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Government Censorship The Internet News

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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @11:39AM (#22783804)
    Is it up to the Catholic church to establish ethical standards? Isn't it desirable that there are ethical standards? Of course not everyone is probably going to agree on what those ethical standards should be. So does that mean we should just throw out ethical standards and just let people do whatever they want with no standard against which to compare them?
  • 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 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.
  • by plague3106 (71849) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:43PM (#22784560)
    What crack are you on? There are dozens of governments around the world which do not rule with the consent of the people, including ones the U.S. supports. Egypt come to mind? How about Saudi Arabia? Hell, we sent people to Syria to be tortured yet we criticize that governments rule of law. I don't see you or the U.S. government going after them because the people don't give their consent to be ruled by those in power.

    I personally believe that we shouldn't be meddling in the affairs of others. That said, it's up to the local population to remove governments which violate their rights. Should they ask for help in doing so, the US should provide it, provided the government which follows rules given the consent of the people.

    Sure it can, just as it has said it is illegal for U.S. citizens to gamble over the internet, visit Cuba or do business with Iran. There are numerous times when the government has told the people what they can and cannot see and has enforced it. Doesn't make it right or mean there is any logic, but yes, it can and has (and continues to do so).

    Yes, I also didn't say that the revolution should be the first step taken.

    Sure, in a perfect world that would be great but guess what, the world ain't perfect. Governments, within the confines of their own boundaries, can do as they please until their people decide to take matters into their own hands. Obviously the majority of people in China don't feel the need to change things.

    Which is up to the people in china to decide.

    The rest of yoru post talks about the Geneva convention or whatever. My view is the same as those of our founders, classic liberism. This philosophy is about letting people as much freedom as possible while still functioning as a society. I would argue the people in China don't seem to mind because there's a pretty strong propaganda machine chugging along there. The same was done in Nazi Germany and Italy. That doesn't make it right.

    As far as "giving guidelines" about what speech is or isn't allowed; it's censhorship and control, no matter how much you try to spin it. To say the government is allowed to pretend that protests aren't going on in Tibet is simply retarted; people that really believe that will forever be slaves to their rulers.

    I suggest you dig more into the philosophy this country was founded on. If you don't like it, please follow my advice, and relocate your residence to China. Then tell me how it's ok for the government to control you.

    Either you believe human beings have rights upon creation, or you don't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:55PM (#22784724)
    "Wrong. Governments are only valid if they rule with the consent of the people. Otherwise, they can and must be destroyed."
    Obviously there's a limit to this that you miss. The government does have right to limit other rights in cases of national security, in which case this is when it infringes upon China's territorial sovereignty.

    "To use a very bad example, what if the U.S. blocked access to sites which promote Al Qaeda's agenda? Would that be ok? Shouldn't we be allowed to see that propaganda? Is that on par with what China is doing? "
    Oh yes this is a very bad example, but nonetheless you're speaking as if the US doesn't censor anything that's political. Here's another one: "Yes, what we are looking at is censorship," he said, "but you can censor something that is intended to inflame passions." -US official regarding Iraq

    "And here I thought freedom of expression, freedom to assemble, freedom of the press were already human rights. I guess in your mind people don't have those, or that the government "grants" them to us."
    Huh? Prove that these are natural inalienable rights in all cases. I'll cite the "fire in a theater" example just as a counterexample.

    Please, do everyone a favor, and take a government class.
  • by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @01:46PM (#22785396) Homepage
    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 structure is on the verge of collapse).
  • by Steve Hamlin (29353) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:31PM (#22786812) Homepage

    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:

    Hypothetical_Google_Director/CEO: "should we go into China knowing the upside for immediate growth and the potential downside for long-term corporate image problems? No, I don't think so."

    No way you a shareholder could sue over that. You certainly could try to vote in a new Board of Directors who are committed to expansion in China, but that is not the same as suing the Board for a breach of duty.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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