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?

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “China Raises The Great Firewall Even Higher, Claims It's To Stop Piracy”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
The Anti-Mike says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.).

The Anti-Mike says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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.

harbingerofdoom (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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…


The Anti-Mike says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 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.

:) says:

Re: 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.


Andrew F (profile) says:

Re: 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.

:) says:

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.

China blocked and entire country to protect its presidents son even though the bugger was not directly implicated on the corruption scandal.

Resources to see how censorship is being used.

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

:) says:


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.

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

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

:) says:

China blocks all external sites.

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.

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.

UncleDavid (profile) says:

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.

chinatwin88 says:


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

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...