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Censorship The Internet

How to Dodge the Chinese Internet Censor 119

eweekhickins writes "A report written by a tech worker in China describes the pervasive censorship, abetted by ample manpower and funding estimated at $27 billion in US dollars. The author, who calls himself Mr. Tao, also writes that plenty of Chinese are finding ways to resist censorship, and offers tips on how to keep evading Big GeGe (that's Older Brother). Not surprisingly, self-censorship is very prevalent. Also not surprisingly, the authorities are starting to catch on to things like RSS feeds. It's another race for survival between the tiny mammals and the lumbering dinosaurs." Here's Mr. Tao's report (PDF), written under the auspices of Reporters Without Borders.
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How to Dodge the Chinese Internet Censor

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  • by cryfreedomlove ( 929828 ) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:00AM (#21024093)

    You can dismiss it as overly melodramatic. That's easy for you but you might want to ask The Tank Man [wikipedia.org] if he was just being melodramatic that day.
  • by Notquitecajun ( 1073646 ) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:01AM (#21024113)
    I had a friend who had the experience I was describing along the southwestern border...he was working as a missionary among some muslim populations there.
  • by BobGregg ( 89162 ) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:31AM (#21024549) Homepage
    >> It makes me wonder who those people are who are complaining the loudest
    >> ...While I have no doubt that there is a significant amount of pro-government
    >> propaganda, I wonder if all this bellowing isn't just a bit overly melodramatic.

    It's not. Sorry. My wife (who is from Beijing) has taken me back over there twice, and we've spent time with a lot of her friends, most of whom are fairly well to-do (relatively speaking), and/or have connections in the government. The adults all recognize, and talk about (in hushed tones), the current state of things. Though things have opened up somewhat, there's still no way to talk openly about the government. Even doing so in your own home, at your own table, makes people distinctly uncomfortable.

    Go to a magazine or newspaper stand in Beijing (or any major city in China); the difference is immediately obvious. There are *no* political or public affairs publications. At all. None. All the magazines are about fashion, tourism, whatever else. Nobody talks about the government, unless they're prepared to go to jail.

    The censorship is real, the political repression is real, the impact on the real, day-to-day life of the citizens, even in Beijing, is real. Things are way better than they used to be (for some), but there is still a long way to go.
  • Re:Missing the point (Score:3, Informative)

    by jamar0303 ( 896820 ) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:20AM (#21025401)
    In the case of the technology director at my school (in Shanghai), he learned to do things the local way; the school gets unfiltered access and the telecom company gets a little extra income.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2007 @01:17PM (#21027527)
    "Big GeGe" is "big brother" ? GeGe is older brother (or as we generally call it in English, "big brother").

    Wow. China has surpassed Orwell's England and created the institution of "big big brother"!
  • by Echnin ( 607099 ) <`moc.liamekaens' `ta' `201f64s3p'> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @01:26PM (#21027719) Homepage
    No, the problem isn't in information getting in. The thing that they try to control is interaction between Chinese people. Discussion of democracy, the Tiananmen massacre, and everything else the CCP doesn't want people to talk about. Most Chinese can't read English, even university students, so there's a very small audience for Chinese if they want to discuss on English-language websites. There are of course Chinese who know about Tiananmen and support democracy, for example, but if they can't propogate these views and this information then there will be many who don't know what democracy is all about, and who haven't even heard about the Tiananmen massacre. They have been pretty good about this. Come to think about it, I haven't actually asked any Chinese about Tiananmen. I'll make sure to do that and see what they say.

    Written exam in oral Chinese (how fucked up isn't that?) tomorrow, so I'm going to call it a night. Will be commenting in the next China article, I guess...

The absent ones are always at fault.