The Great Firewall Of Censorship In China

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Written by: Rhinostril

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As you may or may not know, China has extremely strict regulations on basically any form of online contact with the western world. The developers at GreatFire are releasing FreeWeibo this might just be what a technological revolution needs to start a virtual fire.

Censorship in China

As a Belgian author with little or no restrictions on my online freedom, I cannot begin to imagine how it must feel knowing that there is an entire world governmental diplomats forbid you to discover.
Sites like Google.com,Twitter.com,Facebook.com,Bbc.c.uk,Wikileaks.org,Youtube.com, vimeo.com,Bing.com and remarkably thetibetpost.com, more about that in a sec.
The following was said during a 2 hour long interview by an expert in Chinese censorship who has been locked up in china on his holiday for telling people the truth and questioning the authorities. He wishes to remain anonymous as these impressions and statements could be harmful when traced back to him. This is the essence and I did paraphrase his words so some of it may seem out of context.“The good people of China are among the most indoctrinated I’ve ever seen, nothing about the way they defend their government seems somewhat genuine. It looks like they are wired to have a sense of hatred  toward the Tibetan people. They are continuously lied to by the government at every opportunity they get and they are censored themselves on Sina Weibo, the government-controlled social network. I got arrested when interviewing a local police officer who felt my behaviour was unethical and downright evil. When in custody , I had the chance to talk to inmates who had been through roughly the same thing. In our cell block, there were no murderers to be found, no rapists nor psychopaths. We were all just asking the wrong questions at the wrong time and place. The stories I heard were those of Tibetans getting captured for vague reasons and released after two months and all of these prisoners were found dead 1 year later and no one could link those deaths to the Chinese anymore due to the leap in time. I was struck with fear and hatred toward the Chinese people who just keep on living their lives and who don’t question the authorities. This censorship is of course a violation of the human rights and organisations such as amnesty are trying their best to fight this. It almost seems ridiculous how openly they abuse freedom rights for example Liu Xiaobo Who won the nobel prize for peace (because of his work on fighting the government) whilst in captivity, oh the irony .”

 

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FreeWeibo.Com

GreatFire is a secretive organisation that monitors the censored messages on Sina Weibo and posts them on freeweibo.com for the world to see. The activists think that the way they made the app renders it impossible to be blocked by the government. They hope that will show others an effective way to avoid Chinese internet restrictions, whilst furthering their goal of ending online censorship in China. GreatFire was founded in 2011 by three guys who wish to remain anonymous in fear of  China’s revenge. So how did they bypass the internet restrictions? They hosted FreeWeibo on amazon’s cloud hosting service, It cannot be blocked because of the businesses that rely on amazon . If blocked , too many businesses would suffer from economic losses and the Chinese government can’t have that. This gives Greatfire an epic advantage almost like a bank heist with an enormous amount of hostages being held. The mobile app was taken down from the app store in reply .
GreatFire hopes that the android version cannot be taken down (as easily) and furthermore that amazon doesn’t make any deals with China (so far they have kept quiet and respected their customer’s privacy when asked about FreeWeibo). Their plans for the future include mirroring Free news sites such as The New York Times. This will prove to be a far bigger challenge because this site get updated frequently and is quite huge as well. “Our goal is to end online censorship in China. That’s the endgame for us,” says one of the founders of GreatFire. “And we won’t rest until we have achieved that goal.”

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Sources:
http://mashable.com/2014/04/28/freeweibo-android-app-great-firewall-china/
https://en.greatfire.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_China
http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/04/economist-explains-how-china-censors-internet
http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2014/country-chapters/china
http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/cases/china-shi-tao
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-02/28/c_133150493.htm
http://www.amnesty.nl/mensenrechten/encyclopedie/internetcensuur
http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/4125/Internet/article/detail/1407318/2012/03/12/Internetcensuur-steeds-erger-in-China-en-Iran.dhtml

 

Written by Rhinostril

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7 COMMENTS

  1. China gov forbidden a lot things to their own people. Their consciousness are in prison. they are only interested money and material to make them happy. so how could Chinese Dragon family can save the world? they even cant save themselves from forbidden Country.

  2. that’s why..they kinda look like uncivilized..being locked-up..
    being ruled…No freedoms..they need to revolt! to change! their goverment..

  3. Actually No.
    If you knew anything about China;
    the people, the religion, the way of life [an empire since 1200 BC]
    what the Country/People has been through to rebuild from the British – Opium Wars to the Japanese – Nanjing Massacre
    They as people are more detached to money and materialism then any
    “western mindset” could ever achieve….[yep exaggerating a bit but u get it]

    Either way, it will be a challenge to change the mind set and the point of view of the Chinese.
    It was only last year August 8, 2013 that China finally accepts and embraced Bruce Lee – by erecting a statue in his Honer on the Avenue of the Stars in Hong Kong – Prior to that the Chinese saw Bruce Lee as a traitor when he was fully established in the U.S.

    Different Cultured Minds work differently we just need to put it in a way that they’d be able to see through the eyes that we see, and understand it
    Western/Eastern – Capitalist/Communist

    So from looking at the Rothschild’s and a few of the things they have gone done,
    or even comparing the HealthCare System to the FREE Australian HealthCare/Medicare
    Does this make the people of the United States of America
    “only interested in money and material to make them happy”?

    Lets try to Understand each other instead of Generalizing a whole Country based on a small percentages actions/decisions.

    • Thanx Alex for your reply,
      I do not blame the Chinese people, I feel sorry for them and wish for their wish of freedom to come true.I can surely see that the chinese have a huge history and work in a very different way comared to the western society…
      The point that I tried to make was that of denying people their freedom which might have it’s cultural reasons. However an individual should never be chained because of a few governemental policies
      regards Rhinostril

      • No indeed they shouldn’t. Yet it still happens and in more counries than China alone. Why? Because their governments are convinced it’s in their best interests. Who are they to judge? Who are we to judge? Are those people in their ignorance less happy than we are? I recently concluded myself that a lot of people in my western country prefer to life a carefree illusion to a life built on truths.
        I’m just saying the situation is far more complicated than the obvious political agendas. It’s the place where politics and philosophy meet in order to create a utopia.

        (however don’t get me wrong I also want the universal freedom of speech)

  4. If they have Google Chrome or Mozzila Firefox they could install a extension called Hola Better Internet….Let’s you bypass the censorship. Of course if by any chance they do not have a law that if they caught you doing that by looking at what your internet activities are….i think you might be in a trouble then 😛

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