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Censorship China The Internet Your Rights Online

Greatfire Keeps Tabs On Chinese Censorship, Automatically 30

First time accepted submitter percyalpha writes "Greatfire is a website that automatically monitors Internet censorship in China. Recently, we improved our system to share all testing data with Herdict, a project at Harvard University on Internet blockages. User reports on Herdict of websites inaccessible in China are automatically imported into our system, and our data of websites blocked in China is also exported into the Herdict database. If you ever explore the first ten pages of the Herdict database, chances are all block reports are from China and imported from our system."
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Greatfire Keeps Tabs On Chinese Censorship, Automatically

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  • by Razgorov Prikazka ( 1699498 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @06:36PM (#41102715)
    An old employee of mine was Chinese, she was a international student and now again lives in China. I put forward this 'digital great wall of China' argument in an conversation, about it was killing free speech, democracy, human rights etc. She told told me that she just couldn't comprehend. She was living in the west now for about 3 years or so, enough to have a good taste of 'western values'.
    Her point was: <quote>The west has Muslims with their hatespeech towards jews, and all is well because they are a miority, but if the same thing is said by (white) neo-nazi's then suddenly it is wrong. The western politicians basically tell you what you can or cannot hear, and it is fine. But, the second OUR government decides that WE are not allowed to hear something, THEN it is all wrong. What kind of a double standard is that?<unquote>
    Then I tried to tell her that I dont want the government to get involved in freedom of speech AT ALL. One can disagree about something, but then lets agree to disagree. This was also strange to her, because: <quote>You chose those people to speak up for you right?? That is what you call democracy isn't it?<unquote>
    I dont want to start a flamewar here, just give it a thought, try to see it from their perspective.
    I felt almost felt sorry for her, being between hammer and anvil.
    • The moment an islamofascism rams a jet through a building inside China is the moment they win the war for us. The Chinese do not fear political correctness like American's do. I'm sure if George S. Patton was alive today, he would agree.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well, I feel sorry for her too. I am a Chinese, lived in US for several years, living in China right now. I am so sick of these communism sh*t, even bloomberg.com and businessweek.com are being blocked in China right now, how sick is this? a goal of mine is to change my nationality to a free country someday, just can't stand it any longer.

      Your friend, just like billions of Chinese, got brain washed so badly. You might think 3 years living in a free country, she will get a good taste of freedom, but the sad

  • by RobertinXinyang ( 1001181 ) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @07:10PM (#41103183)

    What to website fails to capture is economic censorship. This is the restricting of bandwidth in order to push users to domestic services. The target website is still accessible; but, it works poorly. This has the effect of pushing users to domestically owned competitors.

    An example would be Google. While Google is accessible much of the time, and note that I did not say all of the time, following links from Google is often impossible. This has the effect of pushing users to Baidu, an underdeveloped Google clone that is popular, and owned in, China.

    Another example is Photobucket. While the website in the article claims it is no censored, it is not usable. Links between pages do not work so it is impossible to sign in and pictures can only be accessed by typing in their exact URL. While it will return a ping, it is not being given enough bandwidth to function properly. The restrictions on social websites, such as this, are not purely political. They are also driven by an attempt to push all traffic to the domestically owned (and really poor in usability) q-zone.

    The articles website fails to capture the entire problem and fails to understand that the problem is not just politics. It is, as is seen so often elsewhere too, business colluding with government.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There was a TED talk on this subject recently. I was very disappointed that it missed a very key word: "protectionism". There's a huge number of factors at play here, but certainly a lot of is about giving domestic providers an advantage. You'd hope the WTO would be more involved in dealing with this as it really is a trade issue.

      Regarding the partial breakages, there is a good talk by Jacob Applebaum and Roger Dingledine on Tor censorship. They focus quite a bit on China, and how simply throttling a servic

    • When the download speed in China is significantly lower than that of in U.S, we categorize those websites as restricted. https://en.greatfire.org/top-sites [greatfire.org] (Yellow instead of red)
      About Google. Google is in fact accessible(might be slow) most of the time, at least until you search something with it. If your keywords accidentally contain restricted words [greatfire.org], such as carrot in Chinese which contains one word of a commonly used family name, also a family name of one of the Chinese leaders, then your connection t
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The hard, inescapable fact is that the recent success of Asian nations is linked entirely to their adoption of western ideas and western style government. (This is the part where PRC shills scream bloody murder, like when you mention tibet.)

    I don't' care if china has a rich 5,000 year old culture. It is, at it's core, grossly inefficient. It allows the toxic institutionalization of corruption and exploitation under the guise of "culture". Corruption and exploration are nasty and inefficient economic mechani

  • So where is the URL to download the CSV automatically on a weekly basis and import it into my proxy?

  • I forward all my traffic through a proxy service. I have a separate list for Chinese websites, their traffic does not go through the proxy. This way I don't have to worry about the new websites Chinese government decides to block.

    There is a large Internet cultural difference between Chinese population and foreign population. A typical Chinese citizen never really needs to go over the firewall. Pretty much everything has a domestic version.

  • We recently developed another project to help web owners to unblock their websites in China. https://unblock.cn.com/ [cn.com] So if you ever find that your business site is blocked due to collateral damage, e.g:you share the same host with another blocked website, feel free to unblock it.

In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur