×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Look Into China's Web Censorship Program

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the sorry-if-y'all-can't-read-this dept.

Censorship 125

kev0153 writes "MSNBC is offering a good article explaining some of the details behind China's web censorship program. 'Google's face-off with Beijing over censorship may have struck a philosophical blow for free speech and encouraged some Chinese Netizens by its sheer chutzpah, but it doesn't do a thing for Internet users in China. Its more lasting impact may lie in the global exposure it has given to the Chinese government's complex system of censorship – an ever-shifting hodgepodge of restrictions on what information users can access, which Web tools they can use and what ideas they can post.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

125 comments

a look into a brown eye (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31643396)

goatse!

Impact (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 4 years ago | (#31643406)

I'm sure many citizens are content to accept censorship, because the impact is minimal. It isn't worth risking upheaval if they feel they don't have much to gain.

As fewer major players operate in China, the citizens will realize the effects of censorship more.

Doing so encourages the citizens of China to push for an end to censorship.

Re:Impact (0, Offtopic)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#31643428)

I think the exact same words apply to politics in the United States! They are more arbitrary in their decisions over there but the lack of players also reverberates over here..

Re:Impact (4, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | about 4 years ago | (#31643956)

Except that in the US we do not have a lot of censorship. Look at Glenn Beck for example. Whether or not we agree with him is not the point. The point is that he can say what he does under the 1st amendment without fear of being arrested, at least currently. I personally believe that the "mainstream" media in the US does a horrible job of reporting facts, and instead mostly editorializes, but to suggest that the censorship in the US is in anyway comparable to that in China is laughable. The very fact that websites like breitbart, deudgereport and the huffington post exist, whether or not you like what is posted therein, should tell you something about the freedoms we enjoy in the US as compared to China, Iran, North Korea, etc...

Re:Impact (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 4 years ago | (#31644392)

Even worse than Beck/Olbermann/whoever you hate is Fred Phelps, who basically cheers on the death of every American, every Canadian, every Swede, etc. In fact, he seems to just cheer on the death of anyone he can.

Re:Impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31644480)

Censorship is a two-way street. If you censor the people you dislike, then the people you *do* like will also get censored. It's best to let the people (citizens) decide who are the assholes and who are not.

crowds for counter-censoring China censors (1)

h00manist (800926) | about 4 years ago | (#31644668)

if a lot of people where to post censored chinese materials on every ip address and domain name, would they censor those entire domains and ip's? you can read about china's official news replies searching for xinhua news, i think that's their official-state-news dept.

Re:Impact (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31644894)

What is more dangerous?

1) Knowing that your government censors certain information and that the gov't news is biased, as most Chinese people do?
or
2) Having media that act essentially as political arms of the government, and subtly alter what they feed you as "truth" so that the average citizen believes that the news is actually factual?

Re:Impact (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 4 years ago | (#31645158)

You don’t need censorship. Your social engineers — which you call “mainstream media” — are much better. You don’t have as much censorship, but your perceived reality is just as twisted. (Oh, and bleeping out some of your words definitely is censorship. And shows how well the mind-twisting works.)

We here in Germany aren’t a bit better by the way. I think the population is even more gullible since they still think that the mainstream media is really trustworthy.

It’s as art, to twist the minds in a way that makes opposing statements look like confirmation of your own statements. And if you approach it like science, you can become really good at it.

Mass social engineering is the censorship of the 21st century. It’s the art of creating botnets made of human minds.

Re:Impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31646338)

This. Also, where there is censorship in the western world,* it turns out people really don't care, because as a rule it doesn't affect their ability to check the latest soccer results, celebrity scandals, what's happening on Big Brother, and so on.
* There's more of that going on than you think. There are overly laws against libel, against saying bad things about groups of people, against blasphemy, and so on, in a lot of supposedly civilised western countries.

Re:Impact (1)

Etyme (1747182) | about 4 years ago | (#31646826)

It's the art of creating botnets made of human minds.

Computers can be turned into botnet zombies only because they have no will of their own to begin with. Arguing that humans can likewise be "programmed" presumes that people are purely deterministic, and cannot make independent decisions. Even if you believe that's true, it raises serious issues from an ethical standpoint; human rights are based on the assumption that humans have free will.

In other words, arguing that the media constitutes mind control is the same as arguing that there are no inherent human rights, and governments/corporations/the System/whatever are totally justified in exploiting people.

How do you know that YOUR reality is superior? (2, Interesting)

jjo (62046) | about 4 years ago | (#31647078)

I'm really sick of supercilious observers proclaiming that THEY know the one, true, reality and can therefore detect that the mainstream media are leading the masses by the nose. Those ineffably superior observers are, of course, immune to manipulation, and demonstrate their superiority by pointing out that fact. Give me a break.

The real beauty of free speech is that every point of view, distorted this way and that, to a greater or lesser degree, is available for people to compare and choose from. That is TOTALLY different from censorship, which restricts the spectrum of views available.

I suspect that the real problem these stuck-up observers have is that the masses disagree with their infallible judgement, and therefore the masses must have been manipulated and misled.

Re:Impact (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 years ago | (#31645762)

Except that Glenn Beck works for Fox, and Fox is the mouthpiece of the Republican party and at this point you actually have to wonder whether Fox exists to push forward Republican agenda or whether Republicans exist to push forward Fox's agenda. It is irrelevant what the laws say, Fox is above all of that.

Re:Impact (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 4 years ago | (#31646388)

Except that Glenn Beck works for Fox, and Fox is the mouthpiece of the Republican party

[Citation Needed]

you actually have to wonder whether NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN exists to push forward Democratic agenda or whether Democrats exist to push forward NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN's agenda.

I improved the "Truthiness(TM)" of that for you.

Everyone is aware these days that the "lame-stream media" is in the pockets of Progressive Democrats and this administration. To be any more in their pocket they'd need pom-poms and a donkey as a broadcast logo. The one major holdout is Fox. It's the only network that's not a cheering-section for Progressiveism, and so *must* be attacked and de-legitimized.

Why is it that most critical comments about people on the right like Glenn Beck seek to simply ridicule or dismiss the person, and rarely ever actually debate the facts and logical arguments and show how they are wrong? I'd wager few have actually watched more than a selected clip or two of the conservative show-host, yet they "know" all these "facts" to be able to form such an antagonistic attitude toward them so personally.

I disagree with Obama, but I wish the man no ill. I'm sure he's a brilliant man. He seems to be generally a nice guy personally as far as I can tell. But, I *will* do all in my power to fight the policies I disagree with (notice I specified "the policies I disagree with" and not simply "his policies") by whatever legal & legitimate means at my disposal. I have done the same under Republican leaders as well, as there's no lack of material to criticize there, either. That *includes* Reagan when I was in my 20s!

I guess what I'm saying here is don't buy the whole line from *either* side...they are, after all, politicians. I'll add that I'm truly saddened by and for the Democratic Party since the Progressives took charge, and particularly since the corrupt Chicago political machine edged-out the Clinton machine. It's no longer the party of JFK. It seems more and more these days, as opposed to ~30 or more years ago, that the Progressives have shifted the Democrats to a "the ends justify the means" mentality, of which no good ever comes even in "winning".

My take is that since the loss of State rights after the Civil War and subsequent steady gain of power over the States by the Federal Government, corruption (both financial and ideological) at the Federal level has both increased the payoff possible for corrupting a Federal official and can do the nation much more harm than if the Federal Government was much more limited in size, scope, and power.

Why lobby, bribe, blackmail, and otherwise pressure someone that doesn't have the power to accomplish what you want, or else holds that power only over a too-small local area?

It's a bit like the internet theory in a way; damage to one independent node is limited to that node, the damage is routed around, and affects neither the undamaged nodes' internal operations nor their ability to function as a network with others.

Now we have more of a "cloud-computing" national model model where everything valuable is in the Federal "cloud" and the "terminal" States receive nearly everything from the "cloud" which puts whomever is in charge of the cloud in a position of great power over the States & the people, as well as greatly increase the ability to do great damage to the whole country.

It also makes it much easier for a minority to seize power over the whole nation and make great changes to the entire fabric of the nation in spite of citizen opposition in a short time if they are ruthless.

Strat

Re:Impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31646514)

Well no. Read up on Greg Palast and John Pilger to understand that there's a lot of censorship in the US. Beck and his ilk are welcomed by the power elites.

Re:Impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31644366)

As fewer major players operate in China, the citizens will realize the effects of censorship more.

Out of sight, out of mind. Major players pull out, and the people forget who they were and what they stood for. As far as Chinese government is concerned, major players with ulterior motives not having contact with their impressionable population is for the better.

Impressions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31643426)

Not a bad system, install a censor in everyones head, and let the companies do it in "good faith"

“It means you should self-censor, limit your mind and be cautious, because you have no idea where the line is.”

Frequently, what observers assume is blocked by Beijing, is actually taken out of the public arena by Internet companies trying to read the government’s will, he said.

And you can get kick off for hosting “low and vulgar” content.

Also, it seems they are still using the RST package technique, easy to circumvent with your own packet filter.

  “The Internet was the Gods’ first gift to China,” he said. “Twitter is the second.”

Censorship Program? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 4 years ago | (#31643458)

Censorship Program? That sounds like some kind of opt-in add-on to their internet service. I don't think I'll be signing up for that one.

google leaving does help chinese citizens (2, Interesting)

mentil (1748130) | about 4 years ago | (#31643460)

Google leaving China does do something for Chinese citizens -- it makes them wonder why Google pulled out. The Chinese govt. will have a difficult time offering a convincing explanation that isn't embarrassing. More convincing explanations will be found elsewhere on the internet, leading more people to distrust the Chinese government and start getting their news elsewhere.

Re:google leaving does help chinese citizens (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31643614)

you are a retard and have no understanding of China. Google isn't popular (or profitable) in China and won't be missed. The vast majority of Chinese people are very xenophobic and trusting/loyal of their government. They can ignore it or point out that google was violating state law and that's that. Chinese people generally know they're being censored and don't care.

Re:google leaving does help chinese citizens (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31643858)

> Google isn't popular (or profitable) in China and won't be missed

I am so tired of this line of crap. Google had 33% of the market and was making millions. Almost any company in any industry would fucking KILL for a 33% market share.

If the Chinese want to lie to themselves, fine, but don't sell those toxic lies here.

Re:google leaving does help chinese citizens (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 4 years ago | (#31644404)

Google grew to a 33% share, despite the government encouraging users to use Baidu, the fact that Baidu was well established before Google in China, and that all government employees use Baidu. That rapid growth is pretty impressive.

Re:google leaving does help chinese citizens (2, Informative)

daoshi (913930) | about 4 years ago | (#31646308)

...despite the government encouraging users to use Baidu,... and that all government employees use Baidu....

This is BS. The government does NOT encourage users to any search engines. It's their free choice of which to use. And who told you all government employees use Baidu? Did you just make this up?

Re:google leaving does help chinese citizens (1)

h00manist (800926) | about 4 years ago | (#31644574)

Google leaving China does do something for Chinese citizens -- it makes them wonder why Google pulled out.

China is good at manipulation. They have published stories of their own named Google is not god. [xinhuanet.com]

The The Chinese govt. will have a difficult time offering a convincing explanation that isn't embarrassing. More convincing explanations will be found elsewhere on the internet, leading more people to distrust the Chinese government and start getting their news elsewhere.

There is no elsewhere for news for the 99% who are afraid or unable to bypass the restrictions. Governments can and do that, in any country.

Kill the President (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31643464)

Crash plane kill bomb America Quran Al-Qaeda anarchy.

Oh man, I've got a terrible headache all of the sudden. Maybe I'll get some sleep...

a government that fears its own people is weak (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31643490)

governments work when they rule by consensus. but when they need coercion to rule, they are weak, and their days are numbered. when, not if, the chinese economy takes a downturn (no economy grows forever), the people will inevitably grumble. but if they can't even grumble, it's not "harmonious", we shall begin to see an unraveling of faith in the government, like we see in tehran

why does the chinese government fear the words of its own people?

it lays bare the fact that their agenda is not the agenda of their own people

Re:a government that fears its own people is weak (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 4 years ago | (#31643558)

The problem is that the government doesn't fear its people enough to treat them well.

what a giant load of horseshit (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31643642)

do you treat the people in your life well because... you FEAR them?!

that's not how the world works, nor basic human nature

either you're momentarily horribly wrong due to transient serious brain failure, or you're psychologically screwed up, to ever write anything like that

Re:what a giant load of horseshit (4, Insightful)

dugjohnson (920519) | about 4 years ago | (#31643688)

There's a difference in the way a person treats the people in his life and the way the government treats people in its life.

Original poster's point is that a government that doesn't fear consequences as a result of mistreating the governed will do pretty much what it wants.  There is no other reasonable motivator.  Altruism in government is seen even more rarely than in everyday life, and I'm hoping you won't try to make the point that my government loves me.

your government doesn't fear you (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31643820)

if you live in a democracy

there's nothing to fear

it actively seeks to represent the middle ground. in this way it gains power. fear is never part of the process. its the difference between ruling by attractive force, and ruling by repulsive force

yes, as you say: it's not love, your government doesn't love you. but to even contemplate this absurdity says a lot about your thought processes. at best, you are offering a strawman. at worst you only understand simpleminded ideas of what government is. a democracy, rule by consensus, is not based on any kind of fear. really

that you believe only force, coercion and fear is the way all governments work in this world is some massive failure of perception on your part, and explains a lot of truly mindlessly cynical observations out there that i see people make about government

try to understand there's a little more nuance in your world. right now, your ability to understand what government is is stunted

Re:your government doesn't fear you (1)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#31643902)

I think your full of it. The republic that is the US serves very few interests and none of them are you.

the usa is a democracy (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31644064)

saying "its a republic" and thinking this nullifies that fact is like saying "its a chicken, so its not a bird"

its a democracy that rules with the consent of the popular will, of which i am a part of

if you don't believe or understand this simple obvious fact, you're some sort of horribly sheltered and propagandized moron

Re:the usa is a democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31647276)

you are a complete idiot if you think a republic and a democracy are the same thing, and no amount of proselytizing about political philosophy is going to change that.

democracy is not the ONLY form of government that rules by consent of the people. almost all types of government rule by consent of the people in some way or another.

Re:your government doesn't fear you (1)

dugjohnson (920519) | about 4 years ago | (#31644068)

Apparently your notion of fear is more extreme than mine.  My representative represents me (me being a voting majority of his constituency) because he fears that if he doesn't he won't get reelected.  If he ever thought he could get away with not representing enough people to get reelected and would still retain his power and position, he would cease to represent me, and represent his own wishes.  THAT is human nature.
In rare cases, individuals, even in government, transcend that.  However, it is very rare, and not to be counted on.

what a stunted way to think about your world (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31644198)

do you go around thinking the only reason people interact with you cooperatively is due to fear of what you will do if they don't cooperate?

you have some sort of psychological problem. human nature is not this stunted. believe it or not, there are other motivations in this world

at best, you're paranoid. at worst, you're psychotic

Re:what a stunted way to think about your world (1)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | about 4 years ago | (#31644948)

do you go around thinking the only reason people interact with you cooperatively is due to fear of what you will do if they don't cooperate?

you have some sort of psychological problem. human nature is not this stunted. believe it or not, there are other motivations in this world

at best, you're paranoid. at worst, you're psychotic

He must be familiar with history, psychology, sociology, and basically the study of anything related to humans.

this is what i am refuting: (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31645326)

the idea that the only thing that motivates government decision making is fear

do you agree with that idea or not?

Re:this is what i am refuting: (1)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | about 4 years ago | (#31645476)

the idea that the only thing that motivates government decision making is fear

do you agree with that idea or not?

No, the parent is just saying that fear is what keeps government officials honest. The lower officials want to move up, and they want to keep their jobs. Their fear of being laid off or their careers stagnating is what encourages them to do well. Higher officials (Congressmen, presidents, etc) are afraid of losing their power. When their fear of their constituents' power dissipates, their attitudes and decisions are adjusted. Bush was not afraid of the American people after 9-11, as Americans were very supportive of him and wanted revenge. As a result, he invaded Afghanistan, and then Iraq. I can give numerous examples; the fact is, people act out of fear. Fear of being lonely, fear of the future, fear of immigrants, fear of the unknown. Without fear, our government will quickly turn against us. The Second Amendment provides SOME protection in the face of a tyrannical government. Until guns are taken out of American hands, our government will always have SOME fear of the public. The Framers knew this, and defense against tyranny was what empowered the antifederalists and the compromise that resulted was the Constitution of the United States of America with a Bill of Rights. Don't think that the Bill of Rights was just a part of the Constitution. Without it, the Constitution as we know it probably would have never been implemented.

you say no (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31645610)

and then every other word you say boils down to "the only thing that motivates government decision making is fear"

so you're answer is currently incoherent

answer my question: is fear the ONLY THING that motivates government decision making

yes or no

Re:you say no (1)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | about 4 years ago | (#31645644)

and then every other word you say boils down to "the only thing that motivates government decision making is fear"

so you're answer is currently incoherent

answer my question: is fear the ONLY THING that motivates government decision making

yes or no

No, my answer is perfectly coherent. The government is not a being. The government is made up of people. People are motivated by many things. Fear is one of these things. If the individuals who make up the government had no fear of the People, then they would cease to act in the People's interests. Their decisions are motivated by many factors, but their honesty is derived almost from their fear.

Re:what a stunted way to think about your world (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | about 4 years ago | (#31645114)

That's twice. You're twisting GP's meaning, despite having been explained to. I'll echo him - the normal interactions between people in their daily lives, and the decisions made in governmental situations are different, almost to an extreme. At your job(I'll assume you have one), do you do what your supervisor/boss/whatever wants done, simply out of the goodness of your heart? No, hell no. You do it because you know you'll be fired if you don't. And you don't want to be fired; you fear it(I realize some people don't, but take that as a general rule). This is significantly different from the interaction you have with, say, a guy you hang with at a party. You guys hang out, have a couple drinks, chat for a bit. Why? Because you're human and its enjoyable. No fear involved.

Please don't mutate the words of the GP. He made his point clear, and his point is understandable and, best as I can tell, true. Governmental decision making is almost always under influence of that fear(except in the rare cases mentioned). Human interactions != government.

Re:what a stunted way to think about your world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31645140)

It's circletimessquare, what do you expect. Did anyone ever read kuro5hin?

he's even still trying

to write with that stupid prose form

the people who rule us (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31645304)

are human beings. why would they have only a small facet of human psychology as their motivation?

Re:the people who rule us (1)

dugjohnson (920519) | about 4 years ago | (#31647254)

Because human beings in a group (mob rule), or in a situation of anonymity (anonymous coward), or under the direction of authority (just following orders) act VERY differently from human beings in a one-to-one interaction.  There are gobs of studies on this phenomenon.  It is not paranoia to recognize this.

Re:your government doesn't fear you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31646756)

force, coercion and fear is the way all governments work.

Here in the US, our laws are enforceable by threat of men with guns.

Re:what a giant load of horseshit (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 4 years ago | (#31644514)

Roman Emperors had a personal guard of about a thousand men. A lot of the time, they did their job pretty well. They also occasionally kidnapped and ransomed the emperor or just outright murdered him because they didn't like the way things were going.

Re:a government that fears its own people is weak (1)

aekafan (1690920) | about 4 years ago | (#31643814)

but what if the government doesn't fear its people and in fact, the people support its actions for the most part. Sure there is some dissent here and there, but no major free speech effort because the people dont want it. Liberty as we know it is a western concept. I dont think that of the 1.3 billion people in china, there are many who want it.

the chinese government delivers economic growth (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#31643882)

and so the people are not about to second guess it, as this has dramatically improved their lives

in the 1970s, we could have an argument about china avoiding capitalism, and you would have said: "who cares, the people still support the government"

but the government, wisely, embraced capitalism, jettisoning communism, leading them to where they are today

the same choices apply to democracy and freedom of expression

eventually, growth slows or declines, its inevitable: no economy grows forever. when that happens, the MAJORITY will grumble, and they will run headlong into their own government (no grumbling allowed!) then what? is the picture you paint of a mostly placated populace still relevant in your depictions?

now, the government, in its wisdom, could embrace freedom of expression and democracy, at some point, before the capitalist ride to prosperity peaks. and they thereby install pressure relief valves in society, and thus china is truly modern, and stable, and i would embrace such a china

but they also could wed themselves to continued absolute control of all expression and decide everything by elite class

and chinese society will begin to fall apart, and i will continue my disapproval

Re:a government that fears its own people is weak (3, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 years ago | (#31645032)

That sure sounds nice but 65 million died of famine under Mao and the Communists are still in power 50 years later and his pictures are still everywhere. Seems like that unraveling is taking a while.

Re:a government that fears its own people is weak (3, Interesting)

nobodie (1555367) | about 4 years ago | (#31645086)

Well, yes and no. The Chinese people, for the most part, understand the reality of the current situation. They know they are censored and controlled and treated like children. They accept it because it has always been this way and (most importantly) because revolution or any rapid and radical change (whatever you choose to name it) would be so horrible that no one really wants to think about it. An explosive upwelling, caused by major economic downturn would be so disruptive and destructive that the total cost would be ... I just can't imagine what a bloodbath it would be. Think French revolution kind of bloodbath but with a million times the population. This is what the Chinese people recognize as the cost of instability, so they are willing to accept whatever their government says they must have to maintain stability. Now, I know, and maybe you do as well that the government course is also about enriching the top 1 percent of fat greasy men who pull the strings. They are also the ones who will be gone when the whole thing melts down, but for now they are holding it all together. I see posts below that talk about fear, the fear here is real and it is not really people afraid of the government, it is people afraid of the absence of government as well as government afraid of people out of their control.

Re:a government that fears its own people is weak (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | about 4 years ago | (#31646146)

I've talked about this with Chinese people - outside China, and they gave me the strong impression of acceptance too. Further, it wasn't just that they want stability as such. That's not quite right - they want progress.

China is of course a country with wide-spread famine in living memory, abject poverty too. The impression given to me is that democracy simply is not a priority, not even amongst young Chinese who studied in the west. Continuing to elevate China to prosperity is what they view as the number priority. Essentially, people seem more or less happy with the government at the moment, the economic progress at least. They don't see it worth risking this with political upheaval.

That's the impression I got from a very small sample anyway.

Chinese government's "complex" as to what passes (3, Interesting)

PdbAqB (1534237) | about 4 years ago | (#31643520)

Our site http://1place.com.au/ [1place.com.au] is blocked which on has our work or intellectual property generally (e.g. art events, design, patents, copyright, latest trade mark disputes, great marketing podcasts...) .... However, the bare buttocks at the opera house as photographed by Spencer Tunick has no problems getting passed the great wall: http://thespencertunickexperience.org/2010-03_Sydney/Sydney_The_Base_2010.htm [thespencer...rience.org] I was surprised. We were informed by a Chinese resident that: "Nudity is no probelm. It is subversive activity [of IP protection] such as your website that is blocked."

Re:Chinese government's "complex" as to what passe (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31643766)

1place.com.au works here in Guangdong China just fine.

Re:Chinese government's "complex" as to what passe (1)

PdbAqB (1534237) | about 4 years ago | (#31643778)

Thanks - It is either a reprieve or my source was having a joke with us! I presume the latter : )

Re:Chinese government's "complex" as to what passe (1)

cf18 (943501) | about 4 years ago | (#31644542)

Or may be you were just spamming your URL...

Re:Chinese government's "complex" as to what passe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31646516)

You might be happy to know your site is in fact not blocked at all. Or maybe not anymore. From Shanghai at least (policy differs abit among
some ISPs over here). There are not that many sites falling under the block. Although a few big ones do. And there are different types of blocks as well. Some (but few)
are just broken DNS records, and some are the tcp resets that get triggered by keywords. In fact I would go so far as to see no info is really blocked. You can see nearly everything if you keep searching. But some particular websites are blocked. It is a pretty broken system all in all.

We're headed that way, too. Just wait till (1, Insightful)

n6kuy (172098) | about 4 years ago | (#31643592)

... our Government in the United States forces it's notion of "net neutrality" [redstate.com] upon us.

Re:We're headed that way, too. Just wait till (1)

anarche (1525323) | about 4 years ago | (#31645060)

Of course, such class warfare is old hat to a little left-wing organization called Free Press"

From your article. Would this be Murdoch's "free press"?

Reset Packets (1)

cosm (1072588) | about 4 years ago | (#31643624)

FTA

if an Internet surfer in China searches for...a banned and harshly suppressed religious group — the firewall responds by sending a reset packet to his or her computer that results in the display of a default error page

These so called 'reset packets' are reminiscent of the days of ATH0++ N0 C4RR13R....so thats what happened to AOL, they migrated to china where dialup is still accepted! PRCOL FTW!

Judgement packet... (2, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#31643656)

Remember the Star Trek Deep Space Nine episode where Quark is trying to get a replacement module to go in the head of Garrak (my spellings are probably atrocious), anyway: he contacts a "supplier" in the Cardasian government and asks him to look up the part number for him. The supplier does so and his computer informs him that by looking up that part number he has been automatically sentenced to 20 years or so of hard labor. Now that's efficiency. Quark hastily says good bye and cuts the connection.

MS NBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31643670)

Fair, impartial and unbiased reporting from MSNBC, right?

Re:MS NBC (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 years ago | (#31645132)

I don't have a problem with the MS part, I have a problem with the fact that MSNBC has become FOX news of the left. It's even more biased if you ask me. I don't watch either station on TV but I check the web pages occasionally and MSNBC's ceaseless glorification of Obama is creepily reminiscent of personality cults in various totalitarian countries. Currently on the front page the entirely typical "breaking news":

Title: Can Obama sustain success of big week?
Subtitle: The president got victories on health care, college costs and nuclear arsenals. Can he keep this up?

Re:MS NBC (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | about 4 years ago | (#31646434)

I don't have a problem with the MS part, I have a problem with the fact that MSNBC has become FOX news of the left. It's even more biased if you ask me.

Sorry, no, it's not. Fox, too, ran their daily "Bush, great president or the greatest?" segments and called anyone who didn't agree with him a freedom hating traitor.

Msnbc then started to notice that there was a market for a FoxNews of the Left, Olbermann got his daily pseudo-intellectual vitriolic rants and everything else followed.

All they did after the election was to switch roles.

I've always disliked MSNBC, and here is why (1, Insightful)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | about 4 years ago | (#31643730)

FTA

To be sure, most of China’s 384 million Internet users log on for mundane reasons that don’t challenge the limits of free speech. A lot of Chinese citizens also accept the notion that stability and continued economic growth depend on government controls, including censorship.

WTF? Does this ring 1984 to anybody? "Sure its oppression, but its okay. The people prefer it this way." What kind of asinine journalism is that?!? It seems to me much more likely that the people just don't dare speak up against it, rather than that they are willing and happy to be controlled by Big Brother.

Re:I've always disliked MSNBC, and here is why (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31643928)

As a Chinese I agree that MSNBC is biased. Although I believe we should wake up by ourselves, I don't like outsiders to say we are ok with intellectual oppression.

Re:I've always disliked MSNBC, and here is why (3, Informative)

koxkoxkox (879667) | about 4 years ago | (#31644378)

So in order to be good journalism, it has to say what you want to hear ? Really ? I live in China and I wouldn't say that Chinese are willing and happy to be controlled, but most of them don't care that much to be honest. They are not very interested in politics, don't visit much Facebook or Youtube ...

Re:I've always disliked MSNBC, and here is why (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#31644410)

Nah, from the view of the people (the ones who I've talked to), it's more like, "we know our government has problems, but we are willing to stay with it because it takes us in the direction we are going." In their minds, it's more of a compromise. We all have to compromise in order to live with other people in society. For example, there is a tennis court near my house I can't play on, although I would like to. My freedom to play on that court is being restricted because we've agreed to respect property rights.

That is how they see it: as a necessary evil, and a compromise.

Re:I've always disliked MSNBC, and here is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31644454)

most of China’s 384 million Internet users log on for mundane reasons that don’t challenge the limits of free speech.

Here's an anecdotal reference you can identify with:

How often have YOU logged on to the internet for the purpose of speaking against YOUR government? How about some proof if you have, link to YOUR contributions(articles/posts/blog/etc).

Most of internet users aren't online to speak up against their government. We just want our LOLCAT, 4chan, and YouTube.

Re:I've always disliked MSNBC, and here is why (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | about 4 years ago | (#31645254)

Most of internet users aren't online to speak up against their government. We just want our LOLCAT, 4chan, and YouTube.

Well, at least they can get LOLCAT in China...I think.

How to beat the Chinese FW (4, Interesting)

sebaseba (1617571) | about 4 years ago | (#31643744)

A friend has recently been to China, that is PRC. IRC worked normally, although he couldn't access facebook. So I've set up a normal HTTP proxy which was blocked immediately after the first page shown (facebook.com). IIRC it didn't even resolve facebook.com, we've had to put IPs in... but still my point is: they analyze the packets and they've seen the CONNECT in HTTP headers as it worked only on once request. After that I've set an another proxy (on an another IP), this time HTTPS. That worked, although you must route DNS requests somehow outside China or have a local nslookup table ;)

Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (4, Informative)

TheNarrator (200498) | about 4 years ago | (#31643768)

Confucius, one of the most influential philosophers in Chinese history. He has something to say about censorship and the role that the government should play in communicating with the people that I think makes what the Chinese are trying to accomplish a bit clearer:

XIX. The Duke Gae asked, saying, “What should be done in order to secure the submission of the people.” Confucius replied, “Advance the upright and set aside the crooked, then the people will submit. Advance the crooked and set aside the upright, then the people will not submit.”

XX. Ke K‘ang asked how to cause the people to reverence their ruler, to be faithful to him, and to urge themselves to virtue. The Master said, “Let him preside over them with gravity;—then they will reverence him. Let him be filial and kind to all;—then they will be faithful to him. Let him advance the good and teach the incompetent;—then they will eagerly seek to be virtuous.”

Source [libertyfund.org]

So notice how Chinese censorship not only applies to political messages but also to non-political messages that are deemed to not be representative of virtue. They shutdown people who have stock tip blogs, who are writing sex gossip columns, who become popular in signing and dancing competitions and professional sports culture. They don't want people who the government considers to be not good role models for the people to achieve any degree of fame. The government would never permit the kind of gangster/mafia glorifying culture in China which is so popular in many parts of the rest of the world no matter how non-poltiical.

BTW, I urge anyone who wants to understand China better to read Confucius. He was writing in about 200BCE, before China had any contact at all with the West so in order to fully appreciate it, one has to temporarily disregard everything one is familiar with in the western traditions and carefully digest his words.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (2, Interesting)

Foofoobar (318279) | about 4 years ago | (#31643888)

And what would Confucious say when the crooked are the ones in power enforcing who is set aside as crooked and who is set aside as upright?? Who watchs the Watchmen?

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (1)

astar (203020) | about 4 years ago | (#31644460)

kind of like in the usa?

it is pretty easy to conclude the feds do not have the mandate of heaven

you might figure that china has a republic, but the usa has a constitutional republic. we really have not favored kings for some time. what we do have is the freedom to do some effective political organizing and vaguely reasonable elections. If we lose either of those it is a different story, but at the moment, if things are bad enough, there will be population-driven changes. Maybe not good changes, but changes. and i am an optimist.

in china, if it is no longer a republic, this becomes one of the cases where china breaks up, a possibility I expect the current leadership keeps in mind.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 4 years ago | (#31644550)

Well back then, if a leader treated their subjects like shit he typically got deposed (or decapitated). Nowadays very few people in comfortable, first-world countries have the balls to do something like that no matter how necessary it is.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31644636)

That's what you take away from that? I take issue with the idea that the people should be coerced into submission.

The people should not submit.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (1)

Zarel (900479) | about 4 years ago | (#31644688)

Confucianism is a very "do what you're told" philosophy. People who have positions of authority are told to be fair, and their followers are told to follow them mostly unquestioningly.

In a modern perspective, this seems a bit strange. You point out one flaw: It obviously only works if everyone follows it (i.e. that leaders are actually fair). But this is true of many cultural mores: The Golden Rule (do unto others as you wish others would do unto yourself), for instance, clearly fails when you're interacting with someone who doesn't follow it, and "call the police" is useless advice if the police are as interested in screwing you over as your robbers are.

A greater problem with Confucianism in a modern perspective is that between freedom and stability, it leans heavily against freedom. To someone who lives in a stable society with no wars or similar conflicts near home, with a low crime rate where most of the people in jail are in there for victimless crimes involving drugs, with a powerful government trying to exert greater and greater control over its citizens, where the largest source of problems come from abuses of power, it seems obvious that society should move towards greater freedom, because it's true.

However, Confucius lived a long time ago. We're talking before China was unified, back when the word "tyrant" was a compliment referring to someone who had power and used it wisely, back before the Chinese had invented bureaucracy. The largest source of problems wasn't oppression, since no one had that much power in the first place. The largest source of problems really was people simply not listening to others.

It's hard to imagine that kind of time... even in high school, my greatest problems stemmed from school administrators out of touch with reality, excessively restrictive and inflexible school policies, and the like. But imagine a school in which fights occurred regularly, where unpopular kids were bullied without consequences, where students outright disregarded teachers and did whatever they wanted and never learned anything. No one would suggest more freedom as a solution. Confucius's philosophies in that context were basically a great big "Hey, guys, what if we all just behaved? Maybe if we work together instead of against each other, we can accomplish something great!" And to that end, it worked fairly well.

Perhaps it's true that Confucianism isn't the right solution for a modern China. But abuses of power in modern China still don't occupy as large a percentage of social problems as they do in America. When I lived in China, the problems I had to deal with were mostly along the lines of companies trying to save money by putting dangerous substances in food, companies subjecting employees to bad working conditions, people spitting and littering everywhere, extremely skilled pickpockets, people trying to scam me out of money - are these really problems that can be solved by less government control? On the other hand, Chinese police are usually rather friendly, while in America the last time I talked to the police was when they told me "it's late, you shouldn't be here, go home" (I was 12 and walking to the library along a public road).

The only negative consequences of government control most people in China see is that a few websites are blocked. So even if it's true that China needs more freedom and human rights (which I agree they do), it's difficult to convince the average citizen of that, it isn't as clear-cut that that's the most important thing they should be worrying about at the moment.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about 4 years ago | (#31644860)

If you only talk with words like freedom and human rights, the listener may have a different understanding of what they mean. If you talk with specific example of how freedom and human rights make life better, the average citizen will be very interested and of course the government will call you subversive and deny you the visa.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (1)

Corporate T00l (244210) | about 4 years ago | (#31644956)

A few choice quotes from the parent:

But imagine a school in which fights occurred regularly, where unpopular kids were bullied without consequences, where students outright disregarded teachers and did whatever they wanted and never learned anything. No one would suggest more freedom as a solution. Confucius's philosophies in that context were basically a great big "Hey, guys, what if we all just behaved? Maybe if we work together instead of against each other, we can accomplish something great!" And to that end, it worked fairly well.

When I lived in China, the problems I had to deal with were mostly along the lines of companies trying to save money by putting dangerous substances in food, companies subjecting employees to bad working conditions, people spitting and littering everywhere, extremely skilled pickpockets, people trying to scam me out of money - are these really problems that can be solved by less government control?

The only negative consequences of government control most people in China see is that a few websites are blocked. So even if it's true that China needs more freedom and human rights (which I agree they do), it's difficult to convince the average citizen of that, it isn't as clear-cut that that's the most important thing they should be worrying about at the moment.

Someone mod this guy up. I travel on business to China and India, and they present an interesting contrast in how freedom is not necessarily foremost in the minds of everyday locals. As an American traveling in Beijing, I was very aware of web censorship and continually reminded about how I should take care where I surfed when simple things like feedproxy.google.com are blocked (thus making all my freshmeat links in my Slashdot home page useless. No such freedom worries in Bangalore (arguably one of the fastest growing and richest cities in India).

However, in terms of everyday life, compared to burning heaps of trash on street corners, dubious sidewalks with occasional holes or loose slabs that you might fall into (water runoff channels are underneath the sidewalk, covered with stone slabs), and shockingly unsanitary food vendors, there are few people who would prefer to live a "median" life in Bangalore compared to Beijing. Such obviously "less than 1st world" conditions also exist in throughout China, outside of the "global sized" cities.

If you asked an ordinary Beijing resident on the street how important Internet freedom was compared to raising the standard of living of more of the country to be like the big cities, almost no one would pick Internet freedom. Sure, this is a false choice; why does this comparison even matter?

It matters because for each person, there is a certain list of priorities, and we can each only really care about the top 5 or 10, which are all likely to be issues of living standard and not higher level issues like "freedom". If the issues relating to censorship, Google, etc... can't get linked in a clear way to issues that people really prioritize highly, then nobody is going to care.

So my question is, how can censorship (particularly the China type of targeted censorship) be linked to man-on-the-street issues that locals really care about?

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31646912)

Exactly. People should talk more about what's at stake here.

Without internet freedom, it will become harder to expose cronyism, bribery, and other tomfoolery of the ruling class. This makes the system inefficient, and hence result in those dubious sidewalks (among other oddities*) you are talking about.

*For example, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/40581 [energybulletin.net]

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31644018)

>> Confucius, one of the most influential philosophers in Chinese history.

He was the most influential because some of his words made the emperor feel so good that the emperor ordered only his books be enshrined and books of all other thoughts be burned. That's the beginning of the intellectual dark age of the Chinese people. Unfortunately I don't see the end of it now as the battlefield has moved from books to the internet. The enlightenment in the west was achieved through revolution, and I wonder if we can achieve it through peaceful means.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (4, Informative)

ljgshkg (1223086) | about 4 years ago | (#31644226)

You're a bit twisting the meaning here if you think Confucius approves censorship. In fact, the translation is not all that correct.

The first paragraph you quote is simply saying "you should put the upright in power because people respect upright, not power".

The qustion part of your second quote is more like "How to cause people to reverence and loyal to their ruler, and be strive". Note that the last point is not about virtue, but striveness.

The answer part of your second quote is "Act solemnly, and they will respect you. Let them filial to their parent/anybody-above-them-in-family, and let them be kind to their kids, then they will be loyal to you. Let the competent and good to teach the once who are not (yet), and they will be strive."

There is nothing here to do with censorship. In fact, confucius lived in the free-est age in China when different kind of philosophy just started to flourish, trying to find a better way to rule good and end hundreds of years of endless war. And he is the one who bring all the knowledge that were held in the hand of nobles to the people. With just a small string of dry meat, he'll teach you all you can learn from him. His teaching style also encourage his students to discuss with him whatever they see or thought of in their journey around different countries in the then China. So basically, it's quite opposite to censorship.

Unlike the western world back then, China never really do any real censorship ( with a few exceptions). In the culture of Chinese, people may just pretend they can't see, or just talk as "entertainment" if you do something that is not "right" in our the culture but is not breaking the most important values "visibly" or "publicly" or in more formal situations.

For example, your comment about "writing sex gossip columns". China in most time in history not only has books with drawings about different "style" of sex positions. We also have private brothel and government opened once. Scholar etc. going to those places are considered not having good practise, but since it doesn't touch the most important stuff like filial to parents, people more "follow the rule" may just talk about it. But never see it as very serious. And in any period of time, there are always differnt schools of confucius taking different view among themselves or in favourite or against preious confucius scholars. They openly debate about differnet views etc. Later on, colleges are form at many places allowing schoolars to discuss and further learn or develope. At the time, colleges often represents schools of thought and they do have a relatively strong political power because traditionally, most government officals are selected through national wide exams and are often part of a certain school of confucius.

So in fact, censorship has no relationship to confusius. Chinese culture's degree of acceptance in diff things is very high as long as it doesn't touch family matters (e.g. filial) and country matter (e.g. loyalty). Otherwise, you wouldn't have buddism in China since there was actually a serious discussion among the top officers during the Dynasty of Tang because some practise of buddism is against some Chinese traditions. But they finally let it pass and decide it's up to the people to decide if they accept it or not.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about 4 years ago | (#31644302)

>> Chinese culture's degree of acceptance in diff things is very high as long as it doesn't touch family matters (e.g. filial) and country matter (e.g. loyalty). If you put filial and loyalty above free speech, can you still call it a high degree of acceptance? I say that's the root of oppression.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (1)

astar (203020) | about 4 years ago | (#31644384)

there was about 20 years, probably in the 1400's, when the vatican was completely accepting of confusianism. one could think china was soon to be Christian. some european nasties screwed it up on purpose.

Re:Confusicanism's perspective on censorship (3, Interesting)

Dave Emami (237460) | about 4 years ago | (#31644556)

You quote Confucius, I'll quote Lao Tzu (founder of Taoism):

A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, They fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say, "We did this ourselves."

As restrictions and prohibitions are multiplied in the Empire, the people grow poorer and poorer. When the people are subjected to overmuch government, the land is thrown into confusion. When the people are skilled in many cunning arts, strange are the objects of luxury that appear. The greater the number of laws and enactments, the more thieves and robbers there will be. Therefore the Sage says: "So long as I do nothing, the people will work out their own reformation. So long as I love calm, the people will right themselves. If only I keep from meddling, the people will grow rich."

If the government is sluggish and tolerant, the people will be honest and free from guile. If the government is prying and meddling, there will be constant infraction of the law. Is the government corrupt? Then uprightness becomes rare, and goodness becomes strange.

Very interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31644038)

You can test this for yourself, got to http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010 and search for some innocuous topics, then search for 'falun gong'
a little taste of what it's like living under real censorship.

Thick as a brick.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31644180)

Both governments are living in the past.

light skinned black (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31644276)

Get real people, there is censorship everywhere (slashdot story yesterday about net filtering in schools ...).

Reminds me of somebody saying she preferred light skinned blacks (light-skinned/dark-skinned, at the end of the day both versions are still blacks).

And I don't know what childhood trauma some posters have endured, but they need to channel their anger at some activity other than lecturing random people about how their own assholes don't stink.

Re:light skinned black (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about 4 years ago | (#31644644)

We are talking about political censorship here. Saying "preferred light skinned blacks" means a preference of a certain color. Saying "at the end of the day both versions are still blacks" implies some kind of racism, IMO.

python downloads blocked (1)

scheinzahm (956098) | about 4 years ago | (#31644610)

I happen to be in China for work right now and the censorship here can be really annoying at times. More often than not I surf over socks proxy and ssh tunnel because there are lots and lots of non-political areas of the net that are blocked. For example: I noticed something funny the other day. I wanted to run a quick python script and went to the python page (python.org) to download python for windows to my enterprise box. As soon as you hit the "download" link however, you get an error message (sometimes you are also redirected to google.com.hk) and the entire python.org domain is blocked for some minutes. Seems like the censors here don't want people to use python - probably just not their kind of humor I guess :P

internet ban sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31645296)

I live in china since over 4 years now.

And i freaking hate the internet blockage, i mean fine they ban some terrorist websites and some weirdo p0rn from Japan, thats nice and Good (jap porn is just disgusting)

but youtube? facebook? and so on COME ON This is bullcrap.

many people fear that google and gmail get banned completly. If that happens im out, and many other guys who do business also. We already have big problems due to the firewall. And every company that uses the internet for more then just MSN can agree with me.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...