Gettin awful sporty down here...


Milforum's Bouncer
<H1>Great Firewall of China
Trying to keep pace with the country's growing army of internet users, Beijing is cracking down on websites and emails as never before, writes Rowan Callick May 22, 2006

BEIJING is imposing the toughest media suppression since the Tiananmen massacre 17 years ago - with the internet increasingly clogged by "net police", blocking access to vast numbers of websites and reviewing millions of personal emails daily.

Freelance writer Yang Tianshui was jailed for 12 years last week for posting articles on overseas websites, receiving money from foreign sources, and aiding plans to establish a political party.
He has already served a 10-year sentence for criticising the deployment of the People's Liberation Army against student demonstrators in 1989.
A new indictment was issued against Zhao Yan, a researcher with The New York Times, who was taken into custody two years ago on charges of revealing state secrets, believed to be associated with a report - which proved accurate - about former president Jiang Zemin stepping down from the chairmanship of China's Military Commission.
The original charge against Zhao was dismissed on the eve of President Hu Jintao's visit to the US last month, to help ensure a smooth trip.

Li Yuanlong, a reporter for the Bijie Daily in Guizhou, one of China's poorest provinces, was tried on May 11 on charges of subversion, reportedly based on essays he allegedly wrote, including one titled On Becoming American in Spirit, which were published on banned websites.
Li pleaded not guilty at the trial, which lasted 2 1/2 hours. He remains in custody awaiting the verdict in the case.
Another reporter, Yang Xiaoqing in Hunan province, wrote a series of articles exposing corruption by a leading local Communist Party official - who responded by charging Yang with seeking to extort money from him. His trial opened in the middle of last week.
One of China's best-known dissidents, Liu Xiaobo - a former university lecturer jailed for 10 years following the 1989 protests - told The Australian: "The authorities started by tightening control on the newspapers, including the Beijing News and China Youth Daily, and are now extending that campaign online. As a result, Hotmail is hardly working, and Yahoo is increasingly hard to access."
China now has more internet users than any other country except for the US, but its most significant and best-funded research is focused on web filtering and other forms of censorship, building an ever higher and thicker "great firewall of China".
Liu says the drive began with a fresh appeal for "socialist morality" launched a few weeks ago by President Hu, when he urged the people to live by the Ba Rong, Ba Chi (Eight Honours and Eight Disgraces): "Love the country, do it no harm. Serve the people, never betray them. Follow science, discard superstition. Be diligent, not indolent. Be united, make no gains at another's expense. Be honest, do not sacrifice ethics for profit. Be disciplined and law-abiding, not chaotic and lawless. Live plainly, work hard, do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures."
On a recent visit to Yunnan, Hu said he wanted to hear "the true voice of the people, and what is on their mind".
Why the crackdown then? Liu says: "Fear. They are afraid of the sharpening social contradictions, afraid that freedom of opinion will threaten their rule. They have been tightening access to the internet since 2004, but this can't last for ever.
"Society is changing, nobody is supporting this wholeheartedly, even people in the central propaganda department. They are aware they have no moral grounds for what they do - for which there is a Chinese phrase for 'dirty tricks' - so they just make calls or leave instructions, or attack the internet."

The attack comes from about 30,000 net police, he said, "because they don't want to issue documents or leave records".

The Chinese authorities are now trying to extend this drive by professionals for more pervasive media control into a broader moral crusade incorporating enthusiastic amateur supporters.

They have just established the Beijing Online Media Association, for which they are seeking to recruit 200 "net supervisors". Their goal, says the Beijing Propaganda Department, is "to promote the campaign of running the web in a civilised way, using the web in a civilised way".

These volunteer net police, acting like reserve constables, will "regularly receive instructions from the association to look for uncivilised actions and unhealthy information appearing on websites". For this, they will be paid the token sum of 100 yuan ($16) per month.

Qualifications for the new web snoops include education above middle school, being 18 years old and with more than three years' online experience.

They are asked to submit background including name, gender, age, work unit and political background, and to send a 300-character essay on "running the web in a civilised way".
Liu Xiaobo says the effectiveness of this drive was made clear last Tuesday, the 40th anniversary of the launch by Mao Zedong of the catastrophic cultural revolution. "You can see the major websites, even the non-government ones, have nothing about the cultural revolution."
Reviewing the event is perceived by leading officials as exposing the Communist Party to question, and thus ultimately to a loss of legitimacy. Liu says he found a single mention, on a personal blog: "Forty years of silence, shameless."
He says the internet is viewed as especially dangerous, because "it simply provides a space for people to express personal opinions, while other forms of expression have been closed off earlier. Setting a single standard for such expression is not guidance, it is suppression".
Access to international websites is becoming ever more difficult from within China. It only takes a single "error" for a major site to be banned in full and indefinitely.
For instance, all access to Wikipedia, one of the reference sources most used by Australians, is permanently blocked because of its coverage of the June 4, 1989, uprising at Tiananmen Square.
Baidu, China's most used web-search company - which is heavily self-censored, and follows a pure party line - has stepped in to profit from this censorship.
Last month it launched its own copycat product, which it calls Baidupedia. Baidu's founder, Robin Li, claims he was unaware Wikipedia was blocked.
One of the aims of slowing access to international email providers such as Hotmail and Yahoo is believed to be to force users to shift to local providers, which are more easily and cheaply surveyed and controlled, especially through self-censorship.
Google, which has been losing ground to Baidu, last month unveiled its Chinese service, which it controversially calls Guge, using the characters for valley and song. It - like virtually every other global portal - acknowledges it must accept restrictions on access imposed by the authorities as the price of doing business in China.
The net police's reach is pervasive. Even the website of the leading Pacific magazine group, the Fiji-based Islands Business, is barred - presumably because of a cover story in April headed "Chopsticks diplomacy; the rivalry between China and Taiwan", for the diplomatic recognition of island states.
The imperative to control information across the media was underlined earlier this month when Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao was asked about the imminent 40th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution.
He repeated the official line that the movement comprised "10 years of catastrophe", without elaborating. He told the regular press briefing: "There was already a verdict reached. I think there has been no change to that." The Foreign Ministry deleted even this reference from its website transcript. This is all providing a compelling framework for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, when the party authorities will have to pit their wits and enforcement mechanisms against many thousands of journalists and crowds of other visitors whose loyalties and antecedents may be beyond even the knowledge of the net police.
</H1>I have noticed a change in the frequency this site is being blocked. With Google, Yahoo and MSN in bed with Hu it seems there is a dwindling avenue for unfettered information.,20876,19213793-2703,00.html

I highlighted one of the sections and want to make sure it isnt missed. The dropped the charges against the man, an American, right before Hu's trip to the states and then right after he is charged again. This is how China operates. Do NOT ever let your guard down.

All the claims I have been making on this forum and the subsequent abuse from Chinese posters (most likely members of the 30,000 strong internet police force) and sinophiles are now being brought to light and confirmed by more than just my voice.
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You know what would be really cool? If a group of hackers from various countries launched a multi-prong attack on these internet Nazis and messed around with them. Could you imagine the chaos?!

China: *contacts Country X's embassy* Hey a group in your country is launching computer attacks against our internet police. We want you to hand them over to us.

Country X: Sorry, they are not government-related so we have no control over what they do, but we'll handle it so don't worry about it. (irony = this is the same response China gives when people have evidence that hackers with IP addresses traced back to China are tracked)

China: Oh no!! The people are going to find out the truth and learn about the demonic concept called equality and true justice!!

Oh wait, I think we already have a group that does that... right on China's own soil too!! :m16: