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Censorship Government The Internet Politics

China Censoring Flickr 218

Posted by Zonk
from the you-get-no-flicks dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It would appear that the Chinese government is currently censoring all photos on the site Flickr. A notice has been posted in a Flickr help forum about this, but the service currently doesn't have a fix for this. It would appear that China has turned on their Golden Shield Project to censor the site. 'Jain Hua Li, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said he hadn't heard of Flickr until told about it in a conversation with a Chronicle reporter, and then suggested that the blocking may be because Chinese authorities are trying to protect children from racy images. Lucie Morillon, the U.S. representative for Reporters Without Borders, a French group that promotes free expression, said that the Beijing government often censors Web sites under the guise of protecting children or national security. She called the blocking of Flickr "one more blow against the free flow of information online by Chinese authorities" and added that it is particularly lamentable in light of promises by China to loosen restrictions before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.' Thomas Hawk has a well-considered opinion to offer on this issue."
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China Censoring Flickr

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  • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @05:40PM (#19453181)
    Stop giving dictatorial US law and policy makers new ideas!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Do you really believe that our leaders have not thought of this already?
      • Re:Come on China, (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vicissidude (878310) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @06:30PM (#19453551)
        Not only have US leaders thought of this, but they've already tried putting it into practice. Does no one remember the Communications Decency Act [wikipedia.org] which passed into law and was eventually shot down by the Supreme Court? Every couple of years there's something new that they want to ban from adults due to "for the children" arguments.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Yeah, because banning pornographers from advertising to children is *totally* the same as China's suppression of all political or anti-Communist speech. Totally.
          • Re:Come on China, (Score:5, Insightful)

            by WilliamSChips (793741) <full.infinity@NOspAm.gmail.com> on Saturday June 09, 2007 @07:26PM (#19453853) Journal
            An amendment to CDA banned all discussion of abortion on the Internet. Remember that they first came for the Communists because everybody hated Communists. Hopefully somebody will speak up when they come for you.
          • Why would a pornographer want to advertise to members of a marketplace who are unlikely to have access to credit cards and the ability to pay said bills discreetly?
            It doesn't need to be illegal. There's no reason for them to spend money to do it in the first place.

            I mean, I've never had problems with pornographic ads on non-adult sites back when I was a wee teenager even during the wild-west days of the internet.

            It's just puritanical bullshit, same as always.
        • by jandersen (462034)
          It seems to me that when a country constantly seems to have leaders and politicians whose policies and general outlook are far removed from the people they are governing on behalf of, there is something fundamentally wrong with the system. Compare to other democratic countries - in Europe the politicians are by and large believed to hold views that most people agree with and they are fairly respected; in the US, it seems, politicians represent either business interests or extreme religious organisations, an
      • Re:Come on China, (Score:5, Informative)

        by Ash Vince (602485) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @06:34PM (#19453591) Journal
        I notice the moronic mods are out in force.

        I actually thought the first post was quite funny but I suppose anyone suggesting that the US govt might like to censor anything is offensive to some people. The reality is that the US goverment and certain states in particular have a long history of censorship.

        As usual, wikipedia has a pretty decent page on the subject:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_the_Uni ted_States [wikipedia.org]

        I am not saying that the US is as bad as China, but no government is above trying to censor things they dont aggree with for any number of reasons.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765)
          You know, while I support your currently "semi"-balanced approach, you will not be able to maintain this "neutrality" of yours.

          Why doesn't anyone talk about how the CHINESE government, who is actually killing people for censorship, should be stopped ? Where is the left's support for the people of China ?

          Please show me, for once, that you are capable of actually thinking about something bad without blaming it on Bush or the American government ?
          • by Ash Vince (602485)
            The problem is that until China start invading other countries it is quite hard to justify doing anything, especially when you consider that they have nuclear weapons.

            I suppose we could strike first with our nuclear weapons but it is a bit hard to justify doing this using the argument of helping the Chinese people. There are a great many injustices in the world but for the most part we can do nothing about them. I try and avoid buying Chinese produce but this is bloody difficult nowadays being that the seem
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by kamapuaa (555446)
              I try and avoid buying Chinese produce but this is bloody difficult nowadays being that the seem to make everything.

              If you mean this as a small crusade to economically punish the Chinese state into your way of thinking, I'd view it as counter-productive - the state censorship was *strongest* when China had the weakest economy, and when it had the least amount of contact with the outside world. If China's export market crumbled the economy would take a big hit, but that would not mean the censorship would

            • China's not invading other countries because they've already done their invading. Ask the people of Tibet how that works.
          • by skahshah (603640)
            The left ? Why the left ? Isn't the right interested also in bringing freedom and democracy to the rest of the world, in changing regimes, getting rid of bad dictators and eventually democratic leaders wrongfully elected by ignorant masses ?
            • The right is very interested, as is the center. However Saddam is worse than China. Or, to put it better, islam is worse than China. Lots worse.
              • by Ash Vince (602485)
                Sadam was not an islamic dictator. He was in fact doing a better job of keeping the islamic fundamentalists repressed with his totalitarian regime than we seem to have been doing more recently.

                That is one of the reasons why their was a bitter war between Iran and Iraw for years.
                • No he was helping the islamic fundamentalists gas their competition. But even whe you're helping muslims commit mass murder, they're still not happy, so he had to gas a few of them too.

                  Unfortunately this is exactly how bad it really was. Yes nobody dared attack anyone. But that was because Saddam had installed cannons aimed at markets, schools, etc. If a Sunni muslim from baghdad district A attacked anyone, that meant that the kindergarden would get 5 minutes of automatic fire. He "only fired" those guns on
        • by Jugalator (259273)
          "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by WML MUNSON (895262)

          As usual, wikipedia has a pretty decent page on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_the_Uni ted_States [wikipedia.org]

          I am not saying that the US is as bad as China, but no government is above trying to censor things they dont aggree with for any number of reasons.

          I'm currently in China and therefore I cannot view your Wikipedia link, but I'll take your word for it.

    • by Zeio (325157)
      Remind ourselves that the USA, China, Iran are the leading murderers of their own people with the death penalty.

      Everyone look at:
      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1350 794/posts ; http://www.boxun.com/hero/picshock/1_1.shtml ; http://www.boxun.com/hero/picshock/2_1.shtml ; http://www.boxun.com/hero/picshock/14_1.shtml ; http://www.boxun.com/hero/picshock/4_1.shtml ; http://www.boxun.com/hero/picshock/3_1.shtml ; http://www.boxun.com/hero/picshock/5_1.shtml ; http://www.boxun.com/hero/picshock/6_1.sht
  • by illumnatLA (820383) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @05:46PM (#19453221) Homepage
    Censorship under the guise of protecting our children or national security. Thank god that stuff only happens in China and not here in the United States...
    Oh... er...
    ...nevermind
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Travoltus (110240)
      Bad mouth a corporation and you can get hit with a SLAPP lawsuit.

      That's how it's done in America: they don't use guns. They use lawyers.
      • Funny

        My wife was wondering a week ago if it was really ok to state my opinion here on slashdot. She was worried about me getting sued.

        I told her it will be a cold day in hell if I ever cave in and lose my freedom of speech or opinions.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Example please?
      • by laffer1 (701823)
        There are obvious things the media can't say or people can't say about the President for instance.

        Sites like MySpace and LiveJournal have been pressured to take down various profiles and users because they have iffy content or they have a name SIMILAR to a person listed on the sex offender registry. The FCC regularly limits what can be said on television and radio.
        • by FleaPlus (6935)
          There are obvious things the media can't say or people can't say about the President for instance.

          Example?
          • by laffer1 (701823)
            Well if i say them i get the secret service at my door... why don't you try some things and see what happens.
    • Think you are cute, do you? Well, frankly, I'm sick and tired of how people like you so quickly - no later than the fucking first post?! - hijack this thread to "how bad it is here in the US". I'd be glad to join you on Bush-bashing over there [slashdot.org], but this one is about China, OK?
      • by tkrotchko (124118) *
        Back in the old days, the argument was "we're the freest nation on earth!"

        Now, we're down to... "Well, at least we're not as bad as China".

        Well, on the plus side, we don't have secret lists that prevent you from traveling on airplanes. Nor do we do secret wiretaps without judicial review.

        Anyway, at least the terrorists won't have to "hate us for our freedoms" much longer.
        • Well doing 9 to 5 for your entire life for some corporation because some real estate agent capitalized on you..... do beat doing 8 to 12 for the communist party. I honestly believe US want to set the stage to target China after Iraq.
  • Not News (Score:3, Informative)

    by tarogue (84626) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @05:46PM (#19453225)
    China censors the internet. It's what they do. How about an article of what China is *not* censoring?
  • China: Turning off one website at a time until there is no more internet. Problem is, that could take a while...

    Quick everyone make flickr clones! Oh wait...
  • by r00t (33219) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @05:57PM (#19453293) Journal
    That area of the country, for the time period of the games, will be treated differently. It'll look great. You'll be able to sit in your hotel room and view all the stuff you want. (pro-Tibetian Falon Gong porn, whatever...)

    The rest of the country? No.

    A month later? No.

    BTW, don't check your business email or log in to the corporate VPN from China. You know the story: "all your trade secrets are blong to us".

    • by NoTheory (580275)
      BTW, don't check your business email or log in to the corporate VPN from China. You know the story: "all your trade secrets are blong to us".

      Uh, isn't this what encryption is for? (God help you if your company doesn't encrypt it's VPN)
    • by digitig (1056110)

      That area of the country, for the time period of the games, will be treated differently. It'll look great. You'll be able to sit in your hotel room and view all the stuff you want. (pro-Tibetian Falon Gong porn, whatever...)
      I wouldn't bank on it. Falun Gong weren't allowed near the Chinese New Year celebrations even here in London, so I bet they'll be well out of sight in Beijing.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You guys want us to buy all the stuff you make, and you don't want to allow your people access to the ideas we make.

    How much longer are you going to let this authoritarian bullshit go on? Do you realize how powerful China could become if it embraced concepts like "the free exchange of ideas"? You guys could be mining helium on the Moon, then building interplanetary transportation and communication networks with the Europeans and the Africans (if they can also get their act together in the next few dec

    • How much longer? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @07:23PM (#19453839) Homepage Journal
      How much longer will we ( the world ) continue to ignore their own moral issues with China in return for cheap goods? A long long long time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by trytoguess (875793)
      Kind of funny aint it? On the flip side if the U.S started putting more efforts into education and stopped trying to shape the world so much it could probably keep it's lead as the major world power. So... in the end it's just a rush to whoever loses their neurosis first eh lol?
  • A fix? (Score:3, Funny)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @06:05PM (#19453349) Homepage Journal
    Umm nothing is broken, its Chinas right to block whatever they feel is right.

    Techincally if fickr circumvents this, they are violating China's wishes, and could be sued charged with treason and extradited.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by heinousjay (683506)
      Your legal knowledge is astounding.
    • than the wishes of a bunch of technocrats in beijing

      namely, it is the wishes of the average chinese person

      your words are basically "shut up and respect the guy in charge"

      no, fuck you. the guy in charge needs to respect the guy on the street. in china, he does not do this. that's wrong

      that's not wrong according to western values, that's wrong period, according to all human values

      it's called democracy, and it is the right and provenance of every single soul on this planet

      do you understand? or are you still so
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Tom (822)

        your words are basically "shut up and respect the guy in charge"

        Yes, evil China. In the west, we never let the guy in charge decide, we always look for what the average person wants. There will never be a war that isn't supported by a vast majority... Err...

        that's not wrong according to western values, that's wrong period, according to all human values

        According to western human values. The human rights of the UN are very strongly western values. When they were drafted, few non-western countries had a say.

        it's called democracy, and it is the right and provenance of every single soul on this planet

        According to which universal truth?

        Hold the flamethrower for a second. I don't say tyranny is great. However, this blind love with "democracy" is not productiv

        • Every war starts out supported by a vast majority. It isn't until about two years in that the protests start. It's like that with every war, from Vietnam to WWII.
      • by nurb432 (527695)
        Ummm, the chinese have a *right* to live however they want as a independent society ( until they try to force it onto other countries, or become a danger to the rest of the world ). As do we. Dont forget that there are people on this planet that thing democracy is just as wrong as we might think of theirs..

        Who wins when there is a disagreement? Who get to make the decision of what is the 'right' way to live and the 'wrong' way? ( ill give you a hint, its not you )

        • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @07:40PM (#19453925) Homepage

          Ummm, the chinese have a *right* to live however they want

          Exactly. The individual Chinese have every right to live however they want, until they try to force their preferences onto others, or make threats against them. If some (or all) of them don't want to be censored, they have every right not to be.

        • the chinese ARE NOT MAKING THE DECISION

          SOME ASSHOLE IN BEIJING IS DECIDING FOR THEM

          do you fucking understand the fucking obvious?

          the chinese have every right to live how they want, just as you say

          AND THAT IS NOT WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW

          (slaps forehead)

          what a fucking idiot
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 09, 2007 @06:09PM (#19453383)
    ... Don't watch the Olympics. Let the media carrying the Olympics know that you're boycotting them, and will try to get others to join the cause vs. Chinese censorship. Try to avoid purchasing goods made in China, or from companies with close relationships with China. Otherwise, they'll continue to do what they want with all the money the West sends them...
    • by dkf (304284)

      Try to avoid purchasing goods made in China, or from companies with close relationships with China.
      They still exist?
      • by sethstorm (512897) *
        Yes, however at this point it'd require a 40% tariff to get more variety in, and publicly shredding any economist's letter that comes in.
        • Economics, the only science where ethics and morality are thrown out the window.

          I believe the word you were looking for was "politics". Economic science is predicated on ethical behavior, although I will admit that it -- like all other forms of science -- is essentially amoral (though not immoral -- it simply leaves morality up to the individual participants).

          Your war on economics is badly misguided.

    • Name one product that is not made in China at your local retailer?

      I can think of some paperpads sold at Staples and OfficeMax by Amco. Everything and I mean everything is made in China. Nothing is made in the us anymore.

      My fiance used to live in North Carolina a decade ago which had the lowest unemployment in the nation at under %3 with many factory jobs to chose from in a tiny small town.

      Now that same town has a %70 unemployment rate as they all went to china as minimal wage workers were viewed as expensiv
  • by sethstorm (512897) * on Saturday June 09, 2007 @06:16PM (#19453441) Homepage
    Since Yahoo learned what "Roll over" means in all the Chinese dialects, and how to say "Yes, sir" as well.

    I've yet to know if they know what human rights means.
  • by aztektum (170569) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @06:28PM (#19453533)
    Let's compile one of things China won't censor and save time
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 09, 2007 @06:31PM (#19453557)
    A couple of days ago was the anniversary of the Tianenmen Square Massacre. Several major sites were carrying a story about a Flickr album depicting the event. No doubt the Chinese Communist Party censors picked up on it and decided to block.
  • Is a shame Occident is supporting and sponsoring an oppressive regime, we are the ones that are doing business with them betraying ourselves, freedom, democracy and our occidental roots and values. We are the ones blame, not China; they just found is easy to play with us using their own rules because now days Occident only cares about saving some bucks.

    I wonder what happened to Occident, great promises of freedom and equality are fading away in our old and corrupt society.
    • Are values are about greed, extortion, and the lowest prices ever aka walmart buyers.

      So I see it represents our values quite well. Unless your not an American.
  • Which one of you upload the picture of the tank man [wikipedia.org] onto Flickr? Boy, that must have been an embarrassing moment for the party and they don't like to be reminded of it. That and pictures of shooting hundreds and thousands of college students demanding what is promised to them in their constitution.
  • by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @08:22PM (#19454211) Journal
    Seems if you want something not to be pirated in China, how about adding extras like the Dalai Lama, Falon Gong or Tiananmen Square? Software makers, be sure to feature a Falon Gong extra in the tutorials. Movie makers: How about a cameo by the Dalai Lama in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie? Google Maps: when you zoom in on Tiananmen, show perspective mapped photos of what really happened.

    Seriously: I have a friend who just got back from a visit in China. He said the Communist Party is very scared about losing its grip on society. They've very, very worried about losing control. Something you haven't heard in the mainstream media: Chinese, particularly the poorer ones, are really sick of the rich getting richer. When the Chinese Government wants to build a road, they pick a poor area, flatten it and kick the poor locals out. Increasingly, people are getting sick of it and the government is worried: This is why they're banning things left, right and center: http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/2275.asp [indiadaily.com] http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/PEK165285 .htm [alertnet.org] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/world/asia/21cnd -china.html?ex=1337400000&en=578ee101ec63e955&ei=5 090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss [nytimes.com]
  • ... These things or that the Olympic Comittee allowed China to host the Olympic games, with all the shittiness in the background. Not just censorship alone, but with their civil rights in general. Money talks as usual... :-(
  • Golden Shield? Gold is not exactly the best material for a shield. It is:
    • Expensive
    • Heavy
    • Soft

    A warrior venturing into battle with a golden shield would bear a heavy burden in more ways than one. Lends new meaning to the exhortation, "Come home with your shield or on it. [straightdope.com]

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