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China Calls Out US On Internet Freedom 338

rsmiller510 writes "In an interesting case of the pot calling the kettle black, the Chinese government released a report criticizing the US government of being hypocrites where Internet freedom was concerned — criticizing others for cracking down, yet circling the wagons when it involves US internal security (WikiLeaks anyone?). And the Chinese might have a point."
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China Calls Out US On Internet Freedom

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:15PM (#35794984)

    If you keep saying the U.S. isn't all about freedom, we'll bomb the shit out of you!

    • by jd ( 1658 )

      Hmmm. If the US bombs the UN for saying the US isn't all about freedom, and the UN is on US soil, will the US have to retaliate against the US for bombing the US?

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

        Only if we can get a UN resolution saying it's okay.

        • Only if we can get a UN resolution saying it's okay.

          The Chinese and Russians would veto any resolution authorizing force, so the US would have to take unilateral action against the US for bombing the UN in the US.

          Meanwhile, Ban-ki Moon would shed many tears.

  • Hah! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:20PM (#35795054)

    China shouldn't be calling anyone a hypocrite. As furious the barking in Washington has been there's no bite, and nothing compares to China's outright abuse of its people and efforts to censor the internet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hedwards ( 940851 )

      That was my thought, as outraged as I am about the way Wikileaks has been handled, and that's quite a bit, it's a much less serious problem than what countries like China engage in.

      • Re:Hah! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:26PM (#35795206)

        Wikileaks is being handled the way it is, not because its an internet security or censorship issue, but because it's a military security issue with diplomatic security tacked on.

        What do you think the PLA would do to a Chinese Bradley Manning who copied hundreds of thousands of documents?

        Really think he'd be in pre-trial confinement still?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by darjen ( 879890 )

          They would have simply just killed Manning instead of torturing him indefinitely alone in a small cage 24/7. I guess China is more humane after all!

        • Re:Hah! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @01:09PM (#35795948)

          Exactly. Bradley Manning did something that would be illegal, no matter what his justification, if it happened how it is supposed to have gone down. He didn't have the right to release any of that material. If he did that in China, he'd be in pre-execution detention right now, if they even wait that long.

          I don't know what people expect the military to do if someone just goes off and decides to release material, slap them on the wrist? He knew what he was doing, it's not like it was some sort of accidental release. Even if he did it out of conscience and perhaps rates a pardon or something, he still has to go through the process and no one with a clearance does not know what the process and penalties are.

          I can buy that some people might consider his actions heroic. I don't, but that's mostly because I think how he went about it was reckless. Sure, people may not have died because of the release, but he did absolutely nothing to make sure that wasn't the case first. Without care being taken with actions like these, even the best of intentions can backfire into something that no one could ever dream of. I think his point could have easily been made with less material, more carefully selected.

          It's not going to be up to me what happens to him, but I don't see any reason he shouldn't be in Ft. Leavenworth for a few years, unless the trial brings up information that I am not already aware of.

          More to the point, his treatment does not even come close to making the US anything like China. I can buy that the US might be held more to account because it holds higher standards, but you have to disclose the fact that you really are using two different standards. Otherwise, you are perpetuating an inaccuracy. When you compare China the to US, you are comparing apples to oranges and you can't just make blanket statements that equate them.

    • Either that or the U.S. is just better at keeping secrets...
      When powerful entities get mad at you (usually if they're embarrassed about something you've exposed) and the gloves come off, it really doesn't matter what country you live in. Your life is going to hell. Anything less and the constituents will think their representatives are "soft on crime".

    • Re:Hah! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thisnamestoolong ( 1584383 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:32PM (#35795296)
      China has never claimed to be anything but repressive, though. The U.S. has always claimed to fully support freedom of speech, yet is repressing speech. So, U.S. = hypocrites, China != hypocrites. This is not to say, however, that the U.S. suppression of speech is anywhere even close to the suppression in China.
      • The U.S. has always claimed to fully support freedom of speech, yet is repressing speech.

        But how have they suppressed speech with respect to this issue?

        • by TheLink ( 130905 )

          Maybe you could ask some people at Hillary Clinton's "internet freedom" speech: []

          I guess the guy who got dragged out should have done his protest on the Internet rather than at the speech ;).

        • They may disapprove of what the Chinese say, but they should defend to the death their right to say it.
      • "the pot calling the kettle black" back.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        This post is hardly "insightful". China "has never claimed to be anything but repressive"? I disagree. Like all communist governments, citizens are guaranteed theoretical "rights" that do not exist in reality - the right to say whatever they want, the right to worship, the right to petition the government for redress, etc. I read just yesterday about how China arrested a bunch of Christians in Beijing because they refused to register their churches with the government.

        And then we have the old bugabo
      • Hypocrisy in government policy or not, I seriously doubt we'd be debating this issue if we were all members of Just sayin'.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      China isn't a hypocrite here, the U.S. actually is. China knows they censor, but they also don't crusade around the world telling other countries that it's bad to do. This is not the pot calling the kettle black here, this is more like the kid who got bullied finally standing up to the bully. This is China finally calling attention to the hypocrisy of the U.S., who have sat upon their high horse telling anyone else in the world that they shouldn't do bad things, all the while doing the same things themse

    • That only holds true if the Chinese government is claiming to be pro freedom themselves. Are they? If they don't make that claim, the US government does and the US government keeps working against freedom then yes the Chinese can say the US is being hypocritical. Actually... they can either way. It's just that if they claim to be for freedom then they are hypocrites too.
    • Re:Hah! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:47PM (#35795530)

      nothing compares to China's outright abuse of its people

      Ironically, the United States currently imprisons more people than China, and most of those prisoners are not violent offenders. Yes, the Chinese have a record of abuses, but that does not exonerate the United States.

      • Incarceration rate (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Indeed, the incarceration rate is a key indicator (if not THE key indicator) of a government's overall respect for human rights in practice (not in theory which is a useless bullshit measurement).

        The fact that the US government incarcerates more individuals per population than any other country in the world speaks volumes about the reality of the situation, as does the fact that the vast majority of prisoners are non-violent and were emprisoned not for crimes against other human beings, but merely crimes ag

    • Doing something doesn't make you a hyprocrite. Doing something while advocating the opposite does.

      China doesn't criticize others countries for restriciting "internet freedoms" and hence that they do so themselves isn't hyprocritical.

    • by beldraen ( 94534 ) <> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:48PM (#35795552)

      You have missed the point completely, like a typical American politician. Before you spout off, learn what the word hypocrite means: a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

      The point: China doesn't act like they don't filter. China has quite clearly stated that they believe that press should be limited. China has quite clearly stated that the group has more importance than the individual. China has quite clearly stated that they want to do what's best for their economy only.

      The problem is the U.S. THEY say they are for freedom of the people, and install dictators in countries. THEY say the are for freedom of the press, and limit war reporting, harass reporters, and go after people who expose government abuses. THEY are for capitalism, and then bail out the companies that should have been allowed to fail.

      • And even moreso like an ignorant American politician*, he goes straight for the ad hominem as if it somehow vindicates the US's actions.

        *let's also make note to include many news anchors/mediaheads that just as easily do the same...

      • This just in - the world is not black and white. News at 11.

        Don't get me wrong. I often boggle at flag-waving done in the name of actions which fundamentally undermine our very basic tenants of our Constitution. I completely agree that the US struggles over these higher ideals on a regular basis. But it is a mistake as dismissing that struggle as hypocrisy. We struggle because interpretations of these ideals vary, not because we don't believe in those ideals. And we continue to struggle because tha

    • China shouldn't be calling anyone a hypocrite. As furious the barking in Washington has been there's no bite, and nothing compares to China's outright abuse of its people and efforts to censor the internet.

      But the difference being, China doesn't go around telling other countries how they should be doing it.

      China says something to the effect of "this is what we do, it's the law, if you don't like it tough".

      The US says something to the effect of "you shouldn't censor people, and that the internet is a tool fo

    • At risk of invoking Godwin's law, China criticising the USA for censorship today would be like Nazi Germany criticizing the UK for fascism during WWII.

      • If you're going to Godwin the discussion, at least do it properly. It wouldn't be like that at all.

        It'd be like Nazi Germany saying that it was hypocritical of the US to torture prisoners in Gitmo.

        We're the ones who say it's bad, and yet we're doing it.

      • No, you got it completely wrong. China is criticizing the US for being hypocrites, not censorship.

        As a matter of fact, the author even has it wrong; it's not the pot calling the kettle black at all. That specifically only applies when one criticizes another for doing something that he himself does. In this case, China is calling the US a hypocrite when it comes to freedom, while China has never purported to be freedom-embracing to begin with. Like someone else said, US == hypocrite, China != hypocrite, an
    • are you fucking kidding us ? tell that to the people whose accounts are subpoenaed and are going to be revealed to u.s. government soon. just for knowing people in wikileaks. only and only.
      • OH NO! Not account information! Oh wait, isn't withholding that kinda like censorship? So if that information got "leaked" by accident its alright, but if a court demands it in the due and proper course of a criminal investigation it's bad? Grow up.

    • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

      Agreed. It's not the pot calling the kettle black. It's the pot accusing the kettle of disrupting the peace and endangering national security, spiriting them away in the night, and then arresting the teacup, saucer, and spoon for being associated with the dissident kettle.

      Everything I need to know about China and the Internet was said when they arrested Ai Weiwei []. Even if they release him, still - nobody currently knows where he is, they've had 50 police thoroughly comb through his house. All of this basica

    • Sure, but is the US any better really? In China they can't vote, all communications are monitored and censored, they're inundated with government propaganda, and everyone goes along with it. In the US your vote changes nothing, all communications are monitored, you're inundated with Western ideas via the media, and everyone goes along with it.

      The only difference is the US has figured out a way to do the same thing while convincing people that they are free and actually choosing their own destinies. On a day

    • Whether or not they're worse than the US is irrelevant to their point. I think they're right, even if I think they need to change drastically as well.

    • The USA abuses people, denying them legal aid, classing them as enemy combatants and leaving them to rot in Cuba. Secondly, the US does censor the internet what with the power to take a website down with warrants AND it was made public recently of military software that pretends to be an internet user, using this to manipulate online discussion forums. I think it's even worse than China, at least with China you know where you stand.
  • Some keep saying:
      "China should look at their own track record before criticizing the US on freedom an human rights"
      and others keep saying:
      "The US should look at their own track record before criticizing the China on freedom an human rights",

    IMHO it's good any time *either* country points out abuses in the other and they should each aggressively push each other to improve.

    • Unless aggressively pushing means using bombs to push, then it's not such a good thing.

    • by jfengel ( 409917 )

      It's good any time either country actually does something about its human rights record. When it's simply pointing out other abuses to distract attention from its own failures, it's a waste of time.

      In this case, I think it's clearly the latter. The US record is far from perfect, but the Chinese record is abominable. There will always be a conflict between national security and free speech; there will always be an opportunity to point out when the US has veered too far towards the former. But it's a hell

    • I think it's great when people call us out on not living up to our standards, because it helps to keep us honest (or at least less dishonest). Unfortunately, those prone to using phrases such as "blame America first" do not agree with me. They feel America should only be criticized when a Democrat is in the White House.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:24PM (#35795140)

    One country criminalizes speech. The other country criminalizes theft. Forgive me if I see enough of a difference as to not only rule out hypocrisy, but make China's argument look ridiculous.

    • But which is which?

    • by PhilHibbs ( 4537 )

      1. Senior government official gives a talk about oppression of free speech
      2. Elderly man stands up and turns his back in silent protest
      3. Plain-clothes officers beat the old man to the ground and drag him out and throw him in jail

      Guess which country I'm talking about.

      • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @01:00PM (#35795768) Homepage

        Guess which country I'm talking about.

        Is this the same country which has "designated free speech zones" so they can keep dissenting opinions in fenced off areas away from everyone else?

        Or the one that allows your laptop to be arbitrarily seized at the border?

        Or how about keeping prisoners without trial or recourese in a foreign country using a ginned up judicial system so they can get around their own laws and procedures?

        How about one whose Attorney General posited that things like Habeus Corpus don't apply to people who aren't citizens?

        Sadly, over the last bunch of years, there have been a fair few instances of America having a "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.

    • The United States also criminalizes the following:
      • Possession of certain herbs
      • Use of certain computer software
      • Boycotting products made in certain countries
      • Buying products from certain countries in countries where it is otherwise legal

      Additionally, the US government has been known to selectively apply obscure or overly broad laws to persecute minority groups, including black people and Muslims, and to harass adherents to certain social movements (hippies, hackers, socialists, anarchists, populists, etc.).

  • Yes in that if the US can't (and won't) live up to the standards it claims to set, then other governments are entitled to ask if those standards are achievable or even desirable.

    No in that if the front-runner drops out of the race, you still won't win by joining them.

  • So you're saying the Chinese are accusing the U.S. government of preaching one thing and doing another? That's ... inconceivable!!
  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:31PM (#35795286)

    During the Cold War, the Soviet Union pointed to the civil rights issues, the freedom rides, the riots, excess of authority to argue that the US had no place in criticizing the Soviet Union for invading Hungary, Czechoslovakia or pushing the crack down on Poland.

    Because racial tensions are equal to invading other countries.

    China is just pointing at the US to justify it's own censorship.

    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
      It's a game China likes to play. For example, they are using the Fukashima Reactor problems to take cheap shots at Japan in general since those two countries have had a strained relationship for a long time. Smoke and mirrors, point out someone else's flaw to get them to overlook your own. It's how people with fragile egos act.
      • Smoke and mirrors, point out someone else's flaw to get them to overlook your own. It's how people with fragile egos act.

        Sounds like my ex-wife actually... "Do you remember what you said last time?" "Four years ago, seriously?"

    • by Atmchicago ( 555403 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:58PM (#35795724)

      And the appropriate response to the Soviet Union would be "You're right, we have civil rights issues. Racism is terrible, and we'll try to fix these issues." And to our credit, we have come a long way. In addition, we should respond "Hey guys, quit invading other countries!" (never mind the fact that the US continues to invade countries to this day...)

      In this case, again, we should take a good look at the criticisms and not ignore them because of the messenger. Maybe we are doing a bad job of preserving internet freedoms, and should work to fix them. Maybe China is also doing a bad job.

    • China is just pointing at the US to justify it's own censorship.

      I'm no fan of the U.S. foreign policy or recent regressions in civil rights but China is comparing apples with oranges here. The very idea that you can compare a country that imprisons or dissapears anyone who actually speaks out against repression with the U.S. is shameful.

      That doesn't mean the U.S. can't do better... putting Bush and Cheney up on warcrimes charges would be a good start.

      • While I don't like singling out Bush and Cheney when other Presidents (Clinton, Bush 41, Nixon, LBJ) are just as guilty, I think Presidents should go on trial after their term is over, just like how the Athenians did it to Tyrants after their one year term was over.

    • I mean let's not give the US a free pass, they are not perfect. However it is not even the same kind of shit China is pulling. Just because the US should be better does not mean they can't point out people who are much, much, worse.

      The US has some problems balancing the right to free speech against other needs (you find that rights can almost never be unlimited, as it'll lead to trampling on the rights of others) and some problems with corporations using their influence with government to their own ends. Ch

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      Maybe, but if what they report is true, then - surprise - it is true.

      Whatever their agenda is, if they point out stuff that needs changing, then it needs changing. In fact, I would judge the maturity of a country on their response - if it is self-defense or counter-attack, it is childish. If it checks the facts and takes steps to improve those that are rightly pointed out, then it is mature.

      So, what are you, USA? A kid with dangerous weapons or an adult?

  • And the Chinese might have a point.

    There's no "might" about it. They do have a point and they are correct to point it out.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:36PM (#35795360) Homepage

    The entire report, "Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010" [], is worth reading. Most of the items on the list are well known, and have even come up on Slashdot.

    • "The United States reports the world's highest incidence of violent crimes ...
    • "According to figures released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in September 2010, more than 6,600 travelers had been subject to electronic device searches between October 1, 2008 and June 2, 2010, nearly half of them American citizens. A report on The Wall Street Journal on September 7, 2010, said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was sued over its policies that allegedly authorize the search and seizure of laptops, cellphones and other electronic devices without a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. The policies were claimed to leave no limit on how long the DHS can keep a traveler' s devices or on the scope of private information that can be searched, copied or detained. There is no provision for judicial approval or supervision."
    • "According to a report on Chicago Tribune on May 12, 2010, Chicago Police was charged with arresting people without warrants, shackling them to the wall or metal benches, feeding them infrequently and holding them without bathroom breaks and giving them no bedding, which were deemed consistent with tactics of "soft torture" used to extract involuntary confessions."
    • "The United States has always called itself "land of freedom," but the number of inmates in the country is the world' s largest. "
    • "The U.S. regards itself as "the beacon of democracy." However, its democracy is largely based on money. According to a report from The Washington Post on October 26, 2010, U.S. House and Senate candidates shattered fundraising records for a midterm election, taking in more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars as of October 24. The midterm election, held in November 2010, finally cost 3.98 billion U.S. dollars, the most expensive in the U.S. history. "
    • "While advocating Internet freedom, the U.S. in fact imposes fairly strict restriction on cyberspace. On June 24, 2010, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, which will give the federal government "absolute power" to shut down the Internet under a declared national emergency. Handing government the power to control the Internet will only be the first step towards a greatly restricted Internet system, whereby individual IDs and government permission would be required to operate a website. "
    • "Unemployment rate in the United States has been stubbornly high. From December 2007 to October 2010, a total of 7.5 million jobs were lost in the country " ... "The share of residents in poverty climbed to 14.3 percent in 2009, the highest level recorded since 1994 " ... . "A report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in November 2010 showed that 14.7 percent of U.S. households were food insecure in 2009 (, an increase of almost 30 percent since 2006" ... "According to a report by USA Today on June 16, 2010, the number of families in homeless shelters increased 7 percent to 170,129 from fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2009."
    • "The number of American people without health insurance increased progressively every year. "
    • "The New York Times reported on May 13, 2010, that in 2009, African Americans and Latinos were 9 times more likely to be stopped by the police to receive stop-and-frisk searches than white people. "
    • "So far, a total of 193 countries have joined the Convention on the Rights of the Child as states parties, but the United States is among the very few countries that have not ratified it."

    These are problems the US has that aren't being fixed.

    • Now some of them are systemic to the US, but most of them are not unique. They are facets of a flawed, human endeavor. Even with those (the "strict on cyberspace" is a bit of a stretch... it's not law yet... it just passed committee), I choose the US over China in terms of a "good place to live" any day of the week. I'm sure people love to live in China, but if we compare the balance sheets... I rather like the US side better.

      China's unemployment rate (or rather underemployment rate) would make our numbers

    • Let's look at the commensurate Chinese data...I'm sure it must be here...umm....hmm. I'll go look under the couch. BRB.
    • by devent ( 1627873 )

      There are many more treaties that the USA refuse to ratify. For example the USA is not a member of the International Criminal Court, I think as the only western country, []
      The Kyoto Protocol, I think the USA is the only country world wide not signed it, []

    • Law enforcement seems to get more and more antagonistic to the people they supposedly "serve" year over year. There is a severe conflict of interest arising as law enforcement has grown into a revenue stream for government as its primary function, to the point where major crimes are sidelined. (Listen to the second part of This American Life [] episode about Adrian Schoolcraft. It is sickening.)

      The prison population can and should be drastically reduced with the elimination of jail time for many non-violent
  • Some would say they are the same thing, but I think that is a bit of stretch. We all say crap about our families behind their backs, that isn't censorship.

    China is blocking the names of the kids that died in the earthquake and then jailing those who put them out. That is a huge difference then not releasing private conversations concerning foreign relations.

  • I can still access wikileaks anytime I want to. Can the Chinese say that about the majority of the western based web that they block?
    • by Ironchew ( 1069966 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:48PM (#35795542)

      I can still access wikileaks anytime I want to.

      Can you? is taking too long to respond on my end. (Qwest)
      The fact that no publicly accessible DNS server resolves it further weakens your case.

    • That is only because the Wikileaks people were able to move fast enough to ensure that you could still read it. It was not the US government that facilitated your ability to view it. In fact they tried all the tricks they could to silence the site.

      Society cannot advance until perception is aligned with reality. America has become the mother of all lies. More and more it seems that our Constitution is an hurdle to those who would seek to govern us rather than the guiding principles.
  • ... our government leaves commercial censorship in the hands of private corporations. What with Congress bitch-slapping the FCC over net neutrality rules.

    In either country, the people are peasants. And in both cases, we can't control our masters with the ballot box.

    • The difference between our ballot boxes is that we COULD control the government with the ballot box, but we CHOOSE not to. The Chinese can't. They want to, but they can't. We are squandering an opportunity that people in China have died trying to get, yet we still send the same gimpy ass-sucking motherfuckers to Washington year in and year out and wonder why the fuck nothing changes. I mean, we have no one to blame but ourselves...

      But your first comment would be wiped clean if we would only STOP listening t

  • scale


    some of the mental concepts you will find missing from those in the west who draw a false equivalency between the usa's crimes concerning internet freedom and the chinese

    but most importantly, you will find them, freely and openly criticising their government, without fear of reprisal. unlike in china

    so if listening to mentally subpar cranks on the internet equate china and the usa in illogical ways, i accept that as a price to pay for freedom of political expression

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @12:52PM (#35795622)

    US politicians have a rather nasty habit. (No, not chasing people around in cloak rooms or playing footsie in bathroom stalls, but they seem into that too)

    Namely, they like to straddle the fence, and are very bad at doing so.

    Take for instance, the media spectacle of the Egypt and subsequent middle-eastern revolts. The talking heads on capital hill squirmed and looked at each other for DAYS before finally resolving on an official position---AFTER the brave people in Egypt forced their hands. You see, they had been caught with their knickers down. On one side, you had "Heroic efforts to bring real democracy and freedom by the populace"-- which is the anodyne that they spew here in the states (Even though the body politic has rendered most of these so called freedoms that we are supposed to enjoy inert, or highly restricted with red tape and restriction) and on the other, there was Hosni Mubarak-- "Our Man" who "Helped us" with some rather "Nasty Renditions"--and more importantly, the diplomatic bargaining power he brought to the table in middle eastern affairs. (Namely, their dirty underhanded dealings) Having to pick a side and stick with it seems to have ruffled more than just a few feathers up there in washington--- the concept of lasting consequences and of having the onus of that kind of choice on them makes them squirm like worms under the light of a Fresnel lens. Back-troll through the media coverage prior to the deposal of Mubarak, with emphasis on the position from capital hill--- and you will find lots and lots of deflectionary statements.

    Same kind of thing with this "Pot calling kettle black" issue with China, and censorship. The US government, like *ALL* Governments, is addicted to power; namely, the power to control its citizens-- (But the US is more aggressive, in that it likes to control OTHER nation's citizens as well. Extra-ordinary rendition, et. al.) As such, it innately LIKES the idea of a serious crackdown on free information exchange. You can go just about anyplace in government where there is "Enforcement" of any sort, be it military to as mundane as city police departments, and you will find a highly prevalent bias toward wanting to control or at least obsessively monitor/record pretty much every kind of correspondence. Constitutionally protected rights to personal papers and effects be damned.

    Take for instance, the rather nasty provisions in the US patriot act, which has come up for review TWICE now, and somehow (rolls eyes) keeps getting new lease on life-- specifically, the data retention policies it enforces on public internet providers. (like internet cafes and libraries) Handing over lending histories was only ONE of the provisions; Another that was discretely added was the requirement to provide, on demand, complete packet logs of persons of interest, without oversight. If Government Man wants, it, Government Man gets it, basically.

    No wonder then, that libraries and such were up in arms over it. []

    Essentially, the US wants to maintain the *illusion* that there is freedom and privacy in people's day to day correspondences, while secretly spying on, sanitizing, and orchestrating "enforcements" on "undesirable" communications. Wikileaks being just one high profile example. Philosophically, how is this any better than China's approach? If anything, the US approach to censorship is more obscene and insideous, because it promotes false senses of security in the citizens impacted--- China at least doesnt deny that it uses strongarm tactics; the US on the other hand, does gymnastics to validate why it purpetually authorizes warrantless searches, siezures, and interrogations at places like airports.

    Basically, the US is JUST like China, just in a velvet glove instead of a cold steel one.

  • Yes, the U.S. is not perfect and I would like to see improvements. But neither is it remotely comparable to the Chinese government's ongoing campaigns of repression and censorship.

    Let's just start with voting rights (i.e., self-determination): In the U.S., some groups' ballot box power is reduced by gerrymandering and polling place restrictions (IDs, etc.). In comparison, in China there is no ballot box.

    The list of similarly absurd comparisons is long. I look forward to the day when the people of China cont

    • Your point? You have one more party than China does and the two you have are the same guys.

      You do not live in a democracy. You live in a republic. It is right there in your pledge of allegiance.
      At least China doesn't pretend to be something it is not. At least the government freely admits to these things, while in the US the government hides all the while flag fuckers like you shout, USA! USA! USA!
      Welcome to irreverence.

  • You had better do as I say, not as I do!

    Yours truly,

  • They'd probably be better off picking on Germany, where the government is once again trying to enact censorship laws which would allow them to block access to specified sites.
    Last time around they used the excuse of wanting this measure it to block access to child pornography content and this time they're hiding behind anti-terrorism doublespeak.

  • "Some people's cows can moo, but yours should keep quiet."

  • If WikiLeaks had happened in China the Families of Manning and Assange would have already received the bill for the bullet. Just say'n.

  • Throwing shit at each other in a cage called world.

    And the shit, that's us.

  • The US is far from innocent when it comes to Internet freedom, but nobody should suggest that the US is in the same league as China on this issue.

  • I have high health standards. If a wino comes up to me and points out that I would be healthier if I lose 5 more lbs. of fat and add 10 lbs of muscle, and points out that my diet is not great, he's right, even if he's a fat slob without a job. Similarly, even if China is killing people for speaking out in a way that we abhor, their point about our reduction in freedom is absolutely accurate.
  • I see a huge difference in the criticisms given to both China and the US.

    Clinton criticized China for detaining its own artists and dissidents.
    China is criticizing the US for civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, for mistreating prisoners of war, and for targeting Wikileaks.

    It's pretty plain that China is being accused of mistreating its own people, while the US is being accused of mistreating everybody else. Yes, there were some comments about poverty and the US prison system, but the bulk of criti

  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @02:24PM (#35796952) Homepage Journal

    And the Chinese might have a point.

    No, they do have a point. Even if they are even worse, even if you don't like them. The serial-killer child-rapist cleptomanic is still right when he points out the guy who ran the red light. It may be any number of things, but it doesn't change the simple fact that the truth remains the truth no matter who reports it.

    And sometimes, it needs an unpopular perceived enemy to speak out what all your friends don't dare to say out loud and clear.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.