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China Blocks YouTube Over Tibet Videos 343

Screaming Cactus writes "Internet users in China were blocked from seeing on Sunday after dozens of videos about protests in Tibet appeared on the site. 'Chinese leaders encourage Internet use for education and business but use online filters to block access to material considered subversive or pornographic. Foreign Web sites run by news organizations and human rights groups are regularly blocked if they carry sensitive information. Operators of China-based online bulletin boards are required to monitor their content and enforce censorship.' The blocking added to the communist government's efforts to control what the public saw and heard about protests that erupted Friday in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, against Chinese rule."
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China Blocks YouTube Over Tibet Videos

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  • How long... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Alexx K ( 1167919 )
    before China blocks Slashdot?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mnemocynic ( 1221372 )
      Right about n[NO CARRIER]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by imkow ( 1021759 )
      Soon after you can write chinese ....:D

      btw, a greeting from the Red China
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
        Considering that Slashdot still only supports a tiny subset of unicode (not including the Euro symbol) I think there's more chance of the grandparent learning to write Chinese than there is of Slashdot actually accepting it in posts...
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by imkow ( 1021759 )
          yeah, i have just tried to put some chinese characters in here. they didnt show up.. the slashdot site seem less open than the microsoft site.
          that should be not the way.
        • by kesuki ( 321456 )
          apparently you've never tried [] I'm not sure if it's both japanese and chinese text support or not, since i don't read either... but yeah it might be more prudent to 'test' if it accepts chinese characters than ''
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by imkow ( 1021759 )
            thanks for the info. actually, there is a chinese version of slashdot, called [] Solidot,or Qi-Ke(strange vistor) website..
            the news on it is not up-to-date like here..and commentors also are fewer than here. that's why it not well known to many of my folks.
          • by fbjon ( 692006 )
            /.jp is utf-8, so it supports any language.
        • by kesuki ( 321456 )
          It's not that slashcode blocks it, it's that is SET to use English, specifically US english. that's like going to and complaining because you can't read Kanji... this article was on there several hours earlier and only got 4 comments... the main complaint is that they linked to us you tube instead of japanese you tube.
      • by fliptout ( 9217 )
        Hen gao xing ren shi ni, wo hao peng you.

        I'm curious about your nickname.. I read it, and I thought it looks like "I'm kow".. Which is like "wo kao"... Which is what I said when I stepped into something interesting in the streets of Beijing... :)
  • psiphon (Score:3, Informative)

    by hey ( 83763 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:13PM (#22767650) Journal
    Maybe you want to consider hosting psiphon server? []
  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:13PM (#22767656) Homepage
    I've traveled to China a few times, and encounter plenty of Chinese students at my university. All seem to be aware that their government is authoritarian and has done some terrible things, in spite of all the blocking. Nonetheless, without exception every Chinese person I've spoke with on the issue insists that a hard line is needed to keep the country together. Since the Chinese population, for cultural and historical reasons, seems okay with what's going on, is blocking the Internet even necessary?
    • by aleph42 ( 1082389 ) * on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:21PM (#22767690)
      The effects of controling the medias are subtle and effective, and every succeful control will also convince the population it is itself necessary.

      Take the example of Russia: the elections were cheated (some small towns were 105% pro government...), but even perfectly fair elections would probably show that a majority (like 55%) think Putin was a good leader. But thinking that 95%, of the country agrees with the government will make you more prone to agree yourself, whereas at 55% you'll start beleiving that alternatives exist.

      I could also speak about Fox in the US, and the necessity for antiterrorist laws.
      • by megaditto ( 982598 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:29PM (#22768078)
        Fox News is just one of many TV networks in the US, and offers a unique -and different- perspective on things compared to the other 90% of media out there.

        You may consider it propaganda, but nobody is forcing you to watch it, and nobody goes around shutting down liberal stations, arresting liberal TV sponsors, or shooting liberal journalists. If anything, Fox is against the kind of socialist media controls and regulations that would allow the Russia-type abuses in America.

        How you think Fox News resembles anything in Russia is beyond me.
      • by hackingbear ( 988354 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @10:14PM (#22769586)

        As I talked to people in China while I lived there 2003-06, most people know about democracy of the Western world; they do complain their country's lack of democracy, but at the same time, they believe it does not necessary make things better and it is only something good to have in the future when the country gets prosperous. Think about it, they do have a point. Which of the following democratic countries (at least more so than China) are much better off than China: India, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and many easter European countries? These countries are not doing better in terms of corruption, equality, development, environment protection, education, health care, etc.. How do they fare comparing to Singapore and Hong Kong, both of which have little democracy to speak of?

        Their belief is that democracy won't work unless the country has reached higher level of prosperity -- i.e. massive middle class, otherwise democracy could be damaging.

    • by rucs_hack ( 784150 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:30PM (#22767740)
      There you've hit an interesting point.

      China is barking huge, and its population is equally on the large side (Ha! Fear my accurate numerical statements...). They can't just be mostly sheep with a few wolves running things.

      I've known quite a few Chinese students, courtesy of the US making it harder for Chinese students to study there. This is great, it's brought vast, vast amounts of cash in from China to universities in the UK, thanks for that one guys..

      Anyhoo, these Chinese people, while here, have just the same net access as anyone else, and they are for the most part, belonging to the middle to upper classes in China. Just the sort of people you'd think they'd want to keep ignorant (middle class people have started all revolutions in modern times), and yet they make no effort to do so.

      Doesn't quite map, does it...

      It seems to me we have a large amount of 'we don't really understand what the fuck is going on in China', that frequently gets combined with a bunch of preconceptions which are probably quite inaccurate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        There seem to be some in the business community who think democracy would dilute their control over the government and, perhaps, thereby their profits.

        This story from the International Herald Tribune [], while specifically about Hong Kong, seems to illustrate the concept:

        Equally, many business leaders -primarily members of the tycoon class, as they are known - show little interest in any political arrangement that would dilute their long-established ability to influence government, regardless of how swiftly Ho

      • by qbzzt ( 11136 )
        They're probably afraid that if the gov't wasn't authoritarian the country will fall apart. That happened in the USSR, Yugoslavia, etc. Arguably, it's happening in Iraq.
        • China has had government based around total control of the population for thousands of years. It might be they just don't want things to change much.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by microbox ( 704317 )
        It seems to me we have a large amount of 'we don't really understand what the fuck is going on in China', that frequently gets combined with a bunch of preconceptions which are probably quite inaccurate.

        Can it be argued that chinese actions in Tibet and their language with regards to Taiwan is a model of enlightened society? What a joke.

        China is powerful, and fear is futile ground for inaccurate and negative preconceptions. Most westerners would abhor living in such an authoritarian regime, yet it was
        • by rucs_hack ( 784150 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:14PM (#22767978)
          Can it be argued that chinese actions in Tibet and their language with regards to Taiwan is a model of enlightened society? What a joke.

          Ok then, can it be argued that the way the US treats Cuba is in any way still appropriate? How much have the people of Cuba suffered because the US won't relax its embargo?

          I mean, yes, they fucked up... IN THE SIXTIES!!!111one.
          Seriously, shouldn't we be able to move on?

          If you ask me, that's what's kept Castro and his friends in power for so long.

          The point is, China isn't alone in acting stupidly towards other countries. It doesn't excuse them, but lets keep a sense of proportion about this.
      • Lots of Chinese students in Canada too. And one thing that I have learned is that anyone who is over here to study is not 'middle class'. That may be how we read them based on their money and possessions but from their point of view they are not. Any family who can afford to send their kids overseas is in the thick of Chinese industry and money. It is exactly the people LEAST likely to want a revolution.
      • The fact remains, however, that Tibet is an independent nation forcibly conquered and annexed by China. It is also a fact that China is blocking net access to news about Tibet. The Tibetan people have a right to have their country back. The Chinese people have a right to real news, news that isn't filtered and tweaked by the government. No amount of "preconceptions" should obscure our moral vision about this.

        Sometimes you need to decide which side you're on.
    • Since the Chinese population, for cultural and historical reasons, seems okay with what's going on, is blocking the Internet even necessary?
      If the internet was not blocked, people would not be unanimously supporting their government, hence the blocking.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jambox ( 1015589 )
      My missus is Chinese (born there) and I've been there a couple of times, I've found the same thing.
      I think some of it is down the fact that you can get by pretty good in China these days, if you keep your head down. If you get involved in politics, you may end up facing retribution, sometimes exposing your family. Chinese politics is often frighteningly bloody, perhaps because the stakes are so high; governing 5x as many people as live in the USA must weigh heavily.
      The missus, well she displays total apa
    • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Sunday March 16, 2008 @08:03PM (#22768840)
      Especially in the western regions, Chinese authoritarianism is mainly directed at preserving Han-Chinese supremacy over separatism among other ethnic groups, such as the Tibetans (in Tibet) and Turkic groups (in Xinjiang). This involves both the sort of direct control and suppression we see here, and more subtly and long-term, a program of sending Han Chinese settlers into those regions to dilute the non-Han majority.

      As you might expect, you get different views on this issue if you talk to Han vs. non-Han Chinese citizens.
  • It'll be interesting to see how quickly GooTube caves and removes the videos. After all, they were willing to alter their search in order to gain access to Chinese markets. Let's see how far they're willing to bend over.
    • Er, they did what? Don't think that ever happened. While Youtube was still accessible in China they never blocked any of their search results from showing up. On the other hand, the government blocked any search results after the first page.
  • I don't see how we continue to support the olympics in such a country. It's not that they're communist. It's not that they're corrupt. It's that they're against the very fundamental freedoms that the olympics represents.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dbcad7 ( 771464 )
      Not to nitpick, but how are the Olympics representative of fundamental freedoms ?

      It's a sports competition between countries.. That you apply a sense of patriotism to it, and extrapolate your ideals to it, is nice.. but there are other countries participating that have different ideals... If you only want to compete with people with your own ideals, then you would just do your own competition in you own country.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by djeca ( 670911 )
        How the fuck did this get modded insightful?

        Try reading the Olympic Charter [] - there are principles (idealistic perhaps) that everyone connected in any way to the Olympics has to agree to: "respect for universal fundamental ethical principles" ... "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement."

        The Olympics might not always live up to the ethical standards it sets itself, b
    • by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:51PM (#22767850)
      Since when have the Olympic games (Berlin in 1936, Moscow in 2000) been about freedom and democracy? They're about showing off to the world and bragging.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by owlnation ( 858981 )

      I don't see how we continue to support the olympics in such a country. It's not that they're communist. It's not that they're corrupt. It's that they're against the very fundamental freedoms that the olympics represents.

      This is true. However, short of having the Olympics in Scandinavia every time, it's really hard to see where better alternatives exist. The next Olympics are in London. The UK has more breaches of the right to privacy than any other country on Earth. Theoretically it has a free press -- bu

    • Um... If there's any political goal of the olympics, I'd say its to allow countries to demonstrate their greatness by other means than war. It's about peace, not freedom(tm).
  • At least they managed to block the site without knocking YouTube completely off the Web [].
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      China gets quality hardware and software from the USA.
      It's the server that China rejects that makes the Great Firewall the best.
  • urgh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clragon ( 923326 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:22PM (#22767702)
    Before everyone presses the reply button and start typing "FREE TIBET!", could slashdotters please read this [] article first?
    Read all three parts of it, the author summarizes both sides of the issue in order for people to see that the Tibet issue is much more than just a communist regime bullying an occupied region, for example:

    Another aspect of the Chinese duty in Tibet is the sense that rapid modernization is needed, and should take precedence over cultural considerations. For Westerners, this is a difficult perspective to understand. Tibet is appealing to us precisely because it's not modern, and we have idealized its culture and anti-materialism to the point where it has become, as Orville Schell says, "a figurative place of spiritual enlightenment in the Western imagination -- where people don't make Buicks, they make good karma."

    But to the Chinese, for whom modernization is coming late, Buicks look awfully good. I noticed this during my first year as a teacher in China, when my writing class spent time considering the American West. We discussed western expansion, and I presented the students with a problem of the late nineteenth century: the Plains Indians, their culture in jeopardy, were being pressed by white settlers. I asked my class to imagine that they were American citizens proposing a solution, and nearly all responded much the way this student did: "The world is changing and developing. We should make the Indians suit our modern life. The Indians are used to living all over the plains and moving frequently, without a fixed home, but it is very impractical in our modern life.... We need our country to be a powerful country; we must make the Indians adapt to our modern life and keep pace with the society. Only in this way can we strengthen the country."

    I know I might be modded offtopic but the discussion of Chinese censorship of Tibet videos will no doubt lead to the discussion of Tibet vs China itself. I'm just asking everyone to please form their opinion after looking at both sides of the issue, and how each side feels about it. Try not to base your opinion solely on just what you hear news.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful) China should take over Tibet for buicks? or some modern life? who gets to judge what is modern life? the Chinese or Tibetans? Every country has its own ways and its own problems, and they would rather have their own problems instead of some alien power coming and trying to solve those problems. People have already died, for modern life? wtf I would rather live with nothing and just be happy instead of having a modern life and dead. Thank you very much.
    • FREE TIBET (Score:2, Redundant)

      by weighn ( 578357 )
      'cause it ain't China
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by slashkitty ( 21637 )
      Even better is this article that describes the serf existance of most tibetans before the 1959 : []
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by urbazewski ( 554143 )
        A rebuttal of Parenti's warmed-over Maoist fantasies about the "liberation" of Tibet: A Lie Repeated - The Far Left's Flawed History of Tibet []

        The core problem with Parenti's position is that it is simply at odds with the statements, testimony, and shared history of the Tibetan people themselves - the people Parenti is supposedly defending. The view of Tibet that Parenti ascribes to has been commonly put forward by Chinese government officials - particularly the ones in the ministry of propaganda. Once upon

    • The "other side" somehow conveniently forgets that in the 1950 it invaded Tibet [], a sovereign nation. Fencing with the opinion of a bunch of kids doesn't make it right. Tibet was invaded and now the Chinese want to modernise it; what exactly is the other side to that story?
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:32PM (#22767746)
    This is where something like Usenet is still better than "The Web". It doesn't even require tcp/ip to function and therefore has no centralised control. With something like an NNTP server running on every phone, over bluetooth, it would be pretty much impossible to prevent the spread of information.

    Walk past someone in the street and your phone syncs it's "newsgroups" with the other phone. The smartphones around these days are coming with 2Gb of storage and 300MHz processors. More than 100,000 are being purchased per day in China.

    • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) *

      This is where something like Usenet is still better than "The Web". It doesn't even require tcp/ip to function and therefore has no centralised control

      That sounds absolutely ludicrous, unless you read the title of your post again.

      In any case, what you are talking about is not without it's flaws. Although, I agree it would be impossible to prevent the spread of information, it is also impossible to prevent the poisoning of it as well. It would be very easy for the government to take its resources and push

    • How exactly would this work in remote locations..... like Tibet?

      If this were possible, the government would crack down on it immediately, barring the sale of such phones. If worst came to worst, they could also simply "poison" the NNTP servers by providing their own, and flooding the network with nonsense data. (It should be pretty easy to find some spammers who have quite a bit of experience in the area)

      Although the idealized technology-assisted civillian uprising is nice to imagine, the odds of it happ
  • Unimpressed (Score:2, Informative)

    I remain unimpressed with George W. Bush's magic plan to spread democracy by borrowing billions of dollars from China and doing business with them whenever possible. Articles like this only reinforce this feeling, as if it needed reinforcing.
  • Well, at least they did not bring down You-Tube like Pakistan clumsily did when they blocked it...
  • craziness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deanalator ( 806515 ) <> on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:42PM (#22767806) Homepage
    If you want to see something crazy, check out the political spam in the comments of these videos. It is unbelievable the ratio of how many people are calling Tibetans liars and cheering on the Chinese. These are recent posts calling the Dalai Lama a terrorist ringleader. It confuses me that so many people outside the great firewall are posting this stuff.

    Anyone want to help me mod these comments down, and rate these videos up?
    • by jo7hs2 ( 884069 )
      There have always been American supporters out there on the lunatic fringe who feel the need to support any Communist country or cause they are presented with. Let us not forget all the people who worshipped the Soviet Union and who still worship (at least tacitly) the Cuban system of government. It only takes a handful of people shouting to overhwelm the softly speaking masses.
    • It doesn't help that the current incident was provoked by rioters in Tibet.

      Overreaction? Possibly. However, China doesn't have all that many options that would reflect favorably upon them.

      Small riots grow into big riots, and quenching a big riot will cause even more deaths.

      It's not pretty, but it is very predictable. Unless China is willing to give up Tibet, this is how dissidents will be dealt with.

      Do you think that the US would allow one of its states to secede?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I can't believe it completely myself - to be exact, I can't believe the degree people allow to be brainwashed. I have a few chinese colleagues at the uni, and it's extremely interesting that otherwise intelligent people believe things that a few minutes of autonomous research could easily dispel.

      Anyway, did my modding there, now I have to wait.
    • Re:craziness (Score:5, Interesting)

      by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @08:37PM (#22769042)

      It is unbelievable the ratio of how many people are calling Tibetans liars and cheering on the Chinese. These are recent posts calling the Dalai Lama a terrorist ringleader.

      One of the reasons I am wary of this whole Tibet issue is that China happens to be the West's main economic rival, and now it is convenient for Western governments to support the Dalai Lama's cause. The Dalai Lama is not a democratically elected leader, and pre-1949 Tibet was not exactly the merry free independent country you see in Hollywood depictions. Most of the Tibetans were serfs and enslaved in all but name, serving the religious aristocracy of the Lamas.

      As long as China was an ally of the US against the Soviet Union, you did not hear much about Tibet or the Dalai Lama. Gone the Soviet Union, grown the Chinese economy, and hey presto! Here is a flurry of Hollywood movies designed to show just how ugly and mean the Estasians are, since Eurasia has always been our ally—right?

      See, one of the downsides of reading "Manufacturing consent" by Chomsky is that I start to see unsettling patterns like this one: a piece of news is convenient for the government, that piece is spun in the best possible way for the government by the same press that should be the government's watchdog. Of course it happens as well in China: I read some CCTV Web pages with the predictable pro-China spin.

      Now, where is the truth anyway? Well, obviously some Tibetans are quite angry. Some Tibetans have been assaulting Han Chinese [] (so much for the Buddhists who never raise a finger in violence), because of the rivalry between ethnic groups. So, as far as I can see, this is an issue of a group of people not liking another group of people, spun by every external party in their favour: the US say the Chinese are evil and the Tibetans are peaceful protesters, the Chinese say they are only criminals, and everyone else says whatever is most convenient for them.

      China has encouraged immigration of Han Chinese into Tibet for a long time, and the privileged Han are an obvious target for racial hatred for the underprivileged Tibetans. What the Chinese should have done is to follow the good old way to deal with separatism: throw money at the problem. Tibet has a ludicrously small population compared to China (not even three millions), and China could afford to subsidize separatism to death. That's what Italy did to fix the terrorism problem in South Tyrol, and, guess what, it worked just fine.

  • by Doviende ( 13523 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:45PM (#22767820) Homepage
    It seems to me that there's a pretty big language barrier that prevents us from hearing much from most chinese internet users. The ones i met in china tended to stick to purely chinese sites, which i found quite hard to read with only my basic level of chinese.

    ("if we get some chinese comments, perhaps people here can translate them")
    • by Doviende ( 13523 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:50PM (#22767846) Homepage
      well shit, son. All the unicode chinese chars i wrote in that posting got nuked. i guess we won't be hearing from any chinese commenters any time soon.
    • by imkow ( 1021759 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:10PM (#22767958) Homepage

      Being a chinese , the life is very tough.

      the fact i can still get on the internet is something gratefully granted by the gov. i wouldn't dare to raise a trouble.

      in china, any public voice that does not sound "harmonious" will be "harmonized". everything is for building a "harmonious society".

      many websites has been "harmonized", which have become a common practice..

      through some technical means the youtube site can still be reached, but that's only to geeks like me.
    • by Graftweed ( 742763 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:38PM (#22768150)

      if we get some chinese comments, perhaps people here can translate them

      Someone already did []:

      For those living in the West who didn't realize that there's little sympathy for Tibet independence among ethnic Chinese in the PRC, this blog post on Global Voices [] will be a shocker. John Kennedy has translated chatter from Chinese blogs and chatrooms that generally runs along the lines of: those ungrateful minorities, we give them modern conveniences and look how they thank us... where have we heard this before? Reuters has a roundup [] on the Washington Post that begins: "a look at Chinese blogs reveals a vitriolic outpouring of anger and nationalism directed against Tibetans and the West." (...)

      "Davesgonechina" at the Tenement Palm blog has been translating the chatter coming from Chinese netizens on Fanfou and Jiwai - Chinese versions of Twitter. Click here [], here [], and here [], specifically. Dave has done more than translate: he points out that this Tibet situation is a real challenge to all people who believe that the Internet can help foster free speech and bring about better global understanding. Here is his challenge to all of us []...

      The above info, plus a great deal of other material well worth spending the time to read, was aggregated [] by boingboing's Xeni Jardin, who since this situation has erupted in Tibet has kept a close eye on the whole thing and provided some very good info like the above mentioned post.

  • Why only Tibet? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jasonmanley ( 921037 )
    I'm not trying to bait or anything but I am curious. Why does the internet community give so much energy to the liberation of Tibet but they don't do the same to the USA, South Africa, Australia etc that are overrun and controlled by accupying colonial powers. Yes they may be 'democracies' but if you go and speak to a native aborigony and ask them about it I think that their perspective would be different to that of some slashdotters. There are occupying forces all over the world and all throughout history
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by crianp ( 1219682 )
      Well all those countries you listed are Free which Tibet is not... simple as that, China has no historical claim over Tibet because as far as History goes, it was the Mongols who took Tibet and not the Chinese. The Dalai Lama is the designated leader and widely supported. The worst part about the whole Tibet situation is that the Chinese government have been moving in their supporters in the region so that Tibetans are now the minority.
    • I'm not trying to bait or anything but I am curious. Why does the internet community give so much energy to the liberation of Tibet but they don't do the same to the USA, South Africa, Australia etc that are overrun and controlled by accupying colonial powers.

      Well, I dunno about South Africa, or even Australia, but... free the US? And hand it over to whom? Some 99%* of the population is descended from those 'occupying' colonists. Was the settling of America a travesty? Maybe, maybe not - if you'd like, we can say that it is, sure, and as big a tragedy as you want - but would evicting everyone now living there make things better? You just can't up and move 300 million people, all the infrastructure they put down, all the homes they've built over the years, not

    • by jo7hs2 ( 884069 )
      Probably because Native Americans and Australian Aborigines don't still make up 50% of their nation's population. If they did, and had an impassioned, eloquent, and most importantly (mostly) unitary leader-in-exhile to speak for them, things might be different. At this point, at least with regards to Native Americans, there isn't all that much left to "liberate" anymore, so all that is left is to study what happened. I don't see your point about S. Africa, there was tons of activism in the US surrounding a
    • Re:Why only Tibet? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:53PM (#22768276) Homepage Journal
      It's really rather simple.

      The Tibetans have a charismatic, articulate and eloquent spokesman in the Dalai Lama. Here in the US he's probably the most venerated spiritual leader in the US outside of the Pope or the conservative protestant movement. He's almost the chief rabbi for large swath of American intellectuals who think of themselves as "spiritual" but not aligned with a conservative religious movement and who eschew formal theological dogma.

      So, in a way the Chinese leadership is right on the mark when they talk about a "Dalai Clique".

      The thing that makes him a tough opponent in this game is that he's so darned reasonable and mild mannered. He's not calling for armed uprising. He's not even insisting on national sovereignty. He refuses to act angry, or even wronged. He just insists that the Chinese leadership should talk, and listen with an open mind.

      The thing is, there's a lot about the old Tibetan system that is ugly and bad -- along with much that is admirable and good. The Chinese would love people to think about the abuses of the old monastic system when they think of Tibet. But can't oppose somebody like the Dalai Lama without being nakedly blunt about their own unreasonableness and brutality, which makes everything they do an international embarrassment to their country. And that makes this news.

      You're absolutely right, we should be concerned with other places where minorities are oppressed for their religious, cultural, racial or linguistic characteristics. But you can't focus on all the tyrants in the world at once. You focus on the ones that can be made representative of tyranny, in the hope that they some day they will become representative of the futility of tyranny.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Deanalator ( 806515 )
      Tribal sovereignty. []

      Native American tribes have their own land, and can make/enforce their own laws.

      I am not sure if other countries you mentioned have similar setups, and of course the deal is not as good as some of the Natives would like it to be, but there is nothing like this in Tibet. China denies that Tibetans even want to be free. Even now they are blocking CNN and Youtube, along with countless other news sources. The goal is not t
  • Don't back down to China on this one, it would be unethical to remove the videos so that the site could be seen in China. By letting the Chinese government pressure you into doing this, would mean letting their powers having a direct negative impact on us here in the West.
  • One thing that the internet does very well is to provide access to far-flung data, routing around damage or blockage as necessary. Part of that is in the design of the basic system - and part of it is in the large number of people who won't allow anyone to "disappear" information.

    The information revolution is still in its early stages; there are still many institutions that depend upon hiding information to exist which haven't realized that their cloak of secrecy is blowing away in the breeze. China's gove

  • When you buy a product made in China you are indirectly supporting them. So why do it?
    • by jonwil ( 467024 )
      3 reasons:
      1.It may not be possible to identify that a given product is made in china or contains chinese components
      2.There may be no other option (i.e. all the available choices contain chinese products somehow)
      and 3.Even if there is another choice, it may be significantly more expensive than the chinese product.
  • Given that amongst the /. readership there must be quite a few webmasters it should be possible to mirror some of the banned content on lots of webservers/sites around the world. If this was done, say, all on a single day and as such a day I would suggest day one of the games in August, then no way could China shut down access to all the sites at once. True, the average Chinese browser would have a job finding some sites, but if there were enough of them then the chances of someone stumbling upon the conten
  • They should have done this in August - more publicity and much harder for the Chinese authorities to deny it had happened.
  • I find that Nico Nico Video [] is still accessible and fully usable. Yes, call me a weeaboo all you like for using a Japanese site but at least it works.
  • Google's made it easy for them to block only the videos that make them look bad with their new country blocking XML tabs. Just add a "[media :restriction type="country" relationship="deny">CN]" and voi la! If you're not familiar with Google's latest (Do no evil???) addition to YouTube, do a little Googling to see the write-up that YouTomb did on the matter. China can either request it of Google or do a little in-session HTML mangling with their "Great Firewall". Bah! China can suck an egg...
  • Even though much of the world can't read Chinese anyway, it would be nice retaliation. Lets start by blocking all Chinese corporation web sites, then government sites. Let individuals, blogs, ordinary email get through. That would certainly reduce our trade deficit! Suddenly companies from countries with higher living wages would get a chance at the US market. Of course Walmart would go under, but who cares.
  • by eagl ( 86459 ) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @10:14PM (#22769584) Journal
    China and the olympic comittee have already managed to get the next Olympic athletes to sign agreements that they will not blog or post anything about their participation, so what is next to be blocked? Will there be a censorship policy in place for the Olympics too?

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly