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The Chinese government has widened its crackdown on vulgar content found on the Internet

Shortly after confirming it launched a campaign to purge the internet of pornography and other lewd content, the Chinese government has banned at least 41 additional web sites for various reasons.

The online porn crackdown began more than one week ago, started by the State Council's Information Office and Public Security and Culture ministries, along with several other government agencies.  Nineteen Chinese web sites have been blacklisted, with Google.cn, Baidu and Microsoft MSN also on the list of temporarily banned web sites.

Pornography distribution is illegal in China, but the easy availability of internet has made it difficult for the government to limit access to adult content.

Google was also chastised by the Chinese government for not being proactive enough to block pornographic content in mainland China.  While Google and Baidu offer links to lewd content, MSN was accused of linking to inappropriate images on its film channel and pictures that can be found in other parts of the web site.

The government has already shut down around 100 web sites since the campaign's launch, and it's unknown how many more sites the government is expected to shut down during the oncoming weeks.  

Amnesty International and similar groups have criticized the Chinese government over its strong censorship practices, saying the internet crackdown is taking place ahead of several politically sensitive activities.

Despite the crackdown and censorship of the Internet, Chinese citizens continue to flock to the internet, as the country now has more than 300 million people using the internet.



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So What?
By Aloonatic on 1/15/2009 8:36:21 AM , Rating: 4
In the UK there are plenty of websites that have been blocked (yet not all those that should be according to the law???) but people didn't realise it was happening until the ridiculous case of the naked girl on a bands album cover story came to light.

It's not like pornographic material isn't controlled in most countries either? In the UK it's actually illegal to own most sorts of video that are available on the internet and the rules are stricter than most other countries. You can't download drawn images of children (not that most people would want to of course but it's been a workaround for weirdoes forever) or material which shows women being physically abused which makes many BDSM sites dubious in their legality.

Most people over here aren't aware that what they can still look at is now illegal. At least China are doing something to uphold their standards rather than making up useless legislation in a knee jerk reaction* to last weeks news story and then moving on.

Are we supposed to feel "more free" in the west as we aren't aware of what our governments do for most of the time or that they can't be bothered to do anything with their own legislation.... or something?

* The story I'm thinking of concerned a woman who was beaten to death by a guy who used to view a lot of extreme BDSM websites which showed women being abused far more than the odd hand cuffing and riding crop sort of thing. The government stepped in after the usual campaign by the woman's mother that seems to follow all incidents like this,




RE: So What?
By Denithor on 1/15/2009 11:20:33 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Most people over here aren't aware that what they can still look at is now illegal. At least China are doing something to uphold their standards rather than making up useless legislation in a knee jerk reaction* to last weeks news story and then moving on.


If enough people are doing it (whatever it happens to be) then the standards need to change to tolerate the behavior. A good example is pot. A recent study found nearly 500,000 US citizens behind bars for drug-related reasons. If only half of those are due to pot alone (probably higher) that means that nearly 1% of the entire US population is in prison for marijuana.

Now, before I get rated down, I have never smoked it (or used any other illegal substance) but I have lots of friends who use it. And I honestly don't see it as any worse than alcohol or tobacco. Seriously, when was the last time you heard of a pot-head smoking & tearing up a bar? More likely a nasty case of the muchies...


RE: So What?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/15/2009 11:35:30 AM , Rating: 2
Danger Will Robinson...Danger. That's a very broad paint brush you are using. If you go with that logic, if a high enough percentage of people start murdering other people because they disagreed or something, we should then say well this now needs to be tolerated behavior and make it legal to murder?
You must remember rules/laws are not there to be fun; they are really there to educate future generations from what their elders already learned from trial and error. Those that do not learn are then punished for breaking the rules.


RE: So What?
By myhipsi on 1/15/2009 1:06:46 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Danger Will Robinson...Danger. That's a very broad paint brush you are using. If you go with that logic, if a high enough percentage of people start murdering other people because they disagreed or something, we should then say well this now needs to be tolerated behavior and make it legal to murder?


I don't think you can compare smoking pot to murder. The former is a victimless "crime" that amounts to controlling what people can put into their own bodies and the later is taking someones life which is arguably the worst crime you could possibly commit.

quote:
You must remember rules/laws are not there to be fun; they are really there to educate future generations from what their elders already learned from trial and error.


I'd be willing to say that maybe 25% of all laws would fit under your definition. The rest however are a result of special interests, lobbiests, corporate bullying, etc. Most laws aren't there to correct former mistakes but to fit political/corporate agendas, whatever they may be.

I dare say, any victimless crime isn't really crime at all but the result of politicians bending to whatever special interests and corporate agendas come their way, especially if it means more votes and/or campaign money. It appears that you have a lot more trust and faith in government than I do my friend.


RE: So What?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/15/2009 3:03:12 PM , Rating: 1
I don't think you can compare smoking pot to murder. The former is a victimless "crime" that amounts to controlling what people can put into their own bodies and the later is taking someones life which is arguably the worst crime you could possibly commit.

First things first… No such thing as a victimless crime. In this case Pot does in fact make you less intelligent. Yes, some people may debate it does not. However, if you know anyone who uses pot on a regular bases daily/weekly and have know them their whole life, you know they are not a sharp as they were before pot. (I know about 20 people that people that fit into the regular use category – 100% of them have lost I.Q. points over the 30 years I’ve known them.) So, who’s the victim you ask? Society and their families – Yes, person is still useful to society just not as useful – so it suffers from the lost of these people skillfulness.

Secondly, yes, can 100% compare these two subjects when you read the statement correctly. My statement was not about Pot smoking being illegal/legal or murder being illegal/legal. Really it has nothing to do with either subject. It was to say if you use that logic to make things legal (like pot smoking) then in time you will also be legalizing murder (if it becomes common). Yes, in this case you have to compare these two subjects as well as everything else that will or might become legal because most people do it… example speed limit will become 160 Mph (or something near there) because just about everyone speeds. So, once you raise the speed limit, fast drivers will drive even faster and you’ll have to raise the limit again. This will be true for highway and local street – smart and safe for society as a whole right? No of course not but it’s what’s popular so let do it? This of course does not make sense – that is the point of my statement, popular does not make it correct, right, or moral.

Third, murder is not the worst crime you can commit (top ten for sure). One of the worst crimes you can commit as a male would be to make a promise to a female, have sexual intercourse, impregnate her, keep none of the promises, and leave her to raise the kid(s) all by herself (no aid at all). In this case you are ruining at least two lives maybe more for one moment of selfish pleasure. In a case of murder someone may be suffering to much physical pain to live and might be asking to die…. so is it the worst thing you can do (end the pain)?


RE: So What?
By Oregonian2 on 1/15/2009 4:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
First things first… No such thing as a victimless crime. In this case Pot does in fact make you less intelligent.


Hmmmm... it was admittedly used by a former U.S. president.


RE: So What?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/15/2009 5:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
I know it's used... does not mean there is no victim. Every action has consequences. Those actions which have a negative consequence create some sort of victim. Even if it’s just the person at the cleaners being grossed out by the stain that was made on a blue dress – still a victim. All just a matter of level of damage the victim receives from the “crime”.


RE: So What?
By warrioryoko on 1/15/2009 6:26:35 PM , Rating: 3
First thing I have to point out is that Denithor said that societies' standards need to change to tolerate the behavior based on its occurance. That does not equal the behavior needs to be legalized. What I pull from what he states is that he sees the current legal approach to illegal drug use as too harsh, specifically with penalties that do not fit the severity of the crime.

Next, is while the exact phrasing of what he stated about laws and legal standards might not be crafted precisely enough to use in a legal textbook, he has a valid point. Every society has a different set of values and beliefs that has guided their conception of government, and lawmaking. There is not a single set of laws that will suit the whole of every group of people, for every location in the world, for each set of circumstances, throughout history. And throughout history, across cultures, we see that the set of rights and laws under which we take to be axiomatic as Americans or otherwise are vastly different depending on the time period, location, and value systems of the society in question.

It was not too long ago that slavery was legally accepted in America, and in many more regions in the world than it currently is. And race based discrimination less than that, only a couple generations back. Though we could debate the "moral correctness" of it from varying points of view from the perspective of many different systems of belief, that is not what we're examining here. It was *legally* acceptable. It was the generally accepted by the part of the population the government viewed as important, thus the laws reflected the majority frequency of the behavior.

Murder has always been somewhat negotiable at best across culture and time periods, including our own. In the US, killing others within the constraints of a duel was legal until roughly 1839. In a narrow sense, killing of "enemies" are legal within certain contexts in military warfare. When Pope Urban the 2nd called for the first crusade, he called for the destruction of Muslims from Jerusalem - while he is quoted as having said "destroy that vile race" and not kill, he must certainly have known the deaths of many Muslims would have resulted. And while he may have called for the first crusade in response to Christian pilgrims being killed by raiders while on their way to the holy land, it was a conditional murder warrant irregardless of motivation. Generally, throughout Japan's history before the end of the Sengoku era, there was a strict system of social class in place. The two lowest classes of people comprised of farmers and those who did menial labor almost had no repose were one of their kin killed - it was acceptable for anyone of higher social status and wealth to kill them, with no right to seek compensation or 'justice'. Upon having a new sword forged, Samurai would often walk into the nearest village sword in hand, and kill the nearest peasant to test the keenness of the new blade. The Roman people were held slaves of the prior dominant civilization in Italy, the Estrucans. They overthrew them in approximately 509 BCE, and murdered them in the streets. Not to mention that the Roman Empire generally took a easygoing view of murder, so long as they were murdering non-Romans.

These are all specific illustrations of the view of law in regards to murder across time periods, cultures, and regions of the world. They're meant to illustrate the broader idea that laws change depending on the values, beliefs, and living circumstances of those crafting them at the time. Morality is relative. Ages ago people DID indeed murder each other because they disagreed, and for more petty reasons than that. And it wasn't legal because it was "right" or "wrong" but because the beliefs and behavior of the populace supported it. And more emphasis on belief than behavior, though the latter tends to follow the former. And that's just what Law *is* - a public policy tool used to maintain order and govern behavior according to the prevalent beliefs and needs of a population. And beliefs and needs change over time.

Part of the major issue at hand is that in this case, China is not regulating ethics, but the far more subjective and frequently personal morality. In "western" countries there's a good amount of slack in legislation regulating morality compared to the broader scope of applied ethics. In the US especially, morality is broadly equated with issues of personal choice that are thought not to transgress the personal boundaries of others, and ethics with those orders of personal conduct that *do* trangress others' personal rights. So, freedom of religion, medical care, occupation and lifestyle would be categorized as moral issues with murder and theft being categorized as ethical issues in which the law shall intervene.

People disagree on the borders of morality and ethics in this regard, as is illustrated on the varying laws controlling pornography, age of consent, and more across country and culture. In communist systems of thought, which we see employed in China, there is little or no difference in the view between what's good for the person and what is good for the whole of the state. Each person is viewed to a large extent as a homogeneous element of a larger system. China believes it knows what's good for you and can tell you what to do in areas customarily viewed as private in the west.

Many Chinese do not believe this is appropriate, and emigrate from China to other countries, such as the US. Ethics, morality and law are all human things, are are subjective and changing over time and circumstance. There is a murky line to toe between laws appropriate for the government to make regarding ethics, and laws appropriate governing morality. In any case, this line changes based on the systems of thought and belief used in the process of lawmaking, and according to prevaling views in western countries, *should* change according to the needs/behaviors/beliefs of the people, independent of individual ideas of ethics and morality.


RE: So What?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/15/2009 7:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
You have some very good points and may have not read my other post that followed before you wrote this reply.

I’m not disagreeing with what he is saying – using making pot illegal if society wants it legal or thinks it’s acceptable – if society is fine with it, then I will be fine with it. My main point is the major is not always right. If you let the major lead by the way it was stated above, well you are going down a very dangerous and slipper slope. Another example I would use… Say you surf the web and you see thousand of videos on gang rape. You know several people that have be involved in gang rape (victims and rapist), and say both sides loved it, said it was the best time they ever had. You start hearing more and more people talk about it, like its common practice (becoming like give a friend a kiss when you meet and leave). So, it seems the major of people are doing it. So, should society make it legal and tolerate this behavior because most of the people are doing it? In my book I say no. You need to bring good reason why a law should be change, removed or even made. Example Denithor, stated how tons of money would be saved from lower prison expenses and taxes could be earned off the sale of pot. These are good reasons to consider changing the law…. Not well 55% of the people smoke pot so let’s just make it legal.

Nice how you brought in Pope Urban the 2nd. ? There were several reasons for the crusades, 1) to protect the holy land – yes 2) was to stop the spread of Muslims from coming into Europe and taking over… and there are more I’m sure. However, Pope Urban the 2nd became Pope because his family paid enough money for him to be pope. He was not a very good Christian, if really a Christian at all. These were ugly days for the Christian church – This type of leadership is what led to some many divisions of the church.


RE: So What?
By Richlet on 1/15/2009 1:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
Living in a city where pot is almost an epidemic, I can't disagree more. People show up at work stoned, some go out several times/shift to toke up, etc etc. The problem is it's TOO accepted, like it's a lifestyle choice.

Comparing it to tobacco is silly because one doesn't get high on it (it's stupid, but it's not mind-altering on the level of dope or alcohol), and showing up drunk at work smelling of booze is pretty much a guaranteed loss of job.

As for the anecdote about tearing up a bar... how about playing like high school kids snapping towels and laughing with each other running around? I nearly stabbed an pothead at work the other day (by accident) because he was "playing" around while high.


RE: So What?
By Denithor on 1/15/2009 2:59:17 PM , Rating: 2
I just threw in tobacco because that's the model I would suggest they follow - legalize and tax the hell out of it. Beyond that you treat it like alcohol. If you show up for work drunk, you get fired. Driving high yields a DWI/DUI.

Release the quarter million or so people who are in jail because of only pot charges, thereby reducing the tax load significantly & prison overcrowding simultaneously.


RE: So What?
By foolsgambit11 on 1/15/2009 5:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's quick and easy to test if somebody is drunk. It's currently impossible, as far as I know, to test if somebody is stoned. You can do sobriety tests, I guess, but that's less reliable than a breathalizer-style test. Testing for marijuana will result in a positive for weeks after smoking it - well after the effects have worn off. Just a practical difficulty with legalizing pot.

To be clear, though, I'm all for decriminalization. But there are serious logistical hurdles that must be overcome to make it realistic.


RE: So What?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/09, Rating: 0
1/* aint bad...
By Myg on 1/15/09, Rating: 0
RE: 1/* aint bad...
By Myg on 1/15/09, Rating: 0
RE: 1/* aint bad...
By IcePickFreak on 1/15/2009 11:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
Right, just like 8 years olds working 12+ hour days is helping them learn the value of a dollar and giving them some financial independence at an early age.

Here we've been concentrating on their communist government and totally ignoring the socialist republic aspect. This is a socialist utopia folks - why else would this be the most populated country in the world? Thanks for pointing out this blatantly obvious "for your own good" aspect of their leadership. I'll be sure to pass this on to the engineer I work with who came here from China 1-1/2 years ago and brought his wife and kid with as he's obviously destroying his kids life with uncensored internet access.


RE: 1/* aint bad...
By Myg on 1/15/2009 4:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose one out of a countless number of self-destructive programs was thought out well!

China may not be blocking pornography for moral or ethical reasons, but I bet they know the practical reasons:

- Pornography stunts maturity in Men, it encourages them towards self-seeking and selfish copy-cat actions which prevent them from having to deal with the reality of sexuality (emotional/physical/spiritual).

By doing this, China will get a one-up on western Society by giving its Men the best chance to grow up with a balanced and mature view on life and the opposite sex. Therefore providing the next generation with an edge with social and mental stability, and maybe even make them happier doing so!

Maybe I give them too much credit, but I'd guess it would be something like that...

Kudos to the Chinese


RE: 1/* aint bad...
By Shmak on 1/15/2009 6:27:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
- Pornography stunts maturity in Men, it encourages them towards self-seeking and selfish copy-cat actions which prevent them from having to deal with the reality of sexuality (emotional/physical/spiritual).


If the following statement were true, how do your rationalize the government hiding the "reality" of the internet from its citizens? If anything, these kind of laws shelter people from reality, not open their eyes to it.


RE: 1/* aint bad...
By warrioryoko on 1/15/2009 7:03:38 PM , Rating: 3
Well, you're assertions are largely unfounded and specifically conditional regarding pornography, maturity and sexuality.

I think you should meet the average male fraternity pledge. They're a MUCH greater threat to your provided views of self-seeking, selfish copy-cat actions and escapism from the "reality of sexuality". ^_____^

Pornography might stunt sexual/emotional growth in males if that were the only teacher they had about sexuality, and the only model available to base their behavior upon. Outside of that, your assumed facts are simply not true. "Stunting maturity" is too nebulous a category and too outrageous a claim for me to address in a reasonable amount of space, nor is it worth my effort.

Dunno exactly how you mean self-seeking and selfish copy-cat actions, or how that keeps others from dealing with the reality of sexuality either... so I'll respond only with my best interpretation of what you've stated.

Taken to extremes, and used in the absense of a higher guiding principle, yes. Pornography does lend itself to a shallow view of sexuality and relationships, and to self-gratification independent of another persons' needs. So do most television programs on daytime television, but I digress. Part of the reason that pornography has laws controlling or blocking access to certain age groups is because of this. Exposure to subject matter so influencial to the development and character of a human being at an age where the mind perhaps can not properly process all the subtleties involved and the consequence of action. Much like realistic depictions of graphic violence.

What the effects will be depend entirely on the eye of the beholder. Not everyone that views pornography is brainwashed into this accused self-seeking and selfish behavior that doesn't deal with the reality of sexuality. Such behavior is, was, and always will be a lack of education and understanding of sex and sexuality, and perhaps apathy as well. Pornography does not cause this, single-handedly nor in part. Taken in the right circumstances, it can tip the scales towards views and behaviors disconnected with the reality of sexuality, as differently and far removed is the reality of a scene experienced firsthand and that scene viewed on a computer screen.

I don't defend what negative effects pornography may potentially have, nor that it should be regulated in some form and should be consumed cautiously. I only demand that causality is accurately attributed.

Your real enemy is decadent moral views and purely existential, animalistic views of humanity, the human body, and the sexual act itself. Pornography is only a tool that may be used to that end.

I won't go into a detailed discussion of all the behavior matching your model of self-seeking and selfish action across all cultures, countries and time periods, independent of and often exclusive of pornography. I'll only make the reference. =)

Eliminating access to pornography will not raise a generation of men with a balanced and mature view of life and the opposite sex as you might like to believe it will. Only education and mentoring to that end will, and will ever accomplish that. Ignore the fact that the next generation in China hardly *HAS* any women with which to develop such attitudes.


RE: 1/* aint bad...
By Myg on 1/17/2009 7:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
I don't quite fully understand you, first you disagree, then agree then disagree, then agree and disagree...

Pornography is a subset/expression of the moral degredation, you cant seperate the two.

Despite; in all (what I got from what you wrote) you have agreed with me that China is giving its men the "best chance" and I must admit, its nice to have some support on such an issue :-)


RE: 1/* aint bad...
By warrioryoko on 1/17/2009 11:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not see-sawing between agreeing and disagreeing with you, and I'm not agreeing with you that China is giving its men the "best chance".

Also, you're a moron.


RE: 1/* aint bad...
By Myg on 1/18/2009 6:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
Ouch; I hope you know that your name calling just undid any possible chance of actually being seen as reasonable and intelligent...

Anyways:

- Disagree

"Well, you're assertions are largely unfounded and specifically conditional regarding pornography, maturity and sexuality."

- Agree

"Pornography might stunt sexual/emotional growth in males if that were the only teacher they had about sexuality" [You accept that pornography has an influence, even if circomstancial, therefore agreeing with my premise that it leads/assists men's growth]

- Agree

"Taken to extremes, and used in the absense of a higher guiding principle, yes. Pornography does lend itself to a shallow view of sexuality and relationships, and to self-gratification independent of another persons' needs"

- Disagree

"Pornography does not cause this, single-handedly nor in part."

- Agree

"I don't defend what negative effects pornography may potentially have"

- Disagree

"Eliminating access to pornography will not raise a generation of men with a balanced and mature view of life and the opposite sex as you might like to believe it will"


What they should really crackdown on....
By nah on 1/15/2009 8:43:24 AM , Rating: 3
# 1 Corrupt Communist officials

# 2 Pirates (virtual and real) and smugglers

# 3 Producers producing shoddy goods ( milk, pet food..need I go on)




RE: What they should really crackdown on....
By Bateluer on 1/15/2009 8:50:16 AM , Rating: 1
Doing this would bring down the Chinese government, as well as lead to a major global economic collapse.

Besides, why would the CCP want to surrender their hold on power? They're living the good life.


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/15/2009 11:59:57 AM , Rating: 2
So have the corrupt communist officials go after themselves?

For points 2 and 3, many do not realize the Chinese government owns a percentage of every business based in its boarder. So for virtual pirates (guess you mean the guys who illegally copy say window OS disks), well they pay some of there profits to the Chinese government. As, shoddy goods have been making them higher profits so their government is not going to say, cut profits so we have a smaller amount of profits to divvy up....

Though I do agree these are good problems to solve. However, as you probably already know, people who self govern themselves tend to get into trouble because they tend not to enforce rules or laws that will hurt themselves. This is one of the reasons why socialism and communism have always and will in future always fail. They last for small stretches of time but hard to find a county that lasted more then 100/150 years.


wow.. a whole 41?
By kattanna on 1/15/2009 10:09:15 AM , Rating: 2
out of all the porn sites, they have banned at least a whole 41 sites?

LOL




RE: wow.. a whole 41?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/15/2009 12:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
I laughed at that too. However, need to remember Google had already made arrangements to block porn sites... So, the first 5,000,000 site were probably blocked by Google already. The other sites are probably not as obvious by the sites URL that it is porno.

Though one question I have, since many viruses come through downloads of music and porno from over the web. Does China as a whole a less virus issues then other countries?


Government FAIL
By iVTec on 1/15/2009 10:11:41 AM , Rating: 2
Let them have thy pr0n...

...this way their population won't reach 10 billion by the year 2020.




By Nyago123 on 1/15/2009 11:52:18 AM , Rating: 2
If it hadn't been for all the publicity that China has brought to this, I never would have discovered the East Building Kappa girl!




Censorship
By Josh7289 on 1/15/2009 7:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
Censorship does nothing but harm to human society, and should not exist. It's as simple as that.

Unfortunately there's not much I can do about what's going on in China. Change will most likely have to come from within if it's going to be accepted.

As a side note, this article comes as a sharp contrast to another one posted today: http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=13954

It's just unfortunate that censorship like this exists.




"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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