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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    3.
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘website’ Category

China military unit behind many hacking attacks on U.S., cybersecurity firm says

Posted by Author on February 20, 2013


A shadowy unit of China’s vast army, tucked away in a nondescript office building in the thriving business hub of Shanghai, is behind a huge proportion of the hacking attacks on U.S. websites, according to an American cybersecurity firm.

Mandiant released a detailed 60-page report (PDF) Tuesday claiming its “research and observations indicate that the Communist Party of China is tasking the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to commit systematic cyber espionage and data theft against organizations around the world.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, cyber attack, Internet, military, Politics, Technology, USA, website, World | Comments Off on China military unit behind many hacking attacks on U.S., cybersecurity firm says

‘Chinese still hacking us,’ says Wall Street Journal owner

Posted by Author on February 6, 2013


Several U.S. media outlets experienced a massive wave of cyberattacks allegedly coming from the Chinese military over the last few months. While some newspapers have claimed that their networks are now safe, the Wall Street Journal may still be a victim of the online onslaught.

The newspaper’s owner Rupert Murdock tweeted today, “Chinese still hacking us, or were over weekend.”

The Wall Street Journal confirmed last week that it had been the target of cyberattacks in recent months because of its coverage of China. Apparently, hackers infiltrated the newspaper’s computer system through its Beijing bureau in order to monitor the paper’s coverage of the Far East country. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, cyber attack, hacking, Internet, Media, Politics, Technology, USA, website, World | Comments Off on ‘Chinese still hacking us,’ says Wall Street Journal owner

Chinese Hackers Attacked NY Times in the Past 4 Months

Posted by Author on February 1, 2013


Chinese hackers have carried out attacks on The New York Times’ computer systems for the past four months, stealing account information and passwords of reporters and others who work at the U.S. paper, it said in a report this week.

The Times said that after “surreptitiously tracking” the hackers for a time, the paper’s computer security experts set up better defenses and then ultimately kicked them out of its networks. Customer accounts with the newspaper were not compromised, it said, citing its security experts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, cyber attack, Incident, Internet, Media, Politics, Technology, USA, website, World | Comments Off on Chinese Hackers Attacked NY Times in the Past 4 Months

Chinese faked photograph leaves officials on street of shame

Posted by Author on June 29, 2011


For government officials in Huili, a distinctly modest county in a rural corner of south-west China, attracting national media coverage would normally seem a dream come true. Unfortunately, their moment in the spotlight was not so welcome: mass ridicule over what may well be one of the worst-doctored photographs in internet history.

The saga began on Monday when Huili’s website published a picture showing, according to the accompanying story, three local officials inspecting a newly completed road construction project this month. The picture certainly portrayed the men, and the road, but the officials appeared to be levitating several inches above the tarmac. As photographic fakery goes it was astonishingly clumsy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Internet, News, Official, People, Politics, Sichuan, SW China, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on Chinese faked photograph leaves officials on street of shame

Social networking website LinkedIn Is Blocked in China

Posted by Author on February 24, 2011


Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) — LinkedIn Corp., the networking website for professionals, said its service was being blocked in parts of China and that it was looking into the matter.

Just-ping.com and WebSitePulse — services that monitor website accessibility around the world — said earlier that the site wasn’t available in cities including Shanghai and Beijing.

China, the world’s largest Internet market with 457 million Web users, has shut out sites such as those operated by Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Google Inc.’s YouTube since 2009 to block the flow of information on politically sensitive subjects. LinkedIn’s focus on business professionals seeking jobs has shielded it from the same fate as those sites. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in censorship, China, Company, Freedom of Speech, Internet, News, Politics, Social, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on Social networking website LinkedIn Is Blocked in China

Facebook in China: Connecting with 1bn people – and the censors

Posted by Author on December 20, 2010


Social network chief Mark Zuckerberg photographed meeting boss of Chinese search engine Baidu in Beijing

Mark Zuckerberg thinks that China is not just a place where it would be nice to do business; it’s where the social network’s future must inevitably be found. “How can you connect the whole world if you leave out a billion people?” he asked in October.

And so he began his first visit to the country this week. Just as well it wasn’t a week ago, when China banned pictures of empty chairs as they were considered symbolic of those designated to activist Liu Xiaobo at the Nobel peace prize award ceremony in Oslo. Liu has been jailed in China for “inciting subversion of state power”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Business, China, Company, Internet, News, Technology, Trade, website, World | Comments Off on Facebook in China: Connecting with 1bn people – and the censors

China censors turn their sights on microblogging

Posted by Author on July 16, 2010


Reporters Without Borders, 16 July 2010 –

Reporters Without Borders
is concerned about a new crackdown on social-networking tools, especially microblogging services. Dozens of microblog accounts went down yesterday including those of blogger Yao Yuan and lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who was interviewed by the Associated Press. Four of the leading Chinese microblogging services, Netease, Sina, Tencent  and Sohu, were yesterday displaying messages saying they were down for maintenance or had inexplicably reverted to an earlier “beta” testing phase.

“This latest censorship attempt shows that the Chinese authorities, who are obsessed with maintaining political stability, mistrust microblogging and its potential for spreading information and mobilising the public,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“Nonetheless, despite the massive resources that the regime deploys to control the Internet, it is impossible to keep track of all the flow of information on Twitter and its Chinese equivalents,” the press freedom organisation added. “Microblogging is also used by the government itself as well as by millions of Chinese who have nothing to do with dissidents.”

A form of short blog with a maximum of 140 characters, microblogs are have become very popular among Chinese Internet users for disseminating social messages and opinions because of their speed and ability to grab people’s attention. Access to Twitter is blocked by the Great Firewall of China but the site is still accessible for people who know how to use proxies and other censorship circumvention tools.

China’s microblogging services are nonetheless scrutinised by censorship filters which analyse both the posts and the shortened URLs that appear in them. For example, here is a link to a recent Reporters Without Borders press release: http://fr.rsf.org/chine-les-autorites-en-croisade-contre-l-07-05-2010,37411.html. And here is an example of a shortened version of the link obtained by a link shortener such as Bit.ly that microbloggers would use because of the need to keep the message to within 140 characters: http://bit.ly/a5F8it. These shortened links are also monitored by the censors in order to block access to undesirable sites……. (more details from Reporters Without Borders)

Posted in Blog, Blogger, censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Internet, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Social, website, World | Comments Off on China censors turn their sights on microblogging

What Google Services (Sites) Have Been Blocked in China

Posted by Author on June 20, 2010


Google service availability in China, June 13-19, 2010

Google service availability in China, June 13-19, 2010

(Published by Google)

You can access the latest summary of accessibility  from within mainland China to Google services at following Google page:

http://www.google.com/prc/report.html

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on What Google Services (Sites) Have Been Blocked in China

Tension grows in China between “harmonized” netizens and online censorship

Posted by Author on May 30, 2010


By John Boudreau, The Mercury News, U.S. 05/29/2010 –

SHANGHAI
— When blogger Isaac Mao recently announced online an upcoming talk by a Beijing writer whose work is banned by the government, police showed up at his door at night to “convince” him to cancel the event, which he eventually agreed to do. But just to be sure, authorities turned off the electricity at the planned meeting space and barred the doors.

Chinese officials say such actions are aimed at creating “social harmony.” In the sarcastic lexicon of Chinese netizens, Mao was “harmonized” that April evening.

“They won’t arrest you to stop you, but they pressure you,” said Mao, whose website is blocked by the government. “They pressured the owners of this space and they threatened to close it down. Many people worry about losing their jobs. That’s why many people self-censor themselves.”

With more than 400 million Chinese now online — and 100 million more expected to join them by the end of the year — netizens are increasingly bumping against the limits of expression imposed by officials.  Google’s recent decision to stop censoring its search site highlighted the tension between those who want an unfettered Internet and government efforts to suppress “unhealthy” and “subversive” activity. And it revealed to many Chinese how far the government will go to block certain information, Mao said.

China’s leadership views the Internet as an integral part of economic growth, but makes no apologies for censorship efforts so formidable they’ve been dubbed the Great Firewall of China. President Hu Jintao has said the stability of the nation depends on the government’s ability to “cope” with the Internet.

The government is so determined to control public opinion that it hires bloggers — dubbed the “50-cent army” because of what they are paid per post — to promote its views online. It also backs censorship-friendly social networking sites. And officials are considering a plan to require Internet users to reveal their identity before commenting in public forums.

When “very allergic topics spread quickly” and the government can’t block every Internet posting about them, officials issue orders banning entire topics, pressuring companies that host discussion boards and blogs to fall in line, said tech blogger Hong Bo, who has received government warnings to stop writing on sensitive issues, such as Google’s recent defiance of censorship regulations.

It’s not uncommon for young people to alert friends through mobile phone text messages to blog posts they have written — and the importance of reading them quickly before they are blocked, said Lisa Li, founder of China Youthology, which examines the attitudes and beliefs of those 15 to 25……. (more details from The Mercury News)

Posted in Blog, censorship, chat, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Internet, News, Online forum, People, Politics, Propaganda, Social, Speech, website, World | Comments Off on Tension grows in China between “harmonized” netizens and online censorship

China censorship works by instilling fear

Posted by Author on April 21, 2010


By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, Apr. 20, 2010-

In 1972,
comedian George Carlin wrote a monologue titled, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” When a version of this riff was broadcast the following year on a jazz radio station, it set off a legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ultimately upheld the right of the Federal Communications Commission to regulate indecent material on the airwaves.

Nothing is quite so clear-cut in China, especially when it comes to the murky realm of Internet censorship. China does, of course, have its own version of the dirty words (many, many more than the seven identified by Carlin), but the list itself is confidential.

Trying to figure out what is banned and what is not has taken on new urgency in the aftermath of Google’s withdrawal from China over censorship concerns and the strong stance of the Obama administration on Internet freedom.

In China, each website basically censors itself, so though there are universal taboos — anything about Tibetan independence, for example — you are never quite sure when, shall we say, one of the seven words will hit the fan. Some words can be searched in English, but not in Chinese, or vice versa. What’s sensitive one day might be legit the next.

When using websites based outside China, users on the mainland are often blocked by the so-called Great Firewall of China. But unlike the wall that you can see in satellite photos of Earth, this wall is invisible, often elusive.

The Chinese government doesn’t even call it censorship, the preferred term being “guidance of public opinion.” Chinese Internet users often say that a website has been “harmonized,” a waggish reference to Communist Party slogans about building “harmonious society.”

You don’t always know when you’re being censored — sorry, guided. When searching a sensitive subject, you will be frustrated with a blank screen and a vague error message (“the connection to the server was reset while the page was loading” is the most common) so that you’re never quite sure if you’ve hit the wall or if some technical glitch really did cause the problem.

Often, the user who’s tried to search something blocked won’t be able to get back online for several minutes – the equivalent of a time-out given a naughty child.

There are approximately 80,000 characters in Chinese, and only a few of them are banned outright. But in combination, the innocuous fa, or law, and lun, or wheel, become the banned Falun Gong movement.

Recently, the word for carrot (huluobo) was blocked on some sites because its first character resembles the family name of President Hu Jintao. Similarly, wendu, temperature, was blocked for its resemblance to Premier Wen Jiabao as was xuexi, or study, which shares a character with China’s vice president, Xi Jinping, a likely heir to Hu.

In fact, the scariest thing about Chinese censorship is that there is no list of dirty words — leaving media and Web personnel always nervous about how far they can go.

“There are explicit bad words, but the system really works by instilling fear,” said David Bandurski, a scholar at the China Media Project, based at the University of Hong Kong, who in 2008 was commissioned to write a satirical piece in homage to Carlin about China’s dirty words. (“This word ‘democracy’ is a perilous word that must be handled with great care,” was part of his riff.)

“The paranoia,” Bandurski said, “is more effective than blocking certain words.”

Los Angeles Times

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Firewall, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Internet, Life, News, Politics, Social, Speech, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on China censorship works by instilling fear

Cyber attacks from China hit Australia Media Company on “sensitive” news

Posted by Author on April 14, 2010


By Ben Grubb, ZDNet.com.au on April 13th, 2010 –

News Limited has had numerous distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks aimed at its infrastructure in Australia and around the globe, according to its Australian IT security manager, Bob Hinch.

Hinch, who is one of four working on IT security in Australia for News Limited was at a media briefing held by security company Websense in Sydney today, where he revealed the media giant had been hit by numerous DDoS attacks. The attacks often came together with emailed extortion notices demanding the retraction of articles, which he said he mostly referred to the police.

But the police had no power to do anything about it, he said, and often the problem had been referred to the Australian High Tech Crime Centre.

“It’s very difficult to get the police to pay attention to some of these issues and the threats we get,” Hinch said.

Many of the attacks originated “especially” from the Chinese Government, according to Hinch, and they occurred when something written by one of News Limited’s journalists “hit a raw nerve” and wasn’t in favour of the attacker’s view. “It depends on the story you’re running,” he said.

Hinch told ZDNet.com.au that the attacks were growing “more and more political” and they weren’t stopping.

Asked if the media giant had ever bowed down to pressure and retracted an article, Hinch said that only in the case of death threats to its journalists did things start to become serious. “The police get very interested then,” he said.

Although Hinch would not give an example of a news article or site which had been targeted in this manner, he did say that News Limited’s business listing website TrueLocal.com.au had been hit recently. He wouldn’t go into detail about where that attack originated from.

Hinch said part of the problem he saw was that there was not a lot of case law to litigate against the attacks.

ZDNet.com.au

Posted in Australia, China, cyber attack, Freedom of Speech, hacking, Human Rights, Internet, Law, Media, News, Politics, Social, Speech, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on Cyber attacks from China hit Australia Media Company on “sensitive” news

Another company withdraws, validating Go Daddy’s move out of China

Posted by Author on April 5, 2010


By Cecilia Kang,Via The Washington Post, April 5, 2010 –

An Australian domain name registrar said last week it would stop taking new accounts in China. And the Web site of Foreign Correspondents Club of China recently experienced two days over continued cyber attacks.

Those events were among the scattered episodes in recent weeks that reaffirms Go Daddy’s decision to stop business in China, said executive vice president Christine Jones. Go Daddy and Network Solutions are domain name registrars that have stopped new business in China following that government’s push for tighter controls over online content. Last week, Net Registry, an Australian domain name hosting company said it would also stop taking new accounts but would continue hosting existing .CN Web sites.

“Each time see story like that, it’s confirmation that we did the right thing,” Jones said in a telephone interview over the weekend.

She said the episodic attacks or firewalls such as that Google experienced last week on its Hong Kong site, indicates Go Daddy, Network Solutions and Google could be in for a long standoff with the Chinese government over Internet censorship.

“Meanwhile we will hurry up and wait. Whether it takes months or years, no final resolution will be reached until there is action via Congress or the U.S. Trade Representative and big business together,” Jones said. She said the issue of online censorship in China and other nations needs to be part of a bigger dialogue on trade relations between the U.S. and other nations.

Those companies have been the few to alter course in China. And while business in China represents about 1 percent of revenue for Go Daddy and Google, the country of 400 million Web users is seen as an important market to growth their businesses.

Separately, last week, the Foreign Correspondents Club of China shut down its Web site last Friday after continued denial of service attacks. In an email to its members that it was unclear if the denial-of-service attacks on their Web site last week were from the Chinese government. But the attacks stemmed from within the U.S. and China. The event came days after foreign journalists said they discovered their Yahoo email addressed had been breached. They said it was unclear who had hacked into their accounts and that Yahoo hadn’t explained the circumstances around the episode.

“We do not know who is behind these attacks or what their motivation is,” the organization said in the letter about the recent Web site attack.

Washington Post

Posted in Australia, Business, censorship, China, Company, cyber attack, Google, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, Technology, website, World | 1 Comment »

Google drops Chinese name “Gu Ge” (photos)

Posted by Author on April 3, 2010


Google has taken another action today to express its willingness of keeping  distance with the Chinese censors: drops the Chinese name “Gu Ge” from the search engine logo and uses Google “Hong Kong” instead on its forwarded http://www.google.com.hk website.

Google started using the Chinese name “Gu Ge” on its Chinese website Google.cn from 2006 since it entered the China market, and has forwarded it to its Hong Kong website http://www.google.com.hk since last week, when it decided not to cooperate with the Chinese censor.

Here’s a screenshot of the website logo which you will see if you type into your browser the Google’s domain name in China, google.cn:

Google dropped Chinese name "Gu Ge" from its Hong Kong website logo and uses Google "hong Kong" instead.

Also the following photo shows the old “Gu Ge” logo which has been dropped by Google:

Old "Gu Ge" logo that was used by Google in China

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Google, Hong kong, Internet, News, Politics, search engine, Technology, USA, website, World | 2 Comments »

China’s foreign journalists club shuts down website after repeated cyber attacks

Posted by Author on April 2, 2010


AFP, Apr. 2, 2010-

BEIJING — China’s foreign journalists association said Friday it had taken its website offline after it was targeted in repeated denial-of-service attacks.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said it did not know who was behind the attacks but that they originated from Internet addresses in both China and the United States.

However, it noted the “physical location of the servers does not tell us much since hackers can use any machine they have been able to exploit.”

The statement said the club, regarded by the Chinese government as an illegal organisation, “has been the target of persistent denial-of-service attacks.”

“We have taken the site down temporarily while we work to sort out the problem,” it said.

A denial-of-service attack floods a network with so many requests that normal traffic is slowed down or completely interrupted.

The move comes after Google re-routed traffic from its Chinese-language search engine to an uncensored site in Hong Kong over state web censorship and cyberattacks on Gmail accounts it said originated in China.

There also have been mounting allegations overseas, including by the US government, that China is ramping up its global cyber-espionage activities and has become a key source of world cyber-attacks — a claim denied by Beijing.

The FCCC said on Wednesday that the Yahoo! email accounts of foreign journalists based in China and Taiwan had been targeted in hacking attacks.

“In one instance, a Beijing-based journalist?s account had an unknown forwarding address added, sending all the journalist?s messages to an unknown recipient,” it said in a notice to members, adding that it had confirmed eight cases.

AFP

Posted in Beijing, China, cyber attack, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, hacking, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, News, People, Politics, Social, Software, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on China’s foreign journalists club shuts down website after repeated cyber attacks

Second Hi-tech Company Leaves China- GoDaddy

Posted by Author on March 24, 2010


By Ellen Nakashima and Cecilia Kang, Washington Post Staff Writers, Wednesday, March 24, 2010-

GoDaddy.com Inc., the world’s largest domain name registration company, told lawmakers Wednesday that it will cease registering Web sites in China in response to intrusive new government rules that require applicants to provide extensive personal data, including photographs of themselves.

The rules, the company believes, are an effort by China to increase monitoring and surveillance of Web site content and could put individuals who register their sites with the firm at risk. The company also believes the rules will have a “chilling effect” on new domain name registrations.

GoDaddy’s move follows Google’s announcement Monday that it will no longer censor search results on its site in China. Analysts and human rights advocates have warned that China’s insistence on censorship and control over information is becoming a serious barrier to trade.

“GoDaddy is the first company to publicly follow Google’s example in responding to the Chinese government’s censorship of the Internet by partially retreating from the Chinese market,” Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) said in a statement. “Google fired a shot heard ’round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people.”

Smith has sponsored a bill that would make it a crime for U.S. companies to share personal user information with “Internet-restricting” countries.

In December, China began to enforce a new policy that required any registrant of a new .cn domain name to provide a color head shot and other business identification, including a Chinese business registration number and physical signed registration forms. That data was to be forwarded to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a quasi-governmental agency. Most domain name registries require only name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.

“We were immediately concerned about the motives behind the increased level of registrant verification being required,” Christine N. Jones, general counsel of the Go Daddy Group Inc., told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Wednesday. “The intent of the procedures appeared, to us, to be based on a desire by the Chinese authorities to exercise increased control over the subject matter of domain name registrations by Chinese nationals.”

GoDaddy has been registering domain names since 2000 and has more than 40 million domain names under management. Jones said China was the first government to retroactively seek additional verification and documentation of registrants. …… (more details from The Washington Post)

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Google, Internet, News, Politics, search engine, Social, Technology, Trade, USA, website, World | Comments Off on Second Hi-tech Company Leaves China- GoDaddy

U.S. Congress slams China and Microsoft, praises Google

Posted by Author on March 24, 2010


By David Goldman, CNN, Mar. 24, 2010-

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Two days after Google stopped censoring search results in China, a congressional panel praised the company’s actions while excoriating the Beijing government for its record on Internet censorship and human rights.

At a hearing held by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Wednesday, lawmakers called on China to allow a free flow of ideas on the Internet and sharply criticized Microsoft for continuing to act complicity with China’s censorship laws.

“China wants to participate in the marketplace of goods but keep the marketplace of ideas outside their country,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., “Only when China respects human rights and allows the free flow of ideas … only then will they be treated as a full member of the international community.”

While lawmakers scolded China, they roundly applauded Google for shutting down its search operations in China.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., called Google’s decision “a remarkable, historic and welcomed action.” He also praised Internet domain host site GoDaddy.com for leaving China.

At the same time, he lit a fire under Google’s search rival Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) for continuing to censor results in China and not following Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) lead.

“They [Microsoft] need to get on the right side of human rights rather than enabling tyranny, which they’re doing right now,” Smith said.

Microsoft could not immediately be reached for a response.

Smith said he supported the Global Online Freedom Act, which would require tech companies doing business in China to disclose what they’re censoring. He called on China to do “more than passing lip service” to Google and pass the act.

Google agreed that the United States needed to take action as well. At the hearing, Google’s director of public policy, Alan Davidson said governments should do more to protect Internet freedom around the world.

“Internet censorship is a growing global problem,” Davidson said. “It not only raises important human rights concerns, but also creates significant barriers for U.S. companies doing business abroad.”

But Google did not completely avoid criticism from lawmakers. When asked specifically what Google was censoring in China, Davidson said he could not reveal that information, because it is a Chinese state secret.

“I admire the decision … but aren’t you able to talk about it outside of China?” asked Dorgan.

Davidson declined, to Dorgan’s displeasure. Davidson said the legality of the issue represented one of the reasons why the company shut down its search service in the company because it puts Google “in a terribly difficult position.”…… (more details from CNN)

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Freedom of Information, Google, Human Rights, Internet, Microsoft, News, Politics, search engine, Social, Technology, Trade, USA, website, World | 1 Comment »

Google’s Brin urges US to make China row ‘high priority’

Posted by Author on March 24, 2010


AFP, Mar. 24, 2010-

LONDON — Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in an interview published Wednesday that Chinese regulations which prevent the Web giant from being competitive in China should be considered a “trade barrier.”

Brin, in comments published by the British newspaper The Guardian, said human rights issues should be given “equal time” with trade concerns and the US administration should make the censorship row with China a “high priority.”

China has attacked Google for stopping censorship of its Chinese-language search engine but said there should be no broader fall-out in Sino-US ties provided the issue is not politicized in the United States.

Google announced Monday it would no longer filter results on China-based Google.cn and was redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored site in Hong Kong — effectively closing down the mainland site.

Brin urged pressure from government and businesses on Beijing over the row.

“I certainly hope they make it a high priority,” he told the newspaper. “Human rights issues deserve equal time to the trade issues that are high priority now — I hope this gets taken seriously.”

He added that issues of trade and censorship were closely linked.

“Since services and information are our most successful exports, if regulations in China effectively prevent us from being competitive, then they are a trade barrier,” Brin said.

Brin’s remarks coincided with a hearing to be hosted in Washington on Wednesday by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China on “Google and Internet Control in China: A Nexus Between Human Rights and Trade?”

The Google co-founder also accused arch-rival Microsoft of exploiting the row to score points against his California-based firm.

“I’m very disappointed for them in particular,” he said. “As I understand, they have effectively no market share — so they essentially spoke against freedom of speech and human rights simply in order to contradict Google.”

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published online on Wednesday, Brin discussed some of the reasons for Google’s dramatic move, telling the newspaper China was increasingly reminding him of his native Soviet Union.

The 36-year-old Brin’s parents fled the Soviet Union when he was six years old to escape anti-Semitism and other repression……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Google, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, search engine, Social, Technology, USA, website, World | Comments Off on Google’s Brin urges US to make China row ‘high priority’

China struggles over censorship after Google leave

Posted by Author on March 24, 2010


By Kathrin Hille in Beijing, The Financial Times,  March 24 2010 –

Internet users experienced wild swings in access to results on Google’s Chinese search engine on Wednesday, in a sign that Beijing is struggling to decide on the level of censorship for the site after Google moved the service out of the mainland.

At about 10am, users in Beijing were confronted with browser errors for every Chinese term they entered. Searches for “Xinhua News Agency”, “Ministry of Commerce”, “Chinese”, and “Ministry of Health” returned a blank screen. Some 30 minutes later the problem had disappeared.

An employee of Perfect World, the online gaming company, reported that a search for company information on google.com.hk had failed to return any results.

A little later, however, other users found links they could never have dreamt of when Google was still self-censoring its Chinese search results. A search for “Foreign Ministry” in Chinese returned the Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China as the top result, followed by the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Beijing claims the self-ruled island as part of its territory and normally refuses to recognise that a separate state exists there. All references to Taiwan are purged from the web in China.

Censorship in China is often erratic. This is partly a strategy to make internet users and website administrators wary about what content they post or allow online……. (more details from The Financial Times)

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, search engine, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on China struggles over censorship after Google leave

HRW calls on other companies to follow Google ending all their censorship in China

Posted by Author on March 23, 2010


Human Rights Watch, March 22, 2010 –

(New York)
– Google’s decision to stop censoring its Chinese search engine is a strong step in favor of freedom of expression and information, and an indictment of the Chinese government’s insistence on censorship of the internet, Human Rights Watch said today.  Google announced today that it would not censor searches and instead redirect searches to its uncensored Hong Kong-based site that would provide results in simplified Chinese.  The company also said it would monitor and publicize any attempts at censorship of the site by the Chinese government.

“China is one of the world’s largest economies, but hundreds of millions of Chinese internet users are denied the basic access to information that people around the world take for granted,” said Arvind Ganesan, business and human rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Google’s decision to offer an uncensored search engine is an important step to challenge the Chinese government’s use of censorship to maintain its control over its citizens.”

China’s estimated 338 million internet users remain subject to the arbitrary dictates of state censorship. More than a dozen government agencies are involved in implementing a host of laws, regulations, policy guidelines, and other legal tools to try to keep information and ideas from the Chinese people. Various companies, including Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, have enabled this system by blocking terms they believe the Chinese government will want them to censor. Human Rights Watch documented this corporate complicity in internet censorship in China in “Race to the Bottom,” a 149-page report published in August 2006.

On January 12, 2010, Google announced that it was prepared to withdraw from China unless it could operate its Chinese search engine, Google.cn, free of censorship. This decision was made after the company disclosed “highly sophisticated and targeted attacks” on dozens of Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China. Google said some 20 other companies were also targets of cyber attacks from China. On February 18, 2010, the New York Times reported that these attacks had been traced to Shanghai’s Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School. The latter reportedly has close ties to the Chinese military.

In response to the prospect that Google might stop censoring its search engine, on March 12, Li Yizhong, China’s minister of industry and information technology, said, “If you want to do something that disobeys Chinese law and regulations, you are unfriendly, you are irresponsible and you will have to bear the consequences.”

On January 22, 2010, in a major speech on internet freedom, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the Chinese government to investigate those attacks. She also noted that the “private sector has a shared responsibility to help safeguard free expression. And when their business dealings threaten to undermine this freedom, they need to consider what’s right, not simply the prospect of quick profits.”

Human Rights Watch said that companies operating in China or other countries have an obligation to safeguard freedom of expression and privacy online. The Global Network Initiative (GNI), an international effort comprised of companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, academics, and socially responsible investors to protect freedom of expression and privacy online, recommends that companies: “challenge the government in domestic courts or seek the assistance of relevant government authorities, international human rights bodies or non-governmental organizations when faced with a government restriction that appears inconsistent with domestic law or procedures or international human rights laws and standards on freedom of expression.”

Human Rights Watch called on other companies to follow Google’s example and end all their censorship of politically sensitive information.

“This is a crucial moment for freedom of expression in China, and the onus is now on other major technology companies to take a firm stand against censorship,” said Ganesan. “But the Chinese government should also realize that its repression only isolates its internet users from the rest of the world – and the long-term harm of isolation far outweighs the short-term benefit of forcing companies to leave.”

Human Rights Watch

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Google stops censoring in China a bold move that other Internet companies must follow

Posted by Author on March 23, 2010


Reporters Without Borders, Mar. 22, 2010-

US Internet giant
Google announced today that it has stopped censoring its search engine’s Chinese version, Google.cn, and is redirecting its mainland China users to its Hong Kong-based search engine Google.com.hk, where uncensored search results are available in simplified Chinese characters.

“The Chinese authorities have chosen to censor rather than open up their Internet,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We can only deplore the fact that the world’s biggest search engine has been forced to close its Chinese version under pressure from the censors. We pay tribute to Google because, by taking this courageous stance, it is creating a real debate on the issue of censorship in China and is betting on a free Internet accessible to all in the mid or long term.

“Above and beyond the case of China, it is the World Wide Web’s integrity that is at stake. The emergence in recent years of national Intranets controlled by repressive governments has in practice turned many Internet users into victims of a digital divide.

“Google is offering an interesting alternative to its Chinese users by redirecting them to its Hong Kong-based servers. It remains to be seen whether the Chinese authorities will now block its search engine and whether Google will be allowed to maintain its sales presence and research and development work in China. Google.cn’s closure nonetheless clearly sends a bad signal to investors.”

Reporters Without Borders added: “We now appeal to other Internet companies based in China to take the same road and to refuse to censor their own activities. If a common front is established on this issue, the Chinese government will have no choice but to allow access to a freer Internet.”

Google announced on 12 January that it wanted to stop censoring Google.cn after discovering that cyber attacks had been launched from China against the Gmail accounts of several dozen human rights activists. A score of companies in media, technology and other sectors were also reportedly affected by these hacker attacks and by the theft of intellectual property…….(more from Reporters Without Borders)

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Google Shuts China Site, because “self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement” by China

Posted by Author on March 22, 2010


Radio Free Asia,  2010-03-22 –

HONG KONG— Google is redirecting China-based traffic to its uncensored Hong Kong Web site, according to a message posted on the company’s official blog, two months the Internet giant threatened to leave the country because of censorship and Chinese hacker attacks.

Google had been negotiating with Beijing about the right to continue hosting a search service in China without filtering results according to Chinese law.

“Earlier today we stopped censoring our search services” for China’s 400 million Internet users, the company blog said.

“Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong,” chief legal officer David Drummond wrote.

China requires Internet service providers to censor words and images that the ruling Communist Party says are illegal or unacceptable.

Google said it plans to maintain its engineering and sales offices in China to keep a technological foothold there and continue to sell ads for the Chinese-language version of its search engine in the United States.

The Google blog entry said the Chinese government had been “crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement” for continuing its business in China.

“We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services,” Drummond wrote, adding that the company would continue monitoring accessibility in China and posting the results daily.

The decision comes after more than two months of negotiations after Google announced that it, along with more than 20 other companies, had been the victim of cyberattacks originating from China.

Google said its ensuing investigation into the attacks uncovered evidence that the Gmail accounts of “dozens” of human rights activists connected with China were being accessed by third parties through phishing scams and malware installed on their computers.

It said the attacks and surveillance that the investigation uncovered—combined with government efforts to further limit free speech on the Internet through the blocking of Web sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube—led the company to conclude that “we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.”…… (more details from Radio Free Asia)

Related:
Google stops censoring in China- redirects traffic to uncensored Hong Kong Web site

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Google stops censoring in China- redirects traffic to uncensored Hong Kong Web site

Posted by Author on March 22, 2010


By Juan Carlos Perez, Computer World, March 22, 2010-

IDG News Service – Google has stopped censoring results in China, acting on a decision it made in January.

On Monday, Google stopped censoring Google Search, Google News and Google Images on Google.cn, according to a blog post from Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.

“Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong,” he wrote.

As expected, the Chinese government didn’t entertain allowing Google to continue operating an uncensored Google.cn. The Hong Kong work-around is “entirely legal,” he said.

“We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services,” Drummond wrote.

Google has set up a Web page where people can monitor the status of its services in China……. (more details from The Computer World)

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NP editorial: Memo to Google — get out of China

Posted by Author on March 16, 2010


NP Editor, The National Post, Canada, Mar. 16, 2010-

As of press time, we were still waiting for final resolution of the escalating, months-old confrontation between Google and the government of China. Our hope is that the world-leading web-search company plays hardball with Beijing — even if that means exiting China entirely.

Countless companies run into headaches in China, a country whose booming free-market economy often bumps up against the pronouncements of its authoritarian government. But the friction has been especially notable in the case of Google, which controls almost one-third of China’s web search market. The company is a world-leading icon of the free flow of information, and it has been jarring to see it submit itself to the Chinese government’s censorship demands. Search for “Chinese human rights abuses” or “Dalai Lama” off of Google.com, and you will get a long list of unfiltered search results. Perform the same search on Google.cn — or any of the portals featuring a Chinese Google search box — and you will get a much shorter list.

The moral case for Google saying goodbye to China is obvious: The company’s informal motto is, after all, “Don’t be evil.” But there is a strong business case for fleeing the Communist nation, as well. In recent months, Google has learned of a campaign to hack the Google Mail (i.e. Gmail) accounts of human rights activists. At the same time, the U.S. government and various Western high-tech corporations are fighting off a massive, well-organized campaign of electronic attacks and espionage, much of it based on Chinese servers. In both instances, the driving force is believed to be the Chinese government, or elements connected to it.

Google’s share of the Chinese market — the world’s biggest — is obviously a major asset. But more important is Google’s good name in the rest of the world. Like everyone else, we love Google’s search service, Gmail and its growing cloud-computing services. But there are other competing providers in all these areas — so why would we trust our data with a company seen to be bending over backward for a foreign government that combines Communist anti-Western phobias with the sleazy ethos of a backroom phishing operation?

Google itself is no doubt trustworthy. But companies, like people, are known by the company they keep.

The National Post

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