Chinese Internet Users Relish Irony Of SOPA's Great Firewall Of America

from the shoe-on-the-other-foot dept

After being on the receiving end of the West’s pointed comments about the Great Firewall of China and the online censorship it helps to enforce, Chinese Internet users are enjoying the deep irony that SOPA will effectively copy China’s approach by creating a Great Firewall of America. As one wrote:

It looks like that we can finally export our technology and value to the Americans. We?re strong, advanced, and absolutely right!

The same post on Global Voices Online reports that others are taking things more seriously, and worry about the knock-on effects SOPA will have on Net freedom around the world:

Most Chinese-language blogs and microblog messages emphasize the disastrous outcomes that the bill could bring. What people worry about most are bill’s endorsement of surveillance by web services and Internet companies to prevent ?infringing? content, and the implications for individual privacy.

None of this will come as any surprise to Techdirt readers. But it’s extraordinary that the politicians supporting SOPA can’t see ? or don’t care about ? the huge damage it will do to the international reputation of the US, and the harm it will cause human rights around the globe.

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Comments on “Chinese Internet Users Relish Irony Of SOPA's Great Firewall Of America”

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65 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Nice site there Glynn! It seems to be mostly packed full of people from countries who think human rights is a joke. Plenty of middle eastern types who probably chant “death to america” in the street protests in their homeland too.

Classy! Way to go deep looking for the slam. Mike may give you a raise if you keep this crap up!

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s doubly ironic that “people like that” (paraphrase) are more concerned about human rights having lived without them than Americans hare having lived with them and (on the surface at least) celebrated them and then browbeat countries (selectively) who don’t have them.

Then again, some of the folks who post here have long since stopped amazing me at the depths they can sink to. My fervent hope is that they don’t breed and pass on whatever faulty gene(s) the so obviously possess.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“My fervent hope is that they don’t breed and pass on whatever faulty gene(s) the so obviously possess.”

Don’t worry we are working on an app for that. It’s called coitus interruptus. It will delay random emails, to content types until they are about to get frisky. Then it will bombard them with emails and phone calls.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

This AC (hi there blue!) has no sense of irony, morality or much else.

(gave your identity away with that “slow with any useful response thing there, buck-o)

Tell me, do you care about anyone or anything beyond yourself? Take your time, I don’t want to hurry you. I know “beyond yourself” is an alien concept so just turn it over some and get used to it before loading up your cannon with wet powder so you can get another spectacular misfire.

Anonymous Coward says:

Politicians don’t think ahead, that’s the problem. Thinking ahead for them is just winning the next election, that’s it. And if passing bad legislation is what it takes to get massive campaign contributions to help win reelection then that’s what they’ll do.

Look at 2008, and the ‘solution’ to pass the massive bailout bill to ‘fix’ the economy. Did it fix it? Heck no, but it made them look like they were doing something, and got them massive campaign contributions from the people bailed out.

trlkly says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Obama hasn’t pushed through legislation of any kind on these issues. He supported the bill, sure, but so did everyone else until someone told them that it was bad. Now, like Pelosi and nine other Democrats (and one Republican) do not support this.

And Bush didn’t leave the Internet alone: he actually championed the Patriot Act that let him do electronic surveillance on suspected terrorists.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

No, SOPA blocks PIRATED FILES corporations don’t like. This bill may go a bit too far…but think about it from a business standpoint. Can you blame them for trying to stop people from illegally getting their product(s) for free? If you owned a business and people were stealing your products, I’m pretty sure you’d do something about it too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Indeed, if someone was stealing my products, I’d be upset about it. However, because I’m an adult and can get past a certain mindset, if I saw someone making a COPY of my product, I’d think that was okay and in fact downright nifty. Hell, to be honest, from a business perspective, I’d find one of the people able to easily copy and reproduce my product (without taking my actual product) and ask them how they did it? So that I could lower my costs by reproducing copies myself of my own product.

That and you know, it’s a good thing the Supreme Court has already ruled that making a copy of a record IS NOT theft. It’s copyright infringement. In fact, they even made the matter perfectly clear by stating that doing just that DOES NOT in fact prevent the person with copyright from continuing to produce and distribute their product.

[scratches head in wonderment] And despite that, some people still can’t spot the difference between “theft” and “copyright infringement”. Is Idiocracy coming true even quicker than expected?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It doesn’t matter. The fact is, people are obtaining some products for free illegally when they pirate, so you can’t complain when companies try to do something about it. It’s probably why stuff like video games have been getting so shitty over the last few years…it seems like devs only want to make games that they KNOW people will buy instead of taking a risk by doing something new.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Actually, it does matter. If you’re going to try and take a moral high ground as well as try and have the law on your side, you’d do well to acknowledge what the law already says and has ruled on in regards to the matter at hand.

No one is complaining over the fact that companies are trying to do something about it. What they are complaining about is the methods they’re using. The broad definitions and all that jazz, which has been pointed out repeatedly, in SOPA/PIPA. You know, that and the things like screwing up the DNS system and free speech violations.

Go ahead and do something about the “problem”. By all means, knock yourself out. You won’t succeed anyway. But DO NOT in your attempt to solve the problem, which you can provide no evidence/facts over just how many actual losses or whatnot it causes, violate my Constitutionally protected rights.

As for the devs. That’s a crock. It’s the same thing with movies. They’re going to make what they know people will like. That’s the way it’s always worked. No one wants to take a risk anymore, luckily, there are independents who’ll produce something different. Trying to blame “piracy” for shitty games is a major copy out. You sound like Ubisoft. Oh hey, we’re sorry about the games and the DRM, but we HAD to do it because of all the sales we aren’t making. No! The reason for the decline in sales is because of YOUR horrible, atrocious, goddamn pain in the f*cking a$$ DRM, which drives us towards other game makers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Trying to blame “piracy” for shitty games is a major copy out.”

Come on dude. You have to admit it might at least be a LITTLE bit of the reason companies (yes treyarch, I’m talking to you and that piece of shit call of duty!) don’t want to take risks anymore.

“What they are complaining about is the methods they’re using. The broad definitions and all that jazz, which has been pointed out repeatedly, in SOPA/PIPA. You know, that and the things like screwing up the DNS system and free speech violations.”

Yes, I too agree the bill doesn’t define things well. But it’s not like congress is actually gonna change it or anything. But being prevented from pirating stuff (I know the bill isn’t actually gonna do shit, but just humor me for a sec) isn’t taking away your free speech rights.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Okay, so you went from “it is the reason for shitty games” to “it might at least be a LITTLE”. So which is it? Either you think that piracy is the reason we have crappy games (as in the only reason and it’s a huge reason) or you think it MIGHT be a reason (but it’s not the main/biggest one). Pick a side and stick with it in regard to this.

The truth is, in regards to games, piracy is NOT the reason they don’t want to take risk. While it COULD be a reason, it’s not THE reason. You and I both know what the real reason is. They DO NOT need to take risk. If hundreds of millions of copies of Call of Duty (such a stupid and repetitious game, year in and year out with little to nothing to distinguish and make them better than last year’s version) are able to sell year in and year out, that’s all the incentive they need to not take risk. Obviously, people don’t care about innovation or something new. They want the same old thing and are willing to pay for it every year over and over.

And I know Congress isn’t going to change it or anything. That’s a given. And yes, stopping someone from pirating something DOES NOT take away my free speech rights per se. But it does put that possibility out there, based on the BROAD definitions of the bill. People seem to think the following, like you said, “downloading a file isn’t free speech”, “trying to keep you from downloading a file isn’t violating your free speech”. Right? That’s what you’re saying exactly. Okay, now stop and think for a moment. We have a bill, with definitions SO broad, that it literally should be called the “Yay! We can do what we want Bill.” The DMCA is routinely abused, no punishments at all for those who abuse it. Now we have this new bill, which has clearly been stated, by ACTUAL experts nonetheless, as definitely going to place limits on and censor free speech (online). Are you denying that? I don’t mean denying that that’ll happen. I mean, are you saying these legal and Constitutional experts are all wrong? I don’t think they are, and in this day and age, I think it’s naive to dismiss that outright just because you may have a problem with people making a COPY of a song.

It’s like the whole “throwing out the baby with the bath water” thing. To stop one problem, which has no verifiable negative effect (that is based on a legitimate unbiased study, that is), they’re willing to allow and encourage the abuse of a law which as I pointed out will allow for censorship of free speech, or prevent it entirely (in some ways) and will destroy the internet as it has been building up towards. Come on. That’s pretty extreme, don’t you think?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“Okay, so you went from “it is the reason for shitty games” to “it might at least be a LITTLE”.”

“It’s probably why stuff like video games have been getting so shitty over the last few years”

That sure didn’t seem like I was saying it’s the ONLY reason.

“Okay, now stop and think for a moment. We have a bill, with definitions SO broad, that it literally should be called the “Yay! We can do what we want Bill.”

Which is why I think they should actually define shit instead of leaving wiggle room.

“Now we have this new bill, which has clearly been stated, by ACTUAL experts nonetheless, as definitely going to place limits on and censor free speech (online). Are you denying that?”

No, I don’t think those experts are wrong. Which is why I think actual people in the industries affected by piracy that AREN’T MPAA/RIAA/whatever fatcats should help congress make a bill that will actually do something against piracy. Maybe something like a small fine plus whatever the retail value of the pirated thing is?

“Come on. That’s pretty extreme, don’t you think?”

Yeah, maybe it is extreme. But it doesn’t change the fact that congress probably IS going to pass this bill to make their fatcat buddies happy.

anonymous says:

i would have thought that when people from countries like Iran, China etc start taking the piss out of the goings-on concerning the Internet, Human Rights and Freedom of Speech in the US, it would ring some alarm bells and make those in power realise that what they were (proposing?) doing, was making the US a Global laughing stock. talk about hypocrites! say one thing, do the opposite. condemn something happening somewhere, then do the same. how more fucked up can a place get?

out_of_the_blue says:

"Al-Qaida" loves the Patriot Act and military detentions.

You bet that authoritarians around the world (especially Wall Street and City of London) are laughing as the US is turned into another police state. So do the peoples whom the US has invaded laugh (bitterly) as US military is turned to domestic control. As I’ve said, those exercises in military adventurism and empire-building aren’t going to to leave the US populace free.

Just look at this absurdity: someone attacks buildings in New York, so the Bush admin launches two full scale wars in the Middle East, kills hundreds of thousands, wounds and destroys the lives of millions, and foments fear in the US by which it brings about a police state that takes all of your vaunted rights. — The absurdity is that /I’m/ called a conspiracy theorist! It’s no longer theory, people, you see it put in place daily…

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: "Al-Qaida" loves the Patriot Act and military detentions.

Stupidity isn’t a conspiracy. It appears to be the natural state of some humans. Too many of us. Which is why we’re doomed to repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again until we either get it right or we blow up the world after firing enough carbon into the air to turn the planet into a pizza oven.

“Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain.”

Stupid works far better than conspiracy, every time. Other than that I agree with damned near every word.

DCX2 says:

Kinda reminds me of Egypt's protests...

The military junta that rules Egypt right now is trying to crush yet another revolution (two in one year…go Egypt!)

One of the military’s justifications for suppressing the protests? “They do it in the West, too” – a clear reference to how the US handles the Occupy movement.

When will our government learn that other nations do not fall for “do as I say, not as I do”.

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