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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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  • 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?
  • 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 bash99 (605645) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:24AM (#4182844)
    any site provide free webpage hosting will be forbidden soon, even just for free software.
  • Re:Rumors (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:25AM (#4182849)
    FYI, Yam is in Taiwan, not in China.
  • 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.
  • by Istealmymusic (573079) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:32AM (#4182860) Homepage Journal
    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).

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

    by Istealmymusic (573079) on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:44AM (#4182895) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • Re:Cornerstone? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zagadka (6641) <zagadka&xenomachina,com> on Monday September 02, 2002 @03:51AM (#4182915) Homepage
    Rankings on google can be bought for a fee....

    No they can't. [google.com]
  • Re:Propoganda (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 02, 2002 @04:07AM (#4182945)
    your propaganda doesn't wash here. google does not sell placement. their ads are clearly marked as such, and do not appear mixed in with the results. get your facts strait, bucko!
  • 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!
  • Re:Cache (Score:4, Informative)

    by psych031337 (449156) <psych0@NosPam.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.
  • Re:Its not (Score:2, Informative)

    by DigitalHammer (581235) on Monday September 02, 2002 @06:22PM (#4185762) Journal
    This kind of subservient attitude does nothing good for a country.

    Ok, the "subservient attitude" you speak of in Asian countries is a byproduct of the Asian stereotype broadcasted throughout your country. (assuming you live in America). That stereotype labels Asians as submissive, docile people. However, as I am of Asian descent myself, I can state that most of the Asians you will encounter today in their native homelands, for example the Chinese, are, for the most part, either aggresive, fast-paced, witty, or a combination of all three.

    That's why y'all got colonized by Europe in the 19th century.

    Against their will, that is. The "subservient attitude" is not entirely to blame for European colonization in Asian countries; rather, it was concepts of Social Darwinism and the "White Man's Burden" ideals popular during the time. Note that this idea was definetly not well accepted by the Filipinos (as depicted by the war between America and the Phillipines after the Spanish-American war), China's Communist and Cultural Revolution (in which almost all peoples of non-Chinese descent were banished from the country, and "foreign" buildings such as churchs were destroyed). Also, China's Boxer Rebellion is a perfect example to disprove the "submissive, docile" stereotype.

    Who are you referring to by the word "y'all"? The Asiatic peoples as a whole? If so, the "y'all got colonized by the Europeans..." statement is partially incorrect. While India, Vietnam, Laos, the Phillipines, and a throng of other Asian countries were technically colonized, China, Thailand, and especially Japan, were not.

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