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The Internet Censorship Your Rights Online

China Hijacks Popular BitTorrent Sites 174

Posted by timothy
from the state-is-still-not-your-friend dept.
frogger writes "China is not new to censoring the Internet, but up until now, BitTorrent sites have never been blocked. Recently, however, several reports came in from China indicating that popular BitTorrent sites such as Mininova, isoHunt and The Pirate Bay had been hijacked. The sites became inaccessible, instead redirecting to the leading Chinese search engine Baidu."
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China Hijacks Popular BitTorrent Sites

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  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday November 08, 2008 @11:02PM (#25691695)
    This seems to be SOP whenever the Chinese authorities find content they like accessable by a search engine, just redirect the entire search engine to Baidu until the site owners comply.
    • by c_forq (924234)
      Just wondering, does Baidu have government connections? I remember seeing that it is the top search engine in China, but is it because it is the government de facto (de jure?) or because it just has mass appeal in China?
      • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday November 08, 2008 @11:26PM (#25691857)

        Just wondering, does Baidu have government connections?

        All Chinese companies have government connections. Well, they do if they want to have the slightest chance of being successful. That's what operating in a fascist-capitalist state means.

        • by c_forq (924234) <forquerc+slash@gmail.com> on Saturday November 08, 2008 @11:30PM (#25691875)
          Let me rephrase: Is the government connection overt or covert? I have spent time in communist companies, with ventures owned 51% by the government, and I am wondering if this is one of those, a bit shady, or just a local company that the government would like to encourage growth of (similar to how in France, while on business trips, you assume you are being bugged and information will go to your local competition).
          • by CodeBuster (516420) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:15AM (#25692399)
            Sometimes it is overt, as you have said with 51% direct ownership by the government, while other times it is more covert, in the form of companies or businesses which are owned, wholly or partly, by the Chinese army or by a Chinese citizen who is politically well connected but otherwise doesn't contribute much to the venture, the proverbial son of the boss. This seems to be getting better with time as Chinese businessmen and entrepreneurs with greater business acumen displace less competent political favorites despite being handicapped by government corruption.
          • by ronocdh (906309) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @08:13AM (#25693739)

            in France, while on business trips, you assume you are being bugged and information will go to your local competition

            Not flaming, but can I have a source for such practices, or are you speaking purely anecdotally? I find it very interesting. I've spent a considerable amount of time in Germany (as an American) and never experienced this.

            • But that's Germany, and it's France with the history of strong industrial espionnage (both in terms of capabilities and in terms of actually doing it).

            • . I've spent a considerable amount of time in Germany (as an American) and never experienced this.

              Yes, and if they're any good at it you wouldn't.

          • by janrinok (846318)

            (similar to how in France, while on business trips, you assume you are being bugged and information will go to your local competition).

            I'm afraid the you are suffering from paranoia, or you are confusing France with Russia, maybe. Do you want to buy a tinfoil hat?

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You haven't really answered the question. Technically every successful business in the US has "government connections" too. You can't even start a small business without paying a bunch of fees and buying a bunch of permits.

          • by pha3r0 (1210530) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:04AM (#25692335)
            I disagree AC. I have just recently established my own small business. $25 and a one page form filed with the Secretary of State and I am doing business. Now should I want to take it further and go LLC or incorporate or what have you there will be many thousands spent on lawyers, taxes, bribes etc. But, I have a small business and the only government connect I have is to my P.O.( think Probation not Post)
            • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:30AM (#25692469)

              Now should I want to take it further and go LLC or incorporate or what have you there will be many thousands spent on lawyers, taxes, bribes etc.

              You really think an LLC or corporation requires thousands in fees, taxes and bribes? Have you ever heard of legalzoom.com or bizfilings.com? They'll get either one of those business entities established for you for under $500. No lawyers need be involved. Now, if you're in a state that punishes small businesses like California you pay a huge $800 per year fee for your corporation or LLC regardless of whether you make a single cent or not, but in most states there are no such mandatory fees.

              • You really think an LLC or corporation requires thousands in fees, taxes and bribes? Have you ever heard of legalzoom.com or bizfilings.com? They'll get either one of those business entities established for you for under $500.

                Won't you have to pay fees to each state you want to do business in, on top of that?

              • by tepples (727027)

                You really think an LLC or corporation requires thousands in fees, taxes and bribes?

                It does if nobody wants to do business with a business that shares a building with a home.

            • I disagree AC. I have just recently established my own small business. $25 and a one page form filed with the Secretary of State and I am doing business. Now should I want to take it further and go LLC or incorporate or what have you there will be many thousands spent on lawyers, taxes, bribes etc. But, I have a small business and the only government connect I have is to my P.O.( think Probation not Post)

              Are you a successful land developer? a bank/insurance? a large defense/war contractor? a large Katrina c

          • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:24AM (#25692447)

            You haven't really answered the question. Technically every successful business in the US has "government connections" too. You can't even start a small business without paying a bunch of fees and buying a bunch of permits.

            You're being pedantic. I took the GP to mean: does this major Chinese corporation have government contacts that demonstrate blatant favoratism? The answer (as with most Chinese businesses relative to foreign competition) is "yes".

        • by Hungus (585181)

          Last time I checked the Peoples Republic of China was a communist / mixed economy country not capitalist.

          • by iNaya (1049686) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @12:37AM (#25692177)

            Hahahahahahaha

            China is communist in nothing but name. You really need to go there and check it out. China is a place for the rich, and the business men. The peasants have barely any rights at all, although this is changing, albiet, slowly.

            You can see, from one of China's own newspapers, that social welfare only meets 5% of demand [peopledaily.com.cn]. And even that is probably pushing it.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Hungus (585181)

              I have gone there and have friends there. you and your co-poster are mistaking corruption for capitalism.

              • by iNaya (1049686) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:28AM (#25692699)

                How long did you go for? 2 weeks? A month? You can't see a country in just that time.

                You will have to support your claims for it being communist... Because I've never seen anything to support that. Corruption in China, though not good, is much better than a lot of other countries, including India, and great pains are being made to reduce it.

                I never said that corruption was a capitalist thing - it's not a communist thing either. In fact, I don't know of any political ideology that supports corruption.

                The capitalist sentiment in China is very strong, especially in places like Shanghai. In Beijing, although the Mao Zedong 'religion' is thriving, things are not much different. The rich drive around in their BMW's while the poor try to carve out their lives in the slums, which were conveniently fenced off for the Olympics.

                I haven't met many people in China who were dumb enough to believe that it is anything other than Capitalist, not in the cities anyway. It is usually just uninformed foreigners who would deign to believe anything other than the blatantly obvious truth - which China goes through no lengths to hide.

                A lot of people in China still believe it is Communist, but that is mainly because they don't know what Communism is. They haven't read Karl Marx, or any other important Communist literature, and I wouldn't believe you have either.

                Communism requires Socialism. Almost none of that is present in China. Free education? Ha! For a poor person, they can never expect to get into a good school, unless they are absolutely BRILLIANT at their studies, while the rich mofos just pay a bit of cash, and so the best schools are filled with stupid, ignorant, rich kids. University is no better, except, the truly rich parents usually send their kids to study overseas, where results vary.

                No - China is a place for the rich, even more so than the US of A. True Communism has no place for the rich, but China does.

                One major tell-tale sign of the inherent capitalism is the fact that most Chinese students studying overseas are studying business. If you have access to a nearby University, a quick survey will show you what the majority of them study. At my University (Victoria University), there were hundreds of Chinese studying Bachelors of Commerce, while there were barely any studying anything else, a few, but not many. Why? Because their parents know, that to succeed in China, one has to do business.

                • Science? (Score:4, Informative)

                  by MasaMuneCyrus (779918) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:48AM (#25692801)

                  Perhaps no Chinese study science in Canada (or wherever Victoria University is), but at Purdue (Indiana, USA), you'd have to be blind to miss the Chinese studying in all fields of science. There's nearly as many Chinese students as there are black students, and lots of Chinese professors, too.

                  • by iNaya (1049686)

                    Yes there are also many Chinese students studying Science, which is a much better endeavour (IMHO). They are outnumbered however. China certainly needs more Science graduates. Also, it does heavily depend on the University. Victoria (Wellington, NZ) is not a science University, it is more renown for politics, literature and arts.

                    And - seeing as you have the opportunity, why not go say "hi" to some of the Chinese/black students - you'll learn a lot from them. You certainly won't agree on a lot of issues thou

                • by Draek (916851)

                  I haven't met many people in China who were dumb enough to believe that it is anything other than Capitalist, not in the cities anyway.

                  Capitalism, as in free, unregulated markets with healthy competition? or just the stupid red herring notion of "Capitalism = get as much money as you can, while stomping on anyone who gets in the way"?

                  Perhaps it's you who needs to read some Adam Smith before calling China "Capitalist".

                  • by HiThere (15173)

                    If that's what you mean by capitalism, there isn't a capitalist country on the face of the earth, and hasn't been for a very long time. I can't swear that there wasn't one in the 17-1800's, but if so they weren't in the histories I read. Perhaps Luxembourg?

                    Adam Smith made an abstract of certain feature of the existing system, and ignored lots of other features. He didn't describe a complete system. Nobody has yet been able to do that, so why expect it of him?

                    Given that, modern China is at least as Capit

                  • by dangitman (862676)

                    Capitalism, as in free, unregulated markets with healthy competition?

                    That doesn't exist anywhere on the planet, so if that's your definition then you may as well come out and say that Capitalism and Communism don't exist at all. Which would actually be pretty accurate. We keep using these words, when they have very little relevance to the world we live in.

                    • by Draek (916851)

                      Well, either we take them to mean what they originally meant, in which case China is no more capitalist than it is communist (perhaps even less so, since at least small-scale socialism isn't illegal, IIRC), or we take them as the real-world degenerations of them have been, in which case China is definitely communist, being much closer to what the USSR once was, than to what the US is today (allegedly the modern paragons of both philosophies).

                      Basically my point is: you have to stretch definitions *WAY* too t

            • They won't understand if you put things like that, because most of us have our own ideas about what China is like based on the news we see in our own newspapers. Most of us have never been and will never go to China, so I doubt people will understand how the Chinese see their country.

              That said, I recently found a site called chinaSMACK [chinasmack.com] which has helped me better understand how things are over there. Apparently, someone has enough spare time to translate random, popular blog posts and the comments on them

            • by wellingj (1030460)

              You can see, from one of China's own newspapers, that social welfare only meets 5% of demand. And even that is probably pushing it.

              That sounds about like full fledged communism to me...

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by SnEptUne (1264814)

            If China isn't capitalistic, no place on earth is. Money is everything in China, you can bribe and do almost anything things with money.

            For example, with money, you can dig up all the earth around a household you don't like, force people to work in hazard environments, dump toxic waste to your neighbour, and have people cut off their arms and legs, etc... just because you have money!

            Pure capitalism to its finest.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Grant_Watson (312705)

              If China isn't capitalistic, no place on earth is. Money is everything in China, you can bribe and do almost anything things with money.

              I don't think that fits any reasonable definition of capitalism, unless there's actually a market in the amputation of other people's arms and legs. Capitalism is an economic system. That's just corruption.

        • "a fascist-capitalist state"... which is the oposite of a democratic-capitalist state, where the govt requires connections to large corporations in order to be successful.
      • by compro01 (777531) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @11:29PM (#25691873)

        A little of each. Baidu is a publicly traded corp on NASDAQ and it also operates in Japan, though this is definitely a case of government connections.

    • In before the lame jo
      CARRIER LOST

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Toe, The (545098)
      If they were more clever, they would still allow torrents to look like they are working... but they would always just result in a download of a two-hour Mao-Is-Cool propaganda movie.
  • Hijacked? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by toxygen01 (901511) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @11:07PM (#25691721) Journal
    Doesn't word hijack imply something else? More like hacked, took over, infiltrated? But use word like hijack for redirect is pretty ridiculous.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bersl2 (689221)

      DRTFA, but I'm guessing that they are doing this at the DNS level. So yeah, they're not getting the use of their domain name within China back unless the PRC says so. If that is the case, I would call that a hijack.

    • To a non technical end user a browser hijack and a DNS redirect is essentially the same result.

    • Re:Hijacked? (Score:5, Informative)

      by lysergic.acid (845423) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @11:21PM (#25691829) Homepage
      in a word, no [wikipedia.org]. they're committing DNS hijacking on file sharing sites. instead of domain names resolving to the correct IP address, the DNS resolution is being hijacked to send users to a different host to whom the requested domain does not belong. that's why the articles call it "hijacking."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by erikina (1112587)

        ..the DNS resolution is being hijacked to .."

        They're hijacking the DNS, to redirect from the sites. "China hijacks site" deliberately leads people to believe that they've taken it over..

    • "We Baid You, Fare Well"

    • But use word like hijack for redirect is pretty ridiculous.

      Oh noes! China is gonna brick the intarwebs!

  • by SpineZ (84378) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @11:23PM (#25691839)

    I'm pretty sure that I've never been able to access piratebay from China. Even now, I don't even get redirected to Baidu. Nothing comes up in the browser at all. The "to"s below are timeouts *s that slashdot said I had too many junk characters ;)

    tracert -d thepiratebay.org

    Tracing route to thepiratebay.org [83.140.65.11]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:

        1 2 ms 1 ms 3 ms 192.168.1.1
        2 to to to Request timed out.
        3 4 ms 3 ms 3 ms 221.224.243.169
        4 4 ms 4 ms 4 ms 222.92.175.74
        5 4 ms 4 ms 4 ms 202.97.27.110
        6 7 ms 6 ms 6 ms 202.97.39.165
        7 9 ms 9 ms 14 ms 202.97.44.58
        8 to to to Request timed out.
        9 to to to Request timed out.
      10 to to to Request timed out.
      11 to ^C

    • Bad Article (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In Beijing right now
      The pirate bay hasn't worked from here for at least a year. Mininova and ISO hunt are still accessable. This would be roughly the tenth bogus article about China in the past few months. Why does slashdot bother posting rubish without checking their facts?

      Flame bait
      I am happy to see that the sheer number of bogus articles posted weekly about China has declined post olympics, Shock Horror!

  • I was in China for a while in 2007 and while I could search TPB I could not download the .torrent as it would just time out - similar to normal golden shield blocking

    this was simply solved by putting the D/L url into my overseas proxy and from there the torrent client worked normally.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... but I think corruption, hostility, and theft are stronger words. I've heard time and time again that it's in "Chinese culture to copy" and that copyright and patent law is foreign to not only the country, but their ethics.

    While we certainly don't lead a prime example of IP law, I believe China is simply trying to cheat their way to becoming a super power. When their actions do not coincide with what they claim, it is clear they cannot and SHOULD NOT be trusted.

    If it's in Chinese Culture to copy, why tak

    • by SnEptUne (1264814)

      Well, what can you expect in a pure capitalistic country with little to no regulation? Social good be damned, as long as some rich folks can enjoy luxury without ever working.

  • All your Bittorrent Base are belong to us!

    You are on your way to Communism, take your time.

    You have no choice, but to join us, hahahahahaahah!

    We own your national debt, USA, 100 Trillion Dollars, now pay up or we won't give you back your BT sites. Your search engines Google and Yahoo and then megacorprations like Microsoft and IBM are next, muahahahaahahh!

    Your Karate is no match for our Kung-Fu!

    • Thank for helping us destroy those commie institutions.

      You are on your way to a Capitalist Democracy, take your time.

      You have no choice, but to join us, hahahahahahah!

      Thanks for all the money which we used to buy all your plastic crap to make all our children happy. We have no intention of ever giving it back. Your financial institutions, China Contruction Bank, and Hangseng then mega-government institutions like the People's Liberation Army and the PRC itself are next, muahahahahahahh!

      Your Shaolin

    • by iNaya (1049686)
      Why is this marked troll? Has humour no longer a place in our society?
    • by mritunjai (518932)

      That wasn't a troll, someone's sense of humor is dysfunctional o_O

      You own 100 Trillion US national debt !!!

      Too bad for you :-P They aren't gonna pay it, they got nukes :-p

  • As of 12:16 PM, 11/09/2008, the sites are still working. Yes, in China. Shanghai specifically.
  • Baidu is an anagram for I bad U

    Translated to English vernacular, this roughly translates to I fuck you. Chinese is notoriously difficult to translate on the computer, so I hear.

    Baidu has a nasty habit of being at the center of redirection issues. I wonder. Just wondering, mind you. Just how hard would it be to release a bit of a bot that spammed those bit torrent sites from inside the great firewall?

    Yes, I understand the ramifications of such an activity, but I'm laughing so hard I can't stop thinking of ho

  • I remember there being a story about a site simply loading up wikipedia within its own little border.

    Cue offshore domains which do exactly this in 3..2..1.

  • I've been able to access it just fine literally minutes ago. I keep my scripting off though, because a couple of months ago, a tainted ad server tossed a trojan into my stytem. It's been purged, and since I remembered to turn scripting off, it hasn't happened since.

  • Well they aren't redirected in the hotel I am staying at in Beijing, The Beijing Friendship Hotel. I am here for the OpenOffice.org OOoCon 2008 meeting. At least I can access isohunt and mininova here without trouble but thepiratebay is showing page load error.

    • by calc (1463)

      Ah I should have read the article, it claims they were redirected for a couple days but aren't any more... Of course slashdot seemed to imply the censoring was ongoing.

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