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China Sets New Rules On Internet News

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the automatic-for-the-people dept.

Censorship 340

auckland map writes "China set new regulations on Internet news content which ban the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest. Established news media needed permission to run a news Web site, while new operators had to register themselves with government information offices. This move further widens a campaign of controls Chinese government has imposed on web sites, communication, leisure and businesses." From the article: "The state bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest ... [internet news sites] must be directed toward serving the people and socialism and insist on correct guidance of public opinion for maintaining national and public interests."

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"National security" is the antithesis of freedom. (5, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649638)

Time and time again "national security" is shown to be the antithesis of freedom. Be it in China or the United States, putting such a focus on protecting "national security" results in severe harm to the liberties and life of the nation's citizenry.

Re:"National security" is the antithesis of freedo (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649661)

How can this post be redundant? It's in the first 3 posted for the story. Moderators - if you don't like someone's opinion, either say so or apply an appropriate moderation. Kindly look up the meaning of the word "redundant."

Re:"National security" is the antithesis of freedo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649992)

Well, he is just blabbing the same tired platitudes without saying anything new. It's not redundant to this article discussion, but on Slashdot I've certainly heard the same BS a million times.

Re:"National security" is the antithesis of freedo (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650233)

Well, here's a version that isn't a tired platitude. From the PRC Constitution [people.com.cn] :

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

Article 41. Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary. Citizens have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints and charges against, or exposures of, violation of the law or dereliction of duty by any state organ or functionary; but fabrication or distortion of facts with the intention of libel or frame-up is prohibited. In case of complaints, charges or exposures made by citizens, the state organ concerned must deal with them in a responsible manner after ascertaining the facts. No one may suppress such complaints, charges and exposures, or retaliate against the citizens making them. Citizens who have suffered losses through infringement of their civil rights by any state organ or functionary have the right to compensation in accordance with the law.


It would sound like a good constitution (it even includes the Freedom of Religion) if they didn't literally throw it away with Articles 51 and 52:

Article 51. The exercise by citizens of the People's Republic of China of their freedoms and rights may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society and of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.

Article 52. It is the duty of citizens of the People's Republic of China to safeguard the unity of the country and the unity of all its nationalities.


In other words, the freedoms that come before those paragraphs are only suffered at the state's whim. If they feel that you are in any way working against the state (e.g. the criticism they just "allowed" in Article 41) or attempting to undermine the "unity of the state" (e.g. the freedom of religion granted by Article 36) then the state will step in and run you over with a tank [wikipedia.org] or throw you in jail.

So much for the constitution of the People's Repulic of China. Be very happy if you live in a country to whom rights are more than words on a sheet of paper.

Re:"National security" is the antithesis of freedo (1)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649682)

"The state bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest," the official Xinhua news agency said in announcing the new rules, which took effect immediately.

I was thinking that the Chinese Gov. didn't want someone posting something like "Hey, our glorious people's government just put a new missle silo and airstrip next to the N. Korean Border here. It may be in anticipation to liberate N. Korea from the Captilistic American Pigs and their leader the evil George Bush if they should invade and occupy."

No, not reall (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649773)

The problem isn't "national security" as such, and there's nothing wrong with a community (country-sized or any other size) protecting itself.

The problem is that "national security", "patriotism", ironically even "democracy", are also the first excuses someone reaches for when they want to take your freedom away. No, let me rephrase that: the problem is that the people tend to get stuck on some _words_ instead of their _meaning_.

E.g., people are raised to rant and rave about how they have a right to free speech, but don't actually know what that right means. ("Congress shall make no law...") Most think it means the exact _opposite_: that they're allowed to troll a board or shout obscenities at the neighbour, but the government is still allowed to censor anything. I mean, duh, it's the government, of course they're supposed to tell us what to do and what not to do, right? Wrong-

E.g., people are raised on ideas like that patriotism means they must obey and do their duty, but they lose focus of: to whom. Hint: it means to the country, not to one particular party or leader. Sometimes the patriotic thing to do might actually be to disobey a bad leader.

And so on.

So you're left with whole generations which have been raised basically with a Pavlov's dog kind of reflex. You ring the bell, the dog does something by reflex, without thinking. Same here. You say "patriotism", people get a knee-jerk reaction to obey anything. There's a whole bunch of magic words that just trigger a reflex, without much thinking or questioning.

And it should come as no surprise when some people do come along and use them to their own interest. It's like having a big red button that says "push here to get an immediate advantage." Is it any surprise when some people come and push it?

Re:No, not reall (3, Interesting)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649827)

reminds me of when cheney said "we have to expect to give up some liberties in the name of freedom"

all words and no meaning.

Re:No, not reall (2, Informative)

the_mind_ (157933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649831)

No, let me rephrase that: the problem is that the people tend to get stuck on some _words_ instead of their _meaning_.

There is a word for it: Doublespeak [wikipedia.org] .

Swindles and perversions (2, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650025)

The problem is that "national security", "patriotism", ironically even "democracy", are also the first excuses someone reaches for when they want to take your freedom away. No, let me rephrase that: the problem is that the people tend to get stuck on some _words_ instead of their _meaning_.

The sad thing is that this isn't a new problem, but some people seem to be unable to learn from the past. I hope most people here have read Orwell's thoughts on the matter, but for those of you who haven't: Politics and the English Language. [resort.com] Written almost sixty years ago, and as true today as it ever was. Quote:

In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way.

Re:"National security" is the antithesis of freedo (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649834)

Actually, it has the tone and tenor of the speech codes that many universities have.

It's a given that accommodating National Security and Freedom of Speech here in the states is a delicate balancing act, but the restrictions on speech one finds at universities are gratuitous and serve no purpose.

Does anyone have an example of speech being restricted that is not solely designed to prevent the dissemination of information that could result in harm to U.S. troops or citizens?

Re:"National security" is the antithesis of freedo (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649991)

Does anyone have an example of speech being restricted that is not solely designed to prevent the dissemination of information that could result in harm to U.S. troops or citizens?

I defy you to explain to me how "free speech zones" prevent harm to anybody, or are anything but a blatant exercise of power on the government's part for power's sake.

Re:"National security" is the antithesis of freedo (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650009)

Ahh...I may have missed something. What is a Free Speech Zone? Who authorizes it? Where are they generally located?

Re:"National security" is the antithesis of freedo (2, Insightful)

zxnos (813588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650173)

free speech zones are a bad idea, but i think they are a response to protesters who block doors, sidewalks and generally disrupt other peoples daily routines. many protesters seem to think it is their right to stop me from doing what i want to do becuase they disagree with me. if protesters would respect the rights of others to disagree and go about their business, we probably wouldnt have them.

Re:"National security" is the antithesis of freedo (2, Insightful)

zanderredux (564003) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649997)

Precisely, claims to preserve "National Security" are exactly what take people with authoritarian biases into office.

Suppose some major $SHIT happens in $COUNTRY, which was not caused by some natural factors. The public will be understandably angry and will demand some $ACTION to be taken to appease their own fears.

I mean, what else can some $GOVERNMENT do? It is only natural that they will take some actions to improve "National Security". Once whoever is in command get to that point, it becomes a slippery slope when they realise how easy it is to mobilise public opinion, congresses/parliaments around it to get whatever they want done.

I'm not blaming governments per se, but that's only human nature in full motion. It takes a very enlightened constituency and congress/parliament to avoid getting caught in that trap -- and we know that is just not the case, since congresses/parliaments (who should check over government's actions) also have their own short-term issues (staying in office, getting reelected, becoming future president/prime minister)

Honesty in Government (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650073)

Honesty in government is good for national security, good for socialism, etc.

It can probably be argued that most governments would fail except for the fact that people work to make them work, and the quality of the government is very dependant on the people in the system.

An old example is the idea of a government run by the inmates of a insane asylum. No matter what system you used, the government would still be psycho. This argues that there are more psychos running businesses and in government than many are willing to admit, and might not be far off the mark. It is hard to imagine that a sane and rational implementation of any system would emerge in any such circumstance.

Therefore, corrupt officials would argue that exposing corruption is not good for national security, since it exposes the weaknesses of the system to the potential enemy. In fact, exposing corruption would be the best way to the strengthen any political system. You could argue that this is what happened after the fact in hurricane Katrina, where mother nature applied a test that was failed by many without mercy.

It would be interesting to see how much traction an chinese committee for honesty in government got. Done carefully, it could do well.

National Security Is a Valid Concern (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650238)

Government's first responsibility is to protect its citizens.

The public interest part is the part to be concerned about. That is just squelching disagreement.

Teaching the FEC how to regulate (2, Insightful)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649639)

This is a pefect template for the the FEC to use when they decide to regulate political blogs [slashdot.org] . Free speech is guaranteed through censorship.

How primitive (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649642)

In America, we just have all news produced by a relatively small set of companies that are politically sympathetic to the ruling political power. That way, it's automatically censored. No governemnt bureaucracy to get in the way. As always, we're the leaders.

Re:How primitive (1)

Gaspo (862470) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650036)

The only major news outlet sympathetic to the current administration is Fox News. I don't know where you got that information, but CNN, ABC, and CBS news programs are all biased towards liberals.

More infrmation on the story: (5, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649651)



The Reuters copy is a bit spotty in its coverage...more information can be found here [nytimes.com] , here [expressindia.com] , and here [infoworld.nl] .

Interesting quote from the third source listed above:
Under the new regulations, Internet news sites are encouraged to report news that is "healthy" and promotes economic and social progress, Xinhua said. In addition, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported that any news Web site that reports "false or distorted information" will be fined up to 30,000 renminbi (US$3,701) under the new guidelines.

Re:More infrmation on the story: (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649697)

>any news Web site that reports "false or distorted information"

That will put the Xinhua news agency out of business then :o)

Re:More infrmation on the story: (1)

TripMaster_Monky (885678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649748)



The Reuters copy is a bit spotty in its coverage...more information can be found here [nytimes.com] , here [expressindia.com] , and here [infoworld.nl] .

Interesting quote from the third source listed above:
Under the new regulations, Internet news sites are encouraged to report news that is "healthy" and promotes economic and social progress, Xinhua said. In addition, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported that any news Web site that reports "false or distorted information" will be fined up to 30,000 renminbi (US$3,701) under the new guidelines.

Re:More infrmation on the story: (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649794)

The Reuters copy is a bit spotty in its coverage...more information can be found here, here, and here.

Interesting quote from the third source listed above:

Under the new regulations, Internet news sites are encouraged to report news that is "healthy" and promotes economic and social progress, Xinhua said. In addition, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported that any news Web site that reports "false or distorted information" will be fined up to 30,000 renminbi (US$3,701) under the new guidelines.

Reuters later went on to say that in addition to this fine, news web sites will be issued a new copy of Mao's Litte Red Book and be sent to colder climes for "re-nedification."

"ban the spreading of any news with content" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649813)

Well, at least Slashdot is safe!

"false or distorted information" will be fined up to 30,000 renminbi (US$3,701)

Or maybe not!

[Closed captioned for the humor impaired.]

The story (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649986)

Rather than quoting quotes about 'the story'...why not just go see it.

China tightens supervision over online news services [xinhuanet.com]
BEIJING, Sept. 26 -- Online news sites that publish stories containing fabricated information, pornography, gambling or violence are facing severe punishments or even shutdown.

These new measures were part of a new regulation on online news services, jointly introduced yesterday by the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Information Industry.

"We need to better regulate the online news services with the emergence of so many unhealthy news stories that will easily mislead the public," said a spokesman with the information office at a press conference yesterday.

Services that provide online news stories, that have bulletin board systems (BBS) or have the function of sending short messages containing news contents to individual mobile phones are all subject to the regulation.

News sites set up by news organizations but publishing not just their own stories, and sites by other organizations featuring news stories must get approval from the State Council Information Office. Sites by news organizations that only carry their own stories should register at the main office or provincial information offices.

The regulation also spells out that media attached to the central government or directly under provincial governments are not allowed to provide any stories to other online news sites without approval.

A temporary regulation on online news services was published in November 2000. But according to the spokesman, "it has lagged far behind the development of online news services, in technology, content and form. So it is necessary to have an updated version."

The public will help information departments at all levels supervise news sites. Anyone who finds unhealthy online stories can visit http://net.china.cn/ [china.cn] and report.

History in the making (3, Interesting)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649666)

The last great communistic/socialistic/whatever government on the planet. This is akin to the Berlin Wall or the Iron Curtain. Now we have the Digital Curtain (I just made that up, heh, or maybe I read it and subconsciously made it my own -- who knows...).

Wonder how long they can stand up to the onslaught of information not controlled by the state?

Re:History in the making (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649705)

China really seems to get a the full potential the internet offers for controlling information streams. Since it seems to work rather well for them, I actually wonder how long it will take before the rest of the world will apply this degree of control of information.

Re:History in the making (5, Insightful)

metternich (888601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649758)

The last great communistic/socialistic/whatever government on the planet.
Hardly... While there is still some remenants of the old state-run economy, China's increasingly capitialistic these days and has been so for some time. Heck, they recently changed the rules so capitialists can join the Chinese Communist Party. I think "Authoritarian" is the word you're looking for, and there are plenty of other countries that word would also describe.

Re:History in the making (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649964)

Bingo. It's very easy for Americans and Western Europeans to look at China and say, "Oh, they're Communists, that explains it." But they're not any more, by any reasonable definition. The scary thing to me, as an American, is how quickly China and America are converging on the "authoritarian capitalist" model; to pull out the obligatory Orwell reference, I suspect that right now it's the turn of Oceania and Eastasia to gang up on Eurasia. Somewhere down the line, of course, the alignment (both political and philosophical) will change; it always does.

Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650012)

Recently, famed investor Jim Rogers said, "Massachusetts and California are more communistic than China." Having recently returned from there, I'd say he's right.

Re:History in the making (1)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649878)

I'm sure fuhrers Brin and Page will goose step to this as soon as possible.

Re:History in the making (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649977)

I would have thought it was an inward extension of the Great Firewall of China

Re:History in the making (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650000)

Now we have the Digital Curtain

Actually, it's usually referred to as "The Great Firewall of China [wikipedia.org] ".

Re:History in the making (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650192)

This is akin to the Berlin Wall or the Iron Curtain. Now we have the Digital Curtain (I just made that up, heh,...

LOL! OMG! You should be writing for Leno!

The Taboo Effect (2, Insightful)

Stu L Tissimus (873928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649669)

Just another example of what I call "The Taboo Effect." When something isn't allowed, you'll want to do it more. Perfect example: Marijuana. Or downloading music. This new rule could cause an explosion of anti-"public interest" blogs and websites.

Speaking of blogs, how does this rule work for servers that are outside of China? I can just see the headlines now: "Capitalists Use Myspace to Thwart China"

At least they are being honest. (4, Insightful)

Surur (694693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649671)

In the west you dont even know when "public opinion is being guided" in supposed national interest.

Surur

Re:At least they are being honest. (1)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649703)

In the west you dont even know when "public opinion is being guided" in supposed national interest.

Speak for yourself. It's pretty obvious.

Re:At least they are being honest. (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649735)

Indeed, it really is quite obvious. I mean, look at the recent and ongoing Iraq war. 95% of the European, Canadian, Australian, etc., citizens saw it for the sham that it was, even if their respective governments did not (or chose not to).

It seems that the only people who were tricked into supporting it were the moronic rednecks and the most right-wing extremists in non-American countries. Otherwise, basically everyone saw it as it really was. And this was with a mainstream media that does not actually investigate such matters.

Re:At least they are being honest. (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649894)

Actually, quite a few of us Americans saw the Iraq war for what it was as well, a sham. Unfortunately, the current administration has done an excellent job of charaterizing anybody who's not for the war as anti-American.

If you want to have an interesting discussion, here's a question to ask. Why has the American government banned journalists from taking pictures of the coffins of soldiers killed in Iraq returning to Dover AFB?

A seperate discussion could be focused on the fact that we're spending billions of dollars in Iraq, when instead we should be focused on improving our national security to help prevent another Sept. 11th. However whenever someone goes on TV and points out these flaws, they're quickly dismissed by the government as a hack and professionally attacked by the rabid blind following masses.

That money could be better spent in Russia improving the security around their nuclear stockpiles which are currently practically unguarded. Because the most liking scenario is that Islamic terrorists are going to purchase/steal a nuclear weapon or nuclear materials from someone somewhere in Russia, ship it to Canada and drive it over the border into an American city and detonate it.

Re:At least they are being honest. (1)

Keichann (888574) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649971)

95% is an overstatement. Even within that group is divided between people willing to take to the streets, and the majority who "Really agree with you, but, we've got to get home, the football's on." Also, speak for your own media, over here in the UK we did a pretty good job of investigating the issue. Of course, someone got a little too close to the truth, then his source commited suicide, after an intensive government smear campaign, and effort to leak his name.

Maybe a better example of censorship to use would have been the veto, by the government, on the coverage of body-bags flying back to the US?

Re:At least they are being honest. (1)

wheelbarrow (811145) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649982)

I hear what you are saying about the self censorship of mainstream media. However, there is still a key difference regarding freedom of expression between China and the United States. In the USA you can start a blog that is critical of the war. You can start this blog without asking permission of anyone and you won't be punished by the government. Can you really say the same about China?

Remember that the great thing about the internet is it's de-centralization. Anybody express themselves to a large audience for a low cost. China is fighting a losing battle trying to hold back this flood. All of their restrictions are temporary. It might take 50 years, but they'll have to allow more personal freedom in the end.

Re:At least they are being honest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650118)

Have you ever considered that the Chinese government knows that these measures are temporary? IMHO, China is moving into the direction of capitalism and democracy. But they have a billion people to feed - and limited resources. Until the country gets to a standard of living similar to what is enjoyed by Americans and Europeans, the current form of government is simply more efficient.

Re:At least they are being honest. (1)

ifwm (687373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650033)

"95% of the European, Canadian, Australian, etc., citizens saw it for the sham that it was, even if their respective governments did not (or chose not to)."

95%? REALLY?

No, not really, so why lie?

When are we being spoon fed? (2, Informative)

str3ssh3d (917854) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650019)

Some of us do realise when the bell rings; stopping oneself from salivating however is a somewhat more difficult exercise. In the UK the political agenda is re-enforced through the media on a daily/ hourly basis (I believe the US has good old fox-news). Over here, soap operas such as East Enders and Emerdale feed the masses their daily message for social betterment - today it's racial intergration; tomorrow it's stealing state benefits - the list goes on. Tune in to BBC 1/ ITV 1/ Channel 4 & 5 between 6:30 pm and 9pm and you will here yesterday's politic rhetoric neatly and succintly summarised for those of us who do not watch the offical state programming . err sorry I mean the news broadcast...

Holy crap! (1, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649678)

The Republicans are running China!

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649777)

Funny, I was going to say Democrats are. They're the socialist-wannabes, aren't they?

Re:Holy crap! (4, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649892)

Funny, I was going to say Democrats are. They're the socialist-wannabes, aren't they?

Actually, by European standards most US Democrats are pretty comfortably to the right of the center in politics. Everytime I hear you Neocons accuse liberal or moderate right wing politicians in the US of being Socialists I wonder what would happen if somebody introduced one of you US-American conservatives to a real live 24 carat way-left-of-center Socialist, never mind an acutal honest to goodness die hard Communist like we have them over here in Europe? My pet theory is that you would go red in the face, then steam would shoot out of your ears and your eyes would bulge out followed by a massive bang as your head explodes. Many US-Americans speak very belligerently about Communists, Socialsits and how they are the spawn of Satan etc... but I get the feeling most US-Americans have little or no idea what those words acutally mean.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

ifwm (687373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650091)

Actually, I'd laugh at how ridiculous his ideas about politics were, then proceed to use logic and reason to dismantle his entire philosophy.

Then I'd laugh some more.

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650228)

Haha yea it's too easy when you use truth and all. But won't anyone please think of the children? ;)

Re:Holy crap! (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650157)

I wonder what would happen if somebody introduced one of you US-American conservatives to a real live 24 carat way-left-of-center Socialist, never mind an acutal honest to goodness die hard Communist like we have them over here in Europe?

They'd probably get modded down.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

astebbin (836820) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649911)

So I guess Hillary will be running to be their Prime Minister sometime soon? (Even though it might hurt her chances a bit here in the US...)

Well I'm Glad (-1)

gurutc (613652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649686)

China is following in the footsteps of the US and its Homeland Security Act on the road to Democracy. I heard John Ashcroft is available, maybe he can lend them a hand so they do it right.

How is this different..? (1, Insightful)

syndicate0198 (917449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649698)

How is this different from the United States where any suggested attempt to overthrow the government, assassinate the leadership, or other movements to change the political system are met with charges of treason?

Except in China they nip it in the bud earlier than we do. But during McCarthy era, the government felt that certain people posed a credible threat to the political system and acted upon it. In China's case, they feel that certain people are trying to change the political system there, hence the crackdown.

Having said that, the government is trying to mix capitalism with an authoritarian government, and it's been working well so far. The quality of life is rising in China, and as long as that continues, I'm sure most people in China value socioeconomic freedom over political freedom anyday. That includes most people in the world.

There are certainly other democratic countries where the quality of life is worse than that of China's.

Re:How is this different..? (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649739)

How is this different from the United States where any suggested attempt to overthrow the government, assassinate the leadership, or other movements to change the political system are met with charges of treason?

Umm, because thats against the law in the US? This is NOT what the article is about. Its about stifling the MEDIA, not homicidal extremists.

Furthermore, have you heard of any of the viable 3rd parties? A good deal of them are striving to change the political system, I don't see any of them down at the gallows.

Re:How is this different..? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649876)

I don't see any of them down at the gallows.

I do. The US DEA arrested Marc Emery, leader of the Marijuana Party.

It's illegal to be against the War on Drugs.

Re:How is this different..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650052)

Well actually he was arrested in Canada by Canadian Police, and he didn't run for office in the US - he ran in Canada and received a marginal amount of votes. Sorry if the truth gets in the way of your propoganda!

Re:How is this different..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650127)

No. It's illegal to be on drugs. There's nothing wrong with being against anti-drug measures. Changing it and THEN going on drugs is the "right" path. I'm guessing that's not the path he took.

Re:How is this different..? (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650133)

It's illegal to be against the War on Drugs.

no its not, there are plenty of ex-police in the states that are against the war on drugs. i am against the drug war too. why isnt Milton Friedman [hooverdigest.org] in jail? it just happens to be illegal to distribute marijuana seeds, conspire to distribute marijuana and conspire to engage in money laundering [theglobeandmail.com] here.

Re:How is this different..? (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649746)

You mean they've already arrested everyone behind moveon.org?

Oh, wait, they haven't. Well I guess thats why its different.

Also, gaining more socioeconomic freedom is exactly why more people in China are pushing for more political freedom.

Re:How is this different..? (1)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649801)

You mean they've already arrested everyone behind moveon.org?

If you ever listen to AM radio, there's a few people who would like to.

Re:How is this different..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649805)

Do you think moveon.org is trying to change the political system to an authoritarian system? Do you think the people at moveon.org are communists?

On the other hand, some of the people in the media in China *are* "democrats", and would like to overhaul the political system one day.

Re:How is this different..? (0, Offtopic)

Rinzai (694786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649806)

Wow. Already modded to "Insightful." Yes, I suppose, if by "insightful" you mean "promoting the Marxist/Communist-Socialist agenda."

What a friggin' day to have no Mod points available.

Re:How is this different..? (1)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649812)

most people in China value socioeconomic freedom over political freedom anyday

The idea is that, long term, political freedom tends to lead to socioeconomic freedom (because democratic governments/governments where people have a voice are more stable, and stable governments don't have rebellions. Rebellions are very bad from an economic standpoint.)

Re:How is this different..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649934)

You no longer have to advocate overthrow to be a criminal.

Just attempting to change the bahvioor of the police is enough.

It was a fine republic while it lasted.

Is the difference so big? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649718)

In China it's one party. In US it's Military Industrial Complex and it's entertiment division (washington).

Ah yes. Whe have Michael Moore, they have Jackie Chan.

Re:Is the difference so big? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650038)

That's a very unfair comparison. Jackie Chan does not pretend his movies are documentaries... and since he does his own stunts, they are actually more faithful to reality!

Looks like they're getting confident. (3, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649730)

China seems usually slow to use their power - they try asserting control over something carefully. Markets, freedoms, social networks - they can all be controlled, as long as you assert yourself very slowly over decades. They seem to have had some level of respect for the Internet, though it has gotten away from them in many ways, they're likely very used to that with social networks. But, like with America, the exceptions aren't so dangerous as converting the easilly convinced that the freedom of the internet is not as important as loyalty to the state.

Now, they seem to be getting more confident over their control - or else just want to send the message that they are confident. Is this confidence real, is it a false message, or could they be fooling themselves? I for one can't know - but it seems fairly conservative compared to the controls they could exert. It remains to be seen how they will enforce this, or try to make these new rules matter in the minds of their citizens.

The other source of confidence, of course, would be in the inability for outside forces to act against the growing market importance of China. China has done a great job of controlling the markets they act conservatively to control - now they get to reap the growing political benefit of that control. Perhaps eventually, their sheer political mass may allow them to finantially eliminate critics afar... I for one fear the day they begin to truly adopt intellectual property laws. Not because they are an especially malicious force compared to other governments, but because they are humans concentrating a great ammount of power, who may begin to assert ownership of ideas more powerfully than ever before.

Re:Looks like they're getting confident. (1)

ramblin billy (856838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650041)


"China seems usually slow to use their power"

Unless you're a protesting student and they happen to have a tank handy. China respects the Internet for its financial power. They seek to use the aspects of the net that they deem beneficial and reject those they believe may support opposition to their control. The financial power represented by their huge potential market is their best tool to influence foreign powers. They can't really use military force against the major Western powers due to geographical factors (distance and oceans). Russian nuclear weapons stand between China and Europe. American forces and technology stand between China and Taiwan. Watch the Spratly Islands [wanadoo.fr] - we may see more Chinese military activity there. Make no mistake that the Chinese will use any weapon they can, be it military or financial, to take control of as much of Asia as possible. They consider that control to be their "manifest destiny" in much the same way America did when claiming its territory coast-to-coast. If they can't conquer some parts of it, they will attempt to buy them, or at least bribe the rest of the world to sit back and let it happen.

China wants to take its place as a superpower, equal to or superior to any other. They believe their cultural tradition makes them better than other cultures and that their current position in the world is largely due to Western interference, which they will no longer tolerate. They are playing a game with Western society, biding their time until they are in the right position to reveal their true face. In the meantime they will continue to manipulate the world market by controlling their currency, continue to take our money, and continue to spend it on modernizing their military. They will embrace ANY portion of the West's world that they deem valuable and discard any portion they do not. Of course that includes the internet. Too bad for them they don't really understand the true nature of the net. You may be able to ride it to fame and riches, but you can never really control it.

billy - and they're not the only people in power that are gonna find that out the hard way

Before anyone brings it up... (5, Informative)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649765)

China is NOT a "communist" country.

They have an authoritarian government with a capitalist economic system. "State capitalist" is the more correct term. (authoritarian states are not necessarily communist, although the reverse is generally true).

This may be offtopic, but usually the conversation always manages to drift towards this anyways regardless of the original topic.

Would you please stop ... (-1, Troll)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649839)

inserting facts in to our sanctimony.

Oh, oh. Here comes the censors...bye, bye, karma..

Re:Before anyone brings it up... (1)

plumby (179557) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649861)

Indeed, although there is some movement away from direct state control towards private enterprise. The government is still prety authoritarian though, and I suspect that not many major private firms are being run by people who aren't also senior figures the party.

My first thought on reading it was that it would be nice if their government started "serving the people and socialism".

Re:Before anyone brings it up... (4, Informative)

LexNaturalis (895838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649909)

I'm sure the Communist Party of China [wikipedia.org] would love to hear that news... ;)

Re:Before anyone brings it up... (3, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650037)

Yes ... and Hitler was part of the National Socialist party ...

Godwin! You win!

Re:Before anyone brings it up... (1)

ThaFooz (900535) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650066)

I'm sure the Communist Party of China would love to hear that news... ;)

Yeah, but it sure sounts a lot better than the "Brutal Authoritarian Oligarchy" of China, doesn't it? Kind of like how the official name of the country is "The People's Republic of China" which, by my count, has two inherent lies in it.

How successful will they be? (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650065)

Clearly China wants it both ways:
They want the economic success of a capitalist free market
They want to retain their authoritarian power

They have a society awakening to their economic power. I wonder how well they will be able to keep that society "capped" as it rises. I know an "old" society can get lazy, and accept caps, but I think a new one will be exploring its limits, and find discomfort in those boundaries. In 5-20 years, I suspect China will be in for "Interesting Times."

Close, but not quite (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650107)

Yes. China is not Communist anymore.

The large enterprises are majority owned by the government (CNOOC, for example, is 70% owned by the gov't) but minority shares are available through the stock exchange. I wouldn't say they have a capitalist economic system, although it has increasingly capitalistic elements.

Normally, I'd make a point that "State Capitalism" is an oxymoron (since Capitalism means the seperation of state and economics), but it oddly "kinda sorta" fits China today.

Re:Before anyone brings it up... (1)

Strixy (753449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650135)

gamer4Life, China is "officially" a communist country. I will refrain from posting any more than that. I wouldn't want /. to get fined 30,000 renminbi.

An authoritarian government can be any kind of governmental system from an anarchist state to a theocracy (Like the US).

press = democracy (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649769)

The media insures that the democratic agencies follow the rules of democracy. If the press is censored you are robbed both democracy and later freedom. Governments do have a right to classify certain information, but that information has to be rooted in laws, whose purpose is to protect yours and my freedom.

China Are Korea (1)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649799)

kekekeke

The great irony (4, Insightful)

Crixus (97721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649833)

What's great about the bulk of the media in the US is that they impose these limitations and bans on themselves, without having to have the government do it for them.

Obligatory reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649840)

All your mind are belong to us!

China... or US? Same thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649843)

"The state bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest"

This is a quote about the US and the Dept of Homeland Security, right?

Hillary Clinton also wants internet 'RETHINK' (2, Informative)

Dinosaur Jr. (651083) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649889)

http://drudgereport.com/flash4.htm [drudgereport.com] FLASHBACK: HILLARY CLINTON SAYS INTERNET NEWS NEEDS 'RETHINK' Sun Sep 25 2005 16:52:50 ET China on Sunday imposed new media restrictions designed to limit the news and other information available to Internet users, sharply restricting the scope of content that can be posted on Web sites. In 1998 during a meeting with reporters, Hillary Rodham Clinton said that "we are all going to have to rethink how we deal with" the Internet because of the handling of White House sex scandal stories on Web sites. Clinton was asked whether she favored curbs on the Internet, after the DRUDGE REPORT made headlines with coverage of her husband's affair with a White House intern. "We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this, because there are all these competing values ... Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?" she said. Hillary Clinton Continued: "I don't have any clue about what we're going to do legally, regulatorily, technologically -- I don't have a clue. But I do think we always have to keep competing interests in balance. I'm a big pro-balance person. That's why I love the founders -- checks and balances; accountable power. Anytime an individual or an institution or an invention leaps so far out ahead of that balance and throws a system, whatever it might be -- political, economic, technological --out of balance, you've got a problem, because then it can lead to the oppression people's rights, it can lead to the manipulation of information, it can lead to all kinds of bad outcomes which we have seen historically. So we're going to have to deal with that. And I hope a lot of smart people are going to --" REPORTER: Sounds like you favor regulation. MRS. CLINTON: Bill, I don't know what -- that's why I said I don't know what I'm in favor of. And I don't know enough to know what to be in favor of, because I think it's one of those new issues we've got to address. We've got to see whether our existing laws protect people's right of privacy, protect them against defamation. And if they can, how do you do that when you can press a button and you can't take it back. So I think we have to tread carefully. END

Re:Hillary Clinton also wants internet 'RETHINK' (1, Flamebait)

wheelbarrow (811145) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650001)

This does not surprise me. She's an elitist who wants to be a benevolent dictator for all the little people that she holds in pure contempt.

Re:Hillary Clinton also wants internet 'RETHINK' (1)

Dinosaur Jr. (651083) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650163)

I agree. But I also think anyone with A "D" or "R" next to their names (except "R" Ron Paul and "D" Cynthia McKinney) are basically in the same evil party. We are being played.

Shouldn't the category be (2, Funny)

edgr (781723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649931)

"They're rights online" I can't imagine too many Chinese would be able to get onto Slashdot.

Re:Shouldn't the category be (1)

shobadobs (264600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650015)

They are rights online? Yes, the Chinese people embody the rights of others online.

(For the record, I do understand that you are simultaneously joking about the shmeditors' inabilities to spell.)

Re:Shouldn't the category be (2, Interesting)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650089)

I can't imagine too many Chinese would be able to get onto Slashdot.

I'm reading (and writing this) from Shanghai, without using any proxy server.

Re:Shouldn't the category be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650181)

Ahhh, must have slipped under the censor's... er socially approved and sanctioning commitee.

Well.. enjoy it while you can.. Be careful of what you post.

If it were me, I wouldn't be drawing attention to myself.. just a thought...

Let me be the first to say (4, Funny)

tiggles (301532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649939)

Let me be the first to say [No Carrier]

Peoples.... (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649980)

Interesting how they always include the word "people" in anything that is really not of the people. Note these names...

Peoples Republic of China: The formal name of China is supposed to be a republic ran by people. In reality (outside of Hong Kong), the government of China is mostly a corrupt, power-hogging group of politicians.

Supreme People's Procuratorate: The leading prosecutor in China, the name implies that this prosecutor is of and by the people of China. In reality, this prosecutor is nothing more then a judicial puppet for the Chinese Communist Party and their whims.

People's Liberation Army: The main army in China. Of course all armies in the world have had their own share of bad raps and human rights abuses, and the PLA is no different. While the name implies it is for the public good, they are merely the the stick that the Chinese Communist Party uses to enforce their nationalistic laws (along with the police of course). This can be seen in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989. Also evident is the behind-the-scenes labor camps that MANY political dissidents are sent to, and these are rated below even the worst US prisons.

It is no surpise to me how they pepper their press release with things like "toward serving the people " or "maintaining national and public interests." This sounds too earily of 1984:

war is peace, fear is love, lie is truth

Re:Peoples.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650058)

apart for the "Liberation army", people is a proper word, which has a meaning of 'a nation' in addition to 'crowd'. Proper translation of the above institutions should have been 'National', as in 'National Guard', or 'National Democratic Party'.

Re:Peoples.... (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650067)

When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called 'the People's Stick.'

-- Mikhail Bakunin

Most authoritiarian governments refer to the country as "The People's Republic" of such and such. That way the government can say "see, its your country and we're going to crack down on your rights in order to save you!" This is a tell-tale symptom of authoritarianism, putting the state before the people.

Outrageous (1)

david.gilbert (605443) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650027)

Banning things from the news is outrageous:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3652171. stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Outrageous (1)

ifwm (687373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650138)

This is such a stupid argument.

Tell me again why you have the right to take photographs of dead men? Freedom of the press, which includes the right to make grieving families even more uncomfortable?

Sorry, but I see no need for taking pictures of dead soldiers. It's a pathetic attempt to use their sacrifice as a sounding board, and it's extremely distasteful.

China is Barzini!!! (1)

McBainLives (683602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650040)

Heaven help those few Chinese who seek to cast off the crushing totalitarian oppression under which they have suffered for over half a century now. And may those western corporations complicit in these evils suffer the same fate as those who have reduced a great nation to near-slavery.

(And I'm a bit surprised that Slashdot is a day behind with this story- it was on the wires and in the blogosphere early Sunday EDT.)

Xinhua's take on the subject (1)

anpe (217106) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650087)

Xinhua as the story [xinhuanet.com] too. Interesting quote: The public will help information departments at all levels supervise news sites. Anyone who finds unhealthy online stories can visit http://net.china.cn/ [china.cn] and report.

Strategically placed links (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650099)

...new regulations on Internet news content which ban the spreading of any news with content that is against...

I read this as "...new regulations on Internet news content which ban the spreading of any news with content — that is against national security and public interest."

It is an interesting phrase to surround with a link. Does this mean it's okay to place news articles that have absolutely no content at all?

im glad to see the chinese become more like Fox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13650106)

Cable News must be directed toward serving the people and freedom and insist on correct guidance of public opinion for maintaining national and public interests.
 

Cuba... (2, Interesting)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 8 years ago | (#13650134)

All this crap from China and we still do business with them. Meanwhile Americans can't even travel to Cuba. What's the deal? Is it all economics?
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