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Censorship

China Wants US-Owned Hotels to Censor Internet 279

jp_papin writes "The Chinese government is demanding that US-owned hotels there filter Internet service during the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, US Senator Sam Brownback has alleged. The Chinese government is requiring US-owned hotels to install Internet filters to 'monitor and restrict information coming in and out of China,' Brownback said Thursday. 'This is an insult to the spirit of the games and an affront to American businesses,' he said. 'I call on China to immediately rescind this demand.' US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said he wasn't aware of those specific requests from the Chinese government, but Brownback said he got the information on Internet filtering from 'two different reliable but confidential sources.' The State Department is apparently continuing dialog with China about freedom of expression."
Censorship

China's Battle to Police the Web 171

What_the_deuce writes "For the first time in years, internet browsers are able to visit the BBC's website. In turn, the BBC turns a lens on the Chinese web-browsing experience, exploring one of the government's strongest methods of controlling the communication and information accessible to the public. 'China does not block content or web pages in this way. Instead the technology deployed by the Chinese government, called Golden Shield, scans data flowing across its section of the net for banned words or web addresses. There are five gateways which connect China to the internet and the filtering happens as data is passed through those ports. When the filtering system spots a banned term it sends instructions to the source server and destination PC to stop the flow of data.'"
Earth

China to Use Silver Iodide & Dry Ice to Control the Weather 387

eldavojohn writes "While we made light of it before, the MIT Review is taking a serious look at China's plans to prevent rain over their open 91,000 seat arena for The Olympics. From the article: 'China's national weather-engineering program is also the world's largest, with approximately 1,500 weather modification professionals directing 30 aircraft and their crews, as well as 37,000 part-time workers — mostly peasant farmers — who are on call to blast away at clouds with 7,113 anti-aircraft guns and 4,991 rocket launchers.' They plan on demonstrating their ability to control the weather to the rest of the world, and expanding on their abilities in the future."
Censorship

China Unblocks the BBC (In English) 158

An anonymous reader writes in with news that China has unblocked the BBC Web site — the English-language version at any rate. No announcement was made, because China has never acknowledged blocking the BBC for the last decade. The Chinese-language version of the site has been blocked since its inception in 1999. The article speculates that the easing of censorship may be tied to the upcoming Olympic Games.
Censorship

A Comparative Study of Internet Censorship 195

An anonymous reader suggests we visit the home of the watchdog group Global Integrity for a breakdown of online censorship: "Using data from the Global Integrity Index, we put a US court's recent order to block access to anti-corruption site Wikileaks.org into context. In summary: This is unheard of in the West, and has only been seen in a handful of the most repressive regimes. Good thing it doesn't work very well... The whole event seems to encapsulate the constant criticism of governance in the United States: that the government has been captured by corporate interests, and that the world-leading rule of law and technocratic mechanisms in place can be hijacked to serve as tools for narrow, wealthy interests."
Space

US To Shoot Down Dying Satellite 429

A user writes "US officials say that the Pentagon is planning to shoot down a broken spy satellite expected to hit the Earth in early March. We discussed the device's decaying orbit late last month. The Associated Press has learned that the option preferred by the Bush administration will be to fire a missile from a U.S. Navy cruiser, and shoot down the satellite before it enters Earth's atmosphere. 'A key concern ... was the debris created by Chinese satellite's destruction -- and that will also be a focus now, as the U.S. determines exactly when and under what circumstances to shoot down its errant satellite. The military will have to choose a time and a location that will avoid to the greatest degree any damage to other satellites in the sky. Also, there is the possibility that large pieces could remain, and either stay in orbit where they can collide with other satellites or possibly fall to Earth.'"
NASA

Space Shuttle Secrets Stolen For China 473

Ponca City, We Love You writes "The Department of Justice has announced the indictment of former Boeing engineer Dongfan Chung on charges of economic espionage in the theft of company trade secrets relating to the Space Shuttle, the C-17 military transport aircraft, and the Delta IV rocket. Chung is a native of China and a naturalized US citizen. According to the indictment, Chinese aviation industry representatives began sending Chung 'tasking' letters as early as 1979. Over the years, the letters directed Chung to collect specific technological information, including data related to the Space Shuttle and various military and civilian aircraft. Chung allegedly responded in one letter indicating a desire to contribute to the 'motherland,' the DOJ said. It was not immediately clear how much, if any, damage the alleged espionage did to US national security but DOJ officials said the cases reflect the determination of the Chinese government to penetrate US intelligence and obtain vital national defense secrets. 'Today's prosecution demonstrates that foreign spying remains a serious threat in the post-Cold War world,' said Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security"
The Internet

Russia Weighs Going Cyrillic For DNS 223

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian reports that the Kremlin may start an alternate top-level domain, .rf. According to the story, .ru in Cyrillic translates to .py, the top-level domain for Paraguay, which the Russian government claims leads to confusion. This is similar to a move by China, which has their own .net and .com top-level domains in their native character set along with .cn, .com, and .net in ASCII." Hindering Paraguayan hackers may matter less to the Russian government than establishing greater control over a walled-off Internet.
Censorship

Chinese Government Sued Over Dog Height Censorship 259

Googling Yourself writes "More than 30,000 censors are employed in China to monitor the Internet, so it was no surprise when censors deleted a posting by Chen Yuhua protesting Beijing municipal government's regulations barring any dog over 14 inches high and restricting each family to only one dog. The surprise (reports the Washington Post) was when Chen studied China's civil code and marched into court with a lawsuit, only the second time that a Chinese citizen has gone to court over party censorship. 'I was very careful to follow the correct procedure,' Chen said in an interview, while pointing at the official legal manual on his dining room table. On December 14 Chen was told by clerks that the district court, after referring to higher-level judges for advice, had decided to reject the case. The next step, Chen said, is an appeal to the Supreme Court."
The Internet

Yahoo! Slammed Over Piracy By Chinese Court 102

An anonymous reader writes "Setting a precedent likely to have far-ranging consequences, a Chinese court has once again lambasted Yahoo! China over piracy concerns. The search firm is (according to the court) infringing on intellectual property rights by allowing copyrighted materials to be downloaded from the internet via search results. 'John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries, or IFPI, said in a statement Thursday. "By confirming that Yahoo China's service violates copyright under new Chinese laws, the Beijing court has effectively set the standard for Internet companies throughout the country."'"
Mozilla

Mozilla Inks Deal With Chinese Search Giant 131

nm writes "The Mozilla Corporation's subsidiary in China has signed a deal with Chinese search engine giant Baidu. Baidu is already included as an option in Firefox's Chinese localization, but this deal formalizes the relationship between Mozilla and and the search company. Mozilla has established several other initiatives in China to help increase Firefox adoption, particularly in universities. The article notes that Firefox has seen limited uptake in China; the browser Maxthon is the second most popular after Internet Explorer. Maxthon is thought to have as much as 30 percent of the Chinese browser market."
The Internet

NYT Editorial Slams ISPs Over Online Freedom 127

Erris writes "The New York Times site is running an opinion piece from last weekend which lambasts Yahoo! (and other US ISPs) for cooperating with China and other repressive governments. 'Yahoo's collaboration is appalling, and Yahoo is not the only American company helping the Chinese government repress its people ... Last January, Representative Christopher Smith of New Jersey reintroduced the Global Online Freedom Act in the House. It would fine American companies that hand over information about their customers to foreign governments that suppress online dissent.'"
Space

Chinese Moon Photo Doctored, Crater Moved 272

mytrip writes "A controversy over last week's photo of the lunar surface, allegedly from China's lunar spacecraft Chang'e, appears to be resolved. It's real but it isn't. An expert says the photo's resolution shows that it is of recent origin. However, for some inexplicable reason, someone on Earth edited the photo and moved a crater to a different location. 'In the week since the picture was released amid much fanfare in Beijing, there have been widespread rumors that the photo was a fake, copied from an old picture collected by a U.S. space probe. The photo from China's Chang'e 1 orbiter is clearly a higher-resolution view, with sunlight streaming from the northwest rather than the north. The mission's chief scientist, Ouyang Ziyuan, told the Beijing News that a new crater had been spotted on the Chang'e imagery — a crater that didn't appear on the US imagery. Lakdawalla determined that the crater in question wasn't exactly new — instead, it appeared to be a crater that had been moved from one spot on the picture to another spot slightly south.'"
Security

Government-Sponsored Cyberattacks on the Rise 96

jbrodkin writes "A new McAfee report finds that 120 countries, notably the United States and China, are regularly launching Web-based espionage campaigns. Government-sponsored cyber attacks against enemy countries are becoming more common, targeting critical systems including electricity, air traffic control, financial markets and government computer networks. This year, Russia allegedly attacked Estonian government news and bank servers, while China was accused of hacking into the Pentagon. A McAfee researcher says this trend will accelerate, noting 'it's easier to attack government X's database than it is to nuke their troops.'"

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