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China Blocks Typepad, Prompts Weblog Blackout 422

dcm writes "As U.S. Ambassador Richard Williamson prepares to introduce a resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Commission to censure the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) government for increasing 'repression of its people using the Internet, democratic dialogue, religious expression,' the regime continues to block discourse.On Friday, China began blocking access to Typepad, a paid weblog hosting service in San Mateo, California. The communist regime previously blocked access to BlogSpot, Blogger's free hosting site. Yan Sham-Shackleton filed a report on the Glutter weblog, mentioning China is '...now using blocking software to stop information from leaking into the county via personal sites, an increasingly vibrant China Internet community, and a place where users are slipping in banned information. Some sites in the blogging community are turning black in protest of this event while others are reporting the incident.'"
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China Blocks Typepad, Prompts Weblog Blackout

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hello,

    I am Kim Yee Ho Foo Yun Duck [mailto] and I live in China. Recently our interweb be blocked by communist party. We don't like communist party but can't have others won't let us vote other. Today we find that China now block sites like blogs.

    Please tell your honorable President Bush to liberate us! Tell honorable President Bush we have oil if he need convincing!

    Communist party must be stopped at all cos.1!~~ .@#8..
    (0fv... . . #@(*!
    NO CARRIER
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:02PM (#8708070) Homepage Journal
    Block the web or not, information still floods into the PRC and it's like the dutch boy trying to hold back the north sea with his finger. Newspapers and magazines flourish which the CCP have been hard pressed to stop. It's like swatting flies with a hammer.

    Q: Why are the chinese communists so afraid of free exchange of ideas and criticism?
    A: They're afraid they'll have to give up power and find real jobs.

    It's not the security of the country tyrants desire, it's their own security. It's unfair to call them leaders.

    The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:07PM (#8708120)
      Q: Why are the chinese communists so afraid of free exchange of ideas and criticism?
      A: They're afraid they'll have to give up power and find real jobs.


      That's exactly why communism looks great on chalkboards but never pans out in reality. It becomes hard to avoid eventual corruption in the leadership... a stable government requires a way to overthrow the leaders with a fair election.
      • That's exactly why communism looks great on chalkboards but never pans out in reality.

        When did communism ever look great on chalkboards?

        -jcr
        • When did communism ever look great on chalkboards?

          when was communism ever tried in reality? i believe you're referring to a system called state capitalism [wikipedia.org] that has often been mistaken as "communism" in the west.

          if you want to discuss communism, i'd suggest you first investigate catalonia from '36 to '38 [blackened.net].

        • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @07:07PM (#8708782) Homepage Journal

          When did communism ever look great on chalkboards?

          During the design phase, before it was actually implemented, communism sounded great. Utopia here we come! Not that it hasn't suffered from lack of trying. Kind of like Death March programming projects.

          To be fair, capitalism, also great looking on the chalkboard, grows warts over time. And much for the same reasons as communism does; the actual implementation involves Real People that care zero about other people. It's hard to program around that.

        • When did communism ever look great on chalkboards?

          When you consider people as static variables and not prone to natural human influences. That's why you need checks and balances in any successful (and just) political system. It's terribly inefficient, but its a necessary price. As Franklin said:

          "Democracy is the worst form of government there is... except for all others."
        • Communism, as true idea not as it has been implemented, is a wonderful idea. It was summarised best in a quote which goes something like "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Basically everyone works at doing what it is they do best. But they don't work for personal gain, as we do in a Capitalism, they work for the common good. Everything is then distributed equally, so everyone has the worth. You don't get tons of stuff just because you act in movies or struggle to make en
      • a stable government requires a way to overthrow the leaders with a fair election.

        And a fail safe [findlaw.com] for when "fair elections" aren't, as well.

      • ... a stable government requires a way to overthrow the leaders with a fair election.

        . . . not just communism. ANY authoritarian system has this flaw.
        Diebold intends to fix that flaw. . .
      • by spood ( 256582 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @07:40PM (#8709062) Homepage Journal
        Communism does not preclude fair election. Communism is just socialism in the extreme. There are plenty of contemporary democratic socialist countries. At the same time, democracy (traditionally the "enemy" of communism due to Cold War propaganda) is not immune to corruption, either. It wouldn't be hard to argue that the "politician for sale" lobby problem is not evidence of corruption in the United States.

        The problem with "pure" communism (the reason why it doesn't pan out in reality) is that it doesn't provide personal incentives to produce - all production is seized and redistributed by the state. Similarly, there are incentives only to demonsrate need in order to obtain an undue portion of the redistribution. Under such a system, the dishonest are rewarded by not having to work according to ability and obtaining more than fair share of "need". The honest are punished.

        Even the U.S. has adopted many socialist programs (Medicare, Social Security, welfare, public education), but it's difficult to determine where the balance between socialism and pure capitalism lies. Allowing the market free rein implies that there is no such thing as a public good, which is difficult to argue.

        The more power in the central government, the more corruption, no matter what form of government it is. This is one of the reasons our founding fathers intended to limit the power of the fed, a lesson that not even the current Republican party seems to have taken to heart.
        • The problem with "pure" communism (the reason why it doesn't pan out in reality) is that it doesn't provide personal incentives to produce - all production is seized and redistributed by the state.

          To expand, wealth is produced only by voluntary trade. Wealth cannot be produced by force. (Wealth may be transferred by force, but never created.) This is a basic principle of economics which not many people seem to understand.

          For example, in the case of robbery, wealth is not created but simply transferred f

    • Q: Why are the chinese communists so afraid of free exchange of ideas and criticism?
      A: They're afraid they'll have to give up power and find real jobs.


      OK, so they have not decided to offer full democracy to everyone and are maintaining control on the strings of power.
      Good. The last thing we need is a nuclear nation of 1.2bn (last UN estimate) plunged into democracy.

      Why?

      Because, as Plato pointed out over 2000 years ago, democracy is a dangerous thing. The populace can be taken advantage of - n
      • Personally, I'd prefer a China which was promoting a market economy, promoting (and a#enacting) political reform (MASSIVE progress since Den Xiao Ping) and moving steadily towards democracy, rather than jumping in the deep end. Saying that, I am concerned about the overtures of beijing regarding HK's basic law in recent weeks.

        I thoroughly recommend you read Plato's 'The Republic' - not a hard read but a concise critic of democracy and its pitfalls.

        96 years back the Manchu dynasty met its end. Maintain

      • by RadGeekAuburn ( 556472 ) <feedback@radgeek.com> on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:36PM (#8708442) Homepage Journal

        Because, as Plato pointed out over 2000 years ago, democracy is a dangerous thing. The populace can be taken advantage of - note the cultural revolution was supported by the majority when millions were killed, so was the Russian revolution which supported Lenin's oppression and later Stalin's.

        This seems like an odd tack to take in the argument--since neither China during the Cultural Revolution nor the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin had substantive democratic institutions. In point of fact, Lenin and Stalin and Mao each in their time took deliberate actions (such as the brutal suppression of the Kronstadt uprising, the dismantling of the Workers' Opposition, the creation of the secret police and the gulag, and, well, the Cultural Revolution) to crush local democratic power, concentrate power in the hands of party bosses, and create a totalitarian environment in which people do not dare to express dissent for fear of hearing a knock on the door in the middle of the night.

        (In such an environment, by the way, it also seems to me to be rather tendentious, to say the least, to claim to have any clear knowledge of what people thought about the rulers -- since part of the purpose of the totalitarian apparatus was to keep people from honestly saying what they though about things.)

        I thoroughly recommend you read some of the descriptions of the power struggles in post-Revolutionary Russia, such as Emma Goldman's My Disillusionment in Russia or The Workers' Opposition.

      • by sysopd ( 617656 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:59PM (#8708711)
        Because, as Plato pointed out over 2000 years ago, democracy is a dangerous thing.

        It definitely is. A democracy is, simply stated, a majority-dictatorship. The framers and founders of the USA created a Democratic Republic, that is not a democracy but rather a Republic with liberty and choice. Our republic made up of the populus, voted democratically by the populus.

        Many people misinterpret the US government as a democracy when in fact it is a democratic republic. One of the strenghts is that people are believed to have unalienable rights, rights given to them by their creator that cannot be taken away by any law. The point of this is not religious, but rather that no one can take away unalienable [loc.gov] rights. Thus the formation of a body (the US goverment) to protect these rights, versus in the case of many systems (ie a democracy), a government that grants rights.

        This is truly power in the peoples hands, rights that one cannot give nor take away, rights that we are created with. Thus the freedom we have is innate, not a privledge or amenity.

    • Block the web or not, information still floods into the PRC
      I've heard it argued that communism in russia was brought down by the personal computer. Once it got to the point where a person didn't need a printing press to produce large amounts of literature the free flow of information could not be stopped.
      • by Uber Banker ( 655221 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:44PM (#8708517)
        Communism in Russia was taken down due to glasnost [wikipedia.org] spreading to the populations, but perestroika [wikipedia.org] not spreading so quickly causing popular revolt due to the intellectual influence and the initial presess of glasnost. In China the transition contains more perestroika-like [wikipedia.org] benefits, perhaps because of the more aggressive adoption of a market economy and the more rapid spread of improvement of general standard of living (reducing the incentive to look elsewhere for political reform).
      • Actually, it was satellite tv. Specifically, when Ted Turner leased some channels on Russian satellites. And more importantly it was bootleg (pirate) dishes in the country. Kind of amazing that piracy thing. A lot of people and organizations sure do benefit from it. If it wasn't for "theft of services", there would still be TWO evil empires on the planet.
    • by spood ( 256582 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @07:16PM (#8708871) Homepage Journal
      I wouldn't consider the PRC to be particularly communist at this point. The party line at the moment is basically "shut up and we'll let you get rich". This leads to strange dichotomies where they wish to censor satellite broadcasts, but are making truckloads of the satellite industry.

      The younger generations are beginning to be raised on capitalism and American consumerist "culture". It's unclear what that will mean for the political future of the PRC, but fascism and unrestrained capitalism aren't entirely at odds with each other.

      Some other posts on this topic have mentioned the threat of the PRC to US global dominance. This is especially true in the economic realm as China has vast production capability while at the same time a relatively low standard of living. That gives the PRC tremendous economic clout.
  • Not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:02PM (#8708073)
    This is just the latest front in China's attempt to try to stamp out any form of anti-government speech. Say what you want about the present US Governemnt, the fact that you're allowed to say it here is something that makes us very different from them...
    • by Locky ( 608008 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:05PM (#8708097) Homepage
      'At least we're better then China' isn't really something to be overly proud of.

      It's akin to a murderer claiming at least he didn't kill more people.
      • Re:Not surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

        by id09542 ( 635670 )
        I disagree. At least the American people can change things, the fact that the people want to be ignorant and not change things is their choice.
      • 'At least we're better then China' isn't really something to be overly proud of.

        Pretty soon, they will have the largest dam, a space program, and still have the worlds largest population.

        • Re:Not surprising (Score:4, Informative)

          by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @10:37PM (#8710310) Journal
          Pretty soon, they will have the largest dam, a space program, and still have the worlds largest population

          And your point? We could build the world's largest dam if we were so inclined -- but most dam building in the United States was stopped due to the environmental damage that it causes. Have you read about some of the health and environmental impacts [irn.org] of the Three Gorges dam? It's an impressive engineering feat to be sure but nothing I'd want in my backyard. How many species will be wiped out by this monstrosity? How many people will be displaced?

          Is that really something that China should be proud of?

    • Re:Not surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:06PM (#8708106) Homepage Journal
      Say what you want about the present US Governemnt, the fact that you're allowed to say it here is something that makes us very different from them...

      Sadly, the gap is closing from the US side, for the good of the country and all that rot.

      • Re:Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @07:19PM (#8708897) Homepage Journal

        the gap is closing from the US side,

        It's occurred to me, too, that the government/corporate system of the United States and of China are a lot closer in practice than people might think.

        Yes, in China you get these weird laws where "slander of the state" and "revealing state secrets" put people in jail for expressing dissent.

        But, in the US, if you criticize a business, eg, make disparaging comments about the healthiness of eating beef or provide a web link to a DeCSS site, you can get slammed with heavy legal action.

        In China, the government powers have become corrupt as they hand out valuable contracts to cronies and have tolerated cheating bosses not paying their workers.

        In the US, the government powers have become corrupt as they accept money from special interests to craft legislation favorable to those interests. Substantial growth in non-unionized workforce has meant stagnation in wage growth for blue collar workers in the US.

        Government policies are not far apart between the US and China; corporate influence will tend to drive them even closer together.

  • by vapid transit ( 738521 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:04PM (#8708088)
    I've got to think that anyone with the will and some time would easily be able to bypass the blockage, either by using underground ISPs, satellite, or other means.
    • I've got to think that anyone with the will and some time would easily be able to bypass the blockage, either by using underground ISPs, satellite, or other means.

      This is the other side of the blade for China. They want an educated, technologically savvy population. People with such skillz and of an attitude will find a way and always be one step ahead. They should just call it a game and let the people have their way. At the very least, it could generate some goodwill toward the government. Holding

  • by ehack ( 115197 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:05PM (#8708094) Journal
    It is technically very hard to block information on the net, without dropping connectivity. Of course, attempting it might provide a major impulse to AI research :)
    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:10PM (#8708145)
      However, it's very trivial to firewall out specific sites so long as you have control of all paths between the user and the site. The Chinese have such firewalls installed at every ISP that leaves the country.
      • The Chinese have such firewalls installed at every ISP that leaves the country.

        That's why it's so important to develope real wireless solutions. If the net is ever going to be truly free, we must cut out corporate control of the "wire". Under the current set up, the multinationals are saying, "All your ISP are belong to us". Same goes for the data going through those ISP's. Truly mobile and wireless access will be the only way to bring about absolute anonymity and privacy to the users. Rapidly changing IP
        • That's why it's so important to develope real wireless solutions. If the net is ever going to be truly free, we must cut out corporate control of the "wire". Under the current set up, the multinationals are saying, "All your ISP are belong to us".

          <sarcasm>Yeah cuz the multinationals and Government types don't have any control over the airwaves [fcc.gov]. If we can just get the net off the wire controlled by the evil corporations it will truly be free of outside control!</sarcasm>

          You can put the tin-foi

  • FAQ 3.2 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mr. Darl McBride ( 704524 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:08PM (#8708133)
    Q: What is a GMTB?

    A: The short answer is "Gay Movable Type Blogger." This does not quite paint the full picture, however.

    A GMTB uses a Mac. A GMTB is excited about "wireless hot spots" and "cafes." The prototypical GMTB can be found at a Starbucks with a 15" PowerBook. He will be wearing a black turtleneck and will go on at length about the wonder years where web designers were paid like programmers.

    The GMTB will blog about you. Do not be alarmed. In order to make sense of their fast moving and confusing world, GMTBers need to write at length about even the most trivial encounter. They will likely Google you and turn even the most minor conversation into an exploratory experience. Every experience is like that of the newborn boy who finds touching himself over and over to be a pleasurable experience.

    Do not make the GMTB angry. The GMTB has natural defenses known as "Google juice." With the application of this "Google juice," the GMTB will sour any future searches on your name. While there is no physical harm to be done, they can make any attempt at finding relevant and useful information about you a linkfest of armchair philosophy, ill-formed opinions, and broad and insanely overblown reactions to everyday occurrences.

    Should you find yourself confronted by a GMTB and wish to escape, one need only mention that their "CSS" is broken. The GMTB invariably considers the CSS "correctness" and "portability" to be a craft, and the output thereof to be an "art." By pointing out that the page renders poorly on the most esoteric browser you can imagine, you will be assured a quick and uneventful escape.

  • by pholower ( 739868 )
    Does anybody know how they go about blocking "unwanted" internet site from the public? I am sure there is a way around it. I mean, unless they don't have any lines to the outside world (and yes, they do have lines to the outside world) it would be impossible for them to absolutely block content.

    • by DR SoB ( 749180 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:13PM (#8708182) Journal
      It is blocked by the main routers the government owns, which route all internet traffic. It simply checks the TCP header for the destination IP address, if it is bound for a blocked subnet, the packet is dropped.

      How to get around it, well the CIA didn't like those commi's blocking information, so they set up Anonymizer ( www.anonymizer.com ) that would allow a type of encrypted proxy so you could get around that. CoDC also set up some sort of browser that could get around it, but I didn't really investigate it much (Same guys who made Back-Oriface)..
      • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @07:12PM (#8708837)
        > It is blocked by the main routers the government owns, which route all internet traffic. It simply checks the TCP header for the destination IP address, if it is bound for a blocked subnet, the packet is dropped.

        That's the part I don't get.

        Why not let the packet go through, and simply log the session?

        Chen Sixpack: Goes to www.freetibet.org, is disgusted by what he sees, and the only thing in his logfile is index.html
        Jiang Sixpack: Goes to www.freetibet.org/index.html and spends six hours reading 20-30 pages of material.

        If I block both of them at the router, I don't know who's the greater threat to domestic security - because I can't target everyone. If I let the packets through and log session information (particularly if I can aggregate Jiang's web traffic with his IM traffic, for instance -- thereby exposing Jiang's entire social network. Great data mining opportunities :), I can use that data to have a better idea of who's worth targeting.

        By blocking at the firewall, the Chinese government is missing the point. A properly-configured Internet is like a self-registration system for domestic security threats.

    • Cisco, Microsoft and a host of other US related companies provide some/most of the tech behind it. Just google for China Fireware US Companies.
  • by PetoskeyGuy ( 648788 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:09PM (#8708136)
    women's nipples.

    Which society would you rather live in?
  • by DR SoB ( 749180 )
    Sounds like FCC / Howard Stern to me.. Congrats FCC, you are now offically, on par with Chinese Commi quality filtering.

    It's totally understandable that China's gov't will be overthrown if people are given free access to information, but it is totally unacceptable to see the FCC pulling these moves.
    • Sounds like FCC / Howard Stern to me.. Congrats FCC, you are now offically, on par with Chinese Commi quality filtering.

      Stern's complaint is that he's being forced into moving his show onto a subscription-based satellite radio service. However, if he moves there the FCC won't have any abilty to complain about what he says anymore.

      Meanwhile, the Chinese are filtering out any negative-to-the-government information of any kind from all forms of media. That's much more serious.
      • Stern's complaint is that he's being forced into moving his show onto a subscription-based satellite radio service. However, if he moves there the FCC won't have any abilty to complain about what he says anymore.

        I'm not a big fan of Stern my self... I don't watch or listen to his program because I find it uninteresting. I appricate his need to protest our cencorships laws, and support him to that end. If he must move to a satellite radio service, that would be fine too, as he can protest all he wants na
    • This is in no way related to the FCC. The FCC is just doing the job they were assigned to do. Because of the media involvement as of late, they have to be a little more strict, else lose all respect in the industry.

      In America, we can show nudity, have "foul" language, and just about anything else on TV. Just not Frequency Broadcasted television. Do you have HBO? There is a clear moral difference. I am not saying I completely agree with what is going on, but I do feel this has absolutely nothing to do with
      • No I don't have HBO, it's banned here in Canada...

        So the FCC's job is to smash the 1st amendment? Is it to dictate during an ELECTION YEAR, the wishes of the president? Does "Democracy" mean a government "ruler" that makes his will the law??

        What does this have to do with China? Well, the FCC is walking a very thin line here, sure, banning a shock jock or two may seem like a baby step, but add enough baby steps together and eventually you'll wind up in Washington.
    • by wibs ( 696528 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:33PM (#8708411)

      It's totally understandable that China's gov't will be overthrown if people are given free access to information

      Why do you say this? Have you been to China, asked anyone there what they think? Of course China is oppressive, and of course its views don't fall in line with those of the US. But that doesn't necessarily mean people would instantly overthrow it given the chance.

      As an architect, I've been keeping a very close eye on growth in China. Quite simply, China is where it's at. The growth rate there is just insane, and with the Olympics coming up there is now intense international pressure on very accellerated modernization. Remember the dot com boom? China is like that right now, except their economy is based on tangible things.

      I'm not saying that giving up freedom is worth some prosperity, but I am saying that if China were to all of a sudden take down its Great Firewall there is no guarantee that its people would want to risk destroying one of the largest economic expansions in history just because they can read the whiny ramblings of a 13 year old girl on Blogspot.

  • by Doesn't_Comment_Code ( 692510 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:09PM (#8708143)

    They've implimented a system to block free exchange of ideas about religion, politics and current issues through blogs and the internet...

    But even they can't stop spam.

    Interesting.
    • But even they can't stop spam.

      Spam revenues are probably one of the largest sources of hard currency for the PRC, based on the amount I receive that originates from or points to Chinese IPs. Fortunately, blackholes.us [blackholes.us] includes a nice blacklist that includes Korea, as well.

  • by SweetAndSourJesus ( 555410 ) <JesusAndTheRobot&yahoo,com> on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:10PM (#8708152)
    Oh, that'll show them. I can just see China's head of information management saying to himself "I never thought it would come to this! Black weblogs! Damn those clever bastards!"

    Webloggers have always had a hugely inflated sense of self-importance, but this is just ridiculous.
  • Freenet? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eberlin ( 570874 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:10PM (#8708154) Homepage
    I suppose someone could just ban any and all downloads of Freenet-related software so that's not going to solve anything. For anyone who ever said the mantra "Information Wants To Be Free" -- THIS is what it is meant to be.

    Government-sanctioned censorship isn't anything new, though. We try to protect children with things like CIPA and the like. We've got watchdogs all over that won't allow us (folks in the US) to hear foul language over public airwaves, are looking to restrain violent video games, and in general trying to police what we do.

    I'm not saying we're communistic, by any means. Just saying that censorship is censorship. Not as extreme, but the seeds are there.

    In the end, it unfortunately comes down to "censorship is only bad when they're censoring something I believe in."
    • Re:Freenet? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:31PM (#8708387)
      The US brand of content censorship is more about truth-in-labeling than anything else. Offensive material isn't totally prohibited, just limited to be exhibited where kids and people who would perfer not to see it won't stumble into it. You'd have to try very hard to get access to the Playboy Channel without knowing what you're doing...
  • by TheLoneGundam ( 615596 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:10PM (#8708155) Journal
    They can send their info to some FTP server and their US friends can copy it to Typepad. If FTP gets blocked, there's always e-mail.. and if I recall (can't find the link) there was actually a service that you could e-mail your FTP requests to. (wow, wish I could find that again, it was a list of about a zillion different services which were e-mail enabled)
    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:29PM (#8708365)
      It's a cat-and-mouse game. The Chinese will block any server being used to coordinate anti-government activities of any type. They're always a step behind, but this leads those who oppose the government to constantly be looking for new ways to communicate. Then, once they start communicating over a government honeypot site, they send the spooks and that person is never heard from again.
  • Just reading... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nathanhart ( 754532 ) <virusfarm@gmail.com> on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:11PM (#8708161) Homepage
    I think it was on BBC I was reading about goverments blocking their citizens from content, I know Iraq did it at first. All I can see it doing is makeing them mad and giveing them more of a reason to find a way around the block. They might just have to come to the relization that if people want to see if they will find a way to see it
  • Oh, bitter irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WarPresident ( 754535 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:13PM (#8708191) Homepage Journal
    As U.S. Ambassador Richard Williamson prepares to introduce a resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Commission to censure the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) government for increasing 'repression of its people using the Internet

    Somewhat ironic given that U.S. companies are profiting [wired.com] by selling censorship software to China. And of course, the U.S. requiring (or trying to require) libraries to censor the Internet, for the children, of course.
    • The argument is a "foot in the door" argument. That is to say, if Cisco doesn't sell them a filtering blocker, then there is no router at all, and therefore ALL information is censored.

      Just as other posts are describing, cracks appear in the wall. Regardless of repression efforts, that there is an internet in china is a Good Thing for long-term prospects of government liberalization and change. Whie to some of you this may sound like a cop-out, normally skeptical me finds this to be a reasonable explan

    • Somewhat ironic given that U.S. companies are profiting by selling censorship software to China. And of course, the U.S. requiring (or trying to require) libraries to censor the Internet, for the children, of course.

      Censoring adult content from computers in public libraries is completely different than blocking a nation's access to information because it opposes your government. In the US, you can get a connection for less than ten bucks a month and get whatever you want on the internet, whether it's adu
      • Compare that to configuring a public computer so that it won't show porn to children... I'm afraid I don't see your point of view.

        But they're not just blocking porn. They're using software with "encrypted" databases that have been proven to block more than just porn. [eff.org] People are prevented from decrypting these filtering programs by the government thanks to the DMCA. This is an end run around censorship laws, though I will grant that it doesn't give the government the power they want to block all opposing v
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:14PM (#8708193) Journal
    these are the perpetrators of the Tiananmen massacre. do you really think they would hesitate to block a few websites?
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:15PM (#8708217)
    Remember, China blocked Google for a time out of fears that they could find anti-government info there...

    So, it seems any site that lets somebody post infomation without has got to go. It won't be long until they decide Slashdot is not something they should let their people see.
  • by neves ( 324086 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:15PM (#8708223) Homepage
    Just other day the WTO said that USA had to allow on line gambling [slashdot.org]. China has just joined the WTO. Typepad is an for profit company, why not they also can't make WTO force them to allow access to Typepad? At least this shitty globalization would give a little help to free speech. At least by now USA and Britain aren't trying to make WTO become irrelevant as they did with ONU.
  • by Sensitive Claude ( 709959 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:17PM (#8708241) Homepage Journal
    Do they only block the http ports?
    Or do the block by IP or what?

    Yea, Gopher is dead, but don't be insensitive.
    Gopher was pretty cool, especially considering some of the terrible backgrounds and colors you sometimes get in http.

    Or is this just like suggesting lynx?

    Maybe it is a good thing that Apache 2 [slashdot.org] supports Gopher.

    Stop laughing, I'm serious.
    It wouldn't suprise me that the communist bastard politicians wouldn't know to block stuff outside http.

    p2p is another possibility, but that's been discussed before I'm sure.
    • You raise an interesting question, how their censorship is implemented.

      If you read the link from the story [ http://glutter.typepad.com/glutter/2004/03/all_ty p epad_sit.html ] you'll see in paragraph one there is a proxy link
      [http://www.unipeak.com/getpage.php?_u_r_l_= aHR0cD ovL2dsdXR0ZXIudHlwZXBhZC5jb20vZ2x1dHRlci8yMDA0LzAz L2FsbF90eXBlcGFkX3NpdC5odG1s

      While this isn't direct evidence as to what they are doing to block sites... it would sugest that a proxy without the censored text in the link will st
  • Cryptography... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Beek ( 10414 )
    And it becomes obvious why cryptography is so important...

    http://www.t0.or.at/crypto/crossbow.htm [t0.or.at]
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:19PM (#8708260)
    If the WTO can force the U.S to admit offshore online casinos [slashdot.org], perhaps the WTO can force China to admit offshore information services. The Chinese consumers should be able to access any commercial internet site (including a paid weblog service like Typepad) as a free trade issue.
    • by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:21PM (#8708295) Journal
      Chinese government policies that favor Chinese companies over foreign firms are driving some U.S. tech companies from the booming market.

      This month, chipmakers Intel and Broadcom said they'll stop selling wireless Internet, or Wi-Fi, chips in China. A new law requires that the chips include a security technology licensed by Chinese companies.

      The technology can hurt chips' performance and compatibility with other devices, says Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy. And implementing it requires U.S. chipmakers to share valuable intellectual property with Chinese companies, says Semiconductor Industry Association President George Scalise.

      The Wi-Fi dispute is one of several being waged between the U.S. and Chinese tech industries.

      Semiconductor taxes. China slaps a 17% value-added tax on computer chips sold there. But it gives rebates of up to 14% to domestic chip plants. That makes it almost impossible for foreign chipmakers to compete, the SIA says.

      This month, the U.S. trade office filed a case against China's semiconductor tax with the World Trade Organization (news - web sites), which China joined in 2001. China must abide by the WTO's decision or risk censure. Friday, China said it would enter talks with the United States.

      Proprietary standards and practices. China is developing its own standards for 3G cell phone networks and DVD players. (The Chinese version is called EVD, or extended versatile disk.) If the standards are widely adopted, they will allow Chinese manufacturers to avoid paying some licensing fees to foreign companies and force tech firms to make special products only for China. Officials also have taken steps to keep government agencies from using non-Chinese software.

      U.S. companies urgently want to do business in China because it's a huge, growing market. China has a $1.4 trillion economy and gross domestic product growth near 10%, according to the U.S. State Department. Political changes in recent years have increasingly opened the once-isolated country to foreign companies. U.S. tech firms are eager to sell PCs, DVD players and other products to China's 1.3 billion citizens.

      Chinese officials talk about fair trade, yet "behave like a protective dictatorship when it serves their best interests," says Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, a trade group. Chinese officials deny that and say they're working to understand U.S. concerns.

      Nearly every country has some policies to boost and protect domestic industries. The U.S. gives tech companies a tax break for research and development, for example. But trade groups such as the ITAA say China's policies are so extreme, they infringe on free trade. In 2003, the USA exported $28 billion worth of goods to China and imported $152 billion.

      --00--00--00--

      Philippe Lacoste, director of French retail giant Lacoste and grandson of founder Rene Lacoste (L), gives a brief history of the company during a news conference in Shanghai March 29, 2004. French retailer Lacoste, frustrated over what it calls widespread piracy in China, may pull out of the market if it fails to stop a Singapore-based rival from also using a crocodile logo. REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV
    • It seems as if the United States has taken a policy of "selective enforcement" when it comes to known human rights violators. Iraq's unquestionable human rights violations were used as part of the justification for the present war, yet China's human rights violations keep getting swept under the rugs.

      Of course, I'm not sure what the current position on basic human rights violations by the USA is right now...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Do these rules apply to Hong Kong. I'm vague as to how seperatly they are treated since 1997 when ownship reverted back to China. I know for example a Hong Kong resident no longer needs a visa to travel to the mainland, and they still retain certain comercial freedoms.

  • The most troubling thing about this is that PRC is using US companies to write and implement the software and hard technologies that permit all this censorship. It seems to me that if our government is willing to prevent easy export of offensive military weapons, it should have similar strictures for the export of defensive weapons designed to promote closed minds in populations that want open minds.
  • Wireless blogging (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ChiralSoftware ( 743411 ) <info@chiralsoftware.net> on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:25PM (#8708322) Homepage
    Wireless blogging [chiralsoftware.net] is going to be a way to get around many restrictions. Of course this doesn't help if they are blocking the servers. Fortunately these days there are a vast number of hosting companies which provide blog hosting. And wireless net is huge in China, with hundreds of millions of WAP-enabled phones. I think that the government will at some point just give up on this and realize that free expression is not that much of a threat. They should look over at the example of Singapore, where the government is very strict, but it tolerates a little joking commentary [talkingcock.com]. The PRC will realize that people complaining is not the same thing as a real challenge.
  • by metroid composite ( 710698 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:32PM (#8708400) Homepage Journal
    A coworker of mine in a largely undergrad programming group, student at the University of British Columbia, was from China and fully convinced that her government was downright awesome, way better than the Canadian government, and that the reports on human rights violations I talked about were just western propaganda. Come to think of it, I've never been to Tibet, I suppose she could be right ...theoretically....

    That's not really the point, however. The point is, everyone claiming that information = insta-revolution well...I seriously doubt it. A lot of people left Hong Kong before PRC took it over...and then moved back when they saw that PRC didn't really change the system at all, and things were peaceful.

    Seriously, they didn't really keep out outside information before; that fully explains the Tiananmen Square protests, as people knew that Communist leaderships everywere were falling appart so they wanted to try in China too. If people wanted a protest/revolution it would happen; I honestly don't think they do, and I don't think the internet will change that, blocked or unblocked.

  • And that shows... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BigChigger ( 551094 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:35PM (#8708436)
    exactly how much off a @#$# China cares about what anybody thinks of them. I mean, gee whiz, if they're willing to shoot their citizens in the street (Tianneman Sq (sp?)) do you really think some UN resolution is going to matter?

    BC
  • Pot and Kettle (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oob ( 131174 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:43PM (#8708512)
    U.S. news agencies stopped broadcasting Bin Laden's speeches at the request of the U.S. government.

    The U.S. government made the absurd claim that Bin Laden was "sending secret messages to his supporters" through his speeches, when it was blatantly obvious that the U.S. was simply interested in suppressing him.

    Understandably in fact. Bin Laden was making a whole lot of sense and sounded extremely reasonable when compared to Bush.

    The U.S. does not have the moral standing to criticise other nations. To do so is the height of hypocrisy.
  • by karmaflux ( 148909 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @06:44PM (#8708521)
    ...and I understand why they're blocking journals.

    It all started when Hao Feng Xi submitted a request for unemployment support:

    hay doodz i just wanted 2 let u no i didnt hav a job!!! n so i n33d $$$ (lol, &#165;&#165;&#165;) so i can f33d my babigurl and kidz!!! n e way, hope u can coff up the &#165;&#165;&#165; soon 4 food coz were hungri!!! ^_^

    This, of course, infuriated the whole fucking country, and now they're on a mission to stamp out this new form of "viral illiteracy."
  • It gets worse (Score:4, Informative)

    by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Monday March 29, 2004 @07:14PM (#8708855) Homepage
    If you want to take a look at the pervasive, active content blocking by the PRC, take a look at this [harvard.edu].

    The breadth of censored content there is simply amazing.

  • hypocracy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Easy2RememberNick ( 179395 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @07:22PM (#8708920)
    First of all I find it very unusual any US politician would have anything to do with the UN.
    I remember on CNN after two planes, of the anti-Castro group, were shot down by Cuba, a US polictican ( Helms...Burton? ) said that all the more reason to continue the economic boycott of Cuba.
    The next story was on China and another politician speaking about China said that keeping dialogue open with China was the only way to make progress.
    If the Internet in China, and also keeping dialogue open, is so important, why not do that for every enemy or the US?
    China is so huge I wouldn't worry about the government controlling the Internet. They seem to be where the USSR was in the late 80's just before Communism fell.
  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Monday March 29, 2004 @07:34PM (#8709002) Homepage Journal

    ... how the same people tend to curse at US for being oppressive, aggressive, and otherwise evil, and yet completely ignore China's record on the same issues.

    For example, the French -- among the noisiest critics of US nowadays lit/painted the Eiffel tower red to greet the Chinese leader and to comfort him with support for his hostility towards Taiwan.

    Italians, protesting every one of the executions in US, seem to completely ignore the public executions in China, which sometimes take place in stadiums and are often caused merely by alleged economic crimes.

    Now this (as if we did not know about the Great Chinese Firewall before)... Where are the condemnations from the people, accusing the US for "suffocating the independent media" -- because Howard Stern was kicked off by his employer?

  • by CGP314 ( 672613 ) <CGP@ C o l i n G r e g o ryPalmer.net> on Monday March 29, 2004 @08:13PM (#8709360) Homepage
    Some sites in the blogging community are turning black in protest of this event while others are reporting the incident.

    Well thank God the all powerful blog-o-sphere is finally using its power to do something instead of just creating a rebellion symbol/meme and linking to real news sources.

    Oh wait.


    -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
  • by Britz ( 170620 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @08:16PM (#8709374)
    And I would like to share a few things to anyone who is interested:

    First of all: China is changing a such a rapid pace that no Cisco routers that are used to block a couple websites will have any major impact.
    We are talking of about 100 million people rapidly moving up the social ladder. The communist party just aknowledged that they have to do something about the rest (more than 900 million btw), many of them on the way trying to get on board with the first group.

    That said I would like to share some insight into history. Even though we know oppresive regimes are bad and the usual American only pokes at Communism with a 9 foot pole the regime served the majority of the Chinese people pretty well in the past 40-50 years. The cultural revolution was a major setback and the party says it was very wrong. Apart from that they had some great success at poverty reduction during the 70s and 80s.

    Compare that to what You know about India, which has had a stable democracy during most of that time or South America which has been under US influence since the infamous "Teddy".
    IMHO India lags behind China on the rights of the woman (in practial terms, theoratically all Communist coutries should be heaven for women, which never was) over all for example. I am sure You will find more.

    At the moment the US govt. is using the "human rights tool" to apply pressure to China on the international diplomatic level. You know it, they know it and everyone else knows it too. (Saudi Arabia and human rights ... US allies ... )

    Still we have an issue with free speech in China, since a corrupt govt. that has nothing left to justify its hold on power (they promote market economics for heavens sake) is trying to keep the country out of major shakeups. Remember what happened to Russia after the change? Live expectency is still going down there. Anyways, there are people in the party that try to move towards democracy, but that is not easy and they don't want civil war.

    That said the most important problems that China is facing at the moment are corruption and trying not to loose the 900 million people on the way to wealth and prosperity. That is what the party is saying. IMHO the biggest problem is for the officials to stay on top of this huge moving mass that China represents at the moment. And it is gaining speed.

    Exactly because of that the central government is trying to promote free speech to get more accurate reports from the various parts of China, since the official channels are slow and always change facts around so the local govt. looks good.
  • my god... (Score:3, Funny)

    by ShadowRage ( 678728 ) on Monday March 29, 2004 @11:38PM (#8710683) Homepage Journal
    china blocking the freedom of speech?!

    WHAT HAS THIS WORLD COME TO?!
  • by toogreen ( 632329 ) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:18AM (#8710924)
    Hello there, I am a Canadian and I'm now in China teaching English and doing some freelance web development. I've been in China (Shanghai) for about 9 months now and to be honest it is VERY rare that I can't access any particuliar website. I remember just when I got here I did have some problems with a very few sites but then they seemed to have really cooled down lately about it since now these sites are easily accessible. Same thing with Google, they un-blocked it long time ago. I just tried both of the supposedly blocked websites (blogger and typepad) and I have absolutely no problem accessing these sites. I don't know where this information came from but they surely didn't block it for me! ;) I'm also pretty amazed by how easy and cheap it is to go online here (compared to Canada). I'm on a very fast cable connection, with no restrictions or quotas at all, and I pay about US 14$ (splitted between me and my flatmate). In Canada I have to pay over CDN 35$ for a cable connection that gives me like 6 gig max of downloads and a crappy 15k/s upload speed limit... Anyways I just thought I should share that information with you guys as I feel sometimes we westerners tend to bitch a lot about China and its government without really seeing how things really are in the real world. China is under very heavy and fast transformations right now, as much economically than socially, and I think Shanghai is probably the best place to actually see that LIVE in front of your eyes. Shanghai is definately opening up to the world and its a pretty cool and fun place to live in (and party!) nowadays. You should see how fast skyscrapers are growing like mushrooms around here, it's quite unbelievable. And I haven't said anything about the amazing transportation system and its modern facilities... I still can't believe they can put these flat LCDs and huge plasma screens about every 5 meters in the metro, when I can't even afford one of those myself (Grr). Oh btw, I saw those terminals reboot once or twice, and yes it runs under Linux ;) The cultural changes are there as well, as the younger generations seem not to differ as much as westerners anymore... But at the same time it's a bit of a shame cuz with McDonalds and KFC invading China (There's a famous street in Shanghai, Nanjing rd. where there is a McDonald's or KFC about every 100 meters!) I see SO many very FAT youngsters, which is something almost impossible to see amongst the 20+ and older generations... Too bad, I guess the amazing fact that chinese woman are all very thin and healthy looking will be something of the past and to remember... sigh! ;) There's a lot more to say but oh well, that was just my 2 cents about China...

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