China Raises The Great Firewall Even Higher, Claims It's To Stop Piracy

from the higher-and-higher dept

The NY Times is reporting that the Chinese government appears to be raising the walls on the Great Firewall of China even higher, shutting down a bunch of sites, limiting the ability to let individuals put up their own websites, and completely restricting the ability to offer third party mobile content. Here's where it gets sneaky. The Chinese government claims that it's an effort to stop "piracy." And, indeed, some of the sites that were shut down appear to be sites related to file sharing. But this is great for the Chinese government -- because US lobbyists and diplomats have been complaining about Chinese "piracy" for ages, even as US diplomats have complained about free speech restrictions online in China. So, by hiding a more massive crackdown behind the claim that the government is really "cracking down on piracy," China knows that the US can't complain too much. After all, it's been demanding a crackdown on piracy for so long. So what if that "crackdown" also massively limits the ability of individuals to communicate freely online?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Me, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    I See

    And this the future we have to look forward to

     

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  •  
    identicon
    The Anti-Mike, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 7:06pm

    Mike, one day you will stop trying to apply the US version of freedom to the rest of the world. Until then, your outrage is mostly misplaced.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 7:33pm

      Re:

      And pray tell, does Chinese "freedom" seem like freedom to you?

      Then you should move to China. That should rid this site of your annoying presence.

      Prat.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        The Anti-Mike, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 8:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, I have spent a fair bit of time in China (and will be back there next month for a while).

        Until you spend time there, you cannot understand their way of life and situation, and you cannot understand that not everyone desires or wants the type of freedom that is pushed here, the good old American brand of freedom.

        It's an arrogant idea to think everyone wants to be like you.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 8:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Did you look up "tiananmen square" in China? What pictures and articles were there? Now that's some fine government-sponsored freedom.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            The Anti-Mike, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 6:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I see your "tiananmen square" and raise you a "whites only", slavery, no votes for women. Never be too proud of being from a country that judged it's population by the color of it's skin for hundreds of years.

             

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 8:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, I have spent a fair bit of time in China (and will be back there next month for a while).

          On the payroll of the Chinese government, I suspect.

          not everyone desires or wants the type of freedom that is pushed here, the good old American brand of freedom.

          Especially those in the Chinese government, eh?

          It's an arrogant idea to think everyone wants to be like you.

          Yeah, people all over the world just hate freedom, don't they, comrade? [/sarcasm]

          Unfortunately, there are far too many of your type in the world (some even in the good old U.S. of A.).

           

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          •  
            identicon
            The Anti-Mike, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            God, you make me laugh. I swear you wrote this sitting in a trailer park, shooting your shotguns at the neighbors kids for trying to play in the car sitting on blocks in your front yard.

            You just forgot to chant "USA! USA! USA!" at the end. Your post is exactly the type of arrogance that gets Americans hated in so many countries.

            Until you can accept that other people have other goals, other dreams, other desires, you won't understand why freedom is not an absolute, it is a relative thing. You really need to get out of your trailer park and go see the rest of the world, it might change your views.

            No, I am not on the Chinese government's payroll (or the RIAA, or the MPAA, etc). However, I do tend to visit at least once or twice a year, if not more often. You should really try it, I suspect it would be an eye opening experience.

             

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        •  
          identicon
          trc, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 8:31pm

          Funny argument

          I cannot understand the logic of this person "Anti-Mike". If someone does not desire freedom (for whatever type, and for whatever reason), then must others not have it?

           

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          •  
            icon
            harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 9:57pm

            Re: Funny argument

            thats because the anti-mike has become nothing more than a lampoon of copyright maximalists and pro corporate interests.

            he brings nothing but opposition for oppositions sake even when his stated position is so transparent and... well... stupid, that my teenage kids tear it apart.

            at least he used to keep the other side honest. but he doesnt even bring that to the table any longer. now its just...

            ...sad...

             

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            •  
              identicon
              The Anti-Mike, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 7:12am

              Re: Re: Funny argument

              at least he used to keep the other side honest. but he doesnt even bring that to the table any longer. now its just...

              I was trying to figure out how much time Mike Masnick has spent in China, how his personal experiences might make him better understand the story. I don't see any here. I see someone attempting to apply his own version of freedom and his own version of "the way the net should be" to everyone without having an understanding of why it may not be the best result.

              TRC: If someone does not desire freedom (for whatever type, and for whatever reason), then must others not have it?

              No, not at all. What most Americans don't understand is that their version of freedom (sort of an extreme sport version of freedom) isn't for everyone. Most of the chinese mainland people I know wouldn't know what to do with that sort of freedom, and in fact it would probably be very bad for their society to try to jump to that point directly.

              Life in China today is significantly more free than it was 20 or 30 years ago. The people generally don't feel oppressed, they lead very normal lives like the rest of us, interested in working to make money, eating well, enjoying TV, movies, and shopping... they move around, they buy new houses, they change jobs, the move to other cities... they do all sorts of things that most of the xenophobes here would say is impossible to do. They have rich and they have poor, and so on. They generally are not complaining, certainly no more (and usually not much less) than anyone else in the world does.

              You have to watch them argue with the government, they could teach the average American something about that too. Lacking American style freedom doesn't mean they eat what is shoveled at them without question. Those times disappeared a lifetime ago (about the time the US started to figure out that you can't make them black people sit in the back of the bus).

              Don't judge a country or it's freedoms by the scare stories you read and the crap you were taught in school, gain personal knowledge and then apply it :)

               

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:12am

                Re: Re: Re: Funny argument

                What you're saying here is a far cry from "Chinese don't want freedom". The only thing you've explained is that people in China still have a life.

                You can go to anyone country and find the majority of the population is living a productive life, no matter where you are. Go to an African village and you'll be hard pressed to find people sitting around going "Woe is me, I don't have rights".

                Lack of complaining is not due to a lack of wanting.

                 

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                •  
                  identicon
                  The Anti-Mike, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 9:43am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Funny argument

                  So tell me about your visits to China. Tell me how you found the people, and how many of them you talked to about things like freedom and democracy.

                  Please, tell me, I want to know.

                   

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 8:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I find it hard to believe that they have an _idealised_ concept of freedom that is too different from ours.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          :), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 8:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The chinese are poor, extremely xenophobic, know better than to badmouth the government to a stranger or they end up in secret prisons.

          The majority are ignorant but care deeply about their peers(chinese) and when they go to work outside they go with the mentality of f"#$% them and don't try to work hard but learn everything they can.

          In a way they are exactly what americans were in 1920.

          They are creating national pride and are learning how to organize even with all censorship which they know not to speak of in public to any stranger and as long as you don't do that you will have a happy life. But they are learning from close friends that did go abroad and other what they are missing and slowly things are building up, someday people will see the chinese that knows how to say no to their government.

          Prosperity comes at a cost it empowers people soon a big chunk of china will have leverage enough to start making demands.

          There is no progress without education and that ultimately will change China.

          Xexe

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Everyone in the rest of the world, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 8:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          TAM, Do you work for Walmart?

          During your next visit, please tell them (Chinese) that we do not want their lead paint nor their melamine.

          thanks much in advance,
          Everyone in the rest of the world

           

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        •  
          icon
          Andrew F (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 11:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I am of Chinese descent and have spent a fair amount of time living in Beijing.

          Most of the Chinese I've talked to there aren't happy about the censorship either. The only reason there's not a huge fuss over it is that the economy > freedom in a country that was starving a few decades only.

          In fact, the censorship issues most likely to result in a shit-storm are probably those involving economic change. Censoring a blog post about Tiananmen Square? Eh. Censor a forum post about a crackdown on labor unions? Or how entire villages are being displaced by industrialization? Or how some rich CEO paid off the police to get out of a hit-and-run? Man, that's going to result in some serious pushback.

          Also, the "you're an American and therefore don't understand" argument is an intellectually lazy one to make: (1) It may not always be true; (2) You don't actually explain how "Chinese freedom" is actually different.

           

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    •  
      icon
      slander (profile), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 7:33pm

      Re:

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Mechwarrior, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 5:02pm

      Re:

      I suppose the Government is always right, then?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    :), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 7:47pm

    China invasion

    China is being invaded by millions of netcitizens that don't even have a optical drive.

    Smart phones and netbooks are the rage and without the ability to play a DVD or CD there is little chance someone will be using any legal sounds on those.

    The netbooks are facinating, they use a MIPs processor made in China called Lopsong(or something like that) and are being distributed in schools for the children but what they do have is a wirelles connection any doubt as to how those kids will get music?

    But this is not just happening in China in Europe and in the U.S. a silent battle rages on.

    Netbooks already have 7% of the market according to some and projected to occupy 12% next year and none of those devices have one optical drive in sight.

    Going back to China. Did people know that internet cafe's in china offer TOR directly?

    China tried to block TOR it didn't work.
    http://blog.torproject.org/category/tags/china

    China blocked and entire country to protect its presidents son even though the bugger was not directly implicated on the corruption scandal.
    http://opennet.net/blog/2009/07/no-more-namibia-china-blocks-search-results-entire-country

    Resources to see how censorship is being used.

    http://www.chillingeffects.org/
    http://www.citizenlab.org/
    http://opennet.net/

    Some countries try to block others for political reasons but the chilling effects site shows how copyright is really being used.

     

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  •  
    icon
    zcat (profile), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 7:52pm

    #nocleanfeed ?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    :), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 7:55pm

    Dissent made safer

    http://www.anonymous-p2p.org/z20090424.html

    By the way using TOR you save american lifes.

    That is right your heard me, the american navy intel community and probably other parts of the military also use TOR and in blending in with the crowd one don't know where they are.

    Now will the U.S. government ever try to block TOR?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    :), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 8:13pm

    Xunlei

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xunlei

    The most used P2P client in use today.
    It beats hands down uTorrent market share and any other site and it doesn't depend on sites to find anything.

    The baidu(the chinese google) also shows the trend.
    http://top.baidu.com/buzz/soft.html

    A lot of emule, P2P streams, and other search sites for media.

    P2PTV apparently is big in China LoL
    And they show the U.S. blockbuster for free LoL
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P2PTV

    I laugh everytime I see some news that China is blocking content because of piracy ROFL.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    :), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 9:04pm

    Chinese Police Harrass Journalists

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZjNBUmcHMs&feature=related

    Violent Chinese Police Arrest
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OovqdxijXQ&feature=related

    Images are better to show what the China government really is.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    :), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 9:18pm

    Anti-Mike's dream world.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mulfOe0xE5g&feature=related

    Were the state have the power to raid anywhere anytime.

    And full of Umbrella men
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QlBde_9Q7c&feature=related

     

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  •  
    identicon
    :), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 9:40pm

    China blocks all external sites.

    http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/tor/

    That way they have no competition with their own home grown solutions.

    Is ingenious really. They got the U.S. by the balls, Europe is not that far away from it and they just simply forbid all foreigners to show something to their population.

    China wants to meter the internet but only to traffic that others send them.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8417680.stm

    Why? probably because they are being billed and other small countries are too so they don't see any benefit in peering agreements. When you put money into the mix, connectivity suffers.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    :), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 11:18pm

    China world invasion.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    UncleDavid, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 5:33am

    Chinese drywall, sorry I meant FIREWALL

    I could care less about China's oppressive firewall.I hope it closes even more ports and the ones the Chinese government leaves open, we should close. They steal every piece of software or intellectual property in sight, then wail about their exhaustive counter security. They publish manifesto,one after the other condemning piracy but walk through any market or high end computer store and you won't find a single licensed package -unless its Chinese authored.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      WhyDoWeKeepBuyingFromThem?, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:28am

      Re: Chinese drywall, sorry I meant FIREWALL

      And when are they going to compensate for their drywall?
      It's not just those affected directly. Everyone who has to pay insurance is affected also, to a lesser degree.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    chinatwin88, Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 8:02pm

    Re

    You can argue on and on as to the concepts of freedom, but police harrasment is nil if your not promoting an agenda and then as a individual your left alone from police interference and ticket happy highway patrol. Many of the Expats come to china to experience a freedom not available in the states and when it comes to interlectual frredom, no one enjoys the cheap movies featured on DvDs than the westerners who provide the money for the continued operation of the bootlegged products

     

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