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China's Parallel Online Universe

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the why-fight-the-media-when-you-can-fight-the-social dept.

China 173

An anonymous reader writes "China is increasingly operating an online parallel universe where social media clones 'mimic the functions of the most popular, internationally recognized social media applications, such as Facebook and Twitter. The replicas, however, come with a major catch: they systematically comply with the Chinese Communist Party’s strict censorship requirements.' They are satisfying the growing demand of hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens for social media tools, reducing incentives for them to circumvent the 'Great Firewall,' Freedom House warns. Testing by researchers found that a search for the names of seven prominent Chinese lawyers, activists, and journalists on Sina Weibo returned no results, only an Orwellian notice that 'According to related laws and policy, some of the results are not shown here.'"

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Comment Censored (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497578)

In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.

But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Right? (5, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497646)

In America, censorship is only bad if the gubbmint is doing it. Really, we're no different from China. We're just trading one master for another.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497732)

When unlimited money can flow into political coffers in the name of "free speech", isn't the government de facto owned and operated by the corporations?

i.e.: Nobody is trading anything. Meet the new master, same as the old master.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497854)

What do you think SOPA was all about?

SOPA = The "Great Firewall of America."

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498604)

Thank You.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497870)

What?! Censorship is NOT wrong when corperations do it, not even trolling. Google removing a result from THIER search is fine by me. On the other hand the government making it so I *can't* get to a website is not right. Corporations don't owe us anything. We can always switch to a service that does not censor, we can't just switch governments.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (5, Insightful)

skegg (666571) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498514)

I sincerely hope that was a troll and not a genuine opinion.

>> Corporations don't owe us anything

Fine: I own a restaurant and I don't want to serve black people. Or hispanics.
Your comments were regarding censorship, so another example would be Google censoring everything about blacks, or Jews, or Tibet, ...

That's bullshit !!!

Corporations don't exist in a vacuum. They use public facilities paid for by all of society (roads, police, fire departments, etc). There should always be limits to what they can and can't do. In Australia we have anti-discrimination laws that enumerate the categories against which private companies can not discriminate. I dare say many countries would have similar legislation.

Regarding switching ... ironically the opposite is true:
you CAN'T always switch services (sometimes they're monopolies) however we CAN switch governments. At worst every few years; more often if we the people get riled up.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499862)

...public facilities paid for by all of society... Um... typically paid for by only the small fraction that can afford it... but still, public facilities.

In Australia we have anti-discrimination laws that enumerate the categories against which private companies can not discriminate. I dare say many countries would have similar legislation. Yeah, most western democracies do... in the USA, it is typically "race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability", just for the record. (parent seemed to be implying Australia was somehow extra enlightened...)

Regarding switching ... ironically the opposite is true: you CAN'T always switch services (sometimes they're monopolies) however we CAN switch governments. At worst every few years; more often if we the people get riled up. let me fix that for you; you CAN'T always switch services (but you can cancel them). However we CAN switch governments. At best every few years; once every few hundred years, if the people get riled up.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498706)

I think our forefathers did switch governments.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (3, Informative)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497968)

In America, censorship is only bad if the gubbmint is doing it.

Right. Because it only is censorship when the government is doing it. That's what the first amendment is all about: limiting the government's ability to mess with people's expression. That same constitution is also very serious about freedom to assemble and carry on doing your own thing ... including doing things like running a business where you can say what goes on in your own publications. Google being able to limit what shows on their web site is freedom, and it's a good thing, too.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499028)

The doublethink is strong in this one. Who knew that having our access to information routinely censored meant we were free.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499240)

Who knew that having our access to information routinely censored meant we were free.

Ah, so your idea of freedom is being able to make slaves out of other people? Your idea of freedom is having the government dictate what someone running a web site must say, or must allow other people to say? Talk about your disingenuou hypocrisy.

So, what sort of arrangements do I need to make, under your system, where I get tell you how to do your communicating? Will you enjoy your the freedom of my getting to tell you how you have to speak? Please, do tell.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499438)

Again, the doublethink is clouding your judgement. You are confusing the concept of freedom with having the ability to eliminate someone else's freedom. A community is not free if a member who controls or influences the access to information, whether be the state or any private citizen, is able to censor the information of the remaining population. Having our own access to information systematically monitored and censored by a third party, whether be the state or an ISP or a search engine, is not freedom. It's in fact the negation of our freedom. Granting someone the right to eliminate our freedom does not mean that we are free. You don't just cease to be a slave if the slave master serves a private organization instead of the government. /capcha: repress

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (1, Troll)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500020)

OK, so we're clear now. You want the ability to control (to limit the freedom) of other people as they communicate and run their businesses. Like every evil Nanny State buffoon - just like Hugo Chavez "protecting" his people's liberty by shutting down radio stations that didn't say the things and play the music as he directed - you are actually trotting back out one of history's ugliest urges. You want to be able to tell the New York Times, the BBC, Google, your local radio stations, Microsoft, all of the bloggers that ramble online, every book publisher, people who choose which songs to perform songs in bars (or used to be able to choose, before your illiberal Orwellian anti-freedom kicked in) ... you want to define freedom for them by denyin them choice.

You want the editor of a web site to wake up in the morning, and go to work according to you rules, rather than in the service of their own vision and the audience they want to serve. You want slaves, and you're lamely - like every person with totalitarian sensibilities - trying to frame it as doing your slaves a favor.

The best part is how you characterize competing businesses that have brought huge new access to information - access unprecedented in human history - as being those who are limiting freedom. What a bunch of ignorant, perspective-less, whiny, adolescent, short-sighted nonsense. Or, you're exactly what you seem to be: someone who knows all of that, but is actively pursuing the sort of government control over private people and their communication that is and has always been seen in the worst of abusive nations. You'd fit right into North Korea, where they defend liberty in exactly the way you seem to prefer.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (2)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38500036)

Freedom is not having my business's website blocked by my customers' ISP.

Re:But it's not wrong when corporations do it! Rig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499068)

It is when corporations use the government's legal system to force censorship. If web sites do not comply with private take down notices, the corporations don't boycott, they get the government to throw the webmasters in jail and force the websites' removal.

Re:Comment Censored (-1, Offtopic)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497682)

Wish I had mod points to mod this up. But for some reason I haven't gotten mod points for over 2 years when I used to get them constantly. Well at least we'll get some variation in the denial message when SOPA comes out.

Re:Comment Censored (5, Interesting)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497700)

We Malays have a saying: Kutu diseberang laut nampak, gajah dibawah hidung tak nampak, meaning you can see a flea across the ocean but you can't see the elephant under your nose. Look after your own freedoms first before preaching about it to others. The rest of the world wishes your freedom fighters a good fight. You are at the front line of Internet freedom. Any laws passed by your government will sooner or later, willingly or unwillingly, be enacted in my country too. Your fight is for all mankind. Good luck America and God bless.

Re:Comment Censored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499104)

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

Re:Comment Censored (1)

cavePrisoner (1184997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499978)

Dear mankind:

As an American, and I cannot stress enough, try not to get your hopes up. We'd fight this, but we don't have any real power over our government, and I'm pretty sure our country got hit by some kind of soviet "stupid ray" back in the '80s or so. That, or we fried our brains doing a lot of coke.

Good luck mankind!

Re:Comment Censored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497708)

This comment was censored by the FCC:
shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits.

- George Carlin, "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television"

Re:Comment Censored (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497766)

Obama sucks big ol' monkey balls. Hmm, this comment is still here. Guess Chinese censorship and the DMCA aren't equivalent after all. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the DMCA or SOPA by any stretch, but does everything always have to come back to this 'Well we have overbearing copyright laws therefore we have the same censorship' thing?

Then again, I could be wrong. Heaven knows what all SOPA will do if passed, but are there any actual examples of DMCA being used for political censorship?

Re:Comment Censored (1)

ArcCoyote (634356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497872)

This. Mod parent up.

Corporations can and do abuse the legal system to censor free speech, but it is not strictly censorship as it is not the policy of the government, and if it is a found to be a SLAPP there are severe penalties in a lot of courts.

Re:Comment Censored (5, Informative)

iter8 (742854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499420)

This. Mod parent up.

Corporations can and do abuse the legal system to censor free speech, but it is not strictly censorship as it is not the policy of the government, and if it is a found to be a SLAPP there are severe penalties in a lot of courts.

"Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body." wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . It's not just the government, anyone who has control over the means of communication can be a censor.

Re:Comment Censored (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497962)

Hmm, this comment is still here. Guess Chinese censorship and the DMCA aren't equivalent after all. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the DMCA or SOPA by any stretch, but does everything always have to come back to this 'Well we have overbearing copyright laws therefore we have the same censorship' thing?

Then again, I could be wrong. Heaven knows what all SOPA will do if passed, but are there any actual examples of DMCA being used for political censorship?

To what comment are you referring?

Re:Comment Censored (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498536)

He (another AC) is obviously referring to "Obama sucks big ol' monkey balls."

Oh, you knew that. Why do you ask then? Moron.

Re:Comment Censored (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497786)

At least you can read the complaint. You get a handle you can use to fight back. China? "Nope, you can't see it. No, we're not going to tell you why."

Re:Comment Censored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497836)

Sorry, China is far worse than the DMCA or anything the US has ever done.

The irony, I suppose, is that you need a fake comment to illustrate something that actually happens in China routinely.

in the USA you don't get sent to a death camp for (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497998)

in the USA you don't get sent to a death camp for be part of a religion

Re:in the USA you don't get sent to a death camp f (1, Flamebait)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498122)

in the USA you don't get sent to a death camp for be part of a religion

Long live Xenu!

Re:Comment Censored (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498692)

Amateur. I did a search today and managed to get more than the page removed. The page (supposedly showing the default ten results) had four copies of that warning, removing 2, 7, 11, and 4 results from the page.

Re:Comment Censored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499816)

Good to see I'm not the only one for whom that retort immediately came to mind.

Just wait until SOPA disappears complete sites in the US and abroad with no burden of proof.

And How Is It Better Outside of China? (3, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497598)

Not to say that I am overly impressed with the Chinese approach, but to say that they are really bad is saying his shirt is much dirtier. The problem is that in the US most social media is censored quite a bit! And that I find sad... BTW google eg facebook censorship.

Re:And How Is It Better Outside of China? (3, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497712)

I doubt that there is some coordination in China to clone specific social networks, microblogging services, and video portals. Every culture has their own dominant websites, just because they can integrate better with the people and know how to become popular. Google can't survive in South Korea for instance, because it doesn't play as nicely with the language+culture as Naver&Daum. Russia uses different services (VKontakte, Rutube), just look at the "World Map of Social Networks".

Sure, in China only compliant websites survive, but is that the driver?

Re:And How Is It Better Outside of China? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498036)

Go to China. Type in www.facebook.com. See what happens.

(To those who don't wanna travel: the government is blocking it, thus you can't open it).
Google is just made very slow (unless you use a VPN connection, then it's magically fast again...) and services like youtube and so on are blocked too.

You can't compare censorship in China to that in any other major nation, not even Iran. They really control every detail. They even made skype add some plugin to send all data to the government (called TOMSkype), you can't download normal skype in China.

Anyway, it's also unfair to compare China and the US. The education level in China is even way lower than that in the US and people are really much less developed. China is a third world country, not a wealthy first world nation - they need a strong government to keep the country stable until it reached a certain education level and is ready for democracy. And every Chinese person who is smart enough to understand politics is also smart enough to "clime the Great Firewall", thus bypass it and have free internet.
And China can even be freer than the US if u're smart - as the guys who should enforce the law are usually not that smart which means they can't catch you if you are sophisticated enough. And if they catch you, you just bribe them, like everyone does in China^^

Re:And How Is It Better Outside of China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498624)

...and there's your perfect example of first world ignorance at its best.

have a look at half the things in your home. how many "made in china" stickers are there?

who is the US most in debt to financially?

which nation (China or US) has the longest history as an empire?

the US is a young nation standing on the shoulders of those who made it great... and its doing a pretty good job of fucking itself in the arse.

china will be around long after the US has divided itself

...and god help any country stupid enough to pick a fight with china, nukes or no nukes.

Re:And How Is It Better Outside of China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498732)

How can you be certain that the Chinese government is doing the censoring?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency#Influencing_public_opinion_and_law_enforcement

You are a sheep in your own government's flock. You believe what CNN tells you to believe. I pity you.

Re:And How Is It Better Outside of China? (2)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498904)

heya,

I like your post, bar one thing.

The idea that the Chinese people are somehow "uneducated", or "retarded", and hence they need a "strong" government to control them.

That same line has been used by tyrants, dictators and bullies since the beginning of time. I'm probably Godwinning this, but Hitler used the same line to justify exterminating the Jews. And Stalin, Kim Il Jong and Burma's junta also used it - for the "good" of society

I know it's some weird Asian cultural thing, that the government somehow needs to "manage" it's people, for the "harmony" of society, but I think that's absolutely bollocks, and smacks of cowardice on the part of the people.

We've moved beyond that time, when warlords and tyrants held power by simple brutality, or how many henchmen they had. Modern China, in some ways has not:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2097372,00.html [time.com]

However, this is simply how things right now. Ultimately, I hope that the Chinese people man-up, and try and take responsibility for their own choices.

Cheers,
Victor

Re:And How Is It Better Outside of China? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499046)

I live in a democratic nation (not the US). I'm educated (aerospace engineering), have free access to Facebook etc, US news and media, and products by US companies, and I believe that the US is a poisonous country to the world and itself. I didn't need regime propaganda to figure this out. If you were charged with looking after 1/5 of the world's population, I'm sure it would be a bit different to looking after a couple of children at home. Discipline is essential. By comparison, the US government is looking after less than 5% of the world's population (and it is by no means a model government). What works in the US can not be assumed to work everywhere, especially in China where cultural and religious differences are immense. The outside world may view censorship by the Chinese government as bad, but Chinese people may not. They may well see it as protection from US propaganda. Remember that in other countries we see the US military traipsing all over the world dropping bombs and enforcing regime change and promoting its version of "freedom" (which appears to be one of "you are free to do what you want as long as its in US interests"). I very much doubt the OP has any idea of how the Chinese political system really works, since he can't even spell "climb" correctly. The rest of the world doesn't want to be like America. To many people in other countries you are merely tolerated as ignorant, obnoxious bullies. And you wonder why you face a terrorism threat. Wake up America and smell the shit accumulating in your own back yard.

Re:And How Is It Better Outside of China? (4, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498704)

If the US is indeed the same as China with regard to censorship, then searching "occupy wall street" would lock you out of google for 10 minutes, message board posts containing the word "Obama" or the name of the incumbent party would be scrubbed within hours if not automatically filtered, text messages with keywords related to OWS would be dropped and never received, and searching "Waco siege" or "Kent State shootings" would bring up only tourist information for the city, and visitor information for the school, to name but only a few.

Americans should be vigilant in protecting their civil liberties, but falling to lies like "the US is just as bad or worse" is not the way to do it.

Re:And How Is It Better Outside of China? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498956)

In US words are worthless because no one believes anything but 419 scams and whatever seems to match the reader's expectations, and search engines make things worse by filtering results to show something a person may agree with.

In many other countries, public-accessible speech is assumed to be somewhat verified BECAUSE it is censored. People see censorship as a filtering service.

As for various protest movements, it MUST BE HARD to be heard for protesters. It's a barrier to entry that everyone who wants to be heard has to overcome, a minimal test of persistence and willingness to make sacrifices for a cause -- for a meaningful protest to be noticed, thousands of meaningless ones have to give up. In US, Occupy Wall Street is on the same footing with run of the mill abortion protesters, and this is why no one hears them.

In related news... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497600)

America is increasingly operating a parallel universe where they have the power to impose their IP laws on the rest of the world, seizing domains that are both legal and based in countries outside their legal jurisdiction, as well as drafting laws that "only apply to other countries, not the United States."

Given the choice, I'd almost prefer to live in their world. At least they don't call themselves the defenders of liberty while they do this crap.

Re:In related news... (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497974)

That's not a parallel universe. That's the universe everyone shares. If it were a parallel universe private to only America and Americans, your criticism wouldn't have any meaning.

And of course China calls itself the defender of liberty. Everyone does.

Re:In related news... (4, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498880)

China doesn't like to throw around "liberty" because there even a blind man can see the trespasses upon it [wikipedia.org] . If the abuse of the word "freedom" in the US disgusts you, I can assure you that you'd keel over from the abuse of the word "harmony" in China.

Given the choice, I'd almost prefer to live in their world.

Sentiments like this almost makes me wish that China allows naturalization of alien residents, because saying "I told you so" to sinophile foreigners would be a sweet satisfaction. You have no idea of how surreal it feels when you look Chinese, get treated like shit, get asked for id, and then suddenly there's no problem when you pull out your US passport.

Yahoo! ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497616)

What does this mean for Yahoo! if Alibaba owns them in the future? Could they just retool the Yahoo! systems (including those hosts not in China) as they like since they own the software, network, hardware, and users?

If that's the case, I don't think there's any chance the US regulators would allow the sale of Yahoo! to a company from a restrictive foreign nation like China. Then again, I don't know what legal tools would be available to block the sale.

Re:Yahoo! ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497756)

Are you retarded?

In communist China... (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497618)

The camera watches you!

Re:In communist China... (1)

babboo65 (1437157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497964)

Also true in the UK, US and numerous other countries - sadly.

Haha... (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497624)

Silly Chinese government. Times like these make me proud to be an American. I can find whatever I want... Look, I'll just fire up the ole' Twitter and check out what the Taliban has to say... oh wait. Crap. Damn you Lieberman!!!

Does it really work? (1)

babboo65 (1437157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497652)

As strongly as the Chinese gov't tries to control the information flow in and out of their country, does it really work? At some point doesn't the human mind and human nature cry to be free and see what's beyond that veil? The more tightly controlled any group is the more they try to circumvent or abolish those controls and when they do get that first breath of real free air, they seldom do anything but try to remain free.

Most certainly, there is a large amount of censorship all around and no amount of legalism will prove one is better than another. I will say that people need to be free to think for themselves, to believe for themselves, and feel as they want. If that desire is under the control of another, then so be it - that is their choice.

You'd be surprised (5, Interesting)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497710)

A lot of people like their government-imposed veils, and they really, truly believe the propaganda deep down. Even in the U.S., after the Wikileaks stories broke, a lot of people agreed with the state line, saying "Some things need to be kept secret and the government needs to have its secrets for our own protection". One or two good mouthpieces and the talking points will get out.

Re:You'd be surprised (3, Insightful)

babboo65 (1437157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497892)

I'll grant there is a considerable amount of information manipulation here in the US. Having spent a time working in and around our government and some of the things that are kept away from public scrutiny I understand first-hand there are reasons some information is kept secret.

That is not my point and was not the comment I was making. It was not about government information being kept secret - my comment was plainly about government's controlling what their people can do on a day-to-day basis. Take the actual content of the article discussing people having access to social media - that isn't controlling access to government secrets, it's controlling access to the outside world. Again, I also said if people choose to remain within the bounds of that control by choice, it's their choice (as you said "A lot of people like their government-imposed veils") but if not they should have the ability and basic human right to be free and think for themselves.

I could absolutely care less what deep-dark secrets of the inner-workings of the government want to remain veiled - that is up to their people to deal with as it is ours. I am talking about the proscribed birth-rate limits, the limits on what sex a baby can be, where you can seek information, what you are allowed to hear, what you can do to earn a living, etc. I am talking about basic freedoms. The same is said about slavery in the US but in the end the same truth was present - people wanted to be free. That has nothing what-so-ever to do with government manipulation of banking or insurance, nothing at all to do with the next weapon or how to infiltrate an enemy, it has only to do with the ability of people to make some of the choices in their lives for themselves.

At the end of the day my question remains. Does it really work? If it did would there ever be anyone trying to shrug off the yoke of control and manipulation? At the end of the day my question was really rhetorical.

Re:You'd be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498328)

One explanation could be that there are more personal liberties in China than you think, which is why you don't see massive revolts? The communists are perfectly fine with letting you do whatever as long as you don't mess with them. It's not like the old times in the USSR when you needed special permission to even leave the country.

Re:You'd be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499022)

About 1/4 of what you just ranted about actually happens in china, the rest stopped happening in 1975.
Specifically, between 1975 and 1995 if you had two kids you paid a fine of $10,000. That was it.

Re:You'd be surprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497896)

No, I wouldn't be "surprised". Classified information in a democracy is nothing like censorship and control of information in a closed society like China. The fact you think it's the same shows your ignorance.

Re:You'd be surprised (2)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498140)

Then why is our government abusing their "State Secrets" privilege whenever we call them out for trampling all over our rights? Yeah, we know that things are better here than in China. The point is that we can see where it's all going and we don't want to end up like China.

Do you have a security clearance? If so then you'd know that the vast majority of stuff you come into contact with is overclassified. Some things do need to be protected, like that one weak spot on the tank or jet, but many others shouldn't - especially when you are trying to get a fair trial but the government abuses their "States' Secrets" bullshit and withholds all of the witnesses who testify in your favor for -- wait for it -- "National Security" reasons. I just described the kangaroo-court Article 32 hearing of Bradley Manning, who is a hero for releasing what he did.

I can only hope that poetic justice is served on the punk bitch Adrian Lamo. I want to see him raped in prison by a 400-pound black man.

Re:You'd be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498260)

Hi. I happen to have a security clearance, TS/SCI. I'm confused why you think your opinion of content classification levels matters. Is determining appropriate classification for data including or above Secret part of your job description? On the off chance that the answer is "yes," how have you managed to keep your job with a vigilante attitude like yours?

Re:You'd be surprised (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498402)

Right, let's not talk about these things lest someone overhears and we have to be reconditioned or lose our jobs on the pill production line (1984).

Re:You'd be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499374)

Those who have those kinds of clearances don't need to publish the fact that they have them. If you actually do have one, how did you manage to keep *your* job with such wanton hubris? Stop trying to act like you're "all that."

Re:You'd be surprised (1)

babboo65 (1437157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497978)

I'll go so far as to offer this article as evidence that people - HUMANS - have an innate desire to be free even under repressive controls.

http://news.yahoo.com/china-daring-few-challenge-one-child-limit-051010073.html [yahoo.com]

The birth of our own nation was at the hands of a few who chose to break away from their country's attempts at control.

Re:You'd be surprised (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498986)

I'll go so far as to offer this article as evidence that people - HUMANS - have an innate desire to be free even under repressive controls.

I don't. As long as my enemies aren't "free", either.

New Internet Order (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497680)

We on the Internetz must take over our government and start a new world order where we tell them how to behave. The only other solution I see is to hand power over t o the UN, knowing that they will never be able to agree on any new laws.

Take a good look. (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497692)

This is what many country's networks are going to look like in a few years. The united states will be next and Britain will follow soon after.

good to stop over seas call centers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498012)

good to stop over seas call centers

1984, DMCA (3, Insightful)

sjwt (161428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497698)

We are currently at war with Eastasia, we have always been at war with Eastasia.

WARNING: US GOV WANTS THIS FOR THE US. (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497704)

Our wonderful government admires China's control of the internet and wants to do the same thing here.

Why wouldn't China have an Othernet? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497714)

We have several. Why shouldn't they?

Getting bored of these Chinese censorship stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497728)

There are 1.3 BILLION people in China. Don't you think that if they actually were angry about being censored/etc they'd... you know... do something about it?

The fact that they don't rise up tells you everything you need to know about the Chinese; as long as the dollars keep rolling in, they don't give a fuck what they are and are not allowed to say.

Their society is morally bankrupt and we should leave them to get on with it.

Re:Getting bored of these Chinese censorship stori (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497980)

...[Chinese society] is morally bankrupt...

You must hail from the Land of High Horses, less commonly known as the United States of America.

Getting bored of racist trolls (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498020)

Thank you for completely missing the message of this story. The people of China aren't rising up largely because the government there is making sure that they're getting something they perceive as "close enough" to the freedom they deserve, to make it not worth the trouble and danger of protesting publicly. That isn't a character defect; it's an unfortunate aspect of general human nature. Juvenal spoke of giving the people of ancient Rome "bread and circuses" to keep them from revolting. In 19th century Spain they called it "bread and bullfights". In modern America it's food stamps and TV.

Re:Getting bored of these Chinese censorship stori (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498034)

Everything you say is also applicable to the US, except we're only 1/4 the size.

And one reason others want to see Chinese people more free is not for the Chinese themselves, but because what keeps them locked down can and will be used to lock down the rest of us. In fact versions of it already are.

Of course the purpose of the Chinese censorship, and of even more severe repression, is to keep the Chinese people from rising up. It's at least as likely that the Chinese people not rising up is because of the effectiveness of the control as it is that they are "morally bankrupt".

FWIW, people who don't care whether other people are tyrannized are "morally bankrupt".

And the thing that surprises the Chinese (2)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497804)

And the thing that surprises the Chinese is how heavily censored the US search engines are. I had a student come over to my apartment, she wanted to see the "sample" speeches for a speech competition she had entered. For all intents and purposes, we could find none in Google, we had to go to Biadu.

The same for many books, reference articles, and educational materials; we had to go to the Chinese search engines to find a Harvard Business Review article for a class exercise.

Now for the weird one, much of the information about the riots and protests in China is only available in China. It seems that no one outside of China wants to cover Chinese "bad news" other than the economic issues.

Living in China and using Chinese search engines, what I am amazed by is how hard it is to fond relevant information using the US search engines, in comparison to the Chinese ones.

Re:And the thing that surprises the Chinese (2)

ArcCoyote (634356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497912)

Do not confuse lack of interest with censorship. Was your search language English? Google may have simply been excluding results that were in Chinese.

It could also be China is preventing non-Chinese search engines from indexing Chinese sites with so-called "bad news". Interesting form of censorship, but not something you can blame the search engines for.

Re:And the thing that surprises the Chinese (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498116)

While I dislike most copyright restrictions that prevent freely downloading articles available only to published subscribers, I don't call that "censorship". And I call those who violate the copyright "pirates", even when I support what they do.

Violating copyright on content the actual content creator circulates only under conditions like purchase is not "beating censorship". When you voluntarily "censor" yourself it's not censorship.

It might also be true that lots of Chinese news that might have interested readers outside China is not covered by reporters or publishers outside China. That is not typically censorship either. It's just the part of the major media cartel that keeps people ignorant to protect its corporate power. It is pretty bad, but it's not censorship.

Censorship is when some entity with power over another prevents that other entity from freely speaking, publishing or expressing themself. It is a much more severe version of what you are complaining about. It is also a policy central to Chinese Communist ideology, as openly taught and fairly rigorously practiced.

Re:And the thing that surprises the Chinese (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499018)

It seems that no one outside of China wants to cover Chinese "bad news" other than the economic issues.

Protests in China are only covered if it's possible to [mis]represent them as demands for US-style "freedom".

Parallel Universe (2)

br00tus (528477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497928)

If you want a parallel universe, go to Freedom House's web page and look at their maps of China. In their world, all of southwestern China is an independent country called Tibet. That would kind of be like me drawing a map of the USA like this [dinca.org] , and still be expected to be taken seriously as a moderate and rational voice when issuing reports on attacks on freedom in the USA, like SOPA. Thanks, I'll stick with Amnesty International, or something a little more neutral.

Is it so diferent? (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497950)

Is it so different that what we could see here?

"According to SOPA regulations we have been reqired to remove this content/site."

The main difference is who holds the stick. Here it is the corporation who holds the intellectual property (although there is not much intellectual coming out of Hollywood). There it is the government.

Where's the IP Theft Complaints? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497956)

How can China just copy all those $multi-billion companies' sites without any of them suing to stop China? If someone tried to copy them outside of the Chinese bubble, those companies would be slamming them down. They already do, even when the "copies" aren't really copies, just competition. The Chinese people settling for the bubble copies are all potential customers for the originals.

I'm talking trademark, copyright and patent. All being infringed to steal literally billions of customers from the owners. Where are the armies of lawyers?

Re:Where's the IP Theft Complaints? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498014)

Because its China and they can dicate their own laws as they see fit?

Besides, you can't claim they are stealing customers that have no legal way to be your customer if the government blocks your services because you're perpetrating actions that may cause harm to the People of China (by suing them)

Re:Where's the IP Theft Complaints? (1)

ulricr (2486278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499700)

These services are not copies or using their trademarks. They're just similar, like google+ is to Facebook or one of the many twitter clones that eventually went away a couple of years ago.

Sky Isn't Falling (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498306)

These stories about Chinese censorship and an all-controlling communist party are really easy for reporters to write. I follow blogs written in China, mostly USA writers who are based there. They basically don't see it. One writer keeps a regular column to "fact check" claims of blogs being censored and words being deleted, and says the majority of the time the reporter either assumed it, repeated a rumor, or just made it up. Most commentary on most social media is boring, and CCP (Chinese Communist Party) officials generally have better things to do than censor LOL status and twitter updates. There is just too much content to effectively censor. And Facebook etc. not catching fire in China may have more to do with Chinese language than with the CCP struggle to control it. It sounds like MySpace blaming government interference for losing to Facebook.

Re:Sky Isn't Falling (2)

QQBoss (2527196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498580)

These stories about Chinese censorship and an all-controlling communist party are really easy for reporters to write. I follow blogs written in China, mostly USA writers who are based there. They basically don't see it. One writer keeps a regular column to "fact check" claims of blogs being censored and words being deleted, and says the majority of the time the reporter either assumed it, repeated a rumor, or just made it up. Most commentary on most social media is boring, and CCP (Chinese Communist Party) officials generally have better things to do than censor LOL status and twitter updates. There is just too much content to effectively censor. And Facebook etc. not catching fire in China may have more to do with Chinese language than with the CCP struggle to control it. It sounds like MySpace blaming government interference for losing to Facebook.

To talk about reporters repeating rumors as fact has some standing, but to deny that the CCP has blocked Facebook and Twitter because of the ability to use them in organizing groups against the government is ludicrous. Facebook and Twitter CAN'T catch on in China because they are blocked by the GFOC, though a tiny number of people use VPNs to get around such restrictions. Facebook used to be very popular in China, and I was in China the day Facebook and Twitter got blocked... it was right around the anniversary of some minor date in modern Chinese history...it's on the tip of my tongue... I am sure you could guess it if you thought about it.

Re:Sky Isn't Falling (1)

Balthisar (649688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498668)

Well, as an American living in China, it's impossible to maintain my Western lifestyle without my VPN service. While I've not looked for outright censorship on Chinese websites, it's a fact that hundreds (in my experience) to thousands (as reported by others) of Western (not just USA) websites are blocked by the Great Firewall. In most respects, that's worse than censuring something's that's been published. It's like pre-crime (pre-censoring?)

(In any case, I'd still need a VPN for geo-blocking, but that's a separate issue.)

Not a promised land for lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498368)

China is not a promised land for lawyers, apparently. The more famous and prestigious you get in China, the lower search rank you get.

West does similar things... (1, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498464)

... they have armies of posters that they pay to influence opinions and mod comments. I've noticed the quality of many discussions at slashdot have gone down over the years and I know it's not just users themselves. There's an extremely pro-market, pro-capitalist slant that is often off the top and I wouldn't put it past corporations or government to infiltrate discussions and mod anything that is pro-america up and critical of american capitalism down.

Re:West does similar things... (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499056)

While I am sure, there are plenty of corporate shills on Slashdot, most randroids look like genuine idiots to me.

Re:West does similar things... (4, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499142)

"While I am sure, there are plenty of corporate shills on Slashdot, most randroids look like genuine idiots to me."

While some may be, slashdot used to be a bit more diverse in discussion it's become a lot more monolithic and droning as time has gone on. The more intelligent users usually upvote things they don't agree with if it adds value to discussion and I've found that quality declining as time has gone on and I'm not the only one who's noticed it. My trust in moderation systems have gone down as corporations and government have the resources to game these systems easily. Especially with bot driven systems. Not to mention corporations and government hiring "communications" divisions or "marketing" divisions doing the same shit.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/03/29/craigslist-ad-for-right-wing-commentators-draws-suspicion-and-elicits-a-few-giggles/ [nationalpost.com]

Re:West does similar things... (1)

VocationalZero (1306233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499784)

Especially with bot driven systems.

Bots don't know if you're being patriotic or just sarcastic yet, so for now the cost still exceeds the reward. Thinking that American intelligence operatives have infiltrated the /. to push their "extremely pro-market, pro-capitalist" agenda is just imagined self-importance. Chinese propaganda agents, on the other hand, are as numerous as they are inexpensive, and love to rant about how evil the West is with their decadent, pro-capitalist agenda...

Re:West does similar things... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499964)

You're missing the point - the point is to pollute discussion and shut down critical thinking and create 'false consensus' that those who are followers will absorb. Critical thinking means undermining and pointing out flaws in all reasoning and propaganda. Since Americans are some of the most brainwashed people on planet earth they are absolute proof of how easy it is to shut down critical thinking and get people like you accepting the party line.

Re:West does similar things... (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499504)

There's an extremely pro-market, pro-capitalist slant that is often off the top and I wouldn't put it past corporations or government to infiltrate discussions and mod anything that is pro-america up and critical of american capitalism down

Because if someone disagrees with you, they're obviously a shill, whereas people who agree with you are champions of truth.

Re:West does similar things... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499950)

"Because if someone disagrees with you, they're obviously a shill, whereas people who agree with you are champions of truth."

Most people are easily to manipulate, they'd sooner die rather then think. Plus you have no idea what's been discovered about human reasoning. Humans live in their mediocre understanding (model) of the world, not everyone's mind is equally capable of perceiving reality as it truly is. Religion is abundant proof of this.

http://bit.ly/dYaWUc [bit.ly]

Consider the folowing verse:

Matthew 8:30-35
New International Version (NIV)
  30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

  32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

Now what does this say about the millions of human beings throughout history who've claimed to be christians "living in reality"?

The answer is most of humanity for most of human history has been living in a mixture of delusion, reality and outright fantasy. This applies to most human beings unfortunately in our currentworld.

We demand the RIGHT to read something new! (0)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498562)

Why is this news to our we-know-it-all readers?

Want something new, maybe somebody who actually know Chinese can read some of the top [sina.com.cn] articles [sina.com.cn] in today's [sina.com.cn] Sina Blog [sina.com.cn] and the thousands of comments on these articles and tell us what they have read.

Searching names of activists and returning no result. Is that news either? Maybe someone can try these [weibo.com] other [weibo.com] queries [weibo.com] to see what results are.

Join the party (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499334)

This Chinese "parallel universe" internet is just a preview of what's waiting for the rest of us.

There is already little similarity between the Internet of 2012 and the Internet of previous decades, and the difference is not encouraging. Every year, the Internet becomes a little less of it's unlimited potential, and a little more of cable television. If you were paying attention in the '90s to the way the media conglomerates and telecoms were frantically playing catchup after having been completely taken by surprise by the rise of the Internet, you would have been able to predict what was coming. Though I never thought the end would come so quickly. Corporations, commerce and "free speech zones. Walled gardens. The opposite of the promise of usenet. The more useful the Internet becomes for corporations, the less useful it becomes for human beings. We don't need a worldwide virtual shopping mall, we need a worldwide virtual community. The Internet has been Wal-marted, Amazoned, and SOPA'd into shit. If there's going to be commerce let it be more Maxwell Street and less Home Shopping Network.

Now is the time to be thinking about moving our traffic to something else. Ad hoc networks, darknets, maybe a new internet a la pirate radio. Lightening isn't going to strike twice and we won't see another phenomenon like the Internet and the way it just sort of happened, without corporate ownership, without the "job creators" designing it according to their needs. Without the masters of the universe creating a legal framework that shuts out individuals and small voices.

DIY.

So what? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499344)

Why this obsession with internal affairs of another foreign country?

If Chinese people are so unhappy they would overthrow their government.

When comparing USA and China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499392)

When comparing the USA and China one should consider the degree at which events manifest themselves.

For example, in China, if you were to criticize certain people about some X negative aspect of China, you'd get the common reply "X also happens in the USA, go look at yourself first". The same type of reply can be seen in comments in this thread. This sort of reply is of course irrelevant.

Why? Because Censorship, Corruption or what not happens in ALL countries. The question that we should ask ourselves is at what degree, what is the influence on society.

Yes, the USA is not perfect, yes there are many problems, but to take that and put it on the same level on what's going on in China? They are a world a part.

The censorship in China is MASSIVE, huge amounts of data is inaccessible. A very large amount of words is automatically blocked simply because of certain sites that might show in the results, regardless of the keywords. Certain sites are intentionally being slowed down so as to prevent people form using them (most common example is Google). The censorship is also very proactive in preventing from various data to be posted in the first place and sites and posts are taken down. Not just search results and links, but whatever they can control. People also receive personal punishments in certain occasions.

The world is not black and white. One should keep things in perspective.

Those weren't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499490)

the droids we were looking for?

jealous that China is doing too well? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38499548)

The fact the Americans even gives a shit about what wang chung is getting or not getting in front of his computer screen in China smacks of hidden agenda.

If China is so abusive, maybe the Americans should take their business elsewhere (it's like you continue to patronize a restaurant that you claim serves shitty food). Or maybe the America is just a nation of masochists?
Perhaps the Americans can start working with India? The other large population country.
Oh I'm sorry, I forget it's a failed democratic country just like the Americans are.

please stop with the false equivalency (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499574)

look at my sig. i am no friend of SOPA. having said that, suppressing political expression is not the same as an abusive monopoly warping laws to justify their technologically defunct existence

in other words, SOPA is evil. but suppressing political expression is much more evil

i can't share files in the usa, but i can call obama every vile slur i want 900 times a day for years. i can share files in china, but i can't say one thing about my leaders without risking severe repercussions

it's a completely different issue. it really is

and if you can't see that china is worthy of special condemnation without the bullshit "yeah but the usa..." no, the usa nothing: you are free to criticize your political leaders all you want, and any bullshit going on in the media industry warping our laws and buying off ignorant congresscritters whoring out their office IS evil, but a much smaller evil than what is going on in china. really

if you can't understand that, you really shouldn't comment on the subject matter, because you don't understand it

growing less false by the year (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38499790)

1. Chris Dodd, former senator, now head of MPAA, spoke admiringly of China's great firewall, saying that we could filter copyright violation if they could filter so much speech on their networks

2. Thomas Drake, Stephen Kim, Shamai Leibowitz, Jeffrey Alexander, Bradley Manning.

these 5 people's stories, and the details of the charges against them, prove that speech is increasingly being attacked for political reasons. under the guise of 'national security'.

BIZNATCh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38500076)

BSD machines users. S0rprise
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