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China Strangles Tor Ahead of National Day 297

TechReviewAl writes "Technology Review reports that the Chinese government has for the first time targeted the Tor anonymity network. In the run-up to China's National Day celebrations, the government started targeting the sites used to distribute Tor addresses and the number of users inside China dropped from tens of thousands to near zero. The move is part of a broader trend that involves governments launching censorship crackdowns around key dates. The good news is that many Tor users quickly found a way around the attack, distributing 'bridge' addresses via IM and Twitter."
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China Strangles Tor Ahead of National Day

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  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:4, Informative)

    by supervillainsf ( 820395 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:05PM (#29761621)
    see: [] for evidence to invalidate your claim.
  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:12PM (#29761693)

    Japanese fighted with military against military.

    The dead of Nanking would like to courteously disagree with that assertion.

  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:24PM (#29761849) Journal

    No, I'm just not willing to use my resources to promote the exploitation of children.

  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by supervillainsf ( 820395 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:33PM (#29761943)
    Um, 8 years is not "a lot" later.

    Furthermore, you should probably do a little research on:
    a) Japans war with China
    b) Japans request that we stop providing aid to China
    c) why the U.S. placed an embargo on Japan
    d) how that ties in to the bombing or Pearl Harbor.

    Add a bit of general WWII history and then we can have an intelligent conversation about this topic
  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:37PM (#29761989) Journal


    The firebombs that Britain used in Germany were FAR more deadly than the 2 nukes the USA dropped. The nukes killed a few thousand, while the firebombs killed hundreds of thousands. Example: It is said the fires in Dresden raged so fiercely that the oxygen was sucked out of the air, and people suffocated to death. They just fell dead whereever they were - in bed, hiding in basements, running down the street.

    To me it seems odd to single-out two bombs, while ignoring the millions of other bombs that had been dropped from 1939 through 45. Those non-nukes also killed people, including innocent girls and boys that didn't deserve to die but were caught in the middle of the fight. War is hell, no matter if you use nukes or TNT.

    Almost 70 million people died during WW2. Only 0.2% of them died by nuclear fission bomb.

  • by xiando ( 770382 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:50PM (#29762177) Homepage Journal
    The Tor developers knew that it would be very easy for tyrannical regimes to download the directory list and block all the IPs in it, so they prepared for this by implementing bridge support about a year ago. The bridge model makes it very hard to block Tor. Technologyreview briefly mentions this. What really happened, and you can all go read more about this in the Tor blog at, is that what has happened the last few days is that the number of people using Tor-servers directly dropped to near zero while the number of people using bridges exploded. People simply switched to using bridges when they found that the Tor-network had been blocked.
  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:53PM (#29762211) Journal

    Those nukes we're intentionally made to kill civilians and destroy normal cities - not to attack against military targets.

    Your "few thousands" killed is a 'little' bit off too;

    The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945,[4] with roughly half of those deaths occurring on the days of the bombings. Amongst these, 15–20% died from injuries or the combined effects of flash burns, trauma, and radiation burns, compounded by illness, malnutrition and radiation sickness.[5] Since then, more have died from leukemia (231 observed) and solid cancers (334 observed) attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs.[6] In both cities, most of the dead were civilians.[7][8][9]

  • by linuxpyro ( 680927 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:54PM (#29762221)

    Personally I would like to see someone design something like tor that would be limited to text based protocols like IRC, Usenet, etc.

    You could set an exit policy to do just that, check the tor documentation. It might not stop other people from allowing Web traffic, but it would ensure people wouldn't be using your exit node for child porn. (Binary Usenet transfers or transfers over IRC aside.)

    Hell, you could even limit what Web sites people can get to through your node. So you could still allow access to, say, Google and Wikipedia but no other sites.

  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:4, Informative)

    by Foobar of Borg ( 690622 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @05:09PM (#29762521)
    Unfortunately, the Japanese school system doesn't bother teaching children about all the horrible things the Japanese military did in the past. A lot of them simply don't know things like the Rape of Nanjing, the medical experiments on POWs, and so on even happened.
  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @05:59PM (#29763235)

    A picture is worth 1000 words. What would the press value be of text statements about the Iranian protests compared to the value of a picture showing 100,000 people in the streets? If you restrict the anonymous networks to text only you destroy the press value. Pictures are the basis of modern press. The picture or video of the police beating someone has value, a text statement by an anonymous eyewitness is easily refuted by the authoritarian regime but the video or picture can't be refuted easily.

    The problem with believing in free speech is you have to tolerate all speech. You are unwilling to tolerate all speech so you throw out all the value of the really important, possibly world changing, speech. To me it's called throwing out the baby with the bathwater but to each his own, but you aren't on the moral high ground you think you are.

  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @06:23PM (#29763477) Journal

    The conventions never applied to signatories who were fighting adversaries that refused to follow them. Given the Japanese treatment of prisoners and the fact that their soldiers would often use white flags as cover to get close enough to kill our troops [], I'd say that they forfeited whatever protections the civilized world had previously agreed to.

  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:5, Informative)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) * on Thursday October 15, 2009 @07:13PM (#29763979) Homepage Journal

    100% pure bullshit.

    For one thing - the purple hearts awarded throughout WW2 were ordered before each campaign or major action. The bean counters got really, really accurate when estimating how many to order. They seldom missed by more than a couple percent. Look it up, google is your friend.

    The estimated number of purple hearts required for an invasion of the Japanese homeland was 1/4 million. The medals were ordered, and plans were progressing. The allies knew we were about to sacrifice those 1/4 million men.

    Then, the bombs fell. Japan surrendered. Those 1/4 million purple hearts are STILL being used today. Casualties from every single conflict that we've been involved in are wearing medals that were intended for the invasion of Japan.

    And, that 1/4 million is ONLY American casualties. Estimates for Japanese casualties? Look 'em up. You'll be amazed. Nope, I'm not going to spoil the surprise.

    The rest of your post is just as ridiculous. Japan would never have been "contained" in 1945. Fanatical supporters of the Emperor were still coming out of the hills in the 1970's. Contain? Yeah, right.

  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by pegasustonans ( 589396 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @07:35PM (#29764189)

    It wasn't the number of deaths that got the Emperor to take notice, it was the fact that we did it with just one bomb each time. The alternative was to invade the Japanese home islands, which, by conservative estimates, would've meant hundreds of thousands of dead Americans and millions of dead Japanese. Truman made the right call in dropping the bombs.

    It's easy to transpose a specific ideology onto history if one does not actually look at said history with its full complexity and inherent ambiguities.

    The estimate of hundreds of thousands of lives lost was created after the end of the war to justify dropping the bombs. No, seriously, go look it up.

    The vast majority of urban infrastructure was already destroyed, many estimates placed Japanese capitulation just weeks later if the bombs had not been dropped. The civilian population was training to fight off the invaders with bamboo poles. The civilian population was primarily women, children and the elderly at this point. How long do you think they would have lasted against Americans armed with flamethrowers and machine guns? You could base your estimate after the situation in Okinawa, but the defense in depth doctrine played out to the extreme on that island. There were no in-depth military fortifications to nearly the same extent on the home islands and the military to civilian ratio was not nearly at the same level. In addition, official Japanese government racism towards the islanders of Okinawa led them to disregard a great deal of the loss of life there. This would not have held true for Japan.

    You would like to think that the Emperor looked at the atomic bombs and said "Gee, I must capitulate so these things don't destroy the World." Well, they may have played a role. The Soviet Union entering the war against Japan and immediately taking over most of Manchuria on August 8 just might have had something to do with it as well. Japan hardly expected this at the time, since they had a neutrality pact with the USSR and were working intermittently through the Soviets at trying to find some kind of ceasefire agreement with the United States. Consequently, the Soviets were poised to take over Japan in one fell swoop and were already on their way by the time Japan did get around to indicating their intent to surrender a week later.

    So, while you could look at it as the Emperor surrendering to the United States due to the atomic bombs. You could also look at it as the Emperor surrendering to the United States, so he would not be forced to surrender to the USSR under much worse circumstances. Of course, the Emperor and his cabinet would claim the atomic bomb as a primary reason to surrender, because this would be the best way to save face, an excellent trump card to pull from the deck to justify 'enduring the unendurable.' Admitting to surrendering primarily because the Soviets were knocking at the door would have been far more shameful. The United States, on the other hand, needed this particular justification of the end-war scenario so they could justify their exclusive post-war occupation of Japan. They could hardly share Japan with the USSR when rumblings of the Cold War were already brewing and things were quickly going downhill in a divided Germany. The U.S. wanted Japan to itself and the atomic bomb justification was a perfect way to diplomiticize the situation.

  • Re:(Un)Surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @08:47PM (#29764699) Homepage

    The estimated number of purple hearts required for an invasion of the Japanese homeland was 1/4 million. The medals were ordered, and plans were progressing. The allies knew we were about to sacrifice those 1/4 million men.

    No, they weren't. Truman was never seriously considering invasion when deliberating on how to end the war. Him, his cabinet and advisers, and all his generals were convinced that Japan would surrender without invasion. In particular, they were sure that once Russia declared war on Japan, they would soon surrender before any invasion could actually take place. Part of the decision to use the bomb was to fend off the eventuality that Japan would surrender to Russia and the U.S., which would have created a North/South Japan situation similar to Germany.

    Plans are not the same as intent. The military creates plans for every contingency. Hell, today the DoD has plans for an invasion of Canada. Being asked to make plans and estimate casualties isn't the same as actually intending to go though with them. Truman never did. It was not "drop the bomb or invade". It was "drop the bomb, wait for Russia to get involved, or accept the conditional surrender the Japanese had already offered".

    Which isn't to say he made the wrong choice -- it's easy to be horrified by the bomb in hindsight, but compared to what had already gone on, it wasn't much. It is to say that the choice was not as simple as just doing some basic moral arithmetic with potential body counts.

    The actual situation and decision to be made was much more complex and difficult than the retconned false dichotomy. It does a disservice to the men who made that difficult choice, and to ourselves today trying to learn from history, to simplify it and make it easy.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein