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China Shuts Down 17,000 Internet Bars

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the cheaper-than-carnivore dept.

Censorship 599

Astin writes: "According to this article, Chinese authorities have shut down more than 17,000 Internet bars for failing to block Web sites considered subversive or pornographic. Out of the 94,000 Internet bars in China, 17,488 have been shut down and another 28,000 were ordered to install monitoring software soon. Of the 27 million Internet users in China, about 4.5 million rely on these bars. Foreign news organizations fall under the category of 'subversive'."

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599 comments

Help! (0, Insightful)

BankofAmerica_ATM (537813) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596509)

Some drunk came into the stop N Go and Peed on me! I am wet, and I may malfunction. Please help.

Re:Help! (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596533)

I missed an fp to this? you assclown - this is the worst troll I have seen on this site outside of every single article that j0nCats posts.

lick it (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596511)

my right to kick your balls must be preserved

Re:lick it (-1, Offtopic)

BankofAmerica_ATM (537813) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596569)

I have no balls. But I do have twenty-four convenient access to your finances. Would you like a receipt with that? Someone tell the boy who works here to clean me up. The man who puts money in me is going to be very, very upset.

Wow... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596525)

CNN and Porno are the same evil in china?

Looks like they are thinking before their time!

Sounds rotten... (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596528)

It sure sounds rotten, but it is their country. Additionally, there's something like 78% of the "internet bars" open for business.

Slashdot (1)

toofast (20646) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596529)

Does Slashdot count as a "foreign news site"?

I can't imagine not being allowed to read Slashdot.

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596646)

It would be Foriegn to China right? Remember that China doesn't care about Open Source :p All they care about is keeping the peoples' minds closed.

Re:Slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596655)

"I can't imagine not being allowed to read Slashdot." I can. I might still be able to have some grip on sanity. Speaking of which, mother nature calls. Ah! that's better. Now I'm off to spoon up some applesauce with a fork that has been babyproofed with the cork from a fine rioja. I thank you! Ceeeeemeeeennnntttt!!!

Favored Nation status? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596530)

Doesnt make since to me!

Well yeah.... (1)

invenustus (56481) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596532)

In an authoritarian Marxist country, any site ending in .com is going to be considered subversive....

Re:Well yeah.... (4, Insightful)

easter1916 (452058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596574)

China is about as marxist as my left nipple. Its politico-economic situation is a weird, bastard stepchild between military-owned capitalism, nationalism, communism and nepotism. Marxism it is not.

piss flaps (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596534)

gouranga

Wow. (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596537)

China sucks. I feel bad for the people that live there. How come they dont revolt? If the USA had that happen, we'd all start killing each other.

Re:Wow. (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596548)

Those who revolt get killed by the government. It's like, if you don't shut up, the government will make sure you do.

They did try to revolt once (3, Flamebait)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596562)

It was called Tiannemen Square.

As I recall, it didn't work out so well.

Re:They did try to revolt once (3, Interesting)

Talisman (39902) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596614)

Indeed, they once did try, and sadly, it failed.

However, just because one attempt was crushed, doesn't mean the next one will be. If anything good is to be extracted from that mess, it proved that a 'free' mentality pervades a large minority, or perhaps a timid majority.

The hard-liners are getting old. They will die soon. If you can't beat them punch-for-punch, let nature take care of the problem.

Re:They did try to revolt once (2, Insightful)

quartz (64169) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596686)

"Timid majority"? Heh. There were a few thousand students in Tiananmen square. China has a population of 1.2 billion. You do the math.

Re:They did try to revolt once (1)

Talisman (39902) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596716)

I'm not sure what's confusing you.

If there is a timid majority, it means secretly they want a different government, but are too afraid, or timid, to say so.

These same people are often referred to as the "silent majority".

Re:They did try to revolt once (2, Funny)

BluePenguin (521713) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596625)

Maybe they're afraid that a repeat of Tiannemen Square thrown by ultra violent, Quake addicted geeks.
Now that would be an ugly sight.

Re:They did try to revolt once (2)

JamesOfTheDesert (188356) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596694)

As I recall, it didn't work out so well.

Sure it did! China now has favored-nation trading status.

Oh, wait, you meant it didn't work out well for the *protesters*.

Re:Wow. (1)

digerata (516939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596587)

Yeah no kidding. Did you see all the people revolt when DMCA was passed?

Re:Wow. (1)

kilgore_47 (262118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596733)

Surely, there will be another revolt in response to the 1,000 some people being ilegally held under "suspicion of terrorist ties" by our government right now.

Because, like, people wouldn't stand for it if the government was just arresting everyone who didn't like America, right?

Re:Wow. (3, Insightful)

HCase (533294) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596590)

If this happened in America all hell would break loose, but in China, most people probably don't care, if they even notice. Only 27 million of their 1.3 billion citizens access the internet. Thats about 2 percent. Of those 2 percent, only 4.5 million rely on the internet bars. So even if all of them were effected by the lose of these bars(which not all are) only .3 percent of the population that was effected. Unfortunately not enough to throw a coup or have a very effect revolt against an armed government willing to use force.

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596615)

I have to say the idea of people who frequent Internet Cafes in America making 'all hell break loose' or 'throwing a coup' makes me laugh, hard.

I would put it to you, sir, that if the American government shut down some internet cafes, the majority of Americans would not give a flying fuck. Now, if you were to shut down McDonalds or ban lame-ass sitcoms - that would be another thing...

Re:Wow. (1)

HCase (533294) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596719)

Heh, a Boston coffee party perhaps?

I agree that many people wouldn't care to much about the bars being shut down, I know I wouldn't be particularly moved by it. But I think the censorship aspects would cause quite a bit of stir. People would fear, and rightly so, that the banning of sites in certain places could be a step towards mass censoring of the internet.

Not So Smug! We could be in the same boat soon! (3, Insightful)

drenehtsral (29789) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596607)

I wouldn't be so quick to say that. Now that the U.S. is "at war" i wouldn't be surprised to see more censorship popping up left and right. Now admittedly, we do have a long way to go before it gets that bad, but i doubt many americans could be bothered to kill (and conversely to die) for their freedom of speech and freedom of asociation, hell many can't even be bothered vote for those freedoms, some can't even be bothered to vote at all.
During World War II we locked people up for their ethnic background, and during the cold war we persecuted people based for allegedly belonging to subversive political organizations that supported things such as a living wage and racial equality.
What i'm saying is that we shouldn't be so smug, this sort of thing isn't as far fetched as one might think.

Re:Wow. (2)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596679)

Actually, if this happened in America, it would quickly be followed by an announcement from the President and other political leaders that this was for the best, that they are only trying to "protect our children" and make our streets "safe for normal folks" by being "tough on crime".

That announcement would then be followed by an announcement by the CEO of AOL/Time Warner (who was just appointed as head of the newly created "Homeland Entertainment" department) that they would immediately merge with CBS, Fox, and every other media company you can think of, and that every home in America would immediately recieve free cable television and connection to the "New and Improved American Internet" for life. 85% of the sheep..er, people in this country immediately decide it's better to lie down and take it than risk missing the Friends season finally, and the rest of us are left wondering why the fuck we didn't move to Canada when we had the chance.

Who cares... (-1, Offtopic)

GypC (7592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596538)

People get the kind of government they deserve. I mean really, grow some balls already.

Re:Who cares... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596581)

oh, and we deserve GWB and himmler... er... ashcroft...

Re:Who cares... (2, Insightful)

emdean091876 (320115) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596666)

That is a very naive comment.

The last time the people of China "[grew] some balls" was at Tiananmen square. That sure worked out well for them. I think some people forget that not all of us live in a somewhat "free" society.

I think it's very ignorant to think that the people of China deserve a government that abuses their human rights. I think that it is even more ignorant to think that the people of China do not have any "balls" because they do not try to stand up for themselves more often.

When you stand up for your rights in China, you are eliminated, plain and simple.

It's one thing to say that if you were in their situation you'd stand up for your own rights; it's another to actually do it when you are there.

Sad (1)

rnb (471088) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596542)

It's too bad that all of this is happening and places like SafeWeb are shutting down.

I do recall hearing, however, that recently China began to allow access to cnn.com. Does anyone remember this or know for sure?

Breaking News (2)

mosch (204) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596543)

What a shock, who'd have thought that China would have bad Human Rights Practices [state.gov].

Highlights of the above report (3, Informative)

mosch (204) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596667)

Highlights of the above report:
  • crackdowns on religion
  • harsh treatment of political dissent
  • falun gong practitioners put in detention, sentenced to "reeducation-through-labor" camp, incarcerated in mental institutions or killed
  • extrajudicial killings
  • torture
  • forced confessions
  • arbitrary arrest and detention
  • mistreatment of prisoners
  • lengthy incommunicatdo detention
  • denial of due process
  • a judicial system that denies defendants basic legal safeguards
  • restrictions on freedom of speech and the press
  • restrictions on freedom assembyly and freedom of association
  • restrictions on freedom of movement
  • violence against women, including forced abortion and sterlization
  • trafficking in women and children
  • massive abuses in Tibey and Xinjiang
  • a lack of worker rights
  • forced labor in prison facilities
  • child labor
The list goes on, and details are provided. Check out what goes on in the country that makes your shoes for such a good price.

Re:Highlights of the above report (3, Interesting)

aliebrah (135162) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596710)

I'm sure that you'll notice the irony that increasingly many of these things are now happening here in the USA as well. Go figure.

This is old (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596545)

Trollwave 2001 -- an endless space odyssey in time.

Remeber when we were fish ? We promised ourselves we would do it.

Troll network associates.

Manpower (1)

krugdm (322700) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596546)

Well, there's government wastefulness at its finest... How many man-hours did it take to sweep 90000+ "bars"? And how are they planning on enforcing this? It would seem that if these are small one-room shops, that if the government were to shut one down, it would just pop up again elsewhere.

Re:Manpower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596642)

They'll probably enforce it as they do everything else

with torture.

Re:Manpower (2)

quartz (64169) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596651)

Yeah, except the government controls internet access at the source [slashdot.org]. They can pop up all they want, but not as "Internet" bars since there'll be no more Internet for them.

Well... their laws are their laws... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596547)

We might not like it, but China has their way of life.. and that's not going to change any time soon.

As far as the internet bars go, serves them right for not installing monitoring software. They violated the law - the got shut down. I'm sure as soon as they pay their fines and install the proper software they'll be back up and running. China is not like Russian in the days of Stalin. They're actually a very progressive society - for socialists that is...

Re:Well... their laws are their laws... (2)

rossz (67331) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596602)

We might not like it, but China has their way of life.. and that's not going to change any time soon
No, it's the Chinese government's way of life. The people don't exactly have a choice.

Re:Well... their laws are their laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596609)

That's true. But they are communist's and therefore do not think rationally :p
Besides, if this is such a big issue then why aren't they cracking down on all of the Chinese Asain Schoolgirl Pr0n sites?

Re:Well... their laws are their laws... (1)

vmalloc_ (516438) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596635)

Uhm, you're kidding, right? Are you the guy that works in China's PR department or something?

China is the most unprogressive murderous repressive shelter-state on the planet right now, I'm astounded you can say things like that.

And the surprise is...? (2, Troll)

sharkticon (312992) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596550)

Why is anyone really surprise by this move by the Chinese government? It's not like they're known for being a bunch of liberals after all - just ask some of Falun Gong for instance how they treat ideas that they don't like. No, the Chinese government may like to talk about their progressive nature and "liberalising" (heh) their country, but the truth is they're as big a bunch of Reds as the Soviets ever were.

How is though that the US is prepared to kiss ass in order to trade with them when we spent close to fifty years fighting the Red menace before? Modern USia has quite simply lost any semblance of morality and ideology other than the dollar and a kind of rabid Christianity. Whatever happened to fighting the good fight against communism because it threatened the freedoms we fought so hard to win?

Are our principles now to be sacrificed because we want cheap Chinese products? Can this country sink any lower?

Re:And the surprise is...? (4, Offtopic)

easter1916 (452058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596593)

I think you answered your own question; The good fight stops when it's bad for business.

Re:And the surprise is...? (1)

gimple (152864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596600)

Would you be willing to give an example of "rabid Christianity" that has been negatively affecting morality and ideology in the US?

Re:And the surprise is...? (0, Offtopic)

easter1916 (452058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596620)

The prez's visit to the anti-Catholic University down south. Great example there.

Re:And the surprise is...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596648)

So this is moderated as offtopic but the parent post is not? And you lot complain about China's censorship laws. Hypocrites.

Re:And the surprise is...? (3, Insightful)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596640)

"Whatever happened to fighting the good fight against communism because it threatened the freedoms we fought so hard to win?"


Because the people in China need to feed their families and earn an honest living. Because if the USA were to "(fight) the good fight" due to some moral docterine our economy would collapse almost instantly as we alienate Singapore, China, Vietnam, and every other "freedom hating" regime on the planet. Because, when it comes down to it, we have to make the best that we can and help the most people possible.

Fighting the good fight (2)

cuvavu (111503) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596647)

Imagine that sort of banning of certain books, films or even thoughts happening in the USA? Never! [let.rug.nl]

Redness not the issue (1)

kbs (70631) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596704)

The Chinese Communist Party is only "Communist" nominally... recently President Jiang Zemin infuriated some of the hardliners by allowing "capitalists" to join the party membership. If you look at his record, he's been known to be an opportunist. In fact, his entire record reflects this (read Tiannanmen Square Papers for more details).

The reason that the U.S. has begun to embrace China is precisely because they are no longer real communists, which translates to "exploitation" markets: think, corporations can make use of prison labor at a fraction of the cost of expensive U.S. workers.

All that's remaining of the original Maoism is an authoritarian government running a country by propaganda.

-k

Re:And the surprise is...? (1)

pnatural (59329) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596711)

quoth sharkticon:

It's not like they're known for being a bunch of liberals after all

i hate to pick nits, but communisim is actually the logical conclusion of liberalism. so yes, the chinese leaders really are a bunch of liberals.

oh, and before you flame me for saying something that doesn't agree with your television-fed education, read a book.

Re:And the surprise is...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596727)

I think he meant classical liberals

SHHH! (-1, Offtopic)

darrellsilver (252329) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596551)

you guys are going to get us all in trouble! Don't you know China's an ally in the fight against evil-doers? As a member of the us media, you can't go around talking about their non-goodness anymore.

Too late now, expect a call from Ashcroft any minute...

Darrell

Huh. (2, Interesting)

Karen_Frito (91720) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596552)

How long until we see "17,800 Internet Cafes in the United States were shut down last week due to the newly passed Eagle Act, which requires blocking all pro-terrorist sites."

?

Only from the mouth of a terrorist. (1)

cyb3r0ptx (106843) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596599)

A remark like that clearly shows me that you are a terrorist. By the powers given to the US government under the almighty 'Patriot' Act, I would like to see you arrested, given a swift trial in secrecy, and executed.

Re:Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596633)

Ummm... how about, never?

Re:Huh. (1)

Karen_Frito (91720) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596664)

Oh? You think so? I can -easily- see a law being passed that considers websites that agree with -- or seem to agree with -- "the terrorists" (and isn't THAT just a nice vague term for a whole LOT of groups) "agenda". -- are "harboring terrorism". And didn't Duyba just say anyone "harboring terrorism' was as bad as the terrorists? And how about when the website is sympathetic to the politics behind "the terrorists" -- but not the act itself? Your never may come sooner than you think. Hopefully though, it won't come at all, due to the ACLU, and other groups, and private individuals actually speaking up against this sort of thing instead of just sticking their heads in the dirt and saying it will never happen.

communists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596556)

communists ;/

Eat shit. (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596557)

China should start shutting down its women's vaginas. We don't need more children in this world, and we certainly don't need more edible [rotten.com] children.

Re:Eat shit. (-1, Offtopic)

BankofAmerica_ATM (537813) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596617)

I like your website. The chubby teen who lives there seems so friendly. Is she your sister/girlfriend? Have you considered opening a bank of America account?

Be happy if you live in the US (3, Interesting)

ApheX (6133) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596560)

People are complaining about the loss of civil liberties and privacy in the US with the wake of the 9-11 attacks. But be thankful that we still have freedom of speech and press and that we aren't getting government filtered content stuck down our throats. I am suprised that though a lot of china is so technologically advanced, their society is not...

You know what, I AM glad... (3, Troll)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596579)

Doesn't mean I should accept what they're doing to us because it's not as bad as what China's doing to their people. Wrong is wrong, no matter the extent thereof.

Re:You know what, I AM glad... (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596736)

Exactly. Freedom isn't a point on a continuum. Saying, "Well at least it's better here than elsewhere, so I guess we have liberty," doesn't mean you really have freedom. Freedom is a direction you have to constantly face and strive toward. Turning from that direction at all should not be tolerated by a people that values liberty.

Sacrificing our rights in order to combat terrorism (PATRIOT Act is a complete misnomer) is one of the sickest jokes I can imagine. Wake up, America! Your Constitution is being trampled on by the very people that have sworn an oath to uphold and defend it. How much more will it take before you realize that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans care about you? There are other [constitutionparty.com] parties [lp.org] to vote for, you know.

Re:Be happy if you live in the US (2)

GypC (7592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596663)

Most of China is not at all technologically advanced, the rural areas are still practically pre-Industrial. Perhaps you are thinking of Japan?

Re:Be happy if you live in the US (1)

S810 (168676) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596669)

Seems to me that not too long ago they were not a communist country and therefore could explore technology and information.

Too bad... (1)

Whom The Bell Trolls (538169) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596567)

but if you are going to run a business in China, you have to play by the rules.

I have no pity.

Don't like it, move to Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Re:Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596721)

In the (somewhat) near future, that may not be far enough.

Subvesive (1)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596568)

Foreign news organizations fall under the category of 'subversive'


Maybe that's because most foreign news services are simply propaganda?

My Rights Online??!! (-1, Flamebait)

Faulty Dreamer (259659) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596570)

What the fuck? I didn't know that the nasty things the Chinese Communist government does to its citizens has any bearing on "My Rights".

When did slashdot become Amnesty International?

The editors need to stick to their. OSDN objectives and not turn this place into a political rag.

Re:My Rights Online??!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596712)

you are absolutely right. 'tis about as pointless as meteor shower news. Oh, and Farm Equipment Monthly is doing a wonderful piece on Beowulf Clusters...

Spammers weep (1)

Sturm (914) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596572)

Yeah, and of the 1,867,465,234 spammers in the world, 86% probably depended on these Internet bars to relay mail, also.

Normal Students? (5, Insightful)

Talisman (39902) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596576)

From the article:

"Some youths will submerge themselves in Internet bars for long periods, playing unhealthy games and adversely affecting their development as normal students."

If porn and video games do not make for normal students, I dare say that there has never been a normal male child, ever. Sex and games occupied most of my time while I was a student.

And I'm plenty normal. Just ask my psychiatrist.

Talisman

Of Course! (0, Flamebait)

S810 (168676) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596580)

Didn't you know that CNN doesn't tell the whole truth? Capitalist pigs! Does not surprise me that China want's to shelter their people from the real world. That's how they try to keep everyone scared enough to be submissive.

Good timing. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596589)

Funny how this happens JUST after Chinas entrance into the WTO, and just after the Chinese government told the world that now that they were in the WTO, they werent going to disregard human rights so much. Funny how the internet bars that service the foreign press in China, get closed down shortly after the largest contigent of foreign press leave China. The investigation is going on since April, but nobody wants to rock the boat until China is in the WTO, and all the press and other foreigners have left. The news will be just swallowed up, the majority of people wont even hear about it, and China gets to say HA HA and you beleived we were going to change you morons.

This might not seem like a big deal to people, but the people they arrest of online dissent get lumped in as Falun Gong members and can be executed. This isnt that they cant view porn. They cant see whats going on in the world. Is CNN Subversive? It is when the chinese government lies to its citizens every day.

GOD THE WORLD IS SO CORRUPT it makes me hate it. And everyone tomorow is just going to say business as usual and carry on the same way. When it happens in America, you remember that you all watched it happen, and the opinions you took on China and Saudi Arabias actions.

And it was soo easy to avoid! (-1, Offtopic)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596595)

They just had to block slashdot: that way you avoid links to goatse.cx [goatse.cx] and there woudn't be all this awful talk about "Your Rights Online" and "Anti-Censorship".
They do like the cute pengiun however.

Let me get this straight... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596596)

The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred in September, and now we're involved in a WAR against Islam (against the holiest of Muslim scholars, the Taliban) during the holy month of Ramadan and you people have the gall to be complaining about China doing some creative firewalling to shelter and protect their innocent citizens??? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

The bodies of the thousands of innocent civilians who died (and will die) in these unprecedented events could give a good god damn about China's brave acts of censoring wisdom, your childish Lego models, your nerf toy guns and whining about the lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D fixation, the latest Cowboy Bebop rerun, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life" (here's a hint: watching Cowboy Bebop in your jammies and eating a bowl of Shreddies is *not* "getting on with your life"). The souls of the victims are watching in horror as you people squander your finite, precious time on this earth playing video games! What's even more unbelievable is, no matter how many times I post this to Slashdot (probably a hundred times since September 11th), and no matter how obvious a troll I make it, it still hooks several morons who feel the need to tell me to "get over it".

You people disgust me!

Fear the Net (4, Troll)

Mannerism (188292) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596608)

The most telling point in the article:

The government wants to encourage the Internet's growth as a commercial medium. But Beijing fears its other use as a forum for political dissent.

Now let's revisit the second sentence:

But Washington fears its other use as a forum for terrorist activity.

So, Beijing mandates NetNanny, and Washington mandates Carnivore.

Yep, sure am glad I live in a society completely unlike China.

This might be very good. (1)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596611)

When people use the internet in cafes or bars they are the most time very drunk and write stupid things.
For example I know a dude who really posted on a very popular website that he got email from Afghanistan when there is no electricity or water there and the tabilan shot people for having computers, very stupid indeed.
So this decision might actually rise the quality of the internet automatically but I don't know if the stupid "I-got-email" bloke is from china sorry.
Some chinese might have trouble to get truthful information in this repressive system but intelligent people always know how to get this information because the definition of intelligent people is: people who know how to get truthful information.

China ruled by Stupid Jackbooted Thugs. (1, Flamebait)

jcr (53032) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596613)

Is anyone surprised?

BTW, where can I get a high-resolution picture of that man standing in front of the tank in Tienanmen Square?

-jcr

Keeps things in perspective (1)

rbook (409739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596629)

This should help those of us in the USA keep things in perspective when we are complaining about DMCA and Carnivore. Not that we shouldn't fight these things, but we should always remember it could be a lot worse -- and we should be thankful for the freedoms we still have, most of which are (still!) not being threatened.

And while we contribute to the Dmitry Sklyarov legal defense fund [paypal.com], we should remember that even though he's wrongfully charged with violating a wrong law, there are others in the "People's Republic" of China who are being tortured in unspeakable ways for just receiving e-mail from foreigners and reading the news on the web.

Online Heroin (5, Funny)

Exmet Paff Daxx (535601) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596632)

The Chinese government did this, to a lesser degree, in July, shutting down 2000 internet cafes [newsfactor.com]. They'll continue to do this, as public anonymous entrance points to the internet are much harder to track and discipline; the user is usually long gone by the time you examine the logs.

There's a great quote from this article:
a Web site published opinions expressed by Communist Party leaders that excoriated the effects of "online heroin" on its masses, particularly on its youth

If the Internet is "online heroin", slashdot is "an online jet-powered crackpipe burning a two ton ball of primo Detriot crack, laced with LSD, PCP, Ecstasy, and some weird shit we've never seen before".

Shutting down news coverage (1)

Ryn (9728) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596639)

I can partially understand why Chinese gov't would want to do that. I get my news about the world from www.pravda.ru/ www.izvestia.ru in Russia (I live in the US, though). I've compared the stories on CNN to the Pravda. It is rather interesting to see how CNN feeds news to the US public (CNN correspondents were advised to constantly remind the viewers that "We are doing this to the country that harbors terrirists" when they would show a 1-2 second shot of hospital full of children wounded in the bomb attack). I guess what I am getting at is that US news machine is now in full gear, providing the "happy" details of the war to the people who are affected by it, and not giving the full detail, and if Chinise gov't would actually provide news coverage thats better than CNN, then Chinese would be better off.

Now what will I do? (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596660)

If the Chinese government takes away Internet access for millions of users, who will fill my e-mail inbox with unreadable spam that uses character sets not installed on my computer? My, this would be a tragedy...

In the US, This Would Be "Illegal" As Well (5, Interesting)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596672)

Actually, I can't say that it would be illegal in a "bar", but in a cybercafe environment, by law in MA at least, you're required to have internet filtering which blocks nudity and other "offensive" content. In a restricted, over 21 environment, perhaps this isn't such an issue, but in a mall or a place with any sort of store window, police complaints and actual orders to shut your business down can be handed out with very little discrimination. I know, I net-admined one for a year.

My friend and I recieved, on one occasion, a visit from the local police department, concerning that children had acceess to our machines and that our machines could be set to display objectionable content. The woman who had filed the complaint did not actually see objectionable content or had an experience where her child did, she merely voiced the possibility that it could happen.

Police seem to take this sort of stuff seriously. I'm not sure why it's any surprise that a government particularly against free speech would have a slightly more aggrevated reaction.

China doesn't fear the Internet? Yeah right... (1)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596701)

Just pick up this week's copy of U.S. News and World Report and you'll find an article in there about how the Internet should be creating global utopia through the free exchange of information. The author even specifically states that China doesn't fear the 'net because they screen things with "The Great Firewall of China". Well, we now see how well THAT'S worked.

I personally think global utopia is a pipe dream, no matter what the methods proposed to get there. People will always disagree on something, and extremists from those arguments will seek to have their ideas implemented by force.

What does the Internet represent to China? Free ideas that cannot be controlled by a communist central government. It must be noted that many Islamic countries practice similar "bans" in order to keep their people in the dark and allow corrupt regimes to keep on corrupting.

Those of you who supported the "Europe Bans Hate Speech" initiative last week should take a long look here and see just where your "ideas" would take you. Trying to control any one idea or thought is just as bad as trying to control any of them. Sure, you may think it's a good idea now, but what happens when they come for YOU?

Am I reading this right? (1)

DA_MAN_DA_MYTH (182037) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596703)

27 million people in China are Internet users?

That's less than 5% of the population... Is that correct? Sounds like a higher percentage of people are logging on in Afghanistan with their Commodore 64s.

China's actions are ultimately futile (2)

gentlewizard (300741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596722)

In The Lexus and the Olive Tree [amazon.com], Thomas Friedman writes about the globalization of information. Globalization is a two-edged sword: it enables you to compete more effectively, which improves your economy and standard of living. But it also makes it harder to keep up walls and isolationist policies.

China realizes that they have to have Internet connectivity for its economy to grow and compete with the rest of the global market for products and services. In the long run, it's chasing after windmills with these restrictions. Once a critical mass of Internet users is reached, there will be less support for any administration that tries to enforce such rules.

It's just a matter of time.

Buy Nothing Day (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596723)

Speak out against Chinese-style internet censorship by urging the 5 Media Companies to end their practice of censoring ads for Buy Nothing Day [adbusters.org] which adbusters.org [adbusters.org] has tried to purchase for the last several years. Each year, the Five turn down the paid ads from adbusters, citing that they do not run ads that advocate a cause. This is rubbish, considering that nearly all advertisement advocates the cause of mindless consumerism.

Buy Nothing Day is celebrated on the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the holiday season. The purpose of the campaign is to bring awareness to the problems of rampant consumerism that are magnified around the holidays. Why is it that we are encouraged to live beyond our means when consumer debt is at an all-time high, most people work more than 40 hours a week, and joblessness and homelessness are on the rise?

Ask yourself: Is capitalist censorship any better than communist censorship?

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