Chinese Crackdown On Porn Websites Sounds Like US Crackdown On Allegedly 'Infringing' Websites

from the it's-all-censorship-in-the-end dept

There have been some recent reports on how China has apparently begun a massive crackdown on porn websites, shutting down tens of thousands of websites. And, while the scale is obviously significantly larger, what struck me about the reports on this crackdown is just how similar the reasoning coming from Chinese officials sounds to the reasoning from US officials concerning domain names seized by Homeland Security having to do (allegedly) with copyright and trademark infringement. Apparently, the explanation from Chinese officials was along the following lines:
"Our campaign has been a great success and this has not been achieved easily... We have made the Internet environment much cleaner than before as there was a lot of pornography available. As long as there are people with bad motives who want to spread violent or pornographic information, we will have to continue our campaign to resolutely crack down on the spread of such information."
Now, compare that to some statements by Homeland Security's director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton soon after ICE seized its first batch of domain names in June:
Simply put, American business is under assault from those who pirate copyrighted material and produce counterfeit trademarked goods.... American innovation is being diluted and the public health and safety of Americans is at risk.... The Administration is responding to this organized criminal activity through a first-of-its-kind aggressive, coordinated, and strategic offensive...
In early December, we pointed to law professor Derek Bambauer's explanation of how these domain seizures really seemed quite similar to the censorship in other countries, and the similarities in explanations by China and the US simply serves to highlight this point. The US censors domains it believes are involved in copyright and trademark infringement, because it believes those sites are "bad" and put the US in danger. Similarly, China censors pornographic websites, because it believes that those sites are "bad" and put its citizens in danger. Perhaps those reasons are defensible, but for US politicians to then claim that the US is against censorship is obviously false. It's perfectly happy to censor when it comes to content it doesn't like.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 6:49am

    Bravo! You managed to come up with a way to make people who are working against piracy sound like communists. Good Job Mr McCarthy! Would you like to call the someone before the committee and out them as card carrying members?

    If this is the best argument you have, you have failed.

     

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    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 6:51am

      Re:

      Oh that's just silly. China is less communist now than they've ever been.

      This was just an accurate comparison between Chinese censorship and American censorship.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:13am

        Re: Re:

        You know that wasn't the intent. It's an attempt to make the US look as bad as a country that TD considers the worst, those damn commies and their all controlling nature.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think Mike has a higher regard for his serious readers to know that China is less commie and more Capitalist Dictatorship.

          You can call a rose by any other name...

          Also since the US has called out China for their insane censorship this is highlighting how the US is hypocritical of it's own "ideals" it wishes other countries would embrace.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Alatar, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually more like Pinochet or a fascist ultracapitalist dictatorship. China is no commie anymore. Here in France, Communists fight for the less-than-35-hour workweek, 1500 ($1982) minimum wage (after taxes) and right to be on strike. Whatever you think about it, this is communism. In China, there is no communism left

             

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        •  
          icon
          harbingerofdoom (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 11:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          this looks like a troll...
          i can tell by the over the top rantings that are blatantly false and the large oversized tusks.

          ....seen a few trolls in my day....

           

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    •  
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      Richard (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:20am

      Re:

      Bravo! You managed to come up with a way to make people who are working against piracy sound like communists. Good Job Mr McCarthy! Would you like to call the someone before the committee and out them as card carrying members?

      Could you tell me which techdirt article this comment was intended for - because it looks like it's on the wrong one - and I'd love to read the article where Mike makes those who are working against piracy look like communists.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:23am

        Re: Re:

        Yoda says: reading skills you lack.

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ugh, no. You're jumping at shadows, friend. The point is comparing censorship policies between the US and a nation that the US has called out for its censorship policies. This comparison would be valid no matter what form of govt. the other party was.

          The point isn't that America is acting like communists. It's that we aren't practicing what we preach.

          Try again....

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It may not be the point, but it is the illusion. To future-quote TD: We have already shown where the US is worse than communist countries when it comes to shutting down internet sites it doesn't agree with.

            truthiness. I think that is what it is called.

             

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            •  
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              Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "It may not be the point, but it is the illusion."

              *Allusion?

              "To future-quote TD: We have already shown where the US is worse than communist countries when it comes to shutting down internet sites it doesn't agree with."

              Mind linking to wherever you pulled that from so I can take a look?

               

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 9:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You will have to wait a few months... it's the future, not the past, and the trick, well, it's all an illusion. TD isn't alluding, they are creating an illusion.

                Check back later :)

                 

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                •  
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                  Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 9:46am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Er...so you're quote wasn't a quote at all? That seems kind of disingenous, unless of course you can actually see the future?

                  If so, tell me, how will the Bears do in the playoffs this year? Is Derrick Rose going to have a shot at the MVP trophy? And for the love of all things holy, will my Cubs EVER win the World Series?

                   

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                  Doug D (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 10:35am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I think it's time to change your name to Anonymous Troll. You obviously don't care about the intent of the article. You're only interested in pushing your own twisted viewpoint to the point of pretending you know what people are going to say in the future. Please go away and leave the discussions for the grown ups.

                   

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            •  
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              Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 10:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Techdirt has been pointing out America's hypocrisy on censorship for awhile now - and not just with the "commies" but with all sorts of oppressive regimes around the world. They have yet to make any of the ridiculous statements you assume they will.

              Comparing U.S. attitudes and actions on censorship to other parts of the world seems like a pretty valid topic to me. Do you not agree? Or do you have a better way to discuss it that would meet with your approval?

               

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        •  
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          Richard (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yoda says: reading skills you lack.

          Quoting the opinion of a fictional character - boy that really supports your case!

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:40am

      Re:

      I missed the part of your argument where you described how censorship was related to communism.

      Could you reiterate that part please?

       

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    •  
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      The eejit (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 8:01am

      Re:

      Nice strawman. Can I use it in my fields?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    P*ss in the ocean...

    ...and see if it tastes different.

    Eventually, they will come to understand there is no controlling the Internet or information moving across it.

    It's like radiation with human intelligence.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 8:55am

      Re: P*ss in the ocean...

      You accidentally revealed to me what was it that has been annoying me so much with all these attempts at Internet censorship.

      There is no controlling the Internet or information moving across it, unless you can control all the people which use the Internet.

      That is, the only way of censoring the Internet is to censor the people themselves.

      I do not think, given the quality of the readership of this website, that I need to expand on what kind of dystopia this would be. Obviously, DO NOT WANT.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    marpos, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Apparently the US and Chinese are not so different when it comes to freedom. Utilitarian ain't it... except the graatest good for those it is good for.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 8:59am

      Re:

      Apparently the US and Chinese are not so different

      Despite what some people would like you to believe, both US citizens and China citizens are human. Should it be surprising that they are not so different?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    This is why that Communism has never existed because it has never been attempted and China is just as capitalist as the rest of the world along with deformed worker states.

     

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    Christopher (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 8:15pm

    It is only in China's estimation that pornographers are 'bad people'. Most of them only get a bad rap because people are watching them like hawks, waiting for them to do ONE 'bad' thing so they can jump on the beatdown bandwagon.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 8:56pm

    washington and mao had dinner

    "ill take IP issues you take out pron.", said ol georgy boy...

     

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    herbert, Jan 6th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    curious as to how file sharing can put the public health and safety of Americans (or anyone else) at risk. what is at risk is the overly fat wallets of the overly fat executives in the movie/music/gaming etc industries, being a little less fat!

     

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Jan 8th, 2011 @ 9:15pm

    We have made the Internet environment much cleaner than before as there was a lot of pornography available.


    OMG! They cleaned the porn off the net?!

    http://www.google.com/search?q="hot babes"

    click random link

    Aha! Another politician caught in a lie!

    click

    click click

    click click click ...

     

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  •  
    identicon
    shabaz, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 5:40am

    just add me

    i like your site its cool

     

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