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Citizen Journalism Combating Chinese Censorship

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the civil-disobedience dept.

Censorship 86

teh_commodore writes to tell us that Breitbart has a look at how Citizen Journalism is shining a whole new light on China. "Recognizing the threat of China's growing online community, Chinese President Hu Jintao called in January for the Internet to be 'purified', and the government has since launched a number of online crackdowns. [...] 'One cannot truly say that the Internet in China is becoming more and more free, because at the same time as the development of citizen journalists, the government finds ways of blocking or censoring content,' Pain said."

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86 comments

noobs (0, Offtopic)

R00BYtheN00BY (1118945) | about 7 years ago | (#19640287)

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0wned (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640365)

first post u n00bs got ***OWNED***!!

also u n00bs downranked my post now i cant post until tomrrow
thats gay

(_(_| (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640461)

(_(_|
thats a butt

Postfix troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19644087)

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      I anybody else want don't.
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      You the one are happy me makes who, honey.
      You the one are shine me makes who.
      Your around are I am laughing always when.
      I you mine to make want.

      I eyes my close you me before see and.
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      A fool I you adore how much just see could.
      I knees my get down on; I for you anything do would.

      CHORUS

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      I myself forget; I you me to remind want.

      CHORUS

      I you want
      I anybody else want don't.
      I you think about I myself touch when.
      Ooh, oooh, oooooh, aaa-aaah.

anyone watch bruce lee movies last night? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640289)

Them movies kick ass!!

Local authority vs. National authority (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | about 7 years ago | (#19640359)

Interesting article, showing how even as the national authorities tighten the reins on internet communications, people in China still make use of the internet to expose corruption & apathy within their local governments.

Re:Local authority vs. National authority (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | about 7 years ago | (#19640447)

I really wonder how long China will be able to keep up this cat and mouse game of censorship on a medium that is so hard to control.

They've opened Pandora's Box with the belief that they could wield the power it contained completely to their advantage but someday that power will expose their secrets and then be used organize their fall from power.

perhaps not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640703)

it may be pandora's box, but so far they have managed to keep a lid on the tianemen (sp?) square protest and massacre. Technology is powerful, and governments, who control the money and give the orders, have huge budgets to go towards censorship and control of the major nodes. I think they can manage to both keep their great firewall going, and improve on it, beyond the abilities of most people there to circumvent, should the government choose to make it even more difficult. They could throw another 100,000 netcops at it and not break sweat. They could run more filters, etc, and it wouldn't be a big deal. They also have the ultimate power, arrest, imprisonment and a perfect willingness to execute people for a variety of crimes, and trying to subvert the power of the communist party and the leadership there falls at the top of the list. You pull years at hard labor there for a blog post they don't like, and it gets nastier from that point.

Re:Local authority vs. National authority (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | about 7 years ago | (#19640741)

Agreed. In addition to this possibly being an Achilles' Heel in the sense that it gives government opponents a unifying cause, it would be interesting to find out how much of a "black market" this has/will cause(d). Surely there are legions of people both inside or nearby China that could benefit from providing unfettered access to people on the inside (for a fee).
While I realize that a vast portion of the population is very poor and thus quite unlikely to have the means to procure such "unauthorized" connections, assuredly some people have both the desire and the means. Combine this with the government's totalitarian attempts to control information, and you've got a powder keg.

Not Likely (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#19640751)

... someday that power will expose their secrets and then be used organize their fall from power.

How do you organize the memory hole? The problem with censored electronic media is that it eliminates the ability to reference. If your references disappear and organizers are put in jail, there will only be one coherent story.

Re:Not Likely (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | about 7 years ago | (#19641389)

The problem with censored electronic media is that it eliminates the ability to reference.
Yes but that only works if you're able to completely control the information source. I'm say is that China can not hope to completely control the internet forever. People always find ways to work around barriers once they know the barrier is there. With people traveling to and from China in increasing numbers the numbers of curious people will grow exponentially. That is why China will over throw it's government someday.

Re:Not Likely (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | about 7 years ago | (#19645611)

This brings up some points. China is not the only one fighting its own government for freedom of information. We have hackers on this side of the Great Wall, too. It would be dangerous and difficult, but no matter how strong China's censorship is, it is not invincible.

A Modest Proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19641359)

I have a modest proposal. The Chinese government wants to make available the "benefits" of the internet, that is, access to science and technology, and to censor the people from learning about politics. There are certain terms that make sure that the Chinese firewall will block a site-- discussion of Chinese censorship, the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, the Dalai Lama, Tibet independence, Falun Gong, etc.

Now, a lot of peole reading this have some responsibility for web sites with scientific and technical information. My proposal is, anytime you put up a website that has scientific and technical information on it, slide in some of the "blocked" words-- perhaps some words from this [wikipedia.org] list of words. This is going to screw with their censorship strategy.

Interesting site (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#19642681)

They are blocking on chinese only. By not blocking english, then they will encourage a number of chinese to learn it or some other language.

Re:Interesting site (1)

tinkertim (918832) | about 7 years ago | (#19646571)

They are blocking on chinese only. By not blocking english, then they will encourage a number of chinese to learn it or some other language.

I don't think I can fully support that claim, but I can substantiate it a bit. My blog is mostly related to free software, copyright issues and other problems that I like to discuss. I get a *significant* amount of traffic from China, and find my pages uncensored in the SE caches there.

Likewise, my hg repos get tickled often from China. Because of the stupid NATS and proxies, I have a hard time telling humans from spiders that don't check for robots.txt, so the data can only be flawed.

The patterns are significant outside of the data, so worth mentioning. Not a resouding endorsement of what you said, but does support it a bit :)

Déj vu all over again (1)

siriuskase (679431) | about 7 years ago | (#19643307)

Reminds me of the popularity of fax machines in China during the years prior to and immediately following Tiananmen Square (1989). The genie is out of the bottle, I do hope the authorities don't try to stuff it back in like they tried back then.

from someone who was in Hong Kong:

And once again we choose not to focus too much on certain reports. China is in the midst of a historic buildup of its military. China is cracking down on unofficial news sources and asking citizens to report any unauthorized news postings on the Web./quote)

Benefits of Technology (1)

jessiej (1019654) | about 7 years ago | (#19640375)

Interesting to see this posting just a few hours after the posting about our Mechanized Future [slashdot.org] . Couldn't we say that the internet is helping Chinese fight unwanted censorship... thus improving their lives..

Hot Button Words (5, Insightful)

Azuma Hazuki (955769) | about 7 years ago | (#19640379)

Whenever I hear people in "dear leader" positions throwing around words like purify, patriotism, freedom, etc, it makes me cringe. This is doublespeak; "purify" means "purge."

Re:Hot Button Words (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 7 years ago | (#19640675)

...and "purge" means "kill"

Re:Hot Button Words (1)

nphyatt (1014363) | about 7 years ago | (#19640713)

Cleanse! Purge! Kill! In the name of the Emperor, we shall bring an Exterminatus to the hereti... Oh, wait. Whoops.

Re:Hot Button Words (3, Insightful)

beyondkaoru (1008447) | about 7 years ago | (#19641425)

aye, brothers. we must rally our men to combat the numerous evils which threaten our home, the (imperium|usa|middle kingdom). there can be no rest until the (heretics and mutants|dissenters|dissenters) have been purged, and we may stand united to praise the (emperor|president|chairman)!

but we must not merely look within to find the enemy; there is, too, the enemy without: these (xenos|muslims|capitalists)... the more i look at them, the more i come to know them, the more i come to hate them. i hate them not because they are different, but because they are not capable of pure, (human|american|maoist) (hatred|patriotism|nationalism).*

in the grim (future|present) of the (41st millenium|21st century), there can be only war**!

*ironically, all three benefit greatly from their enemies without; the adeptus mechanicus researches c'tan tech, the usa benefits from middle-eastern oil, china benefits from trade and manufacture.
**on drugs/terror/whatever in the us. may vary elsewhere.

ok, that was totally offtopic, but fun to type.

Re:Hot Button Words (1)

dintech (998802) | about 7 years ago | (#19647379)

Fun to read too. I like selecting the words that are least offensive to my sensibilities. :)

Re:Hot Button Words (1)

nphyatt (1014363) | about 7 years ago | (#19649631)

Unfortunately, not all of our problems can be solved by bolter fire and throwing billions of Imperial Guard troops at various planets. Now, if only we could convince the government of such...

Re:Hot Button Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640919)

While we're at it, let's call a spade a spade: when a government employs coercion in order to silence communication, this isn't "cracking down" -- this is oppression. "Cracking down" implies there was something wrong or immoral about speech in the first place. It's nothing but propaganda, an aid to the state's agenda.

I don't care if it's democracy or dictatorship -- oppression is the ONLY correct term to use here.

Re:Hot Button Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19645077)

I wonder if "Purified" bears the same overtones in Chinese as it has in English. On top of religious connotations, some of the worst horrors committed by man against his fellow man have been done in the name of "purification". If G.W. Bush suddenly decided he was going to purify New York, fire and blood on the streets would immediately come to mind.

This in no way underplays the seriousness of the issue - if the word had been translated as some more benign equivalent ("tidied" "cleaned up") it would only serve to highlight the situation.
Violations of individual rights and liberties concealed by benign administrative terminology are far less likely to be challenged by whatever limited review is available or questioned by people not directly affected.
Streets running with blood may cause comment, but dissenting voices quietly silenced may go completely unnoticed.

In fact such a benign reference would probably have more significance to Western readers - everyone is conscious of the insidious danger of a leadership exercising more and more control "for your own good".

Just my $0.02

Do they.... (1, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 7 years ago | (#19640385)

Do they not get what they deserve?

Have they forgot how Chinese invaded Tibet and displaced the Buddhists?
Has anybody forgot Tiananmen Square? They hunted down amateur and professional footage alike so they could go and assassinate the dissidents.
Or in recent times, have they forgot about the forced abortions that the Chinese government puts women through for violating "Birth Law"?

And now they wish to "clean up" the Internet. Awwww. It doesnt fit in their view of authoritarian communism.

Who I do feel sad for are the people who live there, as many of them did NOT bring this upon themselves, however, it IS up to them to free this country of an evil tyranny.

Re:Do they.... (2, Funny)

mrjb (547783) | about 7 years ago | (#19640539)

Has anybody forgot Tiananmen Square? What square? According to the Ministery of Truth, it never happened.

Re:Do they.... (1)

uglydog (944971) | about 7 years ago | (#19640553)

Who I do feel sad for are the people who live there, as many of them did NOT bring this upon themselves, however, it IS up to them to free this country of an evil tyranny.

I think that is a very important point. Some people think that economic sanctions, etc are an effective way of forcing another country to change its policies, but the only way to bring about true change is for the people of that country to demand it for themselves. The same way women in Iran are speaking up for themselves. [cnn.com]

Re:Do they.... (2, Interesting)

triskaidekaphile (252815) | about 7 years ago | (#19640861)

Change from within would be nice, but there is no way change can come from within unless there is pressure from without.

Nobody could challenge the Roman empire at its height, of course, but nobody from within could have challenged it even after the political system had started rotting. It took an outside force to economically and militarily bring down the government. Change occurred within, but it required forces from without.

The many revolutions against the European powers in the 18th-20th centuries did not occur just because the people revolted. They would never have been able to revolt if they had not developed a middle class due to trade with foreign powers and a belief that they could rule themselves which they learned from seeing other former colonies succeed. Without either of those, independence would never have occurred.

The Soviet Union did not break apart because the people suddenly rallied. The economy had taken a horrible toll during the Cold War and economic reforms led to political reforms. When the reactionaries tried to seize control in order to roll back those reforms, then the people did stand up. But none of it could have happened without the economic pressure from without.

These are simplified, of course, but fair assessments. My point is that "the people" will not spontaneously restructure society. Society will perpetuate itself despite the dissidents. Why? Because society prefers stability over instability. "The people" will never generate instability; only an external actor can do that.

Re:Do they.... (1)

uglydog (944971) | about 7 years ago | (#19641891)

The only point I would argue would be the fall of the Roman empire. Everything else, I agree with.

The distinction i was making was forced change of one country by another country, for example: by using sanctions against China. Those attempts are not usually successful. Examples include US attempts at regime change in South America. The USSR, of course, has done similar work.

Re:Do they.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640567)

Who I do feel sad for are the people who live there, as many of them did NOT bring this upon themselves, however, it IS up to them to free this country of an evil tyranny.

As opposed, say, to people in a republic who elect (and re-elect) a regime that dissapears and detains people onto islands and shows to regard for civil rights or dues process at every turn?

Who shall free them from their fear and their tyranny?

Re:Do they.... (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 years ago | (#19640683)

You neglect to mention that said republic has a system in place for dealing with such abuses, and while slow, it is apparently succeeding in getting the little island prison closed down.

Sort of an important point that you missed there, since it is a way in which that republic completely differs from China.

That and the abuses of one country do not justify the abuses of another.

not that easy to free themselves (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640801)

It's not that easy for an oppressed people to free themselves.

For one thing, you have to hope that a George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, etc. exist simultaneously around the same time. And also that they have the tools need to mount an effective resistance. Not every country is lucky enough to get people like that.

The other MAJOR problem is the lack of weaponry. You see, people seem to be willing to give up all kinds of liberties when the slightest amount of feart is introduced. Now imagine the threat against you if you government is evil .. they murder and rape etc. not just the dissident but also people he/she cares about. So if a dissident is going to mount a resistance he/she has to be aware who else they're "involunteering", because it won't just be the dissident paying the price.

It may be self satifying to place the blame on being oppressed on the oppressed (after all it liberates any feelings of obligation to help) but that doesn't mean it's the truth.

Re:not that easy to free themselves (1)

beyondkaoru (1008447) | about 7 years ago | (#19641597)

probably the even more major problem than a lack of weaponry is a lack of knowledge of history. if they don't know that a brighter future can exist compared to what they've got, they won't revolt. they'll go on thinking things are double-plus-good. often, the mainland chinese don't even know that Tienanmen square, well, happened.

Re:not that easy to free themselves (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 7 years ago | (#19652655)

So if a dissident is going to mount a resistance he/she has to be aware who else they're "involunteering", because it won't just be the dissident paying the price.

This is a very good point, and a very good reason to support anonymous [freenetproject.org] free speech. Real rebels wear masks. They are a neccessary safety device. That they are also the tools of trade for bank robbers does not change this.

Re:Do they.... (1)

hackingbear (988354) | about 7 years ago | (#19641137)

Have they forgot how Chinese invaded Tibet and displaced the Buddhists? Has anybody forgot Tiananmen Square? They hunted down amateur and professional footage alike so they could go and assassinate the dissidents.
For these, nobody cares anymore.

Or in recent times, have they forgot about the forced abortions that the Chinese government puts women through for violating "Birth Law"?
For these, people do either (1) illegally ultrasound the fetus to identify the gender and abort girls; (2) pay up the penalty (which is tiny for rich people); (3) fret away and give birth anyway.

Re:Do they.... (2, Insightful)

Cairnarvon (901868) | about 7 years ago | (#19643591)

"Who I do feel sad for are the people who live there, as many of them did NOT bring this upon themselves, however, it IS up to them to free this country of an evil tyranny."

And how do you propose they do that when the vast majority don't realise the problem is that bad, or that they *could* do something about it?
That's the entire point of censorship: to keep people in the dark about the gravity of their situation. And in almost all of mainland China, it's working perfectly.

Re:Do they.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19643603)

Four letter words to you...

Re:Do they.... (1)

hyperfusion (858705) | about 7 years ago | (#19645187)

Who I do feel sad for are the people who live there, as many of them did NOT bring this upon themselves, however, it IS up to them to free this country of an evil tyranny.
So... let me get this straight. You're telling Chinese citizens to free themselves of "evil tyranny"? You're telling them to revolt against their government so that they could get themselves killed? Lose a chunk of the population, chuck a few people out the window? Well, of course that's the perfect solution! After thousands and thousands of deaths, the communist government will be overthrown and the world will be a better place. Thanks.

Re:Do they.... (1)

dintech (998802) | about 7 years ago | (#19647399)

Thanks for putting that armchair revolutionary straight. :)

Re:Do they.... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 7 years ago | (#19646233)

The ironical point is that modern corporations from western democratic countries are right in their helping the Chinese government maintain it's corporofascist government rule. From google censoring out freedom and democracy as well as providing a range of search tools to hunt down to those web dissidents, to high tech companies providing all the hardware required as well as the ability to manufacture more, so that the Chinese government to run those high tech public control and monitoring services.

Seriously, do you think they have any chance at all to achieve peaceful change, considering how much corporofascist profits certain individuals within that society van generate and what those individuals will do to protect those profits, and the quisling western companies who will assist in the task as long as they get a chance to share in those profits, yeah, 'Do Lots Of Evil'.

China IS getting more free. (2, Interesting)

Prysorra (1040518) | about 7 years ago | (#19640387)

I admit I'm a hopeless optimist, but look at it this way.

Censorship is a tool used when you're losing control. Scary things are about to happen, and China doesn't anyone to know.

Re:China IS getting more free. (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#19640589)

Censorship is a tool used when you're losing control.
That is an incredibly absurd thing to say. Censorship has been practiced in many societies for thousands of years. Censorship is about maintaining control. There have always been ways around censorship, but it works because the vast majority of people either do not know to circumvent it or are too frightened of the consequences to try.

The Chinese Communists have been using censorship since the very beginning, so it's rather silly to state "It's a sign they're losing control", when it is simply the way things are done in China. The difference is now that circumventing that censorship is a good deal easier. It is forcing the Chinese government to be more responsive to the needs of people. It's a pity that these tools hadn't been available during truly tragic periods of recent Chinese history (The Great Leap Forward).

Re:China IS getting more free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19646009)

There have always been ways around censorship, but it works because the vast majority of people either do not know to circumvent it or are too frightened of the consequences to try.

Censorship is pretty serious in the U.S. too.

For example, I bet you didn't know that the Dalai Lama used to own slaves. And that he used to be the dictactor of Tibet: the country was a theocracy, and the Dalai Lama was the top dog -- much as Ayatollah Khomeini was in Iran. Of course he used all the dirty tricks of politics, and you can imagine how he and his fellow masters kept their slaves in line.

Why do you suppose there is so little unrest in Tibet? (Unlike Iraq.) The answer is that the 90% of the population (the former slaves and serfs) are delighted to be rid of their masters.

These little facts would have detracted from the Dalai Lama's "holy man" image in the West, so of course they were censored -- completely suppressed. And the most amusing part of this affair is, you Americans probably still think you live in a free society.

Re:China IS getting more free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640643)

Yes, because the censorship imposed by Adolf Hitler when he first came to power was the presage of good things to come, right? He sure freed up those Jews. Or Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. They freed up a bunch of Cambodians right after instituting a heavy censorship campaign.

Re:China IS getting more free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19641531)

Censorship has been part of China history for 5000 years, during this 5000 years, all kinds of things happened. What worse could happen?

How Is This News For Nerds?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640397)

I don't know why all these "China & censorship" stories are relevant to slashdot. There's not really any tech angle here.

Is Linux used by these citizen journalists? If not, this stuff shouldn't be here.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (3, Funny)

mrjb (547783) | about 7 years ago | (#19640565)

There's not really any tech angle here. You've never heard of The Great Firewall of China, I suppose.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640749)

You've never heard of The Great Firewall of China, I suppose.

Does it run Linux? That would be a great feather in the cap for IP Tables.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 7 years ago | (#19640593)

I don't know why all these "China & censorship" stories are relevant to slashdot. There's not really any tech angle here.

Ever hear of the term 'IT' ? Informational Technologies?

I'd say this certainly involves the transfer of information, or lack thereof.

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1)

jofny (540291) | about 7 years ago | (#19641693)

This doesn't warrant a response, but at the risk of responding to a troll, I will anyway because its important (and scary that someone might not be able to put this together themselves): Poster, "tech" comes from free scientific discourse. Censorship mutes discourse - both directly and indirectly. In the first case, as in the US, you find a government explicitly muting discourse on a particular scientific subject (stem cells and global warming). In the case of the article in question, there is no specific censorship of a technology subject, but there is a systemic attempt by a government to mute all discourse other than what is deemed acceptable. With that kind of muting, technological development stalls (or stays stalled). Given that China has the largest tech (or any other) market and given what kind of tech China COULD produce if they were allowed to speak freely, Id say censorship is directly related to Slashdot even at with the slimmest of "news for nerds" definitions. (All this aside from the fact that it's technology theyre using to censor, technology theyre using to spread the news, etc).

Re:How Is This News For Nerds?? (1)

fbjon (692006) | about 7 years ago | (#19646965)

This is the mother of all tech discussions. Slashdot is all about exchange of ideas and news, censorship is the opposite of that. We understand the issue, we know what censorship smells like, and we have the power to do something about it. That means you, reading this.

Is our media free? (-1, Troll)

athloi (1075845) | about 7 years ago | (#19640415)

As far as I can tell, two things control content. First, what the advertisers think, because they're paying for it. Second, whether it will offend anyone who is not socially recognized as marginalized. It would be a great hubris-laden error for us to assume we don't labor under a different set of the same rules that Chinese must follow.

Re:Is our media free? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#19640637)

No, it's not the same. Let's take into account the advertisers, first.

Let's say you write a fairly Apple- and Linux-centric blog (we'll call it 'athloidot') and your advertisers, who are Microsoft-centric, demand that you start posting nice things about Microsoft products. You, as the editorial staff, can either bend over and grease up, writing some nice stuff about Vista, or, you can tell the advertisers to politely fuck off and go get yourself another set of advertisers.

Now, the bloggers in China cannot tell the Chinese government to politely fuck off, because that would be a crime punishable by imprisonment, torture, or both.

As for whether it will offend anyone -- well, it hasn't seemed to stop Slashdot, now has it?

Re:Is our media free? (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 years ago | (#19640745)

I agree with you, but don't you think that there is a fundamental difference between:
  • Being told what you can and cannot say, and
  • regulating your own mouth/keyboard/pen for your own social benefit

I mean, in the first case, even if you say, "Damn the consequences, I'm going to write that article!"... the article gets removed and no one can read it. In the second case, the article remains published any you suffer the consequences. To me, there is a huge distinction there.

Re:Is our media free? (1, Insightful)

computational super (740265) | about 7 years ago | (#19640805)

Amen, brother. It never ceases to amaze me how many people on /. argue that US censorship isn't really censorship because it's "appropriate censorship". We'll be oppressed, just like the Chinese, until more of us finally start to realize that we are.

Censorship, the American way (1)

A Clint (1117281) | about 7 years ago | (#19644451)

Here is an interesting documentary [pbs.org] dealing with American-style censorship and propaganda in the media. The mechanism may be different, but in the end the public is still being fed misinformation.
Maybe we don't need a Big Brother in this country, we're all conspiring to misinform ourselves.

Yes yes (1)

Himring (646324) | about 7 years ago | (#19640445)

Chinese President Hu Jintao called in January for the Internet to be 'purified'

Yes, purified I say. And, squish all bugs. Yes, every single bug is to be found and squished....

The cycle continues..... (2, Insightful)

TheBearBear (1103771) | about 7 years ago | (#19640471)

until the government starts spreading fear and terror and death threats.... you know, old commy style, so that even if it is easy to circumvent censorship, people will be so afraid to do so. And then they will have won the cat and mouse game.

Re:The cycle continues..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19642497)

Sorry but I call CRAP on this. Imagine I am Chinese 'reporting" about America.....

until the government starts spreading fear and terror and death threats.... you know, old CAPITALIST style, so that even if it is easy to circumvent censorship, people will be so afraid to do so. And then they will have won the cat and mouse game.

for pete's sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19644567)

>until the government starts spreading fear and terror and death threats....

You are referring to the US govt?

How many countries have we bombed, inaded and overthorwn since WW2?

Seems like terror and death is OUR specialty but we always bring back Tibet.

Dont forget your glass houses people...

Oh NO. (0, Troll)

Mockylock (1087585) | about 7 years ago | (#19640519)

What would Al Gore do?

Surely the inventor of the internet would have some solution to the communist censorship.

and their tactics are horrifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640549)

I've heard they will pee pee in your coke.

Getting it Backwards Again (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 7 years ago | (#19640667)

Instead of titling this article: Citizen Journalism Combating Chinese Censorship, wouldn't it be more accurate to have said: Chinese Censorship Combating Citizen Journalism.

Assistance from the West (4, Insightful)

NJVil (154697) | about 7 years ago | (#19640711)

Perhaps Google, Yahoo, and other bastions of the Internet will get right on this if they're asked nicely. They've got a proven track record when it comes to assisting oppressive governments.

Well, MS and Yahoo have already convict (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19642383)

And both are leaders in helping the Chinese gov. crush their citizens. God bless those 2.

Have any of you even been to China? (0, Troll)

wr0x2 (840346) | about 7 years ago | (#19640725)

There is a lot more freedom there than you would think from reading the western press. Sure, they have censorship, but it's bypassable. China is experiencing unimaginable economic growth, and with that will eventually come some degree of increased personal freedom. I have a hard time explaining it to people who have never been there, but there there is much more "general freedom" in countries like china than in the US. Perhaps someone who understands can explain it better than me.

Just how free is the US anyway? Freedom to assemble is regulated, and freedom of speech, although certainly much greater than in china, is not absolute. We can criticize the president and our other government officials all we want, but nothing changes. Let's think about our own country (and change it, if you like) before we go on bitching about something that's not ours.

Re:Have any of you even been to China? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19641631)

My parents just got back from a 4 month stay in China. Holy Good Heavens are you wrong in comparing the USA to China. Read about Mao's rule and it's lasting effect on China today. Read about people who were driven out of business and rebuked BECAUSE they were working professionals.

When my parent's showed local friends a family picture (5 children), a few women wept because of a government mandated law of one child per couple.

One interesting thing they noticed, though, is a positive side effect of their freedom being suppressed. Many people in China they met had an innocence that has been all but destroyed in much of America. What I'm referring to is the moral depravity found in the US's pop culture that is largely suppressed in China.

My heart goes out to those overseas who are fighting for the basic rights of freedom that I've enjoyed all my life.

Re:Have any of you even been to China? (1)

Christoph (17845) | about 7 years ago | (#19641671)

I've been there -- Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, Ningbo, Guilin, and about eight small factory towns.

There are two things I will not criticize publicly until I'm retired or travelling: Islamic extremists and the Chinese government.

My sense is that it's like those countries with draconian drug laws (e.g. the death penalty for smuggling); you're fine as long as you don't get somehow associated with drugs (e.g. something planted on you). If that happens, you are up the creek...no right to counsel, a fair trial, humane treatment, etc.

Re:Have any of you even been to China? (4, Insightful)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | about 7 years ago | (#19642169)



Here in the US if you want to sell hot dogs you need about a hundred government permits. There are forms and taxes and fees just to hire the guy to run the pushcart and there is a business license and health inspectors and so on and so on. the goernment even tells you how long you can keep a hot dog after you heat it and how and where is get rid of the hot dogs you can't sell. Every stage of a hot dog vending in the US is regulated and controled by the government. In China if you want to sell hot dogs all you need is are some hot dogs. If you want to sell a picture of Micky Mouse on a tee shirt all you need is some ink and tee shirts, no need to ask Disney first I think much of China works this way. People just do what they want and if they don't cause any trouble are left alone. I won't argue it this is a good thing or bad. Maybe it's best to give up some freedom so we can eat USDA inspected hot dogs.

But the governments are different. In the US the leaders know and accept that they will leave office one day and they are pretty sure the system of government will continue on. In China the government took power and holds power by force and the goal of the leadership is to remain in office for life.

So in some way the people in China are more free. They can do as they
like as long is that is no threat the government.

Re:Have any of you even been to China? (1)

Stiletto (12066) | about 7 years ago | (#19643709)

What a time to not have mod points. You are spot on.

It's not the case of "We have freedom, they don't!" It's more of a "We have one kind of freedom and one kind of government control, they have different kinds of freedom and government control." It's about time we all stop thinking in black-and-white terms.

Re:Have any of you even been to China? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 7 years ago | (#19646609)

As a hot dog consumer, I'm happy those regulations are in place.

If you like your stomach aches, you're free to enjoy them.

Re:Have any of you even been to China? (1)

jhRisk (1055806) | about 7 years ago | (#19655799)

WTF? Nobody but Disney and the US care about Disney copyrights. Try making "Jintao Sucks" T-shirts like the Bush ones I see and see if they let you. Correction... see how long you last before getting thrown in jail. Correction... see how long you last, PERIOD!

[quote]People just do what they want and if they don't cause any trouble are left alone.[/quote] Correction... People just do what they want and if they agree with everything the government says and do everything they ask only then are they left alone. Sure, that sounds like freedom.

Don't mistake process for impeding on freedom.

PS. That "freedom" the imaginary hotdog vendor has in China results in him/her selling rotten REAL DOG slaughtered last month after he was lucky enough to stumble upon Fido's sickly corpse in the local human waste disposal pit.

Re:Have any of you even been to China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19642285)

Certainly, one aspect of "general freedom" is the traffic system. And, frankly, it was a bit too free for my taste. They rode motorcycles on the sidewalks. They used their car horns as though they were bicycle bells. They pushed their way through intersections, frequently causing gridlock. The taxi drivers were as insane as anywhere, but they all drove like cabbies.
 
(This is evil but I can't resist...)
 
  Just like the Chinese over here.

Freedom and the Right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640815)

Okay so this has nothing to do with the US but it made me realise that the whole 'freedom' thing that the conservative Right prides itself on defending and hicks get so worked up over; they care or know jack squat about the actual issues within the country affecting *their* freedom. They've become some sort of buzzwords, then you get to compare the US democracy to dictatorships and call it the bastion of freedom. That's like the average kid looking at the class idiot and thinking himself to be a genius in comparison. Dude, democracies are there all over the place, compare yourself to one of them next time you want to say how cool it is to have it.
Kinda funny, between the malicious Right and the cowardly Left there's not much of a choice...okay getting way too off-topic here.

Between all this talk about China preparing for hacker wars and US getting ready to respond in kind it's too bad the hackers on both sides don't just join forces and target the tracking and censorship stuff. Everybody wins, except the bad guys of course.

After Defeat In The United Gulags of America (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19640873)


When will any U.S. resident file a criminal complaint in U.S. Federal Court against
the world's largest crime syndicate [whitehouse.org] ?

Thank you for your help.

Pax,
Kilgore Trout

Found this once on Slashdot: (1)

Xentan (1089097) | about 7 years ago | (#19640907)

[I]Our vision of interconnectedness resonates with new networks of world citizens in nongovernmental organizations linking from numberless centers of energy, expressing the emergence of a new organic whole, seeking unity within and across national lines. New transnational web-based email and telecommunications systems transcend governments and carry within them the power of qualitative transformation of social and political structures and a new sense of creative intelligence. If governments and their leaders, bound by hierarchy and patriarchy, wedded to military might for legitimacy, fail to grasp the implications of an emerging world consciousness for cooperation, for peace and for sustainability, they may become irrelevant.[/I] Part of speech by: U.S. Representative Dennis J. Kucinich Praxis Peace Institute Conference Dubrovnik, Croatia Sunday, June 9, 2002

BLOGGERS ARE BREAKING CHINA'S LAW - THIS MUST STOP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19641533)



   

Blogging under the radar. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19642283)

I think this is a good thing for China. This form of "blogging" will hopefully allow the people of China to talk about subjects that the government will not allow.

China will be truly free only when... (1)

liftphreaker (972707) | about 7 years ago | (#19644001)

China will be truly free from their commie overlords only when a soviet style revolution happens, or if there's a huge general uprising and overthrow of their beloved "leaders".

China will never become another USA and it is foolish to want that. You'd probably see them becoming a socialist democracy sort of like a combination of India, Germany and Russia. That'll do for now.

As for their inter-tubes, till their yoke is lifted, don't expect any miracles under their current administration.

Why can't you just mind your own business? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19644557)

If you can read Chinese, try http://bbs.people.com.cn/ [people.com.cn]

That's the billboard system hosted on China's highest ranking official propaganda website, controlled directly by the top propaganda division of the communist party. Well, just list a few post titles from the front page:

- What does it tell that 70% of the corruptions and bribes are through the wives and mistresses?
- Reporting the "black kiln" in sadness and horrors.
- Is the Nanjing government going backwards in regulating the housing price?
- 24 ways to expose corrupted officials in mainland China
- Black kiln reminds me of the greatness of Mao Zedong
- Why do the officials pretend they don't know?

Does that sounds like a Gulag or 1984 situation? When did you last see similar posts hosted by either CNN or MSNBC?

Re:Why can't you just mind your own business? (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | about 7 years ago | (#19648377)

BTW- the "black kiln" story is the worst case of illegal child labor in China so far. The worst part- it went un-investigated for 10 years. I saw the news story on it (I live in China).

how about the indian untouchables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649039)

They're widely reported, and well-known by the western world. Does this qualify India as a 1984 society?

In the more "communist" China under Mao, the black kiln incident could never have happen. It's the capitalist greedy that makes it happen.

Not Breitbart at all (1)

Scareduck (177470) | about 7 years ago | (#19649043)

The story is attributed to Agence France-Presse [afp.com] , the French newswire. Breitbart doesn't publish any content of their own; so far as I know, they're just an aggregator.
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