Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship China Politics Your Rights Online

China Unblocks Sensitive Keywords 101

Posted by timothy
from the ip-traps-ready dept.
hackingbear writes "Reports from overseas (in Chinese) [Google translation] and Hong Kong-based Chinese media report that China appears to have unblocked several sensitive political keywords. Using Baidu.com, the country's leading search engine, users within the mainland border find, in Chinese, uncensored web page links and images using keywords like Tiananmen and 'June 4'. (Readers can click on the first one to view the images.) Given that the unblocking of these sensitive keywords comes one week after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao publicly denounced left-wing leader Bo Xilai's movement of 'striking down the ganster while reviving the red culture' as going down the path of Cultural Revolution, it could signal the silent start of a major political change."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

China Unblocks Sensitive Keywords

Comments Filter:
    • by realitycheckplease (2487810) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @04:35PM (#39462353)
      Or it just means that they've realised trying to track people who search for the censored terms is likely to be more effective if the searches give results - whereas previously people didn't bother searching because they knew the results were censored.
      • by jhoegl (638955)
        Exactly... they put honey in some sort of holding container.
        You know... for the bears.
        • One can only imagine the Cultural Revilotion by watching BMW's, Jaguar's, and Rolls Royce's parading around the Middle Kingdom.

          Of course, the People's Republic can stand in solidarity, against Steel Re-Bar?
          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            One can only imagine the Cultural Revilotion by watching BMW's, Jaguar's, and Rolls Royce's parading around the Middle Kingdom.

            Of course, the People's Republic can stand in solidarity, against Steel Re-Bar?

            Now there's a point. Does anyone really believe that The People's Republic is going to be stronger than Madison Ave? Ultimately, marketing will prevail. Consumerism will prevail. And the Cultural Revolution will fall to the same thing the American Revolution fell to: advertising and corporatism.

            Corpo

            • by khallow (566160)

              Does anyone really believe that The People's Republic is going to be stronger than Madison Ave?

              Why would you think otherwise?

              Corporate power is so much more potent than any government. It's not even a contest.

              So remarkably stupid on two levels. First, every government is a corporation. It normally doesn't have the limited liability structure of a corporation, mostly because there's little value in having it when the decision makers of a government are usually well shielded from liability through some variation of sovereign immunity.

              Second, the statement completely ignores the vast power that governments have. No business (what one usually thinks of when discussing corporations) c

              • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                So remarkably stupid on two levels. First, every government is a corporation. It normally doesn't have the limited liability structure of a corporation, mostly because there's little value in having it when the decision makers of a government are usually well shielded from liability through some variation of sovereign immunity.

                Second, the statement completely ignores the vast power that governments have. No business (what one usually thinks of when discussing corporations) can survive long periods of unprof

                • so - wouldn't limiting government largess be a solution for limiting corporate influence? Isn't the very idea of government helping via government aide a corrupting influence?
                  • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                    so - wouldn't limiting government largess be a solution for limiting corporate influence?

                    I don't think so. If government was shrunk down to the bare minimum, what would stop your bank from deciding that they're going to raise the interest on your mortgage from 5.25% to 30% because they say so? If you limit government down to the barest minimum, and Wal-Mart decides that the stuff being imported from China is perfectly fine for you to eat, even though it contains melamine?

                    There are many many issues for whi

                    • by khallow (566160)
                      We can sum up this part of the thread as follows:

                      GLMDesigns: "Maybe restricting government power would restrict corporate influence?"

                      [...]

                      PopeRatzo: Free thinks a stream of bullshit strawmen.

                      Pope, first, GLMDesigns didn't demand a minimal government or a less than minimal government. If we take a few laws away or regulate things a little less severely, we don't suddenly become Somalia.

                      There is no other way to limit corporate power except government.

                      Sure there is. Recall the boycotts that occurred during the fight for civil rights in the US. There are many other types of power. You just have to have enough clue to realize they are there.

                      That's why we have to stand on the government's neck to get them to do what they are supposed to do, which is maintain a rule of law among corporations.

                      Increasing regulation of businesses without corresponding increase in

                • by khallow (566160)

                  So remarkably stupid on two levels. First, every government is a corporation. It normally doesn't have the limited liability structure of a corporation, mostly because there's little value in having it when the decision makers of a government are usually well shielded from liability through some variation of sovereign immunity.

                  Second, the statement completely ignores the vast power that governments have. No business (what one usually thinks of when discussing corporations) can survive long periods of unprofitability, but a government can be eternally unprofitable. Governments create virtually all rent seeking opportunities. And they typically have a monopoly on taxation, law enforcement, and military power.

                  Those are both the reasons why corporations are more powerful than any single government.

                  That's only true if the whole is stronger than the pieces. It isn't necessarily. There's the military concept of "defeat in detail" [wikipedia.org]. A force that would be more powerful, if it were to act in concert is defeated because the foe can attack the pieces one at a time.

                  In the case of businesses, there is almost no high level coordination among groups of corporations. In fact, in most of the world, there are effective laws that prevent that from happening.

                  Note: I didn't say that aa single corporation was more powerful than a government, I said that "corporate power" or corporations in the aggregate are more powerful.

                  No, it's pretty clear from context that you were speaking

                • by khallow (566160)
                  I also get the feeling you don't understand the power of a major government. In addition to the potent monopolies they enjoy, they also handle huge streams of tax revenue and have ability to print a lot of money.

                  China, for example, spent $1 trillion on US government debt (most purchased over the last five years). If they had used that to buy publicly traded companies, they'd own about a 2-2.5% share of the world's publicly traded companies. A few decades of focused investing and passage of laws which hea
      • by jdogalt (961241)

        +1 "Or it just means that they've realised trying to track people who search for the censored terms is likely to be more effective if the searches give results - whereas previously people didn't bother searching because they knew the results were censored."

        Probably using efficient technologies purchased or 'liberated' from U.S. companies, that knew _exactly_ what they were selling and how it was likely to be used by a government with the track history of the Tiananmen Square* Massacre (*OK China, let's call

      • by durrr (1316311)

        Or perhaps this is yet another step of china becoming more progressive and open.

        I mean, they've tried communism and oppression and information control and whatnot else, they got out of being a 3rd world country by trying something new, and their transformation was absolutely spectacular and I'm certain their leadership agrees on this, why not try more progressive changes, it of course depends on the mindset of the leadership, if they want to transform china to a great nation or if they are more inte

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I agree with you, and i think that a lot of people forget that China has a history of slow political change. The bloodiest periods of their history coincided with rapid and radical swings to opposing political ideologies, so we can expect their leaders to be much more considerate in their actions as a result. They have a sense of history, and they realize that giving people too much immediate freedom can have lasting detrimental effects on their country so they're taking it slow. You can't always give every

        • or if they are more interested in consolidating power for friends in high places and ideological allies?

          Bo was one of the "princelings" having a father who was a high ranking officer with Mao since the start of the Red Revolution in China. It has been a problem for many Chinese that people are attaining power through connections over their abilities. Deng Xiaoping got most of the current leadership involved long after they finished school in technical fields and proved their wroth as scientists, engineers and doctors. In Chinese news, there is a undertone of a fear of going back to the old ways of having a "

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Holy shit.
        The commies are smarter then the recording industry.
        Well I'll be damned.

        • by durrr (1316311)

          They aren't communists anymore, it's just inertia that's keeping the name schemes around

          • Funny watching this discussion and last weeks COUP (attempted) gets no mention.

            I'm sure the biggest political upheaval in China since the trial of the Gang of Four has little or no signifigant value in this discussion about the actions and motives in any recent actions by said government....

      • by khallow (566160)
        Some people have posited that the Hundred Flowers campaign [wikipedia.org] of 1957 was a deliberate attempt to lure out dissidents so they could be punished. Whether deliberate or not, it did have that effect. Similarly, here, they might be liberalizing the country slightly or creating a bunch of honeypots to persecute those who might become problems for the regime. Even if not the latter, they might later use information about such http requests to punish those who browse such subjects.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      yet.. if they make tianenmen square disappear from memory it'll actually make it happen again. "cultural revolution" fuckup is more likely to happen again if they sensor all knoweledge of it because the persons who would be doing it(rehash of cultural revolution) would think they're doing something fresh..

      and that would be start of political change - of course nothing by western/northern standards - and the faction which starts that might end up holding power for a while in china.

  • I'm sure they feel a lot better now that they're unblocked. Can't imagine how upset they were when it happened.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @04:40PM (#39462385)

    I'd read a few days ago that there was a lot of stuff going around the Chinese blogosphere about a possible coup or revolt going on in Beijing - armored vehicles in the streets, gunshots, and so on. This is second- or third-hand stuff - bloggers->other bloggers->american news - and until this, I figured it was the rough equivalent of the fake death rumors that go around Twitter sometimes. Even combined with the political infighting news, it was "possible but not probable".

    But, in light of this, I'm thinking there might actually be something to it. Probably not a full-fledged revolution, but even violent political maneuverings might be a good thing (if the less-evil faction wins).

    • by Guppy (12314) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @05:55PM (#39462681)

      It looks like there's a struggle going on between two major power blocks, triggered after head of the Public Security Bureau in ChongQing, Wang Lijun, attempted to seek shelter (and possibly defect) at a US Consulate -- possibly to save his own life after uncovering corruption involving Bo Xiliai (who at one point had been thought to be a candidate for a top leadership position in China).

      While the US consulate rejected Wang, he is rumored to have turned over a lot of dirt to the US staff before being arrested by Chinese authorities (including rumors that he had info on a possible coup attempt) and now officials are getting purged all over the place. Interesting times.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by gman003 (1693318)

        So I'll now reiterate what I say whenever I'm roped into watching a sports match:

        Who's playing, who's winning, and who do we want to win?

        In other words, what do the two factions stand for, which one is winning, and which one will result in a more free, fair and just China?

        • by am 2k (217885)

          In politics, you usually want neither faction to win, since they're all rich, lying weasels. As long as they're fighting each other, nobody else gets hurt.

          • In politics, you usually want neither faction to win, since they're all rich, lying weasels.

            +10

            As long as they're fighting each other, nobody else gets hurt.

            -3

      • From what I've read, Wen Jiabao is pro freedom of speech and reform. His personality type is also introverted which fits the mold of many of our American founding fathers. Bo Xiliai OTOH sounds like a guy with a personality much like that Hugo Chavez. If so, that's very nasty.

        If Wen Jiabao is the Chinese equivalent of Mikhail Gorbachev, this indeed should be a very good thing!

        • Just fyi since I'm not sure this was clear to you, but Wen Jiabao is part of the current leadership that will retire next year, so he's not going to make too much of a difference other than in any influence that he might have over the leadership transition in promoting those with similar agendas as his - at least in terms of the agenda that he has publicly expressed, in any case.

          (Some critics believe that Wen Jiabao's pro-reformist rhetoric is just a smoke screen by the Party to placate the masses while sta

    • by x0d (2506794)
      Maybe they're just upgrading their servers and something wrong..
      • by gman003 (1693318)

        That has happened before, but they usually have it fixed within hours.

        Given that it's been hours since it was posted on /. and it still seems to be up, it seems more likely that this is deliberate.

  • Wassa ganster?
  • Another Hundred Flowers in the making?
  • by andy1307 (656570) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @04:52PM (#39462455)
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577295462500007558.html [wsj.com]

    For several days after his ouster, censors took a hands-off approach to online gossip, letting speculation flow freely. That changed this week as popular microblogging site Sina Weibo reinstated an earlier block on searches for Mr. Bo's name and additionally blocked a wide range of user-invented code words for Mr. Bo, including the term "not thick"—a play on Mr. Bo's surname, which means "thin." Searches for Mr. Bo's name, "not thick" and other related terms were also blocked on Tencent Weibo, another of China's popular microblogging sites, which often impose their own blocks in anticipation of what the government will deem sensitive.

  • by Teun (17872) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @04:58PM (#39462481) Homepage
    If this is not an error but a conscious change in policy one has to wonder whether it's a brave, educated or foolish move.

    China is a vast multicultural society only held together by a sometimes ruthless dictatorship.

    Releasing the reins too fast can have some very disturbing side effects.

    • If this is not an error but a conscious change in policy one has to wonder whether it's a brave, educated or foolish move.

      China is a vast multicultural society only held together by a sometimes ruthless dictatorship.

      Releasing the reins too fast can have some very disturbing side effects.

      Why can't it be all 3?

      China may have diverse cultures but I think they have a strong political unity. Overall I don't think it's the dictatorship itself that keeps them in line, they also share a strong belief that their gov't has everyone's interests in mind.

  • Was it because the keywords started to cry?
  • Slashdot posters often slam China (often for good reason). At least we have some positive news here.
  • by voss (52565) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @05:28PM (#39462591)

    Jiang Zemin was the party leader in shanghai during Tianmen who was able to stop the protests in shanghai without resorting to violence. Wen Jibao would not have publicly denounced Bo Xiliai without the approval of Jiang Zemin. It is likely the chinese government may be willing to adjust its view of the June 4th protesters to call them "sincere if misguided citizens seeking reform" and the ones who sought the crackdown were "hardliners" like Li Peng and use this as an excuse to purge the "red culture" and other hardliners faction from the party.

    Also look and see if Zhao Ziyang gets rehabilitated posthumously.

    • by Guppy (12314) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @06:23PM (#39462795)

      Wen Jibao would not have publicly denounced Bo Xiliai without the approval of Jiang Zemin.

      I'm not sure I understand this interpretation. To me, it looked like a direct shot from Hu Jintao / Wen Jiabao aimed right at Jiang Zemin's faction. They're opening up the Great Firewall because the majority of the information circulating on the western side is more embarrassing to Jiang than to Hu/Wen. Not only that, but it's allowing dirt regarding Bo Xilai / Zhou Yongkang to get back through to Chinese citizens in a roundabout way, bypassing domestic news sources (who, even when encouraged by the nominally-in-charge authorities to report, find themselves paralyzed and unwilling to possibly end up on the losing side, once the purges are over).

  • by f3rret (1776822) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @05:45PM (#39462641)

    Like, try searching for 'falun gong' then baidu.com stops responding. At least for me.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Chinese troops pull out of Tibet and the Han colinization is reversed and Tibet is paid reparations AND The Dalai Lama is once again in the Potala monastery.

    My Chinese buddies being able to vote in open elections would be cool.

    The above would indeed be a wonderful site. Humanity could even be accused of getting its shit together!

    GreekGeek. :-)

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Chinese troops pull out of Tibet and the Han colinization is reversed and Tibet is paid reparations AND The Dalai Lama is once again in the Potala monastery.

      Hey Greek, I like your style.
      You might also want campaign for the Europeans to pull out of America, fully pay off the $16trillion, and to reinstate Sitting Bull into the White House while you're on your pulpit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JimCanuck (2474366)

      Tibet had accepted its place as part of China since before there was a Dalai Lama, the 13th century to be precise, 2 decades before the first Dalai Lama.

      The little "take over" of Tibet by the PRC in the early 1950's was caused by British meddling in Tibet, first in 1913 with trying to push the new Republic of China to make Tibet a Autonomous region of China, as they tried to take parts of Southern Tibet and incorporate them into the British ruled India. When they attempted to merge 9,000 km squared worth
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Actually all the Tibetans I know regard the above as utter rubbish and loath the occupation of there country.

        You can accept what you like, just do not presume to speak on there behalf, by repeating the occupiers fictions.

        GreekGeek :-)

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by JimCanuck (2474366)

          So not only do you claim to know more then one Tibetan, you claim to know more then one, of the mere 9,000 of them in the United States, or even less in Canada. Who the majority have never lived in Tibet, instead being born and raised in Napal and India to hate the Chinese, as their families were expelled or were forced to leave before the Communists sealed the boarder. Which typically were landlords and Lama's who kept the rest of Tibet in a medieval state, where the vast majority were born into slavery as
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Your rhetoric is good, I merely question its relation to the world.

            Tibetans outside of Tibet, have ties inside to Tibet. That is how all the video an real news gets out. Your assertion that the borders are sealed, along with much of what you say, is a rehash of the occupiers fictions. (for those interested, see this movie, "Tibet-murder in the snow." Just be aware, you will see unarmed people being killed by CCP troops, as they flee Tibet seeking freedom.)

            Some who escaped from Tibet, were tortured by the Ch

            • you utterly fail to comprehend the Hellenic character and for that matter Tibetan history.

              Hellenic history on the other hand would teach you that foreign meddling in a situation that has survived for hundreds of years is never acceptable. Perhaps you should read some Greek history first before you argue about your knowledge of Tibetan history.

              The only Greeks today who still support any kind of monarchy, are relatively few, but it appears you are one of them. A great deal of Greek blood has been spilled in Greece and else where cause of foreign powers meddling into internal affairs to keep a Da

              • by Anonymous Coward

                Hi Yall & Jim,

                who proposes I....

                Perhaps you should read some Greek history first before you argue about your knowledge of Tibetan history.

                I'm not arguing about my knowledge of Tibetan history. I'm correcting yours and bearing witness against The CCP.

                Jim also asserts against His Holiness The Dalai Lama, who has been awarded The Noble Peace Prize in 1990, that....

                I'm sorry, but replacing one "oppressor" with another

                Again CCP fictions, spread throughout the west & since 1949. Interestingly, whenever so

                • by Anonymous Coward

                  Ok CCP mouthpiece Jim (nice fake name btw), answer me this - why have so many Tibetan monks self immolated themselves lately??

                  • nice fake name btw

                    Says the anonymous coward. If you think its a fake name, perhaps you should Google it, I'm sure your brain will be able to put the pieces together and figure out who I really am. I do not "hide" myself well on the internet.

                • Interestingly, whenever someone asks Tibetans, most say they want him to return to Tibet.

                  And a great many Greeks in Canada and the United States would love to see the King put back into power over Greece. Exiles are typically not the best to use as a example of what should happen. As suggesting that the King be allowed to return in Greece would lead you to a rather unpleasant situation if you went to say Athens and stated that "fact".

                  You drank the pro-"free" Tibet koolaid, and beer bonged it down, like plenty of younger white people have over the last few decades. Doesn't make the last 800 or

      • by Anonymous Coward

        This is the most ridiculous, inaccurate piece of Chinese propaganda about Tibet I have ever come across. As the great John McEnroe used to say: 'You cannot be serious'!

      • by Asic Eng (193332)

        That seems more or less the official PRC version of Tibetan history. To start it's worth pointing out that Tibet has it's own language, culture and writing system and is ethnically separate from the Han people who make up the majority of the PRC.

        Tibet had been an autonomous region, since the mid 19th century Qing influence was mainly symbolic and of little practical consequence. In 1904 the British invaded, in 1910 the Qing did, and in 1912 the Tibetans got rid of the Qing. In 1950 the PRC conquered Tibet

        • That seems more or less the official PRC version of Tibetan history. To start it's worth pointing out that Tibet has it's own language, culture and writing system and is ethnically separate from the Han people who make up the majority of the PRC.

          That is perhaps because its the recorded history that predates the PRC for the most part, and you cannot really outright lie about it when its written the same way in textbooks all over the world.

          Tibet had been an autonomous region, since the mid 19th century Qing influence was mainly symbolic and of little practical consequence. In 1904 the British invaded, in 1910 the Qing did, and in 1912 the Tibetans got rid of the Qing. In 1950 the PRC conquered Tibet.

          You have one relatively large problem with your over all line of thinking, in 1912 when the "uprising" happened, there was no Qing Dynasty anymore. Instead no, all the Tibetans did is attack a garrison of Qing troops still in the region, while the commander's (Zhao Erfeng) own troops openly revolted against him as

      • A lot of the "free Tibet" supporters don't seem to know history. The people who left Communist China have been the families of the very rich landowners and merchants. They certainly would have been killed if they hadn't escaped. I'm sure the CIA want to destabilize that region to give China extra things to worry about. That describes Taiwan and their constant propaganda which has brought up some deluded people who think they can take back China with their measly military might.

        The "free Tibet" movement

  • Surely there comes a time when such atrocities are so far behind you that they no longer feel like 'our fault'. When this time comes, they can serve as a useful indication of how much better things are today (particularly to remind those who would wish a return to those days).

  • I'm still trying to make sense of this sentence from the summary:

    Given that the unblocking of these sensitive keywords comes one week after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao publicly denounced left-wing leader Bo Xilai's movement of 'striking down the ganster while reviving the red culture' as going down the path of Cultural Revolution, it could signal the silent start of a major political change.

    Can someone tell me what hackingbear is getting at?

  • ok. i RTFS, then had my chinese wife look for taimen (spelling please forgive) and june 6th. on baidu. while i brought up the chinese wiki page for the event. she said the results she got back were nothing in correlation to that event. what am i misunderstanding?

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre

Working...