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Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, Others Blocked In China 151

Posted by timothy
from the this-is-for-your-own-good dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Two days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square 'incident,' several high profile Internet sites have been blocked in mainland China. These include Twitter.com, Flickr.com, Live.com, and Bing.com. While Internet blocks are common enough in mainland China, blocking such high-profile sites is unusual. In addition, blog reports suggest even state-owned television broadcasts are suffering multiple instances of muting lasting several seconds (again, not unusual for some foreign stations broadcast over cable, but unusual for local state-owned media) suggesting state security, online or through other technology, has tightened significantly, perhaps in anticipation or discovery of protest plans."
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Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, Others Blocked In China

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:43AM (#28182215) Journal
    Sounds a lot like Facebook being blocked during the elections in Iran [bbc.co.uk]. I wonder if banning sites just long enough to restrict the flow of ideas for the season will become more popular/acceptable than perma-bans?

    "Oops, I can't access social sites today ... must be a "democratic" election coming up!"
    • by poetmatt (793785) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:45AM (#28182245) Journal

      Yup. There are plenty of proxies out there too, so what exactly is this going to do? Not to mention every app just mentioned can easily be run on most china phones, so it's not like people have to be in net cafes in China to do said activities.

      • by rob1980 (941751) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:55AM (#28182411)
        There are plenty of proxies out there too, so what exactly is this going to do?

        Keep the mainstream folks who don't know what a proxy is (let alone how to use one) in check. For the rest, if they become an issue they'll just be labeled enemies of the state or whatever and dealt with accordingly.
        • by poetmatt (793785)

          sadly true and agreed as a concept however how many people are really in the category of not knowing what a proxy is? China is an extremely tech savvy/tech friendly company, so wouldn't it be the minority who don't know what a proxy is? I could be completely wrong, just inquiring/rhetorically.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by maxume (22995)

            The majority in China don't even have computers.

            • That is why the net cafe business model is so popular in China, for 5 Chinese yen, you can use a computer for an hour, much less than spending 10k Chinese yen and buy a computer yourself. The net cafe also has superior network connections. With that said, i think most Chinese people do have access to computers and the internet. if accessibility is your main concern, then you don't have to worry.

              • by dimeglio (456244)

                I think China is China and so long as they have a communist government such actions are not surprising at all. I'm in fact surprised how opened it became over the last few decades. Maybe with the global economic downturn the Chinese government is looking after its people and reconsidering the value of all this "openness."

      • by patro (104336)

        Yup. There are plenty of proxies out there too, so what exactly is this going to do?

        This is only a half-hearted attempt, so they can say they prevent the flow of dangerous ideas. The real thing keeping people in check is their standard of living. In recent years lots of people have a better life in China. Especially people in cities. According to reports young Chinese don't really care about Tiananmen, because they can buy stuff which makes them happy.

        The easiest way to control people is turning them into consumers. A consumer don't really care about anything until he can consume what he w

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          This is only a half-hearted attempt, so they can say they prevent the flow of dangerous ideas. The real thing keeping people in check is their standard of living. In recent years lots of people have a better life in China. Especially people in cities. According to reports young Chinese don't really care about Tiananmen, because they can buy stuff which makes them happy.

          The easiest way to control people is turning them into consumers. A consumer don't really care about anything until he can consume what he wants. It's a great way to keep people from thinking.

          For those who haven't noticed: the same thing is happening in the West

          I disagree. The rise of the middle class (ie, the class of consumers) is an important part of every modern democracy. I think the Chinese that don't really care about Tiananmen recognize the corruption of the communist party, but also value the stability (is any government more stable than an oligarchy?) the party brings. As China continues to develop, the rising middle class will focus more and more on political issues while the economic pressures on them lessen. We see the same thing in the US... once the

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by koiransuklaa (1502579)

          According to reports young Chinese don't really care about Tiananmen, because they can buy stuff which makes them happy.

          Well, I've understood some young chinese don't even know that anything happened on June 4th and many others only know the cleaned up version: a small group of extremists tried to bring about civil unrest and the armed forces stopped these illegal activities with the least amount of violence possible. Why would anyone (consumer or not) object to that?

          • ...many others only know the cleaned up version: a small group of extremists tried to bring about civil unrest and the armed forces stopped these illegal activities with the least amount of violence possible.

            few people would realize how exactly, 100% true that statement is.
            While I was living in Korea, i befriended a large number of Chinese ex-pats (who all spoke surprisingly good English), and one night after a few drinks, the topic of Tienanmen came up. they were curious why Westerners were so interested in 'a bunch of bad students that protested'.

            At first it was an argument, "oh, they would never do that, thats just your media twisting the story" then I pulled up youtube and showed them the footage.
            they al

      • The fact is people are lazy, if they can't get to it on first attempt, they might just stop. The goal is not to stop all the internet users, but if it blocks a few, they have reached their goals. Same deal as iPhone firmware updates, ps2 revision updates, wii updates, psp firmware updates, they know there are still hackers, but the goal is make their life hard.
      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Right, because they didn't think to do any blocking on the back hauls that feed phone networks, nor do they have any way to track those users since you know, theres no way they can figure out who used a particular cell phone or anything. Its not like they were smart enough to do the filtering on the connections that leave the country, they just did it at each individual ISP cause that would be way easier to implement and maintain.

        You just found an awesome loophole.

        Not.

  • Retaliation (Score:5, Funny)

    by siloko (1133863) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:45AM (#28182251)
    That's it, I'm going to block China
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by eldavojohn (898314) *

      That's it, I'm going to block China

      I don't know if you're joking or not but if you're not here you go [okean.com] (and other formats [okean.com])!

      Here's a brief explanation on how to do it in Apache [parkansky.com] with Russian and Nigerian IP ranges also. You may be tempted to do what many other people are already doing but remember that language barrier aside, you're blocking your website from 1/6th of the Earth's population.

      • by Bryansix (761547)
        1/6th of the population which are probably not part of your intended audience anyways. So in the end, probably a great idea so long as it's done on a site by site basis and not on an aggregate basis like a whole country blocking another whole country.
      • by asdf7890 (1518587)

        You may be tempted to do what many other people are already doing but remember that language barrier aside, you're blocking your website from 1/6th of the Earth's population.

        How many people in China actually have reasonable access to the Internet? Not a large percentage I'd say given the vast economics gulf that exists between the "top" few levels of the society and the rest. Saying that blocking China is blocking a billion people is daft for that reason alone.

        Also, how many people in China will care? I know the original comment was in jest but your response didn't seem to be, but I really don't see what interest my current sites would hold for your average "Internet capable" r

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Z00L00K (682162)

      Makes sense - the amount of intrusion attempts and spam coming from Chinese servers may make it worth it.

    • back when I ran my own port25 mailserver, I DID block china. every damned bit of it. every netblock I could find. and even ones I discovered.

      discovered? yes, when I got spam (my username base was very tiny and so any dictionary attack was a clear 'hello' from a spam ip addr) I would file that netblock away and block the whole thing. if I felt really mean that day, I'd increase the netblock by a bit to include more and more ;)

      soon I got a nice listing of all the overseas spam ip blocks. I mapped out al

      • I don't manage my own iron anymore, but in my host's spamasssassin config I block everything from *.cn, *.ua, *.hk, *.kz, and *.ru...my control panel UI only allows 5 custom blocks, but those seem to be by far the most offensive TLDs.

  • More widespread? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I am in the UK but currently experiencing disruption to some HTTPS sites. I wonder there is something more widespread going on?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AndrewNeo (979708)
      It's just your government 1984'ing your ISP. Don't worry about it.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sorry, I'll shut that trojan down. I thought you weren't home.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:49AM (#28182309)

    I wish the US would block Twitter too.

    • by gnick (1211984) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:15AM (#28182785) Homepage

      I don't know about blocking Twitter, but my faith in humanity would take a big step up if it went under because everyone decided to ignore it.

      In fact, I'm so frustrated over the matter that I'm going to go blog about it on my MySpace and Facebook profiles!

    • Twitter, like any communications medium, is what you make of it. You could start a blog and write about nothing other than the cute things your cat did today, you could write about topics of earth-shattering importance, or your blog could fall somewhere in the middle. You could Twitter about nothing other than the inane details of your life (cue link to the Penny Arcade strip) or you could use Twitter to connect to and keep in touch with a group of people online. E-mail, web pages, television, etc. They

      • doesn't seinfeld have a patent on that or something?

      • by rynthetyn (618982)

        In a country like China, where everybody has mobile phones but not everyone has computers, a service like Twitter can be immensely useful in helping the free-flow of information. For me, Twitter is a way for me to let friends and family know what I'm up to while I'm living halfway around the world from them, and it's a handy way to keep up with breaking news, but not having it isn't a big deal, I've got plenty of other sources of information. For my friends in China, losing Twitter is losing an important co

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by causality (777677)

        witter, like any communications medium, is what you make of it.

        Twitter isn't a communications medium. The Web is the communications medium. Twitter just prepackages it for you, and you can have any color you want so long as that color is black (i.e. like the first cars).

        You could start a blog and write about nothing other than the cute things your cat did today, you could write about topics of earth-shattering importance, or your blog could fall somewhere in the middle. You could Twitter about nothing ot

        • Twitter isn't a communications medium. The Web is the communications medium. Twitter just prepackages it for you, and you can have any color you want so long as that color is black (i.e. like the first cars).

          By that reasoning, this Slashdot discussion isn't a communications medium either. For that matter, the Web isn't actually a communications medium, since it is built upon The Internet in general. In addition, Twitter encompasses more than just the Web. Some people (like myself) tweet using a desktop c

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SydShamino (547793)

        In case you haven't been following it, Brent Spiner is telling a short story through his Twitter account, one sentence at a time. (Or so says my wife; I don't use those newfangled interwebs 2.0 things.)

      • My kitty update posts are the most popular on my blog, sometimes even garnering a comment!
  • Doesn't it draw more attention to it when these sites are blocked. The imagination usually fills a vacuum with a bigger more damning picture than reality. If they did nothing it would likely be ignored.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Well for twitter they just redirect to a fail whale and no one will notice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SchizoStatic (1413201)
      But alas remember this is the instant information age now. A few days after the anniversary no one will care about it and move onto the next funny video on youtube of cats stuck in a bag.
    • Sure, but theres two things that they would mostly think. Either A) Stupid computer, why won't you work or B) Well, I guess Twitter is down.

      People, especially computer illiterate people are more apt to believe that their ISP sucks, the sites down or they need to upgrade their computer rather then their malevolent communist overlords are trying to block them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by NeoSkandranon (515696)

      They assume the government knows best and it's for their own good, for the most part.

    • Doesn't it draw more attention to it when these sites are blocked.

      You're right! Since when is Bing.com a high-profile website that someone will notice if it's blocked? Microsoft PR strikes again! ;P

  • What are we doing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:53AM (#28182381)
    Why are we buying the products of these fascist dictatorships? Why do we continue to support reigimes of tyrrany?

    Oh yeah, because they make shit on the cheap and we're a nation of greedy slobs with a humane streak which lasts up until that $5 is taken from your pay cheque to buy your "morality token" for the month.

    Flamebait or not, if you buy Chinese goods, you support oppression.
    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:59AM (#28182483)
      Because if no one buys Chinese products the people magically become not oppressed? Just look at the Cuban embargo, didn't do a stupid thing to strike down communism in fact by isolating themselves they haven't been exposed to non-communist ideas.

      All that would happen if we embargoed China is that the people who live in oppression now will live in oppression while starving.
      • by jack2000 (1178961)
        Starving? No. I think china has enough man power to sustain itself...
        • by tsm_sf (545316)
          Starving? No. I think china has enough man power to sustain itself...

          You're assuming that Chinese leadership gives a damn about the peasants. They don't. They never have.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Weezul (52464)

        Nobody will starve. In fact, drastically slowing Chinas economic expansion will prevent them from causing starvation in other poorer countries like Bangladesh & India. Well, the U.S. doesn't have the moral standing for such action, but it'd definitely help poorer people if China slows down.

        Actually, slapping a 100% "trade rebalancing" tariff on Chinese products may be quite sound & legal; well there is a WTO framework for ensuring that your trade is balanced. But most countries first just want to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by causality (777677)

      Why are we buying the products of these fascist dictatorships? Why do we continue to support reigimes of tyrrany? Oh yeah, because they make shit on the cheap and we're a nation of greedy slobs with a humane streak which lasts up until that $5 is taken from your pay cheque to buy your "morality token" for the month. Flamebait or not, if you buy Chinese goods, you support oppression.

      There's things which are "Flamebait" because they're blatantly false and often deliberate distortions of reality.

      Then there's things which are "Flamebait" because they're completely true and people can't accept that due to a number of character flaws and other shortcomings that render them unable to call things what they are or otherwise to deal with reality. The funny thing is, people get a lot more pissy and upset about this one, and try much harder to shut it down or to shout it down (like the pleasa

    • Why are we buying the products of these fascist dictatorships?

      Part of the answer to your first question is also availability. There are some markets where the Chinese goods have such a lock on production that it is nearly impossible to not buy something made in China.

      Sure, you can buy a Chinese made widget for less than an American made widget almost without exception. However, there are times when no amount of money will buy a non-Chinese widget because no such item exists.

      Furthermore, your statement

      products of these fascist dictatoriships

      Is itself an absurd over-simplification of the situation.

      • by causality (777677)

        Not always true. As I said, there are times that you don't have a choice in the matter. Sometimes the only way to purchase the item you need for whatever task is at hand is to purchase a Chinese made version of it. If you don't believe me then take a look through the tool section of your favorite home improvement / hardware / discount / general merchandise store. There are some items that if you need them today, you have no choice but to buy Chinese - and if your choice is to buy Chinese or allow your basem

        • by peragrin (659227)

          If you want a positive spin on outsourcing think of it this way.

          We decided instead of using up our limited resources we would concentrate on using up china's first. Steel,copper,even oil. We are using up the world's resources shipping them here and eventually storing them in easy to access locations(landfills). So whenthe time comes that we need more resources wehave already hogged the important ones, and stored them for future generations.

          So I say buy from china. All your resources belong to us!

          • by causality (777677)

            If you want a positive spin on outsourcing think of it this way.

            We decided instead of using up our limited resources we would concentrate on using up china's first. Steel,copper,even oil. We are using up the world's resources shipping them here and eventually storing them in easy to access locations(landfills). So whenthe time comes that we need more resources wehave already hogged the important ones, and stored them for future generations.

            So I say buy from china. All your resources belong to us!

            I don't know about China specifically, but historically we used to do that by importing raw materials and producing the goods here, which meant we had a fairly strong manufacturing component to our economy. What has changed is that now we seem to favor importing finished goods, because the manufacturing is the part where we'd have to compete with people overseas who will work for near-slave wages. So, I don't quite disagree with you in principle, though I think the implementation of that principle is impo

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sesshomaru (173381)

      Apparently, after the bankruptcy, GM will be making cars in China... [ceoworld.biz]

      I'm not really looking forward to that, I'm not sure why the government decided to waste all our taxpayer money on GM if they knew they were just planning to send most of the jobs to China. But I guess some extremely rich people won't lose as much money as they were going to originally, which makes me feel just swell.

      I guess the people in charge of this, like our car czar, figured that that was what people were concerned about, that some w

    • "We" are not buying products from "fascist dictatorships". Regular businessmen -- Americans, Canadians, Japanese, Germans, etc. -- are buying products from (and selling products to) regular Chinese businessmen. They're not buying from the Chinese state, and they generally don't care what any of this world's authoritarian regimes -- whether Obama's, Jintao's, or someone else's -- are up to so long as they can make an honest living.

      It's highly disingenuous of you to suggest that the Cantonese factories my cli

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There are thousands and thousands of factories run by the PLA or by a direct proxy front man corporation.

        And you know that. Funny you don't mention that. Maybe yours isn't,(how about your official chinese partner, you need one to be in business there, something else you failed to mention) but you know it goes on and a lot of bribery and corruption exists.

        The same political gang that killed tens of millions of their own people is STILL IN CHARGE.

        It is NO DIFFERENT from if the nazis were still in charge in Ge

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gnick (1211984)

      ...if you buy Chinese goods, you support oppression.

      Yeah, but where do you think we get the $$ to buy that Chinese crap? Take a look at our national debt and the debt-holders. We're buying Chinese crap using $$ borrowed from the Chinese. It's a very dysfunctional, but symbiotic, relationship. Look up codependency. And our financial overlords (with whom I do not necessarily agree) seem to think that we need to keep buying this crap to sustain our culture.

      The only solution I see is a huge culture change (but that's terribly difficult to effect - If you c

    • by jcr (53032)

      Why are we buying the products of these fascist dictatorships?

      We aren't. We're buying products made by businesses in China, which are not the government of China.

      Embargoes strengthen criminal regimes. Trade reduces their power.

      -jcr

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        We aren't. We're buying products made by businesses in China, which are not the government of China.

        Except when the businesses are owned by the Chinese military or party apparatchiks. Then it gets blurry.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      SEP field, duh.

      Its somebody else's problem, not mine, makes it easy for my mind to just ignore or not care.

      On that note, you're free to go to China and fight for their rights rather than sitting in your nice comfy chair (which was probably made in China) using your nice computer (which certainly has parts made in China) and wearing cloths made in china.

      But you won't. You'll continue to sit in your chair and use your computer to trumpet how evil this is and how everyone is supporting those evil bastards and

  • by harmonise (1484057) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:54AM (#28182395)

    I suspect that this will have unintended consequences like a Streisand effect. Some people who might not think about the Tiananmen Square incident might wonder why they can't get to certain sites. They'll ask a friend about it who will respond "Maybe because it's the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident." The listener's memory will be refreshed and the chance of people forgetting about Tiananmen Square and the date the incident occurred will be lessened.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MozeeToby (1163751)

      In 2006, the American PBS program "Frontline" broadcast a segment filmed at Peking University, many of whose students participated in the 1989 protests. Four students were shown a picture of the Tank Man, but none of them could identify what was happening in the photo. Some responded that it was a military parade, or an artwork.

      From Wikipedia, but still illustrates the point, young people in China don't know much about the Tienanmen Square incident unless they get it from hearsay or from people abroad. How often does the Kent State incident come up in day to day conversation for you? Would you even know about it if you weren't taught about it in a Modern US History class? How many Americans would look at you confused if you started talking about an incident where the US military shot and killed unarmed US civilians?

      • Well another stark difference is that in China no one gets a song about Tienanmen up on the Top 40 charts either. Sure it's not popular now but I didn't learn about Kent State in a history class, I heard about in that song Ohio by Crosby, Stills and Nash and then read about it later.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kohaku (797652)
        There were 13 casualties in the Kent State shootings, 4 of which were fatal. The Tiananmen square numbers are (officially) 241 deaths, which is probably far smaller than the real number (There have been reports of up to 2400 deaths). I think it's disingenuous to compare Tiananmen and Kent State. Perhaps 9/11 would be a closer analogue? In any case, there was lots of media created about Kent State, and it _IS_ taught in schools.
        • by chuck (477)

          I think it's disingenuous to compare Tiananmen and Kent State. Perhaps 9/11 would be a closer analogue?

          Only if you're completely missing the point, and trying to use the word "disingenuous" to sound smart.

          They were both a government killing their own protesting citizens. How could you miss that? 9/11 isn't analogous to Tiananmen at all!

  • Freedom of expression on the net is a very dangerous thing. If you don't tighly rein in and control social websites, your population starts getting the impression that they don't need a benevolent communist overlord to tighly rein in and control them. We can't have that now, can we?
  • Is this blocking/unblocking done manually or is it based on an automated set of rules? I suppose it might be a state secret how the blocking actually works, but I picture a few people sitting in a room updating some configuration files that says "block the following IP address or domain names". Is that how it works?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by machine321 (458769)

      Configuration files? This is China, where labor is cheap. They have people manually inspect every request as it goes past the firewall.

  • God help us! Now their productivity will double and everything will become cheaper as China takes over the world!

    One a more serious note, I'd think that in a communist framework, it would be reasonable to restrict sites that drain significant amounts of time from your life. The Chinese govt. simply thinks that the benefits are outweighed by the drop in productivity due to social networking sites.

    Although I am against censorship, this is a cultural thing. I can imagine how shocked people in some societies wo

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "in a communist framework"

      Except that the situation in China has nothing to do with communism.
      Communism = stateless, classless society - see the Communist Manifesto.

      "Although I am against censorship, this is a cultural thing."

      It's a cultural thing only among politicians/big business, not among (Chineese) people.

  • Editors, please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by curmudgeous (710771) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:04AM (#28182583)

    "Two days ahead of the Tiananmen Square 'incident'...

    So, slashdot is predicting incidents now? Or should that read, "Two days ahead of the anniversary of..."?

    Yes, I'm picking nits, but the overall quality of journalism seems to be declining on a daily basis. Despite what some here may think, accuracy IS important.

    • With all the bannings perhaps it will spark an social uprising. After all, how can you live life without Twitter?
    • by Kozz (7764)

      Yes, I'm picking nits, but the overall quality of journalism seems to be declining on a daily basis. Despite what some here may think, accuracy IS important.

      And quite frankly, this website is part of new media, and the creators/owners/editors are not trained journalists (if any are, someone please correct me). What's most disgusting is the tripe generated by so many local television newscasters, people who we used to expect brought some kind of journalistic integrity, a reasonable command of their native language, and could avoid the kind of writing that makes us slap our foreheads. Yes, it's true, many tv newscasters in my area probably hate me for my emails

    • by EkriirkE (1075937)
      I was going to say something about kdawson, but I guess I can't just yet....
    • by Xtifr (1323)

      the overall quality of journalism seems to be declining on a daily basis

      Re-he-he-ealy!? So you're suggesting that the quality was higher at some point in the past? I must have missed that day. :)

      Of course, the summary appears to have been corrected (assuming it was wrong in the first place, which isn't much of a stretch); that's is actually pretty impressive for this site. Slashdot has links to fascinating things at times, but it's always been an overgrown teenage nerd blog, despite the fact that the founders are no longer technically teenagers. On the few occasions when th

      • I was speaking of journalism in general, the original summary for this story just gave me an excuse to lash out. Most news sites these days seem to have trimmed editorial staff to the bone and are employing semi-professional writers in general. I usually just roll my eyes, huff and move on, but in this case it pushed me over the edge.

      • A couple people on here have suggested I was in error when I flamed the original posting so I went digging for the original summary. Here it is verbatim:

        An anonymous reader writes "Two days ahead of the Tiananmen Square 'incident' several high profile Internet sites have been blocked in mainland China, these include Twitter.com, Flickr.com, Live.com, and Bing.com. While Internet blocks in mainland China, blocking such high profile sites is unusual. In addition, blog reports suggest even state-owned te
  • has decided China doesn't need any stinking imperialist silly names.
  • As many have pointed out on TFA, Gmail is still OK for the moment and it can be set to collect your Hotmail.

    • I'm pretty sure the Hotmail block is just an extension of the Live/Bing block, which is itself an extension of the YouTube block.

      China doesn't care about free email clients, just YouTube.

  • by vampire_baozi (1270720) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:41AM (#28183245)

    Seriously, almost no Chinese use those sites. Twitter doesn't even have a Chinese language version, and has barely begun to grow in China (though it may, there are already several Chinese clonewares out). Nobody ANYWHERE in the world uses Bing, and the Chinese use QQ, Sohu, Xinlang, or other IM/Portal/Blogging services instead of Live/Blogspot. Flickr is the only one Chinese might even notice, and there are plenty of alternatives.

    The only Chinese that use these (now blocked) services are educated, and probably have decent English, and know how to get around these blocks. The vast majority of Chinese users use other websites, or have alternatives. The contrversial stuff has always been hosted on non-Chinese websites for obvious reasons, and people who want to see it are well aware of how to get around the blocks.

    Far more telling was the 7 hours of downtime Xiaonei went through yesterday for maintanence. They've already been shutting down certain Xiaonei groups and blocking users for doing political stuff, I wonder if the maintanence included any updates to help with censorship?

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Shrug, if I lived there I would probably thank them for blocking such wastes of time. I doubt any intelligent person actually would be upset if Twitter disappeared or Facebook or MySpace or livejournal or blogspot, take your pick.

  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:50AM (#28183397)
    Probably "off topic," but it's interesting that they promised quite a bit in order to be allowed to have the Olympics. Makes me wonder about other promises. Makes me glad to live in the US. :)
  • ... I thought they were the interweb socialism?

  • In a completely unrelated incident, a report published today claims to observe an 80% rise in productivity of Chinese office workers. Here's Jill with the weather.
  • It isnt in the Chinese history books and frowned upon talking about. Now there are good jobs, the internet (censored) and pop culture, to occupy students. These werent really around in China 20 years ago.

    Not so much different in the USA. A couple weeks ago was the 40th anniversary the USA Tianamen- Kent State- when the US military shot college rioters dead. It was barely mentioned in the news and most young people hadnt heard of it.

    Both incidents have iconic images: The civilian blocking the row of t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by joggle (594025)

      You know, there are some significant differences between those two instances:

      1) I can google 'kent state' and quickly find the relevant wikipedia article from work without risk of reprisal (unless my boss sees me goofing off...) even though I'm using a public, static IP address that could easily be tracked to my computer (at least it could be easily tracked if I was going through the great firewall of China). I'd love to see someone in China be able to google 'Tianamen' and be able to click on the wikipedia

    • Now there are good jobs, the internet (censored) and pop culture, to occupy students. These werent really around in China 20 years ago.

      It's not that surprising that the Chinese government is not in favour of youth movements [wikipedia.org] - and in favour of pop culture, to the extent that they allow it.
      Crude summary: The Cultural Revolution [wikipedia.org] was a strategy implemented by Mao Zedong [wikipedia.org], with the help of his wife Jiang Qing [wikipedia.org] to get his career back on track. The Red Guards [wikipedia.org] were recruited from students (I wonder if he got the idea from news reports from the US?) and went around the place with a little red book of Mao quotes. Eventually, Mao had to send in the re

  • GRASS MUD HORSE, Tiananmen, Tuesday (NNN) — BT, Britain's biggest broadband supplier, has thoughtfully averted complete congestion of the Internet by throttling all use of the Internet [today.com] on its cheapest broadband package.

    Customers on the I Can't Believe It's Eight Megabits package have all Internet data flow cut off entirely under its "fair use" clause during "peak periods," defined as being between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 11:59pm. "However," said a customer service telephone voice menu, "the

  • Selective Memories (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VShael (62735) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @12:20PM (#28183803) Journal

    Yes, we all think it's terrible that the majority of the youth in China don't even know about the Tianamen Square "incident"

    But within America itself, how many of you know of, or recognise the following incidents?

    1) US Government (ATF/FBI) burns to death 76 people in their homes, and the FBI lies about it for six years, when it finally comes clean. No one is ever held accountable.

    2) 4 plain-clothed officers shoot an unarmed man standing in his doorway. They shoot a total of 41 times. He is hit 19 times. After the officers are convicted, the court orders them re-tried, and the second time around they are all acquitted.

    3) Unarmed students at an anti-war protest, are shot at by the National Guard. 4 die, 9 are injured. Again, no accountability. No convictions.

    • by wall0159 (881759)

      I think it's fascinating that you've been moderated "redundant" -- I wonder what went through that person's mind?

      Is criticism of one's government now unpatriotic?

      • by VShael (62735)

        I wonder what went through that person's mind?

        I'd hazard a guess that it was something along the lines of "Why do you hate America?" (c) Fox 2009.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FleaPlus (6935)

      But within America itself, how many of you know of, or recognise the following incidents?

      1) US Government (ATF/FBI) burns to death 76 people in their homes, and the FBI lies about it for six years, when it finally comes clean. No one is ever held accountable.

      2) 4 plain-clothed officers shoot an unarmed man standing in his doorway. They shoot a total of 41 times. He is hit 19 times. After the officers are convicted, the court orders them re-tried, and the second time around they are all acquitted.

      3) Unarmed students at an anti-war protest, are shot at by the National Guard. 4 die, 9 are injured. Again, no accountability. No convictions.

      Um, all three incidents were front page stories on the news (i.e. not suppressed) and the last one has been covered in every American history class I've ever taken.

      • by VShael (62735)

        Well then the history you've learned is very different from the history I've learned.

        For one thing, how can a 6 year admitted cover-up, be headline news when the incident happened?

        Still, if you say that you were taught these 3 incidents in school, I'm impressed. I know quite a few people (not long out of school) who couldn't identify the incidents from the information provided.

        • by FleaPlus (6935)

          For one thing, how can a 6 year admitted cover-up, be headline news when the incident happened?

          Ok, I actually agree that Waco should get more attention, although I see it as more of a coverup of government ineptitude than anything else.

          Still, if you say that you were taught these 3 incidents in school, I'm impressed. I know quite a few people (not long out of school) who couldn't identify the incidents from the information provided.

          Sure, if you describe them in an obtuse fashion nobody will have a clue what you're talking about, just like how many people wouldn't immediately get that a man "nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change" is referring to Jesus. However, if you just say "Waco" or "Kent State" everybody will know what you're talking about, and ma

  • ... and nothing of value was lost.

    (Ok I was only talking about Hotmail and Twitter, but if we had to lose Flickr in order to get rid of Twitter, well, I don't know about you, but I would be tempted!)

  • Censure is a bad thing, and stupid too - but I think one has to try to be a little bit more nuanced than simply condemning them for being Chinese and Communists.

    Looking back at the last few decades, I think it is clear that the Chinese government are working towards an ever more open society; but it would be madness just letting go and changing everything overnight. There is a significant part of the population that are against that openness, and whether we or the Chinese government like it or not, it takes

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