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Censorship Politics Your Rights Online

China Blocks News Websites In Protest of Nobel 213

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the moral-victory dept.
DaveNJ1987 writes "The Chinese Government has blocked the websites of the BBC, CNN and Norwegian public service broadcaster NRK, less than 24 hours before dissident Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo is due to be awarded the Nobel peace prize. China has been vocally critical of the plans to award the jailed writer the prize and has even gone as far as setting up its own 'Confucius peace prize' to rival the awards being held in Oslo tomorrow."
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China Blocks News Websites In Protest of Nobel

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @10:57AM (#34501456)

    Stop being so heavy-handed and obvious. Take a page from the CIA playbook. If you *really* want to discredit Liu Xiaobo, just recruit a couple of women to say he raped them (or some kids to say he molested them, or an old lady to say he beat her, something along those lines). Easy, subtle, and no need to censor CNN. And what's really great is that it works even if he's in another country (if you can recruit locals there, even better!). Pretty soon the Nobel people are backing away from him, Visa won't process donations for his cause, everybody is calling him a rapist/child-molester/wife-beater. And you get to say "Hey, wasn't us, that's his own personal problems" if anyone asks. Now no one will touch him and you didn't have to *directly* come down on anyone.

    Just make sure your recruits look credible and pay them/threaten them enough to make sure they never talk.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Of course, make sure they weren't bragging online about having sex with him days after the alleged "rape".

      • This world's governments are going down the tube with their anti-free speech practices. And a lot of them are copying China as if that was the ideal model

      • by atheos (192468)
        won't matter, that kind of information never reaches the MSM
    • by pitchpipe (708843)

      China Blocks News Websites In Protest of Nobel

      Why is the Man alway trying to hold China down?! Give them a break. They're just exercising their right to free speech. Oh wait...

    • by Krneki (1192201)
      You forgot about uploading pedophile photos on his PC. think of the children!
    • Are you saying that the US government is trying to supress freedom by setting up rape charges on its enemies?

      OR are you saying we can get laid by upsetting the US? Someone give me a flag and some matches. I am going to get LAID!

    • I imagine that if I were a Chinese citizen, and some of the big foreign news websites were all-of-a-sudden firewalled, I would be extremely suspicious that negative press about China was just about to come out. That would motivate me to look harder for the information that is being blocked.

      • by moondawg14 (1058442) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:56AM (#34502498)
        If you were a Chinese citizen, you'd be so used to the idea, it wouldn't even make you flinch. I visited China during the run up to the 2008 Olympics. I was watching CNN international. The reporter started talking about China's "increased tranpsarency to the press" or whatever term they were using then. The screen went black for about 2 minutes. When the picture came back, the reporter was done. This happened several times over the 2 weeks I was there. I was dumbfounded. It's just a way of life. The Chinese just shrug their shoulders and go on.
        • I think an even stronger illustration of the situation in China is the recent statement in the Western media Wen Jiabao himself made about how important a free press was in a civilized society (or like that, I'm paraphrasing, I don't recall the exact quote), and Chinese news services suppressed THAT. And we're talking the premier for the entire country here.
    • By your conspiratory logic, if you're Liu Xiaobo and want to get away with rape, it's pretty easy. Just blame it all on the Chinese government afterwards.
    • Since "rape" was actually "consensual but unprotected sex," they just need to come up with a more frightening name than "inciting subversion of state power." Call him a terrorist and they'll have half the U.S. on their side.
    • by Ossifer (703813)

      When will the powers that be ever learn the Streisand Effect?

      The smartest thing China could've done is to have silently ignored the whole thing.

  • So, just to be clear, I do not want to sound like a Chinese sympathizer or proponent but from the article:

    In protest, the Chinese Government has set up its own rival awards ceremony to the Nobel prize; the "Confucius peace prize".

    I would wait a bit before that's confirmed. The only news in English I can find on it seems to indicate it doesn't exist [focustaiwan.tw] or at least wasn't given to the recipient reported by the Associated Press. Those guys aren't often wrong but this sounds like a satire or problem in translation.

    Furthermore, here's the point of view from the horse's mouth [xinhuanet.com] (angry version here [xinhuanet.com] and refusal to resolve here [xinhuanet.com]) and th

    • by pitchpipe (708843)

      So, yeah, censorship is bad in any form and I think the Chinese government is terrible in doing this but they do run things their own special way over there and censorship has always been the norm.

      Gee, nobody's really said it to me in such a sexy way before. I guess it's okay as long as they have their "own special way." It is *special* after all.

    • Perhaps you should look around a little more. Here's a link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101209/lf_nm_life/us_china_nobel_confucius [yahoo.com]
      I suppose its possible this is also wrong, but the accompanying picture suggests otherwise.
      • The accompanying picture shows two blurry guys shaking hands. I don't think it suggests much of anything.

    • by paimin (656338)
      Maybe you should try Google instead of Baidu. I'd paste you a link, but Slashdot hasn't fixed their paste bug.
  • by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:02AM (#34501538) Homepage

    ... is looking to get itself banned...

    Seriously, when are we going to be honest about China's rise as an international bully?

    • by Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:08AM (#34501648) Homepage
      We'd have to be honest about the fact that the US is also an international bully first.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        We'd have to be honest about the fact that the US is also an international bully first.

        Those can happen in parallel. Many of us are neither American nor Chinese, so it's not mutually exclusive.

        • by mrsurb (1484303)
          Welcome to Australian politics - how much to suck up to each bully without pissing off the other because we so heavily rely on US for defence and China for $$$.
          • by gstoddart (321705)

            Welcome to Australian politics

            Tell me about it, the border with the US is only about 50K south from where I'm sitting.

        • I'm an American. And I'll tell you that Team America World Police was a documentary! We've got a lot of screwed up shitheads voting for long-legged, big-boobed dingbats and tea bagger idiots here, so give us a break. Stupid people breed faster than smart ones. We need to reverse the helmet and seatbelt laws and let "nature" take its course. Our leaders are not our best and brightest, they are our loudest and greediest. Thank goodness for Wikileaks to point a spotlight into the shithole that is our govern

          • It took 2 seconds for some idiot to turn this into an America Haters thread. Figures. If you're an American, your an idiot. Lets stick to the topic, shall we? Or will you also blame China's internment of Tibet on America too?
      • by wiredog (43288)

        Yeah, because no one (other than major networks, newspapers, and websites) is reporting on the attempts by the US and others to shutdown Wikileaks.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        "We'd have to be honest about the fact that the US is also an international bully first."

        Why are you conditioning one on the other? Do you just personally enjoy being an enabler for human rights abuses?
        • I'm a US citizen, so it seems only natural that I would be more concerned with the actions of the government to which I pay taxes than I would be with the government of another country.
      • by cobrausn (1915176)
        Considering other international 'bullies' throughout history, I tend to think the world has gotten off pretty lightly since WWII. Given historical behavior of other bullies (most notably Britain and other European nations), America's policies probably aren't all that different from how, say, Britain would probably still be acting if it were still the 'British Empire'. We westerners have a bad habit of behaving badly outside our borders. Luckily (?), it's starting to turn inwards as well, and we're taking
      • If you read the People's Daily (Chinese controlled media), you'll find this is exactly the logic used to defend their practices.

        If you hang out at an elementary school, you'll also find this is the logic third graders use to avoid taking responsibility.

        The only solution is everyone gets to take responsibility for their actions.

        • I'm working on fixing the US. Let the people of China fix their own damn country. They can start by lynching a few politicians. A tank can only run over so many protesters before the meat gums up the machinery.
    • Seriously, when are we going to be honest about China's rise as an international bully?

      Well, we're only starting to be honest about the USA's rise as an international bully now. We weren't really honest about the UK's rise as an international bully until it had lost most of its empire.

    • They simply just don't like people pointing the facts out. Nor do they like people finding out for themselves.

      The people who want to see Slashdot won't be deterred by a ban by the Chinese government.

    • by Stregano (1285764)
      I wouldn't mind if Cox blocked crappy places like Fox News and maybe Lifetime Channel's website. Maybe block a few "how to tell if your man is cheating on you websites" and we can call it a day.
      • I wouldn't mind if Cox blocked crappy places like Fox News and maybe Lifetime Channel's website. Maybe block a few "how to tell if your man is cheating on you websites" and we can call it a day.
        You mean you haven't learned how to erase your browser history? Or gotten a second sim card?
    • by poity (465672)
      cancelling mis-clicked modding, sorry bro
  • For all the things China blames other countries for doing, China still is more totalitarian. They oppose the Pope since it takes away control from China, and they oppose the Nobel for it making China look bad. Normally, countries like the US take it in stride.

    So much for Deng's whitewash of government action by simply acting as a guard for semi-private entities.

  • ...US buys tons of Chinese-made goods at the expense of its working-class.

    Nothing ever changes...
    • The working class buys cheap goods at the expense of itself you mean. If America restricted imports too much then you'd be complaining about that too.

  • We, the sophisticated western people would never do such a thing. Take a web site like that nasty wikileaks that is publishing our diplomatic small talk. We would never ever dream of kicking them from their hosters, cancel their bank accounts, block/ddos their web sites or imprison their founder.

    Cross my heart...

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:22AM (#34501866)

    Man who win Nobel prize behind bars values cake with file more.

  • If all the major internet routing hubs outside China started dropping packets coming from or going to Chinese IP addresses, I wonder how long it would take for the Chinese government to be on its knees begging for another chance? More significantly, I wonder how long it would take before the Chinese people would finally rise and demand that their government act like a civilized part of the internet community?

    It would probably be at least as effective as those stupid “internet addiction” camps th

    • by Tom (822)

      I was wondering what it'd take for the same people who yell "censorship!" whenever someone proposes to restrict traffic for political, copyright or other legal reasons to come around with their own version of it.

      Not routing to China is censorship based on political views, plain and simple.

      • Not routing to China is censorship based on political views, plain and simple.

        Yes, it is. Sometimes you fight fire with fire.

  • by kungfugleek (1314949) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:38AM (#34502110)
    Of course, I prefer the peace prize in its original Klingon text.
  • If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
    you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow.
  • They are being blocked as censorship, not protest. The PRC doesn't care what the BBC says, as long as the Chinese can't read things they don't want them to read.

  • by atheos (192468) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @11:55AM (#34502488) Homepage
    THIS is why politicians like Lieberman wants an internet kill switch in the US
  • by xnpu (963139) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:34PM (#34503262)

    CNN is not blocked. The CNN homepage doesn't pass the keyword filter currently, which may or may not be related to the prize, but any other page works just fine.

    • The CNN homepage doesn’t pass the keyword filter correctly because the Chinese government firewall detects the keyword and starts dropping packets into a black hole.

      But that’s just peanuts. Explain this...

      When Liu was named the peace prize winner two months ago, initial reports were blacked out on CNN, BBC and French satellite channel TV5, while the state network China Central Television did not report on the prize.

      “Mysterious corruption of the video feeds prevented the reports from getting through, but any other CNN reports got through just fine!”

      Yeah, it’s obviously not a problem with the infrastructure. It must be CNN’s fault.

      • by xnpu (963139)

        The video scrambling happens all the time. Cities in South China often provide Hong Kong channels in the cable feeds. When something sensitive is mentioned during the news you'll suddenly see a few minutes of the CCTV feed until the item is finished.

        • And the web censorship works the same way. When something sensitive is mentioned you suddenly see a few minu~_^*)&&%&*)(((

          NO CARRIER

          • by xnpu (963139)

            Yes. My original point was exactly that. CNN itself is not blocked.

            • Ok. Fair point, then, but it could’ve been explained more clearly.

              They’re not blocking the CNN website in its entirety, per se, there just appears to be something on the homepage that triggers the connection killswitch on the Chinese government’s firewall. But they’re still basically blocking it.

  • by vampire_baozi (1270720) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:53PM (#34503612)

    Seriously, when will the Chinese government learn?

    Liu Xiaobo was a nobody, just one more dissident activist who wrote some pretty crazy stuff. Nobody outside of dissident circles gave a crap about Charter 08 or even heard of it before it got banned.

    Xiaobo himself: He's crazy as far as dissidents go. He basically worships everything Western, and has basically advocated China becoming a Western colony. Noone inside of China would take most of his stuff seriously- yet China insists of giving him credibility as a dissident. He'd still be a nobody if they didn't give him so much publicity.

    With this, he'll turn into another Dalai Lama, except that unlike the Dalai Lama, he (was) just a nobody convinced that everything Western is good and everything Chinese is bad. If they had just left Charter 08 alone, no problems, it would have been passed around to the usual crowd and quickly forgotten. Instead it has become a rallying point.

    Sort of like the "My dad is Li Gang" stuff- instead of censoring the story, if they just let it out and then publicly castrated the fucker, everyone would have been happy.

    They really need help with PR. Even when they do the right thing, hushing things up makes it look like they really are up to something. Even when the guy in question really does deserve to be imprisoned (under Chinese law, even if such laws are unjust).

    • The Barbara Streisand effect – outside of China, maybe.

      The people in China? The vast majority of them really, truly, still won’t care. Which is why I feel that it might be time for more drastic measures.

      • It applies in China as well- though only among a subset of the population, though still a much larger subset than would have been reached otherwise. For example. my friends on Chinese college campuses have been talking quite a bit about Charter 08 and Liu Xiaobo- almost purely as a result of censorship attempts.

  • As bad as the Chinese government's actions look to outsiders, we have to remember that ultimately all politics is local. The Chinese government doesn't care what we think only with staying in power at home. And how do you do that? By making sure that nothing riles up the billion plus Chinese citizens most of whom probably don't care much about foreign news outlets or peace prizes anyway. So why get them thinking about stuff like that which doesn't make money and can only cause disharmony? As for a Chinese

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