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China Slams Clinton's Call For Internet Freedom

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the need-another-snl-translator-sketch dept.

Censorship 235

CWmike writes "China on Friday slammed remarks made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promoting Internet freedom worldwide, saying her words harmed US-China relations. Clinton's speech and China's response both come after Google last week said it planned to reverse its long-standing position in China by ending censorship of its Chinese search engine. Google cited increasingly tough censorship and recent cyberattacks on the Gmail accounts of human rights activists for its decision, which it said might force it to close its offices in China altogether. On Thursday in Washington, DC, Clinton unveiled US initiatives to help people living under repressive governments access the Internet for purposes such as reporting corruption. The US will support circumvention tools for dissidents whose Internet connections are blocked, she said. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu called for the US 'to respect the facts and stop using the issue of so-called Internet freedom to unreasonably criticize China.' China's laws forbid hacking attacks and violations of citizens' privacy, the statement said, apparently referring to the issues raised by Google."

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Color me skeptical (4, Informative)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868202)

Google cited increasingly tough censorship and recent cyberattacks on the Gmail accounts of human rights activists for its decision, which it said might force it to close its offices in China altogether.

Maybe, but I wouldn't bet the ranch on it. [wsj.com]

Re:Color me skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868756)

If the Chinese government decides to let Google keep their business license whilst allowing an uncensored search engine ... wouldn't you want them to stay?

And China is right in doing so (1)

noddyxoi (1001532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869376)

First when you're a guest you have to play by the house rules. And China can't handle CIA sponsored like Iran or Venezuela had. So for the greater good bye bye google.

Woot First Post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868206)

From Guam

Google and business (4, Insightful)

faragon (789704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868216)

If Google, because etics, is willing to lose such market as China, could get a huge credibility and respect increase (kudos, Google). Unfortunately, I'm skeptical about it.

Re:Google and business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868264)

Why do we continue to pretend we want freedom of speech for China and other places where goods and services are very cheap?

Re:Google and business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868334)

maybe you like the slave labor, but we'd all be better off without it. Lazy ass

Finally! Youtube in China! (4, Funny)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868294)

I have a friend in Shanghai, and it sucks because when I send him video links on Youtube, he can't view them because they're firewalled from Youtube.

Kudos for giving countries like this access to freedom of information.

It's like being only allowed to watch State-sponsored TV and government approved books in libraries, and then suddenly being allowed to experience the wealth of the world.

4chan and the dark underbelly of the internet aside, I hope this gives people a taste of culture/information other than what's force-fed down their throats and see what they're missing out on.

Re:Finally! Youtube in China! (5, Interesting)

Jahava (946858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868398)

It's like being only allowed to watch State-sponsored TV and government approved books in libraries, and then suddenly being allowed to experience the wealth of the world.

Yeah ... it's not just like that. It's exactly that :)

4chan and the dark underbelly of the internet aside, I hope this gives people a taste of culture/information other than what's force-fed down their throats and see what they're missing out on.

The Internet is about way more than culture. It provides individual access to the sum wealth of human information. Good, bad, underbelly, culture ... those are all subjective. That's the beauty of it. By providing the individual with the opportunity to access any information, but not requiring them to access any specific information, the Internet provides an individual with unprecedented potential. They can do exactly what they want with that potential, be it 4chan, China-like censorship, or full-fledged involvement in mainstream cultures.

Maybe many of the people in China love their country's protective hand. We'll never know until they can choose whether or not to have it.

Re:Finally! Youtube in China! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868630)

If they lived here they'd have the freedom to watch only Fox News.

Hillary Clinton's quotable quote (5, Insightful)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868330)

I really love what Hillary Clinton said in the article:

"Ultimately, this issue isn't just about information freedom -- it is about what kind of world we want and what kind of world we will inhabit," she said.

"It's about whether we live on a planet with one Internet, one global community and a common body of knowledge that benefits and unites us all, or a fragmented planet in which access to information and opportunity is dependent on where you live and the whims of censors."


Really lovely and Charles Stross-ian, brings a tear to my eye :)

Re:Hillary Clinton's quotable quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868700)

I don't like that speech. Sounds a bit "Ein Reich, Ein Volk" to me. How would Hillary feel about web pages that oppose her "global community" or don't particularly want to be "united"? Based on her political record, I don't think she'd want to see such things.

Re:Hillary Clinton's quotable quote (2, Insightful)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869150)

Wanting to see something, and actually censoring them are two very different things.

I really do not want a political party in norway that worships norse gods and hate jews and black people...
but I dont think they should be banned from speaking either.. Freedom of speech.. even for douchebags ;)

Re:Hillary Clinton's quotable quote (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868904)

Really lovely and Charles Stross-ian, brings a tear to my eye :)

Kind of makes you wonder who wrote those words, eh? Or is Hilary the only politician without writers?

Re:Hillary Clinton's quotable quote (-1, Troll)

trendzetter (777091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869052)

Some people cried tears when they listened to speeches of Hitler too. It's just cheap propaganda, Clinton only favors freedom for corporations, not for people.

Re:Hillary Clinton's quotable quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30869120)

" ... it is about what kind of world we want ..."

Here "we" means the americans.

We understand the motivation of Clinton, because USA has the largest porn industry on the planet.

Re:Google and business (2, Interesting)

Xeno man (1614779) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868622)

Ethics may be a part of it but time and money will be a larger part of it. If you need to have an entire office of people to run China's version of Google, spending man hours on complying with every government request and policy and continually undoing what Google does (it finds stuff), there comes a point when it's just not worth the effort. Then you find out that the government that you have been bending over backwards for just to please enough to allow you to do business hacks your machines just to get more of what they want may have been the final straw. It may be easier to just set the auto reply for any email from China to "fuck off" and go back to running business in the rest of the world.

Sick and Tired of Hacking (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868224)

Google is not the only organization that is sick and tired of China's hacking and industrial espionage. After seeing in my logs hundreds of hacking attempts a day that originate in China, it really sucks that we cannot just cut them off the Internet. If they attached anywhere near the interest in stopping the hacking that they did in prosecuting the people who dealt in porn, the problem would stop overnight. They supposedly have the most sophisticated government firewall in the world, but they cannot spot and stop these continual hacking attempts? Obviously the Chinese government is behind this hacking activity.

Evolution in action! (1)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868322)

Oh come now. Think of it as natural selection, weeding out the less competent network security policies and practitioners. Those that remain will be stronger, faster, and smell better between showers.

If Google can fend off the People's Army, then your Gmail account is probably pretty proof against plain old identity thief hackers from Chicago. So this is good news!

Re:Sick and Tired of Hacking (3, Funny)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868408)

Originating from China... so that narrows it down to what, one sixth of the worlds population? Can you see any problem with your argument?

Re:Sick and Tired of Hacking (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868438)

Most of that one-sixth of the worlds population cannot read the only language I can read/write in. I think it's less of a deal than you might think.

Re:Sick and Tired of Hacking (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868742)

Well that shifts it away from the one sixth figure... but as much of the rest of the world can't either, that shifts it back.

Attacks I deal with tend to come out of the middle east, but to be fair, there's a high chance it's coming from someone with a compromised machine just proxying the attack, so I try not to hold it against the country of origin. I've been at the other end of that once, net cut off 'n stuff, tho my machine wasn't compromised, they just hadn't thought about the fact that having an IP address on something doesn't necessarily mean it actually came from there (this was 10 years ago, when it didn't mean that a lot more than it doesn't mean it today).

Still, doesn't mean you can cut off a country home to a sixth of the worlds population, even if some of them are responsible for the attacks you get. If you're going to start down that road, just unplug your system from the internet... that's where 100% of them come from!!!

Re:Sick and Tired of Hacking (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869248)

Mandrin Chinese is the most common first language in the world, but I'll give you a guess what the most common second language in the world is, and I bet the percentage is even higher among young, computer literate, internet users.

Re:Sick and Tired of Hacking (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869214)

To be fair a very large portion of that population (75% [internetworldstats.com] ) have no internet access. 360M is still a lot of users, but it's a lot less than a billion.

Re:Sick and Tired of Hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30869082)

After seeing in my logs hundreds of hacking attempts a day that originate in China, it really sucks that we cannot just cut them off the Internet.

I manage quite a few servers who target users in a non-English speaking EU country. I eventually put a -j DROP on China. That reduced hacking attempts, spam and other garbage by 90%. It's not that anyone from China understands the language anyway. I keep hearing about this firewall they supposedly have, it seems a bit strange that it seems to stop human rights activists yet it lets a flood of garbage through. There may be actual users in China who want to browse the web, who knows, I never seen one. I have never seen anything but hostile connections coming from China. Not one.

Minä puhun suomea ja asun Shanghaissa (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869304)

It's not that anyone from China understands the language anyway.

With something like 1.35 billion people you can bet someone there speaks your language.

Not answering the real issues (3, Insightful)

Jaden42 (466735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868226)

Talk about a non-responsive response: "Our rules don't allow for hacking and violations of citizen's privacy".

Considering the state of privacy there, they certainly aren't lying.

Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (-1, Troll)

lkcl (517947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868248)

i don't know if people are going to believe this (but i don't care) because i'm a "statistical sample of one", but there is empirical evidence (on a statistical sample of one - me) to suggest that real-time Internet Censorship operates in the United States on a level far more sophisticated than that of China.

when i was last in the U.S. i happened to be making enquiries about "knowledge-based" systems and about TETRA modems. unfortunately, the best "knowledge-based" software happens to fall into a category of tools (ontology classifiers for example) used and deployed by Intelligence Agencies; and unfortunately, the best companies that do TETRA also happen to do APCO P25 radios used by Police, Homeland Security, Airports, the FBI etc.

so there's little me, waving a red flag to a bull, and finding that web site browsing was behaving particularly odd. one moment web sites would be accessible and the next they would be offline.

i surmised that i was finding "stuff" that, embarrassingly for the people monitoring my internet traffic, they had never encountered before, never evaluated and so out of knee-jerk fear reaction slapped a block on it.

it also turns out that one of the companies i had found had _just_ been funded by InQTel.

it took some phone calls to stop the censorship.

so if you push the right buttons and wave the right kind of red flags, there's enough empirical evidence to suggest that the United States also performs Internet Censorship.

of course, nobody's told Mrs Clinton that, before she began getting righteous, which is very embarrassing for her and for the U.S. government she's representing. it also puts the comments made by the Chinese Government into perspective: namely that the Chinese Government know damn well that the U.S. Government also performs Internet Censorship; Ma Zhaoxu is simply calling things "as they are".

p.s. in replies to this, i don't want to see any messages saying "But That's All Irrelevant Because China Has A Bad Human Rights Record" to which the response is "Guantanamo Bay? remember that place?"

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868270)

Quick! Get your tin foil hats! I knew the government was watching me!

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (2, Insightful)

Rawjava (1622535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868302)

But since its america, no one complains because "god bless america". If china had this kind of propaganda there wouldnt be as big of a problem.

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868466)

China has that mentality too. Probably a majority of Chinese feel that those Chinese dissidents who are bringing attention to government abuses and offenses against human rights are unpatriotic for embarrassing China. Just because there is a substantial number of educated Chinese who want human rights and a better China does not mean they are loved by the majority of their countrymen for pushing for these things, just as the Abolitionists in 1860's America were despised by northern industrialists (the descendants of slave traders) and southern slave owners alike.

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868314)

it took some phone calls to stop the censorship.

Trust me, if it was government censorship you were experiencing, it would take an act of god to stop the censorship. Not a few phone calls from Mr. TheWebSiteIsDown [thewebsiteisdown.com] .

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (3, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868402)

That is an amazing bit of conspiriakii.

There is not references other that some buzz words gleanable from US procurement contracts. No phone numbers, no names, no websites and yet you manage to get a +2 insightful.

I am impressed.

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (0, Troll)

lkcl (517947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868544)

i know. amazing, isn't it. i put it down to being realistic and mentioning the phrase "statistical sample of one", and specifically mentioning that it's "personal experience and observation" rather than "fact". if i'd said "it's a fact! because i said so!" then quite rightly i'd be called out as being a nut-job and a dick.

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868626)

/. has one of the best censorship systems in existence. Troll mods will rescue us all!

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (0, Troll)

lkcl (517947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868708)

/. has one of the best censorship systems in existence. Troll mods will rescue us all!

:) whew, thank god: for a minute there i was worried that people might think i was being serious. instead, fortunately, people think i'm seriously promoting "myself" and deliberately saying things just for the sake of causing trouble.

paraphrasing aldous huxley: facts don't go away just because you ignore them.

the trouble is that empirical evidence - especially that of personally-experienced evidence and thus the conclusions that can be derived from those personal experiences - _can_ be ignored...

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (2, Interesting)

euyis (1521257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868406)

At least your censor don't act like an idiot.
Hell, the Great Firewall even blocked the "Down for everyone or just me"; last night Amazon's images have all disappeared.
And recently some imbeciles have configured the firewall block CDNs... The results are, bizarre.

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (2, Funny)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868472)

So what "stuff" did you find and what websites were you looking at that were mysteriously blocked?

You must be a very important person!

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (0, Troll)

lkcl (517947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868534)

ahh, that would be telling :) but seriously, you can do the google searches for "TETRA modem", "Ontology Classifier", "Knowledge Systems" for a few weeks just as well as anyone can.

and no, i'm not "important", just reasonably persistent and intelligent.

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (2, Insightful)

TiberiusMonkey (1603977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868550)

it took some phone calls to stop the censorship.

You're either amazingly important, simply summarising a very long painful process up in a few words for the sake of keeping an internet post shortish or you're basically lying...

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868658)

An analogy like your comparison of China and US: Sweden's government is EVIL!! They KILLED people! The Third Reich was equally EVIL!! Because they also KILLED people!

Re: Censorship in the rest of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30869132)

of course, nobody's told Mrs Clinton that, before she began getting righteous, which is very embarrassing for her and for the U.S. government she's representing. it also puts the comments made by the Chinese Government into perspective: namely that the Chinese Government know damn well that the U.S. Government also performs Internet Censorship; Ma Zhaoxu is simply calling things "as they are".

Yes, sadly China has a very good argument when they are criticized for censoring the Internet: Denmark censors their Internet. Australia censors their Internet. The US censors their Internet. Norway covertly tortures people who write the wrong thing on the Internet. And on and on. This gives China the very good argument "Why are you picking on us, everybody censors their Internet". The EU and the US can't really say anything as long as they are covertly doing the same thing.

Re:Internet Censorship operates in the U.S. (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869162)

Let's keep a sense of scale. Guantanamo Bay, and a lot going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, is awful and the information tightly controlled. But given that China willingly and effectively censors political speech and porn, but is unwilling or unable to do anything about the 99% spam email coming from their domains, is an indication that they can't be bothered with censoring criminal behavior. They only censor political or politically embarrassing behavior.

Dollars... (1)

reverendbeer (1496637) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868274)

I'm sure RIAA or the MPAA is behind this push for "freedom".

So when... (3, Interesting)

lattyware (934246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868304)

Does Australia get no Google? And the UK, we are getting pretty poor at this freedom thing.

Re:So when... (4, Insightful)

Jahava (946858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868376)

When it as a nation performs attacks on Google's servers...

Re:So when... (2, Insightful)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868560)

Google said the attacks "originated from within China". They said there were "sophisticated attacks" against human rights activists, which involved accessing their accounts by use of the "correct username and password". I have yet to find where they have said there is any evidence to believe it was the Chinese government "as a nation" who carried this out, despite what news outlets have said (like they'd ever blow something out of proportion or report something uncertain as being certain). Originating in China narrows it down to a tiny ONE SIXTH of the worlds population! There're so many other possible explanations, such as it being carried out by someone wanting to make it look like it was Chinese government to get sympathy for their cause, or it could be that so many activists out there are dumb as hell and clicked stuff that other people didn't... how many NON human rights activists were hit by this attack? Was every single person whose account was hit one of the activists?

Now, with the Chinese governments history, I would hardly call it surprising if it was them... but making the leap from it originating within the largest country in the world, and therefore it must be the government, is far too much of a leap for me to take without there being at least some other small piece of suppporting evidence.

Does anyone have anything to offer? Pictures of people being killed or whatever don't count, they only support claims that people are killed. Of course, if you're okay with killing, you're probably okay with hacking, but there are more people that kill than the chinese government, and they can't all be responsible for the hacking thing, so that doesn't prove, or even suggest, that it was them.

Have I missed a statement from Google or something that someone can point me so where they actually say they believe the government was responsible? Even if they're not disclosing evidence, have they even said they've seen any?

Am I the only person who refuses to believe something purely on the grounds that it makes me angry? These aren't unreasonable questions.

Re:So when... (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868790)

No, you're not the only one. I offer the following points :

1. The servers hacked where those whose purpose was to supply email headers to the US government. Why shouldn't the Chinese gov get them too?
2. Google hacked into the computer from which they claim the attacked originated. Why is *that* ok?
3. Most spam is sent *via* hacked Chinese servers and if Google managed to hack into it, why couldn't anyone (including the Chinese dissidents themselves)?

I'd be much more likely to listen to Google and their threats if they weren't doing poorly business-wise in China. IMO, Google have decided China isn't working for them and want to leave China for that reason: so they're just using this to spin it in a different light.

If they do leeave, I don't think many will notice. Google just isn't relevant there. Of course, Google share holders will notice, so I don't think they have the balls.

Re:So when... (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869226)

Just because Google is in second place doesn't mean they're doing poorly - 29% of a market of 300+ million online users is
pretty darn good. If you think that's "irrelevant", have a look at the market share of the 8 or so other search engines that
operate in China.

Re:So when... (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869344)

I'm not saying I agree with your conclusion, as I don't believe there's evidence either to suggest that... there's enough motive to go round an awful long way, it's just as wrong to suggest it was any one of them without presenting reason to believe one motivated party were responsible over another motivated party... BUT... did ya notice how Google's (well, I read the original blog, not sure how much that's a corporate vs personal statement, but I'm guessing it was pretty google) statement, they had to kind of play both sides? Hackerz!!! Vs "Everything's fine, stay with us".

So, this attack meant the accounts were breached, BUT not through a security flaw of their own, the accounts were accessed using the correct username and password... and the privacy wasn't fully breached; they saw the email subject lines and dates etc, but didn't access any of the actual message bodies. Oh, and also, while the sophisticated attacks (ie, logging in???) weren't through a flaw in their system, they have increased security measures to protect accounts in the future... hmm, okay, I guess that last one isn't totally contradictary, you can mitigate against problems outside of your system, but still... this just doesn't quite add up.

They haven't said they believe it to be the government, but they have definitely eluded to it, by discussing talks to change their search engine with the government within the same statement in a rather linked way. If they don't have any reason to believe it's the government, but word their statements in a way designed to make people believe they do, perhaps to gain leverage for the talks, that would be a bad thing. But, if they did have reason to believe it was them, I can understand keeping it quiet to protect their staff in the country, as they could be arrested for what Google did, or worse. Personally I would want to pull them out of the country, and then go public, but it might be impossible pulling that many people out discreetly enough.

This is the problem, none of this is believable, because it's all hypothetical, nobody's actually come out and said anything, there's not been the slightest actual assertion, just a lot of eluding. I can understand reasons why that might be necessary... but what I don't understand is, how come everyone's acting like they know something I don't? Do they know something I don't, do they think they know it because they misunderstood Google's statement, are they just so easily convinced of everything based upon absolutely nothing at all, or do they not care as long as they get to be angry and hate someone in another country? Or of course, something else?*

(*What I have done here, is recognised and demonstrated that I have recognised that I might not have thought of everything, am open to the idea that I haven't, and invite additional information... how come people don't do that?!! It's not hard!!!)

Re:So when... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869286)

I was wondering about that. Will the US now be helping me get around the IWF's censorship attempts? I've not actually been blocked by them from anything that I want to see, but since (by law) they are not actually allowed to look at the things they are censoring to see if they really are illegal, it's only a matter of time. With the US government be running state-sponsored TOR nodes with enough bandwidth to push everyone's surfing through?

Is it hacking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868316)

Would it actualy be cracking (I assume it's what they ment ;-) ) for internet users in china to get around the great firewall? The owners of the information the people want to access has effectivly given universal permission for the access of the data and the use of say a proxy site or ssh to a server in the US wouldn't realy be modifying any software at all.

Irony at its finest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868320)

Because Hillary would never want anything censored now would she [ucsb.edu] .

(Not the same league as China, but its still the same sport...)

The Chinese better be careful what they say (3, Funny)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868346)

or we might use our tectonic weapon [digitaljournal.com] on them :O

How about the Black Fleet? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868364)

Like China is the only part of the world where censorship is in action. In the west we never heard about the US Black Fleet that was about to conquer Taiwan and got blown out of the water by the Chinese. That happened in 2003 and never hit the news nor the Internet. At least the part of the Internet over here. In China this is all well known. But over here the embarrassment for the USA would be devastating. Loosing a whole fleet to China, them walking away without a scratch, as if they had performed a show.

There is lots of stuff happening in the world that would embarrass the USA and the west in general. But none of it hits the news-stands over here. And where is that guy that transformed the good old telephone network to a high-speed digital IP-network? I worked with him at the time, till the USA threatened to nuke the Netherlands if he ever got a hand on his money. A nice personal message from then president Clinton.

Censorship in the west is way more severe than in the east. We just do not know what is not been told to us, but that does not mean that it did not happen. We are just not allowed to know. And are told that they are the baddies. But they saved the planet where the USA tried to destroy them. And that makes the USA look like a fool and, when everything comes out, the most hated country on the planet.

Re:How about the Black Fleet? (0, Offtopic)

magbottle (929624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868844)

You doofus.

It's the Black Foot nation. A native american tribe. They have not conducted international naval military action for some time, and certainly never in operations against China.

US Black Feet indeed.

Re:How about the Black Fleet? (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868872)

I would venture to guess you got a "troll" mod because you didn't provide any relevant links. If it's well known in some part of the world, some part of the world as big as China anyway, I somehow doubt it wouldn't be on the Internet.

Re:How about the Black Fleet? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869362)

In the west we never heard about the US Black Fleet that was about to conquer Taiwan and got blown out of the water by the Chinese. That happened in 2003 and never hit the news nor the Internet

Wait, the US was about to invade the Republic of China, but then the People's Republic of China defended them? The same People's Republic of China that doesn't regard the Republic of China as a legitimate state? This is about as likely as the USA intervening to protect North Korea from invasion by China, so there's a good reason why it wasn't in the news.

But over here the embarrassment for the USA would be devastating. Loosing a whole fleet to China, them walking away without a scratch, as if they had performed a show.

A US battleship has a typical crew complement of around 2,000. A fleet will be at least ten ships, so that's 20,000 members of the navy. And yet, none of the families of these dead soldiers mentioned anything to the news? No one noticed a load of naval vessels never returned to port? Russia's spy satellites, which track all surface fleet movements of both China and the US, didn't notice a US fleet disappearing and didn't mention it to the press to score political points?

There is lots of stuff happening in the world that would embarrass the USA and the west in general. But none of it hits the news-stands over here

Have you ever read the news? There's lots of stuff that embarrasses the USA in it every day. Most recently it was coverage of their meeting with Pakistan.

And where is that guy that transformed the good old telephone network to a high-speed digital IP-network?

It's now widely deployed. It's called ADSL.

I worked with him at the time

...but you can't remember his name

till the USA threatened to nuke the Netherlands if he ever got a hand on his money. A nice personal message from then president Clinton.

Right, President Clinton threatened to use nuclear weapons against a country that has a mutual defence treaty with at least two other nuclear powers and they just backed down? There was no diplomatic outrage?

Typical US of A mentality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868390)

For some reason they think they're the world police.

Re:Typical US of A mentality (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868420)

Fuck Yeah!

Re:Typical US of A mentality (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868468)

The USA isn't the world police, even if they think they are. But you can't criticize them for taking steps to reduce the power of potential future opposition. China is responsible for a TON of industrial and scientific espionage. Companies are fully aware that their brand spanking new designs are being ripped off and sold for pennies on the dollar of their original price under different brand names, yet it's so much cheaper to send products to China to be produced that this doesn't deter them.

But it's not cheaper to run a website in China than it is to run it here in America. Internet-based companies won't tolerate the hacking and espionage that production-based companies do, because the internet-based companies have nothing to lose.

US Censorship (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868430)

Ms. Clinton has great rhetoric, but its not supported by the facts.

We know damn well that the US censors the internet. It's written in the law, and with very harsh penalties for those who publish what the US doesn't want published. Even when individuals painstakingly obey the laws, the US government has been known to arrest people and put them in jail for a very long time, and has even sent agents to foreign countries to kidnap or attack American dissidents living there. I personally know of at least two cases.

Of course, the American public enthusiastically supports these actions against kind and gentle men who love children and are brave enough to say so publicly, just as the Chinese public enthusiastically supports the Chinese government's actions against "unpatriotic" Chinese who are brave enough to denounce corruption and attempt to improve their country. So it's unlikely that the average American will have the brains or moral integrity to even notice the hypocrisy in Ms. Clinton's remarks.

A view from inside China (5, Interesting)

afflatus_com (121694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868446)

I am actually currently in China. Sites which are carte-blance blocked include: Facebook, youtube, wikipedia, blogger.com (as a side note: Wikipedia really is useful--reminded of that now that it is not available).

The reason for blocking Facebook and company is because they are starting to work for serious political change: see today's 'No Prorouge' rallies occurring today in Canada [and at worldwide Canadian embassies] after the Canadian prime minister leader cancelled the democratically-elected parliament for weeks--these rallies are a result of over 200,000 strong grassroots Facebook group support. Concurrent to that is an evaporation of that prime ministers lead in the polls versus the opposition party.

If only they blocked twitter (1, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868776)

Then I would have found my new home :P

Re:If only they blocked twitter (1)

LS (57954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868850)

It IS blocked in China.

Re:A view from inside China (1)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868816)

Wikipedia is not blocked in Beijing. It's slow and sometimes the pictures don't display, but pages do load.

Re:A view from inside China (0, Troll)

LS (57954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868838)

You are lying about still being in China. Wikipedia has been unblocked for a LONG time now. I'm sitting here in my apartment in Beijing reading about Descartes on Wikipedia.

Also, the censorship aspect of Youtube and Facebook etc is a ruse. The main reason for them being blocked in protectionism. Control of information is a great secondary benefit. It's no coincidence that Facebook was blocked right around when it started gain traction outside of the US, including China, and several local sites here also began to pick up traction.

Re:A view from inside China (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868886)

Also, the censorship aspect of Youtube and Facebook etc is a ruse.

You're kidding, right? You offer no evidence; please provide some.

It's no coincidence that Facebook was blocked right around when it started gain traction outside of the US, including China, and several local sites here also began to pick up traction.

Just to be explicit here, the above is no evidence for your position whatsoever. Before it gained any popularity in China, it was useless for the distribution of political speech to the masses, because of the limited user base.

Re:A view from inside China (2, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869140)

You know, you got a lot of nerve, telling people who live in China that they don't know what they're talking about. Link [foreignpolicy.com] Link [wsj.com] . Maybe closed mouth, open mind would work better next time.

Re:A view from inside China (1)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869206)

Assholes don't need nerve. It makes indiscriminately shitting on others easier.

Re:A view from inside China (1)

solferino (100959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868852)

Sites which are carte-blance blocked

Poor use of the term carte blanche which means full power, open sanction, free hand etc.

Re:A view from inside China (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869300)

And those are sites which are blocked absolutely, without any further clarification or influences just as someone who has been granted full powers operates.

It's not a great use of it, but I wouldn't beat him up over it.

Re:A view from inside China (1)

magbottle (929624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868906)

So how's come /. isn't blocked? We're not important enough? Not outre' enough? What?

Reporting Corruption ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868450)

TFS: "On Thursday in Washington, DC, Clinton unveiled US initiatives to help people living under repressive governments access the Internet for purposes such as reporting corruption. "

Quote [reuters.com] : "Corruption costs Afghans $2.5 billion a year, a United Nations agency said on Tuesday, with the scale of bribery matching Afghanistan's opium trade."

Probably my poor logic, since Afghans do not suffer from a repressive government.

CC.

Clinton backs Google to the hilt (3, Insightful)

solferino (100959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868474)

Clinton also called on U.S. businesses, particularly media providers, to fight censorship in the countries where they operate.

"Censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company anywhere," she said. "American companies need to make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand."

This is very strong language. Google is getting full backing and all other US companies are being actively encouraged to follow their lead.

Re:Clinton backs Google to the hilt (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869112)

It is strong, considering that "censorship" does include US censorship. The Chinese are far worse about this, but given that child pornography, atom bomb plans, and cryptography have all been limited by the US government, we can't claim complete innocence. And US companies have accepted cryptography censorship as a part of selling software internationally for decades.

I'm glad at Clinton's stand, but the devil is in the details. We'll see if this helps reduce censorship in the USA as well as in China and other, more politically repressive domains worldwide. In fact, helping fund Wikileaks would be a great step in supporting free speech: if you've recovered from your Christmas bills, now might be a good time to send them a money order.

I'm Not a Betting Man... (5, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868518)

Well... yeah, I am, actually. But I don't bet against Google. I also don't bet against China, which makes this dispute rather interesting. A company that willingly turns its back on a market of 1 billion people risks having its CEO bludgeoned to death by angry investors. At the same time, any entity that willingly cuts itself off from google also cuts itself off from one of the most amazing information tools ever invented. If I had to call it, I'd say both sides make angry mouth noises for, oh, 3 to 6 months and then quietly settles on a compromise that allows Google to pretend that they're not evil while allowing China to continue keeping information out of the hands of its citizens.

Re:I'm Not a Betting Man... (1)

magbottle (929624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868938)

Leaves a nice gap for Bing. Which is a nice fit, what with all the Microsoft R&D sites in China.

Re:I'm Not a Betting Man... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869174)

That could get very interesting.

Google is a very good search engine. In order to carve out a market position Bing does two things:

(1) makes itself hard to avoid by cutting deals with third parties.

(2) adds some features of marginal value.

Getting in bed with the Chinese authorities after Google has just gotten out might change consumer perceptions of these things.

Most people don't care to choose things, as long as they work. They don't have any strong feelings about Microsoft, but almost nobody likes the Chinese regime. Associate Bing with the Chinese government in their minds, and they might see their cell provider forcing Bing on them in the same way geek do.

Likewise, with the right marketing by activists, user can be persuaded to have negative feelings about Bing because of its association with the regime. That could offset any marginal value Bing provides.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S. of A..... (3, Insightful)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868536)

The MafiAAs receive carte blanche from the courts to abuse their customers, Net Neutrality simmers on the legislative back burner, allowing vertically integrating ISP's to throttle traffic in cavalier and arbitrary ways, as well as allowing them to merge with content providing companies to "better serve" their customers.

But we don't have censorship, nope. But we don't give American internet users that tube of KY which'd help it all go down so much easier.

Re:Meanwhile, back in the U.S. of A..... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868576)

Dude, KY comes in a bottle.

Re:Meanwhile, back in the U.S. of A..... (1)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868926)

Not necessarily. I've got a tube of it next to my bed. Sometimes people ask me why I've got toothpaste on my table. Don't ask me what I use it for.

Re:Meanwhile, back in the U.S. of A..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868830)

Stop posting or kill yourself. I don't care which.

US also censors the internet, by law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868664)

And the U.S. public endorses it.

Even when people painstakingly obey the laws, the US government has been known to arrest them and throw them in prison. I know of at least two cases where law-abiding American dissidents were arrested or attacked by American agents OVERSEAS because they publicly spoke out against the status quo.

And the American public continues to hate no one so much as kind, gentle men who love children. Worse than terrorists, you know, because terrorists only kill people, they don't LOVE CHILDREN.

Love is very bad, you know. Must outlaw it.

china don't act like your feelings are hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30868910)

Maybe the rest of the world will follow and leave that communistic country back in the dark ages.
Instead of propping up the government maybe the world will start to do actually do something about it..

US is banning internet poker (2, Interesting)

mestar (121800) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868914)

Wait, is that the same US that banned the internet poker? Now it wants something called "freedom"?

Says one thing does the other?

Re:US is banning internet poker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30869190)

To be clear here the US didn't ban online poker. They are banning internet gambling and the law isn't even in effect yet.
They also didn't setup a firewall to block internet gambling, it's just not going to be legal to do so.

Re:US is banning internet poker (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869326)

Internet poker was cut off for violating gambling laws. You're more than welcome to play poker online all you want if there's no money involved.

Acceptable complaints about free speech in America (on the internet anyway) include:
Child Pornography (unpopular)
Beastiality (unpopular)
Piracy (see above, not actually censorship)

google should block china (1)

mr_musan (1075927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30868958)

the way this argument is going google should take the bluf and block chinas access to gmail, this way the chinese people will see that something is going on and the chinese government will lose face, because as it is now googles side is simply not reported in china if they take the first step and redirect chinese traffic to a site explaing how f**ked up the censorship is then the proper gander will fail, because as it is now gmail accounts are advertised on the beijing subway ! imagen stopping all of that !

fuck China! (0, Flamebait)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869034)

to hell with China, this is coming from a nation that puts lead paint on children's toys, makes jewelry for teenagers out of cadmium, makes infant formula with poison in it just to pass a test so they can sell it, makes pet food poisonous too, no telling what else that slipped through under the radar, so fuck china i hope they all die a miserable death!

Peace-loving democracies all around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30869038)

Cold war flashback! Nobody censors, everybody simply enforces just and reasonable laws. It's all for the people, not against them. If only we could make a stand for freedom, but we have so many skeletons in the closet that we have to tread lightly. Sigh.

China or Australia? (1)

lindseyp (988332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869152)

"Australia on Friday slammed remarks made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promoting Internet freedom worldwide, saying her words harmed US-Australia relations. Clinton's speech and Australia's response both come after Google last week said it planned to reverse its long-standing position in Australia by ending censorship of its Australian search engine. Google cited increasingly tough censorship and recent cyberattacks on the Gmail accounts of human rights activists for its decision, which it said might force it to close its offices in Australia altogether. On Thursday in Washington, DC, Clinton unveiled US initiatives to help people living under repressive governments access the Internet for purposes such as reporting corruption. The US will support circumvention tools for dissidents whose Internet connections are blocked, she said. Australian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu called for the US 'to respect the facts and stop using the issue of so-called Internet freedom to unreasonably criticize Australia.' Australia's laws forbid hacking attacks and violations of citizens' privacy, the statement said, apparently referring to the issues raised by Google."

What about American firms, Mrs. Clinton? (4, Interesting)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869186)

Evidence continues to surface about American and other Western firms cooperating with repressive governments in their efforts to censor and eavesdrop on their citizens. Why didn't Mrs. Clinton mention them in her speech?

We have, for instance, Cisco [harvard.edu] , Nokia/Siemens [wsj.com] , Microsoft [bbc.co.uk] , and Yahoo [bbc.co.uk] , just to name a few.

Hah! (2, Insightful)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869198)

HAH! I love how China acts like they are innocent and all. "China's laws forbid hacking attacks and violations of citizens' privacy, the statement said, apparently referring to the issues raised by Google."" Riiiight. I'm also the Queen of England! China would NEVER hack anyone. The Chinese government is one of the biggest fattest LIARS ever. They constantly say one thing while time and time again they prove that they don't care about anyone's benefit but their own. Whether it is manipulating trade markets and currancy, hacking, controlling the people of the country, human rights issues, etc. Yet whenever confronted they are all "You can't tell us what to do" or "we don't do that!" or "We will change things." but what changes? Exactly nothing. They might sweep it under the rug or shift things around but nearly every time the SAME issue comes right back up. The world needs to basically tell China to stuff it and come back when they learn their lesson. Stop manufacturing stuff in China, stop buying Chinese goods, the whole nine yards. Put the squeeze on them till they show their hand.

China DDoS (2, Interesting)

Your Anus (308149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869266)

Given China's bottleneck of a firewall, I am surprised it hasn't been DDoS'ed. Routing their entire country through one node is an exploit just ripe for an attack.

Time for some diplomatic pressure (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869290)

New announcement from the Secretary of State: The Secretary of State will say what she wishes about Internet Freedom. And if Ma Zhaoxu continues to object, the State Department is NOT going to send the Secretary of State's husband over with the Dallas Cowgirls and a few cases of cigars. That is all.

Re:Time for some diplomatic pressure (1)

querist (97166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869356)

Clinton's only going to bring BACK cigars. They can get Cuban cigars in China. I brought some American cigars for a friend one time and he asked me about Cuban cigars, and it took the next 20 minutes to explain the embargo and why you cannot buy Cuban cigars in the USA. (I do not smoke, but he does.) Marlboros are very popular over there, by the way, so if you have Chinese colleagues in China who smoke, bring a carton of Marlboros and you'll do well.

Re:Time for some diplomatic pressure (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869382)

If you really think Bill Clinton has any trouble getting Cuban cigars (likely absolutely legally), you're incredibly naive. The people in power always have loopholes for themselves. Anyway, the special thing about Clinton's cigars isn't where they were made, it's what he does with them.

FREE and OPEN!!! (so we can spy on you) (1)

breagerey (758928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30869350)

Hillary's "freedom of information" masturbatory rhetoric is aimed at people who know a little but not too much. It has a different ring when coupled with the knowledge that the US govt has colluded with US providers to eavesdrop on people.

Eavesdropping and censoring aren't the same thing - but knowing that somebody is monitoring your "free and open" Internet access makes it feel a bit less "free and open".
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