Archive for the ‘censorship’ Category

Most American Media Ignore Reasons Behind China-YouTube Debacle — BBC Has Stones

March 25, 2009

China pulled the plug on YouTube: cutting off 300 million Chinese viewers.

The issue is one of free speech and international access.

But it is also about censorship and control.  A video of Chinese police beating a Tibetan protester to death is at the heart of China’s new action.

Most U.S. media have only reported that China pulled the YouTube plug.  Nothing more.

That is a crime on top of a crime — so as not to rile China we suspect.

This allows China to restrict freedom of speech and to violate norms of human rights everywhere else….

**********

BBC

China’s move to block YouTube has been criticised by a leading advocacy group that promotes constitutional liberties in the digital age.

The Centre for Democracy and Technology told the BBC: “China’s actions fail to live up to international norms.”

The video sharing site has been off limits in China since Monday.

“China’s apparent blocking of YouTube is at odds with the rule of law and the right to freedom of expression,” said CDT president Leslie Harris.

“Anytime a country limits or takes down content online , it must be forthright and specific about its actions and do so only in narrowly defined circumstances consistent with international human rights and the rule of law,” stated Ms Harris.

Google, which owns YouTube, told the BBC that it had no idea why the Chinese government had taken this action.

“We don’t know the reason for the block and are working to restore access to users in China as quickly as possible,” said spokesperson Scott Rubin.

Tibet

Earlier in the week, the BBC reported from Beijing that China cut off access to the website because it carried a video showing soldiers beating monks and other Tibetans.

The graphic video was released by Tibetan exiles and showed hundreds of uniformed Chinese troops swarming through a Tibetan monastery. It included footage of a group of troops beating a man with batons.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/te
chnology/7962718.stm

Oprah, Britney, China, ‘If U Seek Amy’ and What Next Rod Blagojevich?

January 26, 2009

China says there is porn everywhere and has shut down over 1,000 web sites to show who’s boss.  Britney Spears supporters say her new album “Circus” is all about fun but critics say she is spelling a nasty word for intercourse in the song about Amy.

And Rod Blagojevich is saying his impeachment is not aboout selling the Senate seat once held by Barack Obama and he is pleading his case on TV and everywhere else….

Blago says he thought about naming Oprah to the Senate….

Here’s what we think: China cares nothing for public morality but it does want to totally control all media so that pro-democracy messages and movements are difficult.

Britney is just trying to make money.

Oprah would be a horrible senator as she doesn’t do her homework.  But then, that is where a lot of people go when they don’t do their homework.

And screw Blago….

Related:
Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

******
.
From New York Daily News

Britney Spears is back, annoying parent groups with a new song they say is a crude lyrical trick that doesn’t belong on the airwaves.

The song’s title, “If U Seek Amy,” is sung in such a way as to sound like a crass entreaty instead of advice for finding a girl, according to the Parents Television Council.

“There is no misinterpreting the lyrics to this song, and it’s certainly not about a girl named Amy,” council President Tim Winter said of the third single from Spears’ new album, “Circus.”

Officials from Spears’ label, Jive, could not be reached for comment.

From:
http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/01/21/
2009-01-21_britney_spears_comes_under_fire_fo
r_cras.html

Actress/singer Britney Spears appears on ABC's "Good Morning America" to promote her new album "Circus" and celebrate her 27th birthday at Lincoln Center in New York City on December 2, 2008.    (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen)
Actress/singer Britney Spears appears on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to promote her new album “Circus” and celebrate her 27th birthday at Lincoln Center in New York City on December 2, 2008. (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen)

Seoul Cracks Down on an Internet Financial Guru

January 24, 2009

South Korea might be one of the most wired places in the world, but it’s not necessarily the most Internet friendly. Park Dae Sung, 31, an unemployed blogger now finds himself in hot water for allegedly being “Minerva,” a web guru who posted his thoughts on the state of the economy and the government’s economic policies. Those thoughts generated huge attention in Korea, particularly following Minerva’s prediction that Lehman Brothers would fail. Those musings, however, have not sat well with Seoul. Now Park has been taken into custody by the government and, according to his lawyer, faces a maximum five-year prison sentence for allegedly spreading false information with the intention of harming or threatening public interest. Late last week, Park was denied bail.

Read the rest from Time Magazine:
http://www.time.com/time/world/
article/0,8599,1873346,00.html

China Censors Obama Speech, Iran Kills BBC TV: Free Speech Under Attack

January 21, 2009

On Barack Obama’s first day as President of the United States, two countries underscored the state of freedom of speech and freedom of the media in the world.

China’a government censored President Obama’s inauguration speech and Iran halted activities at the week-old BBC Persian TV channel by saying its work was illegal.

It came as no surpirse to China watchers that the Communist government of the  nation most interested in censoring the media and Internet, chopped sections out of President Barack Obama’s first speech as Commander in Chief before it was distributed by state media services.

China is in the midst of a general crackdown on free media and free press and the government has some fears that the current economic downturn and celebrations of pro-democracy events may cause unrest in China.

The Ahmadinejad government of Iran has become increasingly anti-Western and recently sided very vocally with Hamas in the battle with Israel.

China, Vietnam, Iran and many Islamic groups like the Taliban are increasingly anti-free media and free press.

Related:
CNN on Iran and the BBC:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/me
ast/01/21/iran.bbc.persian/index.html

Chinese censor parts of Obama speech dealing with dissent, communism

China Extends War of Free Speech Hidden by Fight Against Porn into Cell Phones

Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

Vietnam: Editors of Leading Anti-Corruption Newspapers Removed

Below from:
http://mondayevening.wordpress.com/200
9/01/21/silencing-dissent/

President Obama’s comments addressed to world leaders who “blame their society’s ills on the West” also fell foul of the censor’s red pen.

“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history,” the president said.

Once again, Xinhua included the passage in full in its English version, but the sentence was taken out of the Chinese translation.

Of course, President Obama didn’t mention China. He spoke of “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent.” The Chinese government censors read that and didn’t think, “Whoa, Obama really slammed North Korea; or is he talking about Iran?” No.

They thought, “Hmm… corruption; deceit; silencing dissent; yeah, that’s us. Take that part out.”

Chinese censor parts of Obama speech dealing with dissent, communism

January 21, 2009

It came as no surpirse to China watchers that the Communist government of the  nation most interested in censoring the media and Internet, chopped sections out of President Barack Obama’s first speech as Commander in Chief before it was distributed by state media services….

*****

The official Chinese translation of President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech was missing his references to communism and dissent, while a live broadcast on state television Wednesday quickly cut away to the anchor when the topic was mentioned.

The comments by the newly installed U.S. president veered into politically sensitive territory for China’s ruling Communist Party, which maintains a tight grip over the Internet and the entirely state-run media. Beijing tolerates little dissent and frequently decries foreign interference in its internal affairs.

By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer

At one point, Obama said earlier generations “faced down communism and fascism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.” He later addressed “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent — know that you are on the wrong side of history.”

The Chinese translation of the speech, credited to the Web site of the official China Daily newspaper, was missing the word “communism” in the first sentence. The paragraph with the sentence on dissent had been removed entirely.

The censored version was carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency and posted on popular online portals Sina and Sohu. Another portal, Netease, used a version without the paragraph mentioning communism, but retaining the part about dissent.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090121/ap_
on_re_as/as_inauguration_china_obama;_
ylt=AtPfWDN5.Yt_Tr.xTHKS.tdvaA8F

China has close to 300 million Internet users

January 13, 2009

China’s online population, already the world’s largest, rose to 298 million by the end of 2008, almost the same as the entire population of the United States, an industry survey said Tuesday.

The figure is up 41.9 percent from a year ago and is still growing fast, the government-linked China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) said in a report published on its website.

Users in the countryside surged by 60.8 percent year-on-year to 84.6 million, compared with much more modest growth of 35.6 percent in the urban areas, the report said.

AFP

The CNNIC report said 117.6 million people accessed the Internet using their mobile phones last year, up 133 percent from 2007.

China, with 633.8 million mobile phone users, last week issued long-awaited licences for third-generation (3G) mobile phones, which enable faster data transmission and services such as wide-area wireless calls and web surfing.

“With the coming of the 3G era, wireless Internet will have exponential growth,” the CNNIC said in a statement accompanying the release of its report.

China’s fast-growing online population has made the Internet a forum for its citizens to express their opinions in a way rarely seen in the traditional, strictly government-controlled media.

It has stirred up Beijing’s fears about potential social unrest, with the government stepping up control of the web in recent years by introducing measures such as requiring bloggers to disclose their real names.

Related:
Internet Limits on Sex, Porn Used to Mask Limits on Freedom, Human Rights?

Read the rest:
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090113/tc_afp/l
ifestylechinainternetitusers_20090113160232

China TV Accused of Brainwashing Public

January 12, 2009

Chinese intellectuals have signed an open letter calling for a boycott of state television news programmes.

The letter says China’s Central Television (CCTV) has turned its news and historical drama series into propaganda to brainwash its audience.

The author of the damning letter told the BBC that the action should at least serve as a health warning to the susceptible public.

BBC

Woman looks at TV screens on Chinese street

Critics say state news puts a positive spin on domestic stories

The authorities have been alarmed by the latest development.

They tend to accuse the Western media of biased coverage of China.

But this open letter accuses CCTV of systematic bias in its news coverage.

‘Whitewash’

The letter – signed by more than 20 academics and lawyers – lists six broad categories of bias and brainwashing.

It says the state TV monopoly has ignored many stories of social unrest and riots, and whitewashed serious events like the recent milk contamination scandal.

The letter’s author, Ling Cangzhou, told the BBC that its signatories were fed up with the positive spin on domestic news from the central TV station and the negative tone on international events.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-p
acific/7824255.stm

Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

January 11, 2009

Xinhua news agency, the offical news organization of Communist China, says the government has shut down 91 Internet providers for pornagraphic distribution since last Thursday.

China’s Ministry of Public Security and six other government agencies launched the drive against sites that post or link to content that “harms public morality” and corrupts the nation’s youth, Xinhua said.

In a secular society with very little religious or Christian tradition similar to those known in the West, does this explanation make sense?

Probably not.

Consider also that the China Daily web site, managed by Xinhua and the same Communist government, has a special section for images of Chinese lingerie models.

Zhang-ziyi
For one thing, the internet is abuzz with postings and photos of young Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi cavorting on a beach in the Caribbean with her fiancé.

China’s doesn’t care much if people enjoy porn or pictures of naked people; but China does care if the Chinese people are allowed completely unregulated and free access to the entire Internet.

China fears that pro-democracy and anti-communists teachings can be available through an uncensored system.

Even as the Olympics began in Beijing last summer, after months of guarantees that all visitors would have full access to the Internet, hundreds of sites were blocked by the paranoid government of China.

Porn is not the problem in China.  The problem faced by China’s government is freedom.

China’s Internet regulations are not about public morality; but they could be about hiding government immorality, corruption and human rights abuses….

Related:
Internet Limits on Sex, Porn Used to Mask Limits on Freedom, Human Rights?
.
China widens “vulgar” online crackdown
.
Google, Baidu Other Internet Companies Apologize to China To Regain Business
.
China Arresting Reformers, Tries to Silent Dissent

China TV Accused of Brainwashing Public

South Korean Arrested, Used Internet to Criticize Government

January 10, 2009

South Korea‘s arrested popular Internet financial pundit pleaded not guilty Saturday to charges of spreading false information online.

The 31-year-old, identified only as Park but better known here as “Minerva” or the goddess of wisdom in the Greek myth, claimed he was trying to help those who had suffered as a result of the current financial turmoil.

State prosecutors arrested Park on Wednesday on charges of spreading “groundless” allegations that the country’s currency, the won, was imperiled.

AFP

He took the defensive after being questioned by a Seoul court Saturday as prosecutors sought a warrant to extend his detention.

“I wrote articles in a bid to help those people alienated from the government — small merchants, individuals and laymen who had suffered from the financial crisis,” he told journalists at the court.

“I did not intend to obtain any economic gains through these writings. I accordingly do not admit my guilt.”

Park has written more than 200 economic commentaries in the past few months and gained massive popularity online following his predictions of the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Read the rest:
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/200901
10/tc_afp/skoreaeconomyinternetcri
me_newsmlmmd

Internet Limits on Sex, Porn Used to Mask Limits on Freedom, Human Rights?

January 10, 2009

The government of China has recently launched a major crackdown on Internet sites and search engines that it does not condone.

China says it “decided to launch a nationwide campaign to clean up a vulgar current on the Internet and named and exposed a large number of violating public morality and harming the physical and mental health of youth and young people.”

But China has, in the past, revoked the rights of  Internet providers to serve the public in China, or has restricted content, for politicial reasons often seen as a violation of free speech.

Related:
Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

Activists say China and Vietnam, in particular, hide corruption, human rights abuses and pro-democracy information from the public — using anti-porn as a justification.  These actvisits say the government actions are blatant censorship and violations of free speech.

In the recent crackdown in China, Google, MSN, Baidu and dozens of search engines and providers were forced to delete content and apologize to the Chinese government.

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg 

The action comes in a year of social turmoil due to the economy, mass migration of the unemployed, fear of economic unrest and several anniversaries that may spark unrest within China.

This is the 20th year since the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Analysts see this year as a potential trouble point for China’s Communist government.

But Rebecca MacKinnon, co-founder of Global Voices, an assistant professor of journalism at Hong Kong University, a former CNN correspondent and an observer of China and the Internet, recently discussed with CNN the move by Beijing.  She believes the Internet trend in China is part of a larger global move….

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Tianasquare.jpg
Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Read the CNN report:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asia
pcf/01/10/china.internet/index.html

Related:
China widens “vulgar” online crackdown
.
Google, Baidu Other Internet Companies Apologize to China To Regain Business

*******************

The Associated Press reported on January 9, 2009:

China on Friday expanded its Internet cleanup campaign, which had ostensibly been aimed at cracking down on pornography, to shut down a blog-hosting site popular with activists, www.bullog.cn. The site’s founder, Luo Yonghao, said he was notified by the Beijing Communications Administration that the site “contained harmful comments on current affairs and therefore will be closed.”

***************************

Tim Johnson of the McClatchy Newspapers reported on this on January 9, 2009:

Zhang-ziyi
For one thing, the internet is abuzz with postings and photos of young Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi cavorting on a beach in the Caribbean with her fiancé. (Sorry, I’ll offer no links, just the photo you see of her here.) China Daily this morning calls the hubbub over the photos “an instant online carnival of voyeurism.”

Zhang, who was in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, was voted China’s most beautiful actress last month.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcb_china/20090109/wl_m
cb_china/china200901crackingdown
oninternetlewdnesshtml

EdisonChen.JPG
Chinese Boy Toy Edison Chen

*****************

Psst: People, as noted by China and Vietnam, waste a lot of time on the Internet:
China: Porn King Almost Got The Best Of Barack Obama

**************************

Other nations have also taken actions against a totally free Internet recently.  The Associated Press reported on December 27, 2008:

A proposed Internet filter dubbed the “Great Aussie Firewall” is promising to make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among democratic countries.

Consumers, civil-rights activists, engineers, Internet providers and politicians from opposition parties are among the critics of a mandatory Internet filter that would block at least 1,300 Web sites prohibited by the government — mostly child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use and advocacy of terrorism.

Hundreds protested in state capitals earlier this month.

“This is obviously censorship,” said Justin Pearson Smith, 29, organizer of protests in Melbourne and an officer of one of a dozen Facebook groups against the filter.

Read the rest:
 Australia Moves to Censor Internet

*******************

Vietnam has for a long time tried to rein in the Internet and bloggers.  On December 24, The Associated Press reported:

Vietnam has approved new regulations banning bloggers from discussing subjects the government deems sensitive or inappropriate and requiring them to limit their writings to personal issues.

The rules ban any posts that undermine national security, incite violence or crime, disclose state secrets, or include inaccurate information that could damage the reputation of individuals and organizations, according to a copy of the regulations obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Read the rest:
Vietnam imposes new blogging restrictions

Related:
 Vietnam: Editors of Leading Anti-Corruption Newspapers Removed
.
 Media Censorship, Criminalization of Free Press In Vietnam Needs Action

South Korean Arrested, Used Internet to Criticize Government

Anti-Freedom?, Anti-Porn, Baidu, Chinese, Google, Internet, Le Hoang, MSN, Nguyen Cong Khe, Nguyen Van Hai, Nguyen Viet Chien, Thanh Nien, Tiananmen Square, Tuoi Tre, Vietnam, Vietnamese, activists, anti-corruption, australia, censorship, china, corruption, free media, free press, free speech, freedom, human rights, news, politics, porn, pornagraphy, pro-democracy, sex, sexual