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Censorship The Internet News

China Sets New Rules On Internet News 340

auckland map writes "China set new regulations on Internet news content which ban the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest. Established news media needed permission to run a news Web site, while new operators had to register themselves with government information offices. This move further widens a campaign of controls Chinese government has imposed on web sites, communication, leisure and businesses." From the article: "The state bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest ... [internet news sites] must be directed toward serving the people and socialism and insist on correct guidance of public opinion for maintaining national and public interests."
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China Sets New Rules On Internet News

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  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:27AM (#13649638)
    Time and time again "national security" is shown to be the antithesis of freedom. Be it in China or the United States, putting such a focus on protecting "national security" results in severe harm to the liberties and life of the nation's citizenry.

  • This is a pefect template for the the FEC to use when they decide to regulate political blogs []. Free speech is guaranteed through censorship.
  • by Reality Master 201 ( 578873 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:31AM (#13649661) Journal
    How can this post be redundant? It's in the first 3 posted for the story. Moderators - if you don't like someone's opinion, either say so or apply an appropriate moderation. Kindly look up the meaning of the word "redundant."
  • The Taboo Effect (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Stu L Tissimus ( 873928 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:33AM (#13649669)
    Just another example of what I call "The Taboo Effect." When something isn't allowed, you'll want to do it more. Perfect example: Marijuana. Or downloading music. This new rule could cause an explosion of anti-"public interest" blogs and websites.

    Speaking of blogs, how does this rule work for servers that are outside of China? I can just see the headlines now: "Capitalists Use Myspace to Thwart China"
  • by Surur ( 694693 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:33AM (#13649671) Journal
    In the west you dont even know when "public opinion is being guided" in supposed national interest.

  • by syndicate0198 ( 917449 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:36AM (#13649698)
    How is this different from the United States where any suggested attempt to overthrow the government, assassinate the leadership, or other movements to change the political system are met with charges of treason?

    Except in China they nip it in the bud earlier than we do. But during McCarthy era, the government felt that certain people posed a credible threat to the political system and acted upon it. In China's case, they feel that certain people are trying to change the political system there, hence the crackdown.

    Having said that, the government is trying to mix capitalism with an authoritarian government, and it's been working well so far. The quality of life is rising in China, and as long as that continues, I'm sure most people in China value socioeconomic freedom over political freedom anyday. That includes most people in the world.

    There are certainly other democratic countries where the quality of life is worse than that of China's.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:38AM (#13649705)
    China really seems to get a the full potential the internet offers for controlling information streams. Since it seems to work rather well for them, I actually wonder how long it will take before the rest of the world will apply this degree of control of information.
  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:43AM (#13649735)
    Indeed, it really is quite obvious. I mean, look at the recent and ongoing Iraq war. 95% of the European, Canadian, Australian, etc., citizens saw it for the sham that it was, even if their respective governments did not (or chose not to).

    It seems that the only people who were tricked into supporting it were the moronic rednecks and the most right-wing extremists in non-American countries. Otherwise, basically everyone saw it as it really was. And this was with a mainstream media that does not actually investigate such matters.

  • by metternich ( 888601 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:46AM (#13649758)
    The last great communistic/socialistic/whatever government on the planet.
    Hardly... While there is still some remenants of the old state-run economy, China's increasingly capitialistic these days and has been so for some time. Heck, they recently changed the rules so capitialists can join the Chinese Communist Party. I think "Authoritarian" is the word you're looking for, and there are plenty of other countries that word would also describe.
  • press = democracy (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:48AM (#13649769)
    The media insures that the democratic agencies follow the rules of democracy. If the press is censored you are robbed both democracy and later freedom. Governments do have a right to classify certain information, but that information has to be rooted in laws, whose purpose is to protect yours and my freedom.
  • No, not reall (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:49AM (#13649773) Journal
    The problem isn't "national security" as such, and there's nothing wrong with a community (country-sized or any other size) protecting itself.

    The problem is that "national security", "patriotism", ironically even "democracy", are also the first excuses someone reaches for when they want to take your freedom away. No, let me rephrase that: the problem is that the people tend to get stuck on some _words_ instead of their _meaning_.

    E.g., people are raised to rant and rave about how they have a right to free speech, but don't actually know what that right means. ("Congress shall make no law...") Most think it means the exact _opposite_: that they're allowed to troll a board or shout obscenities at the neighbour, but the government is still allowed to censor anything. I mean, duh, it's the government, of course they're supposed to tell us what to do and what not to do, right? Wrong-

    E.g., people are raised on ideas like that patriotism means they must obey and do their duty, but they lose focus of: to whom. Hint: it means to the country, not to one particular party or leader. Sometimes the patriotic thing to do might actually be to disobey a bad leader.

    And so on.

    So you're left with whole generations which have been raised basically with a Pavlov's dog kind of reflex. You ring the bell, the dog does something by reflex, without thinking. Same here. You say "patriotism", people get a knee-jerk reaction to obey anything. There's a whole bunch of magic words that just trigger a reflex, without much thinking or questioning.

    And it should come as no surprise when some people do come along and use them to their own interest. It's like having a big red button that says "push here to get an immediate advantage." Is it any surprise when some people come and push it?
  • The great irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Crixus ( 97721 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:00AM (#13649833)
    What's great about the bulk of the media in the US is that they impose these limitations and bans on themselves, without having to have the government do it for them.
  • Re:Holy crap! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:09AM (#13649892)
    Funny, I was going to say Democrats are. They're the socialist-wannabes, aren't they?

    Actually, by European standards most US Democrats are pretty comfortably to the right of the center in politics. Everytime I hear you Neocons accuse liberal or moderate right wing politicians in the US of being Socialists I wonder what would happen if somebody introduced one of you US-American conservatives to a real live 24 carat way-left-of-center Socialist, never mind an acutal honest to goodness die hard Communist like we have them over here in Europe? My pet theory is that you would go red in the face, then steam would shoot out of your ears and your eyes would bulge out followed by a massive bang as your head explodes. Many US-Americans speak very belligerently about Communists, Socialsits and how they are the spawn of Satan etc... but I get the feeling most US-Americans have little or no idea what those words acutally mean.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:24AM (#13649991) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone have an example of speech being restricted that is not solely designed to prevent the dissemination of information that could result in harm to U.S. troops or citizens?

    I defy you to explain to me how "free speech zones" prevent harm to anybody, or are anything but a blatant exercise of power on the government's part for power's sake.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:24AM (#13649992)
    Well, he is just blabbing the same tired platitudes without saying anything new. It's not redundant to this article discussion, but on Slashdot I've certainly heard the same BS a million times.
  • by zanderredux ( 564003 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:25AM (#13649997)
    Precisely, claims to preserve "National Security" are exactly what take people with authoritarian biases into office.

    Suppose some major $SHIT happens in $COUNTRY, which was not caused by some natural factors. The public will be understandably angry and will demand some $ACTION to be taken to appease their own fears.

    I mean, what else can some $GOVERNMENT do? It is only natural that they will take some actions to improve "National Security". Once whoever is in command get to that point, it becomes a slippery slope when they realise how easy it is to mobilise public opinion, congresses/parliaments around it to get whatever they want done.

    I'm not blaming governments per se, but that's only human nature in full motion. It takes a very enlightened constituency and congress/parliament to avoid getting caught in that trap -- and we know that is just not the case, since congresses/parliaments (who should check over government's actions) also have their own short-term issues (staying in office, getting reelected, becoming future president/prime minister)

  • by stinerman ( 812158 ) <nathan DOT stine AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:30AM (#13650037) Homepage
    Yes ... and Hitler was part of the National Socialist party ...

    Godwin! You win!
  • by zxnos ( 813588 ) <> on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:46AM (#13650173)
    free speech zones are a bad idea, but i think they are a response to protesters who block doors, sidewalks and generally disrupt other peoples daily routines. many protesters seem to think it is their right to stop me from doing what i want to do becuase they disagree with me. if protesters would respect the rights of others to disagree and go about their business, we probably wouldnt have them.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @10:12AM (#13650390) Journal
    Yeah right, and you are seeing exactly what you want to see. Like those massive protests about the iraq war. I don't call a few hundred protesters massive.

    The fast majority of the west doesn't give a damn about iraq. All they know is that europe is being overrun by muslims and that they are not happy with it. Oh and that gas prices are going through the roof.

    It is very easy to look at the media and see a definite slant to events in the world. I seen pro-muslims claim that newspaper X was anti-muslim and anti-muslims claim the exact same newspaper was pro-muslim. A good example was todays dual story of hamas attacking israel with missles and the assasination of a hamas leader in response.

    Basically both the cheap free newspapers here reported both facts, but the assasination was mentioned on the front page and the hamas attack was just 1 sentence in the main article. Also it featured a photograph that was not directly related to the story of a massive explosion.

    So was this article pro-palestine? Well the hamas attack had no fatalisties, "only" 5 wounded. While the assasination killed. The purely objective thing to note here is that Israeli's are obviously better shots.

    So the "real" story is that hamas is an organization that has vowed to wipe Israel from the face of the earth and that Israel has chosen to wipe out Hamas before that happens. Or is it the other way around? At this point in time it is like trying to figure out who started the northern ireland conflict.

    You report that 95% of non-americans saw the whole WMD thing as a sham, I doubt that figure but you seem to link that automatically with those same people being against the invasion. Nice leap but I don't see that on the workfloor. An awfull lot of working class people here in holland have just one question if they even think about it. How come they have to pay for iraq refugees who flee their so called oppressive goverment but when that goverment is then overthrown all those so called refugees are against it? Either you are for a goverment or you are against.

    But I agree most media is incredibly bad at investigating the real story. It is easier to make some sensation story. Massive headlines about how EU agriculture subsidies are causing hunger in 3rd world countries, followed by massive headlines how cuts in EU agriculture subsidies are putting farmers out of work. WTF? Take a bloody side!

    I think the worst mistake Bush made was the whole WMD nonsense. Had he simply gone for "Saddam is a ticking timebomb for his own people, the minorities in his country and the rest of the world and we are no longer going to wait for sanctions wich the entire world is ignoring to work." he might have had a lot more support.

    The sad thing is that I am old and I remember the same blind sheep like you complain that the world wasn't doing anything when Saddam gassed the koerds.

    Hell some guy send in a letter recently to the "spits" complaining that America deserved New Orleans for invading Iraq and why wasn't the west doing anything in Dafur (muslims killing blacks and vice versa). In the same letter the guy complained that America had invaded iraq AND was complaining they hadn't invaded Dafur.

    What is a goverment supposed to do with people like you. They are damned if they do and they are damned if they don't.

    So how does this relate to china? Well lets face it, china needs only look at russia to see what happens to a superpower who lets the west dictate what it should do. So china will happily continue with its current policy knowing that with each passing year America and the west will be more and more dependant and less able to take a stand against it.

    Mainstream media does not see this but frankly neither does the alternative media. The only way to get true unbiased news is to make your own by getting it from multiple sources. If you are only reading news stories that condemn the war in Iraq then you are not well informed. Don't then complain that other people aren't either.

    At least the chinese know they are getting a 1-sided version of the news. You do not.

  • Re:Holy crap! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bimo_Dude ( 178966 ) <bimoslash@theness. o r g> on Monday September 26, 2005 @10:53AM (#13650676) Homepage Journal
    Agreed. The democrats are wrong.

    So are the republicans.

    Just take a look at the "leadership" in both parties - their voting records, who their donors are, and how they don't actually represent the people who are just members of the parties. They feed at the same trough, and they are mostly equally corrupt. Kerry was a really lame-ass candidate, and I really don't think there would be any difference in the US policy (both domestic and foreign) if he were in the white house.

  • Re:How primitive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @11:18AM (#13650851)
    No they are not. Fox and the other conservative leaning press is the first time the mainstream US media actively took a consistant side of an issue as part of its identity as an organization. The outlets you are referring to have some faults. The faults are typically that they care only about their ratings, they engage in serious groupthink, and they cover issues very superficially. That is not the same as saying they are biased towards liberals.

    Go back to the 80s and look at how Reagan was covered (mostly very positively - except during Iran/Contra which they mostly covered as "horserace"). Look at how Jimmy Carter was pretty much crucified by the media. (Every day they ended the news by saying, "This is the nth day of the hostage crisis in Iran." They pretty much treated Mondale's candidacy as a joke.

    You should also understand that when you are very partisan on one side of an issue, it is easy to get into the mindset of "anyone who doesn't see things 100% my way must be biased towards my opponents." Feeling that way does not make it so. Repeating it over and over doesn't make it so either.
  • Re:Cuba... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @11:18AM (#13650855)
    You need to wipe your fairytale land image of Cuba out of your head. China is ugly, but Cuba is worse. Cuba has absolutely no press outside the state run press and whatever the US blasts at them via the radio that isn't jammed. China is cruel to their disidents, but China in recent years has shown growing tolerance. There is absolutely no tolerance in Cuba.

    Yes, Havan is pretty, but so is Pyongyang. Show cities are pretty par for the course for repressive authoritarian governments. Cuba is an ugly place, period. Florida has a population of Cubans to rival Cuba, and it isn't because the thousands of people that flee each year in bathtubs across the Atlantic think everything is dandy in Cuba.
  • by BeanThere ( 28381 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @11:22AM (#13650891)
    ... to this and other human rights abuses in China by, uh, giving $162 billion per year (and increasing) business to China, $55 billion dollars Foreign Direct Investment, and ship hundreds of thousands of US jobs to China.


    Is China already too powerful/influental that nobody could influence them even if they wanted to? Or is it simply that nobody in the ruling class cares about human rights abuses as long as there is more money to be made?
  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Monday September 26, 2005 @11:22AM (#13650892) Homepage Journal
    First of all, the entire "National Security vs. Free Speech argument" far, far predates 9/11 and the Patriot Act; in the US, it goes back over two centuries, at least to the Alien and Sedition Acts. Second, the use of Free Speech Zones has expanded dramatically since 9/11. And third, what happened in Seattle (rather overblown in the reporting, I suspect) was the action of a small group of organized vandals; to abrogate the entire assembly clause of the First Amendment on that basis is absurd. The Bill of Rights is designed to make it hard for the government to control people; that may be unfortunate from some people's POV, but the alternative is much worse.
  • Re:No, not reall (Score:4, Insightful)

    by operagost ( 62405 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @11:32AM (#13650972) Homepage Journal
    Cheney never said anything like that and his record [] suggests it is unlikely he ever would.
  • Boo Hoo they mean (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @11:35AM (#13650995) Homepage Journal
    Seems a little misplaced to excoriate a country which has lifted more than 200 million people out of unimaginable poverty in the last 20 years. I suppose it's preferable to leave our gentle sensibilities in place and pave the streets with the corpses of those who starved.
  • by RLiegh ( 247921 ) * on Monday September 26, 2005 @11:53AM (#13651113) Homepage Journal
    Violating an unjust law is not wrong.

    Violating an unjust law and then accepting the consequences is Civil Disobedience.

    Violating an unjust law and then whinging that you got arrested is being a lame-ass whiny emo kid.
  • Re:Holy crap! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MagikSlinger ( 259969 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @03:30PM (#13652882) Homepage Journal
    Just because there are "Democrats" who are unjustly accused of being communists does not mean that there aren't "Democrats" who most certainly ARE socialists/communists. For every Joe Leiberman there are 4 or 5 Howard Deans and Hillary Clintons.

    *blink-blink* Are you seriously suggesting they're leftists!? Not even by the standards of the American left are they left-wing. Howard Dean was considered the most pro-business and right-wing governor Vermont had in years, and the NRA gave him a strong endorsement when he was governor.

    In fact that is the precise reason why the Democratic party has become so anemic, it's been overrun with ignorant loony-left whackjobs whose perception of reality is heavily distorted by the dead-end idiocy that makes up the closest thing they have to a political philosophy.

    You might want to check out actual honest-to-goodness American left-wing blogs. Most American left wingers consider the Democratic party to have become so right wing (thanks to the DLC) that they're lame copies of the Republicans. The "loony-left" were escorted from the party after 1988 and then became Greens.

    You are right that most Americans have never really seen a real-life example of european socialists/communists. We have to rely on historical accounts of people like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, etc. If we were to actually come face to face with such a person, I do agree that our reaction would be very negative. I don't think our heads would explode though. I think it is much more likely that the communist's head would explode as a result of shot with a high-powered rifle.

    This tells me all we need to know about you.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.