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China Blocks Google.com, Gmail, Maps and More During 18th Party Congress

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the information-wants-to-be-free-except-during-elections dept.

Censorship 129

DavidGilbert99 writes "In an extraordinary move, the Chinese authorities have blocked access to Google.com, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, and many more Google services as the Communist Party of China holds the 18th Party Congress. The blocking of these sites was reported by Chinese web monitoring site GreatFire.org, which said, 'Never before have so many people been affected by a decision to block a website.' The latest move in a long line of disputes between the Chinese government and Google, it is unclear yet whether this denial will be temporary (like a similar one in 2010) or permanent."

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Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934325)

Saying that anything is blocked or filtered is just a daily way of life there. It would be like reporting on someone receiving a speeding ticket.

It's really none of your business unless you live there. You have no right to judge.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934459)

There are many negative news stories about the US on this site which result in comments saying dismissively and condescendingly that such things are typical of American society. Considering that nearly half of Slashdot readership is non-American, should such stories not be posted as well, since they too are judgmental in many respects?

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

JohannesJ (952576) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935375)

Simple: China is a Communist country , What the hell hell part of "Communist " wouldn't a nerd understated?

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (5, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935705)

What the hell hell part of "Communist " wouldn't a nerd understated?

I would say the majority of Slashdot have no clue. I see repeated posts calling America a 'police state' or if there is some censorship there is a cry that there is nowhere worse on the planet than the USA. Those that have never left their mother's basement have no idea what a real police state means, or what censorship means. It doesn't occur to them as they post their rants on a forum that in a lot of the world that forum wouldn't exist in the first place.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938039)

I am an American of Italian decent living in China. I am also an engineer and an attorney.

I find it interesting how many people who have never been to China often claim China is a police state. Yes, China censors the Internet, but that is because a large portion of the populace is uneducated and easily manipulated. Democracy is very limited in China, but that again relates to the low level of education for peasants in China who if allowed to vote would choose an incompetent government. On the other side, as long as you do not actively protest against the government, China is an incredibly free place to live: more free than the USA has been in 50 years.

China is incredibly safe. In my 10+ years in China I have never been in a situation where I thought the street I was on was dangerous; I cannot say the same about Philadelphia, Baltimore or Washington DC. There are no arrests for public intoxication in China. Period. It is nearly impossible to be arrested for disorderly conduct in China. And if you do something wrong and apologize chances are 9 times out of 10 the police will let you off with a warning.

So yea, in the USA we have these great laws which allow us to march in Washington DC but then we have a government which spends more than it takes in, raises taxes and burdens our economy with high debt. Our government is actively enslaving our children by saddling them with a debt in the future to please curry favor with voters today. Watch during the next four years as the economy in China continues to thrive while the economy in the USA continues to crash. Then tell me which country is more free.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938605)

If one nation does 104 creepy authoritarian things, while another nation only does 89 creepy authoritarian things, then obviously anyone who resides in the latter nation that complains about living in a police state is clearly being hyperbolic.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935865)

I guess the true nerd would understand that whatever "Communist" means in US media has absolutely nothing to do with its meaning and is just a brain rinsing agent.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936519)

It appears that you have no idea what "communist" means. You also have the worst grammar I've seen and one of the most glaring spelling mistakes, too.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938133)

China is the most capitalistic nation in the world, far more so than the USA. Based on principles of Karl Marx, USA is far more 'Communist' than China.

BTW, Google was not blocked, just 'slowed down'. I accessed Google plenty yesterday and my Gmail was logged in all day long. Bing.com worked just fine as well.

Google is not that popular in China so Chinese people really don't care. Baidu is a much better search engine in Chinese and is still plenty quick.

American in Shanghai

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934475)

I choose to judge the Chinese leadership and I will. And in so far as I am able I will consider that judgement in other decisions that I may have to make. You do not get to define my rights.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934477)

You have no right to judge.

Yes, yes we do. We have the right to say "that is wrong, you should stop that." Everyone does, about the actions of any political group (although they may be wrong, they have the right to say it). That's one of the things that "freedom of speech" and it's very very close partner "freedom of conscience", is all about.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934713)

That's a pointlessly high horse from which you speak. What is obviously meant is that we censor ourselves and restrict our own freedoms of speech and conscience, and therefore don't have reasonable grounds to act as if that's not the case and criticize the Chinese for doing the same thing. It's a systemic problem for the western world as well.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935067)

I agree with what you say that one should not infringe upon the ideals of another. We should not force the Chinese to adhere to our standards of openness and censorship...

But I think you fail to see that generally as users of Slashdot, we're nerds. As early adopters, we're denizens of the 'Net itself.

"This is our world now. The world of the electron and the switch; the beauty of the baud. We exist without nationality, skin color, or religious bias. You wage wars, murder, cheat, lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good."

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935241)

At a personal level, you're wrong. At the national level, maybe you have a point. Maybe.

But what China does is wrong. They're by no means the worst offender, but they are doing it wrong.

Unfortunately, it's deeply ingrained in their culture and will take decades or even centuries to beat it out of their institutions. And a beating is what would be required. It's like removing a nail from an old board. Wiggle it, get it loose, then eventually you can pull hard enough to get it free. Right now, the masses are wiggling. That's all they can do. There's not enough room to slip out easily.

Google, though, could be a clawhammer if they wanted to.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937125)

Unfortunately, it's deeply ingrained in their culture and will take decades or even centuries to beat it out of their institutions.

Yes it's deeply ingrained in their culture, it just so happens the opposite is "deeply ingrained" in your culture. To many Chinese "free speech" is just an excuse to be vulgar and disrespectful. At the end of the day "culturally blind" statistics show an individual has a much higher chance of being incarcerated by the state in the US than in China, yet I'm pretty sure I would feel more comfortable visiting the US than China (which as a British-Aussie is my own cultural bias at work).

It's also debatable just how "free" our speech is in the west, I grew up in the 60-70's, Mao's "little red book" was outright banned, we kids thought it had something to do with sex since adults were fond of hiding that sort of stuff. The only thing we knew about China was you had to eat your veggies because kids in China were starving, odd logic even as a kid, but they were starving and that's what our mother's told us. I also recall a major furor here in the early 70's because some gift shop had a replica statue of David in their window and he didn't have the requisite fig leaf. The basic laws have barely changed in my lifetime but the free speech culture I see today is not the same free speech culture I grew up with. I see that as an achievement of my generation, others of my vintage often see it as a lament.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (3, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935137)

You have no right to judge.

Yes, yes we do. We have the right to say "that is wrong, you should stop that." Everyone does, about the actions of any political group (although they may be wrong, they have the right to say it). That's one of the things that "freedom of speech" and it's very very close partner "freedom of conscience", is all about.

There's also this thing about "needing a right" before we're allowed to do anything.

Even supposing the OP is correct, we actually have no right to judge, it's completely irrelevant.

We can do whatever the fuck we want, we're not limited in our actions to some inclusive list of "rights". The OP has rights that we can't abridge, but beyond that we're free to do as we please.

We don't have the right to judge (according to the OP), but we will do it anyway. China is wrong, their actions are less effective than actions based on freedom, and the sum total of all their authoritarian moves will eventually cause their downfall. Free regimes will outcompete authoritarianism in the long run in every case. "The illogic of waste".

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (2)

Meyaht (2729603) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936103)

Rights are a myth. If your rights can be "trampled" or with-held, then they are not rights at all. All anyone can do is whatever they can get away with. I suppose the only right a person might have is to try.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937453)

Rights (written or otherwise) are not a myth, they are bestowed on an individual by society. those individuals who trespass on those rights are (at best) ostracised by their society. This may not be the end result for every single "right trampling" that occurs between individuals, but when you consider an entire society or civilization, then it's a virtually a statistical certainty a "rights trampler" will be stomped on by society.

Rights are part of a highly evolved and ritualized trade-off between the safety of the heard and the liberty of the predator. In other words "rights" are a natural phenomena in all social animals, what those rights are is a matter of trial and error by the individual (ie:social skills). The uniquely human ability to chisel their rights into stone tablets and rub others noses in it is not a great deal different to a dog pissing on tree, at the end of the day they both serve the same basic purpose.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934683)

It is my business because I have friends who live there. I have a 163.com email account but I can't reach it half the time from the US. I have not bothered trying to figure out where it's failing. I normally use gmail to keep in touch with my friends, who also have gmail or hotmail accounts.

this sucks.

Use hotmail. Or QQ (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934879)

Most of my Chinese friends are on hotmail and use MSN messenger. I don't know why its so popular there. They also have a very strange chat program called QQ, that seems to me to be full of spyware, and has been very difficult for me to uninstall from a couple of laptops.

Re:Use hotmail. Or QQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935147)

I have QQ as well - the OS X version seems safe enough, especially if you have your machine locked down. I know the Windows version is not so nice (potential spyware), but I think that's mainly because the folks at Tencent (the company making QQ) are not as good with OS X yet to add spyware. I don't install QQ on Windows machines because, as you said, it's hard to remove. It's easy to remove from a Mac, though.

Good to know. (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935171)

That's been my only experience with it, was that QQ was on some Windows laptops that were messing up badly, and when I tried to uninstall it, I had a real fight on my hands. There weren't a lot of English instructions online about how to deal with it.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934719)

LOL, i wish i had points, you are sooo funny.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (4, Insightful)

sdguero (1112795) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934781)

Sorry, but judging things is a fundamental human right. This is something that I have found largely misunderstood by my Chinese friends. They will say things like "There is no difference between the US government and the Chinese government, both are corrupt." While I agree with the corruption (although it is a much more straightforward sort in China), I think they miss a key element in the United States, i.e. we enjoy certain inalienable rights that they don't understand the benefit of, largely because they have never had them.

Americans, and really everyone in western style democracies are free to criticize and judge any government, religion, or belief they want to in a public forum. This is freedom of speech and it is the most important right we have.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934955)

If we want to change our government, all we have to do is use our freedom of speech to convince our fellow citizens that it's a good idea. They we vote, and change it according to our collective will. This is not easy, of course convincing everyone to agree with you is hard, but it's doable and it's been done many times.

If the Chinese want to change their government, what option do they have? What path to change can they follow? They can't even do the most basic step of letting their fellow-citizens know that something needs to be changed.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (0)

Ltap (1572175) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936133)

Americans, and really everyone in western style democracies

The United States is not a democracy.

are free to criticize and judge any government, religion, or belief they want to in a public forum.

But not to do anything beyond criticism, in which case, what is the point of criticism?

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (3, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936775)

The United States is not a democracy.

But we ARE democratic.

Also, no-true-scotsman fallacy. If a nation has a system where the leaders are put into power by the masses, it's a democracy.
Whine all you want about the oddities of the electoral college (and it IS pretty messed up), but people vote and have an influence, no matter how small, over who leads them. If the USA isn't a democracy, what is?

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936831)

Americans, and really everyone in western style democracies

The United States is not a democracy.

are free to criticize and judge any government, religion, or belief they want to in a public forum.

But not to do anything beyond criticism, in which case, what is the point of criticism?

Bullshit. You may not like what the voters decide, but what the voters want does change US policy.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935029)

It's really none of your business unless you live there. You have no right to judge.

If China were Myanmar I might be inclined to agree with you, but its not. China is not an "emerging power", its arrived, and what she does affects people around the world. So, yes, everyone has a right to judge. I find it interesting that people around the world feel like they have the right to judge the US in exactly the same vein, so yeah, we have the right. Aside from the voluminous human rights violations and atrocities China commits on a daily basis inside, they've taken to picking fights with neighbors like Taiwan, Japan, and S. Korea, they have no problem voting down UN motions to censor and even deny aid to the people of Syria, occupying Tibet, and generally causing their own brand of mischief, so, yeah, I feel empowered to criticize them directly. Good thing I'm not a Chinese citizen, huh?

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937571)

Of course everyone has the right to judge, trying not to judge is like trying not to shit, your body won't allow it. Judgement is also like shit in that "other people's shit always smells worse than your own".

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935035)

Saying that anything is blocked or filtered is just a daily way of life there. It would be like reporting on someone receiving a speeding ticket.

It's really none of your business unless you live there. You have no right to judge.

This seems to be a recurring theme these days. If something is illegal in one place, they seem to think it must be made illegal everywhere.

Criticizing the government is illegal in China, it is not in Japan, Europe, the United States and the rest of free world.

Even worse, it is hypocritical, as you are more than welcome to criticize other's governments, just not China's.

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (1)

infidel_heathen (2652993) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935199)

Holy moral relativism Batman!

Re:Chinese Censorship Is Not Nerd News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938903)

As a human I have every right to judge oppression of my fellow man.
The Glorious Chinese Peoples Communist Party sucks floppy burro rod and will be replaced by friendly cartoon characters after the people give them the Mussolini farewell in the streets.

Comments (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934337)

Are comments disabled on this post?

Yes. (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934391)

Except for those by loyal party members.

Re:Comments (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934489)

Nope. Only niggers.

Re:Comments (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934727)

Are comments disabled on this post?

No. I am in Shanghai, and Slashdot is not blocked. It is possible that it is blocked in Beijing, where the party congress is being held, but to the best of my knowledge, Slashdot has never been blocked in China. It just isn't popular enough here to matter.

Slashdot not popular enough to matter (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934779)

Slashdot has never been blocked in China. It just isn't popular enough here to matter.

Yeah, its that way in Texas too. Rick Perry doesn't even bother to block Slashdot.

Re:Slashdot not popular enough to matter (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935581)

Is /. even relevant enough to block it in Texas? I mean, really, Texas?

Re:Comments (2)

dwater (72834) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935451)

it's difficult to tell what is blocked or just some problem...people always jump to conclusions, of course.

however, slashdot wasn't accisble for extended periods in the 2006-2007 period. if it was being blocked, the I find it difficult to beleive it was deliberate...more likely the blocked a whole netblock which happened to include slashdot. i don't recall any sensitive topics, but people spout all sorts of bs here, so perhaps there was a thread I missed.

Re:Comments (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937637)

I am also in China. By the way, I just sent an email to my alternate gmail address. It went through just fine.

That being said, google has been throttled for months. I am able to search using google HK; but, if I try to follow a search result I cannot. I just times out. This has more to do with trying to push users to the Chinese brand product competitor, Biadu, than with censorship.

screw 'em, then, let them be ignorant (2)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934343)

it will be really good for business as the chinese people become more and more backward, thanks to the gutless dictators in the communist party.

Re:screw 'em, then, let them be ignorant (4, Interesting)

Extremus (1043274) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934469)

How exactly blocking Gmail et al. would make China become backward?

I mean, it is a fair question.

Re:screw 'em, then, let them be ignorant (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934773)

"Research without Google would be like life without electricity," says Xiong Zhenqin, an ecologist at Nanjing Agricultural University in Jiangsu province. [nature.com]

It is generally possible to find information on the internet without using Google, but Google Scholar and the likes really is a world-class resource.

Re:screw 'em, then, let them be ignorant (2)

naringas (733106) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934811)

How exactly blocking Gmail et al. would make China become backward?

I mean, it is a fair question.

blocking google does not make them backwards... however, since they are backwards they block google... Being backwards is not the effect..is the cause.

Re:screw 'em, then, let them be ignorant (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935497)

How exactly blocking Gmail et al. would make China become backward?

I mean, it is a fair question.

To my mind, it's a strategic act by China, which presumably has alternative technology that has been locally developed (possibly copied), that it wants to roll out. Politically it is an act of defiance against the USA, so it is a kind of act of war, in the ongoing rumbling and ever developing conflict between the two powers.

It will disadvantage Google, particularly in cutting off its intelligence gathering ability, but it also might suggest a problem within China, which is under pressure to maintain its productivity (much of it reliant on US technology) without leaking its activities and strategies all over the place.

Pretty Conventional (5, Informative)

explosivejared (1186049) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934345)

Ratcheting up Internet restrictions is the norm during times like this. Expect VPN's in-country to also be strangely slower.

What's interesting to me are the new unconventional methods of restraint [chinadigitaltimes.net] China always seems to be a pioneer in. It seems protesters throwing leaflets out of taxi cabs is a growing fear, so taxis are restricted in being able to travel around Tiananmen and will their windows locked, with some having control handles removed altogether.

I was present in China during the Arab Spring, when it was feared protest would spread. Any mention of a meetup place for protesters would all of a sudden shoot up the priority list for construction repairs. Many areas were cordoned off with armadas of street sweet sweepers.

Paranoia is an extremely inefficient use of ingenuity.

Re:Pretty Conventional (2)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935333)

Any mention of a meetup place for protesters would all of a sudden shoot up the priority list for construction repairs. Many areas were cordoned off with armadas of street sweet sweepers.

Reminds me of two anecdotes:

  1. The World Rainbow Gathering (a hippie event) was held on Hainan Island in 2008. The authorities had no problem allowing a couple of thousand foreigners to hang out in the forest, discreetly smoke, and live out their utopian society. Just one rule, though: no Chinese citizens were allowed in, because the idea of a large amount of Chinese congregating somewhere was unacceptable (who knows what such a large amount of citizens could discuss or plot) .
  2. A friend of mine busks when he travels. He made decent money in other East Asian countries. When he tried to busk in China, the local authorities would come and shut it down. They wouldn't hassle him for busking per se, but rather they really wanted to disperse the crowds that would form.

I recall reading about countries where any meeting of more than 3 individuals was technically illegal without a permit. Was China not so at some point?

Re:Pretty Conventional (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938489)

I use VPN full time in china and my internet has gotten faster than usual the last couple of days. Maybe it will be worse next week.

Google China (4, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934351)

If China doesn't want to have open communication with the rest of the world, oh well. The internet isn't for everybody, however I've got to ask where are the Chinese people in all this if they truly care?

Re:Google China (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934527)

If China doesn't want to have open communication with the rest of the world, oh well. The internet isn't for everybody, however I've got to ask where are the Chinese people in all this if they truly care?

The ones who actually do something are either in the ground, in prison, or at the business end of an AK-47 in a "fun-time all-day (and all-night) exercise party" in fields or factories, or, if lucky, simple unemployed. The ones who care but don't do anything are, well, not doing anything, for fear of ending up in the first group. That's why Internet access is useful, it allows them to speak out with less fear of getting caught.

Re:Google China (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934749)

I think you mean Type 56. China does not use the AK line, they have their own copies.

Re:Google China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934541)

If China doesn't want to have open communication with the rest of the world, oh well. The internet isn't for everybody, however I've got to ask where are the Chinese people in all this if they truly care?

Truly care? That's a mighty high assumption that communism is best battled with emotion.

It's also a rather twisted view of communism to think that it gives a shit about feelings, opinions, thoughts, or emotions too.

Re:Google China (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934969)

I am not living in China, But I am a chinese and a member of the communist party. I think it is suck. I do not understand what are we fear for ?

Re:Google China (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935021)

I've got to ask where are the Chinese people in all this if they truly care?

The Chinese are no different from anyone else. They are happy to tolerate authoritarianism as long as the authorities deliver the economic goods, and the CCP has been extremely successful at that (greater than 10% annual growth for 30 years straight). It is no different anywhere else. The Arab Spring was not about democracy, it was about economic stagnation.

Until the Chinese economy has a major recession (which it will eventually), the CCP has nothing to worry about.

Re:Google China (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41937403)

They are happy to tolerate authoritarianism

Fear is a great motivator too.

Re:Google China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935309)

If China doesn't want to have open communication with the rest of the world, oh well. The internet isn't for everybody, however I've got to ask where are the Chinese people in all this if they truly care?

The problem with that sentiment is that it isn't only the Chinese who are inconvenienced. There are something like 150,000 - 175,000 expats in Shanghai alone right now and who know how many more in other parts of China - you can be sure a reasonably large fraction of them are Google users. Those are the people who expect and have a right to open communication with the rest of the world. Yes, you can use a VPN but that can be a real pain when all you want to do is quickly check for the closest Starbucks on your mobile phone or jot a 30 second message off to your wife apologizing about not being able to call tonight because you are going out to dinner with a client or customer.

Re:Google China (1)

Ltap (1572175) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936163)

The same could be applied to the United States and its own blocking provisions. The only difference is that the USA rules the rest of the world through fear and imperialist aggression, so I suppose you might understandably mistake it for the rest of the world entirely.

Guess what? (-1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934363)

Their communists. This is business as usual. We don't necessarily need a report every time they censor someone.

Re:Guess what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934501)

Their communist what?

Re:Guess what? (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934583)

Their communist interwebs. Can't you read?

Re:Guess what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934625)

Whose communists?

lol

Re:Guess what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934789)

In soviet China, communism you owns!

In communist China... (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934835)

...the interwebs surf you.

Re:Guess what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936605)

Trust a person from Texas (or the USA in general, but especially Texas) to have no idea what communism is.

Possible outcome? (5, Funny)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934375)

"The Chinese 18th Party Congress was cancelled after attendees were unable to find where it was located without using Google Maps."

Re:Possible outcome? (1, Flamebait)

Calydor (739835) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934485)

You are not thinking big enough.

This is the beginning of a coup that will claim the lives of EVERYONE in the Communist Party as they use APPLE MAPS(!) to get to the congress.

Re:Possible outcome? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934833)

Where would they even end up? The Sahara? Antarctica?

Re:Possible outcome? (2)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935141)

Cupertino?

Re:Possible outcome? (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935297)

In other news, there's apparently an Apple store in Antarctica.

So they all tried to use Apple Maps (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934577)

and ended up meeting at Disney Land Hong Kong.

Re:Possible outcome? (1)

dwater (72834) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935511)

google maps doesn't work in china anyway...it's consistently off by about a kilometer to...iirc...the west. i'm comparing to the gps position, of course.

nokia maps, oddly, are spot on.

Re:Possible outcome? (1)

epSos-de (2741969) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938913)

This was actually a very bad move, since many people in China might be interested into business opportunities outside of China. They just keep hammering on people at random.

Good. (3, Insightful)

Slutticus (1237534) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934383)

Now let these companies stand strong, don't budge, and the people will become restless, they will become angry, and they will revolt against their government. Irony. The thing they are trying to prevent will cause a spark that will lead to their downfall.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934461)

Yeah, probably not, at least not in any predictable way. There are a million things that popular opinion and unrest within China make more likely to be reformed: the Hukou system, land distribution, criminal justice, etc. Single party rule and stringent censorship just don't motivate the Chinese like westerners constantly tell them that it should. I'm of the opinion all of this is a tremendous waste, but I don't expect any majority of the Chinese public to agree with me any time soon.

Re:Good. (1)

Stoopiduk (1593855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934599)

Agreed. Not to mention that many of the google services do have alternatives. There will be a hardcore of people getting pissy, but how much will the average person on the street care about restricted access to google and its products?

There are other providers of maps, email and search, people will move to alternative (probably inferior and state backed) services and then continue with their lives.

I know. (1)

Slutticus (1237534) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935365)

I was just feeling very hyperbolic at that moment. But any little thing added to the pile will help people pay attention, and dammit, people like their googling.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934545)

One can hope. But last time they tried it over 20 years ago, thousands were killed and imprisoned. But I suppose that's not a concern for a spectator...

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935647)

yea, that worked in North Korea

Baidu.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934437)

Aren't they all using Baidu anyway?

Yup. (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934451)

Unless they can't read Mandarin.

mod 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934517)

Whatever path is was after a long are inherently aashole about.' One AT&T and B3rkeley 4.1BSD product, community. The

Not Extraordinary (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934559)

Extraordinary. You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means. In fact, the more you use it, the more ordinary it becomes. Google has been blocked before — you even say so in the summary. China blocks major western properties it considers disruptives during important national events (like the party congress, or the Olympics) when sentiments are running high and adrenaline is pumping to minimize the chances of an incident that could endanger lives or detract from the party message. If it's happened before, it's happening now, and it will happen again, I'd call that business as usual in China. It's ordinary... By definition.

Don't screw with the monopoly. (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934565)

In China gathering immense amounts of intrusive personal data about people is a governmental monopoly.

Is Slashdot blocked in China? (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41934651)

Re:Is Slashdot blocked in China? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935089)

I am in China now. Guangdong province.
Slashdot is not blocked.
google doesn't work 90% of the time and is horribly horribly slow even though the google Hong Kong server is only a few hours away by boat. The web browser keeps throwing errors about invalid compression and it stops loading the page after waiting about 5 mins.. Gmail is working off and on. The more you use google and Gmail, the slower and less reliable they get to the point where I have to use Bing or taobao instead and a mail client because Gmail sits there for 30 mins with a progress bar and connectivity problems while trying to load my inbox. Gmail's imap works well in that i canMeventually send and receive mail if i wait long enough. My OpenVPN to my home PC in the states works well for about 5 mins and then drops to 5KB/sec and stays there unless i get a new ip from my isp.

I use reader on my tablet to get news via rss and the google proxy for that is almost always broken with messages about the google server having an error or the server timed out. It's very frustrating.

Bing works very well here. It is much faster than baidu and it is never broken like google.

Re:Is Slashdot blocked in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935187)

I should mention I get 600KB/sec to mainland china websites and maybe 5 KB/sec if i'm lucky to the rest of the world including Hong Kong. Linux mirrors that are much farther away physically, but still in mainland china are 300x faster than Hong Kong.

Re:Is Slashdot blocked in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936833)

Any idea why? Do the filters only apply to outside traffic and slow it down?

Re:Is Slashdot blocked in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41938093)

I know for a fact that bing and baidu query auto completion features were also deactivated today in china.

Re:Is Slashdot blocked in China? (2)

BeShaMo (996745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41938281)

I'm currently in Beijing and yeah, Google always works less than optimal when you go to .com and even .hk, but I found that google.co.uk works better (and works today.) My VPN (that I set up on a VPS in Tokyo) stopped working yesterday though :(

Re:Is Slashdot blocked in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935143)

First and third link give "web page is unavailable. The server may have moved to a new address". Second link works.

Revolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41934703)

Are they trying to incite revolution?

Regional (1)

Stargoat (658863) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935081)

Is this regional, or nationwide? There's a lack of understanding in the western media about the Great Firewall. They treat it like a monolithic linksys router with which daddy can turn services on and off.

Control / censorship of the Internet in China is at the very least city by city, and probably ISP by ISP. The conversation we are having here is stupid bordering on moronic.

Re:Regional (1)

dwater (72834) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935543)

yeah, wot he said

Only hurting technology information. (1)

tvlinux (867035) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935247)

I lived and worked in China for years. Baidu is fine for Chinese searches(98% is non tech searches) but if a person is doing technology searches Baidu sucks. I can understand the reasons for blocking gmail and other interactive communication, but blocking tech searches on Google will only harm the advancement of technology.
If the ISP knows that a is the primary user, they usually are not as strict, But you have to go to the ISP office to complain.

In Soviet China (1)

infidel_heathen (2652993) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935299)

... government searches you!

Blocked websites? nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935327)

China's government works hard at keeping anyone in China ignorant about anything bad that China may be doing politically or otherwise, world news and western corporation websites like "map quest" or "Google" and any website they might actually learn the truth about stuff going on in the darker side of government functions.

if you want to even access sites like youtube or facebook you have to hack through the so-called "great firewall" of China which evidently isn't that great because whenever they plug a security hole the local students just get the latest "update" a week or so later and they can access what they want.

supressing information especially in the internet will always backfire..........eventually

the awkwardness... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936171)

Does anyone else see the awkwardness between the #1 location for manufacturing computers, and internet capable devices, blocking the #1 first-stop (and probably one of the largest destinations as well) on the internet?

How have we allowed ourselves, as a world, to get into a position where China builds, literally, everything electronic these days?

What we going to do if/when they decide to go into lock-down mode due to governmental decision, or revolt? Taiwan isn't a fall back any longer because many manufacturing plants there have closed or become specialized--and anyway if China locks itself down you better believe they will be including Taiwan. Japan? Sony, Toshiba, Fujitsu, etc--all make their products in China. South Korea is ramping up for certain products, but they still rely heavily on China. There is virtually nothing electronic made in the America's any longer, and what few items are, are really just assembled here with the majority of the components (and certainly all of the passive components) coming from China.

If they lock down the rest of the world is going to be put into a tail spin, it will be chaos for months or years just trying to return to normal. It would be even worse than if every oil producing middle eastern country suddenly shut their taps--with oil at least there are sources located in Russia, South America, North America, etc... but manufacturing electronics and other necessary small parts? Those are essentially "single source" now for the entire planet from China.

Scary, scary stuff...

This is a Test. For the next n-minutes all Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936631)

Will be Blocked...................

What is the chance the Chinese Communist Party Congress was just an excuse? That the blocking was a test of the Chinese Internet Invasion Defense System? To test how successful communications blocking can be expected to be in a real event situation?

Would we, in the United States. Britain and other nations where major parts of government IT tech energies are focused to getting into the people's computers, to be able to access their data to determine each one's private activities, interests and attitudes, recognize something so alien to our authoritarians' tunnel-focus as defense against propaganda channeling, misinformation intrusions, and even officials' 'official' (meaning above the law) malware and spyware implantations, and chemings, scammings, mining, phishing? Do you suppose the Chinese might be aware they may be able to piggy-back on our paranoid-of-their-people nations' home population intrusion systems, so they may be able to obtain for free all that our "domestic espionage" agents gather from us, along with what our electronic peeping-toms generate, themselves. All of which they may be able to make use of, themselves...

FTC review of Google nearing critical point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41937969)

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_21967140/googles-review-by-ftc-nearing-critical-point

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