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China Anti-Corruption Web Site Crashes On First Day 169

Posted by kdawson
from the it-couldn't-happen-here dept.
An anonymous reader tips us to news out of China that the Web site of the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention crashed on Tuesday, just hours after its launch, as droves of people logged on to complain about corruption among officials. "The number of visitors was very large and beyond our expectations," an anonymous NBCP official said.
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China Anti-Corruption Web Site Crashes On First Day

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  • Looks like they have their work cut out for them.
  • doh (Score:5, Funny)

    by User 956 (568564) on Monday December 24, 2007 @06:18AM (#21804302) Homepage
    China Anti-Corruption Web Site Crashes On First Day

    It didn't crash. it just got corrupted.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Chrisje (471362)
      Laugh about it... :-D What worries me more is that they actually have a minister of Supervision.

      What does he Supervise? That people celebrate the "Two minutes' Hate"?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Mathinker (909784)
        > What does he Supervise? That people ....

        No, duh, he makes sure Superman doesn't go around peeping, of course!

        His next project is to extract lead from toy manufacturer's paints to make lead-shielded underwear....
  • by Jack9 (11421) on Monday December 24, 2007 @06:20AM (#21804308)
    "We didn't expect too many people to know about the corruption, or the website. Damn."
    • by ari wins (1016630)
      They quickly realized the website they built could lead to residents of China thinking, hence it was moved outside of their firewall.
  • TFA doesn't have a URL. Can someone post to help load test their server.
    • Re:URL? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sakdoctor (1087155) on Monday December 24, 2007 @06:40AM (#21804380) Homepage
      Found it.

      http://yfj.mos.gov.cn/ [mos.gov.cn]
      • Re:URL? (Score:4, Funny)

        by rucs_hack (784150) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:12AM (#21805166)
        I think its still crashed, it's got all these wierd squiggles instead of proper writing...
        • Re:URL? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Xzzy (111297) <sether.tru7h@org> on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:54AM (#21805540) Homepage
          I wonder if the 3 meg jpeg on the front page had anything to do with the crash.

          Nice to know that, no matter what part of the world you're in, people are willing to listen to "my brother's little kid, he's great with this world wide web stuff!" and actually pay them to do some work.
          • That was my hunch. But, no sense in putting a artifact corrupted JPG image on there, eh?
          • Re:URL? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Alsee (515537) on Monday December 24, 2007 @03:01PM (#21808296) Homepage
            Oh christ.

            It sends a 3504 pixel by 2336 pixel JPEG with quality level 97(excessively high), and the page directs the browser to scale it down to generate the final 200 by 142 image.

            -
          • by Reivec (607341)
            Oh my lord.. that is the worst atrocity you can do on a website in my opinion. A 3meg high res pic scaled down to a tiny image without just actually reducing the filesize itself is a crime worth capital punishment. And China is just the country to carry it out.
            • by EvilIdler (21087)
              I see giant jpegs like these all the time from Chinese businesses. It's almost as if they're
              bragging about their 20+ megapixel cameras (or whatever they're up to) :(
              It doesn't help that they're taken with shitty mobile phone camera lenses, so no matter how
              big it is, it looks like the insides of an outhouse.

              (Rant mode off. We love them for their business, but we hate having the email client
              hog our bandwidth while downloading their latest product catalogs!)
          • by owlstead (636356)
            Oh well, you can bet it doesn't show artifacts as did all the pictures (foreground, background and logo) of the website of the company I work for. That cost a lot of cash as well.
          • by Quantam (870027)
            Hey, that was how I got my first job (when I was 13)! :P
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by ArikTheRed (865776)
        Oh yeah, let's slashdot it... that'll help.
    • by Machinus (1068104)
      Whatever happened to reading?

      Everyone head on over to yfj.mos.gov.cn. It's up.

      Right in the article, too.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    the website is showing chinks in its armor
  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by DeltaQH (717204) on Monday December 24, 2007 @06:43AM (#21804396)
    "The number of visitors was very large and beyond our expectations,"

    Oh no. And now the slashdotters are comming!!!!
  • by netsharc (195805) on Monday December 24, 2007 @06:50AM (#21804424)
    ... and capital punishment for officials caught corrupting.

    (I hope the above isn't construed as a death threat against Bush! And his staff. And Congress. And the Senate. DHS... TSA...)
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      (Your reservation for a flight to Quantamo Bay has been confirmed.)
    • ... corruption web crashes you!

      (Somehow makes too much sense)
    • by RattFink (93631)

      ... and capital punishment for officials caught corrupting.


      There ain't enough power in America to power that many electric chairs.
    • by houghi (78078)
      Yeah and with the PATRIOT act, you do not even need to log in. People just can contact you like that to, uhm, verify your claim.

      Hey, with Echalon, you do not even need such a website as they already know.
    • that wouldn't be a bad idea. it'd be like reverse-gestapo tactics. the nazis were able to keep the public in line, not with surveillance or domestic spies, but by simply placing gestapo offices in every town and encouraging the public to spy on each other and rat each other out to the local gestapo offices. most of the information they gathered was through public denouncements, and this system was quite effective in controlling the population. so why couldn't we turn the same idea around and use public denu
  • by dltaylor (7510)
    If they use the code that runs /., and enough commodity computers, the web site wouldn't crash due to load. Can't say about it's pipes to the 'net, though.

    Is it "helping" the regime there to have the corruption reported, as in providing a place for the populace to report the corruption, which allows the central government to get a bigger cut, or is it, in the long run, likely to open that government more, which autocrats tend to perceive as "not helping", but which could improve the lives of the proletaria
  • First of all, they'll try to find out why the heck so many people knew about it. I'm fairly sure it was planned as a publicity stunt, showing that only a handful of people will actually use the page, and this in turn was likely tried by not announcing it too widely.

    I guess the result of the examination will be the blogging about government activity should be curtailed.
    • by jandersen (462034) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:19AM (#21805212)
      I'm fairly sure it was planned as a publicity stunt

      Or perhaps they actually want to do something about corruption, but hadn't counted on just how many would try access the site. Corruption is widespread in China, and very unpopular. The only people who want is the people - the criminals - who benefit from it. This is the people, nor is it the national government, because it causes unrest, which the national government has to deal with; and I don't think they want that.

      The chinese government are like most governments in most modern nations - they by and large want to do what is best for the people, or what they think is best. They are not monsters that enjoy making the population as unhappy as possible, despite the picture that gets painted in the more reactionary media in the west. The big problem they have is that they have an incredibly vast country to control and simply not enough resources; that and the fact that corruption has been part of the Chinese society for well over 5000 years. It will probably take at least a generation of modernisation to change this.

      Every time there are news from China, it is interpreted in the worst possible light - if they put a man on the moon, it must be because they starve their poor and want to rain death on America, if they tighten copyright laws, it is 'repression', if they don't, they are 'thieves'. Try to be fair - criticize where there is genuinely something to criticize, praise where that is due. That's what we expect for ourselves, isn't it?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Sigismundo (192183)

        I totally agree with what you've said. Especially on Slashdot, news stories about China tend to be interpreted negatively, and in a very 1-dimensional way. The things that Slashdotters associate with China are always negative: the Great Firewall, jailing dissenters, censorship. I don't agree with these things either, but this is just a very small part of China, which is an extraordinarily vast country. For a country that has been growing so fast since Deng Xiaoping took office, there are bound to be som

        • The things that Slashdotters associate with China are always negative: the Great Firewall, jailing dissenters, censorship. I don't agree with these things either, but this is just a very small part of China,

          And a fairly important part. It's your government, I'd think that's important, right? (Furthermore, the original post here was not making a sweeping statement about China itself, they were making a statement about what is obviously a move by the Chinese government -- which is the very organization which

      • by DavidShor (928926) * <supergeek717.gmail@com> on Monday December 24, 2007 @12:35PM (#21806722) Homepage
        "The chinese government are like most governments in most modern nations - they by and large want to do what is best for the people, or what they think is best."

        No, they are not. They want to stay in power, and keeping to people from starving is necessary to do that. Everything they do for their people is to keep them from rebellion.

        "The big problem they have is that they have an incredibly vast country to control and simply not enough resources;"

        If they wanted to help the people, they wouldn't spend huge sums of money on monitoring their population, torturing dissidents, and building the world's most advanced censorship regime. India has a billion people too, but they seem to run their country without wide scale torture.

        Their big "problem", is that their people are only being kept from rebellion because of unsustainable economic growth, which the Chinese government is pursuing by inflationary monetary policy and environmental degradation on a scale unseen since the industrial revolution.

        At some point, the growth will stop, and China's ethnically fractured population, made insane by generations of propaganda, will assert their power. I don't imagine it will be pretty.

        "Try to be fair - criticize where there is genuinely something to criticize, praise where that is due. That's what we expect for ourselves, isn't it?"

        Hitler did an amazing job building Germany's Autobahn network, Pinochet lead Chile to a path of economic prosperity, and China has build a great deal of infrastructure. We don't talk about these things, because they are far outweighed by the overall evil of the perpetrators.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by ichigo 2.0 (900288)

          They want to stay in power, and keeping to people from starving is necessary to do that. Everything they do for their people is to keep them from rebellion.
          I hope you do realize that applies to every government of every country on Earth, democratic or otherwise.
      • by rcw-home (122017)

        The chinese government are like most governments in most modern nations - they by and large want to do what is best for the people, or what they think is best.

        "99 percent of everything done in the world, good or bad, is done to pay a mortgage." -- Thank You For Smoking

        They by and large want to succeed.

      • by wdebruij (239038)
        Try to be fair - criticize where there is genuinely something to criticize, praise where that is due

        Welcome to Slashdot! You must be new here.
      • This is the people, nor is it the national government, because it causes unrest, which the national government has to deal with; and I don't think they want that.

        Wrong.

        As I'm sure the Chinese government has discovered, it is not the corruption which causes unrest, it is news about the corruption. And when the corrupt control the news, it becomes very easy to make you believe everything's alright.

        To some extent, that goes for the US, also, but there are things the government here cannot control. We have b

      • The chinese government are like most governments in most modern nations - they by and large want to do what is best for the people, or what they think is best.
         
        You must be new around here.....
      • Now, I'm fairly sure the Chinese government is by no means different from ours. No matter what country you're in, so "ours" may apply to whatever government you're under.

        But I don't agree with the "serve the people best" part. I'd rather guess the goal is to "line your own pockets best". Again, not a hit at China, that's just what I expect from any government. Most of all from mine.

        The difference is just that I get every 4 years to choose my favorite thief.
    • by djupedal (584558)
      "First of all, they'll try to find out why the heck so many people knew about it."

      One announcement on TV to, oh say, 200 or so million viewers, and then a few seconds of fast paced texting and in less time than you can make instant noodles you've got, oh say 200 or so million clients hitting the site. No mystery why...

      They have announcements down pat. However, they are still learning about the risks involved in hiring the first guy that claims he knows how to run a website.
  • /dev/null (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c0d3h4x0r (604141) on Monday December 24, 2007 @08:07AM (#21804616) Homepage Journal
    This web site was only meant to pacify the citizenry, by making them feel heard. It's no different than here in the USA when you write your Senator or e-mail a company's technical support address: it's not like anyone really cares what you have to say, or will actually read it or do anything about it.

    If anything, the corrupt Chinese government officials were just going to use the information to decide which citizens to throw in prison next.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Das Modell (969371)
      I seem to remember that they executed a corrupt government official this year or in 2006.
    • by Detritus (11846)
      Government officials that are corrupt, and embarass the party, often end up with a bullet in the head. A certain amount of corruption can be overlooked, damaging the reputation of the party is far more serious.
    • by HeroreV (869368)

      This web site was only meant to pacify the citizenry, by making them feel heard.

      There's no reason to immediately jump to that conclusion. Many Chinese officials actually do care about the citizens of China and want to work hard to make China a better place. Their ideas of what is best may be very different from yours and mine, but that doesn't mean they get off an making people suffer. Why is it so difficult to believe that the Chinese government is serious about this, that it really wants to improve?

      • by maraist (68387) *
        Why is it so difficult to believe that the Chinese government is serious about this, that it really wants to improve?

        Because then they'd have a free press. Consider the direction of the information. In a free press, the information moves from the people through the controlled media back to the people. The degree of control is inversely proportional to the number of media outlets - a government can not quickly curtail embarrasing information across thousands of independent news channels and news papers, b
        • by HeroreV (869368)
          The Chinese government may have different ideas about what is better, but that doesn't mean they don't want to get better.

          We should consider the possibility that the reason China doesn't have a free press is because for whatever reason the Chinese government really thinks a free press would be bad. Maybe they actually just want to control the public, to keep themselves in power, but anybody who believes that should arrive at that belief after consideration of evidence, and they should be willing to change t
    • Re:/dev/null (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:42AM (#21806046) Homepage
      China is making insane amounts of money from its new capital markets. The government has 51% ownership in many of these corporations. Investors will pull their money out of China if they perceive corruption to be on the rise. An "Enron" in China could cause many billions in the government's money to evaporate overnight. It is in the government's interest minimize corruption in its publicly-traded companies.

      I don't share your cynicism. Feel free to criticize China for being authoritarian and for opposing what the Western world considers to be fundamental human rights, but don't assume that everything about China is bad. Corruption will cause the top of China's "Communist" party to lose power and money; they will fight it out of self-interest, not altruism. Government leaders acting out of any other motivation is a rarity in human history.
  • A good sign (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday December 24, 2007 @08:08AM (#21804620)
    In a part of the world where government corruption is hideously rampant, I think this is a wonderful sign. I suggests that China's national government and many citizens want to reduce corruption. This program might not take down highly connected corrupted officials (only a free press can do that, I think), but I bet it could make lots of people's lives better.

    Assuming that the complaints are actually investigated, that the investigations are fair, and that most people don't make false accusations of corruption, that is.
    • by kaiwai (765866)
      Alot of people think that Chinese actually care about democracy, heck, many people here think people care about democracy - and yet, demonstrated over and over again in the US elections, no one can be bothered exercising that right.

      Back to China, what pisses the average Joe off there isn't so much corruption between high profile people, its when they find that their land, house, cow, donkey, car or some other piece of property is stolen by the government in the name of progress - and worse still, none of th
    • Re:A good sign (Score:4, Insightful)

      by owlnation (858981) on Monday December 24, 2007 @08:53AM (#21804772)

      In a part of the world where government corruption is hideously rampant, I think this is a wonderful sign. I suggests that China's national government and many citizens want to reduce corruption. This program might not take down highly connected corrupted officials (only a free press can do that, I think), but I bet it could make lots of people's lives better.
      Yes, but why is this restricted to China? I am 100% for-sure-certain that if a similar website was put up for the UK exactly the same thing would happen.

      And in the UK, were such a thing to happen the Government would make promises to tackle the issue. They'd appoint some sort of quasi-governmental commission that was essentially accountable to no-one and "investigate". They'd then generate large and frequent reports that hid problems in obscure language deep into the report to ensure no-one ever read them, and occasionally set targets that no-one would ever reach. No-one would be held accountable or punished for those charges not being reached. This, despite vast amounts of tax payers money being used in the whole fiasco. The logo for the new commission alone would cost a few million just to start with.

      The "free" press (the government owned) BBC and the more than 50% that's owned by New Corps International wouldn't report much as usual.

      No, this is not unique to China -- but on the bright side, in China the people don't have 5 million security cameras following their every move.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Macthorpe (960048)
        You can see how they've held back on reporting on the recent issues regarding the data that the government lost.

        They didn't [bbc.co.uk] report much [bbc.co.uk] about that [bbc.co.uk], did they?

        Yes, the government are incompetent, but to claim the BBC "wouldn't report much" is false and can be demonstrated as such.
    • I suggests that China's national government and many citizens want to reduce corruption

      They can never be a first world country otherwise.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday December 24, 2007 @08:28AM (#21804686) Homepage Journal
    To complain 'on paper' like that?

    With that government, i know i wouldn't. Hell, I'm almost afraid to complain about mine these days..
  • "The Manager's Wife" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Circlotron (764156) on Monday December 24, 2007 @08:48AM (#21804746)
    Speaking of China and corruption, I had to laugh out loud when I read the quote at the bottom of the [Slashdot] page: "Mencken and Nathan's Fifteenth Law of The Average American: The worst actress in the company is always the manager's wife." There once was an actress named Jiang Qing... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiang_Qing [wikipedia.org]
  • by Perseid (660451) on Monday December 24, 2007 @08:51AM (#21804754)
    ...the Chinese character for 'pwnt'?
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:05AM (#21804822)
    one should install pristine officials right from the original CD, and then periodically CRC them to make sure they haven't been corrupted. It's especially important not to download your officials from any old site on the Web, because they might have been deliberately corrupted.
  • Absolute power... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ahodgkinson (662233) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:10AM (#21804842) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    • The bureau has been entrusted to collect and analyze information from the banking, land use, medicine and telecommunications sectors, among others, and to share it with prosecuting organs, courts and the police.
    Share the information with police, who might actually come after the people making the most complaints?

    The cynic in me says that this is probably merely an initiative by the government to see where the problems are, rather than a true attempt to end corruption. A few high profile cases will be dealt with, but the rest will be window dressing. I wouldn't be surprised if a few of the loudest complainers are quietly dealt with.

    I think the Chinese authorities are realistic enough to know that they face an impossible task. Witness the first 'death penalty for corruption' laws enacted, with great fanfare, well over ten years ago. In spite of much PR and many executions, corruption remains as widespread as ever. The death penalty certainly doesn't seem to be a deterrent against corruption.

    One of biggest problems facing China's government is ensuring its own long-term survival, and corruption is a big danger to the government's survival. They should know. The communist revolution itself was a reaction against corruption.

    As they say: Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • Re:Absolute power... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by orzetto (545509) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:28AM (#21805270)

      The death penalty certainly doesn't seem to be a deterrent against corruption.

      The death penalty is not a deterrent for anything. There are some pretty draconian laws for capital punishment for street crimes in the US, but it's not like those US states are safer than Canada because of that.

      Corruption is deterred by transparency, street crime by welfare, equal opportunities and affirmative action, but the death penalty is a so much more spectacular way of convincing voters you are doing something about it when you are actually not.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by quacking duck (607555)
        There's a critical difference with your capital punishment comparison.

        China has executed some people fairly high up the food chain, like their FDA chief, or a bank official [pitt.edu]. These are not your regular, fairly anonymous people like those executed in US states, but are among the small, wealthy minority of people who wielded significant influence and power.

        Slashdotters are always complaining about how laws never get passed that touch the wealthy in western countries, or they skip out of the country and retire
      • The death penalty is not a deterrent for anything. There are some pretty draconian laws for capital punishment for street crimes in the US, but it's not like those US states are safer than Canada because of that.
        Reminds me of Freakonomics, which showed evidence that drug dealers on the street in one area have a higher chance of getting killed in a year than death row inmates are.
      • by Alomex (148003)
        The death penalty is not a deterrent for anything.

        The death penalty is a deterrent for reincidence.

        So are prison sentences for that matter: they make reincidences less frequent.
    • by jotok (728554)
      Yes, by this is why cynicism and despair are enemies of democracy as much as corruption. All that has to happen for corrupt governments to remain in power is for people to say "Well, there's nothing that can be done, I'm just going to look out for myself."

      Check out the ongoing election process in (e.g.) Morocco. There are tons of encouraging news articles but in the comments everyone says "Eh, our government is corrupt, nothing will change." It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Hopefully out of China's
  • tagged "humor"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AlgorithMan (937244) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:38AM (#21804984) Homepage
    how can people tag this article with "humor"?
    corrupt public servants are being executed in china,
    so we are talking about a webinterface to a death-list here!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The PRC has a poor track-record with government-endorsed whistleblower campaigns. Poor, as in thrown in jail.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Flowers_Campaign [wikipedia.org]
    • You do understand the major differences between Mao's China, and China of today, do you?

      Besides, the Hundred Flowers wasn't about "whistleblowing". It was about free speech.

  • China leading US on civil rights.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday December 24, 2007 @12:49PM (#21806868) Homepage

    The site has too much junk on it. No wonder the server is overloaded.

    There are several .swf objects. Some are movies. There's a Javascript picture rotator. There seems to be server-side Java; if you try vote.jsp [mos.gov.cn] on the site, you get a Java backtrace.

    The "vote" script is amusing. The web designer seems to have copied a "suggestion box" script from somewhere, then commented out the "vote" capability. It's so PRC. The government is terrified of their people voting on anything.

  • In other news
    The anti-corruption web server in the United States of America, housed in the vice presidient's office BLEW UP and started a 2 alarm fire last week.

  • I mean, the developers sent me on all those trips, organized dinners for me and sent me and my family cars, tickets to the opera, etc. I was sure that meant the software would be robust.

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