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The Internet Censorship Privacy Your Rights Online

Free Tools To Evade China's Web Censorship 140

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the just-in-case-you-are-curious dept.
narramissic writes "The Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC) offers a set of free tools that can be used to circumvent Chinese Internet censorship. The group claims approximately 1 million people in China use its tools to access the Internet. And, says Tao Wang, director of operations for GIFC, 'it's a very good time to remind Western reporters that there are such tools.'"
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Free Tools To Evade China's Web Censorship

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:12AM (#24468121)
    If the websense software on my workplace computer can block this site, I'm pretty sure the Chinese government can too.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Hence why these are probably mirrored at many locations.
    • by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:16AM (#24468197) Homepage
      It's a good thing no one has developed a way for the same software to be hosted on more than one site. Imagine if we had that? We could call it a reflection... no wait, a silver-backed glass... no...
    • I just sent this to a friend of mine who is currently working in China.

      She said the same thing. Thanks! Shame I cant get there!

      (currently trying to send her the info over proxy)
      • The "four boxes in defense of liberty" are from a short story by Robert Hienlien. I don't know who Ed Howdershelt is, but I would disagree and put "ballot" before "soap".

        • Since you only get to use the ballot box every n years, whereas you can use the soapbox straight away, the order seems correct to me. Furthermore, your ballot is secret in most places with any liberty to defend, and to get people to vote along with you, you need to use the soapbox first.
        • I have never seen the quote attributed to RAH.

          And I have read (and enjoyed) much of his work.

          Do you know what story that would be from?
          • by sm62704 (957197)

            No, it's been a long time since I read the story; I remember the four bopxes, and that internal combustion engines were outlawed. I'll go through my old Heinlein books tonight and see if I can find it.

    • by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:20AM (#24468263)

      I'm pretty sure the Chinese government can too

      I'm sure they can and they can't. It seems any time there is some sort of institutional effort to establish controls on the content delivered via the internet there are always a myriad of ways to circumvent any given system. The problem with a article like this is, we will all feel very good about ourselves, "See they have the tools! The people can take democracy into their own hands!". But I'm sure Chinese are just like Americans, if it just works, whats the fucking point? If what they connect to walks, talks and acts like the Internet and provides them with useful services. Where is the benefit for them to go out and find and use tools like this at the risk of being labeled as subversive? There are too many more pressing needs in place for some while the more well to do have many diversions to keep them occupied from exercises in futility such as this.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mpapet (761907)

        Well said.

        Moreover, here are some tools that might land you in jail. Go for it!!! The fundamental problem being it's not their skin on the line. It reminds me of the long-ago rush to build feature-complete hospitals in developing nations that would stand empty because they couldn't afford the film for the x-ray machine, couldn't afford/find/train skilled workers, etc.

        Like building feature-complete hospitals in developing nations, this project is a **total** waste of resources. Sure, they can feel good "

        • by severoon (536737) on Monday August 04, 2008 @12:42PM (#24469659) Journal

          Well...I think perhaps you guys aren't respecting the full range of personalities out there. These tools aren't necessarily for everyone, I'm sure. They're for the Chinese citizens that: (a) feel they should be free to engage information as they like and/or (b) have information to share with the outside world that the Chinese govt may not want shared and (c) are willing to take the personal risk to engage their vision of the way things should be.

          One of the things that I have found in my travels to China is that they do not regard their govt the same way we do (I'm assuming the parent and GP poster are Americans, b/c I'm American, and that's what we do :-) ). Chinese do not identify their country with their govt, they're two separate things. In the US, because our govt is supposed to have been founded on (and with the aegis to protect) the principles of the social contract of our country, we do not make a distinction. The Chinese attitude is, the country's been there long before this regime and will be there long after.

          In the meantime, here are some tools to stir the pot a little. So what's wrong with that?

          I will say this, though. It's not enough to have the tools. You also have to have the know-how to hide them properly. I suggest storing all of these apps on an encrypted partition. (I wonder if the Chinese govt blocks linux sites.)

          • Thus are you really like in these movies from hollywood? I thought that Americans in the real life made the difference between the government and the country.

            I do not identify my country with my govt (I live in Belgium and I hope you'll never confuse these clowns with my country) and I think it's the same in a lot of countries in the world.

            Now let's see the situation. Is the Chineese govt more restrictive on (digital) rights, or are our gvts more efficient to hide us the truth?

            • by severoon (536737)

              Thus are you really like in these movies from hollywood? I thought that Americans in the real life made the difference between the government and the country.

              Most Americans see the government as a defining feature of our country—a fundamental change to the way our government operates would, in the mind of most US citizens, myself included, essentially be a different place.

              This makes sense because the US govt was established at the same time (or you could even argue before) the country itself. The path taken by the development of our nation has been guided each step of the way by our foundational principles. This doesn't mean that there's no room for evolu

          • by mrogers (85392) on Monday August 04, 2008 @04:17PM (#24472917)

            One of the things that I have found in my travels to China is that they do not regard their govt the same way we do (I'm assuming the parent and GP poster are Americans, b/c I'm American, and that's what we do :-) ). Chinese do not identify their country with their govt, they're two separate things.

            I'm intrigued to hear that, because I'd started to form the opposite impression: whereas Americans consider it patriotic to criticise their government (attacking the government == defending the people), Chinese seem to consider it unpatriotic (attacking the government == attacking the people). But I've never been to China - perhaps the crucial difference is whether the criticism comes from inside or outside the country?

            I must admit I find it hard not to get defensive about my country's actions, even when I disagree with them, if I feel I'm being blamed. If Chinese people feel the same way then maybe it's more productive to focus on tools that help them organise resistance within their own country, than on tools that help them access Western media (with the implication that they should aspire to be more like the West)?

            • by severoon (536737)

              One of the things that I have found in my travels to China is that they do not regard their govt the same way we do (I'm assuming the parent and GP poster are Americans, b/c I'm American, and that's what we do :-) ). Chinese do not identify their country with their govt, they're two separate things.

              I'm intrigued to hear that, because I'd started to form the opposite impression: whereas Americans consider it patriotic to criticise their government (attacking the government == defending the people), Chinese seem to consider it unpatriotic (attacking the government == attacking the people). But I've never been to China - perhaps the crucial difference is whether the criticism comes from inside or outside the country?

              Yes, I've perceived this too...but I think the source of the Chinese attitude is one of embarrassment, and also being miffed at the person they're talking to. It's bad form to point out something that a Chinese person should be ashamed about and make a big deal over it, particularly in Asian cultures. So it's a natural (though not a particularly sophisticated) response to get defensive and take up the mantle of a position you don't really believe in. But most often, when I've discussed these issues with Chi

        • by dave562 (969951)
          Grow a pair and do something for others that puts your skin on the line.

          Like post on /. about how the efforts of others are worthless?

          There's an old Chinese proverb that is mostly applicable to this situation. "The person who says it can't be done should get out of the way of the person doing it."

        • by rtb61 (674572)
          More simply put, getting past censorship when they are monitoring you connection is really a pretty silly thing to do. Censorship denies you knowledge, flouting it on monitored systems in autocracies can deny your life.

          With modern tech, outside influences have to do more to support those trapped by autocratic systems and you certainly are not going to free people in forced labour when you purchase goods produced by that labour.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:26AM (#24468377) Journal

      Not only can the Chinese government block them, they can detect who is using them and declare them enemies of the People.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Spikeman56 (543509)
      Yeah, but they don't. I'm surfing this right from behind the Great Chinese Firewall.

      The Great Chinese Firewall recently has been quite erratic. Surprisingly searching for a lot of open source software will set off Google, and lock me out for a few minutes. Maybe it's got something to do with being 'free'
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by philspear (1142299)

      Well, some people could also download the tools before they go to China, right?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The new way to block a site is to abusively register it as malware-ridden. Take a look at the results of a Google search on site:tibet.com (the Tibetan gov in exile)... http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atibet.com [google.com]

      Pauvre Tibet (French) [discu.org]

      • According to Google, there was malware in part of the site, hosted by ndl.com.tw. Google Safe Browsing for that domain says that they host malware found on 9 sites.

        The malware report for tibet.com was made yesterday (2008/08/03), and was the only report in 90 days.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dave562 (969951)
      I'm pretty sure the point of the story is to get the reporters and other people who are visiting China for the olympics to download the software BEFORE they get to China.
    • by pxlmusic (1147117)

      how does one evade that? /dumb

  • I predict a mass beheading coming soon for disobeyings DA GE
  • missing (Score:5, Funny)

    by pak9rabid (1011935) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:15AM (#24468179)
    Tao Wang to go missing in 5..4..3...
  • western reporters (Score:5, Informative)

    by ebonum (830686) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:18AM (#24468231)

    I doubt many western reports will have problems. If you work for a company of any size, the company has a VPN. You log into the company VPN. ( I promise you China does not block them. I live here. ) Once you are logged into your VPN, you surf where ever you want. Plus, it is encrypted - so no spying.

    One problem that is not commonly discussed is what I call the "great American firewall". For better or worse, a lot of western sites block all requests from China. It is really annoying if you want to make a few online purchases and you aren't trying to hack their site. I should start to compile a list of specific examples.

    • I for one would be very interested in that list.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jank1887 (815982)
      spam'll do that.

      also, the American side is a user driven firewall, not a govt imposed on.

    • by dword (735428)
      Your second paragraph also applies to Romania, Russia, Bulgaria and a few other countries. Took me ages to find a site that would allow me, after contacting them via email, to buy flowers on-line for a friend in the US. I currently live in Romania...
    • by bschorr (1316501)
      I'm a little surprised to hear that you're able to use your VPN because when I was in China last October it wouldn't connect mine. As soon as I got to South Korea my VPN worked fine, though.

      I assumed the Chinese were blocking it; but perhaps they weren't.

      Doesn't really make sense to me that a gov't so paranoid about what people do on the Internet would allow encrypted tunnels outside of their country, though.

      • by NorQue (1000887)

        Doesn't really make sense to me that a gov't so paranoid about what people do on the Internet would allow encrypted tunnels outside of their country, though.

        There was a whole Article about how to circumvent the great chinese firewall in the Atlantic [theatlantic.com] recently which also explains why they allow VPNs:

        A VPN, or virtual private network, is a faster, fancier, and more elegant way to achieve the same result. Essentially a VPN creates your own private, encrypted channel that runs alongside the normal Internet. Fro

  • The group claims approximately 1 million people in China use its tools to access the Internet

    That's a really small demographic in comparison to the population there...

    Are they being conservative or do they have factual numbers? That seems low to me.

    No I didn't read the article.

    • Chinese Population (Score:3, Informative)

      by negRo_slim (636783)

      There are 1,313,973,713 people in the PRC.
      20.8% (male 145,461,833; female 128,445,739) are 14 years old or younger.
      71.4% (male 482,439,115; female 455,960,489) are between 15 and 64 years old.
      7.7% (male 48,562,635; female 53,103,902) are over 65 years old.

      The population growth rate for 2006 is 0.59%.

      The PRC officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Han Chinese, who constitute about 91.9% of the total population.
      Large ethnic minorities include the Zhuang (16 million), Manchu (10 million), Hui (9 million), Miao (8 million), Uyghur (7 million), Yi (7 million), Tujia (5.75 million), Mongols (5 million), Tibetans (5 million), Buyei (3 million), and Koreans (2 million).

      In the past decade, China's cities expanded at an average rate of 10% annually. The country's urbanization rate increased from 17.4% to 41.8% between 1978 and 2005, a scale unprecedented in human history. 80 to 120 million migrant workers work part-time in the major cities and return home to the countryside periodically with their earnings. Today, the People's Republic of China has dozens of major cities with one million or more long-term residents, including the three global cities of Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

  • by Scutter (18425) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:18AM (#24468243) Journal

    "It's a very good time remind Western reporters that there are such tools," said Tao Wang

    I don't know. You get a couple hundred (or thousand) reporters getting censored while reporting on a very high-profile event? I think it would do more to call attention to China's policies. They'll talk for months about how hard it was for them to do their jobs and the freedoms they had to live without. If they use these tools, they'll go home afterward and forget all about the fact that they needed them at all.

    • by bugeaterr (836984) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:36AM (#24468519)

      Last time I let a Wang tell me what to do I became a father.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by faloi (738831)
      You have a good point. Actually, truth be told, a majority of the reporters going over are probably your typical sports reporter. One or two may care enough about journalism to keep writing about the headaches, the rest are going to be enjoying some time in Beijing on the company credit card. But I'm cynical, maybe more would care enough to write about the hassles after the fact.
  • Evasion is good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dedazo (737510)

    That way you won't have to see the cute internet police [cnet.com] on your browser every 30 minutes.

  • The internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it. Mirrors will pop up, new proxies will be enabled, people with the will can gain the knowledge they need to circumvent blockage.
  • Hopefully now we can use them to catch China "not censoring the internet" like they finally agreed they would. I'm sure there won't be ANY discrepency between access with and without one of those tools now and no international incidents will happen[/sarcasm]
  • Why circumvent? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cavis (1283146)
    I think that the major news outlet will play nice during the Olympics, reporting only State-approved news and events. However, when the Olympics are over and everyone goes home (free from the clutches of the Chinese government and their censorship), then the real reporting on China whill begin.

    Working around the censors will be the quickest way to be detained in China for a long time.
  • soon they will be needed here, in the western world, where instead of stopping you they just slow you down when you go in 'unwanted' direction. does not look there is too much difference to me. they do it for political reasons, we do it for business reasons. either way, people are restricted.
  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:32AM (#24468455) Homepage

    I predict insightful moderated posts about how people are going to be executed or "disappeared" for downloading some software, by people who have never left their own country before.

    Yes there are many technical ways of circumventing the Chinese firewall or any other net censorship. The real issue here is that the vast majority won't use them because they can't be bothered, leading to widespread ignorance about issues that really need to be addressed.

    The reason censorship works so well is because people are generally lazy, regardless of country or race and don't go hunting for information that isn't spoon fed to them.

    So to summarize, the definition of success when it comes to censorship isn't that they stopped 100% of information getting though, but that they stopped it a little, combined with a disproportionate amount of easily digested propaganda leading to an impenetrable wall of ignorance that no little circumvention tools are going to help.

    • Its the ol' truth mixed with lies thing, and you are very right, it works too good. "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - MIB
    • by tor528 (896250)

      leading to a great wall of ignorance that no little circumvention tools are going to help.

      Fixed that for you!

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday August 04, 2008 @12:00PM (#24468935)

      You mean, like the lazy masses that like to get their information/propaganda spoonfed to them without even noticing how their right to say (and even to listen to) what they want is eroding away, that make up the vast majority in other countries, too?

      • by steelfood (895457)

        I hear Fox news is quite popular here in the US.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
        Nah, the rights are still there. It's just the corrupt media that abuses its position. The Western media is fully aware that it can influence elections and policy just by the choice of which stories it covers and which stories get ignored (Obama's Communist mentor would be the latest example). Living in China and viewing the officially censored media year after year gives you a real feel for what it's really like living with censorship. Then, you look at the US media, and they censor themselves as well,
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Opportunist (166417)

          So, to sum it up, in China, politics dictate the news stories, in the US, news outlets dictate the politics.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I've met some nontechnical (not at all CS, use Windows, though use computers for a living) 20- and 30-somethings in China -- they all know how to get around the Great Firewall, or at least know somebody who knows how to get around it. It's not something they worry much about, as long as they aren't generating politically sensitive content themselves. I haven't met any of the latter people.
  • by muuh-gnu (894733) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:36AM (#24468513)

    Severe punishment of people who freely share information bites (1) which are deemed a threat to the functioning of the system (2) by the ruling classes is not only happening in China, you know...

    So when is the Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC) going to offer tools to circumwent our own capitalistic censorship machine? Or do they count censorship as such only if somebody else does it?

    (1) aka "files"
    (2) aka "intellectual property"

    • It's actually more accurate than you may think. The US economy system is actually dependent on IP. If there is no censorship of IP being distributed freely, the system will not hold much longer. Censorship of freely distributed information is actually more in support of the so called free world than it is for China.

      China is currently experiencing a huge economic growth. And a lot of people benefit from it. As you might know, from experience or history, most people put privacy and personal freedom secondary

    • Well said.

      I posted a similar thought earlier only it used more words. Yours is better.

    • by Microlith (54737)

      Waaaaaaaaaaaah large corporations that put up the money to produce (movies|music|tv shows|games|etc.) get angry when we violate their copyright! Waaaaaaaaaaaaah they're suing me, call the Hague!

      Go create your own fucking files. You don't -have- to share their works, and if you don't then they have ZERO leg to stand on.

      Or you can continue to cry like a baby.

  • by LM741N (258038) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:39AM (#24468561)

    The IOC and the ISPCA are very worried about the Chinese government's plan to shoot down all pigeons as a means to prevent illegal communication to the outside word via carrier birds. Said Li Chung, a government representative- "We thought of putting a giant net over the whole province, but it would just enhance the perception of mass pollution in the area."

  • by derekw (962727) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:48AM (#24468671) Homepage

    The big question is will you be caught circumventing the censorship.

    From what I understand, it's not that hard to break through the censorship. But will you leave any tracks behind--however small--for the government to see? That's the big question.

    If you just want to read one NYT article, go ahead and chances are nothing would happen to you. But if you plan on doing this day in day out, from your home connection, then a few months down the road you may get a knock on your door in the middle of the night.

    • by derekw (962727)

      Put another way, I don't think the Chinese government's goal was to build a bullet proof censorship wall. Their goal was to be able to keep a record of who is breaking it and how often they do that.

      From a user's point, you know you have the means to do it, but do you dare to do it?

      Let's say you have been breaking it to read NYT for a week now and you get no special phone calls or letters from the government and you don't notice anyone following you on the street, do you think it's fine then? Is your nam

    • Highly unlikely, they don't really care that much if you read a few external websites and get around their firewall
      if however you start a blog and start inciting dissent, badmouthing the chinese govt... then they may have something to say to you.
  • by Aryeh Goretsky (129230) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:52AM (#24468763) Homepage
    Hello,

    My antivirus software said the "GIFC Anti-Censorship Tools Bundle" download from the Global Internet Freedom Consortium contained "probably a variant of Win32/Delf trojan."

    I am not sure if this is a false positive alarm or a bona-fide infection, but you may want to exercise some caution before installing the software on your computer.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky
    • by dword (735428)
      Probably false positive :)
      Most antiviruses complain about any form of proxy software.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Hello,

      I just heard back from the anti-virus vendor. They confirmed it was a false positive and fixed it in the next signature update.

      Regards,

      Aryeh Goretsky
  • A million screamin chinamen use these tools to access the internet?

    "Last I heard, there were a billion screamin chinamen."

    (Pours coffee in fire.)

    "There were!"

  • I have a feeling that if companies are really worried about their people getting blocked they will simply setup a spare computer in their offices and then use that as a VPN or SSH server.

    Does china block RDC connections? This would be the best way I think. Just RDC over a SSH tunnel. This would allow you to actually operate a computer stateside and not behind their firewall. Plus you would not have sensitive files floating around.
  • by not_hylas( ) (703994) on Monday August 04, 2008 @11:58AM (#24468901) Homepage Journal

    Introduction to China's Laogai:

    Up to 30,000 "Internet Police" monitoring your every move.

    "The Laogai institution known as laodong jiaoyang --- commonly abbreviated as
    "Laojiao" - also serves as a tool for the Chinese Communist Party in its constant efforts to silence critics and punish political criminals without having to bother with investigations and legal proceedings."

    "There is an end to Laogai, but Jiuye (forced job placement) is forever"

          " In 1979 and 1980, many jiuye renyuan or âforced-job-placement-personnel" who had completed their sentences but were still forced to labor within the Laogai camps under a policy that denied their release, were finally allowed to return to their homes. Previous to this change in practice, upwards of 90 percent of all Laogai and Laojiao prisoners remained in detention indefinitely under this Jiuye policy even after they had completed their sentences.

    "There used to be a saying in the labor camps: "There is an end to Laogai, but Jiuye is forever.""

    Laogai:

    http://www.laogai.org/hdbook/hb_intro.htm

    http://www.laogai.org/news/index.php

    http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library/index.php?main_page=product_video_info&products_id=280233-6

    Think "Soviet Gulag".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag

    Can't happen here?

    Ex Machina:

    https://tagmeme.com/exmachina/a/002450.html

  • Has anyone used JAP? (Score:2, Informative)

    by junner518 (1235322)
    JAP is a free java based anonymizer. It runs as a sort of "proxy" as in you route your internet traffic through a localhost port, but it sends out your data through two or more "mixes" which anonymize your connection. It successfully masks your IP, your location, and most importantly your identity. Its relatively fast for the obvious latency problems that are bound to happen.
    JAP [tu-dresden.de]
  • Is it legal, in China, to use such tools, or any other tool to circumvent the Great Firewall?
  • Does this mean that I will be able to see through the pixelation of the "naughty bits" on yuvutu.com?
  • 'it's a very good time remind Western reporters that there are such tools.'" Too bad the reporters only know what is hand fed to them.
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Monday August 04, 2008 @01:01PM (#24470003)
    With this kind of blatant State censorship, at least people know they are being censored. People in the west are in some ways not so fortunate.

    Czech dissident writer Zdenek Urbanek once said...

    In one respect, we are luckier than you in the free west, because we have learnt to read between the lines, and you believe you have no need; but you do.

    George Orwell recognized that western media operates on self-censorship way back in the 40s. He wrote a preface to Animal farm all about it, but the preface itself was censored and never published. Amongst other things, he said...

    The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. ... [Things are] kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that 'it wouldn't do' to mention that particular fact

    For example, if you read the BBC online, you probably know that Hugo Chavez shook the Spanish King's hand recently after their previous spat. Hardly Earth shattering news. Yet you probably won't be aware that Colombian President Alavaro Uribe is under investigation for possible involvement in the planning of a massacre by right wing paramilitaries. The general trend is that bad stories about allies are either ignored or only reported in passing, whereas those about official enemies such as Chavez are accentuated and repeated ad infinitum.

    Anyone interested in censorship in the western media should read "Manufacturing Consent" by Hermann and Chomsky, or watch the documentary on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wksCW3ooJ5A [youtube.com]

    • With this kind of blatant State censorship, at least people know they are being censored.

      I wouldn't be so sure. The main-things they are censoring are hardcore-pornography, kiddie-porn and 'risks to social stability'.

      Guess which one is important. And guess what people will grow to think of it when it's always grouped with kiddie-porn. It's kinda like trying to sell a car with Hitler posing on the hood. It's not subtle, but people still wont buy the car.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      The most effective way to control over people is to make them think their are in control of themselves.

    • by ksd1337 (1029386)

      For example, if you read the BBC online, you probably know that Hugo Chavez shook the Spanish King's hand recently after their previous spat. Hardly Earth shattering news. Yet you probably won't be aware that Colombian President Alavaro Uribe is under investigation for possible involvement in the planning of a massacre by right wing paramilitaries. The general trend is that bad stories about allies are either ignored or only reported in passing, whereas those about official enemies such as Chavez are accentuated and repeated ad infinitum.

      The key is to stop these companies while they're still starting up. If you let them grow, it will be much harder to stop them, because they'll gain enough money to powerfully drive their political agendas (censorship regimes.)

    • For example, if you read the BBC online, you probably know that Hugo Chavez shook the Spanish King's hand recently after their previous spat. Hardly Earth shattering news. Yet you probably won't be aware that Colombian President Alavaro Uribe is under investigation for possible involvement in the planning of a massacre by right wing paramilitaries. The general trend is that bad stories about allies are either ignored or only reported in passing, whereas those about official enemies such as Chavez are accentuated and repeated ad infinitum.

      Funny, I knew about the Uribe investigation, but not about the Chavez hand shaking thing. And I've noticed almost the opposite pattern you describe.

      At least we can agree that the picture conveyed through the press is pretty dubious. Every time I have had first-hand information about an event, then read about it in the newspaper, the newspaper account has been fantastically screwed up.

  • ..it's because it is; Slashdot's editorial standards must be at an all time low. Censorship & monitoring evasion tools abound, both in the proprietary & open source world, and it makes a hell of a lot more sense to use open source solutions, especially if you're worried about ending up in prison for speaking your mind.

  • The tools will help Western journalist reporting from Beijing, but they really won't do all that much for Chinese dissidents that are under state surveillance and face the constant threat of imprisonment, torture, and death.

    The West needs to start cracking down the the Chinese, starting with the media. You want our money? Then mainland Chinese must have uncensored access to Western media. Media is the US' major export, buy blocking and stealing Western media the Chinese are furthering the trade imbalance an

  • ... that they are guests while in China, and should obey Chinese laws while there. They should also try to behave like proper representatives of their respective country, just as the (mostly non-political) athletes are doing.

    I'm a fan of freedom, but before we run around and tell every other country how to do it, we should make sure we aren't hypocrites in the process. Whether that's Guantanamo, DC gun laws, seizing laptops by customs, illegal wire taps, a limited immigration policy that creates the illeg

  • Now that the Chinese censors can catch wind of this, can't they just take preventative countermeasures against this thing?
  • by jav1231 (539129)
    'it's a very good time remind Western reporters that there are such tools.'

    As opposed to telling China's oppressive regime to go pound sand, we're not sending our athletes to China you miserable fucks!?
  • A million criminals?? Phew... I'm sure they're piling on the miles on their execution vans.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/HG21Ad01.html [atimes.com]

    Scumbags run our country, scumbags run their country.

  • ...when he said, "Western reporters are such tools," but then I realized I had misread.
  • I clicked on the Simplified Chinese icon on the top right of the page but it's still English displayed.

    I'm wondering what are their targeted users.

  • I visited this GIFC site. Noted that there is no way to contact anyone there! (freedom ??) .. and its statements seem to be written by some right-wingers who believe in some 'sanctity' of 'freedom of information' in these United States of America Now, WERE there such 'freedom' , tell me this: Why did we need the "Freedom of Information Act" ? and having it, why must citizens jump thru hoops to get information about government behaviours??? And when you've answered THAT one ... show me how our U.S. Cust
    • by mrogers (85392)

      I visited this GIFC site. Noted that there is no way to contact anyone there! (freedom ??) .. and its statements seem to be written by some right-wingers who believe in some 'sanctity' of 'freedom of information' in these United States of America

      According to its Deputy Director, Shiyu Zhou, GIFC is "a small team of dedicated volunteers, connected through their common practice of Falun Gong [internetfreedom.org], who have come together to work for the cause of Internet freedom." GIFC recently asked the US Senate [senate.gov] for $50 million

  • Sho' nuff-- I'm in Shanghai right now and I can't access the website. Could someone mail me a CD? And deliver it by swallow, I don't think my carrier pigeons are getting through.
  • In Soviet China, free tools censor you.
  • I am getting a little bit tired of the word 'freedom' - or at least the way it is being thrown around here on /. as if everyone knew exactly what it means. Can't you see it is nothing but a buzzword? Something that people throw in to make whichever nonsense they peddle smell sweetp; from "freedom fries" and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" to the idea that circumventing a firewall in order to access pornographic websites is somehow "freedom".

    How about respecting the concept of freedom a little? If freedom matters

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