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And let the real games begin…

Beijing Olympics

Four years ago I befriended a Vietnam veteran who was clean and sober after years of Cocaine addiction. He was one of the hardest working and congenial men I’d met at the VA hospital. He was employed in a minimum wage rehab program where he pushed wheelchair bound patients to and from appointments.

He had his own apartment in a declining and dangerous section of Chicago and custody of twin boys. It was like a sad scene from a predictable Hollywood tragedy when two young gang members approached one of the twins at his home. One of the gang members shot the young man, an top African-American student with college ambitions, in the head. They had intended to murder the other sibling who was who was less inclined to social conformity.

When my friend went to the police with information on the possible killers he was turned away in an angry exchange that ended when the white policeman told him that he would lock him up. When asked for what reason the officer replied, “I don’t need a fucking reason, boy. Since 9-11 it has been one long year of the cop.” He was right: Law enforcement was, overnight, accorded special privileges and many did not do well with the responsibility and instead used it as a personal weapon in their own private wars. My buddy finally found someone who would take him seriously and the killer was jailed when a plea bargain let the accomplice go free in exchange for his testimony. The veteran, demoralized by the struggle and grieving, relapsed into depression and drug use.

The same is happening here in China. A friend came to me after being detained and beaten by local police. Local constables now have the right to ask for your passport and visa on the spot. Those that have not carried their papers up to now, have started…The police have used it as a way to intimidate local Africans (blacks have an especially tough time maintaining work and cultural relationships here due to rampant racism) and Muslims. Some area police are extracting protection monies from Africans and calling it an immigration fee assessment.

When my friend pulled out his cell phone to answer a text from his wife, wondering where he was so late at night, the police who had been manhandling his countryman, thought he was snapping pictures of the assault. That is when they gave him a dose of the same treatment. His countryman was detained past his scheduled departure out of the city and missed his plane back to Africa.

With sudden power arbitrarily given to street cops, the heat hanging in the 90s along with similar humidity levels, and increasing paranoia over possible security threats it is tense here.

Below is a Youtube video of a scuffle in Beijing that left police and reporters injured. People hoping to get the last remaining tickets for the games spent two days in the heat and in unruly, close-quarter lines that we who live here can barely tolerate for a short time on a good day.

Some are calling it infringement on freedom of the press and chastising Beijing for not making good on its promise to allow reporters unfettered access to stories in and around the Olympics. I tend to see it as a lack of preparation for the enormous crowds and throngs of media personnel. Defects in crowd and traffic management planning have paralyzed the city more than once in the last few weeks.

The games have already begun, but outside the stadium.

The original story here at the ever vigilant Shanghaiist:

HK reporter and cameraman taken away after Olympic ticketing kerffufle

AJ report on Beijing:

Beijing Olympics,Censorship,China Editorials,China Law,China Olympics,China Sports,Chinese Media,Hong Kong,Human Rights China,In the news,Intercultural Issues,The Great Firewall,Videos,Vietnam,Violence,中国

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Global Voices Correspondent Facing Jail and $400,000 HKD Fine For Obsenity

Posted in ESNW:
In brief, Oiwan Lam published an essay at the InMediaHK website that included a linked photograph from Flickr for the purpose of discussing the state of censorship in Hong Kong. Oiwan Lam has just been informed that the essay was classified on a preliminary basis as “Category II: Indecent” by the Hong Kong Obscene Articles Tribunal. The maximum penalty is HK$400,000 and 12 months in jail”

Oiwan has been an important freelance voice who also writes, edits and aggregates for Global Voices Onine. A fund to assist her with what is likely to be a lengthy court battle may be found at: InMediahHK

The offending picture is here: Continue Reading »

Asia,Asian Women,Censorship,China Photos,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Confucius Slept Here,Hong Kong,Hong Kong Blogs,Human Rights,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Photos,The Great Firewall,中国,中文

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For a laugh, or not…

china censorship

Click on the pic…Some of you may have seen this a while back, but….

Update: My jubilation was short-lived. WordPress is blocked in China again…..

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The trouble with Oiwan….

censored in china

When the Oiwan Lam controversy began I predicted four things:

  1. Support for her cause would be hard to muster because people might feel as though Oiwan invited trouble by publishing a picture that she knew might provoke the ire of Hong Kong Censors. Civil disobedience is not as cherished as it was in the past;
  2. Support would quickly wane as the matter did not seem as urgent or foreboding as the Hao Wu case. Oiwan is facing 12 months in jail, a costly defense and a hefty fine, but she is not incarcerated at the moment;
  3. Bloggers might not pass the torch, or the hat, because the issues are complicated and Hong Kong specific;
  4. People would find it hard to empathize with Oiwan: Hong Kong is part of China and censorship is expected here.

EastSouthWestNorth, Rebecca McKinnon Boing Boing, Lost Laowai, Image Thief and a handful of others have done their best to explain the issues while rightfully advocating for one of their own. An advocacy group on Facebook has collected 69 members, but few calls for action have subsequently originated from western computers.

Oiwan did not invite this kind of response. She put her journalistic foot in the water and was dragged below the surface by the well-mapped but unpredictable undertow that is the Hong Kong Television and Entertainment Authority (TELA) and the Obscene Articles Tribunal (OAT). These are the same forces that roiled against a Hong Kong University student newspaper for a ridiculously benign sex survey, Michelangelo’s David in a 1995 magazine ad and Cupid and Psyche on a book cover at the most recent Hong Kong Book Fair.

The charges against Oiwan created a tremor in the blogsphere , but the aftershocks are so imperceptible that we have gone about life as usual. Some Hong Kong bloggers are taking up the cause by posting other classic art works as an act of protest and solidarity. The rest of us should also act on her behalf.

I met with John Kennedy of Global Voices Online today and he spoke again to the issues involved in Oiwan’s case that affect all of us:

  • He thinks, and public opinion in Hong Kong backs him up, that the Tribunal and the TELA are antiques in need of dry storage and replacement (my sorry metaphor, not his). He thinks the Tribunal, which operates independently without reliable standards and accountability, should be elected officials that have to answer to the public.
  • He feels, and again is far from alone in his opinion, that a legal and reliably quantifiable definition of “obscene” or “indecent” should be adopted.

The latter is important to all of us as it would prevent dissidents from being punished at the whim of judges with personal or political agendas.

IF blogger’s rights can be upheld in Hong Kong it can instruct and inform governments and lawmakers everywhere about the need for free speech legislation and reform. Oiwan, who has no desire to be a martyr, is every man and woman who wants to speak their mind or read another’s in cyberspace. And, as Rebecca McKinnon has said so well in her blog, Oiwan is a writer who has devoted herself to the non-profit sector most of her adult life, so she has few financial resources to assist with what will be a costly and important court battle.

Help Oiwan and help yourself with a little link love to her cause blog (Banned in Mainland China), a posting of the banner below (feel free to use my bandwidth) and by, please, donating a few dollars to her legal campaign by clicking here:

Free Oiwan Lam

Asia,Blogroll Diving,Censorship,China Business,China Editorials,China Law,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Confucius Slept Here,Greater Asia Blogs,Heartsongs,Hong Kong,Hong Kong Blogs,Human Rights,Human Rights China,In the news,Intercultural Issues,The Great Firewall,The Internet,Top Blogs,中国,中文

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We need an Olympics in China EVERY Year!

Censorship China

WordPress.com is unblocked! Wikipedia is free (albeit a teeeeenie bit censored for individual items like the two “T” words…), Technorati is out of the closet!

It is almost like being back home–Well, on dial-up during a storm with a Commodore 64….But I digress….

Now if we can only get Typepad, Blogspot and a few others out of cyber-purgatory….

Censorship,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Olympics,China SEO,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Human Rights,In the news,Internet marketing China,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国,中文

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Hacktavists in China?

Hacktavists

One of the best books I’ve ever read was about the close of WWII and military loyalist attempts to counter the Imperial edict to surrender. Nihon no Ichiban Nagai no Hi (“Japan’s Longest Day”) is a surprisingly frank account of the actions of military brass bent on continuing the war against Allied Forces regardless of the consequences. According to Japanese historians who compiled the book, part of the pro-military “plot” involved overtaking radio broadcast capabilities in Tokyo. Had the perpetrators been successful the war may very well have continued on in spite of the devastating Allied attacks on Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Governments at war, pranksters and hacktavists today are still eyeing conventional media as part of operations meant to further their agendas. And from the planting of messages in your GPS system to psychological warfare blurbs calling for enemy surrender it is a potentially powerful tool.

Now even the most hyper-vigilant of cyber-nannies, China, has its hands full: According to The Sydney Morning Herald hackers interrupted satellite TV signals on Thursday in southern China to broadcast anti-government messages.

“Viewers complained that their TV screens went blank for nearly two hours or showed anti-government messages for 30 to 40 seconds on Tuesday evening, the Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News said in a report on the website Sohu.com. The report didn’t describe the content of the messages that aired in Guangdong province. TV station operators told viewers that hackers may have hijacked their satellites, the report said. But a receptionist who answered the phone at a cable TV operator in Guangdong said the incident involved a satellite problem that has been fixed.”

Hong Kong’s Apple Daily, reportedly a newspaper, said the Chinese government censored news reports about the satellite interruption. Imagine that!
Time, and more information about message content, will tell us whether or not those hackers were in it for fun profit or political gain. To date, all I receive on my cell phone are SMS ads for hookers and illegal taxis and I would likely miss a broadcast on CCTV as I generally avoid watching it. But, who knows what is coming? Just last week authorities shut down a pirte TV station in Shi’an. Increasingly more sophiticated groups exploiting the Internet and emerging communication technologies are going to make for a host of long days for the cyber-com cops of the world.

Fave OMBW:

Uncensored Users:

Add to Technorati Favorites

Censored Users in the Mainland:

Add to Technorati Favorites

Censorship,China Business,China Editorials,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Guangzhou,Guangzhou China,In the news,The Great Firewall,中国

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The Great Firewall Test: Is your site blocked in China?

censorship

I have been a it under the weather this week and busy permanently wrapping up work. So, I ask your pardon for the light postings of late. I will be back tomorrow (the first day of Golden Week) in full cyber-voice.

In the interim: I intermittently check my site status with The Great Firewall of China a site that will determine if your URL is banned in Beijing. I have found though that the site often shows me as on the outs with the censors when, in fact, my friends tell me (sometimes to their chagrin) I am still alive and well in China.

Another site that so far has been accurate in letting me know if I am being deflected by the Golden Shield is Website Pulse and their free tool.

Give it a try if you have a western based blog or website. And know that I may not be visiting you for stretches of time due to your unavailability and my desire to reside lawfully her behind the Great Firewall.

Back soon…..

cartoons,Censorship,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China SEO,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Human Rights,In the news,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

9 responses so far

Goolag

google censors

Thnaks to DMP for this and to The Cult of the Dead Cow folks who have given permission to you to use this on any medium you choose.

Asia,cartoons,Censorship,China Business,China Cartoons,China Humor,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Human Rights,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Internet marketing China,Seo China,The Great Firewall,The Internet,Top Blogs,中国

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The trouble with Oiwan

censored in china

When the Oiwan Lam controversy began I predicted four things:

  1. Support for her cause would be hard to muster because people might feel as though Oiwan invited trouble by publishing a picture that she knew might provoke the ire of Hong Kong Censors. Civil disobedience is not as cherished as it was in the past;
  2. Support would quickly wane as the matter did not seem as urgent or foreboding as the Hao Wu case. Oiwan is facing 12 months in jail, a costly defense and a hefty fine, but she is not incarcerated at the moment;
  3. Bloggers might not pass the torch, or the hat, because the issues are complicated and Hong Kong specific;
  4. People would find it hard to empathize with Oiwan: Hong Kong is part of China and censorship is expected here.

EastSouthWestNorth, Rebecca McKinnon Boing Boing, Lost Laowai, Image Thief and a handful of others have done their best to explain the issues while rightfully advocating for one of their own. An advocacy group on Facebook has collected 69 members, but few calls for action have subsequently originated from western computers.

Oiwan did not invite this kind of response. She put her journalistic foot in the water and was dragged below the surface by the well-mapped but unpredictable undertow that is the Hong Kong Television and Entertainment Authority (TELA) and the Obscene Articles Tribunal (OAT). These are the same forces that roiled against a Hong Kong University student newspaper for a ridiculously benign sex survey, Michelangelo’s David in a 1995 magazine ad and Cupid and Psyche on a book cover at the most recent Hong Kong Book Fair.

The charges against Oiwan created a tremor in the blogsphere , but the aftershocks are so imperceptible that we have gone about life as usual. Some Hong Kong bloggers are taking up the cause by posting other classic art works as an act of protest and solidarity. The rest of us should also act on her behalf.

I met with John Kennedy of Global Voices Online today and he spoke again to the issues involved in Oiwan’s case that affect all of us:

  • He thinks, and public opinion in Hong Kong backs him up, that the Tribunal and the TELA are antiques in need of dry storage and replacement (my sorry metaphor, not his). He thinks the Tribunal, which operates independently without reliable standards and accountability, should be elected officials that have to answer to the public.
  • He feels, and again is far from alone in his opinion, that a legal and reliably quantifiable definition of “obscene” or “indecent” should be adopted.

The latter is important to all of us as it would prevent dissidents from being punished at the whim of judges with personal or political agendas.

IF blogger’s rights can be upheld in Hong Kong it can instruct and inform governments and lawmakers everywhere about the need for free speech legislation and reform. Oiwan, who has no desire to be a martyr, is every man and woman who wants to speak their mind or read another’s in cyberspace. And, as Rebecca McKinnon has said so well in her blog, Oiwan is a writer who has devoted herself to the non-profit sector most of her adult life, so she has few financial resources to assist with what will be a costly and important court battle.

Help Oiwan and help yourself with a little link love to her cause blog (Banned in Mainland China), a posting of the banner below (feel free to use my bandwidth) and by, please, donating a few dollars to her legal campaign by clicking here:

Free Oiwan Lam

Asia,Blogroll Diving,Censorship,China Business,China Editorials,China Law,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Confucius Slept Here,Greater Asia Blogs,Heartsongs,Hong Kong,Hong Kong Blogs,Human Rights,Human Rights China,In the news,Intercultural Issues,The Great Firewall,The Internet,Top Blogs,中国,中文

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Yahoo!!!!

Yahoo! is getting sued in two separate cases: The wife of a jailed dissident writer and by a human rights/anti-torture group.

Yahoo’s lame excuse to-date has been that Yahoo its own employees in China would be endangered if it did not follow Chinese law (“Ve vas just following ze orders”). If THIS were the most visited website in the world, as is Yahoo!, I doubt I would be shaking in my corporate wingtips. If mean, if a hack like Drudge can bring about the impeachment of the president of the world’s biggest economy….

yahoo censorship

cartoons,Censorship,China Cartoons,China Editorials,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Human Rights,In the news,Personal Notes,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

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Google’s New Motto: Do a Little Evil…

google

“Those passing familiar with Jesus’ teachings know He taught that the path to the Father led through the ordinary. Those who prefer other metaphors may wish to think of a heterogeneous universe, where meaning and love imperishable exist side by side with cruelty, horror and absurdity. And we must choose whether to try and understand it all or create and defend a bubble in which love and meaning truly do exist.

For these somewhat fanciful reasons I hope that the blogosphere will become less a cockpit of argument and ideas — though it will always be that — and more a forum for action: a place to facilitate meetings between real people, develop actual applications and accomplish physical tasks. There never was a flower, a glass of beer or a child’s laugh that was ever truly futile. Et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.” The Belmont Club

This blog has always endeavored, albeit circuitously at times, to be a forum for aid and action. And I endlessly question the efficacy of anything I write toward those ends. Despite attention-getting attacks I am nurtured by comments of encouragement, links to posts that are calls for compassion and email reports back to me that something good came of this hobby cum-obsession.

Today, one of the charities featured in recent weeks received a small donation that will further their work and the combat soldier in Iraq who had to take out loan to pay for his father’s funeral is now a bit nearer to paying back his debt.

Net Neutrality is essential to the propagation of charitable and humanitarian ideas. Should a handful of companies ever control access to information, mediate content, mandate who gets paid for what politic and then how their site will rank in search engine findings because of what values they espouse, then cyber-facism will rule. China’s attempts to roadblock lanes on the information super-highway will look like child’s play.

By the time this article is posted I will have removed all Google ads on the site. I will wage my one-man boycott of all things Google for all they have done in recent months to warrant suspicion, fear and anger in anyone living as I am in the midst of repression and a growing concern that the waves of censorship do not begin here, but instead are washing inland in increasing magnitude. I am no Internet Robin Hood: I don’t believe ill-gotten gain, even through some imaginative alchemy, becomes anything than ill-gotten by giving it away–even to the most worthy of causes.

Google has gone public thus making its well-known mantra “Do no Evil” a laughably outdated jingle. Said better by OhGenki: “This is what happens when good companies go public: the principles that made them good, even necessary, to the point of inspiring a romantic loyalty among their customers, are whittled away at until only those principles which are profitable remain.” Google told investors at their IPO filing: ”

Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served as shareholders and in all other ways by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.

That sound to me like a High School Debate question: Do the ends justify the means? Google took a Machiavellian affirmative on that one.

Google recently acquired the well-known and despicable browser hijacking, malware giant Doubleclick for $3.1 billion dollars. The deal incidentally was challenged by The Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, and U.S. Public Interest Research Groups who petitioning the FTC to block the merger until concerns over Google’s data collection and storage were addressed. Google was accused of unfair and deceptive trade practices, and failing to follow the standards set by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the watchdog of consumer privacy standards . And all of this was on the heels of the YouTube purchase that had them employing an army of lawyers to fend off Intellectual Property suits.

Google is an active participant in the censorship that is so often associated with China’s repression of the Internet so often vilified by bloggers, and other media and at the core of much sinophobic rhetoric:

censorship

Note: Going to Google.cn from a U.S. computer will NOT yield you the same results that a mainland Chinese user will get. I live here, I know. So, any great finds you think you see from your side of the ocean are probably illusory.

In addition to homophobic threats, Google has now said they will penalize sites that sell ad links on their site. It seems nobody is supposed to make a buck except Google. Google’s Matt Cutts even has a guide on how to rat out offenders. And while Google no longer recognizes links coming from powerful Wikipedia they let Matt’s high-flying blog dominate the top of the search engines rankings in thousands of keywords, pushing out long-suffering and deserving experts, in many a field.

Now, Feedburner.com, who is sleeping with Typepad and just acquired Blogbeat, is looking at a merger with Google. That would give them huge advantages in advertising and RSS. It would enable them to dump adwords/adsense into RSS feeds on hundreds of thousand of blog posts. Thread Watch.Org says it perfectly: Being a near Monopoly is expensive and since Google doesn’t do ads all that well control of the competition is the best short-term answer to their problems. In future post I will try to facilitate exchange and help on new “Open Source” ad networks that save advertisers money and help support citizen journalists, webmasters and bloggers.

If you can read the Google blog’s explanation for their yield to censorship without laughing, gagging or punching your screen I need the name of your pharamacist. “Filtering our search results clearly compromises our mission. Failing to offer Google search at all to a fifth of the world’s population, however, does so far more severely. Whether our critics agree with our decision or not, due to the severe quality problems faced by users trying to access Google.com from within China, this is precisely the choice we believe we faced”

What good is a search that doesn’t really search? China has Baidu and others for that and it seems that the Chinese prefer their own search engine anyway because Google keeps losing market share here.

So, like being a little bit pregnant, Google is trying to convince us that being a little bit evil is OK.

No.

The Apprentice is off the air now in the U.S. or so I hear. But, they reworked two words that will remain permanently inscribed in the American lexicon. And it pleases me to use them here for Google: “You’re Fired”

Check out Asia Sentinel and Rebecca McKinnon on this issue as well….

cartoons,Censorship,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China SEO,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Human Rights,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Internet marketing China,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国,中文

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U.S. Geek-in-Chief to Boot-Up Two Conferences in China….

The Real Bill Gates

It seems more like an upcoming visit from a head of state than a corporate CEO as China expects to host Microsoft Corp chairman Bill Gates from April 18 to 21. Even Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to “squeeze in” an audience with him during her 12-hour visit to China. She reportedly wants Gates to assist her government in setting up VOIP services. You can bet China Telecom (Mao Bell) whose shares keep skyrocketing, won’t be asking because they are still trying to find a way to ensure profits by blocking Skype,QQ, and MSN Messenger-type voice communications.

The influence of Gates was made powerfully evident last week when China President Hu Jintao opted to dine at the home of Bill Gates. I wonder if GWB was invited.

Even so, Timothy Chen, corporate vice president of Microsoft and CEO of the Greater China Region, said, according to a press release from the Shanghai office of Microsoft China, that he hoped Gates’ trip would help improve the relationship between Microsoft, the government and industrial communities in China. He said greater cooperation would help advance innovation and allow more people to benefit from information technology. Note: As long as they remember not to type the word democra*y on their blogs. (And no, ongoing corporate sponsored oppression is never old news)….

Gates is expected to deliver keynote speeches at a Microsoft forum for Asian leaders to be held in Beijing and at the Boao Forum of Asia in China’s Hawaii, Hainan Province. Note: Hainan Island is to Hawaii as Windows is to Linux.

Gates will also visit the Tsinghua University and Beijing (Peking) University during his tour. Pirated versions of Gates will speak at colleges that cannot afford him:

Gates FakeKnockoff Gates Bootleg Gates

Asia,Asian Humor,Censorship,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Humor,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Humor,In the news,Photos,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

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China Blinders….

Yahoo! China

In today’s news:
Club.cn.yahoo.co is a new blogging network for Chinese netizens. According to Reuters and Wired magazine the new service designed to give bloggers a place to exchange ideas and photos. Wired posited that this seemed pretty dangerous in light of Yahoo’s admitted role as a snitch for folks who might advocate such atrocities as democracy and human rights. While I like that they took a shot at Yahoo! for its ongoing hypocrisy, it seems typically naive and Sinophobic. QQ is the world’s third most popular IM service and easily the largest in China. It is an incredible pipeline for information among everyday Chinese citizens. There are now so many blogs, bulletin boards, cell phones and messaging services that the Chinese government is soon going to be busier than a one-armed paper hanger with the hives and hopefully unable to police even a fraction of the traffic out there. I am looking forward to more of the Chinese information/communication explosion. Wired and media worldwide ought to be applauding any vehicle that further taxes the censors and they should be providing links to groups that will help further that cause. But, it is easier to demonize a country we really know little about in the west and play to people’s perceptions of China.

While Yahoo is trying to get folks on the net the Chinese government is trying to get some of them off: The long anticipated restrictions on gaming will take effect on July 15th. Emboldened by a report that claims some 2,000,000 Chinese kids are addicted, the government will penalize minors who spend more then three hours a day playing video games like WoW online. The consequences: After three hours players will only earn half the credits they would normally accrue and if they play for five hours online they will stop earning any credits at all. It isn’t exactly a firing squad, but some folks are calling this a fascist policy. Should I be sent to Guantanamo for believing it is not really a very bad policy and the punishment seems pretty benign?

And speaking of fascists: Google, Yahoo! and MSN are taking heat from some bloggers for refusing to to sell ads for China is Evil. CIE is a pretty poorly done site with kind of rambling rant which includes: “ In recent years maoist rebels have tried to take over Nepal. I have no evidence that China is supporting them, but it is highly probable that they are.” It ain’t the International Herald Tribune and I am even not sure there enough content on his one page site to get him banned in Beijing. I say sell him the ads. As advocates of free speech we should be defending his right to sound dim, especially if he is paying for it.

But he seems typical of most Americans and bloggers to whom I speak with about China: It is a given, in my experience, that Westerners will buy information in any news release that helps paint China as a bastion of oppression and don’t do a lot of research on their own. My stories about China’s ills are syndicated 10 times more frequently than my calls for positive action.

I was guiding a class through keyword research in an SEO class today and looking up words relating to China/Asia. The results were telling:

China Politics receives 1,600 queries

Chinese Girls gets 61,000 searches a month by Americans in the three major engines

Human Rights China scores 2,345 hits

China News gets 17,000 visits

Chinese Zodiac slams in at 280,000

and Tiannanmen Square receives 15,000 searches a month…..

I get a bit weary of the negativity without good information or corresponding positive solutions. I heard candidate Obama on Letterman play to people’s fears that their jobs might be outsourced to China, but I heard little about how he’d further humanitarian ideals for an oppressed populace. China is new country we love to hate. But boycotting or ignoring issues and not participating in solutions isn’t going to do us, or the 1.3 billion folks in the Middle Kingdom, much good.

Scholarly and well articulated related articles: Mutant Frog (fantastic writing!), Simon World,

Blogroll Diving,cartoons,Censorship,China Editorials,China web 2.0,In the news,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

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Who’s afraid of the big bad blog?

Censorship

LiveJournal is functionally dead in China right now. The Chinese government tossed another 1.8 million blogs into the cyber- shadows by cutting off access to the service.

According to Wired LiveJournal announced on Monday that they had joined the ranks of Technorati, WordPress.com and a host of other banned services.

The GreatFirewallofChina.org, surprisingly unblocked and loaded with condemning comments, first spotted the block Friday. It is not the first time LiveJournal has gotten the cyber-axe and some folks think there may be a partial pardon coming: Xiao Qiang, a Chinese dissident and founder of China Digital Times (CDT is also flying in China’s no-see zone), the best comprehensive aggregator of China News on the planet, speculates that the timing of this shutdown suspiciously corresponds to the start of the National People’s Congress meeting in Beijing. The government wants to ensure the silence of blogger guns by not allowing them to even load.

While Livejournal could be freed from virtual detention after the march meeting, Xiao states, “You never know when they are going to block it again.”

I often see no rhyme or reason regarding blocks. even with today’s announcement that new Internet Cafes would not be licensed in 2007, due to concern for porn and game addictions, I have seen “body art” sites flourish while some pro-China expat blogs have gone dark after a single rebuttal of policy.

To date here are a few of the services that have been blocked:

http://blogger.com
http://wordpress.com/
http://www.blogspot.com
http://egoweblog.com
http://www.blogspirit.com/
http://www.blogeasy.com/
http://www.blogzor.com/
http://www.mazeme.com/
http://www.yesblogger.com/
http://www.tblog.com/
http://joeuser.com/
http://typepad.com/

I cannot view many of the sites that link to me or have important information I feel I need to read. Some banned spaces can be accessed through services like Feedburner, Bloglines, Delicious , and through great humanitarian sites like Global Voices Online or via proxy servers, but others are impossibly hard to get to…

The Great Firewall appears determined to outlast its historical namesake.

*******

Members of any of the blog services mentioned above can show that they care about these issues by linking back to any of the banned blogs or any of the stories referenced.

+++++

http://www.7cblogs.com/2007/03/internet-is-closed.html and http://bargainprofessor.wordpress.com/ I received a trackbacks from you, but cannot view you as you too are blocked here…I will look for you…

Asia,cartoons,Censorship,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,Greater Asia Blogs,In the news,Personal Notes,The Great Firewall,中国

11 responses so far

OMBW Blocked in China!

censored in china

Well, it finally happened: My site is blocked in China.

I am guessing it was the Tibet piece the banned blogs post and the last one below….I should have stuck to funny stories about coffee coke

It reminds me of the “Aw *hit” certificates we used to hand out in the military . It read something like: “1,000 Atta Boys are negated by one Aw *hit”…

Aw *hit!

Asia,cartoons,Censorship,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China web 2.0,In the news,Personal Notes,The Great Firewall,The Internet,Tibet,中国

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Zaijian

chinglish

Books have been virtually replaced by blogs. But, puns aside, many of them showcase the transformative elements Pablo Neruda* suggests as essential to written art in Ars Magnetica:
“From so much loving and journeying, books emerge.

And if they don’t contain kisses or landscapes,
if they don’t contain a woman in every drop,
hunger, desire, anger, roads,
there are no use as a shield or as a bell:
they have no eyes and won’t be able to open them….”

Here I have I have tried to smooth the stubble of memory, share poetry, attempt humor, journal my social conscience, and reconcile my longings while shoutng to you in some far-off room. I leave here absolutely bewildered that anyone, other than my long-suffering friends, ever returned to listen. I am grateful you did.
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44 responses so far

You’ve Got Mail! And so does the CIA, DEA, DIA, FBI…

Freedom

While Yu Ling, wife of a Chinese dissident jailed for publishing articles on the Internet, is preparing her suit against Yahoo for allegedly helping to put her husband in jail in China there is a storm brewing in the U.S. over privacy that may make make suits like hers moot in America.

While Yahoo’s Hong Kong branch freely gave Chinese authorities information about the dissident’s e-mail accounts–and landed him in the slammer for 10 years–they may soon be required to provide open portals for law enforcement agencies in America to collect data they want in your mail, your chats and your Internet phone calls.

In recent years, human rights groups have accused Yahoo of providing authorities with information that has led to the imprisonment of several dissidents. Yahoo may soon have the protection of US authorities within American borders if the federal government gets the power to monitor cyber-transmissions. According to a report by Declan McCullagh as reported in South by Southwest: “The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping.” As noted in by CNet, the proposed legislation would require any manufacturer of “routing” and “addressing” hardware to offer upgrades or other modifications that are needed to support Internet wiretapping — it would also authorize the expansion of wiretapping requirements to commercial Internet services including instant messaging if the FCC deems it to be in the public interest. The FCC?!

Reporters Without Borders says China has imprisoned at least 50 individuals, including Wang Xiaoning, for their activities on the Internet.

Asia,cartoons,Censorship,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China web 2.0,Homeland Security,In the news,Personal Notes,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

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