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Censorship Google The Internet Technology

China Slams Clinton's Call For Internet Freedom 235

CWmike writes "China on Friday slammed remarks made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promoting Internet freedom worldwide, saying her words harmed US-China relations. Clinton's speech and China's response both come after Google last week said it planned to reverse its long-standing position in China by ending censorship of its Chinese search engine. Google cited increasingly tough censorship and recent cyberattacks on the Gmail accounts of human rights activists for its decision, which it said might force it to close its offices in China altogether. On Thursday in Washington, DC, Clinton unveiled US initiatives to help people living under repressive governments access the Internet for purposes such as reporting corruption. The US will support circumvention tools for dissidents whose Internet connections are blocked, she said. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu called for the US 'to respect the facts and stop using the issue of so-called Internet freedom to unreasonably criticize China.' China's laws forbid hacking attacks and violations of citizens' privacy, the statement said, apparently referring to the issues raised by Google."
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China Slams Clinton's Call For Internet Freedom

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 23, 2010 @05:54AM (#30868224)
    Google is not the only organization that is sick and tired of China's hacking and industrial espionage. After seeing in my logs hundreds of hacking attempts a day that originate in China, it really sucks that we cannot just cut them off the Internet. If they attached anywhere near the interest in stopping the hacking that they did in prosecuting the people who dealt in porn, the problem would stop overnight. They supposedly have the most sophisticated government firewall in the world, but they cannot spot and stop these continual hacking attempts? Obviously the Chinese government is behind this hacking activity.
  • So when... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lattyware ( 934246 ) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Saturday January 23, 2010 @06:14AM (#30868304) Homepage Journal
    Does Australia get no Google? And the UK, we are getting pretty poor at this freedom thing.
  • by Jahava ( 946858 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @06:40AM (#30868398)

    It's like being only allowed to watch State-sponsored TV and government approved books in libraries, and then suddenly being allowed to experience the wealth of the world.

    Yeah ... it's not just like that. It's exactly that :)

    4chan and the dark underbelly of the internet aside, I hope this gives people a taste of culture/information other than what's force-fed down their throats and see what they're missing out on.

    The Internet is about way more than culture. It provides individual access to the sum wealth of human information. Good, bad, underbelly, culture ... those are all subjective. That's the beauty of it. By providing the individual with the opportunity to access any information, but not requiring them to access any specific information, the Internet provides an individual with unprecedented potential. They can do exactly what they want with that potential, be it 4chan, China-like censorship, or full-fledged involvement in mainstream cultures.

    Maybe many of the people in China love their country's protective hand. We'll never know until they can choose whether or not to have it.

  • by euyis ( 1521257 ) <euyis.infinity-game@com> on Saturday January 23, 2010 @06:40AM (#30868406)
    At least your censor don't act like an idiot.
    Hell, the Great Firewall even blocked the "Down for everyone or just me"; last night Amazon's images have all disappeared.
    And recently some imbeciles have configured the firewall block CDNs... The results are, bizarre.
  • by afflatus_com ( 121694 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @06:48AM (#30868446) Homepage

    I am actually currently in China. Sites which are carte-blance blocked include: Facebook, youtube, wikipedia, blogger.com (as a side note: Wikipedia really is useful--reminded of that now that it is not available).

    The reason for blocking Facebook and company is because they are starting to work for serious political change: see today's 'No Prorouge' rallies occurring today in Canada [and at worldwide Canadian embassies] after the Canadian prime minister leader cancelled the democratically-elected parliament for weeks--these rallies are a result of over 200,000 strong grassroots Facebook group support. Concurrent to that is an evaporation of that prime ministers lead in the polls versus the opposition party.

  • by Xeno man ( 1614779 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @07:44AM (#30868622)
    Ethics may be a part of it but time and money will be a larger part of it. If you need to have an entire office of people to run China's version of Google, spending man hours on complying with every government request and policy and continually undoing what Google does (it finds stuff), there comes a point when it's just not worth the effort. Then you find out that the government that you have been bending over backwards for just to please enough to allow you to do business hacks your machines just to get more of what they want may have been the final straw. It may be easier to just set the auto reply for any email from China to "fuck off" and go back to running business in the rest of the world.
  • by mestar ( 121800 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @08:45AM (#30868914)

    Wait, is that the same US that banned the internet poker? Now it wants something called "freedom"?

    Says one thing does the other?

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:30AM (#30869140) Homepage
    You know, you got a lot of nerve, telling people who live in China that they don't know what they're talking about. Link [foreignpolicy.com] Link [wsj.com]. Maybe closed mouth, open mind would work better next time.
  • by yuna49 ( 905461 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:39AM (#30869186)

    Evidence continues to surface about American and other Western firms cooperating with repressive governments in their efforts to censor and eavesdrop on their citizens. Why didn't Mrs. Clinton mention them in her speech?

    We have, for instance, Cisco [harvard.edu], Nokia/Siemens [wsj.com], Microsoft [bbc.co.uk], and Yahoo [bbc.co.uk], just to name a few.

  • China DDoS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Your Anus ( 308149 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:54AM (#30869266) Journal
    Given China's bottleneck of a firewall, I am surprised it hasn't been DDoS'ed. Routing their entire country through one node is an exploit just ripe for an attack.
  • Remarks by US Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton on the occasion of the massive hacker attack on US companies by an unspecified national entity. Translated [newstechnica.com] for your convenience.

    On Monday, a seven-year-old girl in Port-au-Prince was pulled from the rubble after they sent a text message calling for help. The spread of information networks is forming a new nervous system for our planet. And even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.

    Amid this unprecedented surge in connectivity, we must also recognize that these technologies are not an unmitigated blessing. These tools are also being exploited to undermine human progress and political rights. Just as steel can be used to build hospitals or machine guns, or nuclear power can energize a city or destroy it, the same networks that help organize movements for freedom also enable al-Qaida to ruthlessly copy American songs and movies in “M-P-Three” format.

    Freedom of expression is no longer defined solely by whether citizens can go into the town square and criticize their government without fear of retribution. No — they must be able to give their full name and credit card number and put them on the Internet as well. A connection to global information networks is like an on-ramp to modernity — one cell phone in a remote community can enable people previously unavailable access to Monsanto seeds.

    On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress — but the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas, paid for at 99 cents — I’m sorry, $1.29 — a song. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it.

    Now, all societies recognize that free expression has its limits. We do not tolerate those who incite others to violence or copyright violation, such as the agents of al-Qaida who are, at this moment, downloading songs at a furious rate, and setting their sights on cracking the patriotic protection of Blu-Ray discs. Those who use the internet to recruit terrorists or distribute stolen intellectual property cannot divorce their online actions from their real world identities.

    States, terrorists, downloaders and those who would act as their proxies must know that the United States will protect our networks. Those who disrupt the free flow of paid information in our society or any other pose a threat to our economy, our government, our civil society and our economy.

    Increasingly, U.S. companies are making the issue of internet and information freedom a greater consideration in their business decisions. The most recent situation involving Google has attracted a great deal of interest. And we look to the Chinese authorities to conduct a thorough review of the cyber intrusions that led Google to make its announcement. And we also look for that investigation and its results to be China signing the ACTA treaty like our campaign donors want them to.

    The internet has already been a source of tremendous progress in China, and it is fabulous. There are so many people in China now online. But countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of Internet users to be protected from being able to download any song ever released, any time, anywhere, risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century.

    So let me close by asking you to remember the little girl who was pulled from the rubble on Monday in Port-au-Prince. She’s alive, she was reunited with her family, she will have the chance to grow up and pay the going rate for a licence not a sale see end user license agreement of a song in a given format on a given device. We cannot stand by while people are separated from the iTunes store by walls of censorship.

  • by kdemetter ( 965669 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @10:29AM (#30869480)

    "and stop using the issue of so-called Internet freedom to unreasonably criticize China".

    I think that say enough about China : calling freedom "so-called" , and claiming that there is such a thing as "unreasonable criticism" .
    As far as i know, criticism is always grounded in reason , otherwise , it would be slander.

    Anyway , i'm glad Google is finally starting to take a position on it.

  • by jmac_the_man ( 1612215 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @11:04AM (#30869692)

    How would Hillary feel about web pages that oppose her "global community" or don't particularly want to be "united"? Based on her political record, I don't think she'd want to see such things.

    Let me first state that I'm a pretty conservative person, and wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton for dogcatcher. (I also wouldn't vote for Al Gore, who's going to show up later in my argument.

    Hillary Clinton played a role in shaping the domestic agenda of the (Bill) Clinton administration. The Internet became big and important to the common man during that administration. The Clintons had a chance to nip free speech on the Internet in the bud during that time, and they could have gotten away with it before most people would have noticed the difference. They didn't do it. Instead, they allowed the Internet to become a political arena, one in which her friend and political ally Al Gore was criticized 6 million times in the year before the 2000 election for "claiming that he invented the internet." He never made that claim, but people think he did because that idea spread, mostly over the Internet. Conservatives criticize liberals. Liberals criticize conservatives. Assorted crazies (9/11 truthers come to mind) criticize regular society. People from regular society don't have to fear libel complaints from the assorted crazies. And this is all legal, despite the fact the Clintons had the opportunity to make it not so.

    Based on Hillary Clinton's record of not actually censoring the Internet, I'm pretty sure that it's fair to assume she's for an Internet that is not censored for political speech.

  • by moxley ( 895517 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @12:12PM (#30870100)

    Many US politicians, corporations and intelligence agecnies loooove to talk about how China should allow internet freedom, while at the same time they're looking for ways to curtail our freedom online over here. Their whole wet dream is for the US internet to be like China's.

  • by Kral_Blbec ( 1201285 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:26PM (#30871066)
    How many starving, unarmed slaves are needed to take out a tank?
    At some point, revolution from within becomes impossible regardless of the numerical advantage. Even the US had foreign allies, and more importantly, an armed citizenship existing before the beginning of the revolution.
  • by shoor ( 33382 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:53PM (#30871320)
    I'm no expert on China, but when people start getting this touchy, it usually means they sense they're in trouble.
  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @03:27PM (#30871656) Homepage

    GP was a foreigner living in China, as am I. Doesn't the native-level English tip you off? And it's not exactly a secret in China that foreign websites are blocked in order to stimulate the development of local ones. For every big major Western website type (youtube/facebook/twitter/etc) there is a corresponding Chinese ripoff site. I mean, look at renren.com and tell me it's not facebook exactly.

    And never assume that just because something is blocked or banned that Chinese people are too stupid to know it exists. Think of all the things the US government does and the citizenry is well aware of it.

  • by hackingbear ( 988354 ) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @05:04PM (#30872510)

    I'm sitting here in California, USA w/o using any proxy. You can try the above link. If you don't read Chinese, try google of that link: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.cn%2Fsearch%3Fhl%3Dzh-CN%26source%3Dhp%26q%3D%25E5%2585%25AD%25E5%259B%259B&sl=zh-CN&tl=en [google.com] Try that in the States. You should see the results ahve little to do with the June 4 event and the translated text "According to local laws, regulations and policies, some search results are not shown."

    And the bigger problem I have is that none of the English media wants to post this in their front page. I can only read it from oversea/HK media. If that's not bias and agenda, what it is.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.