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Chinese Internet Censorship Operation Revealed

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the lots-of-busy-bees dept.

The Internet 86

Stony Stevenson passed on a link to an in-depth look at the Chinese government's massive censorship operation. Reporters Without Borders put together a report on the activities of the operation, with a primary focus on the censorship of internet access and participation. "Chinese supervisory bodies often use instant messaging and text messages sent via mobile phones to communicate quickly with commercial Web sites. The purpose is to tell them which articles or comments are not to be published, and which events or issues are taboo. The Beijing Internet Information Administrative Bureau holds weekly meetings with 19 of the leading Web sites based in the capital to evaluate the subjects that Internet users find most interesting that week."

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Nothing for you to see here (3, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958083)

That's the message I got when I first tried to view this post, for a second I was scared Slashdot also got a textmsg.

Re:Nothing good for you to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958165)

That is the worst first post "joke" on slashdot.

Can we all just agree that joke is lame as hell?

Re:Nothing good for you to see here (2, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958543)

Well if it was a joke, then yes it would have been lame. But it wasn't a joke (should be obvious because it was not funny), it was an observation on Slashdot's bugs/race conditions.

I would argue that you are a joke, but you are also not funny. You are possible even lame as hell.

Re:Nothing good for you to see here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20959627)

fuck off troll

Re:Nothing for you to see here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958209)

wow fuck you

One thing the Chinks won't tolerate: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958363)

Posts about niggers.

Re:Nothing for you to see here (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958485)


So who's going to be the first poster this time to say that it's okay, because the Chinese like censorship and are happy about it?

That seems to be the usual slashdot comment.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958117)

Censorship? In a Communist nation? I'm shocked!

as confusing as... (2, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958133)

A Chinese fire drill...

link to the pdf at reporters without borders (2, Informative)

rawdirt (464725) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958139)

Mirror (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958571)

here [nyc2600.net]

Sounds like the Clinton White House (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958145)

Hillary! '08, bitches

Why does Slashdot always pick on (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958161)

the chinks? Leave them alone for Budda's sake.

What, this is a surprise? (3, Funny)

Loopy (41728) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958163)

Or news? Hmm...

Next up, research shows Stalin really just a misunderstood hermit who was abused by his father. Film at 11!

A small preview (4, Insightful)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958177)

of the future of America.

Re:A small preview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958301)

> of the future of America.

Why do you think Cisco, Yahoo, and Google are helping them with the Great Firewall? It's a beta site. Work out the bugs on the cheap before live deployment in the larger target market.

Re:A small preview (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958333)

It is not the Future of America until you can not say what you just said :) Yes the Freedom of speech is a nice thing don't you think? Or are you a foreigner who just looked up America in a text book and noticed it is mentioned a lot on slashdot.

The government can do and take what they want but they have not accomplished anything until they take away your freedom of speech and I do not see anyone coming around stitching lips shut.

Re:A small preview (2, Insightful)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958499)

I do not see anyone coming around stitching lips shut.


I do, all the time. Just one recent example: the people that hung a noose on the black prof's door are now looking at a felony and a long time in jail.

Re:A small preview (3, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958625)


I do, all the time. Just one recent example: the people that hung a noose on the black prof's door are now looking at a felony and a long time in jail.


Thats not censorship, thats the criminal justice system working. Issuing death threats is a crime you know.

Re:A small preview (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958659)

Stitching someones lips shut because you do not like what they say is one thing. Hanging a noose in the doorway of an African American persons office is another thing. I think that is what one would call a Hate crime.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime#United_States/ [wikipedia.org] You may want to read this, and the section after. A Hate crime is a little diffrent then shouting Nig*er is a crowded movie theater. This all falls under the same context that you have a right to yell fire, but you can not yell fire in a crowded theater.

Re:A small preview (1)

MyrddinBach (1138089) | more than 6 years ago | (#20961691)

Unless of course the theater is on fire..

Plus in this day and age if you did yell Fire in a theater - even if it actually was on fire - people would probably just shush you and go back to watching the movie..

Re:A small preview (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962141)

As someone once said, one man's terrorist is another man's Freedom Fighter.

It works the same way here, I think, in that your speach is Free only until you start saying unpopular things (which varies by country). There are things you can say that will give you a standing ovation in Sweden and a bullet in the US of A.

Re:A small preview (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962739)

Censorship is horrible, but it doesn't appear to be necessary to create a de-facto totalitarian state. All you need to do is to spread the sense that "everything is OK, and everyone who says otherwise is a liberal wacko / conspiracy theorist" and you can have your totalitarian policies right out in the open. Actually, historically, full-fledged censorship seems to be more of an endgame play of totalitarian states after freedom is already gone rather than an early step in subverting a free society.

Re:A small preview (3, Insightful)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958411)

Economic prosperity without political liberty is the wave of the future. People behave because it gives people things to lose such as cushy jobs, nice homes, SUV's, entertainment systems, retirement portfolia, boats, RV's, vacations, etc. These things are not in themselves harmful, but in conjunction with a political system that can so easily deprive persons such things, they tend to make people apathetic to things political.

Re:A small preview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958649)

And as each liberty is eroded away the apologists will frantically point to the remaining freedoms and explain that those are what really make us free.

Re:A small preview (1)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 6 years ago | (#20960627)

No (manufactured) crisis is resolved without the loss of liberty.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, for the Jew, it is the price of survival.

5H4L0M

Re:A small preview (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20959511)

EXACTLY, and succinct.

My less-than-succinct response is (to those who disagree that this is or might be a preview of things to come in the US):

And...? The US "intelligence" agencies have "honeynets" which are capable of (even if not yet used for) moving undesirable topics out of view by timing out the site, proxy-sending copyright infringement notices to take down articles, spamming and altering sites. Though I cannot say this has happened to me, I am sure that HOT ENOUGH sites would be and are affected.

Captcha: enqueues

Re:A small preview (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20959661)

And...? The US "intelligence" agencies have "honeynets" which are capable of (even if not yet used for) moving undesirable topics out of view by timing out the site, proxy-sending copyright infringement notices to take down articles, spamming and altering sites. Though I cannot say this has happened to me, I am sure that HOT ENOUGH sites would be and are affected.
Proof? That's a pretty bold claim... I don't pretend that the intelligence community wouldn't like more control, and doesn't do surreptitious things, but random sites being taken down? Especially "HOT" sites, where the failure would be more visible? Have you tuned your tinfoil hat lately?

Re:A small preview (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20959849)

Nah, I painted over the foil cuz all of it's manufactured with DOD/Intel devices embedded...

Re:A small preview (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962691)

Have you tuned your tinfoil hat lately?

That's becoming the most cliche ad-hominem attack ever.

I'd personally like to suggest a Goodwin-esque rule for "tin-foil hat". Anyone who makes fun of the other guy's tin-foil hat loses the argument for his side.

Re:A small preview (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20961649)

And this is why the 2nd Amendment needs to be protected at all costs. And I'm not even American, how odd is that? It is also why it is every parent's responsibility to teach their children to respect and cherish their freedoms, and be thoroughly informed as to their origin (founding fathers, Constitution, etc) and why it's significant.

Re:A small preview (1)

black hole sun (850775) | more than 6 years ago | (#20963695)

What a load of crap. I realize it's trendy to make sensationalist statements concerning "fascist Amerika" but come on, did you even RTFA? I mean, jesus. And the kicker is their operation appears so efficient. That doubly disqualifies this from ever happening here.

Re:A small preview (1)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966721)

Were you smoking crack out of an apple again?

And this is why (0)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958181)

SETI has yet to find any obvious intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Apparently they have been here, seen us, and decided censorship is the correct solution. With all that red shift out there, could we have realistically expected anything else?

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958243)

The United States is worse.

Re:So? (1)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958513)

That comment is not even worth the cost of the minuscule amount of electricity required to stimulate the very few brain cells necessary to respond to such ignorance.

Re:So? (1)

andy_t_roo (912592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20964733)

but it was obviosly worth both the electrical power for the compuuter for 40 seconds, and the rather more significant (compared to the neural activity) electro-chemical expenditure of typing that response. This typifies current american philosophy in which it seems to be better to exert effort to be seen to not be thinking, rather than to just do the thinking in the first place.

Re:So? (1)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20981305)

You smell and your mother dresses you funny. Think about that.

Censorship and the US... (1)

crowbarsarefornerdyg (1021537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958289)

This website wouldn't exist if we had that kind of censorship here. Yes, we all know that the Chinese gov't censors internet access, but do any of us know the true extent of the censorship? This article was pretty enlightening.

Re:Censorship and the US... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20959615)

While I think this COULD be a preview (not that it IS THE preview), I suspect that the US government won't enact in full such a process. After all, driving the subversives, dissenters, and freedom fighters TOTALLY underground just makes them go away but return with a vengeance, fully recharged.

But, it is ironic that the US government intelligence agencies and various special interest groups bemoan that China does these things, yet for the sake of the shareholders and the 'merkun economy, it's business as usual. The US and other western friends of the US will continue to "sell granny for a buck" and worry about the consequences later.

Anyway, if the US used this internally to shut down "troublemakers", then the government and wealthy might have to shift base of operations to India before telecom takes off like crazy over there. There's a whoolllle lot more work over there since infrastructure is coming up basically from scratch, much more so than in China. I'm just assuming that these US "masters of the universe" exist to have something to DO, not to END.

Re:Censorship and the US... (1)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 6 years ago | (#20960705)

No. Websites like and similar to Slashdot are a goldmine for CIA/NSA. They decide whom to put on the "watch lists" from automatic and semi-automatic scans of these boards.

Why do you think there are terrorist message boards out there? If US wanted, these would be removed tomorrow. They are using them.

Re:Censorship and the US... (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20965353)

Why do you think there are terrorist message boards out there? If US wanted, these would be removed tomorrow. They are using them.
Exactly. Over here in Britain there is a very famous mosque in North London that was widely reported as having been infiltrated by radicals who were using it to spread hatred and plan attacks. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finsbury_Park_mosque)

This came to the attention of the British gutter press who started a hate campaign to have it closed. The police gave the impression that they were completely powerless to intervene and close the place and seemed to be letting things just carry on. Then after a year or so they raided the place and it became apparent that all of our security services had been watching the place very closely for years. The more radical the place became the better, as it drove out most of the moderates and left the only people going there being the people who needed watching.

The fact is the trying to stop people ever hearing an idea is always unsuccessful, but what is much more effective is to discredit it. Personally I think the best way to do this (and most fun) is public ridicule (be careful before you start a conversation with me about religion if you have deeply held beliefs) but to each their own.

Trying to simply kill the messenger or censor the message is usually counter productive as you create a martyr and reveal that you are scared of what they are saying.

evil is as evil does (1, Offtopic)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958305)

Google: "Oh, no, we're not evil. Our friends, our business partners, our customers, they're evil, but we're not."

Most interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958309)

Bet the most read book among Chinese officials is '1984'. Thank you George Orwell...

cue the slashbots (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958335)

who say we can't criticize this because the west does bad thing X when it comes to privacy and freedom of expression even though bad thing X isn't anywhere remotely as bad as what the chinese are doing

look, my neighbor shot his dog, but i'm not going to criticize him, because i let my dog poop in the flower beds, and letting the dog poop in the flower beds is the beginning of an unstoppable slippery slope to murder and pedophilia and listening to cold play

pffffft

to every issue: abortion, freedom of expression, privacy, gun rights, etc., there are people who can think clearly on the issue, and then there are the raging fundamentalists

dear freedom of expression fundamentalists: where's my "troll" rating? k thx

Re:cue the slashbots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958509)

I don't see why one can't criticize freedom of expression in both China and the United States. Is there some unspoken rule that one must criticize only a single nation? If someone is a "freedom of expression fundamentalist," wouldn't that suggest that they believe freedom of expression is a fundamental right worldwide? As for saying China is "worse" than the United States, I must respond by asking, "Are you a responsible citizen who does not live in China?" If so, can you have the most impact in the country where you live or in China? Should we talk more about places where our impact can be larger, or should we talk more about places where we are likely to never have a substantial impact? Sure, all places experiencing a deprivation of basic liberties should be discussed, but where is our energy most wisely spent?

do you have principles? (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958641)

then you criticize the most egregious trangressors of those principles first and foremost

you do not criticize a molehill to the same extent you criticize a mountain

because, if you do, you have an unspoken principle you are not owning up to, that ranks more importantly in your mind than your so-called concern for freedom of expression and privacy: "i am an ethnocentric turd"

oh my god! i need to show my receipt when leaving walmart! man the cannons! cue the battle hymn of the republic! it's worse than nazi germany!

what, they have no freedom of the press AT ALL in china? well, that's ok, because as soon as you cross the ural mountains/ straights of bosporus/ rock of gibraltar/ rio grande/ pacific ocean, suddenly human rights don't matter as much to me

to those who criticize minor transgressions in the west to the same extent you criticize major trangressions elsewhere, you care less about your so called principles, and more about self-absorbed navel gazing. thereby, nullfiying much of your so-called principles

the only morally and intellectually defensible position on any point of view is global one. national ones are simply invalid. nationalism does not trump true global principles of human rights

or at least it shouldn't

in reality, it does, in plenty of dim ethnocentric minds in the west (and elsewhere)

Re:do you have principles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20959425)

Human rights restrictions matter more to me when they directly affect me. Does that make me an ethnocentric turd? You know, I was really unaware that the United States is composed of a single ethnicity...

Rights matter more to me when they directly affect me. That doesn't mean that other people's rights don't matter to me. And fuck you for your supposition and troll-like attitude.

you are 100% correct (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20959509)

except you always see people whine about the despotic usa UNDER AN ARTICLE ABOUT CHINA

in the context of a us domestic discussion, i would be wrong to disagree with you

in the context of an international discussion, only relative size of the trangression towards rights matters, not the location of the transgression of rights

Re:do you have principles? (1)

gaderael (1081429) | more than 6 years ago | (#20959995)

On the contrary, I think that making a mountain out of a mole hill when it comes to these minor issues, as you put it, is the way they should be confronted. Otherwise, one day we'll all end up in the same situation that the average Chinese citizen has to deal with everyday.

that's amazing (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20960111)

let me see if i understand you:

you go after the shoplifters, and you ignore the murderers

with this plan, you will ensure we don't wind up with a bunch of murderers

(falls out of chair)

Re:that's amazing (1)

FailedTheTuringTest (937776) | more than 6 years ago | (#20964675)

These are not mutually exclusive options. We have to go after both the shoplifters *and* the murderers, at the same time. And just as we need to fight both big and small crimes, we also have to fight both big and small threats to freedom. We have to respond right across the spectrum: protect freedom where it is already doing well, and strengthen it where it is struggling.

When a police officer arrests a shoplifter, that doesn't mean the police department is ignoring murderers. Similarly, someone protecting freedom in the USA (where freedom is perhaps being shoplifted or pick-pocketed) is not necessarily ignoring abuses in China (where it's being murdered). They are fighting at different points on the spectrum, but they are allies fighting for the same thing.

Re:do you have principles? (1)

jdjbuffalo (318589) | more than 6 years ago | (#20961227)

You know you're one of the few people that I can vehemently disagree with and emphatically agree with 10 times in one post.
*Boggles my mind sometimes*

I agree with you that "the only morally and intellectually defensible position on any point of view is global one". Being part of a nation does tend to cause people to be nationalist though. Even when I'm trying to argue from a world view point I still often times find myself bringing in a US centric position for one reason or another.

I disagree on the idea that we shouldn't make a big deal out of little encroachments on our freedoms. Politicians, especially in this country, have figured this part of our "national psyche". The idea that "If we only make minor changes to the laws and freedoms of the people they won't really notice the big picture direction we're headed towards." They've found that they can get a lot more done this way because most of us will forget about an issue (especially a small one) within a few days and then they will be in the clear to make another change 6 months later. Only the people who pay attention to the overall trend (like many people on Slashdot do) will keep an eye on what they do and realize the direction we are heading in (and hopefully speak out).

The idea of my rant is that yes we've made mountains out of molehills in several cases but when they are successful at getting good media coverage for an extended period of time they can actually cause change! We can use these rare (and getting rarer) opportunities to shine a light on the all the little mistakes (intentional law changes) that have been made and HOPEFULLY* get it changed.

*I'll concede that part of getting these things changed is really the hardest part of all because of the current way our US system has been corrupted. This has occurred because of the problems that arise from lobbying, intentional secrecy (but ultimately unnecessary), and the "synergy" of the government-industrial (corporate) complex.

Re:do you have principles? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 6 years ago | (#20961905)

the only morally and intellectually defensible position on any point of view is global one. national ones are simply invalid. nationalism does not trump true global principles of human rights WTF? My first priority is my family. Then comes my community. Then my country as a whole. When those things are taken care of. When My family is provided for and protected. When my community and my country are doing well. When my countrymen have their needs met and are safe. Then and ONLY then will I truly care at all about other people in other countries. Global community my ass. The global community just game a Nobel peace prize to a political hack that wrote a factually incorrect MOVIE. The global Community applauds speeches from the leaders of terrorists that kill innocent civilians. (and not as "Collateral Damage". But as the intended target. Big Difference) The global community cant accomplish anything. Nationalism has created real and true human rights. Maybe though you think that human rights are the same thing as all human beings are Entitled to "Stuff". Go vote fore Hillary Clinton. She will sell anything out to the Global Community. The truth here is this. The Chinese are idiots. Allowing any form of capitalism in their country is going to wipe them out. Its only a matter of time till it takes them over. Google will edit their search results because if they don't the Chinese get nothing. nothing is bad. Something is good because the filtering will not be perfect and stuff detrimental to the Chinese government will get out. That is good. Plus it makes money for Google. (That is what a Company is supposed to do.)

Re:do you have principles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20963761)

China was part of the UN Charter negotiations 1945. Since then, what have they done? Somebody sue the whole security council. Perhaps there should be an independent nuclear enforced legislative organ since certain people only respect a bigger nuclear penis than theirs.

Re:cue the slashbots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20958611)

look, my neighbor shot his dog, but i'm not going to criticize him, because i let my dog poop in the flower beds, and letting the dog poop in the flower beds is the beginning of an unstoppable slippery slope to murder and pedophilia and listening to cold play
...I think the freedom of expression fundamentalists are still trying to regain their bearings after that trip.

Re:cue the slashbots (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958689)

to every issue: abortion, freedom of expression, privacy, gun rights, etc., there are people who can think clearly
They can't think clearly about an issue if censorship prevents them from learning the facts about the issue.

PS: Please finish your damn movie so I don't have to read your sig in every thread every day. If you spent more time filming and less time posting to slashdot, you might be done with it already.

Re:cue the slashbots (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20959645)

Your demand of him was FUNNY. I guess it will be a "lifetime" making movie...

Re:cue the slashbots (1)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 6 years ago | (#20960273)

I can't recall ever reading a comment over 0 that made anything like the strawman argument you are presenting - you are, at best, railing against an imagined point of view that no-one actually holds.

  Ar worst, you are deliberately misrepresenting and criticizing something legitimate - which is, that we, most of us are Americans, are first and foremost responsible for what *we* do, and if we are serious about moral questions, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.

  Thus, if we're going to criticize the Chinese government, we should also criticize our own.

  More importantly, if we are morally obligated to take action to help the Chinese people fight censorship (and I take it as self-evident that we are,) then we are *even more obligated* to fight censorship here at home.

  Notice that this is IN NO WAY equivalent to saying "we should not criticize the Chinese government", for any or whatever reason.

Re:cue the slashbots (1)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 6 years ago | (#20971817)

Letting your dog poop in the flower beds certainly can be a slippery slope to somewhere. Depends on where you step and where your flower beds are.

In Communist China... (2, Funny)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958439)

... txtmsg censors YOU!

...and the toolbox gets better and better (3, Insightful)

syrinje (781614) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958453)

Leaving aside the obvious questions of why this either a surprise, or even news, this highlights the unintended consequences of technological advance. Firewalls and content inspection technology owe their origin to defensive uses - and continuing improvements in these have been driven largely by the increase in sophistication of the attack/penetration/exploit methods used by the bad guys. The resulting state-of-the art sudenly turns out to be incredibly powerful, capable not only of applying fine grain control based on endpoints, applications and content, but frighteningly able to provide loads of information that can be used to identify the people behind the keyboards. The fruits of defensive protection ripened to be picked by big-brother type regimes across the world - some for protectionist regulatory purposes (some countries use these to block VoIp to the benefit of state-run telcos), many for paranoiac surveillance (need I say more), some to prevent information flow across boundaries (Chine, Burma, etc.) - in short, multifarious nefarious usees of a technology suite intended to protect! Someone should list all the companies that make and sell such equipment to repressive/exploitative regimes - that would be a whos who of the industry....:(

Revealed? (4, Informative)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958511)

What's this "revealed" nonsense? We have known for at least10 years the Chinese censor the internet. Please refrain from the false sensationalism.

Re:Revealed? (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958655)

Details have been revealed about how the process works. I don't think anyone is pretending to be stating this fact to us for the first time.

Re:Revealed? (2, Insightful)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 6 years ago | (#20961845)

A more accurate headline would have been, "Details of Chinese Internet Censorship Revealed."

the belief that the internet can't be sensored (2, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958623)

I find it interesting that even though the common belief that the internet is immune to sensorship is accepted pretty much by the entire tech community that the chinese are going full steam ahead anyway.

Just goes to show you that there are people who believe THEY CAN do what others say can't be done.

What will happen to our cherished belief of the invulnerability of the internet to censorship IF the chinese actually succeed?

Just because you believe in something does mean it is actually true

Re:the belief that the internet can't be sensored (0, Flamebait)

Sigismundo (192183) | more than 6 years ago | (#20959195)

Yeah, it's like the PRC is the underdog in this battle, you almost want to root for them. All those geeks and techies say to them, "You can't do it. The internet is too big." But the PRC was the little government with a big heart and a lot of spunk, and just enough luck to overcome adversity in the end. :)

You could argue that the PRC has already succeeded, if their goal is to make it so the vast majority of non-technical people don't have access to censored information. If their goal is to keep even technical people seeking out censored information from accessing it, I'm not sure that it's possible.

Re:the belief that the internet can't be sensored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20960367)

"What will happen to our cherished belief of the invulnerability of the internet to censorship IF the chinese actually succeed?"

They did succeed. They are actively censoring the internet as we speak. The question is, how effective is it? No censoring technology is 100% effective. Stuff will get by accidentally. Now add in people purposely trying to circumvent the filters and firewalls (or directly attacking them) and the effectiveness of the system goes down further. That is why the Chinese government pumps out propaganda. You create so much noise as to hide the truth. When people actively seek the truth, no amount of censorship or propaganda will keep them from finding it. The best way to keep people from seek the truth is to keep them happy. As long as the economy keeps growing in China, I doubt the Chinese people will care (to much) about being censored.

Disgusting (5, Funny)

bob.appleyard (1030756) | more than 6 years ago | (#20958821)

I am shocked and appalled that the Chinese would stoop so low as to adopt censorship policies. Their long and proud history of freedom has been sorely tarnished by this scandal!

Re:Disgusting (1)

Jarik_Tentsu (1065748) | more than 6 years ago | (#20964749)

Mao would be rolling in his grave! =O

China's VH1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20959807)

"...The Beijing Internet Information Administrative Bureau holds weekly meetings with 19 of the leading Web sites based in the capital to evaluate the subjects that Internet users find most interesting that week."

So, a bunch of guys come together every week and discuss what was hot on the web and what wasn't for that week?

It sounds kinda like VH1's "Best Week Ever", but for communists. And instead of airing the goods on tv, they just censor it.

at least the chinese program provides jobs (1)

ffoiii (226358) | more than 6 years ago | (#20959999)

from TFA "elaborate system for Internet censorship that employs tens of thousands of censors and police" Why can't our wrongheaded government programs be more like the Chinese? Theirs employs tens of thousands. We use our fancy computers to silently monitor everyone, reducing labor need, and thereby keeping us unemployed and under scrutiny. Wow! Wow! Chairman Mao! Gooooooooo China!

Ineffective information control measures (1)

Ian Lamont (1116549) | more than 6 years ago | (#20960223)

The "Great Firewall", authorities texting website admins, and regular meetings with a few dozen major websites aren't going to solve the PRC's information control problem. IP blocks can be circumvented. Filters can be tricked. And even if they have 10,000 'Net police texting website owners, they won't be able to remove more than a handful of messages from the millions of forums and comment threads that have been created. There's only one solution that *might* work for them if Internet discourse gets too uncomfortable, and that's pulling the plug on the Internet, just like their Burmese pals did a few weeks ago [slashdot.org] . But China has a far more developed 'net infrastructure and industry, a huge SMS network that has been used to spread news of protests [blogspot.com] , and stronger business and personal connections with the outside world. They may have to batten down the hatches for the upcoming party congress [xinhuanet.com] , but they also have to look open and friendly in the runup to the Beijing Olympics.

I hope they don't censor anime sites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20960255)

Because our new Chinese overlords are not in charge of GUNDAM!

Less censorship... More screening of activities! (1)

LABarr (14341) | more than 6 years ago | (#20960401)

Someone please explain to me how the "Great Firewall of China" can really be all that effective at denying their citizens access to Western media and news and then suck so horribly at preventing these same citizens from doing illegal activity? The various servers that I administer 75 to 85% of the hacking attempts come from China alone. I also know a large amount of spam is generated within their borders. So I ask again, if they can't or aren't preventing this kind of illeagal activity, what makes Bejing think they are successfully preventing the flow of information from getting in?

Re:Less censorship... More screening of activities (1)

rawdirt (464725) | more than 6 years ago | (#20961099)

er, they don't care?

Obviously, we need to apologize. (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20960729)

Just like the idiot from Mattell decided to apologize to China because they're trying to poison our kids with lead paint on toys over and over, obviously somehow this is our fault. We clearly need to apologize to them for this as well. After all, it can't possibly be their fault, can it?

can someone please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20960949)

create a nice hi-res logo in chinese which means:

Free the Knowledge
F--- the Chinese Censors

to post on web sites and print up tee shirts
Nice and pretty like so non-chinese ppl would buy it and not know what it means.

That would be a cool social experiment.

And this is different from the US how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20961577)

I still don't get how this is different from what happens in the US. In the US both corporations *and* the government control what you see / read.

Hey everyone, come checkout this mirror...

What?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962391)

They get to see newsstories before they reach the front pages??? And they decide what shows and what won't?

Those pesky Chinese!

I bet they found a way to avoid anonymous posts, er, I mean, letters from non-identifiable readers...

Security hole (1)

r6144 (544027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20963031)

I live in China and such take-down notices by phone are well known, though I have never got any myself as I'm not a webmaster. Censorship issues aside, I wonder how the "security officials" can authenticate themselves. It will be incredibly insecure if a webmaster just listens to a random guy over the phone.

Re:Security hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20964613)

I wonder how the "security officials" can authenticate themselves.
Authentication is irrelevant if they know where you live. Sorry, someone's at the door. [NO CARRIER]

Corrections ... (1)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 6 years ago | (#20972059)

"...to determine the subjects that Internet users are to find most interesting that week."

China and Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20981783)

How exactly is this news?
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