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China Blocks Google
September 3, 2002 11:09 AM   Subscribe

China Blocks Google » In the highest praise yet for Google, China (as in "great firewall of China") blocks Google. Dissident search engines. It must be the future.
posted by artlung (35 comments total)

 
But they don't block (powered by Google) Yahoo
--that's using the ol' noggin.
posted by y2karl at 11:18 AM on September 3, 2002


they must just not be a fan of the newsgroups or the image search, then.
posted by trioperative at 11:20 AM on September 3, 2002


You know, at first it really didn't make any sense that they would block the search engine, because they already block many websites that they feel provide illicit information and opinions.

Then I remembered that Google has a huge cache of most of the pages it searches - so if they want to block access to any information on the net, then they have to block Google, too.

Then it made more sense.
posted by Jart at 11:26 AM on September 3, 2002


Also see the Weekly Standard's great article, Who Lost China's Internet? from last February, about Yahoo's decision to help China build its censored version of the 'Net (discussed here and here).
posted by mediareport at 11:43 AM on September 3, 2002


I was doing room security for the Geneva 2000 Social Summit and got to sit in on a seminar on the spread of the net round the world. They were going on about how China were getting panicky and asking for help on filtering the internet. The guy doing the main presentation was a bit gungho - he seemed to think the internet was destined to transform the entire globe into Americaworld. He even went so far as to say: 'If the Founding Fathers were alive today, I don't think they could've come up with a more democratising force than the internet.' The implication being that any sane society would choose to be just like America. Good grief.
posted by RokkitNite at 11:54 AM on September 3, 2002


The implication being that any sane society would choose to be just like America.

As opposed to...
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:59 AM on September 3, 2002


...as opposed to New Jersey? Dunno. I'm at a loss too.

what are they protecting themselves from? Information? China's more capitalistic than communistic nowadays, despite all their gov't's intentions.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:02 PM on September 3, 2002


Real-Time Testing of Internet Filtering in China

Testing complete for http://www.metafilter.com. Result:
    Reported as accessible in China


Hi China!
posted by homunculus at 12:02 PM on September 3, 2002


'If the Founding Fathers were alive today, I don't think they could've come up with a more democratising force than the internet.'

That doesn't sound overtly gung ho to me, it sounds accurate. From that statement I get the picture of anyone being able to publish and read anything they please being a good thing. No more totalitarian regimes. No more court administered stonings or rapings as punishment. If there's one thing the net is good at, it's shining a light on all aspects of society, around the globe.

If I lived somewhere that was other than a democracy, I most certainly would read about the parts of the world that were, and wonder why I wasn't given the same freedom. Is that a bad thing?

Moving towards a democracy (by popular opinion, possibly swayed by online wanderings) doesn't have to mean a move to Americanism.
posted by mathowie at 12:03 PM on September 3, 2002


Moving towards a democracy (by popular opinion, possibly swayed by online wanderings) doesn't have to mean a move to Americanism.

Of course, if we can get our Imperialistic foot in the door via the Internet...VIVA AMERICA!

[/sarcasm]
posted by thanotopsis at 12:09 PM on September 3, 2002


Yahoo! Risks Abusing Rights in China
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM on September 3, 2002


Yahoo, Nortel and some other North American companies are really doing a bangup job on China's Golden Shield.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 12:12 PM on September 3, 2002


Then I remembered that Google has a huge cache of most of the pages it searches - so if they want to block access to any information on the net, then they have to block Google, too.

And yet they don't block the Internet Archive.

I did some checks on this the other night when the China test became available. I noticed they blocked NPR but not CNN or MS-NBC. It made me wonder just how extensive this filtering program is ...
posted by moonbiter at 12:15 PM on September 3, 2002


Moving towards a democracy (by popular opinion, possibly swayed by online wanderings) doesn't have to mean a move to Americanism.

Exactly. My point was that this guy (and admittedly, one sentence isn't totally representative of his whole spiel - my bad) thought it did. Freedom of speech and freedom of information is one thing (well, no, it's two things actually, but hey) - he saw the internet as a brilliant, covert means of cultural migration. I don't have a problem with democracy or, indeed, America - just a vocal minority that believe they'd be doing China a favour to transplant foreign norms, customs and (most importantly) businesses into the country, lock, stock and barrel.
posted by RokkitNite at 12:17 PM on September 3, 2002


China's more capitalistic than communistic nowadays, despite all their gov't's intentions.

Actually, China has managed the neat (horrific?) trick of being both.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:19 PM on September 3, 2002


holy crap, they're blocking my domain...?! what the hell is so subversive about some fonts and... oh. maybe it's my girls only community...? my darth maul site...? my sappy tribute to my cat...? omg china needs protecting from the axis of katgyrl® website evil...!! run china, run and hide, or you will be forced to install a cursive font and find out how many more days til episode III...!

fucking dumbarses.
posted by t r a c y at 12:24 PM on September 3, 2002


umm, the real time test page stalled for playboy.com .. .. dunno what to make of it...
posted by adnanbwp at 12:37 PM on September 3, 2002


China's more capitalistic than communistic nowadays, despite all their gov't's intentions.

Actually, China has managed the neat (horrific?) trick of being both.


According to Michael Ledeen, "China is not, as is invariably said, in transition from communism to a freer and more democratic state. It is, instead, something we have never seen before: a maturing fascist regime."
posted by homunculus at 12:58 PM on September 3, 2002


Calder is right, perhaps the "box" (the web) he envisioned could help end authoritarian regimes. The Rand corps. website has a neato article on the latest on internet dissidents.

the author of the china-faschist article (bah) lists some pretty common criteria for the comparison. shoulda used more Italy then germany for comparison purposes. where there are some similarities is in the heavy industrial 'freedom' (the owners were allowed to live) that both germany had as does china. Also, I find the chinese system of confession to be a sign that china has more tolerance for it's people dissent then did Germany. (i think the case of Henry Piu Yi validates that) But I feel awful comparing the two.
posted by clavdivs at 1:51 PM on September 3, 2002


"It is, instead, something we have never seen before: a maturing fascist regime."

Okay wait. Back up. Does that mean we can hate them now, or is it good that they're proving fascism can actually work? Cuz I've always assumed the problem with fascism is that no one's ever been able to prove it does anything but cookie cutter everybody's inalienable rights until no one has any and hide imperial rule by having their rulers pretend to be for eventual utopian communism when actually they just wanna bully everyone. Or something like that. Wait. Lemme start over.

Short version: I thought we Americans hated fascism cuz it doesn't work and hurts people.

So if they're honestly a maturing fascist regime, does this mean we can go back to hating the chinese without all this political correctness, or is this a good thing that they've proven it can work?

Someone fill me in cuz I've lost track.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:57 PM on September 3, 2002


Who in their right mind doesn't have issues with the Chinese government and the litany of human rights abuses they continue to commit? Ah, maybe those that prefer to brush aside the regime's policies and treatment of its citizens (and those that it unlawfully claims as its citizens: e.g. Tibetans, Uighurs) in order to have a crack at such a large market (folks such as Yahoo and Cisco (links noted above)). The claim of free trade leading to an expansion of freedoms is tenuous at best as it is - with companies modifying what they trade, in essence becoming partners with the repressive regimes their goods are supposed to be undermining, the notion is laughable (if the consequences of the actions weren't so dire).
I sincerely hope Google will not modify their search results in order to appease chinese authorities. I'm optimistic that such a response would cause a spate of negative publicity given the media coverage the initial censorship has received, but these days, no behavior of any corporation, no matter how morally repugnant, would surprise me.
posted by buddha9090 at 2:28 PM on September 3, 2002


does this mean we can go back to hating the chinese without all this political correctness, or is this a good thing that they've proven it can work?

For years, liberals have been among the strongest voices attacking "Most Favored Nation" trade status for China, ZachsMind. "Political correctness" remains an utterly inadequate phrase for describing the reality of objections to specific arguments; it's nothing but lazy shorthand for not taking time to develop an argument. Can we avoid its casual use, please?
posted by mediareport at 2:39 PM on September 3, 2002


does this mean we can go back to hating the chinese without all this political correctness

No. Haven't you heard? Richard Armitage says we have a relationship of "mutual trust and confidence." I guess the disappearance of AIDS activist Dr. Wan Yanhai isn't cause for suspicion.
posted by homunculus at 3:12 PM on September 3, 2002


Sidenote: So does China block this site?
posted by murmur at 3:52 PM on September 3, 2002


So what if China filters access to porn get a magazine, you got to remember every culture has its quirks with the Chinese its collective thinking which comes before the importance of the individual. The west may think it knows best giving a country democracy when it is unwanted but deep down many Chinese resent the western states for there interference. As for Falun Gong
In my opinion it is for the lack of a better word very stupid but more debate on that another time.

Give China a break you can't deny the fact if it wasn't for the imperialistic interference from the west, that broke up the entire social fabric of China by leaving the entire country reliant on opium perhaps it would be a different China today. I see many people talking down China but not many seeing its praises when you say something a few times someone's bound to believe you no matter how stupid it is but after so many topics and discussion it simply becomes excruciatingly annoying.

PS I am not in any way affiliated with the Chinese Government although it is a bit far banning google since it's practical uses outweighs the negative aspects.
posted by Seipher at 4:10 PM on September 3, 2002


Actually, it appears that Yahoo search is no longer serving up Google results by default. Did a licensing agreement expire?
posted by dhartung at 4:25 PM on September 3, 2002


A search at http://www.yahoo.com leads to http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=oxford, powered by HP.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:37 PM on September 3, 2002


Yahoo's categories and website search is powered by HP. It still gets it's web page results from google.
posted by cheaily at 4:42 PM on September 3, 2002


According to slashdot, google is back up in China and this was either a network problem on a mass scale or perhaps the Party was 'testing the waters.'
posted by skallas at 6:08 PM on September 3, 2002


ok so google is acceptable but my webring service is not...? *confused* all 9 of my domains are inaccessible as are the sites belonging to most of my girl friends. and google still shows as inaccessible via that harvard server... would it be slow in updating...? looking at the list of banned sites, there's a serious lack of logic. playboy.com i guess i can understand, but the canadian parks and wildlife site...?

crazyhuhkookoonuts.
posted by t r a c y at 6:23 PM on September 3, 2002


on the bright side, they are blocking www.richardgere.com, yet www.melgibson.com remains accessible even in china.
posted by popkick at 6:32 PM on September 3, 2002


Richard Gere = Tibet Supporter

That is on China's No No list!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:01 PM on September 3, 2002


Strangely, "http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/china/test" is not blocked in China.
posted by taz at 1:56 AM on September 4, 2002


If the main Google page is blocked, don't worry -- access Google through the mirror
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:02 AM on September 4, 2002


They're doing it to Altavista, too. CNN Link
posted by Vidiot at 3:52 PM on September 6, 2002


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