China's Censorship 2.0 (Green Dam update)

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Talk at University of Hong Kong, "The Age of Digital Convergence" - http://jmsc.hku.hk/adcc
June 12, 2009

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China's Censorship 2.0 (Green Dam update)

  1. 1. Chinaʼs Censorship 2.0: inside the “great firewall” Rebecca MacKinnon Journalism & Media Studies Centre, University of Hong Kong rmack@hku.hk Friday, June 12, 2009 1
  2. 2. 2 (or 3) kinds of censorship Friday, June 12, 2009 2
  3. 3. 2 (or 3) kinds of censorship • “Outside the great firewall” • Filtering of websites outside of China Friday, June 12, 2009 2
  4. 4. 2 (or 3) kinds of censorship • “Outside the great firewall” • Filtering of websites outside of China • “Inside the great firewall” • Deletion of content on domestic commercial websites • Takedown of domestically hosted websites • Shut-down of data centers Friday, June 12, 2009 2
  5. 5. 2 (or 3) kinds of censorship • “Outside the great firewall” • Filtering of websites outside of China • “Inside the great firewall” • Deletion of content on domestic commercial websites • Takedown of domestically hosted websites • Shut-down of data centers • New 3rd category: PC-level (“Green Dam”) Friday, June 12, 2009 2
  6. 6. The “Great Firewall” in action Friday, June 12, 2009 3
  7. 7. Filtering research: Open Net Initiative Friday, June 12, 2009 4
  8. 8. Human Rights Watch: search engine censorship research http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/china0806/index.htm Friday, June 12, 2009 5
  9. 9. Human Rights Watch: search engine censorship research http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/china0806/index.htm Friday, June 12, 2009 5
  10. 10. Human Rights Watch: search engine censorship research http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/china0806/index.htm Friday, June 12, 2009 5
  11. 11. Nart Villeneuve: University of Toronto See: http://www.nartv.org/writing/ Friday, June 12, 2009 6
  12. 12. Censorship by Chinese blog-hosting companies Blog post about “Tiananmen Mothers” Friday, June 12, 2009 7
  13. 13. Your post “Tiananmen mothers organization publishes a website” has been successfully submitted! Because it contains sensitive words, please wait for the community editors to approve it. Please donʼt re-post. Thank you. Friday, June 12, 2009 8
  14. 14. 15 blog hosts tested, 108 valid tests Company A 60 B 44 C 34 D 31 NOTE: Company names have been replaced with E 27 letters due to concerns that companies who censor F 26 less will be subject to repercussions. Blog services G 24 H* 22 PUBLISHED PAPER: “Chinaʼs Censorship 2.0: How I 20 Companies censor bloggers.” First Monday. Vol. 14, No. 2 - 2 February 2009 J 19 URL: http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2378/2089 K 17 L 13 M 9 N** 3 O*** 1 0 27 54 81 108 Number of blog posts tested Friday, June 12, 2009 9
  15. 15. Main findings • Censorship across 15 BSPʼs varied even more than expected • A great deal of politically sensitive content survives in the Chinese blogosphere despite censorship • Censorship methods vary greatly from company to company, implying companies have at least some choice Friday, June 12, 2009 10
  16. 16. Bao Tong essay blasting 1-party system (with his name removed): censored by only 2 of 15 Friday, June 12, 2009 11
  17. 17. Xinhua: Hu Jintao pep talk to Olympic athletes censored by Mop.com and Blogbus Friday, June 12, 2009 12
  18. 18. Xinhua: Hu Jintao pep talk to Olympic athletes censored by Mop.com and Blogbus Mop: “Sorry, your article has been sent to the recycling station, please revise it then publish again.” Friday, June 12, 2009 12
  19. 19. Conclusions • Network-level filtering (“the great firewall”) is only one part of Chinese Internet censorship. • Domestic host-level censorship is not centralized. • Domestic host-level censorship is outsourced by government to the private sector. • Censorship is inconsistent - itʼs usually possible to post your content somewhere, for at least a while. Friday, June 12, 2009 13
  20. 20. Common Western view of Chinese censorship: “Great Firewall” is only part of the picture Friday, June 12, 2009 14
  21. 21. “Iron curtain 2.0” (h/t Lokman Tsui) Photo courtesy “PC fish” on Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Point_Alpha_Ostseite.jpg (GNU Free Documentation License) Friday, June 12, 2009 15
  22. 22. “Net nanny” Photo courtesy “merwing” at http://flickr.com/photos/merwing/2569326878/ (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license) Friday, June 12, 2009 16
  23. 23. Chinese web management: Hydro-electric engineering metaphor Photos: LEFT: “noelinthebahamas” on Flickr at http://flickr.com/photos/noelinthebahamas/2417798169/ (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND) RIGHT: “yunmeng” on Flickr at http://flickr.com/photos/yunmeng/323886547/ (Creative Commons BY-NC-SA) Friday, June 12, 2009 17
  24. 24. “Green Dam” software mandate: likely failure? Friday, June 12, 2009 18
  25. 25. “Green Dam” software mandate: likely failure? Friday, June 12, 2009 18
  26. 26. Anti-censorship Protest video: “song of the grass mud horse” “cao ni ma” “grass mud horse” (alpaca sheep) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3tPA_Z_MT0 Friday, June 12, 2009 19
  27. 27. Anti-censorship Protest video: “song of the grass mud horse” “cao ni ma” “grass mud horse” (alpaca sheep) * Same sounds, different tones = “F***your mother” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3tPA_Z_MT0 Friday, June 12, 2009 19
  28. 28. Friday, June 12, 2009 20
  29. 29. Friday, June 12, 2009 20
  30. 30. Anti-censorhip meme: “River crab wears three watches” Friday, June 12, 2009 21
  31. 31. Anti-censorhip meme: “River crab wears three watches” “He xie” “Harmonious” “Harmonious Society” Slogan of President Hu Jintao Friday, June 12, 2009 21
  32. 32. Anti-censorhip meme: “River crab wears three watches” “He xie” “Harmonious” “Harmonious Society” Slogan of President Hu Jintao “san ge dai biao” “Three Represents” Slogan of fmr. Pres. Jiang Zemin Friday, June 12, 2009 21
  33. 33. Anti-censorhip meme: “River crab wears three watches” “He xie” “Harmonious” “Rivercrab” “Harmonious Society” Slogan of President Hu Jintao “san ge dai biao” “Three Represents” Slogan of fmr. Pres. Jiang Zemin Friday, June 12, 2009 21
  34. 34. Anti-censorhip meme: “River crab wears three watches” “He xie” “Harmonious” “Rivercrab” “Harmonious Society” Slogan of President Hu Jintao “san ge dai biao” “dai san ge biao” “Three Represents” “Wears three watches” Slogan of fmr. Pres. Jiang Zemin Friday, June 12, 2009 21
  35. 35. freedom vs. control Both photos in public domain via Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:T_Jefferson_by_Charles_Willson_Peale_1791_2.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alexander_Hamilton_portrait_by_John_Trumbull_1806.jpg Friday, June 12, 2009 22
  36. 36. freedom vs. control Both photos in public domain via Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:T_Jefferson_by_Charles_Willson_Peale_1791_2.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alexander_Hamilton_portrait_by_John_Trumbull_1806.jpg Friday, June 12, 2009 22
  37. 37. Battle on the Chinese Internet Friday, June 12, 2009 23

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