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China - We Don't Censor the Internet 554

kaufmanmoore writes "A Chinese government official at a United Nations summit in Athens on internet governance has claimed that no Net censorship exists at all in China. The article includes an exchange by a Chinese government official and a BBC reporter over the blocking of the BBC in China." From the article: "I don't think we should be using different standards to judge China. In China, we don't have software blocking Internet sites. Sometimes we have trouble accessing them. But that's a different problem. I know that some colleagues listen to the BBC in their offices from the Webcast. And I've heard people say that the BBC is not available in China or that it's blocked. I'm sure I don't know why people say this kind of thing. We do not have restrictions at all."
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China - We Don't Censor the Internet

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  • the audience? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by victorl19 ( 879236 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:07PM (#16659957)
    Despite the fact that many outside of China know that it indeed does exist, this piece of news is more likely intended for those within China.
  • Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Facekhan ( 445017 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:08PM (#16659959)
    I think this guy has never had one of his lies pointed out in his face.
  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot...kadin@@@xoxy...net> on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:11PM (#16660027) Homepage Journal
    Thank you, China. Because every day, when I get up and read the U.S. news, and think "goddamn, our country is going into the toilet," all I have to do is turn to the International section to realize that it could always be worse.

  • no filters (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yakumo.unr ( 833476 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:13PM (#16660065) Homepage
    tiananmen square [slashdot.org] didn't happen either, why would we need such a thing as a filter. And no idea what google is talking about [slashdot.org] at all
  • Mod up! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nacturation ( 646836 ) <nacturation @ g m ail.com> on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:16PM (#16660151) Journal
    Awesome example. However, I suspect some Chinese official would come back with a response of how Google wishes to promote only peaceful images of Tiananmen Square and they had nothing to do with the image results of an American-based company.
  • by Kr0m ( 900780 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:24PM (#16660307) Journal
    I mean, really...this guy comes out to the U.N. with a comment he just cannot later deny. What else could happen other than this becoming a huge deal with dozens of more reports citing examples of how their filtering works. I don't understand how this guy actually thinks he could get away with such a thing!?
  • by Phat_Tony ( 661117 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:25PM (#16660329)
    Just like Tibet has always been a part of China, but was momentarily mislead by the dangerous oppression of the Dalai Lama, until the people of Tibet rose up with the welcomed support of their Chinese brothers in a glorious revolution to overthrow their Buddhist oppressors and rejoin their traditional homeland.
  • by radtea ( 464814 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:26PM (#16660349)
    Three pages of images for China, 10+ pages for the rest of the world.

    So I guess it looks censored because it is censored, and the only question that remains is: why do news organizations allowed themselves to be co-opted by the Big Lie so easily?

    If the government of China announces that 2+2=5, would that be reported too? I guess in a way it is news, that a major world power is governed by a bunch of lying bastards, and that they get away with it because they will torture, kill or incarcerate anyone who points out that 2+2=4.

    The curious thing about news coverage is that it is not now and never has been about telling the truth. It has always been about reporting a mixture of what people want to hear (sex and scandal) and what the powerful want people to believe (lies and misdirection.)

    The 'Net is a huge threat to the powers that be because it allows ordinary people to find out for themselves what is going on. The effects of this are only begining to be felt. It will take a generation or more to really make a difference. But at the end of the day we can be sure it will.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:30PM (#16660441)
    I know somebody who took a tour of Tiananmen Square [wikipedia.org] just a couple years ago. She asked the tour guide about the brutal supression of the demonstrations in 1989, and how many people died. (The Chinese Red Cross said they'd counted over 2600 dead). The tour guide said that of course he knew about the protests, but nobody had died at all.

    Acutally in revisiting the link I just posted, it says: "The Chinese government has maintained that there were no deaths within the square itself, which appears to outside observers to be technically correct, as the Square itself was evacuated peacefully." So I guess any situation can be smoothed over with enough spin.

  • by Ant2 ( 252143 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:32PM (#16660477)
    In China, we don't have a "great" wall blocking our border. Sometimes we have trouble navigating the difficult terrain or sometimes see inaccurate satellite photos. But that's a different problem.
  • by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:37PM (#16660547) Journal
    The PRoC government doesn't censor the internet. The private sector companies does it for them, "voluntary."
  • Sure, Chavez's the one with a mega army going around invading countries and killing people. Oh, wait...nevermind

    True enough. Perhaps the original poster's point was that Chavez would go around invading countries and killing people, if he only had access to a mega army. He and Bush being kindred spirits and all.

    In any case, take care not to equate 'invasion' with 'immoral'. An invasion can be moral, depending on who the target is and what the invader's goals and methods are.

  • by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @02:25PM (#16661499) Homepage
    The best can still suck, and I think we've long since lost that title (assuming anyone outside the country ever thought we had it). It's rather stupid to think how much worse we could have things because it results in us thinking that we have it so great - it just lowers the standard. Think of how much better we could have things and *raise* the standard we're looking to achieve.
  • by bnenning ( 58349 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @02:44PM (#16661879)
    Just as Bush/Cheney "don't torture" ?

    The difference is we know that's a lie, and pointing out that it's a lie won't get you thrown in prison.
  • by jfb3 ( 25523 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @02:53PM (#16662055)
    Almost everyone will be in Beijing for the Olympics and only in Beijing. Any number of visitors you think are "LARGE" (I assume you're a US citizen, CAlifornia?) are not really large for them. The margin of error in their population count is about the same as the entire population of the US. Even 200,000 new visitors at any one time to Beijing is only about a 1.3% increase in population, not such a big deal. Most of the city wouldn't even notice because these visitors won't be using the same facilities as the locals.

    The Chinese government isn't concerned about minor leakage around the Great Firewall, they know it happens. Heck, I was just involved with a project that needed a faster connection with lower latency to the Beijing office and we bought/leased a private fast connection from Malaysia or Hong Kong or some such place that entirely bypassed the government firewall. Totally legal, totally legit.

    What the Chinese government seems to be concerned about is managing the volume of information influx so as to manage the rate of change that is occurring. It seems they see and accept change, they just want to manage the rate of change to forestall any catastrophic problems. Now, I'm not an apologist for the government of China, I think they're generally a bunch of despotic asses. But they do have a problem "upgrading" 1.4 billion people who have almost no concept of laissez faire economics.
  • Re:the audience? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dinther ( 738910 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:03PM (#16662225) Homepage
    Do yourself a big favor. Turn off the TV, cancel the news papers and stay away from those kind of news sites. News is depressing, and depressing news sells. You can't fix bad news but you can agonize over it. The only result is that you are lining the pockets of entertainment news agencies by watching their adds and what's worse, throwing you into a depression causing you to think your country is going down the toilet. Try a two week self imposed news ban. Your spirits will lift, your productivity goes up and your sense of well being goes up. As a result you become a supportive. positive and productive citizen of the kind America needs to get back on it's feet again. Imagine if everyone did this! In order to take back your ability to form your own opinion you have to stop taking in big media news. This takes the power away from the big media and will restore democracy the way it was intended to work.
  • by justasecond ( 789358 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:08PM (#16662319)
    "China has a political situation much the same as that in the U.S.". What a load of relativistic crap!

    Are you saying that the U.S. has forced abortions, political executions (with the executee's family being billed for the fucking bullet), wholesale cultural genocide (Do you know the chinese are hauling ethnic chinese by the trainload into tibet to overrun the place? Look up "tibetan spaniel" sometime to see how the fucking chinese have clubbed to death the entire population of tibet's beautiful native dogs), wholesale censorship of the press and Internet, massive "reeducation" (read: concentration) camps, support for mass-murderer dictators (Pol Pot, "Our Dear Leader", etc.).

    Why don't you grow up, pull your head out of your ass and stop spouting "bush=hitler" puke. If you weren't such a skull-full-of-mush parrot for the bullshit your teachers fed you you'd understand that, while the USA is not doing so great now (bush *is* dangerous), there's much worse to be found out there in the rest of the world.
  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:15PM (#16662425) Journal
    France surrendered to Germany on their own. Who were we to decide to impose our ideas of freedom on a population that clearly wanted to be part of Nazi Germany?
  • by mcpkaaos ( 449561 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @06:59PM (#16665967)
    Are you saying that the U.S. has forced abortions...

    The Mariana Islands are a U.S. territory and widely suspected of this very thing. Google it. [google.com]

    wholesale cultural genocide...

    Iraq. Don't even try the talking points on this one, it is well documented in this country as well as in dozens of others. Here's a starting point: White phosphorous, Fallujah.

    wholesale censorship of the press and Internet...

    That's already done on a corporate level in this country and has been for decades.

    massive "reeducation" (read: concentration) camps

    I'm going to guess that neither you nor anyone you know was a Japanese-American during WWII.

    Why don't you grow up, pull your head out of your ass and stop spouting "bush=hitler" puke.

    lol. You gave yourself away on that one. Before you flame someone and tell them to pull their head out of their ass, maybe you should pull yours out of the sand.
  • by doughrama ( 172715 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @10:54PM (#16668375)
    I did not ask why nothing bad happened. In fact I didn't suggest either way, though I did suggest nobody "knew" if anything bad happened afterward. Have you seen the footage (in reference to how far away that camera appeared to be?) Do you really believe that nothing bad happened because of the camera? You believe and expect others to believe that the tank driver had full knowledge that there was a camera filming them? More than that you believe that armed with this knowledge the tank driver elected to not run him over because of that? Especially after what they (the tank drivers) did the evening before?

    I happen to give that tank driver more credit than he possibly deserves. I happen to believe that that tank driver was more human and less robotic than the previous evening's tank drivers and did not run the guy over because he knew, in his heart I suppose, it was the wrong thing to do. Of course I could be completely wrong and their may be some completely callous reason for him not getting run over (like bad press.) But like I said, maybe I give the driver more credit than is deserves. The way I see it, I applaud that tank driver as he was probably going against his orders. The Tank Man incident showed 2 things in my eyes. First it showed how brave the student was to stand up to his government. Second it showed that not *everybody*, including people doing their "jobs" were willing to take an innocents life. That tank driver, in his own small way, also stood up to his government. In some respects, that entire incident gave me hope.

    What started out as me asking? What? What am I, the reader, supposed to know? As if something really bad happened to the guy (right then)... As if the "fill in the blank" was then he got run over. Has turned into something more like; lets ignore doughrama's entire point and simply continue to point out how horrible the Chinese governement is to it's own people.

    To be clear. There is no arguement from me that the Chinese government has and is capable of being very bad. But that's not my point.

    Not a single person has even attempted, especially the author jurri (who hasn't bothered with a response at all), to explain what I am supposed to know. And the reason for that is simply because jurri's post was something people want to believe. "See the Chinese goverment is so bad, that when their public gets exposed to reality they are outraged... As they should be."

    I have no idea whether or not jurri is telling the truth, though I tend think that it is very possible that he is entirely full of shit. He played on everybody's emotions and got modded +5 for the effort.

    I'd like to believe that his account is true, I liked it. But I don't believe it simply because he also has led me, the (supposedly) uninformed reader, that something really bad happened to the Tank Man... With a line like "and then... well you know."

    Come to think of it, I'm surprised I haven't been modded all to hell considering that I question the validity of a "story" that people like.

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