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China Explains Internet Situation In Whitepaper

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the for-some-definitions-of-free dept.

Censorship 115

eldavojohn writes "In a new whitepaper, China has declared the Internet to be 'the crystallization of human wisdom' and officially issued what appears to be a defense of its policies on Web censorship, while at the same time making contradicting statements like 'Chinese citizens fully enjoy freedom of speech on the Internet' and (in the same paper) 'Laws and regulations clearly prohibit the spread of information that contains content subverting state power, undermining national unity, [or] infringing upon national honor and interests.' The paper also claims some questionable superlatives such as 'China is one of the countries suffering most from hacking.' On the positive side, this 31-page document might be offered as an operating guide for businesses, like Google, looking to understand exactly what the law is surrounding the Internet in China. The document is a rare glimpse of transparency in China's regulations."

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115 comments

Both ways (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32500446)

'US citizens fully enjoy freedom of speech on the Internet' and (in the same paper) 'Laws and regulations clearly prohibit the spread of material that contains copyrighted content, undermine intellectual property rights, [or] infringe patent laws.'

Yeah, it goes both ways. But at least China keeps it inside their borders and isn't trying to censor me or you. USA, copyrights and patents on the other hand...

Re:Both ways (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501090)

Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of (state approved) speech on the internet

There, China, fixed that for ya.

Re:Both ways (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501812)

I think GPs point is that we do the same thing... The only difference is the definition of "state approved".
(An important definition, but still we also limit freedom of speech).

Re:Both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32504192)

But we don't censor political speech. If I have access on secret government documents saying that the president committed horrible crimes because of lies, I can publish them. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Both ways (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32503202)

You misunderstand free speech. In the US you are free to speak your words as you wish.

Re:Both ways (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32504260)

Not if my words are a computer-readable description of a patented algorithm, or a DRM system, or (depending on where the person I'm talking to happens to live) a strong encryption algorithm.

I would not, of course, equate these restrictions with what China is doing, but don't pretend the US laws are perfect.

Free-ish Speech (4, Interesting)

Rotworm (649729) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500482)

Do Chinese people enjoy freedom of speech on the Internet in a substantively different way than we do?
I can say whatever I want, except things that are against the law to say. It's the same system in China, but they have different laws. I'm no expert, but I think the only meaningful difference is that citizens cannot criticise the government -and don't get me wrong, that's a big difference, but they report they are trying a system where the nation is unified. Maybe I disagree with that approach, but I think it's suspect to say that China opposes freedom of speech when they only differ on a single issue.
Further, there are many laws here in Canada that limit speech, that don't have a corresponding law in China. Specifically, I'm thinking about race.

Re:Free-ish Speech (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500586)

Further, there are many laws here in Canada that limit speech, that don't have a corresponding law in China. Specifically, I'm thinking about race.

I would posit that the difference in your Canada vs China comparison is that the laws are better defined for you than they are a Chinese citizen. Like, what the hell does "non-harmonious" mean exactly? You don't know but you seem to have lost your job because of it.

Think for a minute about what the phrase "speech against the government" could mean in China. Is saying "The Yang-tse river is so polluted!" considered speech against the Chinese government? Is complaining about your working conditions okay? Is criticizing the United States' copyright laws okay when your government has pledged time and time again to combat piracy?

I think the biggest issue is that all of the above can be against the law on a case by case basis decided by the state. In Canada, are you afraid of the government disliking you for some reason and then reviewing your internet usage and history to find something to prosecute you under?

Re:Free-ish Speech (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501028)

The most efficient way to ensure arbitrary prosecution under the law is to keep the laws subjective in nature:

Phrases like, "unity...national honor...and interests...." provide nice means to ensuring your enemies are at your mercy.

Criticize Chinese society all you like, but you have to give it props for being crafty and efficient with persecution!

Re:Free-ish Speech (1, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501132)

I would posit that the difference in your Canada vs China comparison is that the laws are better defined for you than they are a Chinese citizen.

Are they now? [wikipedia.org]

Think for a minute about what the phrase "speech against the government" could mean in China. Is saying "The Yang-tse river is so polluted!" considered speech against the Chinese government? Is complaining about your working conditions okay? Is criticizing the United States' copyright laws okay when your government has pledged time and time again to combat piracy?

You know that well enough by the time you get out of grade school.

In Canada, are you afraid of the government disliking you for some reason and then reviewing your internet usage and history to find something to prosecute you under?

s/government/copyright organizations/ Yes.

There is no substantial difference between China and the US, except for the theatrics. Just to really earn my Troll mod, who was the last President who was neither Republican, nor Democrat? Who gets to choose the candidates for those parties? And most importantly, who were the last two candidates who received all their campaign contributions from *entirely* different sets of corporations?

Re:Free-ish Speech (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32504798)

Are they now? [wikipedia.org]

Just because you need to look it up doesn't mean they're not clearly defined.

You know that well enough by the time you get out of grade school.

Prevarication

Just to really earn my Troll mod, who was the last President who was neither Republican, nor Democrat? Who gets to choose the candidates for those parties? And most importantly, who were the last two candidates who received all their campaign contributions from *entirely* different sets of corporations?

Red Herring.

Re:Free-ish Speech (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501292)

Further, there are many laws here in Canada that limit speech, that don't have a corresponding law in China. Specifically, I'm thinking about race.

I would posit that the difference in your Canada vs China comparison is that the laws are better defined for you than they are a Chinese citizen. Like, what the hell does "non-harmonious" mean exactly? You don't know but you seem to have lost your job because of it.

Think for a minute about what the phrase "speech against the government" could mean in China. Is saying "The Yang-tse river is so polluted!" considered speech against the Chinese government? Is complaining about your working conditions okay? Is criticizing the United States' copyright laws okay when your government has pledged time and time again to combat piracy?

I think the biggest issue is that all of the above can be against the law on a case by case basis decided by the state. In Canada, are you afraid of the government disliking you for some reason and then reviewing your internet usage and history to find something to prosecute you under?

What is to say that those phrases don't have a more specific meaning in Chineese (I don't know Chinese, so I don't know). English is a very vague language as it is and the Chineese mindset is very different from the Anglosaxian-American.

I have had to explain the Swedish term "ministerstyre" (the Pirate Bay trials and some weapon system exports that slashdot haven't reported about) to a lot of English speaking people and it is really hard, not just because the English language lacks the words that is needed, but also because the Anglosaxian mindset is different. It is easier to explain to a German or Spaniard, despite that they also have a similar difference in mindsets (when it comes this matter), that is because German and Spanish makes it easier to construct understandable words and phrases that is missing from the language as they are needed, these languages is very flexible compared to English. I won't give a link to wikipedias article about "ministerstyre", because it is (as happened before) slightly of the target, there is a lot of English speaking wikipedians that correct the language in that article or try to make comparisons to phenomenons in the Anglosaxian world, and as they do, they usually get the content wrong.

Re:Free-ish Speech (2, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32503094)

Tiananmen Square, June 3, 1989. Did that event not solidify exactly what the hell is going on there? Your attempt at moral relativism is pathetic.

Re:Free-ish Speech (1)

grainofsand (548591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32505310)

I think you mean June 4, 1989.

Re:Free-ish Speech (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32504872)

I would posit that the difference in your Canada vs China comparison is that the laws are better defined for you than they are a Chinese citizen. Like, what the hell does "non-harmonious" mean exactly? You don't know but you seem to have lost your job because of it.

Think for a minute about what the phrase "speech against the government" could mean in China. Is saying "The Yang-tse river is so polluted!" considered speech against the Chinese government? Is complaining about your working conditions okay? Is criticizing the United States' copyright laws okay when your government has pledged time and time again to combat piracy?

What is to say that those phrases don't have a more specific meaning in Chineese (I don't know Chinese, so I don't know). English is a very vague language as it is and the Chineese mindset is very different from the Anglosaxian-American.

Well, I know Chinese. While the mindset may be different, "non-harmonious" and "speech against the government" are worthlessly ambiguous (or beautifully malleable, depending on your perspective) in both languages. If arbitrary censorship is what you're after, wouldn't broad, vague legislation be precisely the right tool?

This is the free-speech equivalent of "enemy combatant" -- newspeak that conveniently means whatever your agenda wants it to.

Re:Free-ish Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501678)

ummmm, yes. yes I am. Have you seen some of the internet use prosecutions?

Re:Free-ish Speech (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501748)

In Canada, are you afraid of the government disliking you for some reason and then reviewing your internet usage and history to find something to prosecute you under?

In America, I am increasingly afraid of this happening. With the laws that require ISPs and internet search companies to maintain records for longer and longer periods of time, as well as the use of National Security Letters by the federal government to obtain that information, this is more likely than ever before. When the government can access all of your online history without oversight and without your knowledge, it sets up perfectly for abuse.

Re:Free-ish Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32506186)

The fundamental issue is the following:

If the laws are created by the will of the people (in democratic countries such as USA, Canada, etc), then following those laws seems acceptable to the general public.

In china, the statement

"Laws and regulations clearly prohibit the spread of information that contains content subverting state power, undermining national unity, [or] infringing upon national honor and interests"

is meaningless, since people using the Internet have approved none of those laws, These laws are in most cases arbitrary set up by the government to subject their will on the people.

Re:Free-ish Speech (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500594)

Unless you live in Pennsylvania, USA [switched.com]

York Canada [dailyfinance.com]
Lancashire, UK [timesonline.co.uk]

We're more alike than you think.

Re:Free-ish Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32500782)

The difference is the people in your links had already been accused of a crime and the government was looking for evidence specific to that accusation. Not just searching through the email because they want to accuse a person of a crime. The difference is very significant.

Re:Free-ish Speech, yep (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501148)

I agree, be silent, be very silent. Better yet saying nothing might keep you out of trouble/

Re:Free-ish Speech (3, Interesting)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501338)

Why a 15 digit prime number with a leading zero?
100010001010011, 17491, 4453

Re:Free-ish Speech (4, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501398)

All my online names were taken when I finally decided to register for slashdot.

So I just converted my initials to binary, it was available...

Re:Free-ish Speech (3, Insightful)

2short (466733) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502446)

  So in one case, a state Attorney General issues an inappropriate subpoena to try to stop internet criticism, it's obviously a ridiculous failure, and the headline in the newspaper is "Stunning Abuse of Power". He may even lose the election because of it.

In the other case, the national government issues an official policy stating that online criticism of the state will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be jailed. The newspapers all support the government because it owns them. This won't impact elections, because they don't have any.

Somehow, I am not having difficulty distinguishing these. Attempts to quash free speech ought to to be called out and combated. If you live in PA, you ought to vote against this tool. But come on: If you're trying to claim Pennsylvania is at all comparably oppressive to China, you're crazy.

On the other hand, if you're trying to point out that the're is nothing magical about being an American; that totalitarian tools can rise to power and gain the support of PA Republicans as easily as Chinese Communists; that our vastly superior freedoms are only the result of historical luck and constant vigilance... then I'm with you, obviously.

Re:Free-ish Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32504136)

your York reference is for York University. There is no town called York anymore (Toronto used to be called York) but that is irrelevant.

Anyways, a more pertinent comment relating to that specific reference has to do with libel and slander. In our justice system, every person has the right to face their accuser. So with a comment that is posted anonymously relating to an accusation of fraud, which is a criminal matter, without disclosing the accuser, there would be no way for the accused to face his accuser, and he would lose reputation with no way to defend him/herself.

The right to free speech isn't limitless, it never has been, no matter what people think.

Re:Free-ish Speech (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500644)

Do Chinese people enjoy freedom of speech on the Internet in a substantively different way than we do?

Yes, because the Chinese government's definition of "enjoy" is similar to the western world's definition of "suffer".

Re:Free-ish Speech (1)

jethr0211 (996156) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500734)

Complete Freedom of speech... with the minor exception that (from the whitepaper): no organization or individual may produce, duplicate, announce or disseminate information having the following contents: being against the cardinal principles set forth in the Constitution; endangering state security, divulging state secrets, subverting state power and jeopardizing national unification; damaging state honor and interests; instigating ethnic hatred or discrimination and jeopardizing ethnic unity; jeopardizing state religious policy, propagating heretical or superstitious ideas; spreading rumors, disrupting social order and stability; disseminating obscenity, pornography, gambling, violence, brutality and terror or abetting crime; humiliating or slandering others, trespassing on the lawful rights and interests of others; and other contents forbidden by laws and administrative regulations.

Re:Free-ish Speech (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501412)

Did you lift that from the iPhone Developers TOS?

Re:Free-ish Speech (5, Insightful)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500766)

The problem is that criticizing the government is one of the primary reasons to have the notion of "freedom of speech".

Re:Free-ish Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501884)

And by criticizing and freely observing the government we the people obtain an increase of national honor, preservation of national interests, a decrease of the need for subversion and ultimately, a more united country. China, Turkey and so many others just don't get it.

Re:Free-ish Speech (2, Insightful)

danlip (737336) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502232)

but I think the only meaningful difference is that citizens cannot criticise the government -and don't get me wrong, that's a big difference

That's more than just a big difference - there is one and only one truly important aspect of freedom of speech, and that is the right to criticize the government. I'm not saying other things aren't important to talk about, but any other law can be changed as long as you have citizens who care and have the right to criticize the current laws, so that right is what is truly important.

Re:Free-ish Speech (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502328)

Laws and regulations clearly prohibit the spread of information that contains content subverting state power, undermining national unity, [or] infringing upon national honor and interests.

read that carefully. it's subjective enough to cover just about anything. for example, say you start taking about porn ... does that infringe on national honor? perhaps you want to discuss middle eastern politics. does your view go against national interests? maybe.

it sounds like you might be a chinese citizen, so considering your interpretation of that above, i suggest you go try our your new found freedom and see how far you get. please report back to us and let us know.

Re:Free-ish Speech (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32503334)

Do Chinese people enjoy freedom of speech on the Internet in a substantively different way than we do?

Yes. The Chinese government engages in an active propaganda/disinformation campaign in an effort to rewrite history. Search for Tiananmen Square in a mainland Chinese search engine, and you will find lots of info on the place itself, but likely not so much on the violent crackdown in 1989, thanks to the government.

Homer Simpson (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32500486)

"I suffered from a bullying problem in school too, Lisa"

Visualization:

Homer beating up on some kid

Sure China has a 'hacking problem'

Re:Homer Simpson (1)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32506284)

heya,

Well said =).

Also, not to be pedantic or anything, but I believe the original quote is:

Homer: Oh, Lisa, I know how you feel. Did you know that when I was in grade school, I had a bully problem myself?
(whip pan past a screen full of hippie daisies and psychedelic colors to the 1970s where a preteen Homer has a preteen Smithers pinned to a wall of lockers with his fist drawn back)
Teenage Homer (singing): Everybody was (as he's punching Smithers in the stomach): kung-fu-fighting!
(Smithers moans as a preteen Barney Gumble accompanies Homer's singing with a few notes on his recorder)
Teenage Homer (continues singing): Those cats were (as he's punching Smithers in the stomach again): fast-as-lightning!
(Smithers moans again. Homer finishes off his performance by punching the glasses off Smithers' face)
(whip pan to the present)
Homer: (chuckles) Good times.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Simpsons#Bye_Bye_Nerdie_.5B12.16.5D [wikiquote.org]

Cheers,
Victor

Not so much .. (4, Funny)

PIBM (588930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500516)

'China is one of the countries suffering most from hacking.' is quite true: they are bashed a lot for it!

Re:Not so much .. (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500634)

And I'm going to pile on.

The vast majority of port scans in my router logs are from IP addresses in China.

If they insist on filtering what goes into China, they should at least have the consistency to filter what comes out of it.

Re:Not so much .. (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500676)

If they insist on filtering what goes into China, they should at least have the consistency to filter what comes out of it.

They already do - they filter out the truth about what's going on in China.

Re:Not so much .. (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501000)

well played, funny if it wasn't so true.

Re:Not so much .. (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501680)

At home it is one of two countries that gets blacklisted wholesale, China and Russia are the worst offenders.

More ridiculous? (2, Insightful)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500520)

Which is more ridiculous, China's claims in this whitepaper, or the RIAA's claims in the LimeWire suit [slashdot.org] ? I'm leaning towards RIAA. Discuss.

Re:More ridiculous? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500652)

I'm leaning towards RIAA

The RIAA is making a pro-forma claim based on a law they paid to have constructed.

China is making a pro-forma claim based on a law they killed to have constructed.

China FTW.

Re:More ridiculous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32500760)

Actually, I prefer killing to paying. If you have to kill in order to change a law, and paying doesn't work, coercion becomes a LOT harder. Imagine of Disney had to kill to get copyright extensions. They probably wouldn't have gotten those extensions.

Furthermore, [insert ANY national government, including the US] posits its entire justice system on laws they killed to have constructed.

Re:More ridiculous? (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500926)

I beg to differ. When Disney killed off Littlefoot's mother I cried for an entire hour. I don't think I can survive the emotional trauma if they go on a killing spree for each Mickey Mouse extension.

Re:More ridiculous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501124)

Not to be a dick or anything, but the Land Before Time was a Univeral pic, not Disney (and according to wikipedia was produced by Spielberg/Lucas). The curse of having children who really like those movies......

Re:More ridiculous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501220)

Umm, Land Before Time was Universal, not Disney. Disney characters almost never die, they just look dead for long enough to make little kids sad, then they magically come back to life. Notable exceptions being Bambi's mother, Mufasa, and Old Yeller. But if you want to complain about Littlefoot's death, bring it up with Don Bluth, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, three people with a combined death toll easily in the thousands.

Re:More ridiculous? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501326)

bring it up with Don Bluth, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, three people with a combined death toll easily in the thousands.

Don't you mean billions [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:More ridiculous? (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32503440)

Wait, you mean Bambi's mother, don't you?

Re:More ridiculous? (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32503404)

China's claims.

The RIAA's claims, for all their outsized lunacy and frothy-mouthed legalese, are a) plainly ludicrous on their face, and b) finite in size, albeit gigantic.

China's claims are couched in far more reasonable language, but since they lay claim to the free speech rights of over a billion people, I would argue that their claim is smaller in total numbers, but larger in actual impact and value.

I believe Bill Hicks said it best: (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500528)

"You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!"

Rules in China on speach (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32500732)

Laws everywhere are unclear. I think in China the rules are intentionally unclear at a scale not seen in the US.

The most effective sensorship is self sensorship out of fear. The vast majority of sensorship is done at the local management level.

In the US we have Safe Harbor times. No words need to legally be bleeped at midnight, Yet they are anyway.

In the US it is much more clear and limited.
 

Re:Rules in China on speach (1)

endymion.nz (1093595) | more than 4 years ago | (#32503018)

That is a 'watershed' time. Safe harbor means something very different. :)

Okay. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500582)

So they presume their conclusion: that Communism is a good thing and any excess in the defense of it is valid.

The rest of the world disagrees and wishes the government of China would just stop oppressing its people, starting with allowing those people to discuss the oppression.

Re:Okay. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500632)

So they presume their conclusion: that Communism is a good thing and any excess in the defense of it is valid.

Quinn: "I think the great struggle is all made up...the only thing we're struggling against is him."
Debbie: "So wait, you're saying Communism is bad?"
Quinn: "What are you, two years old? Hasn't history proven that Marx's vision of an egalitarian utopia is unattainable, inevitably creating an oligarchy more oppressive to the proletariat than the bourgeoisie it vilifies?"
Stormy: "I have to pee."

Re:Okay. (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501154)

What is that, Sealab?

Re:Okay. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502114)

Hell yeah, it's Sealab:-) Sealab 2021, that is, not the original 2020.

Re:Okay. (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501210)

Communism was just a Red Herring!

Contradictory? (0, Redundant)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500670)

...making contradicting statements like 'Chinese citizens fully enjoy freedom of speech on the Internet'...

How is that statements contradictory? All man has the inalienable right to freedom of speech.

It's another matter whether they still have freedom after speech.

Re:Contradictory? (2, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500878)

The word "freedom" in legal contexts means not only that the government won't try to stop you from doing what you're free to do, but also that the government won't punish you for doing it. That's the standard definition Slashdot, and the rest of the world, has been operating under ever since the idea of freedom became important. No loopholes here.

Re:Contradictory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32500902)

"...making contradicting statements like 'Chinese citizens fully enjoy freedom of speech on the Internet'..."

How is that statements contradictory? All man has the inalienable right to freedom of speech.

Read the summary again. Look at the use of quotation marks and the use of the word "and". Ponder it for a moment.

You might see why you fail comprehension of reading English.

And, 'inalienable' or not, saying that Chinese citizens have any true freedom of speech is utterly false.

Re:Contradictory? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500962)

How is that statements contradictory? All man has the inalienable right to freedom of speech.

It's another matter whether they still have freedom after speech.

There is a delay before many of your comments are published. That delay is to ensure that they are properly censored.

Proud Father (3, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500714)

China has declared the Internet to be 'the crystallization of human wisdom'

Imagine how proud Al Gore must be.

YES, China suffers from hacking! (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500780)

The paper also claims some questionable superlatives such as 'China is one of the countries suffering most from hacking.'

I believe that Chinese, more than in any other countries, are all using Windows, and have a very poor knowledge of computing in general. Nearly all (if not simply all) banking access are windows only, and so are so many other websites. As a consequence, I wouldn't be surprised if the rate of trojaned workstation was a way higher in China, and simply considering the amount of people in this country with internet access could render the above affirmation as correct.

Can you believe what they say? (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500784)

Given China's track record in other areas, can we really believe this document at face value? Perhaps we should view it as what China would like the world to believe, rather than the truth.

Free speech vs. the DMCA (1)

OutSourcingIsTreason (734571) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500816)

Free speech means being able to tell others how to decrypt DRM.

Re:Free speech vs. the DMCA (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501372)

It also means being able to call minorities racial epithets and sharing the knowledge required to build bombs and other destructive devices.

Re:Free speech vs. the DMCA (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501626)

Which I certainly don't see as a problem. Don't get me wrong, I think racism is a horrible, horrible thing, but I think it an equally horrible situation when people can be legally fined or jailed just for saying offensive things - racist or no.

That's the problem with too many groups today. People have no capacity to separate activities which they find DISTASTEFUL, from activities which they believe should be ILLEGAL. To many it's all just one in the same. Growing up in the south, it's basically what I've come to call the the "That ain't raht." philosophy on law. Specifics don't matter - if it "ain't raht" then there "oughta be a law". And like porn, defining what "ain't raht" isn't always within everyone's capacity - they just know it when they see it.

Accept that people WILL be assholes, and for the most part, that's fine. Let them be. We all should be a just a little bit assholish from time to time, because if you aren't offending ANYBODY, then you're just not living. For any of us to be free you have to accept that lots of people are going to be doing things that you really, really don't like.

Re:Free speech vs. the DMCA (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501734)

I don't see it as a problem either. Was just pointing it out as a truth. Free speech != speech that you agree with or speech that the government deems worthy of publication.

Why is the hacking claim questionable? (1)

capo_dei_capi (1794030) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500836)

he paper also claims some questionable superlatives such as 'China is one of the countries suffering most from hacking.'

Considering the substantial number of spectacular hacks that originated from China, and the fact that the Chinese have the second largest (or only soon?) Internet population, I don't see why this claim is questionable.

Questionable conclusion (5, Interesting)

fishexe (168879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500896)

On the positive side, this 31-page document might be offered as an operating guide for businesses, like Google, looking to understand exactly what the law is surrounding the Internet in China. The document is a rare glimpse of transparency in China's regulations. (emphasis added)

Actually, China issues documents like this all the time. They don't normally represent glimpses of transparency because they're in no way binding on the government. That is, you could follow all the substantive recommendations (if there even are any) and still be deemed to have "undermined national unity" or "infringed upon national honor" based on nothing but the PRC's desire to get you.
Thus the first sentence above is apt but the second is questionable. Might this be a glimpse of transparency? Only time will tell. If companies carefully following the guidelines available manage not to run afoul of the PRC government, then the answer will be yes. Otherwise, it's no glimpse of transparency at all, and even muddies the waters a bit more than was already the case.

Rights... (3, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500928)

For those of you who believe that our rights are somehow egregiously eroded in the US, I give you China.

If freedom of speech is prohibited in the US, I haven't seen it.

Re:Rights... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501418)

If freedom of speech is prohibited in the US, I haven't seen it.

If you take the current nominee [wikipedia.org] to SCOTUS at her word [slashdot.org] , it's only free speech if the value of the speech exceeds the "societal cost" of that speech.

Re:Rights... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501554)

If you take the current nominee [wikipedia.org] to SCOTUS at her word [slashdot.org] , it's only free speech if the value of the speech exceeds the "societal cost" of that speech.

I think that's a better standard than the "OK unless it has naughty words or bewbies, or makes baby Jeebus cry" standard some of the opposition would like to apply - remember Ashcroft spending federal funds to cover up the Justice statue?

Re:Rights... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501638)

I think both are dangerous roads to go down.

Re:Rights... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502162)

remember Ashcroft spending federal funds to cover up the Justice statue?

Yes. And what happened to him when people with Photoshop realized he was sensitive to juxtaposition.

Re:Rights... (2, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#32504284)

That's like arguing which shoe sole you'd rather have on the boot that stomps in your face...

Re:Rights... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32505048)

Did you see that nose? Of course she advocates against proper free speech, shes a ***

Re:Rights... (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501516)

For those of you who believe that our rights are somehow egregiously eroded in the US, I give you China.

If freedom of speech is prohibited in the US, I haven't seen it.

Isn't that kind of the point?

Re:Rights... (1, Insightful)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501534)

"Better than the worst" != "Acceptable Transgressions"

War is Peace (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500960)

Freedom of Speach is Censorship

Internet: widespread definition problem (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501008)

I am really sick of people making the internet out to be something it is not. The Internet is a bunch of protocols that facilitates end to end communication to the boundaries of it's network. It's as transparent as indoor plumbing. All it does is connect a user to services, it is not a information super-highway (urgh), an oracle of all human knowledge or a portent of the kurzweilian singularity.

If one want to talk about those things you can talk about the services and their patrons that operate over the internet.

This definition problem is even more pertinent now social media services have become networks unto themselves.

Re:Internet: widespread definition problem (1)

neonKow (1239288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501518)

My car is technically a pile of metal, pastic, cloth, and oil, but it can also be a advanced mobility enchancer. The internet wasn't created to be an information super-highway, but that doesn't mean it's not that and more. You are a fool if you don't think the internet allows massive amounts of information to get around the world.

di9ck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32501066)

least I won't platform for the [amazingkreskin.com] Tired arguments With the lauNdry in eternity...Romeo = 36400 FreeBSD truth, for all

crystallization of human wisdom? (2, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501526)

crystallization of human wisdom???

Man, they've really handed one to the comedians with that one.

Some time ago, I saw a quote from some old sage to the effect that libraries contain the summary of all human wisdom -- and much of its foolishness. It occurs to me that the same situation has developed on the Internet, but several orders of magnitude greater. Of course, since the Internet took off, the sum total of human wisdom probably hasn't grown all that much. So we should conclude that that, while the Internet may now contain a summary of all human wisdom, that summary is buried deeply in many orders of magnitude more foolishness.

But consider what was predicted for television back in its early days, and what it developed into, I suppose this should have been expected for the Internet, too. The main difference here is that with television, the concentration of control into a corporate heirarchy was able to effectively eject most of the wisdom stuff, since that has never been as profitable as foolishness. This never worked with libraries, because they couldn't be organized into a controlled heirarchy. The Internet is even more impossible to control, since any person or small group able to set up a few links (wired or wireless) can establish their own small Internet playground outside the control of anyone. This allows for the aggregation of wisdom by the small crowds interested in such arcanae. It also allows the aggregation of anything else by other crowds interested in them.

But anyway, we should make sure the phrase "crystallization of human wisdom" reaches the attention of all the comedians we can send it to. It has a great potential, especially coming from a Chinese government committee.

Re:crystallization of human wisdom? (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502418)

crystallization of human wisdom???

to be fair, that's a translation.

Re:crystallization of human wisdom? (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502620)

crystallization of human wisdom???

Of course, since the Internet took off, the sum total of human wisdom probably hasn't grown all that much.

After crystallization, is the next phase "fossilization?"

Re:crystallization of human wisdom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32505512)

No, it's polishing the crystals into jewels and selling them.

That's why we need net neutrality. Oh... wait...

Crystallization of human wisdom... (1)

boundary (1226600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501666)

If, as the paper claims, the Internet is the 'crystallization of human wisdom', then my recent purchase of a controlling interest in the world's leading cat photography company means I can retire early.

Once again, "Burn Notice" is a fountain of wisdom (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501860)

"Spend time with corrupt, homicidal political figures, and you'll hear a lot of self-pity. What kind of man throws political enemies in prison, and tortures them to death? Usually it's a guy who feels so sorry for himself, he feels justified doing anything. Killers, by and large, are whiny losers. But that doesn't make them any less dangerous."

-- Michael Westen

From my 2nd hand observations (1)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502052)

An old school friend of mine is in China teaching at a university (important to note he is not a tramp around the world teaching english type, he is a Historian) He writes a blog also and often notes that he must use many different ways to publish works or even post to facebook/twitter/otr social media. He does not really write on current Chinese events but at most makes comparisons between history and modern events without condemning current policies. I see their censorship as fact and the clear contradictions as a cultural norm on this planet distinct only though differences of language but common every where when dealing with government and business alike.

Utter nonsense (1)

clustro (1811836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502180)

This paper is nothing but an oozing mass of doublethink.

"While absorbing good experiences of other countries in developing and controlling the Internet, China is prepared to work with them for the further progress of the Internet."

How can you expect progress if your goal is to CONTROL THE FUCKING THING?!

Well there you go... (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502226)

China has declared the Internet to be 'the crystallization of human wisdom'

So the Chinese Government finally admits that they are officially acting on behalf of and protecting their general population from wisdom. Heaven knows that the Chinese Government is the defacto expert on that very subject, and are no doubt the most practised in the art of 'head in the sand policy' of any society.

depends what you call hacking (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502278)

China is one of the countries suffering most from hacking.

This is probably true in one sense, because I am sure they count any attempt to circumvent the government firewall as hacking, so they have a lot of hacking.

flag@whitehouse.gov (2, Insightful)

AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502916)

They say the same stuff to us. While that whole health care thing really didn't shut down the internet, it did scare people and was quite the bunch of bullshit.

We're also told we have a free media, but this administration and the previous administration have both thrown reporters in jail. Of course all of this Net Neutrality talk is a bunch of bullshit too.

Print view? PDF version? (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32504502)

Talk about oppressive, did they HAVE to split it up in to eight pages?

they're close (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32504680)

the internet is actually the crystal meth of human wisdom

They got one thing right though (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32505056)

'the crystallization of human wisdom'

with all its goods and bads, it indeed exactly is as described. its very important.

Kim Jong Il's logical approach (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32505608)

I can tell who the Chinese government hired to draft that statement for them.

And (1)

mahadiga (1346169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32506238)

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -- Leo Tolstoy

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