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The Internet Censorship

How Burmese Dissidents Crack Censorship 154

s-orbital writes "According to a BBC News article, "Images of saffron-robed monks leading throngs of people along the streets of Rangoon have been seeping out of a country famed for its totalitarian regime and repressive control of information. The pictures, sometimes grainy and the video footage shaky, are captured at great personal risk on mobile phones — but each represents a powerful statement of political dissent." The article goes on to tell the stories of how Burma's bloggers use proxy servers, free hosting services, and other technologies to overcome Burma's "pervasive" filtering of internet access and news."
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How Burmese Dissidents Crack Censorship

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  • no idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hurfy ( 735314 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @08:00PM (#20762223)
    I had no idea Burma was so nasty til the news blurb last night featuring those shots. Don't remember if that was a BBC or German news show on PBS. Ok, actually i didnt realize Burma still existed...

    Those are mostly monks because the gov't is scared to bash a bunch of monks protesting. Despite being isolated from most of the world even the most hard handed regime is scared of pictures of monks getting beaten :) Others are liable to get jailed or worse but they seem to get left alone if the crowd is predomiately monks.
  • by WED Fan ( 911325 ) <<ten.liamhsart> <ta> <egihaka>> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @08:29PM (#20762419) Homepage Journal
    Aung San Suu Kyi has said, "Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts. The fear of losing power corrupts."
  • tpb does its part (Score:2, Interesting)

    by deftcoder ( 1090261 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @08:52PM (#20762571)
    I noticed a link today on [] pointing to [] !
  • Re:Who? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plover ( 150551 ) * on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @09:02PM (#20762639) Homepage Journal

    I say put a rifle in the hands of every able-bodied man and woman in Myanmar and see how things change.

    That's the approach we successfully employed in Afghanistan. We taught the mujaheddin how to resist the Soviet invaders and taught them the principles of insurgency, which they haven't seem to have forgotten yet. And in Iraq, we sold peace-lovin' Saddam Hussein the weapons to defend himself against Persian aggression, which he peacefully used to help the Kurds avoid an uprising, and peacefully used to liberate Kuwait... and now we're rearming the Iraqi police to defend against those same weapons.

    So if at any point you continue to think it is a good idea for us to keep providing arms to other people, just start flipping through your history books or your newspaper. Seriously, I think a U.S. invasion would be better than a weapons deal, simply because we wouldn't leave the weapons behind after the fighting is done.

  • Re:no idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by archen ( 447353 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @09:27PM (#20762791)
    The monks appear to be acting as a spearhead to dissidence, initially over a small squabble over gas prices it has escalated pretty far - and I believe all the monks wanted was an apology. The monks are perfectly aware at how much they are revered, and people know what while the government can dismiss any regular person as some whack job that deserved to be punished, people know for a FACT that holds no water when the police beat monk down. The monks actively tell people NOT to join them in their march. But you'll notice that while all the marchers are monks many of the people at the sides are actually shielding the monks from the police/government. In a world of senseless violence this is actually pretty moving stuff. Someday I hope that Burma will open not only for them, but so I can see pictures of the masses of monks robed in red peacefully marching in protest.

    Also, I think there have been regular people protesting where the monks were actually blocked by the police, but I can't recall where I read that. Many reports seem sketchy at best.
  • Re:Call it Burma (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jellie ( 949898 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @09:42PM (#20762893)
    Since we're on the topic of names, I might as well add that some countries, like the US and UK, use "Burma", whereas the UN (perhaps for diplomatic reasons) uses "Myanmar". Most refer to the people of the country and the official language as "Burmese". And, for what it's worth, the name of the country actually sounds more like "Myanmar" than "Burma" - apparently the latter was a poor transliteration.
  • by hwstar ( 35834 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @09:52PM (#20762963)
    Just before the real violence occurs. The two ISP's will shut down, all mobile phone basestations will be turned off, Commercial two way, CB, and ham frequencies will be jammed, and smoke generators will be used to obscure viewing by spy satellites.

  • by WED Fan ( 911325 ) <<ten.liamhsart> <ta> <egihaka>> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @10:00PM (#20763019) Homepage Journal
    I spent 6 years in Japan. I lived in Tohoku, down in Tokyo and Yokohama and did business there. As a Buddhist, I will tell you this, your characterization of Soka Gakkai is uncharitable, wrong, and shallow.
  • by WED Fan ( 911325 ) <<ten.liamhsart> <ta> <egihaka>> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @10:03PM (#20763045) Homepage Journal
    ...and, if I might add, smacks of the young Mormon missionaries that I met while in Japan. The swarmed the streets of Sendai, Koriyama, Morioka without the least idea of who the Japanese really are. Their expression of derision of the Buddhist and Shinto traditions was distasteful, in the least.
  • by WED Fan ( 911325 ) <<ten.liamhsart> <ta> <egihaka>> on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @10:08PM (#20763073) Homepage Journal

    ... and right here is where you reveal such complete ignorance that it makes the rest of your post hard to take seriously.

    I stopped at the same point. To see his entourage, his open mindedness to science and politics, and his spirit, I am convinced that this unenlightened one has done nothing more than read bumperstickers. Had he read even the chapter of any of the Dalai Lama's writing, he would be beyond posting as he did.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @10:30PM (#20763229)
    I think that fits with what I've heard. What happened is known, the greater background and political context generally is not.
  • by Mode_Locrian ( 1130249 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @11:29PM (#20763659)
    Interestingly, at least some Burmese (generally younger people) are using the internet as a way to further their education (via online correspondence courses in other countries) since it is essentially illegal to go to college in Burma unless you are the child of a member of the military elite. Further, the idea behind this education is that they can hopefully use it to bring about social change in Burma, which need not involve the use of the internet to disseminate information.

    I probably shouldn't go into any further detail about how I know this, though...
  • Radical slave master (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2007 @12:56AM (#20764239)
    To see [the Dalai Lama's] entourage, his open mindedness to science and politics, and his spirit,

    Well, it's a good that you didn't see the Dalai Lama's army of slaves then (when he was still lording it in Tibet), because if you did you would be seriously disillusioned.

  • Re:Who? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by upside ( 574799 ) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @02:12AM (#20764653) Journal
    Errmm... Good points right up to the last sentence. The Pentagon cannot account for 14,030 weapons sent to Iraq. []
  • Re:Oddly enough... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Virgil Tibbs ( 999791 ) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @06:08AM (#20765817) Homepage
    perhaps they are the 'official' photos though from [] ( State tv)

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN