And those are not the droids you’re looking for.
There is no war in Ba Sing Se.
Hey cool, nobody ever thought of that approach! There is no censorship because the government says there isn’t, and if you disagree, you’ll be censored.
Paging Yo-Yo Yossarian!
“We did not ban the Internet! No one wants to Censor the Internet! See, you can get to the Chinese Communist Party site just fine. Why would you need or want anything else!”
Well, to be honest, the servers I administer have iptables files designed to block access from China. Block all those little automatic attacks.
So I guess it’s fair.
(Send me your logs and headers, I need more data)
Using political prisoners as organ farms/Novel biomed business model…
Why get so hung up on semantics?
No one says Potahto.
It’s more like “There is no need for censorship because nobody publishes anything we’d object to (because there’s a re-education camp waiting for them if they do).”
Actually, with “minor” “offenses” the offending post/blog/whatever would simply disappear, while the creator would not. There is, of course, the tricky matter of knowing whether or not what you have written will be considered “major.” There might always be someone keeping score, and that little pun could be the last straw…
I think it’s time (too late, really), to see the Great Firewall as what it is: a trade barrier. It’s there to block out foreign competitors until a local copy can be established. I’m pretty certain that there are several under-the-table deals to keep competitors out, a sweet bonus and motivation to keep the system up. I’m also pretty sure that it’s not just Chinese companies offering kickbacks.
I remember for a time that BlogSpot (Google) was blocked because it allowed any bloke (or dissident) to have an anonymous blog, and Tumblr was soon blocked for the same reasons, until inexplicably, it was accessible again, for at least a year or more. It’s blocked now. Sometimes a service is not blocked but throttled (like gmail) until it’s virtually unusable, so that you’ll move to other local services.
That same phenomenon is happening with instant messaging services today. Suddenly messages go through, but not photos, and the messaging operators sort of throw up their hands and watch their Chinese users migrate to home-grown varieties.
For years, tech startups outside of China experience the same thing over and over again. Something (like Dropbox) takes hold all around the world, including in China, as more and more people find it useful. Then all of a sudden, you find your product either is inaccessible, stops working, or works poorly in China. Soon, a Chinese version arrives and you find yourself locked out of a very huge market you can’t ignore.
That’s not censorship in the traditional sense. Moving to homegrown alternatives do ensure better control (most censorship there happens as self-policing actions, site operators will take down posts voluntarily to avoid controversy), but there’s a large measure of economic self-interest involved here.
If governments around the world actually complained about the Great Firewall of being an barrier to trade (take that wall down unless you want some tariffs on your exports), we might actually get somewhere in improving this situation. It is in their right, of course, to put in trade barriers, but it’s a barrier that the U.S. hasn’t put up against Chinese competitors, and thus ought to be put on the bargaining table.
Pay no attention to the man behind the router
A completely legit reason to dump her.
Lu Wei is a typical cynic. He talks about economic interests and national interests. True, China has its own interests like any other country and should pursue those with legal means. But freedom is a real issue in China.
People cannot get information about their government, their military, their economy. They cannot exchange ideas about how that government performs, whether it acts in ways that they agree with or not. Hence, they cannot make decisions about what they should expect and demand from their government. The Chinese leadership spoon-feeds them info preselected info.
Without information and the freedom to discuss how their government should defend their interests the Chinese people - living at home and subject to censorship - won’t know what is in their interest. The government will decide instead of them, and strangely, it will turn out that the government’s and the people’s interests are the same.
I dunno. I used to get schooled by an English girl I was dating who was horrified that there aren’t marked differences in pronunciation in American English between “Mary”, “Marry”, and “Merry”… Didn’t work out for other reasons, but each still thinks that the other is a lovely person.
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