"Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone at her."
I know there are issues in China, but maybe fix our own problems first.
P.S.: I've been to China, and I've seen people using tech even in remote places with a much higher causality for solving language barriers for example, compared to Western nations. Also, they don't give a bit about copyright ideas, so no, internet censorship is definitely not killing innovation there. Slowing it down a littlebit, maybe, but not killing it.
I don't see a problem with one journalist or media outlet criticizing another country's policies. Given free access to information, people should be able to decide for themselves.
The question is, when will Chinese citizens earn the right to openly criticize their government without fear of being locked up?
Uhm... Google and Facebook shares more or less the same userbase and that in numbers ( I mean real users, real people ) is comparable to the people in China alone, so 'popular services used for communication by much of the rest of the world' might be a bit of an overstatement.
(We also might just all be much happier without Facebook and less locked-in without Google but that's a private opinion.)
Github is indeed an issue, that really should not be blocked.
As for criticizing the government... the Chinese government had made truly significant changes starting from the 90s. It's a slow progress, yes, and they do sacrifice certain rights of free speech in order to prevent chaos and wars. I believe this change is slowly on it's way, but this takes a really, really long time.
Let me tell a small story here. The company I work for is trying to establish some business in China but so far, they've failed. One of the reasons is that people there doesn't seem to trust reviews online, if it's from unknown origin. Known origin is someone they actually know, and they do trust the word and recommendation of those.
This is exactly the environment I was raised in, in Eastern Europe - you don't trust what you don't know.
Believe it or not, this is a certain kind of criticism; questioning everything coming from the authorities. Yes, it is very different from the usual Western approach, and requires a different mindset; a mindset that is trying to avoid conflict and make the best out of the situation without upsetting anyone.
Criticism can happen on various levels, from drawing instigating pictures to a gentle smile, and I would not underestimate the power of the latter either.
There are plenty of examples of other Asian countries which have the same trust issues you mention and also have free speech. They have not descended into war. Their economies have improved. Are there disputes that play out on TV and in newspapers? Yes. Are people embarrassed? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No.
2.) "Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone at her." - pretty sure journalism doesn't work that way
3.) you didn't give any proof supporting the fact that innovation isn't being killed in China. Since you live in UK, what Chinese Brand/Product innovation do you see in stores in UK?
2, I was trying to point out that maybe there could have been some articles about the issues in UK/EU as well with similat tones, not stating that this is for our protection.
3, Xiaomi, Oppo and similar, for example has some pretty good stuff on Amazon, and since Amazon is a massive market share in the UK, we can state, you have access, and the products are usually either surprisingly cheaper and/or better than the 'originals'. ( Another example could be the MIUI ROM, which was probably the best ROM for the HTC Desire; also Chinese. )
"protecting people from porn, extremists and pedophiles."
That sounds great, but who decides what falls under extreme? For example, in the eyes of a religion, every other religion can be considered extreme content.
Also: yes, censorship is bad and yes, there should be no such thing, but there are worse things than that.
Comparing an optional firewall with Chinese oppression is weird.
No, it's not weird at all.
At least China has the spine to admit it.
Let's compare: http://image.baidu.com/search/index?tn=baiduimage&ipn=r&ct=2... to https://www.google.com.hk/search?q=%E7%8E%8B%E7%BB%B4%E6%9E%...
It is a bit hard to seriously compare that with a dictatorship trying to control the information to the population...
I'd love to hear perspective on this matter from people closer to the source.
Of course Your opinion may differ but I it is no more absurd than the President of the Fifth French Republic receiving the title of the Co-Prince of Andorra alongside a Catholic bishop.
Fun fact: The Tibetan monk system is a grand scheme to reduce minority people fertility so ethics population is not a threat to central empire. Search for 黄教 减丁 if you are interested.
I personally find that that the Chinese version of Wikipedia is blocked is annoying.
If the Great Firewall must exist, I'd like it to be more advanced. This way, it can block in a finer granularity. Instead of blocking a whole website, it can block an individual webpage that annoys it.
1.) a list of corrupt officials and what activities they're involved in
2.) the richest 70 members of China’s NPC have a larger combined wealth ($89.8bn in 2011) than that of all 535 members of the US congress?
3.) Tiananmen square
4.) Great Famine
5.) China is insolvent?
From the daily newspapers,we can get the impression that people in NPC are super riches. But members of NPC are puppet, we don't care that much of their wealth than the wealth of the officials of real powers.
People also get information from blogs and BBS.
Our grandparents went through the great famine, the cultural revolution. If we are curious, they have many stories to tell us. I get many information about that period from grandpa.
2, There was a short period in time, involving 2 World Wars when the super-rich was not that super rich. Before and after, this was always like this in history, everywhere.
3, 4, 5, China is suppressing information, yes; otherwise there were civil wars, and that is not necessarily better. See current Middle East.
Yes, free information is good, but totally free information would first require solving all the other issues; otherwise it leads to fights and wars which nearly never results in any good. History has plenty to tell on that.
In order to get enough coverage, the government would need to MITM HTTPS connections by spoofing certificates. They probably control a trust root CA, in which case they could achieve this except for sites that use certificate pinning.
But, would you really put up with your HTTPS traffic being monitored, just to get slightly more internet access?
There really ought to be lots of clauses about illegal support of national companies over international competition which are applicable? China ought to be really sensitive about trade wars.
The censorship blocks alternate opinions from forming around issues everyone knows about - for example everyone knows about the Cultral Revolution in China, but the interpretation of it is strictly controlled by the gov in a way that protects the CCPs legitimacy and Maos legacy.
It also stops news about the broken state of the system ever being revealed. For example corruption - occasionally a corrupt official gets 'outed' on social media and when that happens, the government often has to do something - the official gets sacked or investigated. BUT, it's rare it gets to that state. Now imagine if they had a free press or free internet - they'd have to sack half the government within a week, given the scale of the corruption!
Finally, most of the censorship is also aimed at killing activism before it even starts. Online movements never get off the ground, people never coalesce around an issue, the power of the people is never allowed to gather and grow to rival the power of the state/police/political elites. Censorship often aims to keep people (politically) ignorant, isolated and apathetic.
Have a read of this recent article by the BBC to learn the silly (by our standards) lengths they go to guard the myth/backstory of the President ....
The journalists were amused by the length they were willing to go to precisely craft the creation myth of Xi. The journalists got the impression that all the visitors/pilgrims they saw there were actually security personnel dressed up.
For that reason, the Chinese cannot have those things. The whole point is that the same people must stay in power. So you can chat online all you want about hobbies or celebrities, but nothing about how the system is broken. And forget assembling in small groups in an effort to change things.
The issue here is feedback loops. In the west, closely-knit political groups can "own" the government for periods of time. Once they screw up -- and they all do -- the voters can have new groups come peacefully into power. There's a way to be wrong. The Chinese have a feedback system where change happens inside the party, but it's much more creaky and brittle. Open net access would expose all of that by getting people talking and comparing political systems.
2. Facebook vs Renren NOT Facebook vs Wechat. Wechat is shit!
3. Most evidences are true.
But wait, keep the mechanics/micro aside. Tell me is there a difference in policy or what either systems want to achieve?
Although there are few isolated cases where DMCA was abused to stifle discourse, they are far and between.
How is NSA wanting to read everything (if they don't already) any different from Chinese authorities reading everything?
Different my foot.
Looking at the quality of discussion here it seems we're living in that dumbfuck's paradise. For they say: when you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It's only painful and difficult for others. The same applies when you are stupid.
There is little difference in intent, monetary pursuit, lust of power, size of investment and scale of techniques used by either centre of powers. For exactly the same purpose.