The Chinese authorities appear to have reverted to their pre-Olympic position of denying access to "sensitive" websites - including the BBC's Chinese language tentacle. The Corporation reports that this and other sites - including the Voice of America in Chinese plus "some Hong Kong and Taiwan sites" - are now "banned". A …
is the BBC is wasting my licence fee (tax) to provide a website for the Chinese, or any other non licence-payer for that matter?
Is it possible...
that they're trying to prevent the creation of a Chinese language twat-o-tron? It could certainly pose a threat to Party rule with it's cutting, incisive social commentary
Stop whining ...
They've come a long way in the past 8 years, they should be commended and encouraged to continue their reform and a moderate pace.
BBC Outed/Ousted ..... for Sub Prime Performance.
Does that mean that the Chinese are not as stupid as the BBC thinks ...... with them realising that the News is just their views and may be Digitally Mastered to Spin an uncertain Tale which they/we are supposed to follow/believe?
Certainly they have long ago discarded .... "Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation" ..... and are little better than a poor SOAP.... http://www.w3schools.com/soap/soap_intro.asp
And that is a Failing which goes right to the top of the Board of Controllers, evidencing a Lack of Viable Imagination and Intellectual Rigour.
Is anyone really surprised?
The idea that the Olympics would somehow open up China was a nonsense. If that was the aim, a free and open press/internet should have been a prerequisite for several years before being awarded them, not just a vague promise to be a bit nicer for the duration.
Once the event was awarded to Beijing, the Chinese could do what they liked. The relaxation on restrictions was selective and minimal, targeting journalists and competitors.
Besides, the concept of the "Olympic Ideals" went out the window years ago. All the bullocks about it being about fair play and all that is just to cover up the stench of money and rabid nationalistic pissing competition.
Why censor the Beeb when it is already censored?
At least the Chinese openly admit to their government censorship of specified Internet content instead of quietly letting some private quango (IWF) 'censor' anything their Mary Whitehouse whining gits don't want the rest of us to see.
As for censoring the Beeb, why bother, the Beeb apparently no longer needs 'D' notices to stop it reporting anything that might embarras a politician and has thoroughly embraced it's new role as the spineless press office for New Labour since it got it's nuts cut off over Tony Bliar's lies about Iraq.
Filtering depth depends on location in China
Having recently returned from a long stint in various parts of China:
Net censorship depends entirely on which city or province you happen to be in. If you're in a more developed city or province (think Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai) restrictions aren't as tight as you may think. Keyword filtered is also not nearly as serious in these parts.
However, even in Xi'an, in a non-tourist hotel, ie: one with no olympic logos, 2 or 3 star rated, things are very different.
I had trouble even accessing hotmail using the normal web address - using Tor or similar style of proxy was the only solution, which likely points the filtering bypassers to the government. At first I dismissed the filtering/censorship claim, but after travelling about all over the China it quickly became clear that different province administrations have different levels of censorship and filtering, which could potentially bring up the population with entirely different general median opinion.
I began to wonder if this was an overall plan by the Chinese government, or if it was really just to ensure tourists were initially mistakenly under the impression content is not filtered or blocked by China. A few people I know in China believe democracy will come in ten, fifteen, twenty years. Right now it's very obvious, with regards to internet access, it's very much the same as it has been since the "great firewall's" inception.
Just for the record, I stayed in both local flats and cheap hotels, so have a broad view - those who just stay in hotels when visiting the country will likely not be aware of the severe keyword filtering and website blocking of certain IP ranges which I experienced.
Hands up if you are surpried by this.
China and the Internet
Now, if only China were to block outward connections to TCP port 25 as well as port 80, there would be much less spam in our inboxes...
With England and it reads just the same and is just as relevant. Oh sorry, my mistake swap "reverts to its pre Olympic" with "maintains its pre Olympic", that shoudl do it.
There are chinese speaking license payers you know.
Paris, her license's are a bit suspect.
It's paid for by the foreign office.
As to why the foreign office is wasting money on foreigners - who knows.
@ Anonymous Coward
The Chinese language site (like all of the BBC's non domestic ventures) is run by BBC Worldwide, a commercial arm of the BBC that doesn't rely on licence funding.
So you can sleep easy knowing your £139.50 isn't being misused here.
When will the Chinese learn
that smothering the population (and allowing the population to smother itself) in an overabundance of "news" (i.e. trivia/tits/conspiracy) is a far more effective mechanism for hiding and swamping explosive information.
I'm really surprised they still haven't picked up on that side of the Western system.
Mines not the one with the Sun in the pocket.
Good question, I checked it out and Wikipedia shows this;
"The World Service* is funded by grant-in-aid through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the British Government — unlike the BBC's domestic radio and television services, which are primarily funded by a compulsory licence fee levied on every household in the United Kingdom."
*I'm assuming that this covers all TV, Radio and Web activity, including the Chinese BBC web-site mentioned.
Kentucky got handed "poker" domain names, the MPAA and RIAA are trying to silence the Pirate Bay, domain names providers have been cut off, "terrorist", kiddie porn, and otherwise "illegal" websites are blocked here too. And think of The Great Firewall of OZ, Phorm and the like. I am not a fan of the Chinese ways, but we sure lost the right to go all judgemental on them.
Flogging the behemoth
Remarkably, the BBC's stock is stil high overseas, especially Asia, as a favoured resource for learning English. But as more and more people cotton on to the fact that the BBC stands for Best Bits Censored, the lower the return to the British taxpayer when the time comes to carve up the behemoth and flog the best bits.
Re: Stop whining ...
"They've come a long way in the past 8 years, they should be commended and encouraged to continue their reform and a moderate pace."
I should probably stop whining that my neighbour is currently nailing a kitten to a tree - after all, last year it was a toddler.
The lesser of two evils is still evil.
"I am not a fan of the Chinese ways, but we sure lost the right to go all judgemental on them."
You only lose that right if you think our governments are inherently better. To be honest, I think I've got more respect for the Chinese than for Brown - at least you know where you stand with them.
I've been in China for about 8 years, and I've noticed a tightening up of websites in the last few weeks, including proxy service sites.
The locals don't really use foreign news sites anyway, they tend to stick with the local ones. It's what they know, so I doubt this would have much impact.
As for location, AC, I think that's more down to local comms than filtering. I've lived in different cities all around China in my time here, and it's been pretty much the same wherever I've been, but it does change from month to month, week to week...
lorld lide leb
Re: Stop Whining
I'm prepared to wager money that this commenter is Chinese. I have lived with a Chinese student and was constantly surprised about the permanent state of denial that they were in about China, democracy and civil rights.
Strangely enough though, she was pretty liberal when it came to shagging westerners. All they had to do to qualify was to have a PhD and be working on proprietary biochemistry research....
Ah, that explains it (@ Keith)
The Wiki quote "unlike the BBC's domestic radio and television services, which are primarily funded by a compulsory licence fee levied on every household in the United Kingdom"
The licence gestapo have read and believed that piece, which is why they insist on sending "you are breaking the law" threats to all unlicensed homes
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