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Kindle Allowing Chinese Unfettered Access To Web

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the not-for-long dept.

Books 138

jcl-xen0n writes "Apparently, some Chinese Kindle owners have discovered that they are able to access banned sites such as Twitter and Facebook without a problem. The article speculates that Amazon may be operating a local equivalent to Amazon Whispernet with a Chinese 3G provider. Professor Lawrence Yeung Kwan, of the University of Hong Kong's electrical and electronic engineering department, told the paper that mainland internet patrols might have overlooked the gadget (perhaps because they consider it solely a tool to purchase books). How long before Kindle traffic is locked down?"

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138 comments

1st chinese post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34097940)

chink comes first

Re:1st chinese post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098246)

The chinks have a shitty government. Message Understood Loud and Clear. How many iterations of this one principle do we need?

Oh wait, the Chinese Government is shitty because it does X. A few days later, they're shitty because they do Y. A week after that, because they do Z. Okay, okay, I get it. I don't need the same thing explained to me several times over.

Now that everyone is talking about it... (5, Insightful)

javelinco (652113) | more than 3 years ago | (#34097946)

I'd guess it won't be long. Is there any reason that people needed to publish this information? Is this stuff that people "must know" - to the point where it's worth getting it shut down? This seems pretty dumb to me.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34097986)

The Chinese government isn't too web savy. They've quoted The Onion in the past as a news source. They probably think Slashdot has typing tutorials.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34097988)

Do you have sources/proof of that? I would love to know :)

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098034)

Seems kinda hypocritical that someone who reads /. would shut down a means to freely access information. Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised it was shut down tomorrow..

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

jcl-xen0n (1926472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098142)

If it's made it into a mainstream Australian paper (that's half cobbled together from wire sources) then it's fair to say it's already well known....

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098150)

In Soviet Russia, Kindle reads YOU!

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (2, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099062)

In Soviet Russia Bezos deletes you.
In State Capitalist China Kindle reports you.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (4, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098076)

Here's a Wired article [wired.com] talking about the mistake. That said, suggesting that a government with an (apparently) moderately effective web filter "isn't too web savy" on the basis of a newspaper's screw up 8 years ago might be taking things a little far.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098090)

The fact that they aren't familiar with English language satire doesn't say much about their web savvy. I'm sure their comprehension of Chinese language websites is good enough to pick up on this news..

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098858)

I guess that by the standards of openness and freedom set by the Chinese government, The Kindle looks relatively open and free from restriction. I guess there had to be something which fit that criterion :D

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098186)

Never mistake an employee doing the old copy-and-paste with incompetence. In addition, Chinese have difficulty understanding sarcasm as a cultural issue. Go ahead and laugh at their lack of "savy" (sic) though. I'm sure the racism would be approved.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098944)

Do you really think there's nobody reading the web in China? Think twice. Few DAYS after the news about Opera Mini having the same "issue" being posted on slashdot, its proxy has been blocked, and Opera had to make a new version taking the Great Firewall of China into account. Would you mind giving your source that proves the government is that stupid, as is asking the person just right next to my post?

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099498)

The Chinese government isn't too web savy.

What planet are you living on? The Chinese government understands the web, its power and potential, better than any other entity in the world. They also understand how to control it.

Whatever fubs the PR department engage in, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is Orwellian in its efficiency, and you can expect this hole to be plugged by the end of the week at the latest.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

Jason_D_Berg (745832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098054)

I'd guess it won't be long. Is there any reason that people needed to publish this information? Is this stuff that people "must know" - to the point where it's worth getting it shut down? This seems pretty dumb to me.

Anybody savvy enough to buy a Kindle just to get to Twitter is probably also savvy enough to use Tor or Freegate in order to access it as well. This was a loophole, but not a significant one.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098260)

Stop f$&%ing saying "savvy". You're driving me nuts.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098630)

You've some interesting issues with words, friend.

Fortunately, professional help is available for this sort of thing.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098070)

If only there was a site with news for nerds that could break it.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098100)

Since when is anything ever hidden on the web? Someone's big mouth is gonna open at some point. It's not like this kind of 'discovery' is protected to the same extent as say, an iOS jailbreak exploit. We're talking about widely available functionality on a widely spread mainstream device, in a country with 10 digit population.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (2, Funny)

contra_mundi (1362297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098146)

Wait. So we would should censor ourselves about how they could get around their censorship?

I think the room is spinning.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099130)

No, we should discuss their censorship.
But the discussion should be encrypted.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (0, Troll)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098178)

Tor still exists, Slashdot didn't ruin the interwebs in China. Keep posting on stories you don't understand.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098298)

Tor still exists, Slashdot didn't ruin the interwebs in China. Keep posting on stories you don't understand.

I'm not so sure how secure Tor would be against a state government large and powerful enough to monitor large portions of the Internet at once. Its real-time nature leaves it open to timing attacks among other things like compromised (primarily exit) nodes.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098950)

Tor is simply blocked if you don't have a specific entry node. So it's not really working well...

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099326)

Tor generates fake throw-away traffic fro exactly this reason. As long as you only look at text, you should be fine. Especially if you use 5 layers or more.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098232)

Y'know, I pointed this out in one of the last secret things that got discussed, and my karma went straight through the floor.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

Grapplebeam (1892878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098240)

Though your point makes sense, I'm fairly sure Slashdot is banned in China. It will take a little longer for them to catch this as people resubmit the information elsewhere.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098328)

Actually, I'm seeing and writing this from China, while having twitter and facebook showing a great 404 on the next tabs...

--R

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (2, Insightful)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098680)

I have a feeling the people who decide what will be banned in china will only decide what is banned for OTHER Chinese people. They will have all the "Free Tibet" sites available for themselves.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098296)

You, and quite a few other people, seem to think that only /. is publicizing this. Exactly how often does /. post exclusives or act in any way other than as a news aggregation website?

Also, imagine if only 50 people knew about this. It spread slowly through word of mouth and *eventually* the government shuts it down after, I dunno, 50,000 people learn about it and use it for 3-4 months. They complain, but what can they do? Other than go to jail for dissension.

Now, how about if it's published everywhere and a million people find out about it at once? A million, two million, three, whatever millions of people find out about it because it's so widespread and the Chinese government shuts it down in a week. Three million people cry out in protest. Could something positive happen? Possibly.

The idea that we should hide the news so the government can't find out about it is ridiculous. It just means that when they *do* find out, very few people will be affected leading to a feeling of "no one cares". We should publicize it as much as we can so that, when the shit hits the fan, at least someone out there's got your back.

If you're scheduling an event, you want as many people as you want with you. You don't try to hide it and show up with 20 people. You scream it from the rooftops and end up with a million.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099394)

If you're scheduling an event, you want as many people as you want with you. You don't try to hide it and show up with 20 people. You scream it from the rooftops and end up with a million.

Or you have unions, Opera, and the Huffington Post bus people in...

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099428)

Now, how about if it's published everywhere and a million people find out about it at once?

A million Chinese have Kindles? Anyway, if Chinese people want to circumvent the Great Firewall, there are plenty of ways they can do so using various proxies and normal PCs.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (2, Informative)

Homburg (213427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098306)

The report linked to here is based on an article in the South China Morning Post - I think it's a fair bet that if a Hong Kong newspaper knows, the Chinese government also knows.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098344)

Is there any reason that people needed to publish this information?

That guy is a professor, publish or perish, got it?

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098354)

By the time the story hits the old Slashdot, the PLA great wall team has already siezed all the kindles in the country, rounded up the users of these devices for re-education, rounded up the retailers for re-education, banned further sale of the devices, and the government has started a reverse-engineering program to create a similar device for the home market, but with full green-dam protection, and of course, complete respect and obedience to the great firewall.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098754)

This is definitely one of those situations where reporting is irresponsible. It is a certainty that the Kindle users in China will suffer or Amazon.com will suffer or both by putting this news out in this way.

It would have been better to collect the facts about the story and wait until the actual or eventual closing of that hole before reporting on it. There would still be a story and it wouldn't be a direct contributor to the problem which this story is actually about. I think whoever put that out should be ashamed. While it's possibly true that no one will be killed over this, it is quite possible that people may be jailed over this if it is suspected that any people involved did this intentionally to circumvent China's censor filters.

It would do no good to complain to the Australian news paper... run a Google on the headline and you will see it's pretty much everywhere... at the bottom of the article, you will see AFP. We may never know who the jackass was who put this story out.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (2, Insightful)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099194)

Some holes aren't to be closed. Foreign simcards roaming to an uncensored Internet is not a new thing. Neither are VPN services. With the exception of some politically funded organizations who offered these services for free, these routes have _never_ been blocked. (I've been using them in China since 1997.)

The idea of censorship is not to restrict information from everybody. It's to prevent the masses from rebelling against the government. Those are two very different objectives.

The government wants to prevent bad news in Chinese from spreading like wildfire and upsetting a billion people. But they don't care about a few million relatively educated people with money to spend to bypass the GFW. It's the same group of people who can afford to travel abroad, etc. Why bother restricting them.

Re:Now that everyone is talking about it... (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099292)

Agreed - too many times reporters confuse "the public has a right to know" with "look at me! I'm such a good reporter I found out something no one else knew!"

I imagine unfettered access will be gone as early as the end of the week - anyone want to bet that a Chinese embassy worker or their children here in the US won't notice this story?

This will be past-tense ASAP!

duh! (4, Insightful)

Lopton (990061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34097958)

so lets blow their chance at accessing the internet freely by advertising it on every site known to man

Re:duh! (1)

Musically_ut (1054312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34097984)

so lets blow their chance at accessing the internet freely by advertising it on every site known to man

You too are in a way advertising it. (And me.) (And the next guy) ...

Re:duh! (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098688)

Somehow this made me think of:
Brian: "You are all individuals"
Audience chants: "We are all individuals"
One man says: "No I'm not!"

Re:duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098560)

Go ahead, see if they care.

The main reason the firewall works is because it has a big support among the population. A lot of people think that it is necessary to protect the youth from malicious content.
It is more or less the same situation as the war agains terrorism in U.S. All you have to do is say "Think of the children!" and you get the support you need from a majority of the population.

Re:duh! (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099168)

The UK and many European countries have their own national firewalls too, built on very similar technology - they allow the managing organisations to not only block any website they want, but to even return a false 404 message to make it appear to be a technical problem rather than deliberate filtering. The excuse for this is, of course, that it's the only way to block child porn. Naturally, there is no accountability at all, because the list of blocked addresses contains child porn sites and thus may never be made public.

Not long (2, Interesting)

Gregg Alan (8487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34097974)

It's almost too bad this information has been released. On the plus side there could be many people that could grab some information, now that it's public, before it gets blocked. On the other hand, if they don't already know about this workaround they might not ever find out since the normal access to the internet is censored.

Giving myself a headache I am!

Re:Not long (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098312)

It's almost too bad this information has been released. On the plus side there could be many people that could grab some information, now that it's public, before it gets blocked. On the other hand, if they don't already know about this workaround they might not ever find out since the normal access to the internet is censored.

Censorship is the least of their problems. Information that is blocked because it is censored can also have attempts to access it logged. That's more than feasible with such a powerful state. Then those who attempt to access it can be located, interrogated, "re-educated", "disappeared", etc. A message stating "this has been blocked" or an artificial error accessing a perfectly functional site is pretty damned tame by comparison to what could happen.

In other news from China (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34097980)

China has discovered that some kindle-owners had accessed forbidden sites. They have kindlied been dealt with. China is safe once again.

Depends.. (1)

sosaited (1925622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34097992)

How long before Kindle traffic is locked down?

Well that depends on how much popular Slashdot is among Chinese officials, but not very long I suppose. Maybe a new saying will get popularized there: They were slashdotted before they could enjoy their freedom

Please self censor.... (1)

ChapterS (666029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098010)

Censorship of the few (and uninvolved) for the good of the many.
just kill this story here, ok?

No time at all (2, Insightful)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098012)

Now that you mentioned it here, it probably won't take long at all.

Re:No time at all (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098040)

It's not like anyone at amazon reads slashdot.....

Re:No time at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098104)

No, but the great firewall of China logs many hits here, and a URL like Kindle-Allowing-Chinese-Unfettered-Access-To-Web is bound to catch someone's attention

Re:No time at all (3, Funny)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098268)

and a URL like Kindle-Allowing-Chinese-Unfettered-Access-To-Web is bound to catch someone's attention

I am eager to see their translation of "unfettered". Maybe they'll just think it means "not for feet" or something, and that the kindle just lets people use the web while laying on a sofa. That should be okay with them, right?

Not long at all (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098038)

It will happen like this:

Chinese Government: If you want to do business in our country, you need to prevent people from accessing certain websites on their Kindles
Amazon: Oh, yes, that is already a feature, we just have not used it yet. Are there any books that we should delete from Kindles in China?

Re:Not long at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099148)

why can't the REST OF THE WORLD (with few exceptions, such as cuba, iran, DPRK) tell china: "if you want to do business with US, you WILL have free speech, a free press and you WILL open up the great firewall".

Re:Not long at all (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099288)

Because China will reply, "We refuse. Either do business with us and make billions of dollars, or don't and face the wrath of your shareholders."

Re:Not long at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099306)

We've already had this discussion; the fact is, China needs the world more than the world needs China. Manufacturing would just be moved to Singapore, India, or any other developing country where taxes are lax and labor is cheap.

ineffective (1)

resfilter (960880) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098060)

i find it hilarious that slashdot documents all these major breaches of the firewall, and subsequent "ha ha china has a stupid oppressive government, praise capitalism" type comments, but is not blocked by the firewall itself.

Somewhat relatively (1)

contra_mundi (1362297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098084)

Will USA soon have a Great Firewall of its own?

http://demandprogress.org/blacklist/ [demandprogress.org]

Re:Somewhat relatively (0, Troll)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098436)

Will USA soon have a Great Firewall of its own?

http://demandprogress.org/blacklist/ [demandprogress.org]

It already does. It's called the DMCA. Why firewall something, which requires enormous support and resources amongst the ISPs, when you can leverage bullshit copyright laws and corrupt, vile, organizations like the RIAA and simply delude the companies hosting objectionable content without due process?

Censorship exists now.

Re:ineffective (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098110)

My understanding is that China doesn't care about English language websites. For example, only Chinese language search results are censored by Google.

Re:ineffective (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098208)

Isn't that . . . odd? I mean, don't virtually all of their schools teach English at some level?

Seems like a big hole in their censorship plan.

Re:ineffective (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098398)

It could be a nationalistic type thing. They look down on westerners and don't take non-chinese content seriously.

Re:ineffective (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098464)

Yes a lot of schools teach some English, but aside from the middle-to-upper class youth in the big cities, nobody will actually use it. When was the last time you Googled in French to find out what the french media write about your own country? It's just not something you do that quickly. And if you did, how far did 2 years of french class really get you when it comes to reading political articles?

Chinese material simply spreads much, much faster and hence gets most of the censors attention.

Re:ineffective (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098982)

I regret to say that your understanding is wrong. China blocks a lot more than only content in Chinese.

By the way, the current situation is that when you do some "politically incorrect" queries on Google, you got flagged to have the full of Google HK blocked all together. Otherwise, you can search whatever you want, since Google HK isn't blocked at all (until you search for the wrong things). No need to tell here what's wrong to search, you guys all know and it has been discussed many times.

Re:ineffective (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099276)

Am I wrong about English language Google searches not being blocked in China? I didn't mean to say that they don't block any English language content, just that it isn't a high priority and much of it does remain unfiltered.

Re:ineffective (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098210)

The purpose of China's Golden Shield (what you are incorrectly calling a firewall) is not to keep Chinese people in. It is to keep foreigners OUT. Just wait for the first big net-war. China will shut the world off and go on its merry way. Its citizens will be able to conduct banking, buy from taobao, email each other, etc. Export business will be affected, true, but that is becoming less and less important as China develops its internal markets. The golden days of exporting are over, finished, done. The rest of us hairy, freakish barbarians will be sitting at home, angry because we can't post our feelings on twitter, and discovering all the wonderful ways that life doesn't work without the internet.

Re:ineffective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098292)

I'm sorry, are you high?

Re:ineffective (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098450)

LOL. Tiny detail though: it's American Cisco staff in the US of A which still does all the maintenance. I know first hand they have full access, including to the block lists, filters, etc.

Re:ineffective (1)

mrogers (85392) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099280)

Please consider uploading some information about Cisco's involvement to WikiLeaks (or any other site that you trust to preserve your anonymity).

Pressuring American companies to end their involvement in internet censorship would be more effective in the long term than a 40ft shipping container full of Kindles, and would help to undermine some of the "USA good, China evil" hypocrisy surrounding this issue.

catch 22 (1)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098164)

It's a catch 22. How else are people going to learn about it if nobody talks about it and if people talk about it it's gonna get yanked. Wow. I read that sentence and realized how depressingly accurately it describes truth in American politics.

I for one... (4, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098194)

am glad this professor was so kind as to point out this loophole to the communist rulers. Had he not mentioned the *loophole*, it may have been months, years, or even DECADES before communications of the unfiltered kind could've been shutdown with the outside world!

Howz about now-ish... (1)

nickdwaters (1452675) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098222)

"How long before Kindle traffic is locked down?" Naturally, reporting it really helped the Chinese people. Fair and balanced. Alive but in a prison camp.

"How long before Kindle traffic is locked down?" (1)

Spaham (634471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098250)

"How long before Kindle traffic is locked down?"

Done.

Works for Droid too (5, Interesting)

kefler (938387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098320)

Was just in China last week. Own a CDMA Droid 1, which was on international roaming (1x speed). I noticed I could access facebook, so I tried a few other things. Long story short, I was able to access the wikipedia article on Tienamen square while IN tienamen square. Well, briefly then I put the phone away and got out of sight.

Re:Works for Droid too (5, Informative)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098488)

Like I said in my other post. Anyone using any device with a non-Chinese simcard has full Internet access.

You don't have to put your phone out of sight - it's fully legal as long as you do not share your device or the content retrieved with a Chinese national.

Slashdot... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098338)

YOU! Are a BLAAAAAABBERMOUTH! A Blab-ber-mouuuth! You - BLABBERMOUTH!!1!

The advent of new technology (1)

alysacooks (1933214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098362)

This was meant to be, as with the advent and the use of better technology and gadgets the security or the arrangements needs to be beefed up to have some good benefits or stop them from accessing the sites banned in China for the people there. The technology has been moving ahead at such a rate that by the time the people get accustomed and used to one the new one on the block might have already been waiting for them. designer girls shoes [alexandalexa.com]

Not so hypothetical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098390)

So should Australians consider purchasing Kindles in the near future?

This has been possible for years (5, Informative)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098424)

This has nothing to do with the kindle and everything with foreign simcards.

Foreign simcards have always been able to access the uncensored Internet in China, simply due to how roaming works. (Likewise a Chinese simcard in a western country will still find the Internet in it's censored form.) European pre-paid simcards have been traded in China for years now.

Of course an article about a 'belgian simcard' isn't nearly as internesting as the Kindle or i-Anything, but this is non-news nontheless.

Anyone who cares about free access... (4, Interesting)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098452)

Anyone who cares about free access to the Internet has some method around the Great Firewall. VPN services are even advertised quite freely in China for foreigners over there (maybe because the officials can't read them). Anyways, despite what many westerners would expect, the Chinese themselves often support the government's general ability to block access to websites. Much like in America, these things are framed as actions taken for the good of the nation, and just like the Americans, the majority will accept that. I had a discussion about this when I was in China, and I was the only one who disagreed with the firewall. Nobody really seemed to miss anything, and they asked me which sites are blocked. I rattled off a few like YouTube and Blogger, but they hadn't heard of them. For video sites, they use Youku and Tudou. For blogs and the like, QQ's services are popular. Perhaps the only exception to any of this is that some younger people like to get around the firewall so they can use Facebook as well (FB is blocked in China), but the Chinese have their own social networking site that is more popular there (RenRen). China is a whole different animal.

Re:Anyone who cares about free access... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098910)

I made the same experience while living in China. Most people don't care about not being able to read about Tienanmen or Falungong or what ever. They DO get pissed if things get blocked they like like Youtube or Facebook, but generally "it's good for the nation to protect Chinese from biased western influence".

Fun fact: I'm from Germany and nobody ever complained here not being able to google for right-wing websites like Stormfront*, etc and many people do support the upcoming child-porn firewall which is not really much different from the Chinese version.

* "Aus Rechtsgründen hat Google 3 Ergebnis(se) von dieser Seite entfernt. Weitere Informationen über diese Rechtsgründe finden Sie unter ChillingEffects.org."
    ~"For legal reasons, Google removed 3 result(s) from this page. For more information on these legal reasons, see ChillingEffects.org."

Re:Anyone who cares about free access... (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099024)

I wonder how much of this was a concern for your motives in questioning them, Chinese outside of China certainly have a problem with words they post on blogs being changed as they post them. I'd guess its very similar inside, but the desire to express their plans for a new revolution to people they haven't really met before will be somewhat less.

Re:Anyone who cares about free access... (1, Insightful)

tsj5j (1159013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099200)

For people who find the Chinese people accepting censorship hard to imagine, just picture the numerous Americans who still think the Patriot Act exists to protect them.

America's on it's "Road to China", albeit in the name of terrorism, copyright and "protecting the children".

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098600)

The government and internal security forces of the Peoples' Republic of China wish to thank all of you for your help. Much appreciated.

How long before Kindle traffic is locked down? (1)

crusher-1 (302790) | more than 3 years ago | (#34098652)

I don't know... how long would it take to write new filter rules and reconfigure a few handfuls of firewalls? Probably about the same time it took to post this article!!!!

They have their own Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34098898)

Would any of you Americans complain or even care if the US gov. blocked Chinas most popular social networking site through the Great Iron Curtain Firewall? Didn't think so... China has more than 1.3 BILLION citizens. They manage.

Some people can't STFU (0)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099018)

> How long before Kindle traffic is locked down?

Thanks to OP, not long. I really don't see the need to publicise underground information like this given they know it will lead to it being shutdown. OP is basically daring the Chinese authorities to do just that. And so I award him the Jeff Young Award for Stupidity on Slashdot.

Yes; Demonstrating Stupidity ahead of his time, jryoung@gmail.com posted this story telling all any sundry where you could get free textbooks on the net. Within days of his post the site was shutdown. What exactly did he think would happen? Cookies and Candy and a Party in the Street? http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/07/01/1838205 [slashdot.org] http://www.jeffyoung.net/ [jeffyoung.net]

Sadly in this case the price isn't textbooks but a peoples' freedom. Well done, Sir!

Known known (1)

surveyork (1505897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099166)

This should have remained an unknown unknown by the world and the Chinese authorities. Now it's become a known known for them. Or something like that. My head hurts. Good bye, free access through Kindle. We barely knew ye.

Not long at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099366)

Well now that some genius reported it in slashdot, I'd say not very long before they put the lid on it.

Facepalm

Almost as much as reporting the bittorrent app that slipped through onto the applestore.

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