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Censorship China Government The Internet

Chinese Gov't To Tighten Internet Controls Even Further 162

Posted by timothy
from the razing-the-global-village dept.
jfruh writes "The new Chinese leadership released a document outlining its vision for the country Friday, and most of the attention was paid to reforms, like plans to loosen state control of the economy and end the one-child policy. But when it comes to the Internet, the Chinese Communist government is doubling down on its restrictive policies. The document notes that social networking and instant messaging tools can rapidly disseminate information and mobilize society; the government doesn't think those are good things, and plans to bolster its regulatory systems and increase the scope of their legal authority."
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Chinese Gov't To Tighten Internet Controls Even Further

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Posting to undo accidental mod.
  • The trend in China (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:00PM (#45463905)

    More economic freedom, social freedom is mixed, and continuing or tighter political control.

    It will be interesting to see if they continue the trend of relatively more economic freedom into the future since the new leadership is harkening back to the old ways. "Where are the true communists?"

    • The true communists were never in government. Just like any idealists who actually strive to live their ideals, going into governance is seen as at best an unwanted duty and the first step towards compromise. The opportunists like Mao had no such qualms.

    • They move from dictatorship of the party to dictatorship of money without the detour to democracy. They're kinda more efficient than we are, we took that detour.

    • Quick couple of questions. What's a communist to you? If it has something to do with authoritarian statism, I'd really appreciate a more detailed answer. Do you think that North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and China are all communist? If so, could you detail the similarities between them that make them communist?
      Thanks.

      Also re your sig: I'm committed to seeing you committed. Haha.

      • by Monsuco (998964)

        Quick couple of questions. What's a communist to you? If it has something to do with authoritarian statism, I'd really appreciate a more detailed answer. Do you think that North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and China are all communist? If so, could you detail the similarities between them that make them communist? Thanks.

        The hallmark of a capitalistic society and the antithesis of communism is property rights. A capitalistic society is founded on the principal of individual ownership while communism is founded on the principal of collective ownership. Property rights in China are inconsistently enforced and they basically don't exist in Vietnam, Cuba or North Korea.

        Intellectual property is even less likely to be coherently codified and respected in these countries. It is only occasionally enforced in China and basically n

        • Interesting. Thanks for the response. So, communism is defined by the lack of property rights and the collective ownership of property? If property is defined as those things that are not for personal use, then I see your point (though I think that the definition is still too simplistic).

          Let's look at the USA. The USA must be communist! Why? Because large chunks of the economy are owned by the collective (one or other level of the government). This is not just land, roads, and institutions (e.g. libraries),

  • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:01PM (#45463909)

    tfs:

    The document notes that social networking and instant messaging tools can rapidly disseminate information and mobilize society; the government doesn't think those are good things

    This is what I love about China. They're completely up front about who they are. In the US everything needs to be carefully cloaked in terms of protection from terrorists.

    • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:08PM (#45463969)

      This is what I love about China. They're completely up front about who they are. In the US everything needs to be carefully cloaked in terms of protection from terrorists.

      Every country has it's bogeymen (a/k/a government excuses). Here it's "terrorism", over there I think "social disharmony" or some such . The funny thing about manure is that it smells the same wherever you go.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cold fjord (826450)

        Every country has it's bogeymen (a/k/a government excuses). Here it's "terrorism",

        Bogeymen are generally considered imaginary and don't have a body count. That isn't an accurate description of terrorism in the US. It has both an existing body count and a continuing series of arrests and convictions. (Which is also a handy fact to consider when the subject of "magic rocks" comes up.)

        The funny thing about manure is that it smells the same wherever you go.

        There seems to be some disagreement about the identification of manure.

        • by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:42PM (#45464379) Homepage

          If a 9/11 scale attack occurred in the US every month, you'd still be statistically more likely to die in a car accident than in a terror attack. The degree to which we fear terrorism relative to the actual risk is way out of proportion. If someone proposed things like indefinite detention or wide scale monitoring to prevent bad driving, they'd rightly be seen as a paranoid nut.

          • by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:52PM (#45464477)

            If a 12 / 7 / 1941 attack occurred on the US every month in 1941, you'd still be statistically more likely to die in a car accident than in a Japanese attack. The degree to which people confuse the significance of random chance accidents versus deaths caused by willful human action is appalling. Indefinite detention is how prisoners of war are held. Indefinite detention isn't really appropriate for traffic incidents short of murder.

            • I can't find any data to corroborate your claim. In fact, it looks like the federal government of the U.S. didn't start tracking vehicular deaths until the late 1990s, as far as all the sources I checked indicate.

              Can you back up what you said?

            • If a 12 / 7 / 1941 attack occurred on the US every month in 1941, you'd still be statistically more likely to die in a car accident than in a Japanese attack.

              And indeed we seem to be putting very little effort into protecting Hawaii from Japanese sneak attacks right now.

            • I believe what they are saying with the comparison is that there is zero chance of al Qaida or some other "Islamist" bogeyman becoming more of a threat to the United States than pulling off an occasional lightning strike. Invading multiple countries, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, sowing the seeds of future conflict, and printing trillions of dollars to pay for it is an appalling overreaction to a unique event. This was understood in the USA as recently as the 1970s when we didn't invade
            • by Pav (4298)
              Sooo... you're comparing a state actor with a bunch of terrorists who flew into buildings. The Japanese had to lose a war for years to get that desperate, and even then they had vastly more resources than those (late) terrorists. In 2001 how much popular support did the terrorists have? If I remember the almost universal condemnation from the muslim world I'd say "bugger all"... those terrorists had already worn out their welcome perpetrating violence in home societies. Ten years later and their fortu
          • We need indefinite detention for sellers of Rubber Duckies. Rubber Duckiesin bath tubs have killed more people via slip and fall than 9/11 -- something MUST BE DONE!

            >> Please don't take this as a tacit agreement on my part that any future False Flags need to up the ante to prove to us how much we need 1 million people involved in the "security apparatus." Stop hiring consultants from the former Stazi for instance.

          • by Shatrat (855151)

            And if you do die in a car accident, it's probably a burning Tesla.

        • Bogeymen are generally considered imaginary and don't have a body count.

          Fortunately for us, most terrorists do indeed seem to be bogeymen.

        • A body count that, most years, kills fewer Americans domestically than lightning strikes.

          Lightning averages 51 deaths a year, so a big attack can push it over. For comparison, the most recent 'major' attack at the Boston marathon achieved three deaths.

          • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:49PM (#45464441)

            And I think the government did more to inconvenience and harass most people after the bombing than the actual terrorists did.

            • However it could be argued that the bad guys "saved lives" because they stopped traffic and that lowered the overall death rate in Boston.

              Boy, we number crunchers are a cold bunch!

          • 'Kill' isn't the only possible outcome. How many maimings are caused by lightning v. "terrorism"?
            • By now I think the body count for our reaction to terrorism outweighs that of terrorism itself by some margin.

        • bogeyman (bmæn) —n , pl -men a person, real or imaginary, used as a threat, esp to children Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition

          An entirely appropriate use of the term in this case

        • Could you not say that social disharmony has a body count as well? But in both cases, the question is: do the ends justify the means? Are the amount of terrorism related deaths prevented worth the sacrifice of privacy/freedom?

          Unlike China, the USA is a democracy, and is built on the premise that such questions should be up to the general populace to decide. This cannot happen if information is kept hidden from the public, for no better reason than "such information might aid terrorists!". At a minimum, t
        • Just because I can hit random animals over the head with the rock and call them tigers doesn't mean the rock protects me from actual tigers.

        • by g0bshiTe (596213)
          The thing about terrorism is that I'd sooner take my chances ending up on that body count list than sacrifice personal freedoms and privacy for perceived security, in which I'm no more secure than prior to those incidents.
        • There seems to be some disagreement about the identification of manure.

          No, I think it pretty much identifies the ter'rism bogieman and people who blog like 100% of assassinations and arrests are all 100% accurate and that this small sample reflects that 100% of the reports and scares were justified.

          Since lightning kills 10x more people, we need to strip search everyone for wires and spend $4 trillion putting up lightning rods ever 10 meters or so -- just to have a commensurate threat/response profile.

        • by sjames (1099)

          To be fair, I have seen some people who are indeed dangerous at the tee. They keep forgetting to yell 'fore' and then they unleash a ballistic projectile on a nearly random trajectory. It's really just a matter of time before someone dies.,/p>

      • by CRCulver (715279)

        The Chinese bogeyman is somewhat more realistic. Terrorism has never been a real danger to Americans (as horrible as 9/11 was, less than 4000 people were killed, just compare that to road statistics). On the other hand, social unrest with huge numbers of dead has continually erupted through Chinese history. Now, I don't think that merely allowing Facebook is necessarily going to lead to that again, and I personally would prefer to see more emphasis on individual rights in China, but the Chinese government o

        • by g0bshiTe (596213)
          Living under a certain rule for generations you would be convinced as well.

          Russia proved communism doesn't work, here we are in the US proving that capitalism is failing at least for citizens. At least with communism you have corrupt officials to worry about, here it's corrupt officials and corporations that trample the people.
          • Further up I asked cold fjord to define communism for me. I'll ask the same for you. What do you think it is? If you think that North Korea, Cuba, China, and Vietnam (and the former USSR) are (and were) communist, could you explain what makes them all communist? Thanks.

    • In the US everything needs to be carefully cloaked in terms of protection from terrorists.

      No, the US is equally up front about that, you just doubt the motive.

      • No, the US is equally up front about that

        So the Snowden revelations about domestic surveillance were old news?

        • The US is up front about its surveillance and intelligence being directed against terrorism.

          As to the Snowden leaks, a lot of that ground was covered in 2006 or before.

          • by spacepimp (664856)

            What they are not up front about is the surveillance of all citizens of the US and how that data is used and shared among other acronym groups, who shouldn't have access to this data any more than the NSA should. If you are wondering what I am talking about watch Clapper's response to Wyden about phone data, and come back here and say the NSA is up front about what it is doing...

            They aren't up front about shit, if they are lying to their own citizens about their activity.

      • In the US everything needs to be carefully cloaked in terms of protection from terrorists.

        No, the US is equally up front about that, you just doubt the motive.

        You discover motive by examining how the term "terrorist" is defined.

        • Yes. And that definition seems to be sticking pretty close to terrorism, not "terrorism."

          • by Urza9814 (883915)

            ...so for just one example: you think anyone opposed to hydrofracking for any reason (ie, including "nuclear is more efficient") is a legitimate terrorist? Because the DHS does:

            http://www.post-gazette.com/legal/2012/04/30/Anti-fracking-group-adds-claims-to-surveillance-suit/stories/201204300191 [post-gazette.com]

            • You should probably read that again more carefully. The allegation in it is that a contractor to a state government agency alleged that the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition could be a threat of some type. It doesn't appear either that the US DHS was involved, or that the threat assessment originated from the state DHS.

              There really isn't much in the story to judge about the conduct of the organization that is suing so I have no idea how they actually behave. It is probably a stretch to consider them terro

    • The Forum in Beijing Bridget Kendall chairs a wide-ranging discussion in Beijing about the internet in China: does the rise of digital communication empower the Chinese individual or the state? How is the social media explosion changing the nature of Chinese society? How much is free expression really curtailed by the Great Firewall of China and the recent legislation aimed at curbing the spread of 'rumours' on the net? And is the ability to share the minutiae of their lives online making the young in Chin
    • by poity (465672)

      Is this why you love the GOP over the Democrats? They're pretty honest in comparison, if recent history is any indication.

      • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

        Is this why you love the GOP over the Democrats? They're pretty honest in comparison, if recent history is any indication.

        Tbh I haven't seen much of a distinction here. I think it's very notable that the repubs have been flaming Obama over any little perceived goof, but they've been completely mum about all of the NSA stuff. I think dems and repubs agree on this issue. Dems have been more guilty recently because Obama is in office, but repubs were more guilty before because Bush was in office.

        Generally I lean Dem although my internal compass has been changing recently. But in this issue I can't find any safe harbor. Even Rand

        • by spacepimp (664856)

          Support the EFF, but you're missing some major points here. This is not a bipartisan issue. It's not Republican vs Democrat. It has divided parties and in many ways that is a good thing. It stomps out the party line and lets people find a common ground of interest not pandering to a lobby.
          There are plenty of Republicans up in arms about this. One quite visible has been Sensenbrenner who authored the Patriot Act and saying they are deliberately abusing the spirit of the Act, which was codified to directly av

          • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

            Support the EFF, but you're missing some major points here. This is not a partisan issue. It's not Republican vs Democrat.

            very true, point taken about Stensenbrenner and Paul. I will follow the issue more closely. Perhaps even vote for Paul if he runs for president! Not that it would make much of a diff because I'm in CA and it will go Dem regardless.

    • by nsuccorso (41169)
      Normalizing bad behavior isn't something to aspire to.
    • by g0bshiTe (596213)
      Orwell called it "double speak".
    • by khallow (566160)

      They're completely up front about who they are.

      Yea, right. Everything is carefully cloaked in terms of social stability and order. It's just a slightly different flavored hypocrisy than what you're used to.

      I'm not here to whitewash the US's sins, but to point out that once again, we see the double standard of ignoring comparable sins in China.

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      This is what I love about China. They're completely up front about who they are.

      Gotta love evil when it's upfront about itself, right? Right??

    • by rsborg (111459)

      tfs:

      The document notes that social networking and instant messaging tools can rapidly disseminate information and mobilize society; the government doesn't think those are good things

      This is what I love about China. They're completely up front about who they are. In the US everything needs to be carefully cloaked in terms of protection from terrorists.

      Oh, come now. There're many reasons you can give, the American public is very receptive to not only "terrorist prevention" but also "religious freedom" [1], not to mention "right to bear arms" - "stand your ground" is a great example of using this freedom effectively to justify many actions [2].

      And don't forget "about the children" - it's very easy to promote your agenda in the name of children, especially if they're not yet born. The personhood movement hasn't yet been successful yet [3] - but give them

    • by Monsuco (998964)

      This is what I love about China. They're completely up front about who they are. In the US everything needs to be carefully cloaked in terms of protection from terrorists.

      If Snowden had never released those documents, be honest, nobody in the general public would have noticed PRISM. The reason nobody would've noticed is the NSA isn't hauling people off to prison. The people in China are well aware of their government's censorship and of the police state. In China, websites actually are blocked. In China, people publishing material that is critical of the government are actually thrown in jail for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Call me a cynic, but it seems like more than coincidence that China would tighten the reins on Internet use at the same time as they publicly announce relaxing the one child policy.

    Sounds like a government becoming even more authoritarian, but throwing the people a bone to distract from the serious issues..

    Congrats, China, you're learning how to be repressive, American style!

    • it seems like more than coincidence that China would tighten the reins on Internet use at the same time as they publicly announce relaxing the one child policy. Sounds like a government becoming even more authoritarian, but throwing the people a bone to distract from the serious issues.

      The one child policy is a much bigger deal than a bone.

      • So, tell us more about how you've never had a dog (and/or don't understand metaphors)?

    • Of course its not a coincidence. China is run by centralized authoritarian government that carefully plans policies for its own good - which sometimes benefits the population as well: in general it is better to rule a prosperous peaceful country rather than a poor rebellious one.

      Unlike the US, China does not pretend to be a free society. Personally I find that less distasteful than American hypocrisy. The US is still considerably less oppressive, but we are doing our best to close that gap.

  • The summary, and the few paragraphs constituting the "article" itself, are almost pure interpretation with virtually no specific facts.
  • Sheesh. Those new leaders sound as bad as the folks at Sony. Or Apple. Or ...
  • Seriously? Since when has mobilization been a bad thing? And dissemination can be a good thing, under a certain light.
  • A flashmob in Tiananmen Square just for 10 seconds to take a few pictures and dissolve?

    That's the only thing coming to my mind.
    Is that what they are afraid?

  • by ModernGeek (601932) on Tuesday November 19, 2013 @12:25PM (#45464165) Homepage
    Imagine an Internet where anything that wasn't unencoded unicode or ascii where only recognizable dictionary words and standard protocols were allowed.

    Imagine everybody being restricted to running iDevices where they could not install any unauthorized software on their computers.

    Imagine that if it were encrypted, the government always had the private key, and the encryption was only there as a facade. The only public keys you'd have on your machine were the government's decoy keys.

    Imagine if all software developers were targeted by the government with surveillance and public scrutiny to ensure that no illegal tools were being built.

    It isn't that hard to foresee this future.
    • by neo-mkrey (948389)
      A lot of people are already living in this future you describe. I will try and fight going there as long as possible.
    • It isn't that hard to foresee this future.

      We're practically there already. Give it another ten years and you will have a generation of programmers whose only conception of a computer is a gated iDevice, and a general public who were never able to see the difference anyway.

      It's only a matter of time before ISPs introduce rate deals for those using specific devices/apps, with hard coded restrictions on what can actually be connected to. The result will be an increase in ratesa and fees for everyone who wants

    • by g0bshiTe (596213)
      So you read the NSA guide to computers and computer protocols I see.
  • I picture some crazy politician in China running over to the wall and yanking the ethernet right out of socket, most likely stripping the wires in the process. This happened to me while I was investigating a compromised FTP server. IT guy walked in yanked the cable right out of the wall.
  • In China, the power cares that you could disseminate information and mobilize society. In western countries you can disseminate information and mobilize society, but the power does not care. At all.

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.

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