentially embarass the party they're sacked. Immediately and with almost no investigation. If the people are dissastisfied with a communist official they can report them to headquarters and action from on high will be swift.

The communist party's crackdowns are not just on dissidents and undesireables. It's also directed at itself. Party First. You dishonor the party and you better jump on your sword or face the consequences--harsh consequences. They certainly learned from the Soviet system in which the soviets become complacent and over confident in their power. Revolutions are inevitable. The best way to quell revolution is to keep the people happy. In some ways the single party system in China is more accountable than our multi-party system in America.

Re:So what's next? (4, Interesting)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406745)

This is absolute bullshit.

I live in China for several months a year and this is not even close to accurate. EVERYONE knows (and more importantaly/sadly ACCEPTS) the widespread corruption in China. Attempts at "stamping it out" are token attempts, at best. It is widespread and pervasive. At the end of the day, the CCP is about self preservation. Making any serious effort at killing off corruption cuts too close to the bone.

Yes, Chinese are proud of their country, but better than half would bolt for the door if they were given the opportunity to go to Europe or the US.

Best,

Re:So what's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26421715)

Yes I agree this is total BS. Why do all chinese students in US go for their PhD's ??? Because they can get their green card in a year! Which implies they don't want to go back to their homeland ever! All my chinese friends in school agree to the above.

regards

Re:So what's next? (2, Informative)

simonsleeper (1281582) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407955)

All of the people I talked to in China (even in private) seemed to be proud of their government and their country.

That's probably because you are a foreigner. They typically want to save faces in front of a foreigner.

If you can read Chinese, take a look at the comments on those Chinese social news sites that has less moderation, you'll be surprised by how much the people hate their government.

Re:So what's next? (1)

kohaku (797652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408039)

Meh. Look at most of the comments from Americans on Slashdot (I'm taking moderation to mean 'deletion of posts' or 'censorship' here: in any case, anti-government posts are frequently modded up on /.). You would think that most of the people here would jump at the chance to move to another country, wouldn't you?

Re:So what's next? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409031)

multi-party system in America.

I guess technically "multi-party" can mean two.

Re:So what's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26416575)

Hear! hear! now arbitrary justice and a network of police informants are what we from now on call democracy.

Re:So what's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406333)

Gunboat diplomacy?

Re:So what's next? (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406447)

Is it true that most Chinese don't really care about the blocks?

Speaking as somebody that has been there they either 1) Don't know about the blocks. 2) Don't know what it is blocking in the first place (Internet is way beyond them) or 3) Know about the blocks and go around it like you would a small disgusting object on the sidewalk.

It's a non issue for most Chinese. Plenty of /.'ers are going to make sociopolitical statements about this, but in China very few people really care.

Those that want the information get it. From what I understand all the effort is pretty scary from a western point of view but is largely ineffective.

P.S - The Internet is not the medium in which most information flows in China. It's cellphones. Most of the places in China that I went to, including some of the poorest parts where some manufacturing is being done, ALL have cell phone towers. I saw people that looked like 3rd world refugees after escaping those mines in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and they had cell phones in hand.

I honestly believe all the important information about the government is being distributed amongst the people through that medium.

Re:So what's next? (3, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26411513)

A big problem with your "ideas through cellphones" idea is that the government totally controls all telephone communications. You think NSA bugging was bad? How about when the system is built from the ground up with even more invasive capabilities (ability to block messages, interrupt conversations, etc).

The internet police are pretty good about cleaning up forums. Sure it's whack-a-mole but they keep on whacking and keep the board clean. For the overseas disruptive internet sites, there is the great firewall or the fact that they're in obscure foreign languages. Lots of people don't like the Party, but there's no way for them to really get together or organize without being shut down.

Re:So what's next? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26413605)

A big problem with your "ideas through cellphones" idea is that the government totally controls all telephone communications.

I think "totally" is a massive overstatement of their capabilities there. They simply don't have the resources. Land line telephone systems are practically non-existent when compared to cell phones. All of the small towns and villages are responsible for their own infrastructures and it is vastly more cost effective to erect some cell phone towers and hand out cheap handsets than it is to start laying down copper all over the place. You are assuming:

1) They can record and analyze conversations from every single session on the towers in real time.
2) They can enforce filtering policies on text messages as they hit the tower and then forward any restricted messages to an authority.
3) Through real time monitoring of voice sessions they can allow authorities at terminals to interrupt said sessions and restrict or punish unpopular speech.

Those are some HUGE assumptions. It's easy to say that it is technically possible while completely ignoring that is economically impossible to achieve. China is far larger than the US and has one of the highest ratios of cell phone to land line use in the world. So nearly all of these conversations are occurring on the cell phones.

The monitoring infrastructure, it's associated bandwidth usage, staff, maintenance, etc. is so massive of a project that they could probably send 1,000 Chinese to the Moon with the same resources.

The internet police are pretty good about cleaning up forums.

Playing "whack-a-mole" on forums is many many orders easier of a task. The difference is pretty easy to visualize. With a forum government authorities can at any time see the postings and enforce policy. Enforcing policy on cell phone voice sessions and text messages would be like intercepting and filtering all tcp/ip packets flying back and forth between a large number of people in real time.

The forums are no different than citizens using post-it notes on the walls where everybody is walking past them, including government authorities. There already exists a centralized repository for all these messages and no extra resources is required by the government to collect them all into one place. Where is the centralized repository containing all voice recordings and text messages? How much resources do you think it would take to create it? What about real time? At least with the forum, a government authority can sit there and watch as things occur. Do you really think that there is a Chinese person listening to every conversation as it occurs and reading every text message as it sent? Of course not, but how much do you think it would cost to create those systems?

Forums on the Internet and cell phone communications are apples and oranges.

For the overseas disruptive internet sites, there is the great firewall or the fact that they're in obscure foreign languages.

They are not so flustered by obscure foreign languages as you think. Quite a number of Chinese people are fluent in more than one language and English is quite popular. The Chinese people that are the most interested in becoming political activists also happen to be fairly sophisticated and educated. The same people the Great Firewall is designed to repress are also the same people that happen to speak English in most cases. The government allows this since the majority of Chinese people will never see those sites and they realize the people that will are the same people they cannot effectively stop.

It's only a gesture for the those in control to save face. It's not meant to be effective and was only designed to send a message to the people that they are still there.

That Great Firewall you refer to is far from "Great". It is not nearly as effective as the structure for which it was named. TOR, proxies, VPN, and mirroring are bypasses that are used widely and the authorities have yet to address this problem. I think you are assuming a level of effectiveness that does not represent the reality found on the streets of China. I don't know if you have actually been there for more than a month and in over twenty different cities and a couple of dozen smaller villages and towns. Sure, as somebody from the Western world I was concerned about how the Chinese government controlled people. However, when I actually got there I found something quite surprising. There was capitalism everywhere and Party rhetoric was mostly ignored by the common man. There did not seem to be any effective repression to me. One man that spoke with me told me something quite interesting. He said that all of the people that were in Tianamen Square fighting the government are now the same people that are managing all the businesses, factories, infrastructures, towns, villages, etc. It's quiet revolution that is taking decades, not months or years.

Getting back to my point though, the Internet is not what is used by most Chinese to communicate effectively. The cell phone is used by more Chinese on a daily basis than the Internet. That is a simple fact of economics. They bring a cell phone to the average Chinese person long before they can bring them the Internet.

Your claim of "total" control is fantasy. There just is not that much resources in China to monitor more than a couple of percent of the people. A small sampling if you will of the huge river of digital communications. I get my information from the ground in China, not assumptions based on what may be technically possible.

 

Re:So what's next? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26455375)

I've been on the ground for a couple of years now. I even run my own [censored] magazine. I occasionally get to see the mechanisms of control in action, and they simply don't fuck around when it comes to national security. There have been a few demonstrations, and they get cleaned up right quick. This doesn't even count the huge number of pro-Communist citizens, who will enforce the government's will without any prodding.

Re:So what's next? (2, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406729)

*yawn*

Child of Chinese government lackey studying abroad fails to see the utility of reporting censorship while living large on the spoils of corruption. Big surprise....

I can confirm that the English version is available in Beijing while the Chinese version isn't.

And yes, you're right that most of the clods here just don't care that their news is fondled en route to their tv/monitor/radio/etc. In that sense, the cretins with guns have won.

Best,

Re:So what's next? (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407719)

Well I was going to enter in to this discussion but access to Slashdot was blocked in my country.

China is a favorite punching bag; UK OTOHâ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407855)

Slashdot just loves to beat on China. Meanwhile ALL of the Wikimedia sites (Wikipedia; etc) are still being directed through the secret UK censorship filters. After public outcry they stopped blocking the "virgin killer" (album) article yet they are still intercepting every connection and doing god knows what with it.

Yet the media is full of coverage of these completely unsurprising acts by china yet totally ignoring the surveillance and censorship perpetrated by supposedly free nations like the UK, US, and AU.

I bet congress just wishes they could do this.... (1, Flamebait)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406097)

I bet they just drool and masturbate to the thought of just being able to blatantly do this shit, instead of having to slowly erode freedom with all the speed of a glacier.

The net interprets censorship as damage (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406129)

https://secure.wikimedia.org/$PROJECT/$LOCALE/wiki/Main_Page [wikimedia.org]

(Don't click on it. Expand the macros yourself :)

It works in China as I can confirm it.

Re:The net interprets censorship as damage (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406135)

https://secure.wikimedia.org/$PROJECT/$LOCALE/wiki/Main_Page [wikimedia.org]

(Don't click on it. Expand the macros yourself :)

It works in China as I can confirm it.

https won't help you if the operators of the Firewall decide to proxy it.

Re:The net interprets censorship as damage (3, Informative)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406171)

Well, SSL is not intended to be a silver bullet. It can be used to prevent MITM attacks or packet inspection (i.e. content-based censorship). It is not used to defeat other attacks e.g. DoS (simply dropping connection to the "offending" hosts, which has been done before).

I'm just pointing out a method to "route around it". I believe that no censorship is 100% effective -- there's always a way out. In this case, switching to HTTPS suffices.

Re:The net interprets censorship as damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406775)

Drop the connection to the outside world and voila, 100% effective censorship. Disrupt all phone signals. Kill all the population :P whatever. There are many ways to achieve 100% censorship, just look at North Korea.

Re:The net interprets censorship as damage (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408937)

If you kill all the population , then i'm pretty it's going to get noticed , no matter how hard you try to censor it.

Hong Kong (3, Interesting)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406151)

works fine in Hong Kong. both the Chinese version and the English version.

Re:Hong Kong (3, Funny)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406533)

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please note that we are working hard to provide you with state of the art firewalls. As you may know, the internet consists of literately THOUSANDS of web sites and it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to tell you what you may and may not read.

Kindly report this issue to the authorities and we will take the necessary steps to ensure that your REGULARIZED FREEDOM is maintained at the highest level.

Best regards,
Mao

Re:Hong Kong (1)

Mozk (844858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26413753)

Hong Kong is not generally regarded as part of mainland China, though. It is technically a Special Administrative Region [wikipedia.org] and is essentially autonomous in most aspects. Any comparisons between mainland China and Hong Kong are therefore irrelevant.

Small bit of the picture (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406157)

If I understand correctly the situation in China, the main reason why the Chinese people let the Communists in power is their double digit yearly economic growth. Since the recent economic downturn, it seems very unlikely that China will manage to maintain a satisfactory growth, which would trigger unrest.

A quick googling brought up this recent article [msn.com] which seems to confirm that what's been predicted since the global economy crashed through the floor is bound to happen in the near future.

So the blocking of Wikinews in China fits in the picture in the damage control part of it, that is pretty much "let's make sure as little of our people learn what's currently happening in our country right now". Failing to control the information about protests across the country means empowering these movements, and the stakes are the future of Communism in China as a whole, although it won't go without a fight either.

Re:Small bit of the picture (4, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407179)

If I understand correctly the situation in China, the main reason why the Chinese people let the Communists in power is their double digit yearly economic growth.

I'm not sure I agree with the phrase "let the Communists [stay] in power". At the end of the Cold War it seemed like the Communists would lose power in China just like in Eastern Europe. Vast student demonstrations took place in Beijing during Gorbachev's visit, similar to the ones in Europe that brought down communist governments in a couple of months. The difference was that the Chinese government managed to find soldiers willing to put crush the demonstrations later.

It was only after this that the Chinese Communist Party abandoned the communist economic system for a version of fundamentalist capitalism. They kept their monopoly on power though. The rapid growth is somewhat misleading - it only applies in cities and only along the eastern provinces of China, not in the vast rural heartland. There China is still extremely poor. Corrupt local party official regularly level bogus taxes in a way reminiscent of gangsters charging protection money. There are regular 'Mass Incidents', the Chinese governments term for abortive uprisings.

http://www.nautilus.org/fora/security/08065YuYu.html [nautilus.org]

Recently, a series of mass incidents took place in China. These incidents demonstrate some of the social conflicts within China. First there was the "Weng'an Incident" on June 28, 2008. During this event a police station and a county government office building in Guizhou province were assaulted and torched by the local populace. The chaos started in Weng'an County when people who were dissatisfied with the investigation into the death of a local student gathered at the county government offices and the public security bureau. While officials were handling the case, some people unfamiliar with the exact context of the event surrounded the police station and the office buildings of the county government and Communist Party Committee. The protesters smashed and torched many offices and some cars. The chaos lasted for seven hours and involved thousands of people.[1]

Second was the "Fugu Incident" on July 3. A driver of a farm vehicle in Fugu, Shanxi jumped into the Yellow River to avoid being checked for traffic violations by the police. Local authorities fished his body out of the river two days later, and were then pursued by angry kin of the dead man, who demanded to know why they were not told of the discovery of the body and demanded to have control of the corpse. The two sides struggled over the body, which attracted many spectators and evolved into a clash between villagers and the police.[2]

Third, the "Huizhou Incident" on July 16. During this incident more than 100 people attacked police officers over the controversial death of a motorcycle driver in Huizhou, Guangdong. The driver's family members said that he was beaten to death by the security guards of Shangnan Village, but local police were told that he died from a traffic accident. The unrest lasted from early morning to 1 pm. Seven members of the group, which had also overturned a police wagon and raided a police station, were arrested.[3]

Fourth was the "Menglian Incident". On July 19, rubber farmers attacked police who had been sent to arrest alleged instigators in a conflict with rubber plant managers in Menglian, Yunnan. Forty officers were injured and eight police vehicles were burned during the conflict and two farmers were shot dead by riot police.

The numbers of Mass Incidents have been growing for years, even when the economy was booming. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, thinks that

http://www.mac.gov.tw/english/english/macpolicy/risk961228.htm [mac.gov.tw]

Statistics have shown that the number of mass incidents in Chinaâ"including the obstruction of public service execution, mass disturbances leading to social disorder, mass fighting, and trouble-causing activitiesâ"has increased from 8,700 in 1993, over 32,000 in 1999, 60,000 in 2003, and 74,000 in 2004 to 87,000 in 2005, representing a tenfold increase in 13 years (Yu Jianrong, Disturbance Incidents and Management Crisis in China, October 2007; the homepage of Chinese Ministry of Public Security website, May 2006; 2005 Blue Paper on Chinese Society) and an average of one incident every six minutes. The 2006 Social Statistics announced in December 2007 by China's National Bureau of Statistics show that in 2006 public security entities handled 599,392 cases-such as "disturbances in social order," "disturbances in public spaces," "trouble-making activities," and "obstruction of public service execution," among which 583,180 have been investigated and resolved. It can be seen that there is an explosive growth in the number of mass incidents.

Millions of Chinese have left the country illegally, and millions have moved from the countryside to the cities illegally - the PRC does not have freedom of internal movement. I think the Chinese people put up with the repressive government because they aren't organised enough to get rid of it. Mass Incidents are put down Tienanmen style and the media is censored rigorously to stop reports of them spreading.

Mind the Chinese economy needs to grow at 9% to absorb people leaving the countryside and heading into the prosperous east coast cities. Now for the first time the Chinese economy will grow more slowly than that. Possibly this will tip the balance against the government. Certainly the very rich are usually politically well connected, and given that many of them have got rich by expropriating land from the poor for property development they are likely to be very keen not to see an anti Party revolution. If the property bubble burst of course, this effect would be less strong.

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409663)

Thanks a lot for clearing my misconceptions, I thought that the civil unrest was a recent movement. Have this honorary +1 Insightful point ;)

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26420047)

At the end of the Cold War it seemed like the Communists would lose power in China just like in Eastern Europe. Vast student demonstrations took place in Beijing during Gorbachev's visit, similar to the ones in Europe that brought down communist governments in a couple of months. The difference was that the Chinese government managed to find soldiers willing to put crush the demonstrations later.

It was only after this that the Chinese Communist Party abandoned the communist economic system for a version of fundamentalist capitalism.

Not true, really. Remember the Cultural Revolution? It was primarily against the "capitalist roaders" in the Party. When Mao died, the capitalist roaders quickly seized power (which explains the very clear denunciation of the Cultural Revolution by the government ever since) and have steadily been dismantling public ownership ever since.

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26420455)

Not true, really. Remember the Cultural Revolution? It was primarily against the "capitalist roaders" in the Party.

To the extent that the Salem Witch trials were against witches.

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26420851)

When the Witch Trials ended, did witchcraft start growing in Salem? No? Not a good analogy then.

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428031)

There weren't really any capitalist roaders in Mao's China either - it was far too repressive a regime to allow any opposition at all. The Cultural Revolution was quite literally a witch hunt.

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26434625)

1) The capitalist roaders were in the regime. 2) Like you said, they weren't allowed. That's what the Cultural Revolution was all about. It certainly wasn't to win favor with the masses, which the government already had. I suggest you look at what those the Cultural Revolution was waged against did upon gaining power (in other words, Deng Xiaoping on).

The Cultural Revolution was an attempt at countering the natural tendency of feudalism to make way for capitalism, a far-fetched idea that obviously failed. There are many way to criticize the Cultural Revolution, but to call it a witch hunt is silly and dismisses one of the most interesting and noteworthy events of the 20th century.

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26435245)

Wow, so when some commie dictatorship kills millions of people every single one of them must have been guilty of the crime they were accused of, rather than just being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

I'm in Taiwan at the moment and I've met people who escaped from China during the Cultural Revolution. It was nowhere near as rational a period as you seem to believe, presumably having read some dodgy pro Marxist website written by someone in Berkeley that can't read Chinese.

Maybe for your next trick you can explain how the Holdomor was a rational campaign against capitalists too.

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26440397)

I never called it a rational period, but neither was it a random aberration of history as you seem to think. I suggest reading what I wrote instead of reacting out of anger.

Let's take another example from history. I'm sure we both agree that the Third Reich was an entirely negative event in history. Yet you have no hope of understanding or learning anything from it if you refuse to look at how it resulted from the struggle between socialism and capitalism in Germany.

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26442783)

I never called it a rational period, but neither was it a random aberration of history as you seem to think. I suggest reading what I wrote instead of reacting out of anger.

Let's take another example from history. I'm sure we both agree that the Third Reich was an entirely negative event in history. Yet you have no hope of understanding or learning anything from it if you refuse to look at how it resulted from the struggle between socialism and capitalism in Germany.

That's not true either. The Third Reich wasn't about the 'struggle between socialism and capitalism'. Socialism and capitalism are abstract ideas, they don't struggle.

Rather the Third Reich was the result of one man's struggle to become Führer. You've been reading too many Marxist historians.

Re:Small bit of the picture (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26420131)

If I understand correctly the situation in China, the main reason why the Chinese people let the Communists in power is their double digit yearly economic growth. Since the recent economic downturn, it seems very unlikely that China will manage to maintain a satisfactory growth, which would trigger unrest.

I would agree with this statement. However, when the Chinese people become disillusioned with capitalism, where are they going to turn? The irony of capitalist China being led by a "Communist" party only grows larger.

Blocking is not the worst thing (3, Insightful)

visible.frylock (965768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406177)

Wait till they start learning the tricks of Western governments. IOW, less emphasis on blocking and more emphasis on spin, misdirection, and obfuscation. Of course, all governments use both to different extents, but the Western governments are masters at the latter. At least with blocking, the government gives away the fact that something is being hidden.

block : encryption :: spin : steganography

Re:Blocking is not the worst thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26406229)

s/Western/U.S./g

Fun Fact: there are also other countries.

Re:Blocking is not the worst thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26407009)

What Western government doesn't spin?

Re:Blocking is not the worst thing (2, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406357)

My Lai, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo... The things published in maintream newspapers about these subjects are not the kind of thing the government would like to hear. Sure, when the govt says something, newspaper publish it. But the information is not "the truth is X" but "the government said X"

Re:Blocking is not the worst thing (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26420289)

But that only works in the West because the people here are already complacent. I mean, we had a presidential election stolen in the homeland of democracy and the extent of popular protest was a lot of hanging chad jokes that, admittedly, weren't censored by the government.

China has a situation ready to explode (though not in the way we in the West expect it to be). The government does all this censorship because it's *scared*.

Re:Blocking is not the worst thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26426559)

Rupert Murdoch owns a mainland chinese TV company called phoenix. It reports things about Dalai Lama's connections with internation drug rings and old nazi pedophiliacs in your typical FOXNews tone.

China is still learning western tricks and it takes lots of time to get along without the need of censors. The big issue, I'd guess, is the defence against their better paid and educated western trickster collegues.

The list of countries that endured a pro-west "regime change" by massive opposition subsidies is a long one.

It will be interesting (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406223)

to see what happens when, as eventually has to happen, a major Chinese language website is hosted outside of mainland China.  It's really a crapshoot where the next Chinese Facebook or whatever will actually pop up geographically on the globe, given the extent of their diaspora.

Or has that already happened?

Re:It will be interesting (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407069)

Do you think that wrapping your comment in <tt> to make it monospace makes you old-school and thus automatically insightful or something? Thanks for breaking formatting for no reason, l33t boy. Anyway, it's pretty irrelevant where in the world it is; if it's outside China, it's only easier to block Chinese citizens' access to it. And if it were in the US we'd probably take it down if they asked anyway, since they are our most favored nation when it comes to trade.

Re:It will be interesting (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408725)

My guess is the chineese government will give them a "cooperate or be blocked" ultimatum.

Censorship never works (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406239)

From a purely technical point of view, censorship never works. The truth of John Gilmore's famous quote "the Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" roots deeply in the technical nature of the computer network architecture.

As far as I know, every effort of Internet censorship has been broken.

However some guy in the government has to justify the cost of censorship equipment/software/staff/etc. to his overlords and do something, no matter how silly it is...

Re:Censorship never works (4, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406293)

In the context of damage control as the Chinese government is trying to do, the problem is not creating airtight censorship, because the news they try to silence come from mainland China itself, they just try to make sure as few as possible gain access to the news in question.

Because for some reason, when you're pissed at your government because you emigrated from your village to not find a job and still be in a crappy situation, when you learn that people all across the country are protesting and on strikes, it makes you want to do the same thing. Revolutions are like Mexican waves, you can only help them happen if you know what your peers are up to.

Re:Censorship never works (2, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406487)

The trick though is with a country like China you can pay 1,000 people 1,000 dollars to read every news site and most major web forums in order to 'know what we know'.

Updating a firewall with IP and DNS information is relatively trivial with solid reporting. Like you say you can't stop it all but you can stop anything popular. It's the paradox of counter-censorship. In order to advertise a piece of information to a large number of people-- a large number of people need to be made aware of the information. Keeping the 'secret' distribution methods secret is as difficult for the other side as it is for the government. There's no way for either party to keep what they know completely secret but seeing as the government doesn't have to stop 100% of it they have an advantage. They just have to keep the number of people who know about it less than they can deal with. That number is by definition larger than themselves therefore as soon as you can spread the information to a group larger than the government then the source becomes identifiable.

Whackamole can be suprisingly effective.

Re:Censorship never works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26416723)

That is why China's so busy locking all the nazi imperialist agitators up behind seven locks with all their silly sites.

Chou-the-miner's force is better put for some utilitarian purpose than for the distruction of the local party member's bike in the name of great justice.

Just look at what Glastnost did to the USSR. It was world's second greatest economy and that in peace. Ten years and a million of war and crime casualties later none of the nations regained the lost splendour. It now is the meltingpot of AIDS, Stalinism and FAIL.

Sounds familiar... (5, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406343)

Before you know it, they'll be just like the UK.

Re:Sounds familiar... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406459)

Before you know it, they'll be just like the UK.

Nah, they could never get THAT bad. I actually still have hope for China. The UK? Escape while there is not barbed wire and concrete fences around the populated areas.

Re:Sounds familiar... (2, Funny)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407155)

Escape while there is not barbed wire and concrete fences around the populated areas.

Why would they use a fence? I assume they would just fill the surrounding waters with sharks... with laser beams.

Re:Sounds familiar... (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26411357)

This comparison while amusing at first glance is inaccurate and inappropriate. The UK censorship has primarily focused on pornography. There's a substantial difference between censoring porn and censoring news sources that are reporting facts you don't like. I (and I suspect most Slashdotters) don't like either form of censorship but it should be clear that the Chinese censorship is far more damaging and far more injurious to human rights than the UK censorship is.

Strange (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406437)

I just noticed this story is posted without the usual "from ... department" line.

It's cool. I'd believe it's rather a message than a careless omission.

Fuck it. (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26406913)

Lets just nuke China and free all those poor bastards from wiki-tyranny.

Picidae! (1)

LunarEffect (1309467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407047)

Just use Picidae to bypass the block. It takes the contents of a page, takes a screenshot of it while all links are converted to picidae links, thus making the whole site visible but filtering programs can't read the site.

this page on picidae. [picidae.net]
Picidae Homepage [picidae.net]
Page that lets you browse the web over picidae [picidae.net]

Re:Picidae! (1)

Xifeng (1425793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432965)

Great idea, except that Picidae is blocked in China too. As are most other proxies (anonymouse.org, anyone?)

The Effectiveness of blocking sites. (3, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26407747)

Go to ay school computer lab that has external internet access and blocks MySpace and FaceBook.

Stay there all day and offer $50.00 to any kid that can get to one of those sites.

By the end of the day you will be broke.

Using the social networking site called Twitter (1)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26414441)

Users using the social networking site called Twitter have reported that the site was "blockade[ed] today by the mainland" of China

Users using the electronic messaging technology called "email" also reported that the site was blocked.

Controlling the news. (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26414967)

It's probably because the Chinese goverment wants to control the news as much as possible, thus more open and free news sites would be considered harmful as they could leak news that the government doesn't want to have leaked out.

It's funny how there's a whole Chinese Debian-based Linux OS and its use is encouraged when the Debian package repositories themselves contain plenty of news/media/proxy applications though...

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