Archives for posts with tag: censorship

As Foreign Policy magazine puts it, things are going from bad to worse for anyone who has a history of challenging one-party rule.   More than 50 people have either been charged with subversion or have simply “disappeared”.  Liu Xianbin will spend another 10 years in the slammer in addition to the previous 10 he did for the same crime (advocating non-violent political reform).  Ai Weiwei, an incredibly popular artist in China and abroad has disappeared without a trace from a Beijing airport.  Something like 200 other activists have either reported house arrest or under constant police observation.

This is really getting out of hand.  It’s probably the biggest sweep up of dissidents in a decade.  So far I’m able to get on WordPress and use the VPN just fine, but who knows how long that will hold out.

Anyway, hope all these people are safe and get released soon.  It will be very interesting to see if this generates more anti-government attitudes (it seems like it would) or if these dissidents will really be scared off.


I can’t think of any reason to like Baidu.  It pretty much represents all the things China needs to get rid of to be successful.  I will concede that it does seem to offer a lot MORE results than Google (in Chinese), but they aren’t especially good.  Here’s my beef with the king of Chinese search engines:

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In an especially bold move, the US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has decided to research and deploy a new technology that will permit Chinese internet users to bypass their own government’s internet firewalls.  As it stands today, a large number of pornographic and politically contentious websites are blocked in China.  Any searches related to Chinese protests, Tibetan or Taiwanese independence, or democracy return a “This page is not found.” screen.

The weird thing about this is that the BBG claims this testing is secret.  (Read article from Internet News here).  However, this was the headline yesterday on ChinaDaily:

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Read it here.

The gist of the story (since I just found out it costs $700 to repost the article on a website) is that the Green Dam software program has been axed in China.  Green Dam was allegedly an anti-pornographic program that the government decided must be installed on every computer in China.  Chinese techies quickly exposed security vulnerabilities and found that its pornographic filtering features would automatically block any photo with too much of the color yellow in it (no joke!).  The obvious problem with the software was that it didn’t work as intended, but also that it was a cover for a censorship/monitoring scheme.  Though the Chinese government would never admit it, it’s almost assured that the software would keep very detailed user information and forward it to the proper authorities if users are visiting websites they “shouldn’t.”

The software will be required on public computers at the library and such, but at least private users won’t be forced into this.  A great victory for the Chinese public over unpopular government policies.  It might help if you ask the people before you start imposing rules, yes?