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41% of Chinese Websites Shut Down In 2010

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the most-of-them-weren't-lolcats dept.

Censorship 203

BinaryMage found a pretty shocking bit- apparently the Chinese government has shut down 1.3 million websites in 2010, an incredible 41% of all sites behind the great firewall. The usual reasons (pornography) are cited, as well as the reminder that China blocks Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from its citizens. Anyone behind the firewall know if Slashdot is currently blocked? I've heard it varies.

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203 comments

Ough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761424)

I stopped reading at "it's"

Re:Ough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761470)

I bet you didn't.

Re:Ough (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762522)

I stopped reading at "bet".

.. and yes, I did. I just didn't have time for those last two words. I have stuff to do. Important stuff.

Re:Ough (0)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761524)

"... and they dumped pigs..." - exert from Carry I stopped at the word pigs even though it is mid sentence as well.

OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (-1, Redundant)

cc1984_ (1096355) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761436)

BinaryMage found a pretty shocking article - apparently the Chinese government has shut down 1.3 million websites in 2010, an incredible 41% of all sites behind the great firewall. The usual reasons (pornography) are cited, as well as the reminder that China blocks Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from its citizens. Anyone behind the firewall know if Slashdot is currently blocked? I've heard it varies.

There, FTFY

Re:OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761518)

You've corrected "it's", the rest is just nitpicking.

Re:OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761550)

You've corrected "it's", the rest is just nitpicking.

And correcting "it's" isn't?

It's isn't isn't it. =) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761948)

You've corrected "it's", the rest is just nitpicking.

And correcting "it's" isn't?

Perhaps it's isn't isn't it.

Re:OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761570)

And 'Chine' to 'China'

Re:OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761660)

That's the nitpicking park. Obviously a typo.

Re:OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761698)

He also fixed the misspelling of "Chine". You think the donkey that owned this site would spend 5 seconds to self-review before publishing anything.

Re:OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (-1, Offtopic)

doug (926) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761798)

He also corrected s/Chine/China/ although technically a typo isn't a grammar mistake.

Re:OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (1)

cc1984_ (1096355) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762034)

True, but being a grammar Nazi does not prohibit me from correcting typos

Re:OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 2 years ago | (#36763068)

Well, apparently CmdrTaco took your corrections. If I didn't miss something, the only difference now is "bit-"/"article -" (missing space after bit BTW, and it should be an em dash "—", not an hyphen-minus "-").

However, you didn't correct what I believe is another grammatical error :

"Anyone behind the firewall know" : Shouldn't that be "Anyone behind the firewall knows" ? Or is that a valid ellipsis with an interrogative form : "(Does) anyone behind the firewall know" ?

Re:OK, I'm a grammar nazi, so sue me (1)

cc1984_ (1096355) | more than 2 years ago | (#36763216)

"Anyone behind the firewall know" : Shouldn't that be "Anyone behind the firewall knows" ? Or is that a valid ellipsis with an interrogative form : "(Does) anyone behind the firewall know" ?

I think it could be argued either way, in which case I was prepared to give the benefit of the doubt :)

To answer your question (5, Informative)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761464)

I am in P.R. China and I have never had trouble accessing Slashdot. In fact, it is so reliable that it is the site I typically check if I want to see if the internet connection is working.

Re:To answer your question (4, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761896)

I guess if the opposite was true, we wouldn't have heard from you!

Re:To answer your question (1)

Rincewind42 (973462) | more than 2 years ago | (#36763106)

I'm also in China. Never been any problem getting Slashdot in the last 6 years. However, the Great Firewall isn't so great. I can update my Facebook, Twitter and I'm watching Youtube right now. Their not normally available. You just have to know how to jump the wall.

Re:To answer your question (4, Interesting)

jacksonyee (590218) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761960)

I've been a daily Slashdot reader since 1997, and I've been exploring China since March of this year. The only time that I've ever had Slashdot blocked was with the Falen Gong article a couple of months back. Apparently, there was a url keyword detection routine which filtered the page out. Every other page has loaded just fine. Fortunately, since I have a shell account on a U.S. server, ssh -D [port] got around it quite nicely.

I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the country, but here in Kunming, if you run a website, you have to have it registered with the police, which means that someone is probably periodically checking on your site to make sure that the content is considered appropriate and "harmonious." It is definitely a big brother approach, but considering the situation with the cameras in London, Homeland Security in the U.S., and the filtering in Australia, I really can't see an open web besides perhaps a couple of the European countries. To be honest, it reminds me an awful lot of the early gated communities like AOL, only this time, we're dealing with government rather than corporate interests.

Youtube, Dailymotion, Twitter, Facebook, and other such sites are blocked on a constant basis requiring a VPN or SOCKS proxy to get around. It's a bit of an annoyance, but most people around here simply use the native Chinese versions and don't notice anything of the outside world. It's only us foreigners that really know what's going on.

On the one plus side, China Telecom has a 3G mobile data plan with a 100 hour per month limit. I haven't found a data cap on it yet, and I used 17GiB last month watching Stargate: Universe. It's 500 yuan for the adapter and 400 yuan for six months, which works to ~67 yuan, or slightly over $10 per month use. Take that, AT&T!

Whenever I finish exploring here and get to Europe, I'll get a chance to see how all of you fancy Europeans have been haggling us Americans about our data plans and cell phones for years. ;-)

Re:To answer your question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762060)

"It's a bit of an annoyance, but most people around here simply use the native Chinese versions and don't notice anything of the outside world."

In other words, it's working exactly as intended. :-(

Re:To answer your question (2, Interesting)

JonStewartMill (1463117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762756)

"It's a bit of an annoyance, but most people around here simply use the native Chinese versions and don't notice anything of the outside world."
In other words, it's working exactly as intended. :-(

The Chinese are more like Americans than you expected?

Re:To answer your question (5, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762270)

>It is definitely a big brother approach, but considering the situation with the cameras in London, Homeland Security in the U.S., and the filtering in Australia,

Cameras in public spaces or being searched before getting on a plane have nothing to do with state enforced censorship. I'm not sure why so many Chinese find it believable that their limits of expression are normal and fit in with the West. They don't. Its just propaganda to make you feel better and not to try any pesky revolution or uprising.

Re:To answer your question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762652)

Cameras in public spaces or being searched before getting on a plane have nothing to do with state enforced censorship.

They were obviously talking about how the UK is using the internet to police cctv cameras (extremely big brotherish) and how Homeland Security has literally censored many websites.

I'm in the USA and I can tell you the kool-aid runs just as thick hear as in China, though we do have different cultural focuses.

Yadda yadda glass houses.

Re:To answer your question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762884)

Maybe you're the victim of propaganda making you think that TSA checkpoints and CCTVs on every corner are somehow better tahn state sponsored censorship?

Both are terrible IMO.

Re:To answer your question (3, Interesting)

jacksonyee (590218) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762950)

It's interesting that you should use the word "normal" in your post, because here in China, Internet filtering is indeed normal, the same way that you would considering post-9/11 groping to be normal and being constantly watched in the streets of London normal. Do I agree with it? Certainly not, but every place has its own culture and laws, and for the most part, the modern Chinese people are getting along just fine without trying to fit in with Western ideals.

It's actually quite amazing to me how much China has progressed from the days of the Cultural Revolution though. Between all of the new high-tech buildings, the girls in miniskirts out on the streets, the new high speed train which rivals the Japanese, and the huge influx of luxury items, it's hard to believe that this was a nation torn apart and hungry just half a century ago. Now, I believe that the Bill of Rights (not the Constitution itself, due to that nasty 3/5th compromise) is one of the greatest ideas in history, but China has placed economic freedom above political freedom in its efforts to pacify its people, and having a chance to be here and talk to various people, I've actually found that it's working decently well.

Not every place is like the U.S., but not every place is like the Middle East either. I really don't know how the "China model," as it's often called, is going to end up, but to be honest, propaganda is everywhere. How many times have you watched a commercial where everything was true? How many people do you know who watch Fox news or listen to Rush Limbaugh? Even NPR and the BBC have their own biases. How many actual, purely objective articles can you find in the mainstream media? Certainly, we don't have the state mandated media in the U.S. like China does, but the important thing to accept is that everyone has their own propaganda, no matter where they are. It's just a matter of which ones you agree with and which ones you don't.

Do the things that work for the U.S. automatically work in China? It's going to be very interesting to find out in the next ten to twenty years as China continues developing and opening up to the world. I'm curious to see how this huge housing bubble and the enormous debts of the local governments are going to turn out, but there's no denying China's growth and advancement in the last 30 years. With Russia's fade from glory, I'm hoping that some competition can get the U.S. out of its current funk and start being the country that we're capable of being. If not, China will be glad to sell us everything that we need, and once they get past the copying stage and start innovating for themselves, it's going to be scary.

Re:To answer your question (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762860)

Cameras in London? You mean the cameras which are overwhelmingly in the hands of private citizens, which are not run by the state, and from which anyone can request copies of any footage of themselves they might have captured? It's not really a valid comparison :) The "open web" is perfectly possible in all but the handful of countries which block sites.

Re:To answer your question (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36763080)

It's a bit of an annoyance, but most people around here simply use the native Chinese versions and don't notice anything of the outside world.

Yep, ignorance is bliss.

Re:To answer your question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762008)

I am in P.R. China and I have never had trouble accessing Slashdot. In fact, it is so reliable that it is the site I typically check if I want to see if the internet connection is working.

I love it when people call China the P.R. or People's Republic... Such a delusional misrepresentation. Do you HONESTLY think that it is YOUR republic and YOU have control? It is more like the totalitarian oligarchy of China - aka T.O. China.

Re:To answer your question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762048)

I am in P.R. China and I have never had trouble accessing Slashdot.

We'll soon fix that. FREE TIBET! FREE TIBET! FREE TIBET!

Re:To answer your question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762794)

yea, i concur with that. I had no trouble accessing it in Shanghai. I could also access myspace and soundcloud and several other bif sites.

There seens to be a method to their nadness.

Re:To answer your question (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#36763200)

In fact, it is so reliable that it is the site I typically check if I want to see if the internet connection is working.

You don't do that by clicking any of the article links, do you?

Not blocked (4, Informative)

water-and-sewer (612923) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761468)

Slashdot is not blocked in China, but citizens are forced to use older browsers that choke on Slashdot's excessive CSS and Javascript goodness. The result is an experience - not unlike my own - that makes Slashdot increasingly too annoying a site to visit.

Re:Not blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761688)

Why are they forced to use older browsers?
I'm in China and using Firefox 4.0.
I think you are confusing with Cuban cars:)

Anyway, Slashdot is the most reliable site available here.

Re:Not blocked (3, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762002)

Banks forced people to use not so great browsers (technically not older). Banks in China usually use ActiveX for encryption things, so IE is your only choice if you want to use online banking.

Re:Not blocked (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#36763008)

Was there something wrong with good old HTTPS? Using ActiveX for encryption... now I have something new to give me nightmares.

Re:Not blocked (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762898)

"I'm in China and using Firefox 4.0"

Firefox 4 is an older browser.

I think Mozilla is working on version 8.0 right now. The official release is 5.01

Re:Not blocked (4, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761752)

./ is annoying in new browsers too. I can't click a link anymore without the page doing a random scroll-jump instead. Same for middleclicking, or trying to moderate something, or anything else that requires clicking any of the 3 mouse buttons on ./.

Furthermore it often shows an eternal "loading" spinning thing at the bottom.

Re:Not blocked (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761874)

I'm using Firefox 5 and all is good. Are you using IE or is your idea of "new browsers" Firefox 3 and IE5?

Re:Not blocked (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762206)

Firefox v3.6.19 was released on 7 July 2011. How exactly is that "old"?

Re:Not blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762470)

Indeed. Just 2 weeks ago I got a security upgrade for Iceweasel on my Debian desktop, I'm at 3.5.16-8 now.

Re:Not blocked (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762644)

Slashdot _should_ work with Firefox 3, for christ's sake! Hell! Given how many (computer literate) people here use NoScript and similar, it should even have a way to gracefully degrade when you're blocking Javascript (i.e. it should support Lynx and Mosaic).

The horrible truth is that, even with Javascript enabled, Slashdot acts, at best, erratically (especially if you're just a lurker and don't have a /. account).

Please DO explain to me what wonderful technology Slashdot requires that CAN'T be done with Firefox 3 or IE5? HTML5 Canvas?

Protip: if it ain't broken, stop trying to FIX it!

Protip 2: not everyone is using the bleedingest-edge software out there (yes, that also applies to Slashdot users) because most of us don't have time or the will to fucking reinstall Firefox every time they decide to release a new major version (especially when the current version works kinda ok and every new version seems to work worse than the last one, besides breaking compatibility with your favorite extensions).

I'm using Firefox 3.6.18 which was released in June 21st 2011. Yes, I know, fucking ancient history.

The only reason why I still come to Slashdot is (I think) the same reason everyone else still does: the often insightful comments.

Reddit (as an example) seems to work perfectly well with Firefox 3, as well as 99,999% of all websites out there. Why is it that Slashdot (a website that's supposedly aimed at computer literate people and, as such, should be managed by computer literate people) developers can't seem to make it work for Firefox 3? Too hard for you?

tl;dr: Slashdot's programming is UTTER CRAP. I remember how it was before all this Web 2.0 redesign and it worked WAY better than it does right now. /rant

Re:Not blocked (5, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761890)

It's not actually link-clicking that's causing what you describe. A post with collapsed parents will expand the parents one by one (and jump uselessly) when anything within it is clicked. You'd think that would be obvious enough a UI design disaster to avoid, but apparently they really are brain-damaged here.

Re:Not blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762936)

I use IE9 for the mostpart and have yet to observe that behavior....

Re:Not blocked (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#36763078)

Argh, I just realized I typed ./ instead of /.

But hey, maybe it should not be called /. anymore with its current JS implementation :p

Re:Not blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761816)

And yet, here you are.

Re:Not blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762086)

Since when are citizens forced to use older browsers??? Firefox, Safari, Chrome and other sites are all reachable for acquiring the latest browsers. Hell, many corporations in the US still (try to) force their employees to use older browsers than the Chinese citizens I know over here. And as for speed, it (largely) ain't the browser's fault. It is the poor DSL services, the effects of the GFC (esp. on gmail) and god knows what circuitous links from 2nd and third tier cities to overseas sites.

Re:Not blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762320)

How are they forced to use older browsers?

Re:Not blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762492)

Slashdot is not blocked in China, but citizens are forced to use older browsers that choke on Slashdot's excessive CSS and Javascript goodness. The result is an experience - not unlike my own - that makes Slashdot increasingly too annoying a site to visit.

What are you talking about? How are citizens forced to use older browsers there?

Re:Not blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762628)

I'm not sure what planet u are on but last time I checked, there were no restrictions on which browser to use in china

Re:Not blocked (1)

Rincewind42 (973462) | more than 2 years ago | (#36763230)

Complete nonsense. Nobody is forced to use any particular browser in China. Though almost everyone here runs Win XP with IE6 it's because they are pirated copies of windows and so blocked from windows update by MS. There's nothing to stop people using Firefox or Chrome if they wanted.

Slashdot blocked today ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761476)

"Anyone behind the firewall know if Slashdot is currently blocked? I've heard it varies."

==> Now it is...

Re:Slashdot blocked today ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762496)

Falun gonged?

Facebook and Youtube varies (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761486)

Just spent 36 days in china.
Youtube would work maybe 1 or 2 clips, before you had to change connection.
Facebook, would work for an hour or so and then be offline for an hour. Keep bouncing up and down.

Slashdot is partly accessible (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761494)

Slashdot is partly accessible like others 59% web sites in the world, but the speed is very slow.

Re:Slashdot is partly accessible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761988)

Actually, I have no problems accessing Slashdot from Kunming with or without using a VPN to bypass the GFC. been that way since 2009. As for speed, it isn't that bad except for when it is (maybe 10% of the time). But I surely do miss my FIOS line in Dallas. 4Mbps DSL shared with up to 11 others sucks.

if Slashdot is currently blocked? (2)

renzhi (2216300) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761508)

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: Usually no. It has been blocked a couple of times in the last few years, but that usually only lasted one day, or half a day. The fact that /. was blocked was probably a mistake in filter manipulation. It's not blocked, because probably the firewall admins waste their days away, lounging here too?

Re:if Slashdot is currently blocked? (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761580)

It's only blocked when the boss comes in to check whether they are working or not.
"We can't have been browsing on Slashdot, see it's blocked. The filter rule is right here"

Pr0nography?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761566)

Those Christians are always trying to force their ways on everyone. In a more enlightened atheist society this would never happen!
 
Oh wait...

Re:Pr0nography?? (5, Funny)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761892)

In a more enlightened atheist society this would never happen!

Only according to a typically immoral, decadent liberal.
In a socialist society, both men and women will have respectable employment and not turn to work in pornography to make a living. The reification of private intimacy to marketed commodity is the very height of alienation; on the other hand, it still exists outside the market as a homemade expression of individualist nihilism, the consistent self-indulgent stamp of the culture industry that has appropriated and homogenized everything in its contact. Sex is replaced with watching sex. Social bonds break down as partners become as interchangeable as the URL in the browser. It is the another illegitimacy in the wake of Enlightenment subjective rationality: that only the method by which free speech is achieved may be debated, while the objective remains as a dictator.

Not to suggest that China has much communist credibility remaining these days...

Re:Pr0nography?? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762430)

Whoa. Been a while since I heard someone talk proper Theory. Look, folks - this is how a communist looks like. Before decrying something as "communism", check whether its proponents can talk like this. If not - not the real deal ;)

Re:Pr0nography?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762212)

Wait, what does Christianity and China have in common anyway? Where are you going with this?

Chine (0)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761612)

Wikipedia says it's the French name for China. The Grammar Nazi in me was saddened to hear that.

Re:Chine (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761706)

Wikipedia says it's the French name for China. The Grammar Nazi in me was saddened to hear that.

Not really, the French have a history of accomodating Nazis.

Re:Chine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761992)

Not really, the French have a history of accomodating Nazis.

[citation needed]

Quick experiment for you /.ers currently in China (4, Interesting)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761640)

Anything happen when you search Tiananmen in the Slashdot searchbox? It used to time out the entire domain for me.

Re:Quick experiment for you /.ers currently in Chi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761830)

Sounds like a problem with your browsers spell checker?

Re:Quick experiment for you /.ers currently in Chi (2)

jacksonyee (590218) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761998)

Just tried it here from Kunming with the results:

Wikileaks Cables Say No Bloodshed Inside Tiananmen Square 235
2011
2009
Bing Censoring All Simplified Chinese Language Queries 214
Chinese Social Websites Go Under "Maintenance" 84
Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, Others Blocked In China 151
20 Years After Tiananmen, China Stifles Online Dissent 235
China Blocks YouTube, Again 127
China Makes Arrests To Stop Internet Porn 204
2009
2008
China Does U-Turn, Lifts Ban On Websites 133
China Allows Access to English Wikipedia 219
2008
2007
Users Rage Against China's 'Great Firewall' 277
Yahoo Confirms Beijing Blocking Flickr 163
2007
2006
Helping Other Big Brothers Go High Tech 97
Yahoo China has the Worst Filtering Policy 184
Poor Spelling Beats Google's China Filter 248
2006
2005
Business At The Price Of Freedom 254
2005
2001
China Prosecuting Webmaster Over Site 27
Today
Follow us: Twitter Facebook RSS Feed

Stupid Slashdot not respecting my pre element...

Re:Quick experiment for you /.ers currently in Chi (4, Interesting)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762418)

Tiananmen is a symbol of China and features on the Chinese national crest and is certainly not blocked. Tiananmen Square is where Chairman Mao's body rests and the site of a monument to the people's fallen heroes, it is not blocked either. There is however a particular date 22 years ago that if you mention in any way, the domain will be inaccessible for the next 10 minutes.

Re:Quick experiment for you /.ers currently in Chi (1, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762590)

I don't for a minute believe your fairy stories. It's like claiming you will be snatched away if you say the name Candleja

Did News Corp buy slashdot? (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761716)

there were were 41% fewer websites at the end of 2010 than a year earlier.

This does not mean that 41% of the sites were shut down by the government. In fact, nowhere in the article does it say the websites were "shut down" at all. There are many other reasons websites go offline, like people getting bored of maintaining them, their not being popular, their failing to make a profit or break even, etc. Sensationalistic reporting, now on slash!

Re:Did News Corp buy slashdot? (2)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762174)

this document [cnnic.cn] of the .cn-registry is interesting.

sure, the thing is biased but take a look at page 23:

In the first half year of 2010, the number of internet sites in the globe has fallen and that in China has declined synchronously. According to the statistics of Netcraft, in the first half year of 2010, the number of internet sites in the world has been decreased by 27 million7, with a drop of 11.5%. An important reason for the drop of total sites is the expiration of web hosting services.

TFA compares end of 2009 with end of 2010, the survey is unfortunately older (June 2010) so it is not possible to see the same data from the 2 different POVs...

Zhao Lianhai begs to differ (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762656)

he was sentenced to prison (in part) for running a website about the poisoned baby milk scandal.

its not hard to explain why that happened. there was no boredom involved.

Re:Zhao Lianhai begs to differ (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762994)

And you would be sentenced to prison for not submitting to a TSA pat-down. Moral of the story - breaking the laws of your country result in jail.

By the way, this has nothing to do with the other 1,299,999 websites that disappeared from the internet. But I guess this is the kind of rationalization you need to construct when you live in a country that tells you every day how free you are, when really you're no better off than anyone else and much worse off than quite a few. Yeah, keep focusing on those exceptions and believe them to be the "norm" elsewhere... hone your "China is evil" training so that you can be ready to throw your life away when your government decides it has to kill you before it loses control of you.

China/. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761806)

Live from a Yangtze cruise, SlashDot is good to go.

Just wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761820)

This is not what the article says. Read it carefully. At no time does the article specifically state that the cause of these websites shutting is to do with the government. It does mention various things about laws, juxtaposition to statements about websites closing. A causation is never stated.

The BBC are somewhat infuriating at times with cheap journo tricks. Slashdot shouldn't be encouraging it, we're meant to know better.

False summary (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761926)

I haven't read the BBC article but have read this in the local Hong Kong paper today.

Lots of sites closed, but the opinions vary on why. The state-sponsored bodies in China claim it is because most of those sites went bankrupt, while others (mainly foreign human-rights activists) claim it's the government forcing them to close. Fact is lots of sites closed, yet the total number of pages available is a whopping 90 billion. Yes that's like 70 pages for every Chinese citizen. And many more if you only count Chinese Internet users.

Some web sites are for sure closed by the government, mainly for pornography, but also sometimes for political speech. Though it seems the Chinese actually enjoy quite some freedom on-line.

And Twitter not available from within China, who cares when you have Weibo? Most Chinese can't read English anyway. And no Google? Well they have Baidu.

Yes it's censored, but no they don't miss out on too much functionality either. It's not that the Chinese can not do those things by themselves, and they do it in Chinese catering to Chinese users. It may be an American viewpoint but all the time I hear "no YouTube, no Google, no Twitter" as if that's the complete Internet?! I'm happy there is more than those few sites. Much more.

And on the importance of Twitter in China... how many non-Chinese will ever look at what's going on on Weibo?

Re:False summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762062)

It may be an American viewpoint but all the time I hear "no YouTube, no Google, no Twitter" as if that's the complete Internet?! I'm happy there is more than those few sites. Much more.

Hahahah spinning censorship into greater choice, only a 50 cent party member could do such a thing

Re:False summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762108)

And Twitter not available from within China, who cares when you have Weibo? Most Chinese can't read English anyway.

This sentence alone highlights the ridiculousness of your argument. If most Chinese people can't read English, why do the authorities care if the Chinese people can use Twitter or not?

It's not the fact that these particular sites are blocked, it's the fact that innocuous sites such as these are blocked.

Yes, Chinese people can talk about all the important things to people the World over (shopping, sport etc) and yes, they can talk about what the government and the powers that be are doing, but don't you dare question what they are doing. Don't you dare criticise. Constructive criticism is actually worse than baseless criticism, because it's harder to rebut and just say "you're wrong" and get away with it.

You may say that the last paragraph has opinion in it, and it does, but it is based upon my experience of living in China. There are many great things about living in China, and many many great people that I've met in China; but here is where I stop being Chinese and be my western self: I can accept that I like things about China __AND__ that there are things which should really be improved. A distinction which nationalists in every country seem to have difficulty grasping.

Re:False summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36762682)

small information sites don't go down beause they go bankrupt, more often they stay online after the owner goes bankrupt. but that's the nasty thing about censorship: not being able to talk about it. if they don't have youtube they don't have the complete internet and that's even taking into account that youtube itself is censored and i'm not american either. missing out on the full internet puts them at a serious disadvantage at education, almost as big as not understanding english. but the real problem with the chinese censor system is of course that they can't know how much they can talk about it even!

i just posted a link to Weibo in a /. article (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762694)

a few weeks ago.

it was about how some people got 18 months in prison for industrial espionage... what were they spying on?

the size and shape of the ipad 2. they were going to make cases for it, before it was released.

im glad the chinese communist party caught these horrific criminals and put them in jail.

We are protecting you from you (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761936)

For make glorious nation; we, the People's Republic of China have decided that it's best to protect the people from the people. The people know better than the people what is right to view, read, listen and also which thoughts are good. The people are making sure the people are not harming the people.

The best thing about this is that the people have chosen what the people want to do and how they should do it. So say the people.

- The People's Dictatorship of the Time Travelling Republic of China.

OpenVPN is one option (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36761972)

Assuming Amazon doesn't filter you out by IP address, people living in China can register an Amazon EC2 Ubuntu micro instance which will be free for the first year if you are new to Amazon EC2, and install OpenVPN on it and then use the OpenVPN client from their own machine.

I'm a US citizen but I use it all the time b/c it prevents content from being blocked when I'm overseas, and makes my IP address appear to be USA (N. California in my case) so that I can watch online content that is refused to people outside the US.

An additional benefit to OpenVPN is that it doesn't look like VPN traffic b/c it works via SSL/TLS and looks a lot like normal http traffic, making it less likely to be noticed at all. Most VPN's that are IPSEC, which makes them very obvious and easy to block.
There are a couple things that make it look slightly different from normal https browsing traffic:
1. UDP protocol - this is the default and recommended as most optimal for performance, but you can choose TCP instead if you like.
2. Port number - default is 1194, but this you can easily change to 443 with no issues.
3. Traffic "shape" - The "shape" of the traffic will of course look different than normal https web traffic, The most obvious thing is that you will have a lot more traffic (all of yours) going to a single web server in the USA that is not actually servicing web requests on port 443. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that PRC probably is not set up to notice/block this. As far as I know, it requires somewhat sophisticated heuristics to detect (please correct me if I'm wrong).

I don't know how the clients are for Linux or MS Win, but for OS X users, Viscosity works great and is super simple to use.

The server is relatively easy to configure if you are comfortable with Linux and bash, but if you get stuck just check out some more howtos and you can figure it out.

Good luck!!

If it was blocked... (1)

Bertie (87778) | more than 2 years ago | (#36761984)

How the heck would you expect them to post on here saying so?

Durr.

Re:If it was blocked... (1)

Sinthet (2081954) | more than 2 years ago | (#36762326)

I'd imagine 95% of the slashdot crowd could very easily get by the Great Firewall. At least one person in that 95% must be living in China.

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