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China Employs Campus Internet Overseers 337

d'alz writes "China's Internet police, reportedly including as many as 50,000 state agents, have monitored the Chinese citizenry's online habits. They have blocked Web sites, erased commentary and arrested people for what is deemed anti-Party, or anti-social, speech. Several hours each week Hu Yingying, a college student, goes to a little-known on-campus office crammed with computers. There she logs on, unsuspected by other students, to help police her university's Internet forum." From the article: "Under the Civilized Internet initiative, service providers and other companies have been urged to purge their servers of offensive content, ranging from pornography to anything that smacks of overt political criticism or dissent. The Chinese authorities say that more than two million supposedly 'unhealthy' images have already been deleted under this campaign by various mainland Internet service providers, and more than six hundred supposedly 'unhealthy' Internet forums were shut down. These deletions are presented as voluntary acts of corporate civic virtue, but have a coercive aspect to them, because no company would likely risk being singled out as a laggard."
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China Employs Campus Internet Overseers

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  • Chilling (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @11:55AM (#15294308)

    From TFA:
    Hu says she and her fellow moderators try to steer what they consider negative conversations in a positive direction with a well-placed comment.
    So she's a professional astroturfer [wikipedia.org] as well as an informant.

    Some more:
    Hu is a small part of a huge effort in mainland China to sanitize the Internet.
    'Sterilize' the Internet would be more appropriate.

    And finally:
    "I don't think anybody can possibly control any information in Internet," said Ji Xiaoyin, 20, a third-year Shanghai Normal student studying mechanical design. "If you're not allowed to talk here, you just go to another place to talk, and there are countless places for your opinions. It's easy to bypass the firewalls, and anybody who spends a little time researching it can figure it out."
    Ji Xiaoyn, please report to your local Party official for reeducation.
    • Ah, who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chordonblue ( 585047 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:16PM (#15294493) Journal
      Couldn't happen here, right? Say, I'm just going to pop down to WalMart and buy a brand new Chinese-made big screen TV and move it into my living room (the one with the Chinese-made carpeting and drapes). After I cook my food using my Chinese-made utensils, I might just sit me down in my nice Chinese-made easy chair and dream about democracy.

      The U.S. has more than just an addiction to oil - there's an addiction to cheap products too and before long our dependance will have us bowing to the Chairman too.

      • You make excellent points and ones that I point out when people talk about how bad the Chineses are to their people yet these same people insist on going to WalMart to buy their stuff. Um folks, where do you think WalMart gets 98% of their stuff from? Duh! The same thing applies when I see someone with a "I'm Union and I vote" bumper sticker parked in WalMarts lot.

        I make it a point to never buy products made in China (and a few other countries). It can be difficult but not impossible. The only exception
        • Re:Ah, who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stinerman ( 812158 )
          You make excellent points and ones that I point out when people talk about how bad the Chineses are to their people yet these same people insist on going to WalMart to buy their stuff. Um folks, where do you think WalMart gets 98% of their stuff from? Duh! The same thing applies when I see someone with a "I'm Union and I vote" bumper sticker parked in WalMarts lot.

          Americans, generally speaking, don't care anything about where/how products are made so long as they are cheap. Joe User doesn't care if his $40
      • Re:Ah, who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pete6677 ( 681676 )
        Buying products from China is a far cry from allowing them to censor us. What are they going to do, cut us off and destroy their own economy in the process? I'm not quite sure of the point you are trying to make.
    • Chilling? Very. But the last quote is very inspiring. The bad guys will only win if we let them.
    • "America's Internet police, reportedly including as many as 50,000 state agents, have monitored the American citizenry's online habits. They have blocked Web sites, erased commentary and arrested people for what is deemed unpatriotic, or anti-social, speech. Several hours each week Jane Shmoe, a college student, goes to a little-known on-campus office crammed with computers. There she logs on, unsuspected by other students, to help police her university's Internet forum." From the article: "Under the Famili
  • by blcamp ( 211756 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:01PM (#15294359) Homepage

    Considering the recent ink on Google, is anyone suprised here?

    What essentially is happening in China is a 21st Century version of the Cultural Revolution - an electronic purging, if you will, of any "impure" expression among the populace.

    You only get one guess as to who decides what "impure" is... or is not.

    Interesting (but not at all a shock) that students are recruited to rat out their peers. There must be a big-time carrot being held out to rise up high within Party ranks.

    • Interesting (but not at all a shock) that students are recruited to rat out their peers. There must be a big-time carrot being held out to rise up high within Party ranks.

      The carrot being to not vanish and end up in a Chineese re-education prison?

      • In this picture there are forty people. None of them have vanished. In this film we hope to show you how not to vanish.

        (Caption on screen: 'HM GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC SERVICE FILM NO. 42 PARA 6. "HOW NOT TO BE VANISH AND END UP IN A CHINEESE REEDUCATION PRISON"')

        Now I am going to ask him to speak up. Mr. Bradshaw will you speak up please

        (To chineese censors enter and removes Mr. Bradshaw)

        Voice Over: This demonstrates the value of not speaking up.
    • Interesting (but not at all a shock) that students are recruited to rat out their peers.

      Hmmm... [msn.com] Something about cleaning one's own house comes to mind.

      FTL: Without any public hearing or debate, NEWSWEEK has learned, Defense officials recently slipped a provision into a bill before Congress that could vastly expand the Pentagon's ability to gather intelligence inside the United States, including recruiting citizens as informants. Emphasis mine
      • ...Defense officials recently slipped a provision into a bill before Congress...

        Yeah, those defense officials yelled, "LOBBYIST!", and when Congress looked the other way, they slipped the provision in the bill.

        Man, if somebody posted a comment like Isikoff's here (which, incidentally, is almost two years old!), /.ers would be on him like stink on shit demanding details. What provision? What bill? What was the vote in the committee? What about the corresponding bill in the House?

        BTW, the provision (Secti
    • The same thing occurs to much lesser extent here in the U.S. People scour the airwaves and Internet and seize upon every opportunity to point out so-called politically incorrect statements. They label them as racist, offensive, and cruel and thus further their agenda. If these people got into power do you really think a Chinese-like regime would be a long shot?
      • by maynard ( 3337 ) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @04:50PM (#15296999) Journal
        Do you really believe that tripe?

        The Politically Correct movement is about speech against speech. Those who hold certain political views against what they consider social ills, such as: Racism, Sexism, Political and/or Wealth Inequality, blah blah blah. A litany of left of center views. Welcome to life in a Democratic Republic where free speech is -- supposedly -- valued.

        Contrast this with China under Mao. Where, at the zenith of Mao's power, people were expected to believe that he could utter no incorrect statement. That he would live for ten thousand years. That he was sacred, essentially a religious prophet (who preached against religion -- he was a Communist after all). Anyone who spoke even slightly against Mao, by suggesting that he was just a person, a human who could make mistakes like anyone else, they risked being grabbed by party officials and dragged to the center of town. There they would be charged with "Capitalist Thought" and forced to "Self-Criticize" in front of their townsfolk. They would have to recite a litany of their crimes against Mao and the Party. And if they were lucky they would simply be stripped of their job, their children would be removed from school, and their supply of "Rice Coupons" (food) cut to nothing. Then their local citizenship would papers would be destroyed and they would be sent to live with peasants in a twenty-seven thousand person commune. Where they would likely starve.

        If, on the other hand, they did not properly repent, they would have a heavy stone sign with the words "Capitalist Criminal" engraved upon it, hung from their necks with piano wire. They would be forced to sit on their knees in the center of town and wait while for days while the sign, so heavy that the piano wire would cut through their necks to the vertebrae, slowly killed them. If they were lucky they might repent and beg forgiveness. Whereupon an executioner would put a rifle bullet in the back of their head. And then charge the family a fee for the bullet and service. No shit.

        I'm sorry, but campus political correctness in the US doesn't even come close to the suffering the Chinese have had to endure.
    • by maynard ( 3337 ) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @02:59PM (#15296079) Journal
      This is a pretty bad analogy. The students did not engage in struggle in order to stifle dissent among their peers. The vast majority were slavish devotees of Mao to begin with. Instead, it was a cynical means for Mao to shift the power balance within the government from the then current leaders Deng Xio Peng and Liu Shaoqi, who had taken the reigns of power from Mao after his failed Great Leap Forward five year plan. The Great Leap Forward led to massive crop failures while farmers spent their energy making worthless pig iron in small homebrew forges instead of farming. Deng Xio Peng and Liu Shaoqui rightly realized the policy blunders of Mao and pushed him out in order to get food production back on track.

      But Mao wanted his power back. So, he encouraged students to form a "Red Guard" paramilitary group to rid China of the Four Olds (old customs; old culture; old habits; old ideas). To do this they were given free reign to interrogate those old members of society who were in power -- for those who were in power were, by definition, corrupt because they were not equally sharing their gains. The students then took these old leaders and "struggled" against them through violent means, until the person either admitted his crimes or died while refusing.

      Ratting on other students to stifle dissent was not the intent of the Cultural Revolution, though other students who had been children of former landlords, or whose parents had been caught up in the anti-rightist movement during the Great Leap Forward were fair game for "struggle" sessions as well. Mao's principle goal was to unseat Deng Xio Peng and Liu Shaoqui, which he did when students successfully stormed the presidential compound and took both into custody in 1968. Liu Shaoqui died shortly thereafter in prison, while Deng Xio Peng weathered the storm and eventually retook the reigns of power some time after Mao's death. As the Cultural Revolution neared its zenith, street fighting broke out among various factions of Red Guards, who each fought to proclaim their greater loyalty to Mao. In this manner outright civil war broke out between student groups broke out, with automatic weapons and artillery fire destroying entire city blocks and killing numerous civilians, until Mao released the army to re-take control of city streets by force. And then the Cultural Revolution was over, and a bunch of Red Guard students were executed for treason. And, of course, Mao was the Great Leader controlling the reigns of power once again.

      It is in this context that one can view the 1989 Tiananmen Square repression, as Deng Xio Peng was leader at the time. If you remember, that was a student led revolt against the political leadership ostensibly in support of democratic reforms. However, Deng Xio Peng was most certainly frightened by the breakdown in law and order of the Cultural Revolution and likely thought he was acting to stop a repeat of the Cultural Revolution. Not that the violent repression at Tiananmen Square was an appropriate response, it's just that most people here in the west viewed it as a violent repression of democratic values, when it is more likely that Deng Xio Peng thought he was preventing yet another student led civil war that he had seen during the late 1960s.

      Take us forward another sixteen to seventeen years (nearly another generation) and one can see that the context of cultural and political repression common in China today is far less bloody than prior generations. It is still repressive. It still relies on "self-criticism" in order to enforce the social norms of imposed groupthink. But the current leadership is, perhaps, a bit less violent in its repression of dissent.

      Unless you're Falun Gong. Who make an excellent source of fresh organs for transplantation to the buying public. But, hey, that's just a matter of collecting hard currency by killing and selling the body parts of religious kooks. It's not political like Internet Censorship. *cough!*
  • We have tens of thousands of agents who monitor and take down websites here in the West also.

    They're called Intellectual Property Lawyers.

    Funny how everyone (mainstream soceity atleast) thinks it is so evil when other cultures impose their values, but completely OK when we impose ours.

    • Oh please it's not the same. For one they don't really care about intellectual property rights over there. They do care if someone mentions this [wikipedia.org].
    • Being a drunk does not render moot one's opinions on the evils of excessive drinking.
    • by hometoast ( 114833 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:31PM (#15294635)
      We have tens of thousands of agents who monitor and take down websites here in the West also.


      Yes. They're called slashdotters; bringing unsuspecting websites to their knees daily.
    • We have tens of thousands of agents who monitor and take down websites here in the West also. They're called Intellectual Property Lawyers.

      Yeah, and we here at Slashdot so often express our love and admiration for those fine men and women who help protect our poor defenseless billionaire corporate executives' bonuses. Golly, you've certainly hit on a glaring hypocrisy there!



      Funny how everyone (mainstream soceity atleast) thinks it is so evil when other cultures impose their values, but completely O
      • Since when were slashdotters "mainstream society". I admit Slashdot has become very mainstream in recent years but the views of slashdotters are contradictory to those of mainstream America, most of whom see piracy as simply theft.

        "The IP lawyers don't play nice to your face then run off "to a little-known on-campus office crammed with computers" to rat out their friends."

        This is pretty much exactly what the RIAA has proposed with their idea of having IP enforcement officers on College campuses. It is alrea

    • Well said. Nice to see a post without the usual hypocracy. I guess you are in minority :o)
  • Impossible! (Score:4, Funny)

    by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:04PM (#15294385) Journal
    This is impossible as we have been told, by numerious "students" from china, on this forum that such things simply do not happen and that the reports of such in the western media are simply because we "don't understand them".

  • The Party Line (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <{wgrother} {at} {optonline.net}> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:07PM (#15294418) Journal

    Although most of its students know nothing of the university's Internet monitoring efforts, the leaders of Shanghai Normal conducted seminars last week for dozens of other Chinese universities and education officials on how to emulate their success in taming the Web.

    University officials turned away a foreign reporter, however, making clear that the university does not wish to publicize its activities more broadly. "Our system is not very mature, and since we've just started operating it, there's not much to say about it," said Li Ximeng, deputy director of the university propaganda department. "Our system is not open for media, and we don't want to have it appear in the news or be publicized."

    Because then someone might find out, although I doubt anyone in China would find out since it would no doubt be blocked by censors. The fact is, it's just an extension of their internal spy network, adding one more data source to allow the Chinese goverment to keep tabs on its citizens and purge "unwanted ideas." This is just astounding, especially in a country with such a large population. But I guess when you keep the rural poor in ignorance, you can pretty much run the country any way you please, even though they outnumber you. China was such a fascinating and interesting place two or three thousand years ago, but now it's taken the concept of "insular" to a new extreme.

    For her part, Hu beams with pride over her contribution toward building what the government calls a "harmonious society."

    Read: dissent will not be tolerated.

    • "But I guess when you keep the rural poor in ignorance, you can pretty much run the country any way you please, even though they outnumber you."

      Do you know this?:

      "China has between 100-160 cities with populations of 1 million or more (America by contrast has **9**, while Eastern and Western Europe combined have 36.)."

      [emphasis my own]

      Did you know that in the past 20 years:

      "Estimates of the number of people who have left for teh cities to find work range from 90 to 300 million, numbers that even near the low
  • What is most interesting, at least in my opinion, is that economic success, which we once thought of as solely the result of a free market, is also attainable by a heavy-handed communist society. China is soon to be the world's economic leader with its billion or so people and growing technological prowess.

    So what are they doing right? We can sit back and bask in our freedoms, but as we can see from our current situation, we will languish economically. Is the rate of growth of China's economy sustainable and is there anything we can learn from them in regards to our own economy?

    Everything else is a red herring. Anyone that tells you the most important problem with China is its lack of civil rights is either ignoring their economic threat or is purposely leading you away from that topic. One or two hundred people locked up for no reason or a handful of "bad images" are just a blip on the radar compared to the damage they will be able to inflict against us if they ever gain the economic upper hand.
    • We can sit back and bask in our freedoms, but as we can see from our current situation, we will languish economically. Is the rate of growth of China's economy sustainable and is there anything we can learn from them in regards to our own economy?

      I personally believe that instead of the West exporting democracy to China, we will end up importing their "dynamic, productive new social paradigms", and gradually our free societies will become dictatorships as well. Perhaps democracy was only a temporary blip on
    • What are they doing right, you ask? They have lots of free slave labor to manufacture all those cheap products that WalMart gleefully sells to us unwitting saps.

      It's easy to be successful when you aren't worried about labor costs.

      • Mind you, even under the intense pressure that you westernian exercise on them as the final customer of cheap products, they all prefer working in factories than in the fields in the country.
        I advise you seeing the 'Getting Rich' segment of the 'China Rises' [www.cbc.ca] documentary from the CBC.
        It might recall you what rural exodus was in Europe and America some decades ago. It's the same.
      • Not really... China has a middle class that is going to be bigger than the U.S. middle class in less than 5 years. And China, unlike the U.S., is seeing an increase in the standard of living that rivals any period in U.S. history.

        People like to talk about Chinese slave labor, and it is true that they do use prison labor (by the way, so does the U.S.), but that is not, in any way shape or form represent a significant amount of their labor force.
    • No, economic success is not possible under communism. That is why China turned to capitalism. But that was in 1978. In what cave have you been for the last 27 years?
    • economic success, which we once thought of as solely the result of a free market, is also attainable by a heavy-handed communist society

      Do not confuse a free market with a free society. China is growing economically, yes, but they are getting lots of investment from foreign capital. The Chinese leaders seem to be smarter than other communist leaders, they threw out the marxist economic system, but kept the police state.

      China's economy is growing very fast mostly because it has so much to grow. For the majo

    • China these days isn't communistic at all, it's very free market. And they try to keep the country together and the Party in charge by brutally suppressing any unwelcome ideas. The two are perfectly compatible.

      What they have on you is that a huge proportion of their population is still poor, so a job paying very low wages is a step up. The US is being outcompeted on price by just about the entire other 95% of the world, but especially by China, since they're also quite competent.

      Plus the currencies are sk

    • China is not Communist, by any stretch of the imagination. Have you ever been to China? China is more free-market than most so-called "free-market" countries, such as the United States. And there censorship is comparible to North America or Western Europe.

      If we have anything to learn from China, it is that free markets (or free-er markets, at least) work.
    • What is most interesting, at least in my opinion, is that economic success, which we once thought of as solely the result of a free market, is also attainable by a heavy-handed communist society. China is soon to be the world's economic leader with its billion or so people and growing technological prowess.

      What makes you think China is communist? Sure, they talk about socialism, but capitalism is widespread. There are "special economic regions" like Shenzhen and Shanghai with their own stock exchanges. E
  • In Soviet Russia (Score:5, Informative)

    by BACbKA ( 534028 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:13PM (#15294460) Homepage Journal
    we used to have KGB men monitoring the copier machines. Every document had to be signed off along with the page count, and then there was a guy making sure you don't copy some illegal or personal stuff.
  • The Internet Sensors you!
  • by argoff ( 142580 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:15PM (#15294486)
    In colonial India they had a tradition where when a man died, they threw his wife into a fire. Upon hearing this the British general said "well, we in Britian have a tradition too, we hang people who thow women in to fires, so you go a head with building your fire and we'll go ahead with building gallows next to your fire and after you carry out your tradition we'll carry out ours."

    The point is that countries don't have rights, traditions and cultures don't have rights either, but individuals do. While everyone talks about respect for Chineese culture and Chineese traditions, they often seem to ignore how these same Chineese nationals adjust to the freedom in neighboring HK in a matter of days. It is not Chineese culture that is unable to adjust, it is China's communist government. I is not US expectations that are being judgemental and rash, it is the Chineese government. It is not only OK to help Chineese people find freedom and liberty, it is our duty as indivduals irrespective of US policy.
    • Natural law as opposed to positive law ? Good point.
      But your example uses an act commonly considered as criminal (murder). It is even more dubious than the "why if the Dutch tried to help the Americans import drugs ?" argument.
      Thank you for evoking the HK case. One thing you forgot is that the economic, cultural, education situation is much different there. A full fledged democracy is a stable system there. In China, it is not yet. Nobody in China will tell you that they wouldn't like democracy once the i
    • Neat story, but your account sounds a bit embellished by British pride. See detail here: Sati [wikipedia.org]
    • Chineese? (Score:2, Funny)

      by Aqua_boy17 ( 962670 )
      Chineese? WTF is that, like Chinese cheeze or something?

      Okay sorry but that just irrated the hell out of me, especially after seeing it 6 times. I'll go back to being Mr. Non-Spell-Checker-Person now.
    • Wha? I agree that individual rights are important, but where does this shit about 'countries have no rights' come from?

      Let me guess, an American who wonders why foreigners want their little countries protected from being trampled by the global capitalist Jihad, and thinks the "American Way" is all about individualism and "Fuck t3h n4nny state!!" Well, maybe you should realize that the documents you seem to worship as protecting your "inalianable rights" were written in order to create a new government, sepa
    • ...freedom in neighboring HK...

      Well, "freedom" in HK versus "freedom" in the rest of China is certainly a relative thing.

      A man sleeping in a cardboard box may be the envy of the man sleeping under a newspaper, but I wouldn't want to be in either situation.

      -h-
    • "It is not only OK to help Chineese people find freedom and liberty, it is our duty as indivduals irrespective of US policy."

      Dude....

      The U.S. government is operating secretive prisons in Eastern Europe and not so secretively in Guantanamo where they are holding people without charge or trail, and apparently in many cases engaged in low grade or maybe even high grade torture.

      The U.S. government has one of the largest per capita prison populations in the world. I think some place like Rwanda was number 1 in
    • Your statements smack of racism and arrogance. The "tradition" in India you speak of is a matter lore more than a matter of reality. Of course it happened, but it was not the general way of the land as you imply, waiting to be rescued by reasonable British invaders. Your spelling of Chinese as "Chineese" also smacks of racism, with the elongated "ee" sound commonly used when speaking in a derrogatory manner. The sheer arrogance of thinking its your duty to tell people what to do needs no explanation or
    • The point I got out of your little anecdote is "might makes right." Back in the day the UK was in a position to dictate terms to India, and could suppress traditional Indian values with their own. That is no longer the case.

      The West does nothing more than complain about the woeful state of individual rights in China because they are not in a position to do anything about it. China can make or break most Western economies, and has a significant military as well. If our way of life is truly so wonderful then
  • Treason (Score:5, Insightful)

    I for one, would not like to be Ms Hu Yingying when the revolution comes. Sure, she might have a sob story, needs the cash, sick grandfather, all the usual. Bottom line, she's an "Informer". Same as Stazi agents, same as party spies, same as every type of sleeper agent who sells out their neighbours to dictators for a piece of the pie. Money, power, prestiege. Maybe they've got something over her.

    But it doesn't matter. When the revolution comes, the people whos necks have been stamped on one too many times won't be too sympathetic and Ms Hu and her ilk are going to get their heads blown clean off, and I have no sympathy whatsoever . I condemn capital punishment, but when you've sold your fellow human beings up the bloody river as you skip joyfully about the heels of tyrants, I'm not exactly going to weep at your passing.

    People like this are essentially traitors. They betray their countrymen by colluding with the illigitimate power currently in control. Treason is a weighty offense, and doing it by pointing and clicking doesn't make it any less grave.
    • Re:Treason (Score:4, Insightful)

      by argoff ( 142580 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:36PM (#15294665)

      I for one, would not like to be Ms Hu Yingying when the revolution comes...

      In all fairness, she will probably be killed or tortured by the corrupt government she is faithfull to long before she is killed by revolution. Tyrinannical governments have a tendency of doing this. When Stalin took power, the first thing he did was kill all his frends and allies to consolitate his rule. When the Chineese "land reform" led to the disasterous death of millions, the first thing they did was round up and arrest and torture all the teachers who were teaching the goodness of communisim and the goodness of the Chineese leadership. Ironically, the farmers who nearly revolted and forced a return of the private property system were not punished at all, but rewarded.

      That is why US people, US companies, and the US government should be very weary about cooperating on any issue that involves taking away freedom from the Chineese people. The goose that has laid the golden egg in China is not the Chineese government, but the Chineese people inspite of the government. When we cooperate with the Chineese authorities, we cut off our nose inspite of our face.

      • The goose that has laid the golden egg in China is not the Chineese government, but the Chineese people inspite of the government. When we cooperate with the Chineese authorities, we cut off our nose inspite of our face.

        ... ?

        So... Okay, if I read this right... We're cutting off the goose's nose despite of our face-off with the government... ours or theirs... because the Chinese people are laying golden eggs?

        It's no wonder western governments are falling over themselves to appease the Agatean Empire [wikipedia.org]-

      • Guys, wake up! It's not 30s and not 60s anymore, and there is no Stalin- or Mao-like figure in PRC these days. They're still an authoritarian state, but it's not a bloodthirsty dictatorship of a single fanatic.
    • ...the only difference will be the faces around the big conference table, and the reasons they give for imposing their will on the people.

      All that will happen is that the cycle will start over again with someone else as the oppressor, and someone else as the oppressed. That's why it's called a revolution; everything comes around again.

    • "Mandate of Heaven" (Score:3, Informative)

      by temojen ( 678985 )
      According to chinese culture going all the way back to the Shang dynasty, the mere fact that they are in power signifies that they are legitimate. When they lose the Mandate of Heaven, they will be removed from power, and the removal will be a sign that they have lost the Mandate of Heaven. Whoever comes to power will clearly weild the Mandate of Heaven, and the people will rally around the new government.
    • When the revolution comes, the people whos necks have been stamped on one too many times won't be too sympathetic and Ms Hu and her ilk are going to get their heads blown clean off

      Oh, come on. If she is unlucky and gets caught in the first year of the new regime, sure. After that, she could just continue in her line of work: as an informer for the new government's secret police. Being an ideologue is not a job requirement for an informer. A lack of morals is.
    • Oh please, she's much more likely to end up being President after the revolution, just like Vladimir Putin, former KGB monitor at Leningrad State University [wikipedia.org].

      The problem is that often these regimes have the top educated or trained people working directly or indirectly for them, such that getting rid of them would entail crippling the country. I seem to recall that in the U.S. after the civil war, you did not round up former slave owners or confederate officers, because doing so would have set the south back
    • s/for one,//g
  • Get over it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GmAz ( 916505 )
    Get over it people, its China and they will do as they please. Whats what part of being a soverign country is; being able to make their own laws.
    • Re:Get over it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <{wgrother} {at} {optonline.net}> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:40PM (#15294709) Journal
      Whats what part of being a soverign country is; being able to make their own laws.

      So Nazi Germany could make laws saying Jews were not people and subject to extermination, and that's all right? Being a sovereign nation, they had the right. So the only justification we had for toppling the Nazi regime was their invasion of other sovereign nations; if Hitler had never invaded another country, we should/could have done nothing about it?

      I admit, I'd have a hard time if another country tried to make policy here in the US, but wait, don't they? OPEC raises prices and suddenly our government has to drill in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. The Taliban government of Afghanistan decides to house Osama Bin Laden and the result is the destruction of the World Trade Center and the start of the war on terror. The Soviet Union launches Sputnik and the US lands men on the Moon. Perhaps these aren't the intentional acts of one nation trying to run another, but their consequences are the same -- one nations alters its behavior because of the effect of what another nation does. And that alteration doesn't have to be destructive, that's just usually the most common occurrence.

      And so China may indeed do what it likes, but that isn't going to stop those of us on the outside from trying to influence what's going on inside China.

    • Ever heard of the Second World War? Sovereign countries who make incredibly oppressive laws generally don't stay happy with being "sovereign countries" for long. It's not like there's any question about whether China wants to conquer, because China has already shown that it doesn't care about the sovereignty of other nations with its conquest of Tibet and refusal to recognize Taiwan's independence.

      Even if that wasn't the case, I don't really care about a government's "rights" next to those of actual people.
    • China isn't a legitimate government as it does not govern with the consent of the people. Only legimate governments are soverign.
  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:30PM (#15294622)
    There is no way China can contain the internet forever. They can try all they want but the social change which is under way in China will not end.
  • by leereyno ( 32197 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:31PM (#15294628) Homepage Journal
    During the Nazi holocaust of european Jews and other "undesirables," there were prisoners in the camps known as "capos." These prisoners were collaborators with the SS and an instrument of the camp regime of humiliation and cruelty. Their role was to break the spirits of the other prisoners. The Capos had warm clothing, enough to eat, and lived in a reserved section of the prison barracks. In many instances Capos who mistreated other prisoners were put on trial after the war.

    Hu Yingying is nothing but a Chinese capo. She works to ensure the continued oppression of her own people in the hope of being given special treatment. If freedom ever does come to the middle kingdom, you can rest assured that she and others like her will be just as reviled as the Capos of the holocaust are today. Whether or not she'll be hanged is uncertain, but one can hope.

    Lee
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:34PM (#15294655)
    It's not like our universities are exactly bastions of free speech with all of their speech codes, free speech zones on campus and things like that. America really doesn't have any moral high ground because we tolerate things like "if you laugh at a joke that is perceived as sexist, you're a harasser." Sorry, but that is the same type of discressionary censorship power that this student has. Just swap out the usual litany of left-wing victim group terms for "subversive," "pornographic" and "state secrets" and you find that our universities and China have a lot in common. The only difference is that China is more hardcore... and a lot more honest when you think about it.

    And before the yahoos come out complaining, most universities in the US are state agencies, they have no legal right to impose speech codes on non-employees. As private citizens we have every legal right to express ourselves on campus, provided that we do so in accordance with the constitutional standards of the state and federal governments and the law duly passed by the state legislature.
    • And before the yahoos come out complaining, most universities in the US are state agencies, they have no legal right to impose speech codes on non-employees. As private citizens we have every legal right to express ourselves on campus, provided that we do so in accordance with the constitutional standards of the state and federal governments and the law duly passed by the state legislature.

      Not saying I don't agree with you, but... The first amendment protects private citizens from having laws passed by Co

    • If there is injustice in the world, then it is our responsibility to see it ended, whether it be in the US or elsewhere.

      Second, most US universities are private. Receiving funding from government doesn't make them state agencies.

  • by netcrusher88 ( 743318 ) <netcrusher88NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:43PM (#15294736)
    Fuck the government. Democracy is bullshit, our president is incompetent, and we should go communist. Our whole system is wrong.

    ----

    Now, I personally don't believe any of that. Not to troll, but to everyone posting about how the US is just like the PRC on censorship - read the above again. I can say that. All I want. Without fear of retribution from the government. I can talk about socialism, communism, monarchy, even anarchy. I can even encourage them - peacefully, of course. People in China can't even DISCUSS democracy, period.

    We censor things here because they threaten monetary income; ignoble, I'll admit, but we don't jail you just for criticizing the government. People of the free world, first recognize what you have, and others have not. That's the first step to freedom for those who don't have it.
    • You can discuss democracy in China. Try this one: http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/viewthread.php?tid=11 8157&fpage=1&highlight= [chinadaily.com.cn]
      • However, I am sure that in China, I could not walk up to the president and tell him he is a walking ass, incapable of even the most mundane aspects of human life, and that he should do humanity a favor and off himself. Here I could do that and get away with it.
    • Now, I personally don't believe any of that. Not to troll, but to everyone posting about how the US is just like the PRC on censorship - read the above again. I can say that. All I want. Without fear of retribution from the government. I can talk about socialism, communism, monarchy, even anarchy. I can even encourage them - peacefully, of course. People in China can't even DISCUSS democracy, period.

      I have to tell you some basic knowledge:

      1) people in China DO DISCUSS democracy in everywhere. The full

    • We censor things here because they threaten monetary income

      From what I understand, they give roughly the same reason for censorship there, only introducing more indirection. What they say is that stable government is good for business, therefore, censorship of anti-government propaganda is good for business.

      Also, as pointed out already, "democracy" is not a taboo word in China, or, for that matter, in any Communist country, present or past. Keep in mind that they all claim themselves to be democratic.

  • by rlp ( 11898 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:55PM (#15294851)
    The Chinese banking system is apparently rife with bad loans - over $1 trillion dollars worth (see link below). In the early '90's the real estate bubble combined with dodgy loans threw Japan into a fifteen year recession. It also caused the LDP government to lose power. A banking meltdown and recession would have profound effects on China (and the rest of the world). It could cause the government to loosen it's grip on the people of China. Or it could cause chaos, as the government becomes increasingly desparate to maintain it's power.

    (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,2086 7,19057043-36375,00.html)
    • It's going to happen sooner or later. The U.S. dollar cannot sustain its current value in the face of the foreign debts it has now assumed. The Plaza Accord was brokered in a similar situation with Japan two decades ago--only now the U.S.-Chinese imbalance is significantly larger than the U.S.-Japanese imbalance. The devaluation of the dollar will have to be between 25% and 40%.

      The dramatic rise in the strength of the yuan versus the dollar is going to dramatically shock the Chinese economy. Regardles

  • Working from assumption that a small group of people are in charge of the actions of the entire human race, then. . .

    Setting up China as a totalitarian government while setting up the West as a 'free' society, (cough), and then flooding the news with lots of stories which get the blood pumping about the unfair differences between 'them' and 'us'. . .

    Well, can anybody name the next big enemy we're being set up to fear and loath?

    Sheesh.

    Big Authority is a bunch of A-holes.

    -FL

  • Jeez - what's the big deal or surprise? Welcome to the real world. Yes, China is evil. Yes, they hate democracy, freedom, individual rights, and free speech. And they do many, many things far worse than mere internet censorship. If we hate that so much, let's stop doing business with them. To the US and much of Europe, the internet is about breaking down international barriers and creating a borderless world. To China, it's about economics and creating a competative advantage. Some users/developers see t
  • corporate civic virtue???

    At least the facade has been dropped. Can we finally stop calling China "Communist", and call it what it is. Corporatocracy.

  • In Soviet Russia there was a joke... An American and a Russian meet... the American says: "You have no freedom of speech here... I can go up to the white house and say that my president is an idiot." The Russian replies: "So what! I can go to the Red Square and also say that your president is an idiot!" Not funny... but true.

"There are some good people in it, but the orchestra as a whole is equivalent to a gang bent on destruction." -- John Cage, composer

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