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China Privacy The Internet

Chinese Man Jailed For Helping Net Users Evade State Blocks (bbc.com) 47

An anonymous reader shares a report: A Chinese man has been given a nine-month jail sentence for helping people evade government controls on where they can go online. Deng Jiewei, from Guangdong, was charged with illegally selling programs known as virtual private networks (VPNs), according to court papers. VPNs are illegal in China because they let people avoid government monitoring of what they are doing. The sentence is part of a larger crackdown on the use of VPNs in China. Deng started selling VPNs in late 2015 and was arrested in August 2016 for selling software which lets users "visit foreign websites that could not be accessed by a mainland IP address," reported the South China Morning Post. The Chinese government operates a massive monitoring system, known as the "great firewall," that watches what people do and say online. It also blocks access to sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, that are popular outside the country.
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Chinese Man Jailed For Helping Net Users Evade State Blocks

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  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2017 @10:28AM (#55140989)

    The Chinese government operates a massive monitoring system, known as the "great firewall," that watches what people do and say online. It also blocks access to sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, that are popular outside the country.

    Blocking YouTube is a bit harsh, but I can understand blocking Facebook.

    • ...but I can understand blocking Facebook.

      May I kindly ask you to advise us what exactly is there to understand by [China] blocking Facebook.

      More than a billion folks use it. Are they all at a disadvantage?

      • This is Facebook we're talking about. On Slashdot. You're suppose to hate Facebook.

        My post was half-comment, half-joke.

        Facebook, Twitter and other similar crap just plain suck the life out of the internet.

      • May I kindly ask you to advise us what exactly is there to understand by [China] blocking Facebook.

        For obvious reasons, the CCP does not allow direct one-to-many communication in forums they do not control. Banning Facebook is a no-brainer.

        Chinese users have WeChat instead, which is superior to Facebook in many ways, including the benevolent protection of social harmony.

    • Blocking YouTube is a bit harsh, but I can understand blocking Facebook.

      Are you serious? You actually approve blocking websites going against net neutrality and freedom of speech? And some modder modded this "insightful"? Where the fuck am I?

      • You actually approve blocking websites going against net neutrality and freedom of speech?

        We should perhaps be careful, not to expect that nation states will necessarily follow what may be "reasonable" in another nation state. After all, even the so called "Freedom of Speech" isn't absolute everywhere.

        • Have you ever read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [ohchr.org]?

          China is supposed to have signed it, and yet we accept that they do not respect their engagement. And why? Because it is a major commercial partner. Period.

          Their Great Firewall and overall surveilance programs of all citizens, and resulting imprisonments, is totally against this Declaration. Their behavior is unacceptable, but we accept it anyway because money talks.
          • Their Great Firewall and overall surveilance programs of all citizens, and resulting imprisonments, is totally against this Declaration.

            So are European bans on "Holocaust denial". Nearly all countries restrict speech that could cause offense or social disorder. Americans are often surprised to learn that our robust protections for free speech mostly don't exist outside our borders. Even in America, we are increasingly seeing silly restrictions on "hate speech".

        • The US has no need to fear freedom of speech - there's so much FUD out there is neutralises all motivation to act againstand the overbearing state - unless it threatens their viewing of American Idle or right to shoot each other.

          If not, there'd be censorship.

          Seriously, which other things which hinder the 1337 are legal?

      • I can understand blocking Facebook.

        going against {...} freedom of speech?

        The thing is, "freedom of speech" implies that there exist some actual speech to be protected.
        I think to understand that the parent poster doesn't consider any of the garbage that usually happens on some social site to be any form of speech.
        He probably thinks that nothing actually conveys information, most of it is click-baiting scams and ads anyway, and thus not worthy of "speech" status.
        Therefore for once his views align with those of an authoritarian regime who does also inhibit "freedom of actual speech

    • Blocking YouTube is a bit harsh, but I can understand blocking Facebook.

      Don't worry. Zuckerberg is trying everything he can think of to change this. That's part of the reason he's learning Mandarin - so he can personally beg the CCP to let Facebook in. If he ever succeeds, I can promise you that what he's going to have to agree to in order to make it happen is going to make freedom advocates very unhappy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is imperative to keep a safe distance. Besides, VPN use is too easy to detect. We need to devote our efforts to a better alternative. And let's shitcan all the masturbatory arguments about whether we should. It's not a matter of "should". We must!

  • Oh wait... would it end up being as effed up as China?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Of course it would. The tendency of every government is to expand indefinitely in terms of both revenue and power over the people. Like any business, their primary goal is to expand.

  • It's China
    not the US
    not Europe
    not anywhere else but China
    China is a nation-state that prefers to control what its citizens do - for whatever reasons.
    China follows China laws, even if I don't agree with them.. which I don't.

    What is the big surprise here?

  • Why not find a robust technological method of ensuring that it's impossible to go against your wishes?

  • economic advantage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spongman ( 182339 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2017 @12:16PM (#55141685)

    while many see this as a freedom of speech issue (which it is), the larger issue here is the economic advantage that China is forcing by potentially cutting off large swaths of the US economy from the Chinese market to the advantage of locally-grown copycat companies. youtube & facebook, for example are $20+ billion/year businesses that see zero income from China. as more and more of the US (& western) economy moves online, China, with its firewall, gets to pick and choose which of those businesses it wants to allow access to its people, effectively circumventing WTO restrictions on tariffs and rendering trans-pacific trade agreements impotent.

  • The Chicomm government is easily angered.

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