China has just released a tremendous rousing tribute to its clean, clear and incorruptible internet. The song is performed by the Cyberspace Administration of China choral group. Called Cyberspace Spirit, the tune features a large mixed choir and four solo singers who regale an audience while informing them that they are also keeping a close eye on everything they view and type. "Keeping faithful watch under this sky, the Sun and the Moon," they sing. "Creating, embracing everyday clarity and brightness; Like a beam of incorruptible sunlight, touching our hearts." The chorus exclaims: "Internet power! The web is where glorious dreams are; Internet power! From the distant cosmos to the home we long for."
China seeks to export its vision of the Internet. The Internet should be “free and open, with rules to follow and always following the rule of law,” Lu Wei said, in somewhat contradictory fashion, at the November conference. Asked whether he would consider allowing Facebook in, he was more direct: “I can choose who will be a guest in my home.” He wants others to assert the same power. [more inside]
"China’s Web Doorkeeper", Lu Wei, may be the most powerful man on the Internet (NYT), and he has "ratcheted up restrictions in what is already the world’s most sophisticated system of online censorship." He addressed the 7th China-US Internet Industry Forum yesterday and everybody was listening (SCMP). But there is one big question: Will he joining the country’s print and broadcast watchdog's new campaign to “crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language," specifically puns and wordplay (Grauniad)? If so, he may have issues with Google searches that match up his name with a new category of take-away food in Taiwan called "lu-wei" (“lu” means braised and “wei,” flavors) (Inquirer).
How Naspers CEO Koos Bekker beat the New York Times at its own game by Michael Moritz [more inside]
"During his civil lawsuit against the People's Republic of China, Brian Milburn says he never once saw one of the country's lawyers. He read no court documents from China's attorneys because they filed none. The voluminous case record at the U.S. District courthouse in Santa Ana contains a single communication from China: a curt letter to the U.S. State Department, urging that the suit be dismissed. That doesn't mean Milburn's adversary had no contact with him." [China Mafia-Style Hack Attack Drives California Firm to Brink]
He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves the US and wipes clean the minute he returns . In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery , for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop." - Travel precautions in the age of digital espionage.
Enter the Cyber-dragon. "Hackers have attacked America’s defense establishment, as well as companies from Google to Morgan Stanley to security giant RSA, and fingers point to China as the culprit. The author gets an exclusive look at the raging cyber-war—Operation Aurora! Operation Shady rat!—and learns why Washington has been slow to fight back. Related: Michael Joseph Gross goes inside Operation Shady Rat."
According to official Chinese stats, make of them what you will, there are now 457 million internet users in China. They are said to include 450m who have broadband, and 303m who use mobile internet. 304m play online games, 140m use online banking, and 63m microblog. These users are estimated to spend an average of 18 hours a week online. As a benchmark, the current US population is estimated at 312m.
The charges and retaliations seem reminiscent of so much cold war bluster, and indeed this encounter could be the first great clash of the 21st century’s two emergent superpowers—Google and China.
I bet your family owns a brothel, right? If you dislike Hanzi so much, you should change your daughter’s surname.
Chinese Characters (Hanzi) Discriminate Against Women A lawyer argues for replacing vulgar sexist Chinese language characters containing the female radical with gender-neutral forms. Many say it is unnecessary. [more inside]
Chinese news site dispense with user anonymity. Includes an updated list of sites China actively blocks, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International (?!? - both links work only outside of China). prev
China's latest Internet obsession began with an anonymous post on a computer gaming forum: "Jia Junpeng, your mom is calling you to come home and eat." [more inside]
With the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on Thursday, China's ever-vigilant censors have stepped up the reach of the "Great Firewall," blocking Western sites like Twitter, Flickr, and (just one day after its launch) Microsoft's Bing. via [more inside]
Do you have a yearning to be online? Do you suffer from difficulty concentrating or sleeping, irritation, or mental or physical distress? According to doctors in China, you might have an internet addiction. [more inside]
The Great Firewall of China (previously), the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, athlete bloggers (allowed for the first time by the IOC), visitors, and freedom in Beijing, 2008. [more inside]
Is Web2.0 a wash for free speech in China? "Lately I've given a few talks around town titled 'Will the Chinese Communist Party Survive the Internet?' My answer - for the short and medium term at least - is 'yes.'"
The Great Firewall of China connects to a server within China, and lets you know if your site is blocked or not, per the government's internet censorship.
The top questions people in China want to ask the internet...
Smash and grab, the hi-tech way. Are the Chinese government responsible for recent sophisticated hacking attempts on such targets as the British parliament and the US Army's Aviation and Missile Command?
China's crackdown on online dissent continues. It's been a year since the arrest of Chinese internet dissident Liu Di. Many of her supporters have signed petitions calling for her release, but last week one of their organizers, essayist Du Daobin, was himself arrested.
Internet Filtering in China, a report from the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School. There's been "a documentable leap in filtering sophistication since September 2002".
Fire at Internet Cafe 'forces' Chinese government to close all 2400 Beijing cafes. This one has to rank up there with the line from the Good Old Days in which missing Soviet leaders were often described as 'having a cold.' I can't wait for the 2008 Happy Fun Olympics.
Who Lost China's Internet? Here's a problem for your American company. You want access to the lucrative and growing Chinese information technology market but the Chinese government is demanding some questionable things from you. If you're Cisco you bend over backwards to make your routers filter subversive content. If you're Network Solutions you donate 300 viruses to study. If you're Yahoo! then you censor chat rooms, filter searches, and underreport your traffic. But if you're Microsoft you refuse to cough up your source code and call their bluff. Strangely, that puts Microsoft, The Voice of America, and the Cult of the Dead Cow on the same side. (via Peek-a-Booty)
Corporate censorship in China (via slashdot). I guess censorship and collusion in the repression of people is okay if you're making profits for your shareholders. An eye-opening look into the way that corporations are helping to facilitate censorship on the Internet in China. AOL and Yahoo's attitudes to what I thought were universal human rights is nothing short of sickening.
SinoFilter.com Can I resume drinking from the made in China Metafilter coffee mug yet?