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Censorship Government Politics

Chinese Claim Internet Censorship Modeled on West 266

Posted by Zonk
from the learn-from-the-best dept.
ubermiester wrote to mention a NYT article reporting on a Chinese Press Briefing. At the event Liu Zhengrong, supervisor of Internet affairs for the Chinese State Council, stated that the state control of Internet access is based on Western models. From the article: "Mr. Liu said the major thrust of the Chinese effort to regulate content on the Web was aimed at preventing the spread of pornography or other content harmful to teenagers and children. He said that its concerns in this area differ minimally from those in developed countries. Human rights and media watchdog groups maintain that Chinese Web censorship puts greater emphasis on helping the ruling party maintain political control over its increasingly restive society. Such groups have demonstrated that many hundreds of Web sites cannot be easily accessed inside mainland China mainly because they are operated by governments, religious groups or political organizations that are critical of Chinese government policies or its political leaders."
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Chinese Claim Internet Censorship Modeled on West

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  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @01:48PM (#14717275)
    Deflect the attention from yourselves, and pretend that you're just doing the same thing the West (read: United States) is doing: just trying to protect innocent children on the internet ("Who will think of the children?"), at the same time attempting to change the debate from your own despicable censorship of speech and thought to the alleged transgressions of Western governments.

    Except that the reality is easy for anyone to see: you (attempt to) suppress sites dealing with politics, religion, dissent, and anything critical of the Chinese government or that doesn't support positions sanctioned by the Chinese government. The West and US don't do this (no matter how much our friendly, local conspiracy theorists might claim it).

    Come on, China. I thought you could lie better than that.
    • Your comments, too, will be censored by the chinese government, so there's no real point in talking to them (assuming the chinese government peruses slashdot).
    • It would be a fairly simple database for Google, MSN, et al to publish all their takedowns by jurisdiction, reason, and who issued the order with special bonus points for including the appeal process for the takedown. Since the PRC is just modeling its content restriction regime (censorship to you and me) on the West, it should have very similar statistical profiles.

      The data is out there because these companies have to coordinate takedowns so that the evening shift doesn't put back what the day shift took o
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I think they consider it more like that Nazi stuff that many european countries disallow on their web sites. IIRC yahoo and ebay both got in trouble in europe for content much less explicit Nazi stuff than Tianammen SQ images
    • Come on, China. I thought you could lie better than that.

      Serious point. I'm curious why you replay to a statement with a question to a country. Yes he is a spokeperson for the country, but would a George Bush (or insert other figure) statement be replied to with 'country ...'.

      This is by no means to single you out. Organisations can have over zealous officials, especially when they're not used to being faced with inscrutability. China has a problem with divisional and local officials not heading t
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @01:58PM (#14717350) Homepage Journal
      Well played, China. Well played.

      I'm not sure how it's really "Well Played." It's a nice try, but I don't see anyone buying this. Pornography is *not* illegal in the US, despite what many people think of it. And we certainly don't setup nation-wide firewalls to enforce laws that we don't have. Nor do we raid and shutdown free speech projects like FreeNET [sourceforge.net], even if bad guys abuse it to spread illegal materials.

      I don't think that our Chinese government friends really have any idea how Amercians will view their statements. They seem to think that they can control international disinformation in the same way they can their own country. Too bad that doesn't fly.

      (Let's just hope they never figure out how to actually market something. If China managed to make themselves seem "good" in the eyes of the average joe, they'd have a lot more opportunity for misinformation.)
      • Pornography is *not* illegal in the US, despite what many people think of it.

        Some content is illegal in the US, and there have been numerous high profile stings where the fed.gov has busted people for distributing kiddie porn and the like. These stories could be very easily twisted by just leaving out some of the facts, and all of a sudden, "US Government Arrests Suburban Couple for Exercising Freedom of Speech."
        • by arivanov (12034) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @03:26PM (#14718274) Homepage
          You can add to that most sabotage and bomb making material being illegal in the UK and Germany to the point where it is impossible to write a truthfull article about the WWII resistance methods and post it on the web.

          If put on my website a description of any of the devices used for train derailment by the Russian partisans or the French resistance my hosting company will get smacked by a takedown notice right away. And it will comply.

          Same for a description of any of the biological weapons delivery systems pioneered by the Japanese in WWII (as they can be made in a basement), same for the methods used by Germans to distribute cholera in the civilian population on the Eastern front in 1917, so on so fourth.

          It is scary when history becomes illegal.
      • If China managed to make themselves seem "good" in the eyes of the average joe...

        Well, at least they can learn by example. Capitalism! The freedom to pwn stuff.
    • by jahudabudy (714731) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:01PM (#14717365)
      Except that the reality is easy for anyone to see:

      Which does not mean that very many people will really see it, though. If China's talking points were picked up by Western media, and repeated as though they had some validity, people would believe them, regardless of what reality actually is. This is actually a very clever thing for China to do; at the very least, it will instill some doubt in some people. It also gives a plausible deniability scenario to those who want to support China for various other reasons, but are afraid of being tarnished by the censorship issue. They can now point to this and say "Hey, we were misled by China. It's not that we support censorship, we just believed China when they said they only did the good kind."

      Come on, China. I thought you could lie better than that.

      It doesn't really matter how good the lie is. These days, it is quantity, not quality. It is better to repeat a bad lie one million times than a good one one thousand times. Ironically, this sort of media image manipulation actually is China simply following other countries' leads.
      • ironically, this sort of media image manipulation actually is China simply following other countries' leads.

        Credit where it's due -- it was the communists who were early masters at media manipulation -- they make sure to have complete control of it for a start. Our "Orwellian" vocabualry is based on George Orwell's work, and he was mostly writing metaphorically about Stalinist Russia. As for China, just read any memoir of the Cultural Revolution. But in both cases it seems Orwell's vision of "a boot stamp

    • ... pretend that you're just doing the same thing the West ...

      This is not some spin-meister from a lying regime from the West; this is the government of the People's Republic of China, where freedom is a way of life, and protecting the People from harmful ideas is a sacred trust fulfilled lovinggly by a wise, caring, benevolent government. What possible motive could they have for dealing falsely with the Western media?

      No, it is obvious that the whole Chinese Internet censorship furor is a coverup and

    • at the same time attempting to change the debate from your own despicable censorship of speech and thought to the alleged transgressions of Western governments.

      I'm confused why you think "western model" necessarily means "western government model." The government in China is involved because they are communist (when it suits them). That means that they are a corporation sometimes. Western corporations do have many business models based around filtering content from the Internet. The Chinese government
    • Except that the reality is easy for anyone to see: you (attempt to) suppress sites dealing with politics, religion, dissent, and anything critical of the Chinese government or that doesn't support positions sanctioned by the Chinese government. The West and US don't do this (no matter how much our friendly, local conspiracy theorists might claim it).

      The US doesn't have to censor information. It can just track [thinkprogress.org] who recieves it, and punish them when the time comes.
  • by Zantetsuken (935350) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @01:49PM (#14717280) Homepage
    Tienamen square and all the other attempts at revolution as pornography?
  • Uh oh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @01:49PM (#14717292)
    Someone better call the Whaaaaaarickshaw!
  • by aztektum (170569) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @01:52PM (#14717305)
    For keeping me safe from seeing a pair of breasts. Because you aren't very good at keeping me safe from much else.

    Seriously, it shouldn't be the government's job to keep kids away from porn. It should be their fucking parent's job. So China's argument is still BS to me.
    • Why should it be anyone's job? The only thing I regret about having been exposed to all the porn I wanted since I was 11 (now 25) is that once upon a time the SI Swimsuit Issue got me a woody and now I need some weird-ass porn to get by. But I've got gnutella so that's taken care of, and I'm good at talking girls into things -- girls who by the way are more anally curious in general than we give them credit for. If anything, porn has given me personal growth in discovering the true fetishes and perversions
    • You're assuming that in their culture they have the same values that you do.

      I'm actually pretty sure they don't since even very close cultures, like the US and the UK, put different weights on different things. Take nudity on the TV - "wardrobe malfunctions" in the UK are laughed at when in the US they're to be feared because of the outrageous fundamentalist backlash.
    • by Shivetya (243324)
      people seem content on having the very same government provide them with many services that they used to pay for. They expect the government to teach their children, manage their retirement, manage their prescription drugs, and some even want it to take care of all their needs.

      So, what do you expect? The politicians will have government protect you from what they deem is wrong as you have already giving over so much control to them so far. People are making it the government's business because they don't
    • Not exactly, the parent's job is to sell their kids into slavery.
    • I agree with you only to a point. If it were possible for a child to conduct a fairly normal life and only view choice if he/his parents wanted him to see it, that would be one thing.

      But imagine a world where playing in your back yard, watching TV at 3 pm, or going to school will all expose a child to porn. That would be a case where without legal protections, kids would have to live extremely outlandish lives in order to avoid porn. And here's just a wild guess: if parents *did* try to shelter their kid
      • imagine a world where playing in your back yard, watching TV at 3 pm, or going to school will all expose a child to _______

        Fill in the blank with: religion (Christinanity if you're a Muslim or Islam if you're a Christian), high-fat foods, sharp objects, political viewpoints (Republican if you're a Democrat, Democrat if you're a Republican), homosexuality, interracial marriage, etc. etc. all of which somebody out there will insist that their children will be "harmed" by exposure to. Do we need laws against

    • "... It should be their fucking parent's job."

      Yes, indeed. I can imagine that the parents spend too much time performing the act of reproduction and not teaching their kids how to score a partner, so the kids have to look for some form of immediate gratification that is, so to speak, far from a long term solution.
    • "Seriously, it shouldn't be the government's job to keep kids away from porn. It should be their fucking parent's job. So China's argument is still BS to me.

      The Chinese Govt is one step ahead, they are also ensuring that their parents dont get spoilt! hence leaving them with more time.

  • Revolution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by biocute (936687)
    I wonder if it's easier to have a revolution than continuing with the up-hill battle of fighting for freedom with the current government.
    • Re:Revolution (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PornMaster (749461)
      When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

      Sometimes, dissolving bonds is necessary.
    • I wonder if it's easier to have a revolution than continuing with the up-hill battle of fighting for freedom with the current government.

      By current govt, do you mean chinese govt or US govt? I could not tell...

  • Something like this: "Yahoo is committed to obey local laws, ONLY if they don't go against international treaties and human rights."
    • Something like this: "Yahoo is committed to obey local laws, ONLY if they don't go against international treaties and human rights."

      But Yahoo is based in a country that does not particularly respect international treaties on human rights; for example, you're doubtless well aware that the USA is one of only two states that has not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

      According to the Bush administration, the reason for this is that "the human rights-based approach ... poses significant probl
    • Something like this: "Yahoo is committed to obey local laws, ONLY if they don't go against international treaties and human rights."

      No government tolerates such an attitude. Governments enforce international treaties by enacting laws, companies just have to follow the laws.

  • carefully worded (Score:3, Interesting)

    by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @01:55PM (#14717332) Journal
    it all depends on the context, and the level you're generalizing to, as always:

    article: "If you study the main international practices in this regard you will find that China is basically in compliance with the international norm," he [the official] said. "The main purposes and methods of implementing our laws are basically the same."

    purpose: to censor "harmful" parts of the Internet, no definition of "harmful"
    method: firewalls and Internet minders, not necessarily censorship itself

    Seems like you could come up a pretty nice comparision between the Chinese government and AOL blocking porn sites with a kid filter under such broad terms of discussion.

  • by Harmonious Botch (921977) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @01:56PM (#14717336) Homepage Journal
    It's really not that different. Both governments believe that some of their citizens need to be protected from corrupting influnces ( a position that I do not agree with, BTW ). We here in the west, who are unduly obsessed with the silly idea of the innocence of childhood, protect one kind of citizen. They try to protect another kind.

    Our governments are really very similar.
    • by Shihar (153932) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:17PM (#14717480)
      The only real 'speech' laws that the US has that it activly tries to enforce over the Internet are child porn laws. Those are enforced because compelling a minor to strip naked and fuck a dog or whatever is illegal. China and the West are night and day when it comes to Internet content. The West makes almost no attempt to regulate the content that goes up. The US is actually the most extreme case that does the absolutely least regulation. If you want to throw up a Nazi hate site, that is a-okay in the US.

      China is full of shit if they think there is any parallel between what the US does and what they do in terms of Internet censorship.

      China's problem is that at some point they are going to have to turn around and face their internal problems in a constructive non-authoritarian manner. The US can have neo-Nazi websites because it has a stable political system that, while certainly not perfect, does a good job at keeping the masses content enough that rebellion doesn't linger on anyone's mind. China on the other hand has a political system where the masses have little say in governance. China has left the only opposition to government policies to be rebellion. As a result, China deals with constant (and little reported on) riots and instances of civil unrest that are completely alien to most Western governments.

      A day of reckoning is coming for China, and their tardiness in opening up their government to oversight by the general populace is going to make this reckoning all the worse. China needs to take some more serious steps towards instituting good civil governance.

      Don't believe that China has a serious problem with their ability to govern? Consider this fact. Official figures admit 74,000 individual incidents of unrest in 2004.*

      *Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/ne ws/2006/01/16/wchina16.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/01/16 /ixworld.html [telegraph.co.uk]
      • The only real 'speech' laws that the US has that it activly tries to enforce over the Internet are child porn laws. Those are enforced because compelling a minor to strip naked and fuck a dog or whatever is illegal. China and the West are night and day when it comes to Internet content. The West makes almost no attempt to regulate the content that goes up. The US is actually the most extreme case that does the absolutely least regulation. If you want to throw up a Nazi hate site, that is a-okay in the US.

        Yo
        • The U.S. has all sorts of restrictions on free speech! Not quite as totalitarian and sinister as speech restrictions in Europe or Canada or places like that... but "We aren't as Totalitarian as Europe" is no kind of excuse! The U.S. is in no position to lecture anyone, or brag to anyone about Freedom of Speech.

          There is no place on the planet with absolute, total 'freedom of speech'. Especially 'freedom of speech' without suffering the consequences of exercising that 'freedom'. It cannot exist.
          There are, an

          • If, as you claim, "The U.S. is in no position to lecture anyone", who is?

            I stand corrected. The U.S. should be focused on fighting censorship in the U.S. ... Europeans should be focused on fighting censorship in Europe.

            The Chinese people should be lecturing to the Chinese government on freedom of speech. There have been revolutions all through history (in fact, the Chinese government itself claims to be "revolutionary"). It is reasonable to assume that either through a violent overthrow of the Chinese gover
      • The US can have neo-Nazi websites because it has a stable political system that, while certainly not perfect, does a good job at keeping the masses content enough that rebellion doesn't linger on anyone's mind. China on the other hand has a political system where the masses have little say in governance. China has left the only opposition to government policies to be rebellion. As a result, China deals with constant (and little reported on) riots and instances of civil unrest that are completely alien to m

      • The only real 'speech' laws that the US has that it activly tries to enforce over the Internet are child porn laws.

        What about online gambling? This kind of commercial speech is also severely restricted in the U.S., to the extent that U.S. investors wondered if they were to be arrested after investing in Partygaming.
  • Censorship (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Arthur B. (806360)
    Has been around since ever... it is still present in the western world, although less 'obvious' than in China. Give China a rest about that! US principle are not universal principles. I do not believe in censorship, I think it's wrong, but the 'great firewall' in China is not something *wrong*. Now China does infringe on many human rights I care about, that's a different business. But, heck, the US is in a bad position to talk about censorship. Political correctness is a form of censorship, absurd MPAA rati
    • US principle are not universal principles. I do not believe in censorship, I think it's wrong, but the 'great firewall' in China is not something *wrong*.

      Yes, in fact, it is doubleplusgood!
    • Has been around since ever... it is still present in the western world, although less 'obvious' than in China. Give China a rest about that!

      And that is not the issue. The issue is that censorship should not exist in China, the United States, or anywhere else. There's no reason for it. People are capable of self-censoring, it's just that some aren't very good at doing it. In the end, it's the responsibility of the individual -- if you don't like a TV show, don't watch it; if you don't like pornography, don

  • by Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @01:59PM (#14717354) Homepage
    Really, just try to google HORSE SEX VIDEO if you live in the US!

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=gmail&q=hors e%20sex%20video [google.com]

    All those 19 million results? Not that much horse sex, and even fewer videos!

    G-d Damn fascist censors!
  • I just (seriously, like five minutes ago) finished reading Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four for the first time. Towards the beginning of the novel, I felt as though I was seeing many parallels between it and the United States. However, as I got further and further into it, all I could think about was how The Party, Big Brother, thoughtcrime, the Thought Police -- how all of them reminded me of China, and their policing of thought itself.

    Think about it for a moment. The Chinese government does everything it ca
    • I just (seriously, like five minutes ago) finished reading Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four for the first time. Towards the beginning of the novel, I felt as though I was seeing many parallels between it and the United States. However, as I got further and further into it, all I could think about was how The Party, Big Brother, thoughtcrime, the Thought Police -- how all of them reminded me of China, and their policing of thought itself.

      That's why it's such a brilliant novel. It's not specific to any one coun

  • Harvard study (Score:5, Informative)

    by slackaddict (950042) <rmorganNO@SPAMopenaddict.com> on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:02PM (#14717374) Homepage Journal
    "...Having requested some 204,012 distinct web sites, we found more than 50,000 to be inaccessible from at least one point in China on at least one occasion. Adopting a more conservative standard for determining which inaccessible sites were intentionally blocked and which were unreachable solely due to temporary glitches, we find that 18,931 sites were inaccessible from at least two distinct proxy servers within China on at least two distinct days. We conclude that China does indeed block a range of web content beyond that which is sexually explicit. For example, we found blocking of thousands of sites offering information about news, health, education, and entertainment, as well as some 3,284 sites from Taiwan. A look at the list beyond sexually explicit content yields insight into the particular areas the Chinese government appears to find most sensitive..."

    http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/china/ [harvard.edu]

  • WTF? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Volanin (935080)
    FTA: Mr. Liu said that Chinese Internet users have free rein to discuss many politically sensitive topics and rejected charges that the police have arrested or prosecuted people for using the Internet to circulate views.

    He... is... nuts.

    "Major U.S. companies do this and it is regarded as normal," Mr. Liu said. "So why should China not be entitled to do so?"

    But he has a point here.
    Our congressman are editing their own bios in wikipedia...
    Bush is requesting personal data from Google and the likes
    • Our congressman are editing their own bios in wikipedia...

      So... only their political opponents should be able to edit those bios? Remember the big flap over a Kennedy administration official whose Wikipedia bio implied that he was in on the asassination? The prevailing noise here on slashdot was that it was up to him to police his own Wiki bio.

      Bush is requesting personal data from Google and the likes...

      The DOJ is asking for aggregate search results to make a point about the availability of child p
  • by RobinH (124750) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:04PM (#14717385) Homepage
    In the west (except for Australia apparently, which isn't really in the west anyway) there are a lot of people who think porn is ok as long as it's contained to a place where we don't have to see it if we don't want to. As long as we know where it is, we can get it, but I don't want it shoved down my throat.

    China may have a different cultural attitude towards porn, with a very large portion of the populace thinking that it must be banned, which gives the government more reasons to censor speech under the guise of getting rid of this terrible plague that everyone hates.

    Don't kid yourself... the government in the US and other western nations would use this same excuse to censor your political beliefs if more of the population thought this content was objectionable. Therefore, the amount our government can censor us increases as the number of taboo subjects increase in our society.
  • by RyoShin (610051) <[tukaro] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:04PM (#14717392) Homepage Journal
    "Pornography", huh? So that's what you kids are calling it these days?

    Back in my day, it was either "political unrest" or "down with the man"! We didn't have to make up no fancy words for it, just said it as it is, and people were alright with that, yup.

    Crazy kids. I swear, there's no telling what they will come up with next!

    Now get the hell off my lawn!
  • by SeaFox (739806)
    This should be interesting. Yes, right-wing conservatives, the Chinese say they're JUST LIKE YOU. Now what will you do?

    1) Continue to side with your Chinese business interests and turn the other cheek to their remarks (and their human rights violations).

    2) Continue to try and abolish pornography on the internet, despite it's leagality when view by people of the right age, while simultaneously saying you're nothing like them, but not claiming they are really doing anything wrong (see previous answer).

    3) Say
    • by puke76 (775195) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:17PM (#14717479) Homepage
      4) Torture some more people in Guantanamo Bay

      The USA has no moral high ground when it comes to human rights violations.
    • by Miscreatn (908377)
      Wow....

      On almost every news post there is some quack that trys to bash somone of a different political view.

      This should be interesting. Yes, right-wing conservatives, the Chinese say they're JUST LIKE YOU. Now what will you do?

      What they say and what is actually true are almost always two different things, same could be said to the above quote. Let them say and do what they want, it's their country after all. Besides if someone in China really, I mean REALLY, wants to get to some information they ar

    • Yes, right-wing conservatives, the Chinese say they're JUST LIKE YOU.

      Oh yes, because the mainstream liberal political front of US politics has never worked against pr0n, violent video games or bad song lyrics... [rolling eyes]... please, stop trying to put a spin on this, the left does the same thing the right does. There is a common sense of morality that is considered the norm in this society and it has little to do with political lines.
  • This is strange. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hogger@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:06PM (#14717402) Journal
    Atheist, communist China does not want pr0n on the Internet. Religious wingnuts don't want pr0n on the Internet. Why those two who are at extremely opposed political positions don't want pr0n on the Internet???
    • Atheism and communism has nothing to do with social conservatism! They're all *completely* different things!

      I've been to China, and I'd say that they're more conservative there than here! It's considered 'bad' if you have a girlfriend under the age of 21. Everything that has to do with sex is an extremely sensitive area and which must be kept out of the open sphere as much as possible. I told a Rodney Dangefield-joke at a dinner once ("I was so poor growing up, if I wasn't born a boy I'd have nothing to pl
  • ...why an officially atheistic government would try to ban pornography. What thought process are they going through to determine that it's wrong, even criminal? It seems to me that they'd want to allow it and then use censorship in other countries as an example to their citizens of "how well off they are". Not that there's too much censorship of it in Western countries, but hey, it's China; they could just make it up.
    • Just because someone is anti-porn doesn't mean they believe in god.
      There are plenty of other reasons to not allow porn.
    • Almost without exception, the more politically repressive a government is, the more puritanical it is as well. Whether the repression is theocratic, communist, or whatever, attempts to control sexuality generally go hand-in-hand with attempts to control political expression. There's just a general mindset that likes telling people what not to do, and people with that mindset tend to come to power in such systems.
  • ...we wouldn't have to censor if you didn't allow stuff we don't want our people to see.
  • by fbg111 (529550) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:17PM (#14717477)
    Glad to know the fundies running China are up to the task of protecting us from porn, especially of that really depraved Tiennamen [google.com] sort [google.cn].
  • Government should stay as far away from the daily lives of people as possible, The government exists only to protect the INDEVIDUALITY of the person. I do not wish for the government to "help" me with medical care, or with child care, or with censoring information I find objectable, or any other choices. I want the government to keep it's nose out of my bisness all together.

    Flip Side:

    Govermnet should protect the citizan, giving them equal opportunity to succeed. Government should provide me with
  • by db32 (862117) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:21PM (#14717501) Journal
    So...basically...China says their censorship is modeled on ours. How many people are going to have the little lightbulb go off and realize that is exactly what all these wonderful US crafted laws are about? How many are just going to scream about China trying to deflect blame? Certainly what China is doing is quite a bit worse than what is going on in the western world, but maybe people will see what IS going on in the western world as the path to what China is currently doing.
  • I am amazed at the number of repetitive articles on slashdot regarding censorship in China. It is an important issue, but it does seem the amount of postings/headlines it receives is much larger than what it deserves. Why don't we see similar amounts of postings on some other worthwhile social agendas? Here are a few suggestions, some of which overlap and in no particular order:

    1. universal health care for everyone
    2. preventing loss of life in Iraq and in other conflicts around the world.
    3. end
  • Is anybody else completely tired of the way whenever something comes up that the politicos think the public won't like that it instantly involves "pornography" (particularly "child porography") and (these days) terrorism?

    Hell, I remember when the pornography card was played back during the PMRC hearings. Anybody remember those? One of the many memorable quotes from Mr. Zappa being:

    "While the wife of the Secretary of the Treasury recites "Gonna drive my love inside you" and Senator Gore's wife talks about "B
  • ... Microsoft says Windows is secure.
    ... Apple says its new machines are 4X faster than previous model.
    ... The US Government says the Iraqi war is about spreading freedom.
    ... I say my software component is almost done.

    Oh yeah, and I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

  • by caudron (466327) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:35PM (#14717650) Homepage
    Senior Party Leaders Join Battle Against Chinese Censorship [digitalelite.com].

    This idea that the Chinese government is entirely pro-censorship is a bit untrue. There are those within China---even some who are high up the political food chain---who see this as a bad idea.

    I wonder how it'll all turn out?
  • Then we can free China through a patent infringement suit!

    How ironic would that be.
  • The West has censorship every bit as extreme as China:

    In the U.S. among others, there are all kinds of restrictions on when and how you make political speech, and how you pay for it ("Campaign Finance Reform").

    In Canada charges are being filed against a newspaper who reprinted the the Mohammed cartoons, and in Sweden an online site that published the Mohammed cartoons was shut down by the government. In Canada a guy was even charged and convicted for running an ad that had nothing but references to the bibl
  • Still OT, related to mainland .CN internet censorship and blocking of sites.

    Has anyone done any research regarding China blocking Dynamic DNS providers?
    You can not even get to the tzo.com [tzo.com] website from inside mainland China. I am told the same restrictions apply to DynDNS and other providers.

    I assume the theory is because it's relatively EASY to set up a website on dynamic DNS, and you will not need a static IP which is almost impossible in China (without deep pockets anyways).

    There seems to be no technical
  • Worker's Paradise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196)
    Hey, I just saw some deskmonkey on CNBC's business news cooing over the DuPont CEO, who praised Bush's "prioritization of science and math education in his State of the Union speech". The DuNapalmPont CEO's favorite example of "public private partnership for improving education"? His recent meeting in Shanghai with Communist Party Vice Mayor for R&D, running their own government labs. Meanwhile, Bush just cut education funding, while funding any number of religious and political operations.

    Fascism is th
  • by Kefaa (76147) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:52PM (#14717815)
    While I imagine I am headed for -255 troll...People in power write laws, enact regulations, and monkey with the system to remain in power.

    Consider redistricting, which should really be called the lottery for those in power. You get to redistrict to ensure you stay in power. What Tom Delay did with redistricting in Texas was not illegal, because the law was on his side. Was it right? Ask someone from each party and the answer is different. Perhaps the Democrats are just mad they did not think of it first, or glad they would not run that far outside the ethical center.

    Or what happened at the State of the Union where Cindy Sheehan was arrested. I am not saying I agree or do not with her politics, but look at it from the outside. The President had a citizen arrested, who disagreed with him. That it was a Capital police officer, is a distinction made in the US.

    George Washington warned about foreign entanglements, because the compromise our ability to make a stand. If we want the Chinese to change their behavior, then we need to offer them an incentive. Unfortunately, we have become seriously "entangled." China now holds sufficient US currency to bankrupt America. Not the philosophical bankrupt, but the real - worse than 1929 depression kind. Worse, we gave them full trade status because there was money to be made.

    Walmart, the nation's largest employer, now imports over 80% of their goods from China and makes up 1% of the Chinese GDP. What do you think they or other industries will tell a President thinking about an embargo or a serious response to China's stand?

    I am not suggesting we agree with the Chinese or even remain silent. But, we need to have something tangible or each time we speak out, we sound weaker. The Chinese know we have little affect on their future and find us more a curiosity than an threat. Until we can position ourselves to have real leverage, they have no reason to listen, or even care.
  • In other words... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Arandir (19206) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @02:53PM (#14717832) Homepage Journal
    In other words, it's okay for China to block freedom and democracy because the "West" blocks child pornography? Pardon me if I don't see the moral equivalence.

    A better comparison would be France and Germany blocking certain Nazi related information. It is a better comparison because the "West" (as a whole) condemns it as well.
  • This is a beautiful example of the illogic of social relativism. It is popular to say morality is determined by what the current culture believes. Often this works- we have laws against murder because society deems murder "wrong". However, in this case, Chinese society has deemed criticising the government as wrong, while "Western" society deems it "right". Without any underlying framework to judge the two, a social relativist would be forced to accept the Chinese position here as "right".
  • How can you censor the Internet?

    The technology is such that there will be thousands, if not millions, of workarounds to penetrate any barriers to access. Just look at the history so far of electronic transmission.

    I don't think anyone here is giving credit to the intelligence of people. They are parroting the standard line that evil is all powerful and cannot be overcome.

    Get real! The nerds will create gaping holes in the barriers, and as the government moves to plug them up, the nerds will create more

  • They have two security plans

    Kate Moss security - You won't remember where that site is anyway [femalefirst.co.uk]

    and the

    Tyra Banks security - Look out for the dolphins [femalefirst.co.uk]
  • The Germans force Google to censor Nazi and body modification sites; the Americans forbid Tracy Lords pornography and censor librarians who want to talk about FBI investigations; the Chinese censor discussions of Falun Gong and Taiwan independence. Everybody censors what they are afraid of. Nothing to see here. It's all good.
  • José Bové [wikipedia.org] is a french farmer who is part of the alter-globalization movement. He was allowed in Hong Kong by China in December, but not let in the US [signonsandiego.com] this month. It seems China allows more freedom of speech on globalization than the US does. And I can tick off my hand how many people are or were denied entry to the US because the powers-that-be don't want people to hear their speeches (Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey, Ernest Mandel etc.)

    As far as domestically, we're told TV channels controlled by

  • Protection of the populace from pronography? So is that how they justify blocking access to Slashdot and to CNN? And yes, they do block these sites; I know from experience. Perhaps they were referring on one of the less-used definitions of the word: "Lurid or sensational material" (source: American History Dictionary). :)
  • Those who questioned the validity of this claim could not be reached for comment.

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