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Censorship Your Rights Online

Google Disappears In China 334

Posted by timothy
from the man-vs.-state dept.
An anonymous reader submits: "The censorship in China was finally getting better since people were 'allowed' to read the CNN news now (except for certain articles). But since this weekend it seems that a new web page has been censored in China. Since this weekend it looks like everyone in China is not 'allowed' to use google.com anymore. google.com was also gaining populairity in China as the better search engine (which also works fine in Chinese). But now I guess it got too popular and thus not allowed. Or does it have anything to do with Yahoo signing the agreement to censor?" Comments to yesterday's post "Real-Time Testing of China's Internet Filters" also noted that Google has gone missing within China.
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Google Disappears In China

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  • Cache (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormie (708) on Monday September 02, 2002 @02:59AM (#4182769) Homepage
    Surely it's because Google's cache would allow people inside the Great Firewall to read all manner of banned web pages?
    • by cscx (541332)
      Surely it's because Google's cache would allow people inside the Great Firewall to read all manner of banned web pages?

      Yeah, 10 years from now we're all gonna find out that all this Great Firewall business was just a scheme to "keep out the Mongolians...."

      I think history will tell that stuff like this just doesn't work.
    • But the cache server is on a different IP:

      www.google.com = 216.239.33.101
      The cache server = 216.239.33.100

      Couldn't they have just blocked the cache server?
      • But the cache server is on a different IP:

        www.google.com = 216.239.33.101 The cache server = 216.239.33.100

        Couldn't they have just blocked the cache server?

        Google =/= 2 machines!
        When I ping google I get: PING www.google.com (216.239.53.101)... because they point you to the server farm which is closest to you (or less crowded at the moment).. The IPs change constantly, so it isn't that easy for them to block "the cache server".

        An interesting talk on this topic by a Google engineer can be found here: http://technetcast.com/tnc_play_stream.html?stream _id=420 [technetcast.com] (Speech from Atlanta Linux Showcase 2000 I believe) and here: http://www.technetcast.com/tnc_play_stream.html?st ream_id=421 [technetcast.com] (Q&A session after the speech)

    • Re:Cache (Score:4, Informative)

      by psych031337 (449156) <psych0&wtnet,de> on Monday September 02, 2002 @07:16AM (#4183251)
      Maybe it is not widely known, but Google *can* and will ban certain queries/results/terms/sites/whatever appropriate. This is probably a factor (or should I say expected result) of their rerouting change which basically determines the geographical position of a surfer and redirects to the appropriately themed google (say .de, .fr and whatever else they are running).

      The probably best documented case of this is the "Operation Clambake" exclusion which was restored after heavy protests. But there were copyright issues involved so this might nut cut the cheese all the way.

      What worries me more is the exponation of companies towards insane or just plainly stupid government regulations. Sometime in February a single state within Germany (which is a federal republic composed of 16 states after all) ordered their local Internet providers for exclusion of questionable material, which in this case primarily concerns fascist/white-supremacist sites like stormfront.org. Checking google.com with the query "stormfront.org" delivers a link which is clearly a site in question. Sending the same string to google.de returns nothing. Softening the query to just "stormfront" gives a couple of hits on google.com, including the nazi site. Same string for google.de gives a bunch of sites, none of which is questionable in content. Most of them are sites discussing the current situation on this case.

      For the german-speaking crowd, or for those who can get their hands on a decent translator) here are some heise.de articles covering the situation: ...1... [heise.de] ...2... [heise.de] ...3... [heise.de]

      This is a sad state of affeirs, and you won't have to go as far as China to find behaviour which should be immoral to the pluralistic and open community the planet pretends to be nowadays.
      • Culterally, these people are really, really scared of Fascists and white supremicists. Kinda hard to blame them, isn't it? So they have all kinds of laws to make sure that Nazis never again get anything resembling power in Germany. For example, giving the "Heil Hitler" salute is illegal in Germany.

        Frankly, I think this is commendable in this specific case. Here's a country that bends over backwards, any way it can, to avoid making the same mistake twice. How many other governments would do the same?
        • So they have all kinds of laws to make sure that Nazis never again get anything resembling power in Germany. [...] Frankly, I think this is commendable in this specific case.

          And I would disagree. You drive something underground, you make it cool and anti-establishment - which I understand has happened to Naziism in Germany. But in America, Nazis are idiots; it's not cool to be a Nazi, you just make yourself the target of derision and hatred. Of course, there are huge differences, but the difference is thought-provoking.

          Here's a country that bends over backwards, any way it can, to avoid making the same mistake twice.

          How many countries wouldn't? The US government puts a lot of money and support into combating racism in the US.

          IMO, once you cross that path, you'll never go back. Naziism will never be a serious power in Germany, or anywhere else, again. But the question is, how much nasty stuff will be done in the name of Naziism by punks and jerks trying to be cool and anti-establishment?
          • The US actually isn't working all that hard to combat bigotry - it's been detaining Arab-looking men more or less at random. And as for how much damage Nazi punks will do in Germany - not much, for the simple reason German police don't put up with this nonsense. If you're a Nazi, they come and throw you in prison. Very simple.
            • If you're a Nazi, they come and throw you in prison.

              If you are stupid enough to wave a Nazi flag around. On the other hand, I can't remember the last time a synagouge got attacked in the US, whereas there are a number of cases of Jews being attacked in Germany. If you search for Jews on the Amnesty International [amnesty.org], I get them being attacked in Germany and being considered two sympathetic to keep on a jury in the US.
  • the reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GoatPigSheep (525460) on Monday September 02, 2002 @02:59AM (#4182771) Homepage Journal
    Google's cached page feature could give anyone in china the ability to see any censored sites (or at least older copies).
  • p2p (Score:4, Interesting)

    by asv108 (141455) <alex&phataudio,org> on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:00AM (#4182772) Homepage Journal
    Maybe google labs can whip up a quick p2p client that will allow people to use google in places where it is blocked.
    • Re:p2p (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nihilanth (470467) <chaoswave2&aol,com> on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:15AM (#4182823)
      It's called "Peek-A-Booty", created by the Cult of the Dead Cow. A fine bit of hacktivism inspired, if i'm not mistaken, by just this sort of behavior.

      How long before we'll be forced to use it ourselves, i wonder?
    • I wonder if that's needed. Lots of websites use Google as their default search engine, for example Netscape search [netscape.com] uses Google.

      People smart enough to use Google cache and groups.google.com will always find alternatives .

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Using the Google API, someone else could setup a Google gateway/proxy sort of thing. It could do searches, and even retrieve cached information on pages. And, the thing is, China would never know where one of these API gateways would pop-up. Only limiting factor would be the 1000 queries per day. I bet a billion Chinese can go through those in no time!
    • This has been done. And of course, a Google proxy could require the chinks to enter their personal soap key, or even request Google generate one on-the-fly and mail it to a Chinese mail account, assuming .cn SMTP's have yet to RTBL Google.

      I am more interested in Google search via phone, as done by Google voice search [google.com]. In theory, someone could set up a VoiceXML 2.0 service outside China's borders on a network such as Tellme Studio [tellme.com], avoiding the complexity of the Internet. Too bad the Chinese government has a monopoly on telco (which is why they block Net2Phone).

  • Google.cn? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:05AM (#4182783)
    Why doesn't Google set up a bunch of servers operating within China, behind Chinese firewalls, so that Google cannot index or cache pages the government doesn't approve of?

    They could call it google.cn...
    • by sinserve (455889)
      Google is run by hackers, not businessmen, I doubt they would do such an immoral thing.

      • Re:Google.cn? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by raspubejo (569848)
        Well, they are businessmen enough to filter websites when they get enough pressure from government. try searching for www.stormfront.org on google.de, then on google.com. (This is just an example for googles censorship, I do not sympathise with this topic)
    • Re:Google.cn? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Istealmymusic (573079)
      They could call it google.cn...

      No they couldn't. CN NIC [cnnic.net.cn] gives out third-level domains only. Second-level domains (SLDs) of the cn TLD are fixed at one of com, net, org, gov, ac, bj, sh, tj, cg, he, sx, nm, as well as ln, jl, hl, and also the domains js, zj, ah, fj, jx, not to mention sd, ha, hb, hn, gd, don't forget gx, hi, sc, gz, yn, xz, sn, yet theres more gs, gh, nx, xj, tw, hk, or mo.

      These regional domains where originally intended to provide censorship of finer granularity, as to match the legislation or lack thereof in specific providences of China.

  • Waitaminute (Score:4, Funny)

    by shepd (155729) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [gro.todhsals]> on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:05AM (#4182786) Homepage Journal
    Goatse.cx [harvard.edu] is A-OK by Chinese authorities, but google isn't?

    Wow... now that's what I call a strange can of worms.
    • Goatse.cx [harvard.edu] is A-OK by Chinese authorities, but google isn't???

      Goatse's at harvard?
      I figued that guy was from Yale...

    • Goatse.cx [harvard.edu] is A-OK by Chinese authorities, but google isn't?
      Wow... now that's what I call a strange can of worms.


      Ah, but the goat-man *has* to be visible, as a prime example of western decadence.
      Currently the average Chinese-off-the-streets thinks *all* westerners look like that ... from that, uh, particular angle.
      I can imagine the Chinese equivalents to rednecks going around making jokes: "Nope ... still too small for my dick. Open wider, Yankee."
  • by Nathdot (465087) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:07AM (#4182795)
    I just tried typing "China" at google.com and I got 24,300,000 results.

    Whoever said that china disappearred from google was a complete fucking liar. :)
  • by MavEtJu (241979) <slashdot&mavetju,org> on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:10AM (#4182806) Homepage
    It's available from Googles cache [216.239.53.100].

    Err... Never mind.
  • The Way Back Machine (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ender-iii (161623)
    Has China banned The Way Back Machine [archive.org] yet?
  • Rumors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jsse (254124) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:13AM (#4182818) Homepage Journal
    There's no source, no reference; just a wild rumors from an anonymous coward. I don't believe /. editors would down to spreading FUD for a few extra hits.

    In China there are some search engines like Yam [yam.com] which is google based and use google's queries. Even if you haven't heard of Yam, you might have heard of a China based search engine company suing Yahoo for stealing queries. Yam is more popular than Google here.

    If they block Google they might have to block Yam as well, which would then be a real chaos. :)
    • Not Rumors (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Istealmymusic (573079) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:24AM (#4182847) Homepage Journal
      Here's your reference [harvard.edu]:
      Starting testing...

      Stage one testing complete.
      Stage two testing complete.

      Testing complete for http://google.com/. Result:
      Reported as inaccessible in China

      Yam is accessible, and so is Yahoo.

      Too bad China overlooked Google proxies [soapclient.com]...they exist you know.

      • Very odd, as the same page gives the following results for www.google.com:

        Starting testing...
        Stage one testing complete.
        Stage two testing complete.

        Testing complete for http://www.google.com. Result:
        Reported as accessible in China

        http://google.com inaccessable, but http://www.google.com accessable? What's going on here?
      • Starting testing... Stage one testing complete. Stage two testing complete. Testing complete for http://google.com/. Result: Reported as accessible in China
    • Problem is, though, yam is no help trying to access the Google cache. I tried a query on yam, and the cache links point directly to Google, instead of being proxied through yam. Too bad...
  • Fight The Man (Score:3, Informative)

    by Istealmymusic (573079) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:16AM (#4182829) Homepage Journal
    I fully support Wayne's Proxy Censorship Avoidance Site, which is quoted as saying:
    I am an advocate of free speech, full disclosure etc., of course. But that's not all. The Internet wizards are watching this censorship movement overall and think they have it under control. They have
    built in low-level protocols (in very clever ways) which ensure that censorship cannot work . But, in my opinion, they have forgotten that most people don't have their skills or knowledge. Sure, unless a country 'cuts the wire' there are ways to bypass the censorship. Sure, if there's an information flow into and out of a country, you can always get information you want, in spite of any attempt at censorship - and do it undetected. BUT it requires skills. Very few sites on the Internet tell you how to do it. This site attempts to redress this deficiency.
    So, as long as China has Internet, the Chinese can circumvent censorship. Unfortunately, this creates sort of a chicken-and-egg problem, where Chinese are uneducated thanks to government censorship, and thus do not possess the required knowledge to bypass censor systems. I provide the following links for those interested:

    To the Chinese Government: don't think you can get away with this. We are watching you. Remember the IIS fuck China worm? Remember when Americans penetrated Chinese censorship sites [wired.com]. One particularly activist group is the Cult of The Dead Cow, as they are involved with a US-Canada-Europe anti-China-human-rights-abuses hacking group [wired.com], the Hong Kong Blondes.

    Its only a matter of time until the Internet disappears in China, and the Chinese government succumbs under its own agenda.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:17AM (#4182831)
    Google access decreased steadily the whole of last week.

    First it was www.google.com that went down, then the country specific versions, now the wwwN.google.com types.

    IP addresses work for viewing, but a get/post doesn't work, so no searching.

    From what I can see, the firewall is just dropping packets on those ports at the 80,443 addresses.

    You can ping google, and see what open ports are on, but a raw GET on port 80 or 443 does nothing.

    Net Scan returns this:

    IP Address : 216.239.51.100
    Resolved : www.google.com
    Operating System : probably Unix
    Time to live (TTL) : 42 (64) - 22 hop(s) away

    Open Ports (2)
    80 [ Http => World Wide Web, HTTP ]
    H 400 Bad Request
    Content-Length: 1210
    Connection: Close
    Server: GWS/2.0
    Content-Type: text/html
    Date: Mon, 02 Sep 2002 06:45:23 GMT
    443 [ HttpS => Secure HTTP ]

    Looks like its back to the dark old days of proxy's again.

    Lawrence

    www.shanghaiguide.com

  • by ceeam (39911)
    I wonder who will ultimately win?
    Or better make it this way - for how long peer connections will be possible?
  • any site provide free webpage hosting will be forbidden soon, even just for free software.
  • by wumingzi (67100) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:27AM (#4182851) Homepage Journal
    Every year or so, I get to rewrite this article, because it seems to continue to be regarded as news.

    The government of the PRC, through Zhonghua Telecom, continues to filter traffic going in and out of China.

    The filters do not work. This is old news. Proxy servers are everywhere.

    Here's the secret which doesn't seem to have gotten out of China yet, the filters don't have to work. They're not designed for the users.

    Contrary to popular belief, China is not run as an absolute dictatorship. It's run by a circle of maybe a few dozen people who's opinions really matter. Like any good-sized group, there's a lot of disagreeement about how much (or little) openness there should be to the rest of the world.

    The filters exist to appease the more close-minded members of the circle and to let them know that the best efforts are being made to keep bad stuff out of the minds of users.

    My best guess about Google disappearing is that one [sina.com.cn] or more [sohu.com] companies [263.net] who are providing portal and search services in China have been complaining to the Ministry of the Information Industry [mii.gov.cn] about loss of market share to Google. The solution? If Google gets blocked, the market share for locally-produced Chinese portals goes up!

    Is this good policy? No. Probably not. I've seen protectionist policy used all over the world and it's generally not the consumer or even the producers who benefit. It's a few well-placed friends of the folks in power. At least in this case, there's always another open proxy server which someone "forgot" to close up to work around this bit of government silliness.

    Happy hunting all!

    j.
    • Ah, now I finally understand why there are so many open proxies in China and why I get so much spam through them!

      Interesting. If they're indeed left open for that reason, I'd almost change my opinion of the admins running them...
      • If someone is operating a web proxy to bypass the Great Firewall, that's great.

        But a web proxy isn't the same thing as an open SMTP relay. Anyone with one of those should be shot, burned, dragged through the streets naked, and then really punished.
        • Given recent Chinese history (and the content of several of the blocked sites dealing with human rights abuses) your gag is somewhat tasteless...

      • Interesting. If they're indeed left open for that reason, I'd almost change my opinion of the admins running them...

        Another helpful poster pointed out the difference between a web proxy and an open mail server.

        A proxy server is only useful if it is outside of the routers which do the filtering, i.e. outside of the PRC.

        Most of the open mail relays in Asia are just due to ham-handed systems administration. There are lots of small companies running mail and web servers, and not nearly enough qualified people to administer them.

        j.
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:29AM (#4182855)
    Hellooo? McFly? Anybody home?
    They are blocking 2 Billion + people of an Internetsite that's something like the cornerstone of online information!
    Don't you also think that a lot of powerpeople in the US and elsewhere envy the chinese powermongers for this? What will the world look like in 10 years from now, when books are getting scarce and drm is all over us like a polyester safari suit and each of us will be paying hard bucks only to view data - and even that will be censored?
    Pretty grim if you ask me...
    What I'm saying is: This is not the least bit funny!
    • Can I play on the slippery slope when you're finished with it?

  • The Real-Time Testing of Internet Filters in China is reporting conflicting results.

    In the recent results box:
    http://www.google.com - Reported as inaccessible in China
    http://www.google.com - Reported as accessible in China

    Tests were completed within a few minutes of each other (I know because I did them both).
  • ...I would use a list of allowed sites, instead a list of creating a black list. Also I would assume there would be more to block than allow. Use same principles as when setting up a firewall :)

    Anyway, I wish China could realize and use this (internet) as a chance to stop censorship without loosing their face.

  • So, China doesn't like its citizens to see subversive or immoral content on the Internet. The US sends in the FBI when people look at the latest Windows distribution, teenagers having sex, or a bootlegged Britney Spears video on the Internet.

    In my opinion, both the US and China have, in different ways, crossed the line of what is reasonable in terms of controlling on-line information. Both societies seem to be driven by irrational fear, and neither is afraid to crush people with the full force of the respective government and police force.

    (What would be reasonable you ask? In the US, copyright violations should be treated as civil matters, not criminal matters. Tax payers shouldn't have to pay for enforcing conformance to bizarre contractual obligations imposed by companies like Microsoft.)

    • by fireboy1919 (257783) <rustyp AT freeshell DOT org> on Monday September 02, 2002 @04:08AM (#4182948) Homepage Journal
      Yeah...why, just the other day, a friend of mine was "censored" when the army came and took him away for publically speaking out against the government. Later, there was a report on the news that he was to be imprisoned, tortured, and shot.

      He was part of a rally in Times Square, and they arrested him. Sucks that we live in a country without peaceable assembly.

      Wait...I think it was actually someone I didn't know who was killed in Tiananmen square [christusrex.org] for a pro-democracy demonstration.

      I think I got it straight now. The US is NOTHING like China when it comes to censorship. We don't imprison and kill people because we don't like what they say. We certainly don't use full force; on the contrary, our main censorship punishment is fines, or at the very most, a minimum security prison sentence. Of course, you have to consider that we are not trying to censor, our goal is to avoid copyright violations. You can say anything you want, as long as it isn't libel (untrue statement of FACTS - all opinions are allowed).

      Don't belittle our freedom or China's suffering by such a comparison.
      • We don't imprison and kill people because we don't like what they say.

        Sure we do--read your US history. The Haymarket Massacre and Kent State come to mind immediately. The history of American Indians, slavery, suffrage, and the civil rights movement provide plenty more examples.

        There are lots of other ways in which speech or information can get you imprisoned for a long time or executed: "espionage", "child pornography", "promotion of terrorism", "treason", "incitement of civil unrest", etc.

        Don't belittle our freedom or China's suffering by such a comparison.

        It has nothing to do with belittling or judging the relative merits of the US and Chinese forms of governments. The US today is clearly freer and kills fewer of its citizens than China.

        But you have to understand the history and the inconsistencies in our own position in order to deal effectively with the Chinese. When we think they restrict free speech, they think they are preventing riots and political instability. If we want them to change, we better make some pretty convincing arguments. Your kind of self-righteous drivel isn't going to cut it.

        And there is plenty more work we have to do at home. Free speech in the US is not exactly all that alive and well, given the concentration of media power in a small number of private hands. Sure, we can talk here, but 99% of Americans are going to believe the junk that FOX feeds them. And try to hold a public rally or demonstration in a mall or any other place where most people actually spend their time--most have gotten privatized and don't have to bother with niceties like allowing free speech.

  • It's time for a pragmatic approach: The people at Google should get in touch with the people from the Chinese Government Networking Services and get a deal done for hosting a mirror (mirror? link? whatever) inside the Chinese part of the Internet.

    It's ideal in a couple of ways:

    - The 1+ billion people (yes I know that they don't have all access to the internet) have access to a good working search-engine. Even if it's without the "view cache" feature, at least they have the search-engine.

    - The traffic of the 1+ billion people searching through the Google database doesn't have to go over the ocean toward the US anymore (yes I know that US ISPs don't pay for the intercontinental links)

    - (think of some other advantages yourself)

    Of course, the first thing what is going to be said now is "Who is going to pay for this?"...
  • by jukal (523582) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:51AM (#4182912) Journal
    I don't like censorship. But I also don't like the fact that in the countries that allow free speech, the biggest megaphones are controlled by only a very small group of companies and individuals.

    Basicly, if the media wants, they can brainwash majority of people in believing anything they want.

    In the case of censorship, you know atleast, that you don't have access to unbiased information - and you know that if you want to create an unbiased opinion, you need to do it yourself.

    But, as we have free speech, it is easy to leave thinking to the media, and let someone else form your opinion. So, to some extent, I think that the fact that media is controlled by tiny interest groups, is maybe even a bigger threat than censorship.

    • At least in our case (being uncensored), our main form of censorship is self-censorship. This is a choice. It's a choice people are all too willing to make these days, but at least the few of us willing to excercise our rights and our brains to form our own opinions (amidst the constant bombardment of media pressure) have the right to do so.

      You raise an interesting point though. +5 from me.
    • I have one opinion that might want to jump in here: if a country can't cope with its inhabitants having a wide range of views, it has problems all its own.

      Sure there'll be techie ways around it, as always; it doesn't serve any good purpose except to chop their own foot off - see what happens when they want to go for a jog.
      • by jukal (523582) on Monday September 02, 2002 @04:40AM (#4182998) Journal
        > if a country can't cope with its inhabitants having a wide range
        > of views, it has problems all its own.

        The problem is that majority of people think that they have formed their opinion after inspecting a wide range of views (as there's free speech, this must be the case, right?) - when in reality their opinion was formed by only 1 or 2 views that reflect the view of a very small interest group or they formed their opinion based on biased "information".

        You saw it in TV news, it must be true - effect.

  • Sourceforge is blocked but IBM's Developer center is not.

    We will never see the benefit of IBM's 1 billion dollar investment in Linux because the majority of that investment is in China which is blocked by Cisco for China.

    Hate to sound like chicken little but it shure looks like IBM is hijacking GNU/Linux.

    What difference does it make if source is posted if it never makes it out of the country?

    And just because China is free with other people's intellectual property does not mean they are free with their own.
  • Everytime I type google.com in I get redirected to google.ca. I've deleted my cookies, rebooted my browser, tried again, same thing. Does google redirect me according to my ip which would be in a range specific to Canada? This bothers me on a subtle level, but also makes me think about why there is no google.cn, that's all.

    • hey, interesting. I live in the States so wasn't aware they do that kind of thing. But I have a co-located server in Vancouver, BC. When I lynx to google from there, it redirects to google.ca. Cool...
  • by Nept (21497)
    Thank god for Google Labs [google.com], once again. You can run a search off of Keyboard Shortcuts, and take advantage of cached copies, etc. Some of the images that were on the main google server don't come up. But hey, it works. Also, Google Images/Google Directory & Google Groups still work.
    I'm currently in China right now on a project, and coding without Google is not easy - especially since there isn't any english bookstore I can run over to while I'm here to pick up a tech manual.
    But maybe I shouldn't be posting this? I guess this is a good chance to see if the Chinese government reads /. :)

  • Quote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Raul654 (453029) on Monday September 02, 2002 @04:12AM (#4182958) Homepage
    When I read articles like this, a quote from Alpha Centauri (the video game) comes to mind:

    As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
    Commissioner Pravin Lal
    "U.N. Declaration of Rights"


    And every one of these articles I see reinforces that belief.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Normally I don't post as A.C. but I don't want the Chinese to know what I'm up to because they might firewall my web site.

    I am helping a friend in China get set up to use Peekabooty [peekabooty.org].

    The way it works is basically that lots of people outside the firewall run proxy servers. People inside the firewall need to get Peekabooty's IP address list, and then they select a proxy to use. You can get the host.lst file from http://pabdb.cjb.net/ [cjb.net].

    Their web browsing is private because the connection to the proxy uses SSL encryption. The chinese will think you're shopping online. If they try to block the SSL port, then China will be unable to participate fully in the world economic system, increasingly so in the next few years.

    The problem is that if Peekabooty's website isn't already blocked, it certainly will be soon. To avoid stimulating the interest of the authorities, I am making arrangements for my friend and I to have an encrypted conversation where I will tell him what he needs to do.

    The peekabooty proxy runs on windows, but there is a linux port in progress. The people inside the firewall don't need to install any software, only configure their browser to use one of the SSL proxies.

    It would be helpful for people to mirror Peekabooty's documentation and the IP address list. Likely many of the mirrors won't be blocked and so the chinese (and the Singaporeans, and residents of many Muslim countries) can access the information.

    If you personally know anyone inside a firewalled country, do your part by helping them learn to use peekabooty. But find a way to arrange to tell them how while using encryption.

    Unfortunately, PGP messages are pretty obvious that they're encrypted. If someone starts sending and receiving them, the authorities might take notice even of that.

    But most web browsers nowadays support 128-bit SSL encryption. Thus it is possible to arrange to have a conversation with someone via SSL encrypted form submission.

    There doesn't appear to be a way right now to do this, but it is being worked on.

    In the meantime, mirroring the peekabooty instructions and proxy list and making the URL's available where the Chinese might pick them up will help get things started.

  • by guttentag (313541) on Monday September 02, 2002 @04:47AM (#4183007) Journal
    American search engine Google disappeared without a trace Monday morning in what party officials are calling a triumph of morality.

    "Google was long known as a tool for hackers and perverts," said Truth Minister Chu. "It didn't serve any purpose for the greater good of the people, which is why it presumably went out of business without even a goodbye. Every economist knows this rude, erratic behavior is common among companies that can not find a way to serve the needs state."

    Most good citizens won't even miss the Web site.

    "It was too boring," said Jie Zhang, a rice farmer. "There was only one picture on the whole site and it was promoting the self-serving ideals of capitalist branding. Plus many of the pages were in other languages, so the site was useless to me. I'm glad I couldn't understand it, because I wouldn't want to be imprisoned for reading dangerous materials."

    Many citizens said they have never used Google; they remain true to the official Chinese search engine: http:///www...

    (If this had been a real news story, I would have linked to the source. If you still take it seriously after reading this, you deserve to be laughed at. A lot.)

  • by RPoet (20693) on Monday September 02, 2002 @04:59AM (#4183025) Journal
    Here is a list of sites Chinese people shouldn't see. [harvard.edu] The list includes Google, Altavista. Amnesty, geocities, various .mil sites, free speech sites, Slashdot, SourceForge, and some porn sites as well as a variety of politically oriented sites.

    Does the US currently have any plans for a "regime shift" over there? :)
  • My testing result (Score:3, Informative)

    by nonamenoname (605660) on Monday September 02, 2002 @05:33AM (#4183071)
    First of all, i am living in china, and i am using one adsl connection here, so i think my test is more accuray. Sorry, my english is not so good. From all of my testing result, i can sure that they are using some DYNAMIC PACKET PATTERN MATCHING method to banning sites!
    test 1: As all of you already know, www.google.com access was filtered, although i can still visite it through ircache proxy (sv.us.ircache.net)ï¼OEbut if i input some FORBIDDEN WORDS to search, it instantly stops, and what i get is "connection reset by peer", and in short time it is not available.
    test 2: About the havard testing page, they have a link contains all of the inaccessable sites, but i even can not fully open that page, why? That site is not in the ban list, but it contains some FORBIDDEN WORDS, such of "frxxnet"(i think this is the main reason why they banned sxxxxxfxxge.net).So my explorer just stops after shows the word "frxxnet".
    My opinion is, they are doing pattern matching in packets to stop sensored words, that surely stopped most sites & proxies & emails from working. I think the only thing we can do is build a ssh tunnel outside....FXXK!
  • Two people in the dairy section of a chinese supermarket....

    Chinsese shopper #1 (looking at a milk carton) I didn't know google had their own brand of milk.

    Chinese shopper #2: It's not a brand logo, it's a "missing" picture.
  • by nagarjun (249852)
    Generally speaking, many of us in Asian countries do not have a problem with censorship, though may not be in Google'case. There are two reasons for this

    1. Culturally, we are comfortable with others making decsions for us, well into adulthood. Many Indians are fine with arranged marriages, so what's wrong with arranged browsing?! :) The underlying assumption is that elders know best, and sometimes this gets extended to the state as well. Of late though, some youth have started to resent this, but the overwhelming majority remains in favor of censorship in movies, websites, books, whatever.

    2. The other reason of course is there is usually a way to get around censorship. For instance, it is common knowledge that benned X-rated films are freely available. But any talk of legalizing them would be met with huge outcries. As a society, we sometimes have a need to tell ourselves that we are clean of all offensive stuff, though the reality may be something else. I mean, we sometimes willingly fool ourselves...

    Slashdotters from non-Asian countries need to keep this in mind whenever issues of censorship come up.
  • It seems as if they're just banning web sites which are (in)famous among the Internet community. All the less obscure (yet equally objectionable sites) are still perfectly accessible. If they just keep banning the most popular sites, then all that will happen is that people will become more discreet in their surfing habits and they won't have any popular sites to block.

  • This is tangential to the story, but worth mentioning:

    The original anonymous poster mentions CNN, ostensibly as an example of free western journalism; this is a dangerous premise. As a dual citizen of the USA and a Western European country, I have the opportunity to see things from both sides of the fence, as it were, and I'm here to tell you that most of the mainstream U.S. "news" channels, and particularly CNN, are regarded outside the USA as little more than the U.S.'s propaganda machine; at best a joke, and at worst a shameful abdication of journalistic integrity.

    Here's just one example (there are dozens!): Some of the Slashdot audience may not be old enough to remember the role of the news in the Vietnam era: during that conflict, news channels carried real, uncensored battlefield footage, which was by its nature often graphic and gruesome. People in the USA were able to see what was going on and what it was like; dead people and napalm and all. Consequently, there arose a tremendous opposition to the war, with lots of protests and high-profile objectors; the U.S. government's involvement was highly criticized. These factors certainly influenced the course of the war itself and U.S. policy afterward.

    But the government learned their lesson.

    During recent U.S. conflicts such as the "Gulf War" and the action in Afghanistan, the American "news" has been subject to governmental "guidelines," which allows them to show the public only press briefings and select footage from missile-mounted cameras depicting "surgical strikes" which only kill bad guys, never women and children and civilians. No bodies, not even body counts. Why? The government knows it needs to control public opinion; if we don't know what's going on, we won't object - so the media are subjected to "guidelines" invoked in the name of national security.

    Again: this is only one example; there are many others. The point is that accepting what you see and hear and read in the American mainstream news media at face value is dangerous, like burying your head in the sand. These days, they tell us only what they want us to hear.

  • Can't get Google?

    Try the recently released Googlemai;
    http://www.capescience.com/google/index.shtml [capescience.com]

    send an e-mail to: google@capeclear.com [mailto] with your query in the subject line.

    Of course, google cache is probably not accessible

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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