Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Censorship Government Politics

Chinese Official Vows to "Purify" the Net 321

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
Sleeping Kirby writes to tell us China's Communist party leader, Hu Jintao today announced the intent to leverage the economic potential of the web while seeking to "purify the internet environment". He proposes to do this by maintaining "the initiative in opinion" on the internet and to "'raise the level guidance on the internet," thus civilizing and purifying the internet environment.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chinese Official Vows to "Purify" the Net

Comments Filter:
  • by P(0)(!P(k)+P(k+1)) (1012109) <math.induction@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @04:55PM (#17742976) Homepage Journal

    From TFA:

    Hu stressed the need to exploit the net's possibilities, while keeping a tight grip. “Ensure that one hand grasps development while one hand grasps administration,” he concluded.

    It's still why I think Bolshevism* and its sequelae are more insidious than fascism: sure, the fascists will shoot you if you agitate against them; but the Bolshevik state would prevent you from agitating in the first place by limiting the set of stimuli that comprise your world.

    Reminds me a great deal, actually, of that old Semitic myth about a certain garden and tree of knowledge; whose premise was: fragile and jealous power depends upon the ignorance of its subjugates.

    The ignorance of subjugates will always be a Bolshevik, and not a fascist, end.

    _____________
    * Or Marxism, etc.

    • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:09PM (#17743234)
      ...the Bolshevik state would prevent you from agitating in the first place by limiting the set of stimuli that comprise your world...


      And this is unique to "Bolshevism" how? Controlling the media to present a picture of fair and rational government has been the aim of almost every government/state/ruler in history and it continues to the present day. You need to hit the books if you think fascists (or democrats - small "d") don't practice this too...
      • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:21PM (#17743472) Homepage

        Controlling the media to present a picture of fair and rational government has been the aim of almost every government/state/ruler in history and it continues to the present day.

        Though, to be sure, one cannot assume that just because governments sometimes manipulate the press, any negative information about a government that eventually comes to light is true. During the reign of Justinian, he had Procopius produce a history of his times which was, of course, laden with remarks to sooth the emperor and avoid ascribing anything negative to the empire's administration. After his death, Procopius' Secret History [amazon.com] appeared, purporting to give the "real story" of things, calling the general Belisarius an imcompetent fool and the Empress Theodora an outright whore. Yet, almost no historians believe anything in the secret history, which seems to be a kind of saucy genre of fiction that flourished at the time, and the reliable account is actually in the official production.

        What I find at Slashdot is often groupthink that anything from the government is automatically wrong and any gossipy rumours that come from "underground sources" (who are more appreciated the more they try to look victimized) are automatically true. The world isn't that simple.

        • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @07:06PM (#17744992) Homepage Journal
          ``What I find at Slashdot is often groupthink that anything from the government is automatically wrong and any gossipy rumours that come from "underground sources" (who are more appreciated the more they try to look victimized) are automatically true. The world isn't that simple.''

          No, but it's good to be skeptical. In my corner of Europe, many people seem to have a blind faith in the government, and will reject anything that resembles a conspiracy theory. I don't have any reason to believe my government seeks to harm me, but even if they mean the best, they can do harm. They have certainly been wrong, uninformed, and naive on some issues. And even the wildest conspiracy theories are sometimes true. So the right approach is to treat everything with a healthy dose of skepticism, and _always_ think for yourself. The problem is, of course, that nobody has time to become an expert and think about everything government decides about.
      • by DuBois (105200) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:46PM (#17743828) Homepage
        The first Chin Emperor (Qin in modern romanization) [royalty.nu], ZHENG Ying (259-210BC), gave his Dynasty's name to the entire country of China. He burned all the books in the country and banned scholarly discussion of history. Sounds a lot like the current Emperor is just doing what a Chinese Emperor normally does. And that might explain why the Chinese people, whose sense of history extends far further back than most Westerners', tolerate his continued rule. A sense of "unity" for all of China comes from the Emperor. See the modern movie "Hero" for one take on this facet of Chinese culture.

        He also changed his name to Shi Huangdi, meaning "First August God". This is certainly nothing that the current Emperor would ever deign to do.
        • by lxt518052 (720422) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @08:18PM (#17745852)
          I don't think the undertone in Hero could represent the main stream. In fact, the director Zhang Yimou has been widely criticized for whitewashing for a tyrant. The film actually has become a laugh stalk for its ridiculous plot.

          As for Qin Shihuang (another name for Shi Huangdi), most of your comment are correct, except that Zheng was his given name and YING was the surname. He certainly was an influential figure and events related to him did change the course of history. But mind you it was two thousand years ago. A lot of equally important (if not more important) events happened afterwards. Simply attributing everything today to a man died more than 2000 years ago is very much over-simplification, if not totally wrong.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jandersen (462034)
          He also changed his name to Shi Huangdi, meaning "First August God"

          To quote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shi_Huangdi [wikipedia.org]:

          he created a new title, huangdi, combining the word huang from the legendary Three Huang (Three August Ones) who ruled at the dawn of Chinese history, and the word di from the legendary Five Di (Five Sovereigns) who ruled immediately after the Three Huang

          His original name was Qin Shihuang, and it is a simple, but clever trick when he invents the title 'Huangdi' (~'emperor') and changes his na
    • by MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) <dylan AT dylanbrams DOT com> on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:16PM (#17743376) Homepage Journal
      I hate to put it this way, but that's nowhere near true. If you look at the wikipedia entry on Nazi Propaganda [wikipedia.org], it will be a great enlightenment to you. Fascism always included extensive information management. Democracy shouldn't, and isn't designed to, but the last fifty years have had backsliding induced by fearmongers.

      Bolshevism and Fascism are both comparatively bad forms of government by certain standards. Government rooted in non-militia military power generally is.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Em Adespoton (792954)

        Democracy shouldn't, and isn't designed to, but the last fifty years have had backsliding induced by fearmongers.

        The last fifty years of what? If you're talking about the US, it isn't a democracy; it's a limited republic with some facist elements. Democracy is where every "person" being governed has an equal say in the governing of society. Needless to say, it doesn't scale well.

        In a US-style republic, those being governed have the option to have their say (not equal representation) in electing (and r

        • Democracy is where every "person" being governed has an equal say in the governing of society. Needless to say, it doesn't scale well.

          Not only does it not scale well, but it's decidedly evil. It is, in every sense of the term, mob rule. A representative republic, while unwieldy in some circumstances, at least stands a chance of guarding some fundmental set of principles.

        • the US, it isn't a democracy; it's a limited republic with some facist elements.

          Some elements? See here under "The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism" [couplescompany.com].

          Yeah I know I posted this a few times already and some of you might not agree with the characteristics, the author or the site colors. Just count the matches...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by VJ42 (860241)
          Why do people always recite this "the USA isn't a democracy, it's a republic" nonsense, as if the two are mutually exclusive, it would be like me saying, the UK's not a democracy, it's a constitutional monarchy, which would be wrong. The UK is both a constitutional monarchy and a democracy. Dictionary.com [reference.com] defines democracy as

          government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. (emphasis mine)

          The USA and the UK both fit this definition. Most of the world uses the word democracy as shorthand for democratic republics such as the USA, constitutional monarchies like the UK or

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by paeanblack (191171)
          The last fifty years of what? If you're talking about the US, it isn't a democracy; it's a limited republic with some facist elements. Democracy is where every "person" being governed has an equal say in the governing of society. Needless to say, it doesn't scale well.

          A pure democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. As a form of governance, it is only effective for highly homogenous societies.
    • by vertinox (846076)
      Chinese do not appear to be Communist, Marxist, or even remotely Stalinist or Maoist anymore in ideology or economics.

      It is more on the lines with National Socialism economically and a bit Italian Fascist government policy wise (without any central Il Duce figure).

      I say this because China is highly nationalist rather than ideologist.

      If you published an article today about Tibet/Taiwan is not China would be akin to publishing an article in 1939 Germany that Danzig is not Germany.

      Sure you have the ability to
      • I'd say it was more authoritarian (it is almost like the old imperial system but with a committee instead of 1 emperor). Every country is nationalist but your point is taken. People in China are upset because they have lost many of the social protections they USED to get when China was actually communist. Millions of rural elderly Chinese have lost their social safety nets and their children have broken the old system of intergenerational support by going to work for factories in the cities. China is no
    • It's still why I think Bolshevism* and its sequelae are more insidious than fascism: sure, the fascists will shoot you if you agitate against them; but the Bolshevik state would prevent you from agitating in the first place by limiting the set of stimuli that comprise your world.

      Bolsheviks have no problem shooting you and fascists have no qualms about censorship, propaganda, and other information control techniques. While one might find substantive rather than merely rhetorical differences between those two

    • Fascists never tried to control the media? What was Goebbels doing then? A talk show? Or Mussolini, or Franco for that matter. You seem to be taking this right vs left obsession a bit too far.

      I think the term you want is "authoritarianism". The desire to totally control others is truly egalitarian. It is not restricted to any race, creed, religion, class, or political ideology.
  • by MECC (8478) * on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @04:55PM (#17742982)
    Don't they mean purify humanity?
    • by User 956 (568564) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:08PM (#17743228) Homepage
      I don't know, but it's ironic that they want to "purify the internet environment", while their actual environment goes to complete shit. [newscientist.com]
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by sgt_doom (655561)
        The funny thing is (funny, that is, to us thinking people, User 956) that they have all the money they need to do this.

        After all, the Bush Administration continuously borrows extraordinary sums from the Chinese government to buy war materiel from the Chinese Red Army-owned factories (along with Wall Mart and Sam's Club, and various other retailers [Nordstrom, The Gap, etc.]) for the occupation of Iraq (and no doubt, the soon-to-be nuclear strike on Iran!). Perhaps not coincidentally, the newest foreign af

    • by bigpat (158134)

      Don't they mean purify humanity?
      Of course they do. I think this is the relevant quote:

      Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.
      -Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Serenity
    • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:15PM (#17743362)
      > They're going to what?
      >Don't they mean purify humanity?

      Abbot: "Not they, Hu."
      Costello: "Who's going to what?"
      Abbot: "Hu's going to purify the Internet. What's going to purify humanity."
      Costello: "I don't know who or what's gonna purify humanity! Or how!"
      Abbot: "Hao? Who's Hao?"
      Costello: "I don't know!"
      Both: "All your base!"

    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      Communist states have often used dramatic terms to get their meaning across.

      'Purify'
      'Glorious'
      'Courageous'

      And other terms meant to indicate that somehow the idea described is 'whiter then white' and all that man can aspire to. It's all part of the ethos. If people thought that the idea's of the government weren't perfect, then why they might start thinking up their own idea's, and that will never do.
      Of course us capitalist democracies do get the same stuff sometimes, but we can say 'screw you' to the people
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @04:56PM (#17742998) Homepage Journal
    Hu Jintao is a very talented man.

    from the article:

    Hu stressed the need to exploit the net's possibilities, while keeping a tight grip. "Ensure that one hand grasps development while one hand grasps administration," he concluded.

    On the internet I thought one hand was for the mouse and the other was otherwise occupied. Its no wonder he is keeping a tight grip.
  • by suso (153703) * on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @04:56PM (#17743000) Homepage Journal
    Well with the unix epoch hitting 1169696969 in 7 hours and thus a dip in the 65% of people spending time with their SO, it should be harder for him to purify the net.
  • by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @04:58PM (#17743040) Homepage Journal
    You might think that the average person wouldn't stand for it. But I recall someone once saying the "average person" is 5' tall, female, and Chinese.

    While China may only house 15-20% of the world's population, that's still a huge fraction. That would be one hell of an astroturf.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      But I recall someone once saying the "average person" is 5' tall, female, and Chinese.


      Is she single?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by apt142 (574425)
      Considering how few females there are in china, I'd say he's better off leaving the internet full of porn.
  • by teutonic_leech (596265) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @04:58PM (#17743042)
    Yeah, just what we needed - officials of a country with a long track record in crimes against humanity bent on 'cleaning up the Internet'.
    • Yeah, just what we needed - officials of a country with a long track record in crimes against humanity bent on 'cleaning up the Internet'.
      Which country are you referring to? A number come to mind....
  • This reminds me of a story about a man who thought he could command the waves.
  • Well done (Score:5, Informative)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @04:59PM (#17743068) Homepage Journal

    Every time you buy some "MADE IN CHINA" shit from WalMart, etc. you help bankroll this type of crap.
    • Shouldn't the Olympics of 2008 be boycotted just like the Olympics of 1980? China has done far worse things to the people and environment than Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.
    • because every time you fill up your gas tank, you put more money into Saudi and Iranian pockets, and you end up subsidizing Al Qaeda, Hizb'Allah and Hamas. And the more you go gas-guzzling, the higher the Brent goes, and the more money they have to pursue their criminal projects.

      Of course, it would probably be easier if your politicians were not so tightly related to the big oil companies, but that's another story. Or is it ?

      And mod me down all you like, I have plenty of karma to burn. Burning karma does

  • by KeithH (15061) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:03PM (#17743126)
    ...that he is going to ban Internet Explorer (tight grip) and force a replacement for SMTP (innovate).

    Well, he's nearly got the clout for it. Good luck Hu. You've got my vote! oh wait...
  • by It's a thing (968713) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:07PM (#17743186) Homepage
    Anyone who confuses the Web and the Internet isn't qualified to report about either.

    And anyone who puts a ® at the end of an entire article as if it was a copyright symbol isn't qualified to copyright or register as a trademark anything.
    • And anyone who puts a ® at the end of an entire article as if it was a copyright symbol isn't qualified to copyright or register as a trademark anything.

      I believe they're using the "®" as a logo ("R" for "Register") rather than attempting to indicate a registered trademark.

  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@NOsPAm.optonline.net> on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:10PM (#17743262) Journal

    A vast majority of the world's servers are in countries not named the People's Republic of China. Therefore, to do as he insists, he would have to take control of those servers. I suspect, that even given the large number of people at his beck and call, that is a task beyond his capacity. At some point, every person is possession of sole authority in some organization gets delusions of grandeur.

    In plain English: he's FOS.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      A vast majority of the world's servers are in countries not named the People's Republic of China. Therefore, to do as he insists, he would have to take control of those servers.

      Or, he tries harder to make the 'great firewall of China' even more efficient so that the stuff that he can't directly control, he can supress. If his little corner of the world seems to have been purified, and his own citizens can't see anything to refute it, his plan must have worked.

      I suspect that's a more likely strategy.

      Cheers

    • by spun (1352)
      I think he's talking about the Internet as seen by Chinese citizens. Here's your quote:

      Hu told the politburo the party should "strengthen administration and development of our country's internet culture".

      Not that I think you're wrong about the delusions of granduer thing, but this is something within his power to do.
  • Hu Jintao knows how to say absolutely nothing and say it well. That sentence is a masterpiece of meaningless airy drivel. You can read it and reread it and there just isn't anything there. Any speechwriter worth his salt should be envious of that hot air.
    • Hu Jintao knows how to say absolutely nothing and say it well. That sentence is a masterpiece of meaningless airy drivel. You can read it and reread it and there just isn't anything there. Any speechwriter worth his salt should be envious of that hot air.
      So in the end everything cancelled out. Absolutely nothing was said or reassured.
  • ...is to never get involved in a land war in Asia.

    Of course, the internet may soon be bigger than Asia...

  • Doug in a Dress (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ace905 (163071) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:11PM (#17743294) Homepage
    I think it's obvious the entire slashdot community is going to be 'against' this initiative. We all have experience using 'more than average' time on the internet and particularly the world wide web ; it is completely impossible to 'guide' people on the internet.

    China would have to have a ginormous amount of 'censors' constantly surfing and updating their own database of acceptable internet sites to have anything close to a 'guidance initiative'. This is just a media spin on what china has been doing all along, blocking major portions of the internet off completely from it's own citizens.

    You can see the ridiculous tracert douginadress.com [douginadress.com] takes to reach chinese citizens right now ; another comment on China's inability to even provide standard censorship
  • by amstrad (60839) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:12PM (#17743322)
    From CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA [people.com.cn]

    Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.

    Article 37. The freedom of person of citizens of the People's Republic of China is inviolable. No citizen may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of a people's procuratorate or by decision of a people's court, and arrests must be made by a public security organ. Unlawful deprivation or restriction of citizens' freedom of person by detention or other means is prohibited; and unlawful search of the person of citizens is prohibited.

    Article 39. The home of citizens of the People's Republic of China is inviolable. Unlawful search of, or intrusion into, a citizen's home is prohibited.

    Article 40. The freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens of the People's Republic of China are protected by law. No organization or individual may, on any ground, infringe upon the freedom and privacy of citizens' correspondence except in cases where, to meet the needs of state security or of investigation into criminal offences, public security or procuratorial organs are permitted to censor correspondence in accordance with procedures prescribed by law.

    Article 41. Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary. Citizens have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints and charges against, or exposures of, violation of the law or dereliction of duty by any state organ or functionary; but fabrication or distortion of facts with the intention of libel or frame-up is prohibited. In case of complaints, charges or exposures made by citizens, the state organ concerned must deal with them in a responsible manner after ascertaining the facts. No one may suppress such complaints, charges and exposures, or retaliate against the citizens making them. Citizens who have suffered losses through infringement of their civil rights by any state organ or functionary have the right to compensation in accordance with the law.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      See, the Founding Fathers of the US thought of this and wrote up the Constitution to say "This is what the Government CAN do" (Articles) and "This is what they CANNOT do" (Amendments). The last amendment states that any other rights are left to the states to decide, and then reserved by the people.

      All of your bolded words (especially "unlawful", used multiple times) can be interpreted by Chinese courts to mean anything, because the Chinese Constitution purposefully spells out rights (grants them) as oppo
      • See, the Founding Fathers of the US thought of this and wrote up the Constitution to say "This is what the Government CAN do" (Articles) and "This is what they CANNOT do" (Amendments). The last amendment states that any other rights are left to the states to decide, and then reserved by the people.

        Actually, the last amendment to the Constitution says that Congress can't raise its own pay in the middle of a term.

        It is even the last ratified of the 11 that have been ratified of the 12 that were originally pro

    • by Jerf (17166) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:29PM (#17743582) Journal
      You missed Article 51:
      Article 51. The exercise by citizens of the People's Republic of China of their freedoms and rights may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society and of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.
      And guess who decides what interests the state?

      For all the bitching about the United States you see on Slashdot, at least our government actually has to try to subvert the Constitution, and we have ways of fighting back. The US Constitution doesn't have an "Oh, and everything we promised you you have, you don't have." escape hatch built in. Technically, we have the exact opposite, whatever our dear Attorney General may think. (The closest thing to an all-purpose escape hatch is the Commerce Clause, and that's not without controversy, nor is it total; the Supreme Court has interpreted it more broadly than I'd like but they have rejected some uses of it.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hoi Polloi (522990)
        I'm thankfull for countries like China. Every time I get disgusted with how the US is run I can look at China and gain some perspective. It could be better but it could also be a lot worse.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by The_Rook (136658)
        compare

        Article 51. The exercise by citizens of the People's Republic of China of their freedoms and rights may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society and of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.

        with the united states constitution tenth amendment.

        Amendment X

        The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

        perhaps the best way to compare the two

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
        ``For all the bitching about the United States you see on Slashdot, at least our government actually has to try to subvert the Constitution, and we have ways of fighting back.''

        But only terrorists fight the US government!

        ``The US Constitution doesn't have an "Oh, and everything we promised you you have, you don't have." escape hatch built in.''

        But the President does have "constitutional powers" which put him above the law. Well, at least he thinks so and acts like it. Wholesale surveillance of US citizens,
    • Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.
      [SNIP]
      As our Führer said, "it's just a ****ing piece of paper."
    • by bigpat (158134) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @06:07PM (#17744112)
      You can drive a truck through the exceptions, and so they have.

      How many times have you heard some politician in America accuse someone of "distorting the facts"? In China, Article 41, which at first says that people have a right to criticize the government, then goes on to say "but fabrication or distortion of facts with the intention of libel or frame-up is prohibited." This is a much higher bar to political speech than the US has. Can you imagine being practical to criticize an elected official if you had to verify all your facts even to the point of not being allowed any "distortions". Seems reasonable, until you are thrown into Jail because you rounded up the amount and said the national Debt was 9 trillion when really it was just 8.6 trillion, or you get thrown in jail because you are found to exaggerate the amount of corruption or mismanagement in government.

      You want a world without negative political campaigns, you go ahead and find it in China. You want a world where people are afraid to speak their minds about their government, go to China.

      Just read the whole thing, there is a little something for the authoritarian in everyone.

      Look at Article 54, for instance:

      Article 54

      It is the duty of citizens of the People's Republic of China to safeguard the security, honor and interests of the motherland; they must not commit acts detrimental to the security, honor and interests of the motherland.
      Even look at the parts you quoted from, such as Article 40 (with the important part bolded):

      Article 40. The freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens of the People's Republic of China are protected by law. No organization or individual may, on any ground, infringe upon the freedom and privacy of citizens' correspondence except in cases where, to meet the needs of state security or of investigation into criminal offenses, public security or procuratorial organs are permitted to censor correspondence in accordance with procedures prescribed by law.
      So basically, in the guise of devising a legal protection on privacy, the government is given explicit authority to open people's mail "to meet the needs of state security" and to "censor correspondence". The only restriction on censorship is that they follow some sort of standard procedure as defined by a law.

      A familiar pattern should emerge, eventually, as you read through the CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA. First it talks about the rights of the people and then it gives the state broad authority to take away those rights to pursue some government interest such as "security" or "public order". In some cases taking away that right must be merely "lawful", so as long as they use some standard form or procedure then just about every so called right is subject to the whims of lawmakers, with no real grounds for judicial review.

      Yes, there are some similar exceptions in the US Constitution, which US lawmakers regularly try to take advantage of, just as they do in China. But I do think that the exceptions in the Chinese Constitution are far broader in scope and more powers are explicitly delegated to the government which give it broader authority over people's lives.

    • by edwardpickman (965122) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @06:12PM (#17744156)
      Where have you been? Here in the good ole US of A we have hundreds perhaps thousands of laws that are blatantly unConstitutional. Virtually all the forfeiture laws related to drug possession and sale are illegal. Many parts of the Homeland Security Act were obviously unConstitutional. The Supreme Court excuses them as being for our own good but the founding fathers made no such exceptions. Rationalizing exceptions to Constitutional Law are very scary in any society. The Supreme Court should not be allowed to change the Constitution through interpretation only the States have the power to change the Constitution.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pangur (95072)
      What one hand gives, the other takes away. From the same link:

      Article 1. The People's Republic of China is a socialist state under the people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants. The socialist system is the basic system of the People's Republic of China. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited.

      Article 28. The state maintains public order and suppresses treasonable and other counter- revolutionary ac

  • but who will protect our precious bodily fluids from being impurified?

    Paging Gen. Jack D. Ripper!!!
  • Oh, wait, you weren't kidding. I'm sorry, I wasn't laughing at you, but with you, at yourself.
  • "There are certain parts of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try and invade."
  • that things disregarded by most Chinese as simply propaganda will make the headlines of the western press...
  • by us7892 (655683) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:17PM (#17743410) Homepage
    From wikipedia, In December 2004, the Hong Kong magazine Open quoted an alleged instruction by Hu to propaganda officials in September in which he wrote that, when managing ideology, China had to learn from Cuba and North Korea. Although North Korea had encountered "temporary economic problems", its political policies were "consistently correct". Open also quoted Hu as calling Mikhail Gorbachev, "a betrayer of socialism".

    Well, that doesn't sound too good. And he wants to "purify" the internet.

    Another interesting summary on wiki of his "Eight Do's and Dont's", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba_rong_ba_chi [wikipedia.org]

    Number Eight is interesting, "Regard plain living and hard struggle as an honour, regard living in luxury as a shame."

    Perhaps he needs a number nine, which reads something like "Regard the internet as a backward Western evil, filled with filthy images and make-believe."
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      Incidentally, except for point #1, those all sound like tenets of some various religions. In particular it reminds me of the Amish.
  • He proposes to do this by maintaining "the initiative in opinion" on the internet and to "'raise the level guidance on the internet," thus civilizing and purifying the internet environment.

    Straight outta pre-bubble 2000 sales hype for some dot-com. Yup, China is advancing far faster than we could have ever believed.

  • Thank God! We need less memory leaks.
  • TFA said nothing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by grumpyman (849537) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:41PM (#17743746)
    TFA has absolutely no context and everybody just can't wait to pitch in their brilliant 2 cents on 'purification', state control, philosophy in life...etc. Anybody bother to check what is he referring to? TFA is atypical Chinese government bashing rhetoric. I have no problem bashing them, but FFS in what context does he meant by purifying? What if the context is 'kiddie porn', 'online crack sale', WTF is it??? Network virus? Zombie bots?? DOS attack????


    Every time there's this knee-jerk, robotic reaction I totally don't get. Believe in what you WANT TO believe in. In this case, there's no FA to read.

  • by mudshark (19714) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @05:47PM (#17743854)
    From: Chmn Hu Jintao
    Date: Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:53 PM
    Subject: PURIFICATION CAMPAIGN

    Chmn Hu Jintao

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am fine today and how are you? I hope this letter will find you in the best of health. I am Chmn Hu Jintao, the Chairman of the "Communist Party" and the "Fifth Civilization Marching Forward Into the Millenium (FCMFIM)", a subsidiary of the "PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC)".

    The Fifth Civilization Marching Forward Into the Millenium (FCMFIM) was set up by the late Head of State, Chmn Mao Zedong who died on 9 September 1976, to manage the excess revenue accruing from the electronic commerce and its allied products as a domestic increase in the campaign to purify the internet environment. The estimated annual revenue for 2005 was $45 Billion US Dollars Ref. FMF A26 Unit 3B Paragraph "D" of the Auditor General of the People's Republic of China Report of Nov. 2006 on estimated revenue.

    I am the Chairman of the Contract Award Committee, and my committee is solely responsible for awaiting and paying of contracts on behalf of the People's Republic of China. My Committee awarded Contracts to foreign contractors for Vigorous Purification By One Hand Grasping Matters in the cheap plastic consumer goods producing areas of Sichuan. We overshot the contract sum by US$25,000,000.00. We have paid the contractors and withholding the balance of US$25,000,000.00. But, because of the existence of some of the domestic laws forbidding civil servants in PR from opening, operating and maintaining foreign accounts, we do not have the expertise to transfer this balance of fund to a foreign account.

    However, this balance of US$25,000,000.00 has been secured in form of Credit/Payment to a foreign contractor, hence we wish to transfer into your bank account as the beneficiary of the fund. We have also arrived at a conclusion that you will be given 20% of the total sum transferred as our foreign partner, while 5% will be reserved for incidental expenses that both parties will incur in the course of actualizing this transaction, and the balance of 75% will be kept for the committee members.

    If you know that you will be capable of helping us actualize this transaction, you should send to me immediately the details of your bank particulars or open a new bank account where we can transfer the money US$25,000, 000.00, which you will be holding in trust for us until we come to your country for our share. Your nature of business does not matter in this transaction. The required details includes your company's name, address, your private personal telephone/fax numbers, your full name and address, including your complete bank details where the transferred fund will be routed by the Shengdong Bank.

    Note that this transaction is expected to be actualized within 21 working days from the day the required details are forwarded to the People's Ministry of Finance who will approve the needed foreign exchange control allocation for the release of this money to your account. Please, treat this as top secret. You should contact me urgently.

    Thanks for your cooperation.

    Yours RESPECTFULLY,

    Chmn Hu Jintao
  • by akaina (472254) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @06:18PM (#17744242) Journal
    So Hu is on the First?
  • Dear Sir,

    Please be advised of an old adage we have here in America: it's like herding cats.

    In short: good fucking luck. You'll need it.

    Sincerely,
    Me
  • by gsn (989808) on Wednesday January 24, 2007 @06:35PM (#17744526)
    Wow there is a lot of anti-China rhetoric out here. Sure I hate the great firewall as much as the next /.ter but...

    How is this any different than local efforts to purify the internet like segregating the dirty pics into .xxx domains, Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), DOPA, banning online gambling...

    You can find out all about international efforts to purify the net here. [privacyinternational.org] And its already outdated.

    Every politician will talk about purifying the internet, making it safe for you and your children because most people have a knee jerk reaction, and it distracts from real issues.
  • by Budenny (888916) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @02:01AM (#17748290)
    From TA: "Hu stressed the need to exploit the net's possibilities, while keeping a tight grip. "Ensure that one hand grasps development while one hand grasps administration," he concluded."

    In other unreported comments he went on to explain China's new computer initiative involving Linux and the new Chinese made and developed hardware. He said that his remarks applied equally to the new smart phone due to be released at the Beijing summer IT fair.

    "It is exactly the same", he said "ensure also that one hand grasps hardware while the other grasps the OS. This way all users are given full integrated experience and can exploit potential of modern computer science to maximum without distraction from driver problem.

    "Ensure one hand grasps phone network while other hand grasps mobile appliance. Only so can stability of both be assured and West China networks kept immune from crashes.

    "Ensure also one hand around throat of developers and other around phone application environment. So can help users avoid distraction by non optimally working applications not authorized by Party.

    "In coming weeks will be propounding further on four principles of making happy users and clean and healthy computing and phoning environment: protect OS, protect hardware, protect applications, protect networks. Trust in Party."

    I am very surprised these inspiring comments, which will alas strike a chord with only one or two Western computing and mobile phone companies, and which are a devastating if tactful correction to the whole Open Source movement, failed to find their way into the press.

It is not every question that deserves an answer. -- Publilius Syrus

Working...