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Old 05-15-2008, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Censorship in China

I want to discuss the censorship in China. It may be old news to many, even myself, but recent reading has put it in a completely new light for me. A recent article- embedded below with a link to the PDF- describes a general consensus of China's citizens that their government's censoring of the internet is a good thing.

Quote:
View: Most Chinese Say They Approve of Government Internet Control // Source: Pewinternet
This post created with FASS

Abstract: "Many Americans assume that China's internet users are unhappy about their government's control of the internet, but a new survey finds most Chinese say they approve of internet regulation, especially by the government."   click to show 
Highlights of "Most Chinese Say They Approve of Government Internet Control"   click to show 


Last I heard, China arrests citizens for speaking out against the Chinese government. I am left to conclude that citizens of China would be too frightened to give their true opinions on Internet censorship, regardless of promises that the survey is sponsored by a third party and is in no way affiliated with the government. After reading the articles, I just don't know. I myself know I would be scared shitless to learn the government was arresting people because of their bad comments. I myself would most certainly censor my thoughts on such a survey. Not only would I be arrested, but in all likelihood, no one would even know.

They are limiting the flow of information. The people are not free to expose themselves to new ideas, new ways of thinking, current events, leading to a stagnant pool of unoriginal thought. This outrages me. It is nothing new but the more I research into this, the more I can't stand it. Are these articles spun with the intention of making the readers upset?

The follow are three articles that explain the tools for censorship. The first is good, but the others explain details in a different manner.
  • Quote:
    View: Virtual Beijing police to patrol in cyber world
    Source: Chinadaily
    This post created with FASS

    Abstract: "Police shall safeguard the virtual world as it has a growing impact on the real world"   click to show 
  • Quote:
    View: Internet free speech suppression in China via cartoon cops
    Source: Hoosierinva
    This post created with FASS

    Abstract: "the Chinese government has tens of thousands of real security officers monitoring the web and it regularly jails activists who have posted online messages criticizing the government."   click to show 
  • Quote:
    View: China sending virtual police on cyber-patrols
    Source: SMH
    This post created with FASS

    Abstract: "It is our duty to wipe out information that does public harm and disrupts social order"   click to show 


What are your thoughts, TFP?
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Last edited by Hain; 05-20-2008 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah it's pretty crazy. A friend of mine who was living there for a year couldn't believe how the internet is just completely restricted.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Perhaps it is fear that keeps people from saying truly how they feel, but I'm not so sure. The culture is very different.
How can anyone truly comment about something they know nothing about?
(D'oh!)
Propaganda is a highly effective tool that is used by more than one government.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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@ Manuel Hong:
My friend's first response when I started talking about this was, "They obviously don't know what they are missing."
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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They truly don't.
Man, I was shocked to find that no one ever heard of the Beastie Boys over there!! My friend over there thought that the epitome of American rock and roll was the Eagle's Hotel California. (this was in 2001)
crying shame
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How long do you think it will last? With China on the table again after so long and with the influx of money/jobs Chinese citizens are going to know things. There will always be an underground of some sort dont you think, and people talk?

Or maybe their influence will extend their borders and we will find more of our freedoms lost. It might even be used as a bargaining chip in some small way. That would be horrific.

Either way, information is always handy and I dont like to see it restricted in most cases, but I would be reticent to log on where Im not supposed to be.
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's amazing what some people will stomach. The Internet is censored here as well, though certainly not to the extent it is in China. There is far more censorship (self or otherwise) done in the mainstream media here than is prevalent on the Internet.

The thing is, you will often hear people coming out in support of these measures. They argue that they'd rather give up some freedoms and have a stable society. While a big part of me is dumbfounded by this there is a small voice that says, look at the standard of living in the other nations of South East Asia. Look at the corruption and general instability. Perhaps a stable society is worth it.
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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id have to agree with MH on the point that they may be only agreeing with the restrictions because of pressure from the government.

im against any censorship in any form. most of the regulars on TFP would know that the United Arab Emirates just implemented bans on some types of websites, namely porn sites and any site criticizing the form of government and/or the royal family.

i equate closing out a whole country to the world to be equivelant to closing out a child from interacting with other children, seriously stunting their growth on every level.
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Speaking of censorship....

I found out today I can't access TFP from Panera Breads WiFi.

TFP is a restricted content site.

So which of you hosers was surfing the titty board at a Panera recently?
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There are ways around the Great Firewall of Panera...

I'm not sure if it is better not to know anything or get lied to by the media/government.

I do feel that Open Source programmers have not done enough to free the internet and make it truly anonymous and open. Programs like Tor and Freenet are nice, but it's not something that can be easily setup.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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As much as I love the freedom we're allowed on the internet currently, I don't forsee it lasting forever, nor do I feel this freedom is for everyone. Some people just don't want or need it.

Maybe People in China are just fine doing whatever it is that they do because it's part of thier culture.

not everyone has to be like us.
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i dont think we are asking them to be like us..

but at least they can have the choice
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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if they wanted their freedom that bad they'd get it. It's not like they have the whole "just wait it out" system of checks and balances that we do with the whole 4 year reelection process.

Like a lot of us really hated bush, and I think if we were stuck with him for good, it would reach a point of revolt amongst enough Americans to reach a new civil war era.

China can change, but it wont be without much bloodshed, either via an internal civil war, or an external "liberation" process.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shauk
China can change, but it wont be without much bloodshed, either via an internal civil war, or an external "liberation" process.

China has already experienced massive change. There is more to come and if it keeps going the way it has been, there will be very little bloodshed. Change will come as the middle class reaches a critical mass and simply demands their liberties.

I give them 5 to 10 years.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Speaking of censorship....

I found out today I can't access TFP from Panera Breads WiFi.

TFP is a restricted content site.

So which of you hosers was surfing the titty board at a Panera recently?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlish
i dont think we are asking them to be like us..

but at least they can have the choice
Am I the only one seeing this particular little spot of irony here?
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I often wonder to what end does the government wish to censor its population? In China's case they can't possibly be concerned about the dissipation of their culture (as in the case of Quebec) so what is the driver behind the concept?

To compare apples to apples, India is another very old, traditional society roughly equal in size of population and with parallel issues to China. Yet as a society and government they seem to have embraced the use of the internet. India seems to be small government, while China likes big government.

This may be facile on my part, but at first blush, I still question to what end censorship?
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
Am I the only one seeing this particular little spot of irony here?

yeah pretty much.

Comparing Panera to China is like comparing a needle to a haystack.

heehee
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shauk
yeah pretty much.

Comparing Panera to China is like comparing a needle to a haystack.

heehee

Panera? Okay, time for google.


*** ah... a bakery restaurant. Probably a family type place? Private property? We could use a few of those around here.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:50 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto
Probably a family type place? Private property? We could use a few of those around here.

Try coffee shop, like Starbucks, only with more bagels and sandwiches.
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
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And they have free internet. Well if you call it internet. It works for most stuff, but there are time limits at lunch time (unless you have two wireless cards or can change your mac address from a command line). And they block NSFW websites without regard. Which they probably should do. But still it feels like they aren't giving you the full internet, but I can't complain, it has been my ISP quite a few times.
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:51 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Leto: The main reason for censorship in China is not for sustaining a culture, it's to squash dissent. The secondary reasons are things tend to be moralistic (porn, etc.).

The reason you don't see as much censorship in India is that they have a relatively strong democracy.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:23 PM   #22 (permalink)
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China's "Golden Shield" Experiment

Quote:
View: China's All-Seeing Eye
Source: Rollingstone
This post created with FASS

Abstract: "With the help of U.S. defense contractors, China is building the prototype for a high-tech police state. It is ready for export."   click to show 
This sounds like a wonderful product for the new world order.
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