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Some Google Searches Now Blocked In China 84

Posted by timothy
from the trial-balloon-target-practice dept.
bannable writes with this from the Wall Street Journal: "Google Inc. said that its Web search service in mainland China was partially blocked Wednesday, the deadline for the company to extend its Internet operating license in the country. The company said the blockage appeared to affect only search queries generated by mainland China users of the company's Google Suggest function, which automatically recommends search queries based on the first few letters a user types into the search box."
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Some Google Searches Now Blocked In China

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @03:11PM (#32749588)

    When I type in "Hent" it doesn't prop up any suggested searches, despite there being a popular and obvious topic, even with safesearch off.

    *AC to hide my dirty little secret.

  • jack (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tianfan (1263344)
    This issue is so simple guys. Every country has their own laws, this applies US too. A Chinese company comes to US to do their business, it has to obey US Laws. If it doesn't do so, the result will be the same as google in China. I hope you guys can take a different perspective to look at this issue. I agree that democracy and freedom of speech will be the ultimate final goal where Chinese government pursuits. However, they are not the most important issues in China now. In order to fix that, we have to fi
    • Once you have democracy and freedom of speech, then fixing poverty and hunger will happen naturally.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Zephyr14z (907494)
        I suppose these things haven't occurred in a country yet then? There's certainly still poverty and hunger in the western world too. Turns out, even with democracy and free speech, you still need money and food to fix poverty and hunger.
      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Yeah, we've pretty much had both of those in America for a couple hundred years and change, and nobody goes hungry here anymore!

      • Not in the UK it hasn't. It's certainly not on a massive scale, and it's maybe or maybe not due to a democratic system, but they're present nonetheless. I'd point to Cuba as a non-democratic country that has, on occasion, put both the US and the UK to shame when it comes to a state care system. Both democratic and non-democratic systems can bring many benefits and many harms, and without doubt neither is a panacea.

        To defend your point, if this was an issue of resources rather than control then China w
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by perryizgr8 (1370173)

        no it won't. come to india and have a look.

    • I agree that democracy and freedom of speech will be the ultimate final goal where Chinese government pursuits. However, they are not the most important issues in China now. In order to fix that, we have to fix poor and hunger now. And the scale of governing is totally different from any other countries, since we have 1.5 billion, no other government understands how hard it is. Let me give an example in IT maybe you geeks will be easier to understand. To manage a web site with 100 visits per day is totally different than to run a web site with 1 million visits per day, geeks call it scaling, right.

      You seem to imply here that it is necessary for the Chinese government to filter out search requests in order to solve the problems of poverty and hunger? It seems to me that if Chinese government officials were really interested in solving such problems, they wouldn't be spending such exorbitant resources to keep their own citizens in the dark about what they are doing.

      • by tianfan (1263344)
        oh man. I didn't imply what you said man. Please don't mispresenting it, thanks
        • heya,

          Actually, you did imply that.

          Your argument seems to be that there are bigger fish to fry in China - namely poverty, hunger etc. I'd probably add things like the growing male-female ratio, the general spoit-ness of many of China's one-child-policy children ("Little Emperors"), pollution and rampant degradation of the environment, and a accepted culture of greed and corruption.

          And sure, those are bigger issues.

          So why exactly is the Chinese government scared that people will say, find search results on Ti

    • Re:jack (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cparker15 (779546) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @03:32PM (#32749772) Homepage Journal

      I agree that democracy and freedom of speech will be the ultimate final goal where Chinese government pursuits. However, they are not the most important issues in China now. In order to fix that, we have to fix poor and hunger now.

      Democracy/freedom and poverty/hunger are not mutually exclusive issues. I'm sure that, with 1.5 billion people, China can manage to pool enough resources to multi-task and focus on more than one issue at a time.

      Everything else you said is really just an attempt at justifying a perceived need for authoritarianism. Please understand one small, simple idea: There is never a need for authoritarianism.

      • by tianfan (1263344)
        Thanks for your point cparker. I agree there are a lot problems for Chinese government. And we like to hear critics from other people now. Critics always make thing better, especially for government. However, Do you agree we need to do it step by step? Democracy/freedom is not a one time thing, it can't happen in one day. It took western countries 2 or 3 hundred years to reach the democracy level now. It is only 30 years for China, what do you expect, guys. China has opened door to the world for 30 years n
        • It took western countries 2 or 3 hundred years to reach the democracy level now. ... China has opened door to the world for 30 years now. Do you agree we have made a lot progresses now?

          Comparing China to the development of democratic philosophical theory is misguided. You want to compare development of democracy in China to its development in other specific emerging modern nations. Ideally in nations where it was previously absent. The United States' democracy has been stable for much of the 200 years you mention, where progress was improvement upon an already solid democratic foundation.

          It took not just us Americans, but humanity itself, eons to figure out that leaders should derive t

      • Re:jack (Score:4, Interesting)

        by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @04:18PM (#32750274) Journal

        There is never a need for authoritarianism.

        This is really an interesting question, because democracy requires a certain amount of maturity by the populace. Just like freedom of speech; are you willing to let your neighbor say annoying things to guarantee that right to yourself? Are you willing to give your neighbor that you hate the freedoms of democracy so that you might also live in a fair country?

        My sister went to Jordan recently, and talked to a Christian man who said, "Democracy is great for America, but I don't want it here. If there were democracy, the majority will kill and persecute us small minority Christians." And he was right, there are problems with having a king in Jordan, but he maintains peace.

        Democracy requires maturity, and not so long ago, the Chinese people didn't have it. The cultural revolution was a populist movement: it was encouraged by Mao, but the destruction and misery was supported and largely run by the people.

        How will we know when the Chinese people are ready for a non-authoritarian government? When they rise up and demand it. It's not wise to try to force it on them.

        • by spinkham (56603)

          I agree with you. China is not ready for democracy.

          The point is that if we allow the Chinese government to continue it's broad censorship with no challenge, they never will be.

          I know a number of Chinese students who moved to the US on student visas. It takes about 2 years before they see that the Chinese gov't isn't as perfect as they were told, and that freedom of the press might do them some good.

        • by Vasheron (1750022)
          Increasingly it has been my view that the United States, and indeed the entire Western world, should follow a cultural prime directive.
      • by cozzbp (1845636)

        I agree that democracy and freedom of speech will be the ultimate final goal where Chinese government pursuits. However, they are not the most important issues in China now. In order to fix that, we have to fix poor and hunger now.

        Won't democracy and freedom of speech help solve such issues as poverty and hunger? The free market tends to have that effect...

        • The free market can help economic growth, but:

          1) A free market has nothing to do with democracy of freedom of speech - look at Singapore, which has free markets but limited political freedom, or look India in the 1970s which had democracy and free speech with state control of the economy (huge state sector, tightly regulated markets).
          2) A free market can leave people in poverty because the greater total wealth is unevenly distributed.

    • Good point -- we act like sheep and obey unjust laws! Nothing ever bad has happened from taking that attitude.
    • by Threni (635302)

      > Every country has their own laws, this applies US too

      And Nazi Germany. Sometimes, when you see a wrong being done, you want to try and put it right - even in the face of a hundred million dullards who believe everything their government tells them. You own government doesn't have to be right all the time for its citizens to know something smells bad somewhere else.

      • by tianfan (1263344)
        haha. Actually, this issue is not that bad in China. Nobody cares about it, everybody is working hard to make their lives better. Only you guys always make a big deal of it.
        • by Threni (635302)

          I actually went to china a few years ago and it would probably suck a lot less if people smiled more. No-one smiled there. I'm talking about szenchen. Something like that. I went for a day or so from Hong Kong. People smile in Hong Kong - it's full of life and colour. I guess that's the difference between a free country and a fucked up shithole full of miserable corrupt police and people too stupid or scared to see how every aspect of their lives is controlled by people whose only goal is to prevent ch

    • There's a notion that some things transcend laws. Some rights are inherent to being a sapient being.

      Now some people can threaten you into not exercising those rights, and you might even convince yourself that you don't have them, but you do.

      It's an esoteric concept, sure, and might not have practical application to a pragmatist, but it drives these sorts of policy decisions. If the laws of China cause its government to threaten its people into not exercising their fundamental rights, then the laws and the

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      However, they are not the most important issues in China now.

      I fail to understand how freedom and democracy would undermine China's economy. Please explain this in simple terms.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Because when a society changes too quickly it become unstable. Remember the 1960's? Or the collapse of the Soviet Union? More than 20 years later Russia has yet to recover.

    • Re:jack (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bhagwad (1426855) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @03:59PM (#32750112) Homepage
      India has 1.14 billion people - and the area is smaller too. Both have done a decent job so far at reducing slums and poverty [business-standard.com] given their restraints. So how come China needs to censor the Internet and remove freedom of expression when India is more or less ok with it?
      • by FarHat (96381)

        India also blocks various websites, just a much smaller number. e.g., savitabhabhi.com was blocked not too long back.

        • by bhagwad (1426855)
          No one's denying there's a long way to go. But to compare India's censorship with China's is fairly absurd...

          China's censorship is systemic and institutional. India's is on knee jerk basis. And it can always be challenged in court as well.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      So you will blindly follow the Patriot Act laws here because after all, it's "the law"?

    • Re:jack (Score:4, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @04:14PM (#32750238)

      Legal != moral

      It's illegal in a lot of nutball Muslim countries for a Muslim to convert to Christianity (by penalty of death). That doesn't mean I can escape criticism when my company starts helping the authorities hunt Christians by saying "Hey, I'm just obeying the law."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      This issue is so simple guys. Every country has their own laws, this applies US too. A Chinese company comes to US to do their business, it has to obey US Laws. If it doesn't do so, the result will be the same as google in China. I hope you guys can take a different perspective to look at this issue.

      You'll probably find that many people here understand this. But cultural diversity is not an absolute excuse behavior. We find this behavior despicable whether it is the Chinese government or (as it is occasionally want to do) our own.

      I agree that democracy and freedom of speech will be the ultimate final goal where Chinese government pursuits. However, they are not the most important issues in China now. In order to fix that, we have to fix poor and hunger now. And the scale of governing is totally different from any other countries, since we have 1.5 billion, no other government understands how hard it is. Let me give an example in IT maybe you geeks will be easier to understand. To manage a web site with 100 visits per day is totally different than to run a web site with 1 million visits per day, geeks call it scaling, right.

      I see that solving issues of poverty and hunger are closely driving the Chinese Government's interaction with Google. If only there were a few less searches for Tienanmen Square or the Falun Gong, China would have these issues tied up. Alas, Google has caused untold povert

    • by Khashishi (775369)

      Actually, China seems to be doing a pretty good job of fixing poverty and hunger. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2010/06/reporters-notebook-obesity-rising-in-china.html [pbs.org]
      I'm not sure they are going about it right, but you can't say that they are as poor as they were 40 years ago.

    • First off, where did the news-item say this was a bad thing? Don't play victim over nothing.

      Secondly, of course you're right. Anyone who argues against sovereignty of a country's government over its own country is not thinking straight.
      If one thinks censorship is bad, then of course the Chinese (government) is bad as well, but this may be too quick to judge. But let's not forget the other guilty party in this case, one which can more easily be judged: Google, rooted in a free (uncensored, 'not evil') soci
    • heya,

      Ok, from your nickname and your English, as well as the slant of your comment, I'm going to take a stab that you're Chinese? You've definitely drunked their kool-aid there.

      As another commenter noted, I fail to see how the Chinese government needs to censor and hide things (like say, the Tianamment massacre) from it's own people to help solve poverty and hunger? It takes more effort to do lie and mislead people - effort that could be better redirected to other things.

      You claim that they're focused on fi

    • However, they are not the most important issues in China now. In order to fix that, we have to fix poor and hunger now. And the scale of governing is totally different from any other countries, since we have 1.5 billion

      India has a population that is almost as large, and it has fairly free speech, democracy, and it is dealing with poverty about as effectively. The EU has a population of about 500 million, which is significantly small but still on a similar scale.

      As for obeying national laws, laws may be moral or immoral. Consider a business dealing with South Africa in the apartheid era: would it have been right for them to obey or break the law?

    • by tianfan (1263344)
      After reading all you guys' comments, I feel you guys are so funny. There is one thing come out of my mind "Wolololo" Damn Americans always interfering!!!" Get the fuck out of other countries, and go back to your own in-minded-super-power US, and fix your own fucking problems.
    • Every country has their own laws, this applies US too. A Chinese company comes to US to do their business, it has to obey US Laws. If it doesn't do so, the result will be the same as Google in China.

      China is well within their rights to tell a foreign company to GTFO. Until China grows enough backbone to put its foot down, Google can do whatever it wants.

  • it makes me wonder (Score:3, Interesting)

    by digitalsushi (137809) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @03:20PM (#32749656) Journal

    What are my obligations as a human being to run an open proxy for IP addresses that come from China? (i.e. drop the rest of the IPs to keep freeloaders out); I am torn between the trouble *I* can get in for blindly proxying traffic, versus the feel good vibe from letting someone get onto the unfiltered net. Thoughts?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Do it, just make sure you're behind a proxy.

    • by Spazed (1013981)
      At the very least I doubt your ISP would be very happy about it. At worst you are responsible for any traffic that goes in and out of your system. Since you won't be able to prove your machine was acting as a botnet operative, but you instead let unknown people into your system, you will be liable for anything they download/do. So hacking, child porn, bestiality, terrorist threats, etc will all be on you.

      While it is a noble burden to bear at first glance, the idea of letting people I don't know onto any
    • It's somewhat akin to smuggling guns into China for non-state-approved use [wikipedia.org]. Since this is a self-described nerd news site, we generally care more about freedom of information than the right to firearms. However, that doesn't make it against the law (be it spirit or letter). Personally, I think that freedom of information is somehow more "fundamental" than freedom to own firearms, but far be it from me to impose my morals on another people.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zarel (900479)

      What are my obligations as a human being to run an open proxy for IP addresses that come from China? (i.e. drop the rest of the IPs to keep freeloaders out); I am torn between the trouble *I* can get in for blindly proxying traffic, versus the feel good vibe from letting someone get onto the unfiltered net. Thoughts?

      Well, let me tell you a story.

      Way back in 2006 or so, I went on a trip to China. This was back when the Great Firewall blocked Wikipedia, and a few weeks in, I was suffering from Wikipedia-withdrawal. So I called one of my friends, who was a coder for an online MUD, and got him to set up a web proxy on the MUD's website.

      I even made an edit on that proxy: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Business_Professionals_of_America&diff=prev&oldid=68970071 [wikipedia.org] - that's how I discovered their server had mod

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dwedit (232252)

        Would it have made any difference if the connection to the proxy was encrypted?

  • China (Score:3, Funny)

    by mfh (56) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @03:28PM (#32749732) Homepage Journal

    These guys like walls.

    "Wolololo"

    Damn Americans always interfering!!!

  • is that freedom of speech and democracy are virtually exclusive to a few nations. maybe im just approaching this from the wrong side, maybe im wrong, im perfectly willing to concede both but im at least a bit confused...

    if laws in another country are different, why dont we just respect them and do business on their terms? and if we cant, then we need to stop being hypocritical and begin questioning and denying trade on more than just the internet with china in reaction to their censorship requirements.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thinboy00 (1190815)

      Human rights are universal. If the law says you don't have them, the law is wrong.

  • Random, but related (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sharp3 (1195261) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @05:23PM (#32750956)
    On a sort of random, but related note...
    A recent foray into the underworld of chatroulette led me to a conversation with two Chinese nationals, although admittedly I WAS looking for naked fat bald men... They asked me what I thought of Obama, and I told them I wasn't fond of socialist or communist policies that manage vast amounts of my paycheck for me. I asked them what they thought of their government. Their only response was a single word: "love".
    It showed to me that the average Chinese citizen is keenly aware of the ability of the government to spy on them and monitor activities. It also seemed as though there was some degree of fear. Granted they weren't afraid of talking to me or asking about the United States, but talking about their own government was a big no no, and could bring reprisals.
  • Can some1 tell me why Google and slashdoters care so much about Chinese citizens? their living standards, their wages, their human rights, especially their freedom of speech. I don't believe they care because they are do-no-evil angels, or they love Chinese citizens. There must be some hidden agenda. The other thing amuse me is that Google still stay in China, what a shameless company eating back its own poop it laid back in January 2010.
    • heya,

      Hmm, you realise that your broken English and silly insults are a dead giveaway that you're a Chinese troll? Lol.

      I mean, "a shameless company eating back its own poop". Look, I understand that some things just don't translate well, and I'm sure if I tried to insult you in mandarin, I'd sound like a five-year-old, but do you realise how silly that sounds? Not because of your poor English, but because you provide absolutely nothing to back your arguments up. You just spout random insults, that make absol

      • by tianfan (1263344)
        oh.. it looks like Victor knows stuff ehh. I know you don't like my English, and I know my English is not that good. But you know why, I bet your Chinese is not as good as my English. Sorry man, I am actually Canadian Chinese, born in Canda, and grew up both in Canada and China. You know, Vancouver is kind of mixed culture, sorry about my poor English.
        • heya,

          Actually, I was replying to "bigtummy". Unless you two happen to be the same person, with two accounts?

          But back to your original point - as I said in reply to you up above, my contention wasn't with your english per se. As I readily admitted up there, I'm sure if I tried to argue with you in mandarin, it would come out quite broken. My main point was that your arguments were lacklustre, and seriously lacking in any sort of solid evidence.

          Your main point, that somehow China was focusing on "fighting pov

          • by tianfan (1263344)
            hey yo buddy, are you from HongKong? If so, then we probably from the same place man.
          • by tianfan (1263344)
            And no, I only has one account here.
          • by tianfan (1263344)
            And one more thing, you can take tiananmen square thing as a point. But please don't take Tibet, you know too little about it man. I went there 4 times in last 10 years. I understand how hard the government is building infrastructure there to make their lives better. Railway, airport, state highway, free schools, free foods, free medicals.

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