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China Bans Running Your Own Email Server

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the too-many-of-those-around-anyway dept.

304

Erwin_D writes "Under the guise of banning spam, China has ruled that running your own e-mail server has been banned, unless you have a license. To qualify for such a license, an 'e-mail service provider' must abide by some chilling rules: all e-mail must be stored for two months, and e-mail with discussing vaguely defined subject as network security or information security may not be transmitted. While the rules contains all the good measures we would all like to see to combat spam, such as prohibiting open relays and outlawing zombie network, the law is also geared toward controlling free speech. From the article: 'I believe that the intent to have an antispam regulation was a good one ... Unfortunately, it seems like during the policy formulation process, it got hijacked and went to one extreme.'"

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In other news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130272)

Chinese dissidents switch to communicating by instant messages, private messages on forums, in the worst case american webmail...

Re:In other news (1)

tijmentiming (813664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130294)

Offcourse they will block those sites.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130390)

Oh yes, obviously so.

Re:In other news (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130354)

Sure, until this happens everywhere else. Make no mistake about it. This is what all governments and corporations want. They want to keep their grubby little hands on your data and money. They don't want you to provide your own services. They also don't want your data stored, processed and transmitted by anyone but them.

End Of Times!!

Re:In other news (4, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130486)

"in the worst case american webmail..."

Like Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail, whose parent companies have a presence in China and are more than willing to comply with China's censorship regime and turn people in?

If you want free speech in China, you do not use an American company to do it with.

Re:In other news (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130737)

Is email something else we need to have run by the the Swedes [thepiratebay.org] ? Although, I'm sure that a daily hard drive failure can explain the failure to keep two-month archives.

In communist China, email servers run YOU! Or something like that.

From: George W. Bush +1, Insightfullicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130622)


Sounds good to me. I'll pass this info to my MInister of Propaganda [whitehouse.org] .

Don't call us. We'll call [huffingtonpost.com] you.

Have a peace_free weekend,

George W. Bush

That's the way it is... (5, Informative)

Blrfl (46596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130285)

That's how it is in China. There are many, many people there who have no idea that Tienamen Square ever happened...

OUTLAW ZOMBIE NETWORK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130457)

FOR GREAT JUSTICE

Re:That's the way it is... (4, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130459)

There was a really excellent episode of frontline [pbs.org] that aired this week that covered that very topic. Anyone over the age of 20 or so surely remembers the guy who stopped the tank in Tienamen Square. Of course if you google for "Tienamen Square" in China you get no images of Tank Man. In the rest of the world you get multiple images.

Re:That's the way it is... (3, Insightful)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130487)

Google.cn image search for tiananmen and go to page 5 and you'll see images of tank man.

Re:That's the way it is... (1)

mOOzilla (962027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130592)

Are YOU in China when you performed that search? Maybe its filtered for local connections.

Re:That's the way it is... (2, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130501)

Not only that, only 111 million Chinese use the Internet [cia.gov] out of a population of 1.3 billion. Most people in China are really not going to notice this or care.

Re:That's the way it is... (2, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130746)

1/12th may not seem much, but don't underestimate word-of-mouth! You don't see this on mainstream media, but I've read somewhere that there were about 87,000 (yes, eighty-seven thousand) demonstrations against the communist government in China last year. And a poll revealed that China is the country where the most people believe in free enterprise. [complusalliance.org]

Pick Your Poison..... (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130531)

There are many, many people in the USA who still believe Saddam had WMDs and was going to nuke the USA with his al-qaeda terr'ist network...

Re:Pick Your Poison..... (1)

Blrfl (46596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130545)

We at least have the option of multiple sources...

Re:Pick Your Poison..... (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130593)

Come now, surely The People's Daily and China Daily arent printed in the same room ;-)

Well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130290)

FUCK.

The final solution (0)

mtenhagen (450608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130295)

Altough this raises several other issues, this is THE SOLUTION to spam.

Re:The final solution (2, Insightful)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130316)

"Altough this raises several other issues, this is THE SOLUTION to spam."

Hmm... In that case, don't you think the cure seems to be worse than the disease? Reminds me of the New Hampshire license plates... "Live Free or Die".

S

Re:The final solution (1)

1310nm (687270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130356)

I agree, it's akin to having to be licensed to use radioactive equipment.

Re:The final solution (1)

lightyear4 (852813) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130440)

..perhaps, but I'll know for sure when the high volume of chinese spam ceases its seemingly unending deluge into my inbox. Until then, I have my reservations.

Re:The final solution (2, Insightful)

Twanfox (185252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130630)

Because as we of course all know, no malware anywhere ever ships itself with it's own SMTP server in order to act as an open relay or mail exchanger. All zombie networks and open relays out there are simply people wanting to run their own email server and failing.

Right?

What about zombies? (1, Insightful)

tirnacopu (732831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130301)

Soo, if I hack some unsuspecting Chinese's machine and install some MTA on it, will the owner go to jail? Sweet.

Re:What about zombies? (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130441)

Judging from the amount of spam I get from Chinese zombie PCs, it's going to take them years to track them all down to throw them in jail. Doesn't seem like a very effective way to get revenge on someone.

Re:What about zombies? (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130475)

The spin for the Communists is "Email administrators in China to get free accomodation and meals in prison" - This also means that china is not going to be a mta/mua software powerhouse.

Well as much as I love Chairman Mao spam, and Chinese citizens seem unable to communicate, I think that validates my decision to use china.blackholes.us on the mail server since they have nothing to say

Re:What about zombies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130549)

Given the amount of chinese zombie networks, I seriously doubt they can throw that many people in jail, for purely logistic reasons if no other.

So China is still a communist dictatorship? (3, Insightful)

fortinbras47 (457756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130305)

Why should this surprise anyone?

Re:So China is still a communist dictatorship? (3, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130376)

Why news should be surprising?

If you consider "news" as a revenue source, then "yes", the "surprisier" the better.

If you consider news to be news, then they do not have to.

Re:So China is still a communist dictatorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130528)

^W^W capitalist dictatorship

The only real difference here... (4, Insightful)

Osrin (599427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130323)

... is the need for a license to run a mail server in a personal environment. Don't most ISPs in the western world have similar government imposed retention and intrusion legislation that they have to abide by? I see old emails delivered to courts from ISPs on a regular basis in the press US and European press.

Maybe somebody could clarify US and UK law for me.

Re:The only real difference here... (5, Insightful)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130370)

The main problem isnt the retention crap .. its the "Ye shalt not transmit email which speaks poorly of $SUBJECT" style restrictions that are going to piss people off ....

Re:The only real difference here... (2, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130492)

which is of course nothing at all like the U.S. where you can become a criminal for talking about shift keys or sticky tape.

Re:The only real difference here... (1, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130386)

yeah but this is "in China".

if China didn't have driving licenses or passports and introduced them tomorrow, the headline on /. (2 weeks later) would be "China destroys right to move about".

Re:The only real difference here... (2, Informative)

Cylix (55374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130425)

Generally speaking...

I've only seen ISP's keep short term backups. ie, mail server storage method completely dies and then backups are restored. I'm not wholly sure how long the rest of the industry keeps these, but I never kept them past a few weeks.

Mail logs are generally kept for much longer...

Now, I think you are refering to the regulations that were pending/passed/speculated regarding business mail for large companies. This is taken from the company rather then the ISP. I believe there were some regulations for our corporate friends as they tend to have rather tasty emails.

Re:The only real difference here... (2, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130467)

> ... is the need for a license to run a mail server in a personal environment. Don't most ISPs in the western world have similar government imposed retention and intrusion legislation that they have to abide by? I see old emails delivered to courts from ISPs on a regular basis in the press US and European press.
>
> Maybe somebody could clarify US and UK law for me.

UK: Alpha test site. It's a "Voluntary Code of Practice on Data Retention" [wikipedia.org] , for values of "voluntary" approaching the sort of statements like "the income tax system relies on voluntary compliance".

China: Beta test site. The Cisco router controversy, the Google censorship controversy, the Yahoo/journalist controversy -- notice how all the toys get tried out in China first? And now, 2-month mandatory storage, and keyword filtering (based, presumably, on Bayesian guesstimates of email subject matter), on topics like "network security" or "information security". If Google can figure out what you're talking about for gmail.com, imagine what governments can do.

USSA: Production site. Data retention is indefinite. ISP never has to lift a finger or pay a dime. No Such Agency exists that would ever do such a thing, but if it did, it would probably measure its computing and storage power in acres, rather than yottabytes.

Re:The only real difference here... (2, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130576)


Don't most ISPs in the western world have similar government imposed retention and intrusion legislation that they have to abide by?

I don't know about other governemnts, but there's certainly no data retention laws for ISPs in the United States. I'm not certain if email has been ruled to be covered by privacy laws, but I'd certainly hope so.

There's some requirements about email for publically traded companies through a new law called Sarbanes-Oxley. Even that I'm not sure if there's specific requirements for retention though.

The only data retention laws I know of in the US are actually on the Government itself. This information belongs to the people, and the government destroying it is seen as an afront to democracy. That's been the law of the land for a while.

Re:The only real difference here... (1)

shaobohou (596950) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130685)

I don't know about other governemnts, but there's certainly no data retention laws for ISPs in the United States. I'm not certain if email has been ruled to be covered by privacy laws, but I'd certainly hope so.


That is because the US doesn't need one, all your traffics just get forwarded to NSA anyway.
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/07/12 46259 [slashdot.org]

And... (2, Informative)

Cherita Chen (936355) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130334)

This shouldn't come as a suprise to anyone. Remember this Wikipedia Blocked [wikipedia.org]

Translation please (1, Flamebait)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130336)

... and e-mail with discussing vaguely defined subject as network security or information security may not be transmitted
What does that mean? Was this story processed from Chinese using babelfish? Does anyone at /. edit or are they too busy writing stories justifying why they shouldn't bother editing?

Re:Translation please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130496)

Well if you had taken the time to RTFA instead of bitching about slashdot editors, you would've noticed that the article contains a link to a Internet Society of China [isc.org.cn] announcement which is the basis for the Vnunet article. And if you had bothered to click on that link, you would be able to read information which would answer your question, you Lazy Bastard.

Here's hoping... (0)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130339)

they can still use Gmail.

Re:Here's hoping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130600)

Probably, because gmail already applies most of those emailrules all over the world already.

Re:Here's hoping... (1)

NewmanBlur (923584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130669)

From this Google blog posting [blogspot.com] , date January 27, 2006:

No, we're not going to offer some Google products, such as Gmail or Blogger, on Google.cn until we're comfortable that we can do so in a manner that respects our users' interests in the privacy of their personal communications.

However, there is an alternative [gmail.cn] ...

what's next? (1)

alienfluid (677872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130340)

i am sure we can eventually come up with a smarted way to eliminate/control spam. outright banning of any personal email servers is just ridiculous.

before we know it, they would start banning sending snail mail, sending faxes, using phones - all in the name of quality control and eliminating spam.

Tolerance fading ... fading .... fading ....... (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130344)

Normally I've found myself to be tolerant of China's wierd internet policies .. but this one is just really boneheaded .. Hey PRC, You arent winning any fans with this shit!
One of the downsides of having a tech-saavy government is that in addition to trying to provide the fabled "broadband for all" you also often get crap like this ... why, WHY wont sweden take over the world?!

Re:Tolerance fading ... fading .... fading ....... (1)

AtomicRobotMonster (891499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130412)

Because they're too busy being nice to each other?

Re:Tolerance fading ... fading .... fading ....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130422)

why, WHY wont sweden take over the world?!

Because they're too smart to want to deal with the rest of the world's shit. *coughcoughUSA*

Re:Tolerance fading ... fading .... fading ....... (0, Troll)

JordanL (886154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130443)

Speaking as someone who inheritted their grandmother's Sweedish skin... suffice to say they could never rule the world: they'd die of 3rd degree sunburns within days in most locations.

Re:Tolerance fading ... fading .... fading ....... (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130681)

"Hey PRC, You arent winning any fans with this shit!"

You think China is trying to win fans?

Sensationalizing at its best (5, Interesting)

mrowton (828923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130383)

From the article [vnunet.com]
"China's new rules also prohibit use of email to discuss certain vaguely defined subjects related to 'network security' and ' information security', "

From the regulation [isc.org.cn] that the article links to
taking advantage of emails to engage in activities which are detrimental to network and information security is strictly prohibited in accordance with related laws.

There is a big difference between "engaging in activities that are detrimental to information security" and "discussing information security"

But with a title like "China Outlaws Outlook" are you really surprised that they are sensationalizing it.

Re:Sensationalizing at its best (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130646)

Well, you left out the sentence right above it which states, "Any organization or individual is forbidden to manufacture, duplicate, publish, distribute or circulate an email containing content stipulated in related laws." I believe that China has pretty stringent laws concerning publishing security vulnerabilities.

Re:Sensationalizing at its best (1)

mrowton (828923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130702)

Other than the bit I quoted I left out all the sentences both above and below.

I don't agree with this, and as you mentioned im sure China isn't full-disclosure friendly. That being said, its not against the law for two security managers in China to e-mail each other about what kind of IDS signatures they need to use.

I'm just pointing out that the article is wrong, not trying to make excuses for them.

Surprising? (2, Interesting)

tonyr1988 (962108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130389)

I don't find this surprising for China at all...they've been doing things like this forever. I am, however, surprised that nothing like this has shown up in America yet. Granted, it's impossible to ban e-mail servers in America - but if the government thought they could (ie - they had the power instilled in citizens like China does), would they? The same logic is used by America and China to justify invasions of free speech. They both use a utilitarian viewpoint and say the ends justify the means. We all know about the search engine subpoenas - how long until we crack down on e-mail to fight terrorism, like China did to fight spam? China's doing this because (from TFA) "spam cost the country at least $760m in lost productivity last year". Granted, it's a really extreme measure for such a problem, and I'm not saying that America is as crazy as China, but we have some very similar philosophies about government intervention.

The differance between PRC and USA (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130451)

The differance here between the PRC way of internet-boneheading and the USA way of internet-boneheading isnt so much one of more fear/control in china ... its more an issue of that in china they dont have an equivilient entity (in terms of capability) to the NSA which can monitor/mingle without setting off too many alarms out in the field... Simply put, the US government doesnt NEED to subpoena emails as much/often since our domestic intelligence community has the capability to provide the information without the court order tipping off $VICTIM to the fact his email is being read by the feds .... In China, they lack this capability and need to take more open and publicised measures to both discourage communication they cant intercept, and also to intercept communication less sneaky-like ...

spam is free speech (1)

drDugan (219551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130408)

I don't like spam. Its people trying to sell me stuff get my attention and distract me from my work. The world would be great if no one had a need to spam.

Free speech is an even more powerful concept. This means that everyone has the right to express themselves. EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, THEY STILL HAVE THE RIGHT. Spam is a great example defining whose responsibility is it to determine what you hear? Email addresses are effectively public domain - like standing out in public. It's the inbox owner who must decide what they want.

All that said, effective spam filtering works really, really well. I get 200+ spam/day and see 3-5/week in my inbox, and virtually 0 false positives. I use vanilla spamassassin and regularly update the ruleset (with 1 keystroke in mutt) for each false negative.

Posts like this on China makes me realize that even with the lying criminals running the US - they are still (for now) better off than the Chinese.

Re:spam is free speech (5, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130478)

You would be correct, if spammers didn't take measures to disguise their messages and get around spam filters. If people want their messages, fine. But forcing your "speech" on others is NOT constitutionally protected, especially if the material you are advertising is more often than not fraudulent.

Re:spam is free speech (2, Insightful)

eaolson (153849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130571)

This means that everyone has the right to express themselves. EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, THEY STILL HAVE THE RIGHT. Spam is a great example defining whose responsibility is it to determine what you hear?

Spam isn't a free speech issue. Spam forces the burden of the cost onto the receiver, rather than the sender. It is exactly analagous to junk faxes, which cost very little to send but a great deal to receive.

Marketers are welcome to send emails to those people that have given their permission. Spammers abuse a private resource.

Re:spam is free speech (4, Insightful)

JerkBoB (7130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130754)

Email addresses are effectively public domain - like standing out in public. It's the inbox owner who must decide what they want.

That's stupid and dangerous. You've clearly never run a mail server of any real size. There is a very real and quantifiable cost to spam filtering. For an organization of any significant size (we're talking at least tens of thousands of email addresses), spam and virus filtering needs its own infrastructure. A lot of companies outsource to someone (e.g. Postini). That costs thousands (I know this, I am not talking out of my ass) of dollars every month. Even if the infrastructure is kept in-house, there is a significant up-front investment in hardware, plus the cost of staff to administer the spam/virus filtering infrastructre (if the org is big enough, this could be close to a full-time job). Not to mention the extra bandwidth costs when four spammers do a simultaneous distributed spam run, etc. etc.

It's not enough to allow the "mailbox owner" (a term that dodges the fact that corporate email is owned by the corporation) to decide whether or not they want to use spam filtering. First of all, most end-users have no idea how to make it happen, second, the company has to pay for the disk to store the shit that users never clean out.

Spam is not first-amendment-protected speech. If someone is standing on a soapbox yammering about their religion or hawking viagra or whatever, I can choose not to listen, and it doesn't cost me anything either way. Spam, on the other hand, does cost businesses a lot of money, and it costs the spammer virtually nothing. If spammers had to pay per recipient the way direct (postal) mailing marketers do, spam wouldn't be a problem.

It's 2006. Why are we having this conversation? This was all debated and decided in the late 90s. Did you miss the memo?

The Price of Globalism is too high. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130423)

This is the price of cheap crap in Walmart ...

1) "Guest Workers" vs. citizens vs. "illegals aliens".
2) Impoverished lower class American workers.
3) Rigged "free" trade benefitting the already wealthy.
4) Ongoing political irresponsibility and corruption in China and Mexico.
5) "Free trade" replacing "free speech".
6) Corporations controlling imports/exports and "immigration".

Long live Bush/Clinton trade policy !!!

Forget Email, use IM! (1)

Quintios (594318) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130429)

Why not just use instant messaging when dealing with a "touchy" subject? Or is that monitored also?

Re:Forget Email, use IM! (1)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130552)

When the story about the Chinese "Redberry" (Blackberry clone) came out, one of the articles I read about it mentioned that all email, IMs, or pretty much anything else transiting phone or network lines is subject to review and/or monitoring. While trying to keep up with a billion Chinese all IMing their fingers raw might seem impossible, once the authorities hear about someone that doesn't fit in (through the civilian spy network they're known to employ), they can really focus their efforts. Not a chance I'd willingly take.

Impact to US users with Chinese hosting companies (1)

laura203 (664468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130437)

So, if my domain is hosted out of Hong Kong and I have a mail account set up there, am I subject to their laws?

Re:Impact to US users with Chinese hosting compani (1)

cl191 (831857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130711)

No, under the policy of "One Country, Two Systems" Hong Kong retains its own legal system, currency, customs policy, and immigration laws (mostly leftover system from the British) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_country%2C_two_sy stems [wikipedia.org] So this is no difference than running a server in America....at least that's what's going on for now and the Chinese government do increasingly influence the Hong Kong government these days.

Re:Impact to US users with Chinese hosting compani (2, Informative)

larz (23116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130722)

No. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China and operates independently of PRC law in all areas except foreign policy and defense. See http://www.gov.hk/ [www.gov.hk]

Americans often forget... (2, Interesting)

Pao|o (92817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130452)

That China is a sovereign country with its own set of rules & customs. It has the right to determine it's own destiny without need of approval from the West.

Re:Americans often forget... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130502)

Certainly. However, you seem to forget that we may approve or disapprove without need of approval from China.

Re:Americans often forget... (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130625)

Your absolutly right... and I presume then that you also feel a website run in the US is not allowed to make comments on laws in other countries? Heck, probably not it's own. "Slashdotters often forget that the US is a sovereign country with its own set of rules & customs. It has the right to determine it's own destiny without need of approval from Slashdot"

Mod parent up, we must never comment on how others do stuff!! [/sarcasim]

Re:Americans often forget... (2, Insightful)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130655)

Absolutely correct. We have NO right to tell them how to run their country.

Then again, if they're doing something we find egregious or offensive, we're under no obligation to simply accept it, either. We can (and should) be using our wallets to express our unhappiness with Chinese policies like forced abortion, Tiananmen Square, forced repatriation of North Korean refugees [google.com] , pirating of movies/CDs/whatever ("Redberry"? Come ON!), and so on. Why the hell we keep selling them technology that they'll just turn around and use against us --- militarily or economically --- baffles me.

Re:Americans often forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130662)

...you didn't get the memo?

Re:Americans often forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130665)

Oh yeah, I forgot, thanks.

Re:Americans often forget... (1)

ddx Christ (907967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130735)

Sure, it doesn't need approval. But that doesn't mean we can't comment on it or discuss it. Much like the regular flow of articles, we haven't much control over them but we can bring about a fairly interesting series of comments.

In this case, I think it's still necessary for us to maintain our critical nature of such things. Who knows? Maybe it could happen to us one day. If we're complacent now, we'll be complacent then; it would be commonplace in the world.

Granted, that's a bit of a stretch; however, the point still remains.

Come again? (2, Funny)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130473)

...and e-mail with discussing vaguely defined subject as network security or information security may not be transmitted.

What you say? China set us up the bomb?

Seriously though, is this a big surprise. No doubt it's a sad day for liberty in China, but with the Chicoms' history when it comes to the Internet, we had to see stuff like this coming.

"Hijacked" (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130494)

Sure, it must've been hijacked somewhere along the way. The Chinese government would never want to curb free speech jsut for the sake of curbing free speech.

Nothing new here...move along... (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130517)

Under the guise of preventing spam, most US ISPs have decided that running your own e-mail server must be banned, unless you pay extra for a commercial account. They enforce this by blocking SMTP connections except to their own servers, which they do not provide SLA or privacy guarantees on.

Atleast they know they're being monitored... (2, Insightful)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130532)

...whereas us, with all our "freedom", find out that our government is spying on us only when some whistleblower exposes it. What, we've just learned that at AT&T, NSA has the potential to spy on ANY communications that go through the switches there. Does anyone really feel 100% shielded from our own government here in the US? Atleast it's all out in the open there, pretty much. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

Re:Atleast they know they're being monitored... (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130661)

Mod parent up please -- this gets to the heart of the matter and puts this in perspective. While most on this board will decry the freedoms being denied to the Chinese by their own government, ask them about the 'Patriot act' and the NSA wiretaps and you'll get the standard, "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about" short sided nonsense. We're giving up our rights faster than we can create new ones. So look and laugh at China now, it'll be us soon enough at this rate.

Earth to Author... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130535)

Since when is it a shock to see the Chinese government limit free speech?

You need an orange mocha frappuccino.

I Want My SMTP (0, Redundant)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130540)

The Chinese government doesn't recognize any rights to protect, except everyone's right to give their life for the enrichment of the government mafia.

It's encouraging that the mafia Chinese government recognizes the great threat to its tyranny is the power of individual Chinese to control their own communications. Because there are so many Chinese, and they've got their government surrounded.

Doesnt come red flag linux (1)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130558)

with a mailserver by default like most distros?

Kinda funny how the state's endorsed products violates its own laws

Re:Doesnt come red flag linux (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130598)

the summary says:
>e-mail with discussing vaguely defined subject as network security or information security may not be transmitted

to which you reply:
>Doesnt come red flag linux with a mailserver by default like most distros?

aaaarrrrggghhh!!!!!

have given up all with completely sensible grammar with you?

and yet we still buy "Made in China" (2, Insightful)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130559)

why do *WE* keep financing these people?

Re:and yet we still buy "Made in China" (2, Informative)

geobeck (924637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130659)

why do *WE* keep financing these people?

Because *THEY* keep financing *YOU*.

Anyone know how many US government T-bills and other securities are held in China?

Re:and yet we still buy "Made in China" (1)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130660)

$,$ and more $. Any questions?

Re:and yet we still buy "Made in China" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130687)

We are supporting Chinese people, not Chinese goverment.

Re:and yet we still buy "Made in China" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130705)

>why do *WE* keep financing these people?

Because, on the whole, americans are rather short-sighted - ignorant of what goes on in the world outside their little patch. Saving a little cash at WalMart's great, and any ripple effect caused by that, well, not worth considering, right?

Just don't purchase things made in China if you don't like China. Don't do business with those who front for China. Talk's cheap (except on Compuserve), it's your wallet that matters...

Re:and yet we still buy "Made in China" (1)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130770)

Because, on the whole, americans are rather short-sighted - ignorant of what goes on in the world outside their little patch.
I'm pretty sure that the citizens of the United States are not the only group of people who buy cheap products and have businesses that invest in China. Switch out Americans and replace it with citizens of the "free world". And I'm willing to bet that it is not becuase most people are ignorant, but they don't really care as long as they get what they are looking for at a cheap price.

Re:and yet we still buy "Made in China" (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130741)

Correction; they finance you.

From the first reference [usatoday.com] I could find. Note that it is dated back in "8/27/2005". A more recent estimate on US debt can be found on the US National Debt Clock [brillig.com]

Other nations actually purchase that debt, in the form of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes. Those bonds have increasingly been snapped up not just by private investors but by foreign banks. Japanese investors hold the most U.S. debt, but China has been buying more than any other country in recent months.

The biggest trade deficit is with China, too, at $162 billion. Japan is next, at $75 billion.

Outlook Server? (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130574)

I'm not aware of anyone using that one. Exchange, perhaps, but. . .

On topic, I think this is horrible. What about internal-only email servers? Are those legal? Could that be enforced? Could you be prosecuted for being infected with a piece of SMTP-spewing malware?

hijacked? (2, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130587)

This is china remember. This is how things work over there.

2 points for them trying to combat spam.

In a related story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15130589)

...the United States government has ruled that driving your own car has been banned, unless you have a license.

Obligatory (0)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130614)

Your company advocates a

( ) technical (X) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to you

( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
(X) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
(X) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(X) Users of email will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
(X) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
(X) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(X) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
(X) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
( ) Asshats
(X) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
(X) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
(X) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
(X) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
( ) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
(X) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with Microsoft
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with Yahoo
( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(X) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
(X) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
(X) Sending email should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
(X) I don't want the government reading my email
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
(X) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid company for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

Instant messaging? (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130635)

So is instant messaging outlawed then? Or must IM's be archived for two years too? Also, does anybody know whether company VPN's are allowed in China? China is semi-pro corporation, but not pro-individual-rights... If VPN's are allowed, are internal emails covered by this?

Adoption of gpg? (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130663)

I wonder if Chinese users will start significant adoption of gpg or other encryption technologies to try to keep their communications secure. Of course then the Chinese government will just ban all use of mail encryption if they haven't done so already...

Damn rice farmers... (3, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130692)

Whatever, it's their country and if they want to oppress themselves all the power to them. More so this is a draft n'est pas? How many american bills when drafted seemed daffy?

It's entirely possible that this is

[ ] Incorrect news
[ ] Making the wrong conclusions
[X] Jumping to conclusions
[X] Flamebait
[X] Copying another post, sorry I had to

Personally I look forward to getting back to Canada and out of the USA so I can get the icky feeling off myself.

Because Canada

[ ] Is so much better
[ ] Has less immigrants
[X] Doesn't have Bush
[X] Can tolerate more than one point of view
[ ] A nation which enjoys equal protection under the law
[ ] Has quality politicians
[ ] Has Effective journalism
[X] Has poutine

Tom

Wait, Wait! (1)

thesnarky1 (846799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130742)

Guys, before we decry this outright as loss of rights, evil dictatorishipness, a stupid move, think. This isn't a stupid move, merely the start of the END OF SPAM! Sure, on their own China won't end spam, but with all nations acting together to ban email servers, there'll be no more email servers left! No servers means no email! Finally salvation for my inbox!

Creeping freedoms (2, Insightful)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130771)

Is this a sign of the increasing freedoms that politicians argue(d) liberalised trade with China would bring about?

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