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Congress Mulls China's Networked Authoritarianism 156

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the taking-notes-for-our-version dept.
eldavojohn writes "Rebecca MacKinnon tipped her hand about her congressional statements on China and how much Americans are invested in China's censorship, delivered today at a hearing on 'China's Information Control Practices and the Implications for the United States.' In an attempt to describe what China is pioneering, she coins the term 'networked authoritarianism.' Of most concern was Baidu, which has two Americans on its board of directors (out of five) as well as a lot of funding from American investors and mutual funds. From her testimony (PDF): 'As I have described in my testimony, the Chinese government has transferred much of the cost of censorship to the private sector. The American investment community has so far been willing to fund Chinese innovation in censorship technologies and systems without complaint or objection. Under such circumstances, Chinese industry leaders have little incentive and less encouragement to resist government demands that often contradict even China's own laws and constitution.' Is Congress genuinely concerned or are they just curious how they can make 'networked authoritarianism' work for them?"
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Congress Mulls China's Networked Authoritarianism

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  • Congress Is Right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Haffner (1349071) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:03AM (#32744840)
    Oh man, I can't wait until we get networked authoritarianism too! That internet killswitch idea was a step in the right direction but this is so much better!
    • by OldHawk777 (19923) *

      US/EU politicians and C*Os will make 'networked authoritarianism' work for them, because of religious-patriotic needs/fears of the clueless semi-illiterate many.

  • Both (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:09AM (#32744954)

    Is Congress genuinely concerned or are they just curious how they can make "networked authoritarianism" work for them?"

    I thought it was pretty clear at this point, our elected officials are two-faced pricks, whining about freedom everywhere else while doing everything they can to ruin it at home to "protect children" or "stop tourists".

    • Re:Both (Score:5, Funny)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:12AM (#32745026) Journal

      "stop tourists"

      So the Gulf oil spill was an inside job? Senator Robert Byrd threatened to talk, that's why he had to go. It's all starting to make sense now!

      • Re:Both (Score:5, Insightful)

        by elucido (870205) * on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:42AM (#32745538)

        "stop tourists"

        So the Gulf oil spill was an inside job? Senator Robert Byrd threatened to talk, that's why he had to go. It's all starting to make sense now!

        I don't have any evidence to support any of those conspiracies and neither do you. So why bring that up? To discredit me? Did I reveal too much of the truth?

        This is the problem. We hide the truth to maintain a false reality. We maintain the false reality to keep young naive kids believing, hoping, having faith in government and it's power. Government does not exist to for any reason other than to gain power just as corporations only exist to profit. Accept it.

        If you accept it you can still recognize that governments are essential. Let's just not kid ourselves and lie to ourselves to convince ourselves that our government is perfect, or that our government has some sort of divine ideology, or that it's anything more than an entity that was created for, designed for the sole purpose of winning wars. It's essentially a war machine.

        • This is the problem. We hide the truth to maintain a false reality. We maintain the false reality to keep young naive kids believing, hoping, having faith in government and it's power. Government does not exist to for any reason other than to gain power just as corporations only exist to profit. Accept it.

          No, the problem is that people like you attempt to summarize a complex and flawed system as existing "for any reason other than to gain power", then implying that anyone who disagrees with you is out of to

      • Senator Robert Byrd threatened to talk, that's why he had to go.

        You're cutting it kind of close in being "too soon" with a comment like that. It's barely been 22.4 years since Sen. Byrd passed away.

    • by elucido (870205) * on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:33AM (#32745368)

      The US Government must win. Lives are on the line. If the US Government loses than many people protected by the US Government could be killed. The US Government therefore cares only about winning wars and battles. The easiest way to win is to maximize control over land, sea, air, information, human resources, etc.

      I don't particularly like this fact but it's just how it is. Winning the war is all they care about and in some cases they don't even care about that. Winning is defined as winning militarily which means having the most power. This is not the same thing as having the most liberty or protecting the Constitution. Politics are about power distribution, war is about power distribution, money is about power distribution, and to win you must have might.

      • Western democratically elected governments have checks and balances put in place to prevent them from "being solely about war".

        There is a reason why Hitler for instance put away with the Weimar republic before he engaged in war preparations.

        Many of the numerous wars the US fights and fought since its inception are nothing but a testament to how much these checks and balances have been failing the US republic. To extrapolate from this example to all other governments is a fallacy.

        But I give you that - if yo

        • by elucido (870205) *

          Western democratically elected governments have checks and balances put in place to prevent them from "being solely about war".

          There is a reason why Hitler for instance put away with the Weimar republic before he engaged in war preparations.

          Many of the numerous wars the US fights and fought since its inception are nothing but a testament to how much these checks and balances have been failing the US republic. To extrapolate from this example to all other governments is a fallacy.

          But I give you that - if you limit yourself to dictatorships and absolute monarchies you're statement about these forms of governments being primarily about war is generally true.

          If there were checks and balances where is the check and balance on tortures? On secret prisons? On assassinations? There are no "human rights" and there are no "checks and balances." The US government is a war machine whether it's a Republic or something else. It doesn't matter who you vote for, losing is never going to be an option and national security trumps all concerns.

          You can have a Republic or even a Democracy and the military still is going to claim it needs to do certain things to win the war or

      • Cuz I'd like to know when it's ok to stop living in fear and handing complete control over to the government. Or is that a national security secret?

        • by elucido (870205) *

          Cuz I'd like to know when it's ok to stop living in fear and handing complete control over to the government. Or is that a national security secret?

          Remember the Axis of evil? Thats who we are at war with.

    • Chinese influence around the globe concerns them. If China can control information in China then the USA can't control information in China. It's a matter of which country has the control not a matter of whether one country or another believes in having it. They both want it and are fighting over who controls information just as they fight over who controls land, sea, air, money, and everything else. And that is what governments were invented for.

      Governments are war machines.

    • "stop tourists"

      Yes, lets stop the tourist scourge. (?)

    • by fishexe (168879)

      I thought it was pretty clear at this point, our elected officials are two-faced pricks, whining about freedom everywhere else while doing everything they can to ruin it at home to "protect children" or "stop tourists".

      Either you mean "stop terrorists", or your profound logic went way over my head.

  • in this thread (Score:5, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:26AM (#32745238) Homepage Journal

    will be a bunch of whines about their government selling out its principles to corporate influence, and how nothing can stop chinese policy, and this is our future, and we live in a corporatocracy...

    and every single person making that comment, modding that comment up, or reading and nodding their heads ARE PART OF THE FUCKING PROBLEM

    believe the world can be better. believe it. but if you only have that same tired easy typical empty cynicism that things are only getting worse, or that none of this situation can be changed YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM

    yes, corporations and authoritarianism threaten your freedoms. the only question is: what the fuck are YOU going to do about it? if it is nothing but whine and ACCEPT THE STATUS QUO, then you are part of the fucking problem with what is wrong with this world. YOU ARE

    there will always be threats to liberty and freedom. always, forever more. the existence of your liberties is a constant maintenance problem, forever. it is never, and never was, a concept that is fought for once, and then never worried about again. so now it falls on your shoulders form previous generations who actually fought for the legal status quo you enjoy. what are you fucking going to do about it?

    the only question as to how far threats to your freedom goes is how far those who wish to defend the notion of liberty will push back. but if you don't push back, you just fucking whine and complain and accept with the typical lazy easy pessism and cynicism, and you want to know where your freedom went,

    look in the fucking mirror

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So I guess what YOU decided to DO about the problem is whine and bitch about the people who whine and bitch about the problem? That's definitely a huge step up over whining and bitching about the problem, although it falls significantly short of what I've decided to do about it, which is whine and bitch about the people who whine and bitch about the people who whine and bitch about the problem. Don't worry though, pretty soon someone will start whining and bitching about my whining and bitching, and as so

      • Spot on. Further, I think that the privatization of this whining and bitching is at fault. We need to create a United States Department of Whining and Bitching at the cabinet level, with a Secretary of Whining and Bitching reporting to the President about the current status of whining and bitching in the nation at large. Only when whining and bitching is being actively ignored at the highest levels will those hypocritical fucktards who whine and bitch about others who whine and bitch finally be satisfied.
    • by elucido (870205) * on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:39AM (#32745480)

      Governments have military objectives. These objectives could be to secure the middle east. To win the war in Afganastan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan etc. To protect Isreal. To isolate and defeat North Korea. To beat the Soviets.

      It has nothing to do with principles. Principles are useful to help you win. Principles are a tactic, a means to an end rather than an end in itself. The only principle is to win. Winning means to protection national security. To maintain super power status. To protect the national interest. This usually means to control global resources, to control information, to control land, sea, air, and to maintain control over all assets.

      It's fine if the government thinks this way but it's not right for the government to lie to it's own people, even it's own soldiers about why they fight. It's only the exceptionally smart or exceptionally experienced who figure out how it really works. It's not about principles and all about power. Nationalist vs Nationalist is what it's about. The US Nation against the Russian or Iran or North Korea or China or whomever challenges US global dominance. It's that simple.

      • and cynicism is a fine philosophy until you figure out that principles actually do exist, because some people actually believe in them, and these people are the only ones who ever make a difference or matter

        everyone else is as you describe: parasites playing the system, the status quo, stasis. but if the world is nothing but parasites, and no host, then the parasites die: nothing gets better, natural decay leads us to worse, and the parasites certainly won't labor to make our situation any better

        so understand your place in the world because of the words you have written: a parasite, and understand why your life has no meaning or dignity

        or understand there is no pride or happiness or anything of value in what you believe, and stop being such a fucking parasite

        • Governments do not have principles. Governments are war machines. Corporations are profit machines. The employees and soldiers have principles but thats for their personal lives and not for their work life.

          You can have principles, just keep them to yourself and share them in your private life. In your public life or corporate life principles don't really exist. It's all about winning.

          • so many people who believe "this is the way life is" actually believe "this is the way MY life is"

            the boundaries and limitations they perceive on themselves, they think apply to other people. they don't

            what principles you believe in matters. for example: ghosts don't exist. but if you believe in ghosts, it alters your behavior, and therefore, your belief in ghosts matters. if enough people believe in ghosts, human society (not the natural world, but we're not talking about that: define your terms) is altered to match this

            human society is self-emergent phenomenon. it is bound only by what people believe, not just natural laws. this makes it very powerful. if i believe in clothing, cities, electrical wires, court systems... then this is what i will live in, instead of a cave. this applies to technology... and principles of society

            if you believe in something like, say, human dignity, that matters. you can say human dignity doesn't exist, and that's true, according to mother nature. she'll kill you in the most brutal sudden insulting ways, and carry on in a blink, your entire existence a forgotten joke. but in the realm of human society, belief in human dignity alters behavior such that human dignity becomes a REAL (in the bounds of human society) concept. people grieve. they write songs about your passing, they build pyramids: human dignity is a principle, and its effects are palpable, and so it matters

            there also exists cynics, like yourself. they don't alter society, as a consequence of their own beliefs in not mattering. they live in the shadows, feeding off the positive efforts of others. they won't contribute: they don't believe in contributing to causes, but they're happy for the clothing, the cities, the electrical wires, the sense of justice, the notion of freedom, the human conscience, that others full of belief labored to build into edifices of human society. they're dead weight, they're parasites. they'll say your life has no meaning, but they won't apply that principle to themselves. they still love to live, a life that supposedly has no meaning, according to their words: hypocrites

            those laboring under beliefs and principles are defining human society are actually making substantial differences. while those who simply sit there and deny that the effort matters in the end, only define the terms under which they themselves don't matter in the end

            what you believe in comes to define your reality. so if you believe in nothing, you define your existence as nothing (but not my existence). your lack of faith and belief does not limit me, only you. meaning is a proof positive venture. so if you put nothing positive forth, your meaning is emptiness. that you have chosen, not me. but if i state my meaning as something that other people can understand and grasp and coordinate with me, then our meaning in life becomes the fruit of efforts laboring under a system of belief that we define. and that becomes real. the pyramids: someone built them, because someone believed in them. this boundary of belief, or lack thereof, is the only real limitation we labor in our entire lives. that you choose to believe in nothing, and do nothing, means you leave behind nothing... but the pyramids still exist. because someone believed in them. and your lack of belief did not negate them. you've only negated anything you could have done yourself

            that's your place in this world: please understand that the callous limitations you have defined in human society are only limitations on your life. but not on mine. you've described the terms in which your life is empty and without meaning, but you haven't defined the terms under which my life does have meaning. and in the end, i'm the only one who matters, because i leave something positive that others can carry on and invest in further, and so, many generations down the road, you have tremendous societal constructs that millions live under in belief in, whether they be notions of liberty, generosity, freedom, fair play, or any other positive be

            • by elucido (870205) *

              so many people who believe "this is the way life is" actually believe "this is the way MY life is"

              There are no government principles. individuals have principles. This is why collectivist government is so dangerous.

              the boundaries and limitations they perceive on themselves, they think apply to other people. they don't

              I wasn't talking about people, I was talking about government.

              what principles you believe in matters. for example: ghosts don't exist. but if you believe in ghosts, it alters your behavior, and therefore, your belief in ghosts matters. if enough people believe in ghosts, human society (not the natural world, but we're not talking about that: define your terms) is altered to match this

              My personal beliefs have nothing to do with the behavior of governments. Governments aren't run by personal beliefs.

              human society is self-emergent phenomenon. it is bound only by what people believe, not just natural laws. this makes it very powerful. if i believe in clothing, cities, electrical wires, court systems... then this is what i will live in, instead of a cave. this applies to technology... and principles of society

              Government is not the place to express principles. Hitler tried that and we see the result of this. Governments are only good at war.

              if you believe in something like, say, human dignity, that matters. you can say human dignity doesn't exist, and that's true, according to mother nature. she'll kill you in the most brutal sudden insulting ways, and carry on in a blink, your entire existence a forgotten joke. but in the realm of human society, belief in human dignity alters behavior such that human dignity becomes a REAL (in the bounds of human society) concept. people grieve. they write songs about your passing, they build pyramids: human dignity is a principle, and its effects are palpable, and so it matters

              I don't believe in torture. I would never torture as an individual. Governments don'

              • you don't even understand that what you complain about is the only thing that makes your life possible

                without government, there is no civilization. without civilization, there is no little earnest you tapping away at a computer describing government in hilariously stilted terminology

                i understand that you fear government. you have a nice list of downsides, all of which are real and i do not deny and i can add to even

                now i'd like you to be intellectually honest and examine the upside of government, which thro

                • by elucido (870205) *

                  you don't even understand that what you complain about is the only thing that makes your life possible

                  without government, there is no civilization. without civilization, there is no little earnest you tapping away at a computer describing government in hilariously stilted terminology

                  i understand that you fear government. you have a nice list of downsides, all of which are real and i do not deny and i can add to even

                  now i'd like you to be intellectually honest and examine the upside of government, which through defect in intelligence, perception, or due to massive propaganda, you currently fail to conceive or understand

                  When did I say I was anti-government? or anti-civilization? Of course I fear a government that tortures and kills people. Just as anybody in this world would.

                  The upside of government is that without government we would disintegrate into tribal warfare, clan warfare, and gang warfare. There really is no better option.

                  But it is the same situation that created federal government, that creates the UN.

                  • what problem do you have with these entities that somehow would be better if they didn't exist?

                    i take it you somehow magically believe if there were no feds or no un, whatever you hate that they are doing, wouldn't continue to get done

                    truth, moron: whatever it is that you hate that the feds or the un is doing, would still happen in a world without the feds or the un. except now would be even less recourse to fix whatever it is you hate they are doing

                    • by elucido (870205) *

                      what problem do you have with these entities that somehow would be better if they didn't exist?

                      i take it you somehow magically believe if there were no feds or no un, whatever you hate that they are doing, wouldn't continue to get done

                      truth, moron: whatever it is that you hate that the feds or the un is doing, would still happen in a world without the feds or the un. except now would be even less recourse to fix whatever it is you hate they are doing

                      When did I say these entities should not exist?
                      Yes the federal government is too big and intrusive but I never said it shouldn't exist. I don't think you understand libertarianism. It is not libertarians belief that the feds should not exist, it's that the feds should stick to what they are good at, and thats winning wars.

                      You are working with a strawman argument based on stuff I've never said. I never said that the UN shouldn't exist. I never said that governments should exist. Just like I wouldn't say corp

                    • yeah, great ideas

                      you're truly a modern statesman, you got it all figured out, it's so simple and pat

                      (rolls eyes)

                    • by elucido (870205) *

                      yeah, great ideas

                      you're truly a modern statesman, you got it all figured out, it's so simple and pat

                      (rolls eyes)

                      Anybody who doesnt agree with you must be a retard? Figures you'd make a statement like that.

              • The people who try to change the world are the first people to be hunted down by the inquisition.

                And that's when the game gets fun. ;)

          • ...?

            Okay, so why the National Park Service? Is that where we hide the nuclear missiles?

            You're making the mistake of concluding that since governments wage war, that's all they do. Governments exist to manage shared resources. Ten people live on a lake, and one day, one of them decides to start draining it so he can sell the water. The other nine get together and stop him, and everybody decides to agree that nobody exclusively owns the lake. Voila. A new government is born.

            Just because the military is

            • by elucido (870205) *

              ...?

              Okay, so why the National Park Service? Is that where we hide the nuclear missiles?

              You're making the mistake of concluding that since governments wage war, that's all they do. Governments exist to manage shared resources. Ten people live on a lake, and one day, one of them decides to start draining it so he can sell the water. The other nine get together and stop him, and everybody decides to agree that nobody exclusively owns the lake. Voila. A new government is born.

              Just because the military is a shared resource doesn't mean it's the only one. It's just the only one you're thinking about right now.

              But why do we need federal government to do that? The UN could do it, a big NGO could do it, why the federal government? And even when the federal government does it, it's not designed for it.

              • But why do we need federal government to do that? The UN could do it, a big NGO could do it, why the federal government? And even when the federal government does it, it's not designed for it.

                Because the Federal Government is beholden to the people who own the resources, namely us. I don't get to elect the people at the UN, and NGOs don't answer to me. Even if I did get to elect people at the UN, my interests as an American are poorly represented by a large world government. The resources here belong to

                • by elucido (870205) *

                  Because the Federal Government is beholden to the people who own the resources, namely us.

                  Maybe in a perfect democracy but thats not what we have. The US Government is owned by whomever controls the money and whoever owns the treasury bonds. The US citizens do not own the treasury bonds and are tax payers/soldiers at best for the people, entities and nations who do own the treasury bonds. What this means is that Americans do not own those resources, those resources are owned by whomever the US Government owes money to. How do you think the US Government will pay the debt?

                  I don't get to elect the people at the UN, and NGOs don't answer to me.

                  And neither does the US

        • by mjwx (966435)

          and cynicism is a fine philosophy until you figure out that principles actually do exist,

          But what you describe isn't cynicism, it's pessimism and I'd say as a philosophy it's worked OK for the Russian people for a few hundred years. Cynicism is the idea that nothing is ever as good as it is made out to be, pessimism is the idea that nothing is good.

          To elaborate,
          Pessimism is "I can't believe that no matter what you show me".
          Cynicism is "I don't believe that until I see evidence".

          The idea that peopl

    • Nice. If I had mod points I'd give them.

    • Although I agree with your sentiments, I don't see a way to implement them. I mean the war on drugs is a direct assault on personal liberty and those that try and defend their rights are assaulted. I'm not for murder, but people who find drugs to be acceptable and then are confronted by authority who then defend themselves are considered murders and villains; however they are just practicing what you preach. In a psychotic way the drug cartels are defenders of liberty, but you wouldn't advocate us taking
      • addiction is bars inside the mind. in orwell's deepest darkest fantasies he couldn't derive a worse authoritarian government that destroys more freedom than drug addiction does... well, unless he had that government forcing people to use heroin or meth. drug use has destroyed more freedom in this world than the entire history of human government

        the fight against drugs is the fight for freedom, and like all fights for freedom, its a maintenance function, and it will never end

        yes, some people freely choose to

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jc42 (318812)

      yes, corporations and authoritarianism threaten your freedoms. the only question is: what the fuck are YOU going to do about it?

      Well, personally, I intend to continue doing what I (and a few thousand others, many of whom are friends of mine) have been doing: I'll continue to find ways to develop the Net into something that, as John Gilmore so elegantly put it, treats censorship as packet damage and routes around it. This approach can be (and has been) done at all levels of the hardware and software stack.

  • we have a new CIO from the US. First thing: all routers and switches to be from one certain US company.

    '

    Next thing all PCs to be from one US company, as well as servers etc..

    - ever heard of a Trojan boot loader?

    there was once a nice article in popular science describing a made-up Xerox making Super8 images of all photocopies

    which was rented to the USSR embassy. ( and they did not say to whom else )

    -

    Think they stopped doing this?

  • For the ethical investor, there are two possible responses to this problem. One is divestment from all ethically challenging situations.

    OK, I'll have to pull my money out of all investments because I can find an ethical problem with everything. That doesn't server me. Selfish? Tell me that when I'm older and on government aid - your tax money - because I don't have a pot to piss in.

    The other is engagement and advocacy, using financial leverage to work for positive change in industry practices and even government regulation.

    Nobody will listen to a nobody with only a few thousand dollars in their mutual funds. They won't even listen to someone with a few million invested. Giant multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations really don't have to listen to anyone.

    How much business i

    • by mckinnsb (984522)

      For the ethical investor, there are two possible responses to this problem. One is divestment from all ethically challenging situations.

      OK, I'll have to pull my money out of all investments because I can find an ethical problem with everything. That doesn't server me. Selfish? Tell me that when I'm older and on government aid - your tax money - because I don't have a pot to piss in.

      Let's just cut to the quick here, RE: your comment title. She isn't referring to the "little people", or individual inves

  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:34AM (#32745402) Homepage

    I've been saying this same essential thing for years, though instead of calling it "networked authoritarianism" what I've called it is "cyberpunk corporate feudalism".

    The corporations control everything in today's world. Sure, the governments still have their military, but corporations operate within the nation states largely autonomously and often in partially parasitic relationships: if the corporation doesn't like the environment, it leaves.

    Corporate relationships change much in the same way as nation-states and fiefdoms did during the Middle Ages: smaller gets absorbed by larger, larger breaks into smaller, and the larger ones fight against each other - but for everyone looking on, nothing substantial really tends to change.

    States, and the people living within them, don't really have much (if any) sway over these corporations. They operate under their own rules (only in so much as they don't get caught). In essence, they're operating as the countries of the later Middle Ages did towards the Holy See - except the State is God. They'll do whatever they can get away with, and if the state finds out or protests, they'll just leave - or take over.

    • The corporations and government go together as hand in glove. The corporation is merely the glove and the government the hand that controls the glove. The corporation's CEO very well could be a spy for some government. So you wonder why some corporations don't care about the American people? Maybe because they are owned and controlled by foreign powers.

      The rest of what you say is correct. But it's economic espionage, economic warfare, corporate warfare, and the dollar is the ultimate weapon at this time.

    • by khallow (566160)

      The corporations control everything in today's world. Sure, the governments still have their military, but corporations operate within the nation states largely autonomously and often in partially parasitic relationships: if the corporation doesn't like the environment, it leaves.

      This again. Here's my take. What is the ultimate corporation? Has the most people under its sway, most power, and the most assets? It's a government. I don't know why you insist on speaking of "corporations" rather than "governments" when it's clear that the latter is the problem (at least when you speak of groups of people controlling other groups of people, most corporations are pretty harmless).

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        Corporations have become the invisible hands that control the governments. We're not talking so much about The Coca Cola Bottling Company, here. We're talking about corporations like:

        Exxon Mobil
        Monsanto
        General Motors
        Nestle
        JP Morgan & Chase
        AT&T
        Verizon
        Microsoft
        WalMart

        Sure, these corporations (and ones like them) are the biggest targets of anti-capitalist sentiments. But these guys have incredible sway at the local level (far dwarfing the political power of a medium-sized city, to be certain) as well a

        • by khallow (566160)

          Corporations have become the invisible hands that control the governments.

          Uh huh. That explains stuff like cap and trade, health care, environmental and safety regulations, and all the other really expensive populist junk that the developed world does for their corporate masters. If I were a corporate master, I'd make sure government cost me plenty of money too. Sure you can find someone powerful in the business world who benefits from this stuff. There's always somebody. BUT there's also a lot of other powerful businesses that don't benefit because they just see higher costs and

  • Next logical step. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Aphoxema (1088507) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:36AM (#32745428) Homepage Journal

    The government is full of competitors, people who fight for their "right" to rule. The next logical step is to force your views on the playing field and try to protect the integrity of your memes.

    Other politicians are risk enough, but it's the vast number of citizens who can cause real change if they wanted. That's why politicians want the people who take orders from them to be the only ones with guns. Now that the internet is a serious threat because of the power it gives to people that shadows the threat of guns.

    • by elucido (870205) *

      The government is full of competitors, people who fight for their "right" to rule. The next logical step is to force your views on the playing field and try to protect the integrity of your memes.

      Other politicians are risk enough, but it's the vast number of citizens who can cause real change if they wanted. That's why politicians want the people who take orders from them to be the only ones with guns. Now that the internet is a serious threat because of the power it gives to people that shadows the threat of guns.

      At this point change is not an option and might not necessarily be for the better. Change usually requires civil war and then revolution. This usually requires millions of people to fight and die. This instability can lead to foreign countries like Russia and China and their agents taking over key stations in government. It could lead to a foreign country taking over the USA and then we'd really be in for a change when the national language is changed to mandarin or russian, even french.

      • If another country took over the USA, I would wager that it would cause an influx of new words relating to government and politics and the new rulers would either learn English or get displaced by revolution or new invaders.

        See Norman conquest.

        • by elucido (870205) *

          If another country took over the USA, I would wager that it would cause an influx of new words relating to government and politics and the new rulers would either learn English or get displaced by revolution or new invaders.

          See Norman conquest.

          Thats a possibility but it would still mean millions of Americans would have to die. And there is no guarantee that the new government will be better than the old government. The new government might see us all as slaves. The new government might be like Hitlers government, or Stalins.

          • And there is no guarantee that the new government will be better than the old government.

            There was no guarantee that the US entering WWII would result in a victory for the Allies. We did it anyways.
            There was no guarantee that the Apollo moon program would provide anything of benefit to society. We did it anyway.
            There was no guarantee that 13 colonies could overthrow British rule. We did it anyway.
            There was no guarantee that Ghandi or MLK's civil disobedience campaigns would result in any type of change. They did it anyway.
            There was no guarantee that overthrowing Czarist Russia would resul

      • by Aphoxema (1088507)

        It could lead to a foreign country taking over the USA and then we'd really be in for a change when the national language is changed to mandarin or russian, even french.

        Interesting possibilities on the languages I might have to learn should I survive the invasion, but I think it's far more likely I'll have to learn Spanish.

        Much of Central and South America lack the sense of law and order people in the US have and the opportunity to freely alter the political map of the continent would bring millions.

  • little blue numbers (Score:5, Informative)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @11:44AM (#32745570)

    Western companies making a buck off evil? Nothing new.

    Infamous Auschwitz Tattoo Began as an IBM Number

    Auschwitz Phone Book Shows IBM Hollerith Buro Phone # 4496
    In August 1943, a timber merchant from Bendzin, Poland, arrived at Auschwitz. He was among a group of 400 inmates, mostly Jews. First, a doctor examined him briefly to determine his fitness for work. His physical information was noted on a medical record. Second, his full prisoner registration was completed with all personal details. Third, his name was checked against the indices of the Political Section to see if he would be subjected to special punishment. Finally, he was registered in the Labor Assignment Office and assigned a characteristic five-digit IBM Hollerith number, 44673.
    The five-digit Hollerith number was part of a custom punch card system devised by IBM to track prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, including the slave labor at Auschwitz.
    The Polish timber merchant's punch card number would follow him from labor assignment to labor assignment as Hollerith systems tracked him and his availability for work, and reported the data to the central inmate file eventually kept at Department DII. Department DII of the SS Economics Administration in Oranienburg oversaw all camp slave labor assignments, utilizing elaborate IBM systems.
    Later in the summer of 1943, the Polish timber merchant's same five-digit Hollerith number, 44673, was tattooed on his forearm. Eventually, during the summer of 1943, all non-Germans at Auschwitz were similarly tattooed.

    http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=663 [thecuttingedgenews.com]

    • There is no real good and evil dollar. There is just dollars. In the end the team which has the most of them decides what is good and what is evil for the people who have the least of them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jollyreaper (513215)

        There is no real good and evil dollar. There is just dollars. In the end the team which has the most of them decides what is good and what is evil for the people who have the least of them.

        If I'm a manufacturer of hand tools and someone buys one of my axes and uses it to chop up his family, that's awful but I'm really not at fault here. I can put a sticker on future axes that says "Please don't chop up your family with this tool" but it's not my problem. If I'm a manufacturer of industrial shredders and there's a rich gentleman in Columbia who has one installed on his estate and my technicians keep having to get sent out to service it because there's a lot of meat and gore stuck in the thing,

  • We can all help China by running proxies on our computers. If everybody (or a critical mass) cooperates, there is no way for the Chinese government to block proxy IP addresses (or they will need to effectively shut themselves off from the rest of the world, and that will not happen of course). This could be similar to Tor, except more efficient, because only one hop is needed.
    Also, the development of software for encryption or steganography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography) could help to make net

    • If everybody (or a critical mass) cooperates, there is no way for the Chinese government to block proxy IP addresses...

      And how will the Chinese people find out what these proxy IP addresses are? And if the Chinese people know what these IP addresses are, doesn't the government know what they are? And can't they block them?

      Don't get me wrong... it's a wonderful fantasy that every problem has a technological fix. However, it almost always has a bit of trouble once implementation begins.

      • Good point. But somehow when it comes to sharing infromation in the form of piracy, there always seems to be a technological solution when some file sharing method is blocked. So why not in the case of censoring in China?

  • I see no reason America should allow any business with China. Their perpetual crimes against Tibet as well as their ongoing use of slave labor should be enough incentive for America to cut the phone lines and isolate China completely. As far as debts to China we should not pay them.

  • "Under such circumstances, Chinese industry leaders have little incentive and less encouragement to resist government demands that often contradict even China's own laws and constitution."

    Look in your own backyard, lady.

  • We already settled this. The Western board members aren't real; they're rented [slashdot.org].

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