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Human Rights and a Code of Conduct for China's Web 108

Posted by Zonk
from the try-to-play-well-with-others dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Human Rights Watch is preparing a code of conduct that specifies how major Internet service providers and portal operators should deal with Internet censorship in China. An officer for the group expressed concern that the Chinese government is 'setting the standard on control of the Internet' and also singled out international companies working in China for preemptively blocking access in 'anticipation of requests from the government' rather than waiting for orders from Beijing to block access. China has recently blocked YouTube following the posting of videos about the Tibetan protests, but has been unable to completely stop the flow of Tibet-related information in and out of China, thanks in part to bloggers and others using spam tactics to bypass Chinese filters."
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Human Rights and a Code of Conduct for China's Web

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  • by jacquesm (154384) <jNO@SPAMww.com> on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @11:38AM (#22783790) Homepage
    It's interesting that this should even need to be spelled out. Normally you'd expect companies and the people who run them to have enough of a moral backbone that they don't need external input on things like this.

    Because quarterly profits are the only yardstick by which management is rewarded / demoted all other considerations have gone out the window. As long as there is not direct link between ethics and profits I highly doubt any of this will make a difference.
    • by esocid (946821)
      Exactly true, but who's to say that these ISPs will even follow the code that they help write. And what about if they fail to follow it? Obviously they won't do anything to rectify any ethical wrongdoing on their part or government mandated, so why bother if this is just some sort of ethical "contract" with Chinese citizens that doesn't do anything to protect them as customers. It may be a small step, but at least it's in the right direction.
      The fact that it is termed a code of conduct seems to me like som
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by electrictroy (912290)
        Yeah, why fear the government's censorship

        when it's actually *the corporation* that is filling the role of Big Brother? Thomas Jefferson predicted 200 years ago that too much money in the hands of just a few would lead to fewer freedoms for the average citizen. It is now "those few" that we call CEOs and CIOs that are doing the job of censorship.

    • by houghi (78078) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @11:59AM (#22784072)
      It is interesting that although the article talks about China, your comment can be applied internationaly.
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      Normally you'd expect companies and the people who run them to have enough of a moral backbone that they don't need external input on things like this

      You must be new to Capitalism. There is nothing more evil than passing up money or turning down profit from any source. Wealth is worth any price. Monetary gain trumps everything. It doesn't matter who dies or how miserable people are, so long as you're making a profit.

      Christianity isn't America's national religion like some Christian preachers claim, Capitali
    • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:07PM (#22784196) Homepage

      Because quarterly profits are the only yardstick by which management is rewarded...

      It's not just that. Management can be sued by shareholders if it intentionally enters a course of action that decreases profits, even if the action is ethical.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765)
        And also let's not forget the politically correct idiots of the left, who'll blast anyone giving politically incorrect truths. Any mention of the reasons why nations block content ( Just an example, over 30 countries have censorship due to this document [wikipedia.org] ) cannot even be said. Same problem with stating that China is a socialist state, with the state providing healthcare, and censorship (they cannot be separated, as people need to be prevented from gaming the system, europe ignores this, and it's social struc
        • by MoonBuggy (611105)
          I'm not really sure what you mean about 'gaming the system' with regard to healthcare - what can you gain from a national health system other than medicine or the service of doctors and nurses? What would you do with your ill-gotten medical supplies, exactly? If you're talking of insider deals and corruption, why is that any more likely to be a problem in a government system than a private one? Hell, what makes you think that it's impossible to engineer a system that can be both secure and transparent?
          • by rtb61 (674572)
            Actually there already is, it is called a social democracy, funnily but sadly enough already pretty well known but not implemented often enough, a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Never ever confuse socialism or any other kind of government with autocracy, monarchy just masquerading in another suit.

            So if you want to see the benefits of socialised (for the people) infrastructure, you can only really look at modern social democracies. There are a whole range of fundamentally profo

        • by jambox (1015589)
          The social structure of Europe is on the verge of collapse? Really? Damn. You'd think we'd have noticed that!

          Muppet.
          • Answer this question and you'll know : why is an aging population such a terrible problem in Europe but not so much in America ?
      • Management can be sued by shareholders if it intentionally enters a course of action that decreases profits, even if the action is ethical.

        Blatantly incorrect.

        The Board of Directors [wikipedia.org], and Management, DO have a responsibility to act in the best interests of shareholders, see Fiduciary Duty [wikipedia.org].

        However, NOT to the extent that they must pursue every market in every industry in the world.

        The Business Judgment Rule [wikipedia.org] protects the Board and Management from lawsuits about normal business decisions, such as:

        Hyp

      • By choosing to censor themselves, Google maintains control over their own operation rather than having China impose external restraints on them. If Google had confronted China with a completely uncensored search engine, the Chinese government would have either set up extensive systems to regulate google, or just shut them out.
        Once Google is well established, it will be much harder for China to contain them if they decide to start loosening their self-imposed censorship. And of course, choosing to self-reg
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Normally you'd expect companies and the people who run them to have enough of a moral backbone that they don't need external input on things like this.
      That, is the funniest thing I've read all day.
    • Because harping about Corporations while giving the governments of the world a pass is beyond reason.

      Look, the IOC with the blessings of governments around the world awarded China the Olympics. Just what in the hell were they thinking?

      You bring up ethics and profits as if it were a Corporate issue, its not. Why should any Corporation care when world governments, including the UN, don't?

      huh? Do we hold our elected officials and those of other countries to lower standards? Or is because we give into the id
    • So far as I can tell, the only way to change this (apart from changing the law to force companies trading with countries unfriendly to what we used to call "the values of western liberal democracy", is for people working at those companies to have the guts to protest against it internally, and as a last resort to resign (making clear the reasons why.)

      Of course it's very easy to say that; I've got no wife, kids, or mortgage to maintain so I'm a lot free-er to tell people to get stuffed if I don't like my e

    • by owlnation (858981)

      Normally you'd expect companies and the people who run them to have enough of a moral backbone that they don't need external input on things like this.

      You would expect it. I would expect it. However, welcome to the real Earth, where this doesn't happen. I think it may have once, perhaps the great Quaker companies of the 19th Century. These days, running a corporation is:

      1. synonymous with greed
      2. abusing stats to prove your point and cover your ass and brand.
      3. abusing the same stats to ensure Pareto Optim
    • by b4upoo (166390)
      Frankly it shames me that America allows any commerce with China at all. Nations that use slave labor and violate human rights should suffer complete isolation. I don't think we should allow so much as a phone line into or out of China.
  • Olympic response (Score:5, Interesting)

    by esocid (946821) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @11:41AM (#22783824) Journal

    The code is due in the next couple of months and comes in the run up to the Beijing Olympic Games that begin in August.
    I am interested in what will happen when the Olympics go the China and the press/visitors/athletes respond to the censorship there. I doubt it would change anything automatically but no doubt will put some pressure on the government since it will be under the scrutiny of the entire world.
    • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @11:47AM (#22783914)
      This is just my gut instinct speaking but... There will be atleast one, probably several international incidents at the Olympics.

      Unless the Chinese government totally changes the way they do things, this is inevitable. There will be people taking advantage of the Olympics to do missionary work. There will be people taking advantage of the Olympics to publisize China's many indescretions.

      How will the government respond? Are we going to have dozens of people arrested, imprisoned and/or deported? In a way, I almost hope we do, it would open the worlds eyes to just what is happens there, how restricted freedoms really are.
      • Re:Olympic response (Score:5, Informative)

        by CodeBuster (516420) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:00PM (#22784096)

        How will the government respond? Are we going to have dozens of people arrested, imprisoned and/or deported?
        The last time the Chinese government responded to a large gathering of popular dissent, which as you say will surely accompany a high profile global event such as the Olympics, they did it with tanks, tear gas, and machine guns [wikipedia.org]. I suspect that not much has changed since then.
        • by gnick (1211984)

          The last time the Chinese government responded to a large gathering of popular dissent, which as you say will surely accompany a high profile global event such as the Olympics, they did it with tanks, tear gas, and machine guns.

          I suspect that the government would have been much more moderate in the Tienanmen Square incident if the crowds protesting were as nationally diverse as the crowds at the Olympics.

          That said, I'd be surprised if they would allow any international protester to remain in the country. I think they would also take some big steps to try to disallow any record of a protest to be aired domestically or internationally.

        • by flyingsquid (813711) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:26PM (#22784402)
          The last time the Chinese government responded to a large gathering of popular dissent, which as you say will surely accompany a high profile global event such as the Olympics, they did it with tanks, tear gas, and machine guns [wikipedia.org]. I suspect that not much has changed since then.

          The authoritarian nature of the government probably hasn't changed, but quite a few things have- remember, that was 20 years ago. First, the explosion of portable digital devices- digital cameras, digital video cameras, cell phones, Blackberries, and laptops; second, the explosion of networks, including the Internet and the cellular network, to distribute digital data. Given the number of tourists they are expecting, Beijing will be under greater scrutiny than at any time in its history, and there will be no way to stop the videos once they get out. Third, Beijing is now linked to the United States and the rest of the world by trade. That puts the government in a bind: they want to maintain control, but they also want to keep the money rolling in, and a crackdown on any protests could harm trade with the West. We'll see what happens; the government crackdown in Tibet has been pretty effective, but Tibet isn't overrun with Westerners carrying video cameras and laptops.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sydneyfong (410107)
          My non-crystal ball reading of the Chinese authorities view of Tienanmen incident is that it wasn't supposed to happen. Not even back then. Well probably not due to "human rights" concerns or the casualties, but in any case it was a mishandling of public dissent. I believe that's how they view the incident.

          As another poster has pointed out, that was almost 20 years ago. Governments, people, and circumstances change. Why would you think that "not much has changed since then"? (this is intended as a legitimat
          • Why would you think that "not much has changed since then"? (this is intended as a legitimate question)

            Many of the same people or their hand picked successors and protégés are still firmly in power, they have shown their willingness in the past to use the gun when faced with an afront or challenge to that power, and finally up until very recently in the grand scheme of things the Chinese viewed all outsiders and westerners in particular as "barbarians" or inferior peoples and this attitude has served to lessen their willingness to listen to external criticism from the "barbarians" concerning their

            • [Not trying to disagree with you, I simply hope to provide you with some facts and some alternate perspective.]

              Many of the same people or their hand picked successors and protégés are still firmly in power

              *Maybe* true regarding your argument about successors. There's this inconvenience with the current tightly controlled political system in China that you can't simply shrug off mistakes by saying "it's the previous administration's fault!". I say "maybe", you might understand why if I add a few facts.

              You might have heard about Zhao Ziyang[1] and his role in the Tienanmen incident. He's often descri

              • your comment about Zhao Ziyang was interesting, I didn't know that and had not considered that, but then again it is difficult for anyone on the outside looking in to say *precisely* what is going on inside the Chinese government because of their secretive and closed door nature when it comes to certain political matters and particularly ones which they consider to be sensitive like the Tiananmen square incident.

                "Up until very recently" was like more than 100 years ago (probably more like 150 years ago).

                Yes, but the Chinese culture and history is thousands of years old and it seems logical that th

                • Yes, but the Chinese culture and history is thousands of years old and it seems logical that things tend to build up momentum and maintain some inertia over time, even as new ideas and culture are integrated with the old, so it is perhaps not unreasonable to talk about things 100 years old when the culture itself is thousands of years old.

                  By saying this you are assuming that culture hardly changes or simply changes in a constant rate. However, Chinese culture has undergone dramatic change over the last
          • by dwater (72834)
            Having talked with some who were actually in Beijing at the time, I largely agree with your assessment.

            My take on it is that the aggression was largely instigated by the protesters who were killing the soldiers - the soldiers had been instructed not to open fire/etc and so couldn't protect themselves. I've read report that the protesters took weapons from the army and used them against them. If there was a single decision to respond (on the part of the army), I'll bet it wasn't taken at the highest level, b
            • I have a less rosy view. If only out of a realistic assessment or common sense. You don't have soldiers don't wield a weapon, and you don't have soldiers who take beatings without retribution. I haven't read any reports saying the police/soldiers were passively receiving beatings, so you could rebut my view if you could point to any such reports.

              Tanks in Beijing was clearly a military decision from somebody high up. A lowly officer could never get tanks running around in the capital city. That's almost the
              • by dwater (72834)

                I have a less rosy view. If only out of a realistic assessment or common sense. You don't have soldiers don't wield a weapon, and you don't have soldiers who take beatings without retribution. I haven't read any reports saying the police/soldiers were passively receiving beatings, so you could rebut my view if you could point to any such reports.

                Well, why would I rebut that view - it's the same as mine. Why would you expect soldiers to take a beating without fighting back? That's my whole point. It could easily have flared up from the ranks, rather than a big evil order from the top.

                BTW, I said "I believe it is possible to have neutral news.", when I mean the opposite.
                Tanks in Beijing was clearly a military decision from somebody high up.

                Agreed, but that is a show of force, not aggression as such. Arguably, it was a mistake, but, as I said, that is from the view point of a westerner and in hindsight.

                I don't see any evidence of tanks being involved in any aggression as such. They're next to pointless i

      • Re:Olympic response (Score:5, Informative)

        by esocid (946821) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:00PM (#22784100) Journal
        The cat concentration camps [dailymail.co.uk] in Beijing have already gotten some bad responses. They are basically culling cats in the city, and it looks like people are being encouraged to give their pet cats to teams who round up cats in the city. The govt says it is to prevent disease, but civet cats wasn't really the problem with SARS so this is just a campaign to clean up their image, which may actually be doing the opposite.
      • Re:Olympic response (Score:5, Informative)

        by gnick (1211984) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:02PM (#22784124) Homepage

        ...it would open the worlds eyes to just what is happens there, how restricted freedoms really are.
        But will the world really respond in any meaningful way? I think most people realize how oppressive the Chinese government is. But, they sell cheap goods, so we (US-centric here) won't interfere with them economically. (As a side note, I have a graphic on my wall that they gave me at work - A bald eagle soaring in front of an American flag with the phrase "Proud to be an American" emblazoned on it. I have it turned and circled to display the "MADE IN CHINA" mark on the back.) They can treat their neighbors however they choose and we respond by putting 'Free Tibet' bumper stickers on our cars. Military interaction would, of course, be disastrous.

        The only way that the Chinese government would listen to any outside influence would be strong economic sanctions tied to behavioral changes. And we rely on them so thoroughly at this point that sanctions strong enough to be noticed would be suicide...

        Any ideas?
        • by Dutch Gun (899105)

          and we respond by putting 'Free Tibet' bumper stickers on our cars
          I wonder if those are made in China too...
        • by teadrop (1151099)
          Here is the typical modern American thinking... "How can we intervene you today?" My question to you is: why intervene? The world is like a bucket of water, if everyone put their hands into it, it will only get muddier, not clearer. How do you think apes evolved into human? Think evolution, not intervention. The bad government will collapse, eventually, naturally, and it doesn't have to be hamburger quick. Be patience, live long, and you will one day understand the selective evolution of history. I think t
        • by jambox (1015589)
          Having Chinese people in the family and having been there a few times, I'm not convinced the Chinese government is as oppressive as you say, at least in daily life.

          You can pretty much say what you like in public these days, so taken together with the recent and spectacular economic successes, the Chinese government is actually very popular, at least with the Han majority.

          The problem with web censorship, as well as with the Tibet crisis, is that they're incredibly secretive. I get the feeling that eve
  • Spam? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ShiNoKaze (1097629)
    Ok, censorship is bad. Spam is bad. Two wrongs don't make a right... Right? Someone?
    • Spam is bad. Two wrongs don't make a right... Right? Someone?

      It is right when you have this:

      "Earn big money NOW! See this protest in ACTION! Protest against the Chinese and get RICH!"

      OR: "I have been kicked out of Tibet and the Chinese have my millions of dollars! Watch this video of the Tibetan protests and make BIG Yuan!"

      See, it can be done ethically!

    • Think of it this way. We use modified viruses in cancer treatment, right? This is kind of the same thing.
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      Two wrongs don't make a right

      Maybe not, but three lefts do.
  • by matt me (850665) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @11:53AM (#22783980)
    It's not just ISPs and sites who can be faulted for co-operating with foreign censors. Much of the censorware used by such governments is developed in America. A great step would be to introduce legislation to expose which companies are selling censorware to foreign governments. This a tool of oppression, and exports should be scrutinized like weapons.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/09/opinion/09jardin.html [nytimes.com]
    • by kabocox (199019)
      It's not just ISPs and sites who can be faulted for co-operating with foreign censors. Much of the censorware used by such governments is developed in America. A great step would be to introduce legislation to expose which companies are selling censorware to foreign governments. This a tool of oppression, and exports should be scrutinized like weapons.

      The US is using China to beta test it. Sort of like how the US is using the UK to beta test that whole 1984 big brother thing that they have going on.

      You soun
  • thanks in part to bloggers and others using spam tactics to bypass Chinese filters.

    Or proxies? That seems like the obvious route to go to me.

  • like the geneva convention stopped atrocities in war? please

    human rights watch writing a code of conduct won't convince china of anything. it won't change its ways. if american companies didn't help them, they'd get someone else to help them, or do it themselves

    what's more important to you? helping human rights in china? or shaming american companies? the shaming of american companies should be put aside in pursuit of the larger more noble goal: getting free imformation to chinese citizens

    how do you do that? writing a code of conduct? preventing china from using your expertise to build their firewall?

    no and no

    you defeat the great firewall of china with better guerilla apps. anyone who care about this issue should forget about shaming codes of conduct or shushing american companies that helped the technocrats in beijing

    instead what you do is you build proxy servers, ip obfuscators, p2p web traffic redirectors, content caching, etc., etc.: you wage war with the great firewall with china, you smuggle content around it, you render all of the technocrat's efforts to screen what chinese citizens see fruitless and pointless and a joke

    that's where you put your effort

    shaming colluding american companies or writing well-intentioned but pointless codes of conduct means nothing. results mean something

    get to writing those guerilla apps if you really care about this issue. shaming american companies or writing ivory tower codes of conduct is pointless if you really want to help regular chinese escape their hermetically sealed tomb of sanitized braindead propaganda
    • by owlnation (858981)

      instead what you do is you build proxy servers, ip obfuscators, p2p web traffic redirectors, content caching, etc., etc.: you wage war with the great firewall with china, you smuggle content around it, you render all of the technocrat's efforts to screen what chinese citizens see fruitless and pointless and a joke

      Great post. And quite correct. The above quote is important, and those that have the ability need to do just that. Bear in mind that such things may be happening in your own country before long.

      • the difference in censorship between the usa/uk and china is the difference between an inch and a mile

        yes, plenty obsess over that inch, but this is silly hysteria

        i think it is far more fruitful to focus on that mile
    • My (obviously incomplete) understanding is that those in China who really wants access to the information already do.
      And those who don't, don't really bother.

      It's not like people in China are dying to know the dark side their government... most do, and due to one reason or the other, aren't particularly interested in digging further. Internet censorship is merely icing on the cake, so to speak. Yet most westerners act as if the Chinese were all sheep who believed 100% in government propaganda. Well, no.

      Cens
      • your position is that censorship and propaganda don't actually effect people's opinions, and people's opinions stand as they would whether they had completely unfettered access to info, or completely limited access to info

        i wish i could be more diplomatic, but i'm sorry i can't: you're a total moron if you really believe that. if you're just playing devil's advocate, you fail

        you are basically making the argument that it doesn't matter how tainted or censored your media is. i'm sorry, you're not a moron. you
        • your position is that censorship and propaganda don't actually effect people's opinions, and people's opinions stand as they would whether they had completely unfettered access to info, or completely limited access to info

          I never claimed that. My claim is that there isn't a "completely limited access to info", and that firewall circumvention tools don't really help. It *might* solve *some* of the symptoms, but the problem is much bigger than that, and those who tout firewall circumvention tools as a silver bullet simply misses the larger picture or problem.

          Specifically my point is that this (at least now) isn't the case in China:

          regular chinese escape their hermetically sealed tomb of sanitized braindead propaganda

          Since you seem to completely misunderstand my post, your strawman rant on morons and stupid ass

          • and i don't care who you are. all i know is that whatever your points are, they seem inane and frivolous

            here's my point, across which all of your points break: the more access there is to more media sources, no matter what the source, and the more you are allowed to pursue that media without fear of repercussion or censure, the healthier the body politic, and the healthier the society

            meanwhile, your points fall secondary to that, and they do not overrule my larger point. such that the conclusions you seem t
            • the more access there is to more media sources, no matter what the source, and the more you are allowed to pursue that media without fear of repercussion or censure, the healthier the body politic, and the healthier the society

              I agree with you. Totally.

              My point is firewall circumvention tools will only be used by those who are interested in knowing what their government doesn't want them to know (unless you're going to write a worm that spams infected hosts about Tibet, Tienanmen and whatnot). And those who wish to know those things already do, so it's not much help.

              but the whole point is you will have LESS uninformed fools. and if that fact carries no weight with you, if that point fails to make an impression on you, then you're an empty useless negative cynic

              My point again, writing firewall circumvention tools don't lead to less uninformed fools. Maybe it would be of some convenience to those who are already seeking out

              • so there is absolutely no one firewall tools will help? you can't imagine how a curious student might be able to get the tools and pass them out to friends? this escapes your imagination or is impossible for you to contemplate as a possibility? everyone who wants the info already has clean unfettered access?

                are you continuing to try to make a stupid point out of sheer stubbornness or what?

                the firewall tools will let more people get more info. it will enable curiosity that is not being fulfilled now, it will
                • You stretch my points to the extreme.

                  so there is absolutely no one firewall tools will help?

                  Firewall tools will help. A bit. Not much.

                  you can't imagine how a curious student might be able to get the tools and pass them out to friends? this escapes your imagination or is impossible for you to contemplate as a possibility? everyone who wants the info already has clean unfettered access?

                  I can. I can also imagine the student obtaining information without using the firewall tools (to give an example, a few days ago I was in Guangzhou, and I could assess slashdot without any hacks. With all the discussion on Chinese politics and stuff on Tienanmen, Tibet etc. that's probably a starter). I can imagine the student creating such tools himself. There are many ways...

                  the firewall tools will let more people get more info. it will enable curiosity that is not being fulfilled now, it will get into hands through various channels

                  i can't possibly believe you are trying to tell me otherwise, that you can't imagine how the obvious isn't obvious

                  You assert your statements again and again without

                  • by jambox (1015589)
                    You're missing something here kids - it's not that hard to defeat the "Great Firewall". Any sort of proxy hopper would do it. Surveillance is easily defeated by crypto and using public internet facilities. Any competent, determined computer user in China can therefore get whatever info they want.

                    The disturbing truth is that many Chinese actually SUPPORT their government and AGREE with it's policies! That's not just because of propaganda but also because the Chinese government has delivered results in th
    • you defeat the great firewall of china with better guerilla apps.

      What about turning China into a giant LAN, stopping all the traffic and forcing them to take down the firewall? It wouldn't be too hard to do.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_great_firewall_of_china [wikipedia.org]

      Packet filtering. Terminate TCP packet transmissions when a certain number of controversial keywords are detected. This affects all TCP protocols such as HTTP, FTP or POP, but Search engine pages are more likely to be censored. Typical circumvent

  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:02PM (#22784122)
    Can we get a code of conduct here in the USA about ISPs not blocking content? And, can we get Comcast to sign it?
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:03PM (#22784130) Journal
    Let's create a workaround and eliminate the need for for them entirely. That would be much more likely to bring about the desired result.
  • funny how you can use what is generally a bad thing and use it for "good" purposes. Theres always something good to be learned even from the worst.
  • by rrohbeck (944847)

    how major Internet service providers and portal operators should deal with Internet censorship in China.
    Put a prominent link to TOR and other anonymity tools on your home page.
  • If you put in place a "code of conduct" are you not yourselves

    'setting the standard on control of the Internet'

  • Has anybody here on /. ever heard of this concept? I am getting hoarse from repeating this, but here we go again: The way forward is through dialog. Hasn't Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, ... taught us anything? No? Nothing at all? You can't climb onto your high, moral horse and try to force somebody to change what they see as "obviously right"; especially not when the somebody in question can so easily point out the glaring hypocrisy evident in your moralising. You can't insult somebody and then exp

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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