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back to article Opera plugs hole in Great Firewall of China

Opera has sealed the hole its Mini browser tunneled through the Great Firewall of China. With the international version of Opera Mini - the company's Java-based mobile browser - Chinese users had found a way of freeing themselves from local net filters, accessing sites otherwise banned by the government. The browser shuttles all …

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hardly a surprise..

Opera's decision is hardly a surprise ... sad but hardly a surprise... China is a totalitarian dictatorship and it is no use pretending otherwise.

But Opera is hardly alone is turning a blind eye to the Chinese government's restriction on the use of the internet.

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Yep...

Opera are added to the ever increasing list of tech companies who change their products to work in China.

I can only hope that the populous will demand access to more and more information (now it could be available) from the rest of the world and peacefull change will take place. It'll get harder and harder for the state to control everything, change has to come.

...

Am I the first reply on this new fangled comments system?

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No choice?

It was probably either force the Chinese proxy servers or get the entire service blocked.

While using Opera's overseas proxies bypasses the filter, the filter can still quite easily block those proxies.

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Of course

Because nothing bad ever happened in China when the people demanded something from the government. Tienanmen what?

I wonder when the west will realize that their 'values' and 'morals' aren't welcome. Or when companies realize that they do have to respect the laws of countries the are operating in.

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@Crazy Operations Guy

> I wonder when the west will realize that their 'values' and 'morals' aren't welcome. Or when

> companies realize that they do have to respect the laws of countries the are operating in.

No it is more a question of "western" companies valuing money more than the values they claim to believe in.

No one is forcing Opera to bow down to this enforced censorship.

Opera could have decided the principal of "Freedom of speech" is more important than the profit to be made from operating within China and have refused the "request" of the Chinese Government, and agreed to cease trading in China. They could have gone home with empty pockets but a sense of pride.

Instead they accept that as a company their primary motivation is to make money.

So instead of sticking to principals that they believe in, they have prioritised profit over freedom of speech and have done as requested.

There is an oft quoted story of Winston Churchill's about this subject, try Googling for Winston Churchill negotiating price (may not be suitable to do at work)

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Correct.

Spot on.

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It's not the companies.

"No it is more a question of "western" companies valuing money more than the values they claim to believe in."

Actually, it's more the people. At least in the US, where nearly everyone has a vitriolic opinion on abortion, either "pro-life" (anti-abortion availability) or "pro-choice" (pro-abortion availability.)

Yet these people have no problem plunking down the dollars for PRC goods, money that will in part (the PRC is still communist) fund abortions performed against the will of the mother.

It's all well and good to have moral principles and all that, on one side or the other; but the Almighty Dollar will always win over a moral principle.

"Instead they accept that as a company their primary motivation is to make money."

In most capitalist countries that is the legally stated purpose for existence of a for-profit company. Opera could only legally comply with that purpose if there was a high likelihood of Western users ceasing use of their browser due to their compliance with the PRC's demands.

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Epic fail

"No one is forcing Opera to bow down to this enforced censorship."

Yes. The government is. The alternative would be a complete shutdown of Opera in China, and that would certainly NOT have benefited the Chinese.

"So instead of sticking to principals that they believe in, they have prioritised profit over freedom of speech and have done as requested."

Only a clueless moron thinks that isolating dictatorships helps. It doesn't. Opera is HELPING free speech by staying.

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What?

Companies do not have "values they claim to believe in". Companies exist to make money. You're confusing popular western moral attitudes and company policy / western business ideology. Companies have no expressed belief in "freedom of speech", and often would rather it didn't exist (union busting etc)

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@Dazed and Confused

"No one is forcing Opera to bow down to this enforced censorship".

Really? what do you think would happen to Opera's Chinese staff if they did not comply. They would probably be imprisoned or worse.

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No choice: Blame the wall, not the hole

Yep. Opera had servers inside and outside China, the latter outside the Great Firewall of China. While the client-server architecture of Opera Mini allowed you to bypass the Firewall, it would only open a hole in the wall as long as the maintainers of that Firewall didn't care. The moment they did care the gig was up. It is trivial to block the Opera Mini servers outside the wall, and there is nothing Opera can do about that.

If you want to make a setup to actively bypass such a wall you need a completely different architecture.

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never ever use Opera

Opera, now with 100% MORE EVIL.

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What about Google, Yahoo and Microsoft?

Are you a disgusting hypocrite or will you stop using ALL products from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and countless other companies as well, since they had to abide by the local laws and regulations as well?

BTW, the EVIL here would be to give up on the Chinese people, pull out, and leave them alone. They need MORE western people there, not fewer.

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Who needs goodwill when you are a bit player?

Two gaffs in one day. Has there been a change at the top of Opera? Mind you, the apologists on Opera's forums are already defending them: after all, if Google do it...

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Heh.

What gaffes?

Opera needs to comply with local laws and regulations. And in China, they get arrested if they don't. Opera has a Chinese office, remember?

Censored Opera is better than no Opera anyway. Only a brainwashed Commie with claim otherwise.

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No choice?

You mean Opera will over-ride any auto-update options set to "no"?

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fail

"Opera says Mini has 35 million users worldwide but it's unclear how many of those users are in China."

In the news next week Opera mini loses 34 million users worldwide in one week.

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retarded chinese government

It's sad that this actually happens even today, so openly. Once again, fuck you, Chinese government.

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Absolute Pish

I'm here in China now, and of course used t0.r on a computer to bypass the filtering, as it was a free solution for the limited number of websites I wanted to get at.

I found that br!dges were easily attainable using opera mini. Never was concerned for myface and spaceboobs that these kids are using.

Noticing I was being forced to upgrade the other day, I submitted a bug report, explaining that the Chinese opera mini is in Chinese, and Chinese resident users may actually still only speak English as their main native language, as is the case for many people in Beijing and Shanghai.

Cut a long story short, I am very annoyed that this was not a bug, but just an ill consideration to pander to the censorship loving Chinese government. Bunch of pansies!

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Re: Absolute pish

"Cut a long story short, I am very annoyed that this was not a bug, but just an ill consideration to pander to the censorship loving Chinese government. Bunch of pansies!"

So storm over to the local government office and complain. Tell them what a bunch of pansies they are. Rant that you can't bypass (if I'm inferring correctly that you can't now, given you said "were easily attainable") their filters any more. Or if you can still bypass, rant about how pointless their filters are and how you can get past them. Better yet, do it in the street, so the people can hear and rise up! Maybe the populous Fraser mentions will too. You're in a place where you can effect change, you Tor-using Net Hero. Will you step up to the plate? My guess is you'll probably sign an online petition and consider yourself a freedom fighter. It'd be nice if you prove me wrong, though. Make a nice change from the usual keyboard hardmen on here.

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COWARD

So you want Opera to get their staff in China arrested by refusing to do what the government tells them to do?

Why do you expect other people to sacrifice themselves for you?

YOU go up to the government and tell them to their faces what you think about them. Don't be a f*cking p*ssy and expect everyone else to fight for you.

Pathetic!

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RE: No choice?

Any page loaded in opera mini using a non Chinese opera mini version coming from a Chinese IP range is greeted with a: "blah blah blah, please download the Chinese version from this link."

It's not possible to bypass it at all, although I suppose one could attempt to use a foreign proxy if you're using it with WLAN. Still, pain.

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Re: Re: Absolute pish

I closed my business here, that has been doing very well indeed. I'm leaving in a month, what else do you want me to do?

All technology companies who were permitted a major presence here many years suck right up to the government.

Somebody like you doesn't understand that the teachings are so successful here, that youngsters and adults are totally unprepared to protest or demonstrate against what they dislike. You're brought up to be told what to do, and although this breeds people with a high IQ due to the comprehensive and exhausting education system, it also breeds people who obey what their parents say, government say, etc.

Sounds like somebody like yourself is incapable of understanding just how successful psychological manipulation is when performed from when the children is a child, just when a child is most impressionable.

Then again, people seem to think democracy is the solution; you only have to look at another large country, America, to see that democracy is also just a fraud, particularly when media manipulation is still used there.

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Re: Absolute pish

"All technology companies who were permitted a major presence here many years suck right up to the government."

Nonsense. Following local laws and regulations is NOT "sucking up". Especially when the alternative is total decimation.

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@AC 06:44 re, Re:Re:Absolute pish

"You're brought up to be told what to do, and although this breeds people with a high IQ due to the comprehensive and exhausting education system,.."

Quite a mix of biological, educational and social assumptions there but I'm not qualified to say if you're right. Are you?

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So, does Opera have UK and Australian filters also?

Since both these countries have also decided there is no such thing as freedom of speech, do we have our own "special" Opera servers for our governments to block and monitor our internet access too?

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WTF?

Get a grip

Opera decided no such thing. Opera was forced by the government.

Big difference.

Get a clue already.

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Re-read my comment.

Perhaps 'tis you who needs the clue?

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at least...

... China is an up-front, honest repressive regime - they don't have to invent bogey-men to terrorise the populace into welcoming repression with open-arms - they just say "Oi, NO!".

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WTF?

Communist?!

China are not communist. That's like saying the UK is currently a Labourist country, which will magically change overnight when (unfortunately) the tories will likely win, to a conservative country from a peoples' perspective.

Communism is everybody having the same. It's an authoritarian regime with a market that is a mix of socialist and capitalist points.

Also, there is a great reason why China does not democratize now - countries that are not economically ready, and put political reform before economic, are shown to fail throughout the world. That's why the Philippines and Indonesia are rubbish.

Go read some economic theory books; the reason Western businesses are pandering now is because they know fine well this is just part of a typical economic cycle before the country opens up further in the future. It's called the "East Asian Model" - and was used by Japan. That's why it's being followed.

Regards.

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