Tags: free speech

caonima, censorship

china gets ballsy

For those of you who haven't heard already, computers in China launched a large-scale attack on Google, Adobe, and a number of other large web companies last month. Google has reason to believe that this attack was orchestrated by the Chinese government and not a private group of hackers. The target was apparently the Gmail accounts of human rights activists in China, only two of which were compromised. In response, Google senior vice president David Drummond announced in a post to the company's official blog that Google is going to lift the censorship filters at Google.cn (imposed as a concession to the Chinese government when Google.cn began in 2005), and is threatening to cease its operations in China entirely. Not just google.cn, mind, but also YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, Picasa, all the others. Word on the street says the attacks were launched from Google.cn itself in an attempt to gain access to source code for the rest of their network, and Google is cutting off its China operations to protect its intellectual property. Which is not as crazy as it might sound; the extent of China's cyberespionage program elsewhere is already an open secret.

This, as I see it, could mean one of two things.

1) The PRC believes Chinese human rights activists are planning something absolutely huge in China, and the Chinese government is desperate enough to expose a significant proportion of its cyberespionage resources in an absolutely unsubtle attack on the world's biggest, best-defended web company in order to stop it.
2) The PRC is acting like a superpower. Repercussions? Fuck your repercussions. We're the Middle Kingdom, damn it. Whatcha gonna do, rest of the world? Huh? Huh? Whatcha gonna do? Give us your best shot.

Neither of these bodes well for anyone except the Machiavellian overlords at the CCP.

A plethora of perspectives:
caonima, censorship

"video is not a crime"

From Andy B. via facebook: The people's republic of China brings you this perfectly harmless children's song!

Truly, a majestic and noble beast.

In a disappointing bit of hypocrisy, the New York Times article about this video celebrates the spirit of anti-authoritarian subversion in which it was created, yet never translates the pun because it is "unprintable." New York Times, grow some balls. You're supposed to be our newspaper of record and a bastion of free speech. If a bunch of dudes in China can make a dirty joke at the Communist Party's expense under fear of indefinite carceration or death, certainly you can find the courage to flout U.S. obscenity law just once. Even doing it via euphemism would be acceptable.

There's also an animated folk hip-hop version:

For Chinese speakers, no further exposition should be necessary, but I bet you non-speakers are real curious now. So...explanation under the cut.

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