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Censorship IT

China Closes 1,129 Web Sites 396

"The related departments have closed 1,278 illegal web sites and 114 sites promoting gambling, superstitious activities and cult propaganda according to the information provided by the informers. ... China's Ministry of Public Security rewarded a number of informers since China launched a nationwide campaign to crack downon the illegal on-line operations."
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China Closes 1,129 Web Sites

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  • by angkor ( 173812 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:04AM (#11166733)
    Something similiar is happening in Thailand:
  • Who wrote this? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You can barely understand this post, is this some undercover Chinese agent working for Slashdot posting propaganda?
  • So how long...? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <> on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:08AM (#11166744) Homepage
    So how long until I can remove the block on a pair of CNLink's /20 networks from my firewall?

    My web server was getting massively log spammed from them (even though I don't publish my web stats). The first time round I actually bothered to report the attacks to their abuse address but naturally got no response at all. So the second time I got attacked I had no choice but to just drop all traffic from both their /20's.

    When will these ISPs realise they're shooting themselves in the foot by forcing everyone to just outright block their networks?
    • Re:So how long...? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Kosi ( 589267 )
      When will these ISPs realise they're shooting themselves in the foot by forcing everyone to just outright block their networks?

      As soon as really everyone blocks them.
  • by borgheron ( 172546 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:11AM (#11166750) Homepage Journal
    So far it seems as though they've cracked down on:

    1) Freedom of Religion.
    2) Freedom of Expression.

    Now, I know that we're not talking about the US here, so the Chinese don't have these rights. It's so blatant that the Chinese are never going to change their stance on human rights.

    Gotta love the Chinese.

    • by tacocat ( 527354 ) <tallison1&twmi,rr,com> on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:18AM (#11166780)
      Migrating from Socialism to a Capitalistic Republic.
      Migrating from a Democracy to a Capitalistic Republic.
      • by MrNemesis ( 587188 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:37AM (#11166835) Homepage Journal
        I'll see your American capitalistic republic, and raise you a corporate plutocracy.
      • by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) * <> on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:41AM (#11166845) Homepage Journal
        Migrating from Socialism to a Capitalistic Republic.
        Migrating from a Democracy to a Capitalistic Republic.

        I'm afraid one of those is a little backward. Try this instead:

        Migrating from a Republic to a Capitalistic Democracy

        If you think America was ever intended to be a democracy, you are sadly mistaken. The founding fathers considered democracy to be the most vile thing they could think of, even worse than the Crown from which they separated. That's why they didn't set one up here.

        • by rattler14 ( 459782 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @08:29AM (#11166969)
          Please mod parent up. For details, please confer with article 4 section 4 of a little document I like to call "the US constitution"

          we have a constitutional republic, it just turns out we've turned it into a democracy... aka the tyranny of the majority.
        • by Krach42 ( 227798 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @09:00AM (#11167071) Homepage Journal
          Not entirely. The US is a Democratic Republic. We are a democracy, just not as much a democracy as other governments.

          Likely, China is a democracy. It just doesn't really mean much because the vote is so controlled. But they still allow *citizens* to vote. (Keyword: Citizen. If you define Citizen to be "white land-owning male" then you have early America, if you defined Citizen to be "member of the communist party" then you have what the USSR was)

          This confuses the heck out of people when they're told that East Germany was "Deutsche Democratische Republik" (German Democratic Republic) Anytime I tell an American about this, they say, "But they were a communist state!" It just confuses people to pit Democracy against Communism. Because they're apples and oranges.
      • Did you just claim that voluntary trade is the source of oppression?

        Only government holds the "right" to initiate force as a means to an end. You have implied that capitalism is somehow oppressive, which just isn't logical. True capitalism is entirely voluntary. How in the world can an act of voluntary association be oppressive?

        You have to realize that what we have in the US isn't capitalism. Not even close. On the contrary, the US government is heavily entangled in the "free" market.

        You're just going to
        • You do realize that one needs to eat, drink and have shelter to survive? Thus, living in a capitalistic society, trade to gain those things is not in any way volontary. And if you have little resources, and the one you trade with have huge ones, you _are_ oppressed. Physical force is just one type of force. Economical force is at least as important. For an example of that, look at the EU and the US. The US have a much stronger military force, but they still can not do whatever they pleases, but have to ne
    • The article only states that the websites were 'illegal', not the actual law the sites broke. If these were child porn, for example, they'd have been shut down in any number of other countries. The 114 shut down for promoting gambling etc is a little more sinister, but again, theres lots of places in the UK and USA you're not allowed to promote gambling..

      There isn't really enough information in the article to say either way whether or not China has actually done anything particularly bad, or indeed differe
      • Euphemisms the chinese govt uses:

        superstitious propoganda- church. christianity.
        cults- falun gong etc

        Religious freedom is very heavily monitored. Read the article from the nytimes below.

        Violence Taints Religion's Solace for China's Poor
        By JOSEPH KAHN

        Published: November 25, 2004

        UAIDE, China - Kuang Yuexia and her husband, Cai Defu, considered themselves good Christians. They read the Bible every night before bed. When their children misbehaved, they dealt with them
    • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:37AM (#11166840) Journal
      It's not so blatant to me. Change will come, but it will most likely come slowly rather than quickly, if for no reason other than China is a big country, with a huge population that enjoy a range of disparate lifestyles.

      Sometime in our lifetimes China is going to become a consumer culture, consuming many of the goods that it already makes and exports to the rest of the world. My PDA was made in China. My keyboard was made in China. My colour laser printer was made in China. Can you see where I'm going with this?

      Sooner or later, China's markets will open up to near Western levels. Chinese people will buy widescreen TVs, computers and designer goods. And when that happens, the gates will open too, albeit in a controlled manner. How strict those controls will be or how they will function is open to speculation but for over a decade now China has been becoming a more relaxed and less restrictive society.

      Just because they have limits on internet access now that doesn't mean that they will always have limits on internet access. The US once had limits on the rights of blacks and women, yet it progressed from that point and China will to.

      Don't forget, China isn't just a different country it's a different country with a totally different culture to that which we're familiar with in the West. Concepts that seem alien to us are natural to them, and vice versa. And, obviously, it's the negative aspects of Chinese society that always get played up rather than the positive ones.

      And when it comes to things as subjective as human rights, please realise that there's an "eye of the beholder" aspect to be considered. You might regard China as being oppressive when it comes to religion or expression but there's not a country in the world that hasn't done the same at some time or another or that has its own human rights abuses going on right now.

      So to recap, don't dismiss China as being stuck permanently on hold. China will progress and develop, but at its own pace and in its own time. Who knows when change will come and how suddenly. After all, the day before the Berlin Wall fell, or before Nelson Mandela was released, or any ground-breaking event, who would have predicted that such a radical change would come overnight?
      • I am quite familiar with the Chinese people and their culture. I was engaged to a woman from Hong Kong, who's family original from mainland China, for 6 years (it didn't work out for personal reasons). Also, I've been a student of eastern philosophy for much of my life.

        It's these positive things which make me hate the negative things which I hear coming out of China so much. The fact that the government of China has absolutely no regard for the freedoms of it's people is gut wrenching to me. I guess t
    • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @08:44AM (#11167020)
      The Chinese people have the same rights as Americans or anyone else. We all have the same rights. The Chinese government simply represses the rights of its citizens.

      It is both wrong an very dangerous to think our rights come to us as gifts from our governments.
      • It is both wrong an very dangerous to think our rights come to us as gifts from our governments.

        True, but it is also wrong and very dangerous to think that everyone has rights as a matter of course. Such thinking leads to us taking our rights for granted.

        Our rights are what we have won for ourselves, by confronting our governments and the governments of other nations, in 1215 and in 1776 and in 1789 and in 1945... We'll keep them as long as we still think they're important. Of course, nowadays the argum

        • Our rights are ours by virtue of our existence. They cannot be "won" from governments because governments do not possess any rights. What we win from governments is the ability to exercise our rights.
          • The possession of rights, in practice, is indistinguishable from the ability to exercise those rights. That is to say, you can claim that you have this or that right all you want, and you may even give an excellent argument for it, but if the state effectively prohibits you from exercising that right, then "This is my right" is more of a political statement or desire than an actual statement of fact.

            I guess it comes down to whatever is the more persuasive definition of "right". I'm pretty confused, and h

            • Don't be confused. Your rights don't come from any government. Governments can use force or the threat of force to keep you from exercising your rights, but they are not the source of your rights.

              A government that protects your rights is legitimate. A government that thwarts your rights is illegitimate.
              • Heh. You misunderstand. I'm totally with you on this. I just haven't heard a good argument to completely convince me that we actually have these things called "rights" which are independent of outside control or whim. Do I believe it? Yeah. Can I prove it, or at least disprove the opposite? No. But if someone can, it'll make my day.

                It gets even more confusing when people start saying that intellectual property is a right, or bearing arms, or whatever. You can claim these things all you want, but c

      • It is both wrong an very dangerous to think our rights come to us as gifts from our governments.

        This is only if you believe in the principle of limited government (which the US's Founders did).
        If you are "progressive" (of which socialism/communism is a type) you believe that rights are granted by the state [].
  • Sounds like now is the perfect time to use Tor which was previously covered today :) 31229&tid=95&tid=158&tid=153&tid=17 []
  • by cybertears ( 778765 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:12AM (#11166758)
    China Closes 1,129 Web Sites The related departments have closed 1,278 illegal web sites and 114 sites ... how many sites were closed? Is it 1,129 as the headline reads, or 1,392 as the body states (1,278 + 114)
    • The point is not exactly how many sites. The point is that they're closing lots of sites.

      It's not how much is being censored, it's that they're actively censoring.

      • If someone is going to quote an *exact* number in the title, then a different number in the body, then it's perfectly reasonable to question that number.

        If the headline had been "China closes >1000 sites" then fair enough, but to mention a specific number in the headline, then to quote a different number in the body, should and does raise questions.
    • The related departments have closed 1,278 illegal web sites and 114 sites promoting gambling, superstitious activities and cult propaganda according to the information provided by the informers
      I'd guess that one of the 114 sites that promoted gambling, superstition and cult activities was legal, but closed any ways.
  • 1984? (Score:5, Funny)

    by james_bray ( 188143 ) * on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:12AM (#11166759) Homepage
    "...China's Ministry of Public Security..."

    Sounds suspiciously like the "Ministry of Truth" from to me....
  • Until they start lining up spammers I really don't care what they do with their section of the Internet.

    I'm still for giving the e-chinese the silent treatment.

  • The article implies that concerned citizens can report websites that they consider to be illegal somewhere on the website. Might be worth flooding it with reports of all the spam sites operating in China, I just need to find the page to report it on.
  • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:33AM (#11166827)
    Monty Python said the Chinese were nice, and I quote

    "I like Chinese,
    I like Chinese,
    They only come up to your knees"

    So that made it official. We like Chinese.
    • sounds liek these guys forgot about the :

      "They're always willing and they're ready to please" part

      got to love anti-religions and anti-superstition laws

      Please can we have them in the West.

      • I love posts like this. I'm an evangelical atheist - I actively engage people and try to drag them around to my point of view [1]. However, let me tell you, trying to ban religion is short sighted at best, and an affront to the kindred beliefs of atheism ( personal liberty, freedom from prejudice, etc etc ) at worst.

        If you want to become a religious bigot of an unsual stripe, be my guest, but make no mistake - orthodox religion holds the whip in the west right now, and if you get the legislature involve

        • I know, bans do nothing but opress. Each to their own.

          The meddlings of church in the state (and vise versa) are well documented.

          But when you have leaders who say they are doing the work of god you've got to wonder about their sanity let alone suitability.

          Our Mr. Blair found religion for his trip to the top and is pretty suspect. I'd love to have an evening discussing theology with these guys and see how deep their particular rabbit hole goes.

          Do you *really* think there's some guy in the sky watching you
          • Better get your own theology straight before you do - AFAIK, no Christian denomination teaches that. Standard Christian theology teaches that hell is the default destination of every human being (ie: not dependant on your misdemeanours) and protestant Christians at least (not too up on Catholic theology) believe that you are saved from hell by the grace of God (again, not dependant on your actions.)

            By the by, do you really believe non-living chemicals learnt to walk and talk all by themselves?

            • blah blah theology whatever, who cares, it's all bunkum.

              By the by, do you really believe non-living chemicals learnt to walk and talk all by themselves?

              Categrorically and without doubt. Belief not necessary. They did, ergo : they did.
            • By the by, do you really believe non-living chemicals learnt to walk and talk all by themselves?

              You're right. That's crazy. Everyone needs to accept the cold, rational truth: a big, magic, invisible, all-powerful, timeless dude made us out of mud.

              Oh, and he doomed us to eternal pain and suffering unless we do the right dance.

  • Wond'ring aloud... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @07:33AM (#11166828)

    > The related departments have closed 1,278 illegal web sites and 114 sites promoting gambling, superstitious activities and cult propaganda

    Was Slashdot listed under "superstitious activities", or "cult propaganda"?

  • Yes that right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asciiwhite ( 679872 ) * <> on Thursday December 23, 2004 @08:14AM (#11166931)
    In Communist China

    You kill the INTERNET

    Yes and in Constitution Repubic USA.

    FBI agents raided the Texas-based host of Arabic Web sites []


    Al-Jazeera shutdown []

    When the Chinese government close down what they consider propaganda, it's these evil communists trying to hinder freedom of speech.

    When the American government close down what they consider propaganda. It's because it's propaganda, and not infringing on freedom of speech.

    The difference between Americans and Chinese is they realise they are being screwed, where as Americans dont seem to have a fucking clue...

    • The difference between Americans and Chinese is they realise they are being screwed, where as Americans dont seem to have a fucking clue...

      Funny how you linked to Slashdot, an American site full of Americans who actually agree with you as proof that Americans are stupid.

      All that self congratulatory American hating fueled wanking must really bruise your penis.
    • You are quite correct and I wish more people today would realise it, especially those living in Western style cultures who can't seem to grasp this basic insight.
    • Re:check your facts (Score:2, Informative)

      by theskeptic ( 699213 )
      Why did the FBI agents raid that Dallas host?

      Agents of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations have raided the offices of internet service provider Infocom in Dallas, Texas. The raid came as a result of information that the company was cooperating with the Holy Land Fund for Relief and Development, suspected of being a Hamas fundraising front. The FBI agents confiscated servers, computers and financial records of Infocom. Several websites came down as a result of the raid, including that of the
    • I guess this would also be a good time to remind people that the US also managed to shut down 22 IndyMedia sites [], administered by groups around the world and physically located in the UK. More from the EFF here [].
  • This would be the perfect job. Searching for porn on the internet and when I went threw all the free stuff I report it to the Chinese officials get $240 for it and continue on. The trick is use an American internet connection and when you find a site check to see if it runs in china then report it. Sure I may be a sell out but that is the American Way right?
  • many spamming websites are hosted in china.
    while they are turning off the spigot to squelch dissent, can we please get them to turn off the spam too?
  • I had to chuckle when the article mentioned cracking down on gambling and superstitious activities - at least at Mohegan Sun Casino (gambling = gambling, superstition = believing you're going to win at gambling) they have special staff and services and casino floor areas just for Asian gamblers, several dedicated bus lines that run from BOS and NYC Chinatowns whose scheduled stops are a series of Chinese groceries, restaurants and temples in Boston and NYC...

    Also, you can get sites if you're surfin
  • Hegemon (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kir ( 583 )

    I learned a great deal from this book. (Note: By saying this, I'm not pronouncing this book as the bible on China. Don't box me in. Slashdot is good for that.)

    An excellent review can be found here [].

  • I know I'm supposed to be lighting my torch and grabbing my pitchfork over the curtailing of basic freedoms. But honestly, while it certainly doesn't make me happy, my outrage is tempered by the fact that they're cracking down on annoying bullshit, and assholes who are probably spamming.

    I mean, it's not good that these sites are getting shut down the way they're getting shut down, but they won't be missed.

    Even if I could read chinese (well, enough to be able to rightfully claim I can), they wouldn't be m
  • Democracy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jfonseca ( 203760 )
    Democracy is a system where the will of the majority should prevail.

    The population of China is 10 times that of the USA. Does America really want a democracy in China? Imagine 2 billion people voting on the future of the USA(and the rest of us)...

    Should the world stop pretending we like the idea of China guiding us? Or do most of us really want China a democracy?
  • This would be interesting. A large percentage of the sites running from china that would have promoted things like gambling etc are or would have been spam sites. It will be good to see if there is a drop over the next few weeks in spam on the internet.
  • hmm.. wonder what you can catch with that net. Chinese government certainly has some domestic enemies.

    There's no shortage of porn sites around.. so, if you want to take down a political site, simply close down a 2k porn sites at the same time.. smart move by the Chinese Government.

  • I'm glad godless China is finally being influenced by our faithful leader, pResident AC [] Bush. All that sinful gambling, superstition and paganism, no longer preying on the people. When will we in the US finally recognize their moral superiority and give up our liberal, worldly "democratic" ways, and bow our heads in submission to the mystery of the Chinese priests of government?
  • While chinese religious sites are classified as illegal along with porn sites... commercial spammers using chinese computers enjoy all the commodities.

    The whole chinese internet is upside down. :-/ what can anybody do about it?

Truth is free, but information costs.