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Censorship Government The Internet News

Chinese Government To Mandate PC Censorware 189

Posted by timothy
from the top-downers-score-a-point dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Chinese government has sponsored the development of a censorware package called 'Green Dam Youth Escort'; basically a PC-resident IP blocker that gets regular updates of banned sites from a central government site. There are now plans afoot to mandate that all new PCs sold in China be shipped with this software. The rationale behind this is to 'stop the poisoning of children's minds.'"
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Chinese Government To Mandate PC Censorware

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  • More propaganda (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:26AM (#28249575)

    Maybe it's just me but it seems like there is around-the-clock negative news coverage of China from western media outlets. When was the last time you read a positive news article about China? I think we feed our people just as much propaganda as the Chinese government does, if not more.

  • by Jawn98685 (687784) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:30AM (#28249603)
    You are confusing communism with some form (several, actually) of government. A common mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:49AM (#28249721)

    China is caught in a trap where the US is concerned. They own so much of our debt that they cannot afford to take actions that would harm our economy. Whenever our government feels like deficit spending, China throws good money after bad trying to protect their considerable investment. I'm constantly amazed at how okay our elected officials are with this arrangement since it will eventually lead to an economic catastrophe for both countries. The mindset always seems to be that it's a problem the next generation of politicians will have to deal with.

  • I cannot imagine a concerted effort of Chinese hackers or those in sympathy with the Chinese people

    As I wrote in another comment here, I suspect the Chinese people are generally in favour of censorship. Though people in the West may want to paint the Chinese masses as a suffering people yearning to break free of the yoke of oppressive government, such a portrayal may not stand up to facts. Indeed, just last week in the International Herald Tribune (the international version of the New York Times) there was an article about how Chinese students nowadays think Tiananmen-square style civic commitment needs to be nipped in the bud, because it would threaten China's economic development that is making them very happy.

  • by eugene2k (1213062) on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:12AM (#28249971) Homepage

    Communism doesn't exist in China, nor did it ever exist in any of the communist-controlled states past or present. What you called communism is actually authoritarianism [wikipedia.org]. And this is not the merits of communism that are discussed, it is in fact the actual circumstances.

  • I'm confused why you're attacking me personally. The point I am making is very simple and accurate, no matter how you attempt to change the topic: No private corporation in China does anything without the express blessing of the Chinese government. This is relevant as it pertains to a private company maintaining their censorware, and I have no interest in discussing the Chinese social system with you beyond that, because I don't feel like having people attack me for having a different point of view than them today.

    I am making a factual observation, not a value judgement.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:34AM (#28250173)

    "The state controls commerce and corporations" is not the core idea of socialism. The core idea is "power to the people"; state control just inevitably follows from such ideals.

    On the other hand, socialist ideals dictate that the state and the people should be as near the same thing as they can reasonably get, which hasn't really ever been properly implemented in any country loudly proclaiming itself socialist.

  • by Fuzi719 (1107665) on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:39AM (#28250215)
    What about local and state governments right here in the USA that have required the same thing on computers used by "the children" ("Think of the children!")? How about even attempts by federal legislators to do the same thing? People who spout off the typical "those horrible Chinese!" lines usually neglect to see the very similar tactics used right here in the good ol' USA. And the US media typically fails to report what happens here, but readily paints a negative picture of life in China.
  • by HisMother (413313) on Monday June 08, 2009 @09:50AM (#28250379)

    No private corporation in China does anything without the express blessing of the Chinese government.

    This is quite different from the system in the US, in which the government does nothing without the express blessing of a private corporation.

  • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Monday June 08, 2009 @10:09AM (#28250567)

    You said;

    It seems that there are ways around this for both the producers and consumers and that this is just the trend of China being Nanny State China.

    This is a very major problem. I don't know why you used the word just. This is a very disturbing trend that started with the Great Firewall of China.

    It's sad and pathetic that foreign governments don't mind this censorship as long as it coincides with their own politically correct tastes:

    ...says a foreign industry official familiar with the plan. "I don't think anyone would oppose the (government's) stated objective" of blocking pornographic and violent content, "but people are really concerned about the way it's being implemented," he said.

    Like the article you posted earlier on "rape-ware" games, it appears that people are more than willing to censor if there are scape-goat exceptions in the witch-hunting memes of their censorship. Of course all of these political organizations (like The Ethics Organization of Computer Software) are unethical. It will always be easy to spot morally dubious political groups, because their calling card will be children, and their bandwagon will be the Moral Majority.

  • by Evil Shabazz (937088) on Monday June 08, 2009 @10:20AM (#28250691)

    Communism doesn't exist in China, nor did it ever exist in any of the communist-controlled states past or present. What you called communism is actually authoritarianism [wikipedia.org]. And this is not the merits of communism that are discussed, it is in fact the actual circumstances.

    "Highly concentrated and centralized power structures," in which political power is generated and maintained by a "repressive system that excludes potential challengers" and uses political parties and mass organizations to "mobilize people around the goals of the government"

    Gee, that sounds suspiciously like the USA?

  • by wisty (1335733) on Monday June 08, 2009 @10:27AM (#28250789)

    Socialism is state owned "means of production" - the state owns the industry.

    Communism is the next logical step - everything is communally owned.

    "Power to the people" is not exclusive to Marxism. It's also in most humanist systems. Democracy is "political power to the people", and it predates Marx by quite a few years. Epicurus and a number of other Greeks had some thoughts on it as well. Lots of Renaissance thinkers, Luther (who broke away from the Catholic church, in part to bring religious power to the people), and quite a few others.

    Libertarians and Ayn Randists will also declare that their goal is "power to the people", and they aren't communists by any stretch of the imagination.

    "Power to the people through the common ownership of economic assets" is communism. But of course, everyone wants to take the moral high ground and say they are the only one standing up for the little man. "Power to Big Brother" is never a popular meme (unless Big Brother is portrayed as the lessor of two evils).

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday June 08, 2009 @10:31AM (#28250825)
    Hope you were trying to get a +5 funny mod, but seriously how many PCs do we ship to China? Heck, how many American companies really sell PCs? You have Dell and HP and thats about it. I don't think the average Chinese person is on a Dell or HP computer, plus where do you think all the components are made? China. Its trvial to put together a computer whenever you have a CPU, HD, Motherboard, all the cables, RAM, Case, PSU, etc. right there.

    Plus, despite what you might think, even the Chinese people who have come to the US to study, can get around censorship, etc. Think that its necessary to have a authoritarian government to continue the growth of China. Sure, it would be good if China became free, but many Chinese are opposed to the idea both because of brainwashing by a party-controlled media and the recent success in China economic wise while the "free world" is suffering a major economic meltdown.
  • by T Murphy (1054674) on Monday June 08, 2009 @11:04AM (#28251219) Journal
    As far as I've heard, the sentiment in China is that democracy is too weak and leads to civil unrest, so the authoritarian rule is accepted as a needed form of government. I completely agree with you that the average Chinese person is content without democracy or what we see as basic rights. I am afraid, though, that the comparison in their mind is a choice of a stable authoritarian rule, or an unstable democracy. I would be curious what the general opinion would be if they were guaranteed equal stability with either form of government.
  • by howardd21 (1001567) on Monday June 08, 2009 @11:07AM (#28251265) Homepage
    What you say sounds kind of witty, but really? Is that true? Would Chrysler agree with you? How about the banks that did not want the TARP funds in the first place, want to pay back the TARP funds, but the government said no. As long as these companies are tied to any government funding, and in many cases there has been plenty to say they have no choice but do so, the government is telling them what to do. We call that regulation, and it is on the increase.
  • Libertarians and Ayn Randists will also declare that their goal is "power to the people", and they aren't communists by any stretch of the imagination.

    Their "power to the people" is just a demagogic smokescreen to hide the fact that, like any right-wing political party, they really mean " power to the more powerful people/croporations ", which has been the norm for unevolved societies throughout History.

  • by pedrop357 (681672) on Monday June 08, 2009 @12:14PM (#28252023)

    Basically, the same group of people who take the position that nearly every policy and action taken towards people under 18 is A-OK because people under 18 "have no rights" also seem to have no problem saddling that same group of people with huge amounts of unrequested debt.

  • by westlake (615356) on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:06PM (#28254385)

    This is quite different from the system in the US, in which the government does nothing without the express blessing of a private corporation.

    This is neither Insightful or clever. It is lazy, anti-historical nonsense.

    The Roman Catholic Church reaches the voter - and the politician - on more elemental level than GM.

    But over the years the church has lost substantial - hard-fought - debates over divorce, birth control, abortion, end-of-life and - in some states - on marriage for homosexuals.

    The system is designed to make very difficult for any one individual or institution to control all the levers of power.

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