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What Can't You Say On China's Social Networks?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-even-go-there-nu-pengyou dept.

China 130

An anonymous reader writes "China's 450 million Internet users have taken to social networks in a big way. But these social networking sites, founded on the promise of free expression, have an uneasy existence under an authoritarian regime that punishes certain kinds of expression. This article from IEEE Spectrum tells the story of Sina Weibo, the white-hot social networking phenomenon that has taken over China in the past few years. Citizens have used the microblogging service to protest and rebel — but the Chinese government is getting more sophisticated in its handling of these online grumblings. Side note: an English-language version of Sina Weibo is reportedly on the way. Wonder if it will take off in the US?"

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What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (5, Insightful)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397602)

United States's 200 million Internet users have taken to internets in a big way. But these internets, founded on the promise of free expression, have an uneasy existence under an authoritarian regime that punishes certain kinds of expression. This comment tells the story of the series of tubes, the hot social networking phenomenon that has taken over the world in the past few years. Citizens have used the internets to protest, to rebel and to share knowledge — but the US government is getting more sophisticated in its handling of these online grumblings.

Not allowed is, for example:
- Online gambling
- "Obscene" or violent porn, even if only acted
- Ordering cheaper medical drugs from other countries
- Ordering pot or drugs
- Sharing knowledge if it's copyrighted
- Sharing entertainment if it's copyrighted
- Revealing wrongdoing within US government (Wikileaks)
- Posting knowledge of how to make bombs or certain other technical information
- Implementing your application or website in a certain way if it's software patented
- Anything else that hurts the business of Big Money Intangible Industries (Pharma, RIAA, MPAA, BSA)

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397656)

mod parent up
exactly right

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397662)

You know the main difference between Freedom of Speech and Totalitarian Censorship? If you put up blog post saying "I hate Obama, I wish he was dead!", you get nothing in the US. If you put up a blog post saying "I'm fed up with communism, let's move to something else! Oh yeah, and the Politburo should just up and die!", men in a black Volga will visit you sooner than you can say "Who's that knocking on the door so late at night?".

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397694)

If you put up blog post saying "I hate Obama, I wish he was dead!", you get nothing in the US.

You'd get a visit from the secret service.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397798)

Then why aren't the Teabaggers from Facebook being arrested in droves?

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398742)

I said visit, not that you'd get arrested. I remember a few stories of blog posts that led to the SS showing up and asking a few questions. Yes, I'm too lazy to look them up.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36400928)

"Visit from" is not the same as "arrested by". See the difference? Look closely, the letters are not the same, get it now?

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36399344)

I'm not too sure about that, but if you say "I hate Obama, I'm gonna kill him!" you will definitely get a visit.

Posting anon for obvious reasons

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (4, Insightful)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397732)

If you put up a blog post saying "I'm fed up with communism, let's move to something else! Oh yeah, and the Politburo should just up and die!", men in a black Volga will visit you sooner than you can say "Who's that knocking on the door so late at night?".

And that is exactly why you should fight the removal of every little freedom, unless of course you want to finally end up like that. Playing the ''its much worse elsewhere so its OK for them to screw us over a little bit more each day'' card wont fly unless you are fine with the idea that people in the West are already arrested and jailed for the transfer of information.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397844)

Oh please, there's no such thing as a 'slippery slope'. Not since the Constitution of the US. and the Declaration of Independence established your right to rebel should your government lose track of its objectives. The slope continues as long as you let it continue.
Besides, at least 50% of GP's examples are rightfully illegal: would you like to take your chances with poisoned Tylenol [wikipedia.org] you ordered from a Korean online pharmacy?

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (2)

funkatron (912521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397944)

Oh please, there's no such thing as a 'slippery slope'. Not since the Constitution of the US. and the Declaration of Independence established your right to rebel should your government lose track of its objectives. The slope continues as long as you let it continue.

You do know that the constitution can be amended? And that some pretty stupid stuff [wikimedia.org] has been amended onto it before now. I know it's unlikely but it's not impossible for your rights to be removed.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (2)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397974)

would you like to take your chances with poisoned Tylenol [wikipedia.org] you ordered from a Korean online pharmacy?

No, but I would fight to retain the right to make that choice for myself.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (3, Insightful)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397978)

Oh please, there's no such thing as a 'slippery slope'. Not since the Constitution of the US. and the Declaration of Independence established your right to rebel should your government lose track of its objectives.

So why don't I see anyone rebel when the TSA get more and more rights? When FBI can search people's homes and tap their phones without a warrant? When they introduce something like "precrime prolonged detention"? It does not matter what rights you have if you're too stupid/lazy/indifferent/scared to use them. There are no protesters in the streets, no one throws bricks at the cops and every time the government comes up with such bright ideas I hear the crowd repeat after them : "You don't have to be afraid of anything as long as you don't break the law". Boiling frogs [wikipedia.org]

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398158)

Is your own complacency the government's fault, then? Is it your fault that the frog won't notice the gradual change? If you want to blame someone, blame yourselves!

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398270)

anyone

I think the We Won't Fly members will take offense on that.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398358)

You want to see protests? Look at Egypt or Libya - that's what you do when your government forgets whom they should serve

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36402002)

Unfortunately, the majority of the people are sheeple so you can't really expect them to protest until you get something along the lines of Nazi Germany....

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36402496)

This is America, buddy. The only thing we get worked up about enough to actually get off of our asses for is when Starbucks raises the price of a nonfat mochaccinolatte with soy milk.

As a culture, we've become both incredibly lazy and willfully ignorant. Not all of us, and obviously nobody feels that THEY are one of the idiots, but as a whole we're a long way from taking to the streets and rolling cop cars yet, and that's reflected in all of the laws we've seen fly through the legislature regarding the erosion of personal liberties and property ownership. Governments that fear the people don't do shit like this.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398404)

If you don't like it, you are free to complain. And write blog posts. And vote for someone who also objects. And you can even run for parliament.

The thing is, most people are somewhat apathetic about this issue. I guess every system sucks compared to the one where you are the dictator.

Now, there are things that could be done to reform democracy. Preferential run-off voting (which encourages voting for minor parties) and compulsory voting (which forces people who aren't crusted-on ideologues from voting); but these are mostly incremental reforms.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398020)

You might be taking your chances as well by ordering from "legal" sources in US.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/08/arsenic-chicken_n_873299.html

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398126)

Yeah, because dirt foreign drugs are all going to be poisoned, am I right? It should only be the big corporations allowed to exploit free trade to save money, not good little consumers. Besides, based on your wikipedia link, buying Tylenol in Chicago should be outlawed, not Korea.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398174)

would you like to take your chances with poisoned Tylenol [wikipedia.org] you ordered from a Korean online pharmacy?

Oh nice sideways slur - those poisonings were in 1982, they were the work of one crazy guy who made the switch in drugstores. That is why you now have sealed packaging on everything. Trying to equate it with manufacturing is a complete red herring. Unless you didn't read the Wikipedia article you've linked to.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36399924)

Oh please, there's no such thing as a 'slippery slope'. Not since the Constitution of the US. and the Declaration of Independence established your right to rebel should your government lose track of its objectives.

And in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China:

Article 2. All power in the People's Republic of China belongs to the people.

Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.

Article 37. The freedom of person of citizens of the People's Republic of China is inviolable. No citizen may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of a people's procuratorate or by decision of a people's court, and arrests must be made by a public security organ. [...]

Whatever rights established in the constitution are irrelevant if you can't actually use it.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36401512)

Oh please, there's no such thing as a 'slippery slope'. Not since the Constitution of the US. and the Declaration of Independence established your right to rebel should your government lose track of its objectives.

Yes, and this right to rebel was firmly upheld when the South rebelled and became the Confederate States of America, which still exists today.

The Constitution, it just works.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397836)

If you write "I hate Obama, I wish he was dead" that will be seen as a death threath and you definitely will attract the interest of the security services and are in for some unpleasant time.

Some recent examples of things written on the internet that resulted in a secret service visit:

http://straightfromthea.com/2010/03/22/blogger-under-investigagtion-after-twitter-threats-to-barack-obama/ [straightfromthea.com]
http://www.breitbart.tv/secret-service-interrogates-7th-grader/ [breitbart.tv]

Just try it if you don't believe me....

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397870)

I would, but I'm not a US resident, so I probably wouldn't show up on their radar.

I don't know what the 7th grader wrote, but that tweet could certainly count as a death threat. These were two isolated incidents. Like I said before, wake me when the Teabaggers calling Obama the Ante-Christ are being arrested in droves...

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398024)

Ante-christ? So if Jesus is coming soon, that would make Obama the pre-cum?

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36399526)

I would, but I'm not a US resident, so I probably wouldn't show up on their radar.

Don't be so sure [metro.co.uk] .

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397884)

I hate double-replying, but forgot to say this:
Call me when the police are doing the arresting. The Secret Service is paid to be clinically paranoid, so the leaders don't have to be. Hell, in the Hungarian Foreign Office, they tap your cell phone calls and interject into an active call! Yet I'm not up in arms about surveillance, I know it's a necessary evil.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398070)

it's a necessary evil

I strongly beg to differ

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397910)

And a few years ago saying the same thing could land you to Guantanamo without a trial.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398068)

You know the main difference between Freedom of Speech and Totalitarian Censorship? If you put up blog post saying "I hate Obama, I wish he was dead!", you get nothing in the US. If you put up a blog post saying "I'm fed up with communism, let's move to something else! Oh yeah, and the Politburo should just up and die!", men in a black Volga will visit you sooner than you can say "Who's that knocking on the door so late at night?".

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20063954-71.html or interrogated by Secret Service.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

Zorpheus (857617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398196)

"I wish he was dead" might be seen as incitement to murder in some Western countries, which would get you into jail.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398330)

“Fascism is, shut your mouth; Democracy is, talk all you want..."

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398600)

If you put up blog post saying "I hate Obama, I wish he was dead!", you get nothing in the US.

I'm not so sure about that. If that is all you said, perhaps nothing. Context of the thread will be visited and I'm sure your name will be typed into a computer somewhere. ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threatening_the_President_of_the_United_States

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398622)

Your US blog post is an punishable by five years in prison [wikipedia.org] or perhaps even more [foxnews.com]

You'll probably get away with this case as you need to post it "willfully" but I'd be more careful in future.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398924)

Actually threats against the President or Vice President is a crime. You can criticize all you like call him a moron a self important arrogant piece of crap but threatening the Executive office is a crime. Might want to think about that before they come knocking on your door for your post ;-)

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (2)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36399246)

You know the main difference between Freedom of Speech and Totalitarian Censorship? If you put up blog post saying "I hate Obama, I wish he was dead!", you get nothing in the US. If you put up a blog post saying "I'm fed up with communism, let's move to something else! Oh yeah, and the Politburo should just up and die!", men in a black Volga will visit you sooner than you can say "Who's that knocking on the door so late at night?".

If you said that about Obama, you might get a visit from the Secret Service.

Anyway, what you mention is tangential freedoms. Many powerful men long ago got over their personal egos and what any nobody says about them since it all gets drowned out in the noise. Try making real change instead of just bitching, and you may see how far your freedom stretches.

Fuck, in one township around here, I can't even let my grass grow more than a few inches without getting threatening letters about $600 a day fines. And yeah, if you have $$$ you can fight it. So that's pretty much what freedom is predicated on here, having $$$.

Oh, and just read about swat teams. If you don't think the Stasi exist in America, read about this:
http://newsone.com/nation/casey-gane-mccalla/arizona-swat-team-kills-marine-in-botched-raid/ [newsone.com]

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36399628)

Fuck, in one township around here, I can't even let my grass grow more than a few inches without getting threatening letters about $600 a day fines.

Heh. That's a comparative bastion of freedom. I got threatening letter about $1000 per day fines, plus jail time for putting a two inch pile of leaves out on the curb - in a township that does curbside leaf pickup.

I got dimed out by a landscaper whose employees aren't even in the country legally.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36400810)

Try making real change instead of just bitching, and you may see how far your freedom stretches.

Dare I suggest making a change through legal channels? You know, by running for a political position, with a proper and creative program that changes things for the better? Or maybe you can't actually think that far?
And don't give me any bullshit about connections and money! If you have the ideas and the charisma, you can find funding and contacts to get the word out there and raise money for a campaign, etc.

Oh, and just read about swat teams. If you don't think the Stasi exist in America, read about this:
http://newsone.com/nation/casey-gane-mccalla/arizona-swat-team-kills-marine-in-botched-raid/ [newsone.com]

Clearly you have no idea just what the STASI did and who they were: undercover agents, extensive infiltrator and informer network, the whole "above and beyond the law"-works. SWAT teams are far, far, far removed from that: they are a branch of the police, bound by the law, answerable to their superiors and the judicial system for any offense. Better go learn your history, for those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it.

As for the dead marine, what can I say? Both of them were right: the marine in attempting to defend his home, family, and life against an unknown threat (although why he had a rifle at home is a mystery to me. In Hungary, taking your weapon home is a punishable breach of conduct. You're supposed to leave the arms and ammo at the barracks. But that is beside the point now.); the SWAT team in opening fire on an unknown, armed, possibly hostile contact.
I note that the incident took place in a long, dark corridor, where the low visibility meant no positive ID of the contact. Silhouette indicated a weapon, the officers were in every way in their right to fire at will. Even if the guy came out with his hands up and was shot, I could accept that, although it would be quite a bit harder. But this, confronting a SWAT-team in low visibility, armed, no previous indication of his presence, he got what was coming to him, especially considering that he probably got training in MOUT, so he should have been prepared for this.
Callously, I could say "He rolled the dice, he lost, game over."

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36402854)

On the plus side, you'd find out that there are still operational black Volgas.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (2)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397708)

It's true, we as westerners spend so long trumpeting our 'rights' that we fail to notice all the things we aren't allowed to have.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Lysander7 (2085382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397770)

Half of what you posted as "not allowed" should stay that way, such as sharing knowledge of how to make a bomb. Though, you do have a point on some of those.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (2)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397826)

Why? Because the knowledge could be abused? If you go with that, what information would be left to share?

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397848)

Half of what you posted as "not allowed" should stay that way, such as sharing knowledge of how to make a bomb. Though, you do have a point on some of those.

But that's the point. Many Chinese citizen also think that their government needs to control those who want to hurt it - kind of like the whole terrorism thing here in the west. Something that doesn't hurt anyone else, like smoking pot, playing some poker on the internet or watching obscene porn should be allowed, but in the US there are people who don't want to allow it for others either. The issue is the same, just the specific matters differ, as US and China values different things.

Both do however value national security and if there would be a possibility on the same kind of uprise (remember China has over one billion population too) and other people would start to fear it, you'd be sure US government would do exactly the same thing. But in addition to China, US is already trying to control other more minor things, and not only within US borders, but on the whole Internet and world (see the recent domain seizures, or arrests of foreign internet money sites).

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398520)

Oh, yeah? Since globalization has become the holy grail of the aristocracy, let's globalize anarchy too! Why should the Chinese be the only people who can bootleg at will? So what if their government engages in kiling sprees against their own people. We're paying for the slave wages that make their aristocrats millionaires. Now, we want the same unfair trade practices, the same vigilinte justice against minorities, the same right to pollute without international condemnation.

The Constitution isn't about practicality. It's about hundreds of years of experience, living under the English aristocracy. Our ancestors knew very well what kind of laws would be abused at will and they forbid those laws to come into existance. The current generation of a-wipe aristocrats is just a bunch of eldest sons who inherited their wealth and who don't have a clue as to what generates prosperity. Quite simply, they are forcing our government to go to war against our own people. (Like China does regularly.) FAILURE!!! BIG, HOOTING FAILURE!!

The rest is about a pinhead public that grows fat and stupid like an indoor housepet. The media has them begging for discount coupons with simple words. Stupid people deserve to be confined pets. There's the quandary. Do we give up our democracy because the public can't be relied upon to do anything other than provide a pavlovian response when asked to vote?

Remember! It's gay marriage or a dictatorship. It's abortion is murder or it's Communism. You're either with us or you're against us. Be a BRAVE Chinaman and stay productive! Stay useful, even when the tanks are crushing you under them.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397906)

Half of what you posted as "not allowed" should stay that way, such as sharing knowledge of how to make a bomb. Though, you do have a point on some of those.

You can't be serious.

If you are, though, it's too late for you.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (3, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398134)

No. MAKING a bomb should be illegal. Information, no matter what it is, should never be illegal.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

Lysander7 (2085382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398170)

Sounds like splitting hairs to me. Give me a reason posting information regarding making bombs should be legal other than principle, and I'd be more inclined to agree. Otherwise, it just makes killing others far easier than it should be.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398574)

Quite simple.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Imagine the need to overthrow your own evil government. Or don't. I wouldn't want be fighting alongside a coward who longs for the safety of the herd.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398964)

Sounds like splitting hairs to me. Give me a reason posting information regarding making bombs should be legal other than principle, and I'd be more inclined to agree. Otherwise, it just makes killing others far easier than it should be.

First they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36399644)

Since volumes of information regarding bomb making and illegal drug production can be found in any university library (and probably any good public library too), there is little point in further limiting the spread of information because its "on the internets"

Alternatively, you should try outlawing chemistry.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

mijelh (1111411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36400608)

"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech"

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36401280)

No. MAKING a bomb should be illegal. Information, no matter what it is, should never be illegal.

I wouldn't even go so far as to say that making a bomb should be illegal. Using said bomb to hurt others, put others in dangers, or destroy any property that is not yours, sure. Blowing stuff up in a safety conscious manner, mythbusters style? No.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398160)

The problem is some westerners believe they have the rights to determine whether things "should" or "should not" be allowed in other countries.

After centuries of imperialism and colonialism, robbing others of their land and wealth, killing and enslaving people at their disposal, suddenly they became "peace-loving" democratic countries some decades ago, promoted rules and values they came up with at their ivory towers as "universal values".

When can the westerners stay where they are, where they originally belong to? Take that other people "opt out of" your help unless they explicitly say otherwise and let them live their own lives, for godness sake.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1, Interesting)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397784)

- Online gambling - More or less gambling of most any sort...otherwise online poker sites wouldn't have to set up shop in the Isle of Man to begin with, this isn't an internet issue.

- "Obscene" or violent porn, even if only acted - [citation needed]

- Ordering cheaper medical drugs from other countries - Import laws apply here, not necessarily internet related (the 'net only makes it a bit easier)

- Ordering pot or drugs - Laws against well predate a prevalent internet

- Sharing knowledge if it's copyrighted - Not directly the Government's will; most of that is civil litigation, though it might be enabled by poor legislation.

- Sharing entertainment if it's copyrighted - See above

- Revealing wrongdoing within US government (Wikileaks) - Might have a point here...certainly, there's some stuff that ends up in closets that shouldn't be, but let's also note that the DoJ hasn't directly done anything on this front, they're only probing as hard as they can.

- Posting knowledge of how to make bombs or certain other technical information - I can agree with letting this information be free, just go after the asshats who use it...

- Implementing your application or website in a certain way if it's software patented - Yes, patents are bullshit, but in a sane world, companies wouldn't try and patent a method for someone moving their finger across a glass surface for a distinct surface...i.e., companies don't have to patent the blatantly obvious.

- Anything else that hurts the business of Big Money Intangible Industries (Pharma, RIAA, MPAA, BSA) - Don't even really know what you're getting at here. You seem to be getting on a Copyright point, addressed above.

That said, the only things the US Government is really only actively cracking down on are alleged large scale piracy sites; and that only by domain seizure. Compare that to other locales where SWAT are engaged and seize equipment, the whole nine yards, talk to me then.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (2)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398634)

Max Hardcore is in jail for obscenity.

That some of the freedoms are impinged off the internet doesn't make it any better that they are abused on the internet.

Also, the U.S. Government piracy domain seizures cracked down on lots of people that simply weren't doing anything.

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) astroturfer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397962)

Slashdot welcomes the new Chinese Communist Party (CCP) astroturfer (see GP's history) making the factually false statements and trying to create a false moral equivalency between the US government and the CCP regime.

For those unfamiliar with the US. Much of what is listed is perfectly fine to talk about and of that only some of it can get you into trouble for actually attempting to do it in the real world. A completely bogus list. Unlike in China were speech itself can get you into trouble, let try discussing the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, or the current Jasmine Revolution against totalitarian regimes.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398216)

Most of what you posted isn't even illegal.
Online gambling: Legal throughout most of the country
"Obscene/violent porn": Legal throughout most of the country. Subject to regulation by the states
"Ordering cheaper drugs": Legal, but the "cheaper drugs" must be regulated, as in every other country. Not speech.
"Ordering pot or drugs": This isn't speech, this is a business transaction. You're free to talk about buying drugs all you want.
Copyrighted material: Legal under criminal law, subject to civil jurisdiction
Wikileaks: LEGAL. Only the leaking was illegal as it was an act of espionage
Bomb-making information: Legal under most circumstances.
Software patents: You're free to make anything you want, and share it. You just can't commercialize itt
Your last point is laughable.

Yep... I can also say I want to overthrow the government and replace it with communism or Obama's a big fat dbag and not worry about it. Not only that, I could even start an organization like the Revolutionary Communist Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Communist_Party,_USA) and openly work toward the overthrow of the US Government, legally and mock Obama in public http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/2009/04/tax_day_tea_par_1.html.

Nice try, though...

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398906)

Here in the "west", the motto is:
"Who needs a totalitarian regime? That's so last century! Social engineering is the future!" :(

The difference is, that in the US, high-tech social engineering (Disclaimer: ...of which I'm a part...) via mass media and lobbying made people want to act that way for many "social rules".
No enforcement and government punishment needed.

So they arenâ(TM)t forced to make not liking the USA or the military a taboo. (Instead of a more nuanced Gaussian-distributed opinion). They really think it's completely unacceptable. And peer pressure solves the little outliers.

Notice how even here, this would definitely cause only down-voting of this comment, if it weren't for this paragraph making people think about it for a bit, before going for the trained-in reaction. (I still bet there will be a mixed reaction.)

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (1)

debruce (63857) | more than 3 years ago | (#36399112)

I posted a URL-shorted link to Gawker's infamous Weiner 'c*ck shot' headline - mysteriously disappeared from my timeline. I thought maybe it was a glitch but I saw it in Tweetdeck timeline, so apparently it went out, and was subsequently 'disappeared.' Seems to be a lot you can't talk about.

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36399190)

This is from someone who said:

"I'm starting to like Russia."

Are you a paid blogger? Or just perhaps someone who prefers authoritarian regimes to open ones?

Re:What Can't You Say On US's Internets? (2, Informative)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36399490)

Firstly, none of what you've listed can be considered political censorship, with the exception of possibly wikileaks. Even with wikileaks, no civilian has been arrested in connection with helping the organization, even though its list of donors has been made public.

Secondly, however opposed we both may be to some of the examples of censorship you've listed, every one of the violations is outlined in US law and defined rather clearly. Censorship is a capricious thing in China, where the law is ambiguous -- "disruption of harmony" being an often used one brought out to punish those who voice political criticism and gain attention. In addition, what is illegal to say is never put on record for the public, never made clear. Public outcry is allowed one day, but it is made illegal the next when the party tire of it. [wikipedia.org] The result is that no one knows how far is too far, so everyone practices self-censorship. It is exactly the "chilling effect" slashdotters like to grimly bring up.

Lastly, in the US, you can fight censorship in the courts, and you can win [eff.org] . It would be a fool's errand to attempt to do so in China where there is no ACLU, no EFF, and where the courts are independent only in the propaganda pages. Saying the US has its own problems with censorship is certainly relevant and true, but using the same wording to subtly imply that the US and China are equal in its suppression of speech is over-dramatic and ignorant of reality in the eyes of this Chinese American slashdotter.

WELL YOU CAN"T SUCK FUCK YOU MOE LARRY AND CURLY ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397664)

Or can you...hm. I just did !!

Re:WELL YOU CAN"T SUCK FUCK YOU MOE LARRY AND CURL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397674)

All three?  Suck and fuck?  You are one sick bastard.  I like that.

Re:WELL YOU CAN"T SUCK FUCK YOU MOE LARRY AND CURL (0)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397854)

What about Shemp? Everyone forgets about Shemp!

Difference? (5, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397706)

In China they arrest you for content, in the USA they just ignore you. You have equal effect in both but more freedom to mouth off in one.

Re:Difference? Nope - I prefer China (2)

kubitus (927806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397838)

You have far more pressure in the US to be patriotic and aligned with the mainstream than in China.

-

An Intern who is with us right now visited China last year for some months. He said:

The way China is portraied as an authoritarian regime is utterly wrong.

For example what lands you in Thailand in jail will make you no trouble in China.

-

BTW: do not step on the toes of the local Sheriff, Major, Province-Governor. This will cause you trouble in:

US, Thailand, China, Japan....

Re:Difference? (3, Interesting)

richlv (778496) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398082)

what if you draw stick figure porn, then say that one of the participants is 17 years old ?

Re:Difference? (2)

plunderscratch (2169382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398724)

Then both you and the adult stick figure are going down for a long time!

How about... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397768)

How about..

"China is more imperialist and capitalist than the US has ever been"
"China actively oppresses its citizens"
"China is a racist country where the Han chinese population has more privileges than other races"
"China actively murders some of its populations, notably in Tibet and Mongolia"

and this is just a start!

Posting anonymously because, frankly, I'm a hypocritye and I'd like to see the oppression with my own eyes some day.

Re:How about... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397816)

""China is a racist country where the Han chinese population has more privileges than other races"

In a country where over 90% of the population is Han, it's just not realistic to assume other races would/should have more privileges, which in some ways, they do, like they can have more than one baby, it's easier for them to go to universities....

Look at USA, where non-whites make up a more prominent part of the population, if you ask the blacks and asians, they can tell you stories of how they were mistreated/discriminated in their daily lives too, and the whites are not even the native people of America.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398376)

I can't believe no one had a problem with your saying an ethnic majority - even one at 90% should have more privileges.
    It's not really surprising that they probably would, but should?

As far as self-reporting by blacks in the US I know discrimination happens, but don't believe every case you hear. My favorite BS race card happened when I flipped off a driver in a parking lot. I had no idea they were black but I was called a racist as soon as they got out of their car.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398624)

You got us there. The problem is that the majority of the White majority doesn't even know how to identify their prejudices. The will to seek the privileges of the herd overrides the will to be inclusive. Whites are very much herd animals. That problem is compounded when Asians misinterpret Western culture. When the Japanese contemplate Kafka or Salinger, they don't often grasp the intuitive psychology of whites. They tend to think the message involves deliberate choices, not emotions overriding intellect. It's like Hitler endorsing Nietzsche. Complementary, yes. But only a selective understanding of parts of a far different whole.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36400792)

50 Cent Party member identified!

Re:How about... (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398392)

"China actively oppresses its citizens"

From this interesting read [tremblethedevil.com] :

Our prison population has increased five-fold in just thirty years. In terms of the global population, we have just 5% of that but fully a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

"China is a racist country where the Han chinese population has more privileges than other races"

Meanwhile in the good US of A:

Although only about 12% of the American population is black, about half of the two-million Americans locked up in prison are black.

In fact, the impact of the War on Drugs has been so racially biased that the United States now has a greater percentage of its black population in prison than South Africa did at the height of Apartheid. "

Re:How about... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36399752)

Heard an interesting statistic the other day...

The combined prison population for ALL crimes in 27 EU nations (including the UK) is 600,000 out of a population of 500M
The prison population for DRUG crime alone in the US is 500,000 out of a population of 300M

Re:How about... (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398432)

How about..

"China is more imperialist and capitalist than the US has ever been"
"China actively oppresses its citizens"
"China is a racist country where the Han chinese population has more privileges than other races"
"China actively murders some of its populations, notably in Tibet and Mongolia"

and this is just a start!

Posting anonymously because, frankly, I'm a hypocritye and I'd like to see the oppression with my own eyes some day.

You're posting anonymously because you are an ignorant coward, and you know it.

"Imperialist and capitalist"? Capitalism - I don't think so, but who actually cares? Imperialism would imply that they went out their armies and established colonies like Europe did not so long ago. I am not convinced either China or USA fits the bill.

"Oppressing"? When is it "oppession of its citizens" and when is it "dealing with troublemakers to protect the vast majority"? I think it is a question of numbers; I can't see that a minority of troublemakers should be allowed to threaten the majority.

"Racist"? China gives more privileges to the 50 ethnic minority groups than to the Han majority; just for one thing, they are excempt from the 1 child per family policy.

"Murders"? You mean in the same sense that "The American Government actively murders some of its citizens"? Or as it is called in normal language, some states execute certain criminals.

You post anonymously because you are a liar and a coward.

Re:How about... (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36402588)

"Imperialist and capitalist"? Capitalism - I don't think so, but who actually cares? Imperialism would imply that they went out their armies and established colonies like Europe did not so long ago. I am not convinced either China or USA fits the bill.

Well USA in present day - no I don't think it's imperialist currently. Historically that's a different matter - spreading out "from coast to coast", Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico - yes that was imperialism.

For China - well the expansion in Tibet falls into that category, and in present day China makes territorial claims to many of it's neighbors - against India (Arunachal Pradesh), against Taiwan (particularly it's right to exist) and pretty much everybody in the South China sea (Natuna Islands, Malampaya and Camago, Scarborough Shoal, Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, Gulf of Thailand and Singapore Strait). Also against Japan (Senkaku islands).

It's certainly an expansionist agenda - you can argue whether that on it's own constitutes imperialism or not.

What Can't You Say On China's Social Networks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36397814)

me chinese
me play joke
me go pee-pee in your coke

Say Yeah (1)

RuiFerreira (791654) | more than 3 years ago | (#36397996)

All the chinese people can still read this story after all the comments done say "Yeah!!!".

Re:Say Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398254)

Not all at once...

Not trust goverment (1)

BreezeC (2040184) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398182)

Don't trust any goverment ever.They lied to people.

The precise diametric opposite of freedom? (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398338)

There are other things that you cannot post, but I can't type them here :0). Comrades this country is OURS never let them steal it with LIES!

Did someone just say "Sina Weibo?" (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398450)

...'caus I think I just heard someone say "Sina Weeaboo"!

We-i-Bo! We-i-Bo! [wordpress.com]

Re:Did someone just say "Sina Weibo?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398522)

I thought that would have been the first comment. Oh well thanks for putting it in there anyway

Re:Did someone just say "Sina Weibo?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36400442)

Wasn't Sina Weibo one of those anonymous Jedi who got his/her/its ass handed to him/her/it in SW Episode X?

Here's my 50... (1)

Omniskio (1153619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398488)

The other factor harmonizing online discourse in China, on Slashdot, and around the world is the Wmáo Dng. If you don't think you're being harmonized here, you are truly naive.

Here's the other 50... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36399108)

The only reference to "Wmáo Dng" on Google are two posts by you including one above.

Move arong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398498)

Nothing to see here.

My experience with a Chinese social network (1)

SnowHog (1944314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36398648)

As a member of the largest Chinese social networking site, I'd like to share a couple of observations. The first is that I regularly see comments that are critical of the Chinese government and those comments do not mysteriously disappear after being posted. During the recent anniversary of the Tienanmen Square massacre, many photos of the "tank man" and other protesters were posted and not removed. Secondly, my "friends" in the network have never expressed any fear regarding what they can or can't post. It really seems to be a non-issue to them, which was surprising to me when I initially joined. I know that censorship and oppression are very real issues in China and I'm not trying to downplay them but my personal experiences indicate that the problem may be slightly blown out of proportion by certain...interests. Just sayin'.

Re:My experience with a Chinese social network (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36399974)

As a member of the largest Chinese social networking site, I'd like to share a couple of observations. The first is that I regularly see comments that are critical of the Chinese government and those comments do not mysteriously disappear after being posted. During the recent anniversary of the Tienanmen Square massacre, many photos of the "tank man" and other protesters were posted and not removed. Secondly, my "friends" in the network have never expressed any fear regarding what they can or can't post. It really seems to be a non-issue to them, which was surprising to me when I initially joined. I know that censorship and oppression are very real issues in China and I'm not trying to downplay them but my personal experiences indicate that the problem may be slightly blown out of proportion by certain...interests. Just sayin'.

SnowHog, you write from a truly open minded POV and it is great to see that you are able to identify what is wrong with the oppression and censorship you are living under, but I have to say it is probably harder for you to know what it is you are discussing while you are inside.

You seem to point to the fact that your personal experience in seeing some images and posts that are NOT taken down reflect that there is a perception problem with the people outside the sphere of influence of your governments restrictions.

You must see how you are being overly kind to your government despite their position. Don't you? I mean look at what happens when Noble Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and Internationally Celebrated artists like Ai Weiwei make disparaging remarks about these exact activities!

If you want further proof try to search information about their plight on the same "open" social networking site you are defending as untainted.

Better still post something about the above two issues from the largest Chinese social networking site to this thread.

Re:My experience with a Chinese social network (1)

SnowHog (1944314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36400106)

Interesting points. Just to clarify, I am not Chinese and I do not live in China. I joined a Chinese social network because most of my classmates are Chinese and I am learning Mandarin.

Re:My experience with a Chinese social network (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36400246)

Interesting points. Just to clarify, I am not Chinese and I do not live in China. I joined a Chinese social network because most of my classmates are Chinese and I am learning Mandarin.

Thanks for the clarification - my points stand regardless of whether or not you are Chinese, you seem to have a booster mentality toward the government and the censorship culture that is allowed to continue because of people like you downplaying it.

Re:My experience with a Chinese social network (1)

SnowHog (1944314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36402040)

Actually, your point completely collapses since it was based on the false premise that I don't understand the issue because I'm "inside" living under the oppression. Have you ever even visited China?

Re:My experience with a Chinese social network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36402684)

like this one [weibo.com] , this one [weibo.com] , this one [weibo.com] , this one [weibo.com] ...

all the false equivalencies in these comments (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36399310)

look, folks: i can sit here, and criticize barack obama and his policies and the democratic party, all i want, here in the usa

i can't threaten his life though

ok, right there, that limitation: what does that mean? does it mean that because there are SOME limits on my freedom of expression, that that is logically equivalent to ANY limit on my expression?

"i can't threaten the president's life. therefore, i live in tyranny, and that limitation is equivalent to ANY limits on my expression, such as a limit on my right to criticize political ideologies"

is that a valid logical statement in your eyes?

no? then why don't you see that all the limits some of you have listed in this thread on your freedom of expression in the west is also NOT equivalent to what china does?

what you are doing, frankly, is showing hamfisted ignorance on your part. you reveal your own crude, uneducated way of looking at the concept of your freedom and your rights

some intellectual charity for you: in every society that ever existed, currently exists, and always will exist, limits will be placed on what you can say or do. because some people say and do things that are CRIMES. now, you may not agree with classifying some behaviors as crimes that currently your society stands against. which is fine. you can say "this behavior XYZ is not criminal, my society is wrong for saying that behavior XYZ is criminal." it is 100% legitimate for you say that

what is NOT legitimate for you to say is "because society places some limits on some behaviors, this is equivalent to society limiting ANY behavior, it's all the same. " no, it is NOT all the same. each behavior is DIFFERENT, and must be evaluated DIFFERENTLY, and some behaviors are PERFECTLY VALID subjects for limitation. do you understand that? please understand there will ALWAYS be some behavior that society classifies as crimes. you need to make peace with that fact, because that fact is never going away

to wit: just because a society classifies some expression as crime does not mean that it is equivalent to another society that classifies SIMPLE POLITICAL EXPRESSION as a crime. THAT'S the problem with china, and it is a valid criticism, a criticism that is NOT nullified, because the usa goes after kiddie porn. really

that's really the truth. please understand that engaging in false equivalencies only makes you look like a fool who doesn't understand what freedom of expression really is, and how it exists in natural philosophical tension with other fundamental freedoms in this world, with or without any government policies in play. grow up, develop a more sophisticated and nuanced way of looking at your world. because some of you right now look like idiots engaged in subject matter you simply do not understand

Re:all the false equivalencies in these comments (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36399446)

blah blah blah I'm smarter than you blah blah blah

Are you done?

Re:all the false equivalencies in these comments (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36399706)

If the words are too long for you, look them up in a dictionary.
So yes, he is smarter than you.

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