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[liberationtech] {Spam?} Re: on the whole issue to include the topic "vpn illlegal in China"

Paul Bernal (LAW) Paul.Bernal at uea.ac.uk
Fri Jan 25 05:11:25 PST 2013


Sorry to butt in, but from my perspective, if privacy is dead (and it may be), then we should do our very best to bring about a miraculous ressurection.

Paul


Dr Paul Bernal
Lecturer
UEA Law School
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
Norwich NR4 7TJ

email: paul.bernal at uea.ac.uk<mailto:paul.bernal at uea.ac.uk>
Web: http://www.paulbernal.co.uk/
Blog: http://paulbernal.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @paulbernalUK

On 25 Jan 2013, at 12:02, Julian Oliver <julian at julianoliver.com<mailto:julian at julianoliver.com>>
 wrote:

..on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 03:09:21AM -0600, Lisa Brownlee wrote:
Yes, they do. And I do but reality is, privacy is DEAD and has been for
some time in my humble opinion!

It is not dead but it is indeed challenged.

Your privacy is yours. It belongs to you as much as the personal space in your
home does. Your right to privacy in your home is no less defensable than your
right to privacy on the Internet. Your right to speak to a friend in a park on a
private matter is to be as respected and upheld as your right to send an email
to that person and have it read by no other in transit. Your right to Privacy is
a basic human right. Without it Society itself cannot persist.

To cite the Cypherpunk Manifesto, 1993:

"Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world".

Cheers,

Julian

On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 9:33 PM, pacificboy <pacificboy at gmail.com<mailto:pacificboy at gmail.com>> wrote:

Tricia,

As I notice by the email traffic on this topic few are interested in
figuring out how to deal with the big boy. How I see it, other countries do
not have the man power or money when it comes to countries that stop people
from having freedom on the Net. So, a country like China few are interested
for the excpection of governments and companies that are threaten cyber
wise to their way of life. beside that issue, China is not the "in tjing"
Middile east is, i guess. Yes countries like Iran is imporant but who
support Iran on issue that libtech is fighting against for freedom on the
Net --- China. Perhaps I live in a different area of the States, where 90%
of Asian and Asian American lives so the culture is mor Asian Pacific, and
I am
not Asian. Well I will try to communicate with those who want to know and
help. Since Chinese in the Mainland who are netizens are aware of this
problem. This is an issue and other countries like Australia has their
great firewall. If we foucs on not the country political but how to crack
the problem of this cyber arm race, before no one have Internet freedom and
this forum with be gone.  Last point as my generation and my father
generation protest and fought to stop the nuclear arm race during the cold
war and how both generation since my father and I were cold warrors,
brought down the Berlin Wall. Would you think, this generation has the same
duty?  Foood for thought.


Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 24, 2013, at 11:59 PM, Tricia Wang <mailinglists at triciawang.com<mailto:mailinglists at triciawang.com>>
wrote:

Bert thanks for bringing this article to libtech's attention!
I totally missed this so thannnnkkk you!

I understand that the Chinese internet is censored and its never ending
policies to surveill the web are alarming.
Although I don't find articles like this productive to the overall cause
of developing circumvention solutions for Chinese people.

Phillip Shishkin grossly misrepresents how Chinese people experience the
Chinese internet. I mean really? "Two things struck me when I first flew
into Beijing: lack of sunlight and lack of Internet."
This article is centered on his narrative and does not qualify as a
representative sample of how 22% of the world's internet users experience
the Chinese internet.

Several members of the LibTech list have not fallen in this same pit -
they've asked great questions that fall on the side of facts and the actual
experience of Chinese people.

I also want to point out the work of writers like An Xiao Mina who have
shown how the internet is incredibly lively in China DESPITE persistent
censorship.
On 88 Bar we document memes as a form of social protest -
http://www.88-bar.com/category/china-meme-report/
She also has several pieces about social media use in China  -
http://www.anxiaostudio.com/researchwriting.html

Just because they are not be using it in ways that we expect or comprehend
doesn't mean that they are lacking internet access.

I get so tired of hearing the media perpetuate this idea that Chinese
people live in the dark because of censorship.
It's just not true when you actually live with everyday Chinese people or
conduct even light ethnographic fieldwork.

Does anyone notice this or feel feel the same way?

tricia

___________________


*triciawang.com / 王圣捷 *


China: +86 18627809913


US: +1 9189379264



On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 1:56 AM, Bert Arroyo <pacificboy at gmail.com> wrote:

This are just some articles in the news last months in this issue of
VPN in China. Now how these reports get the facts is one issue, one should
investigate deeper on this.
How China Is Sealing Holes in Its Internet Firewall
By Philip Shishkin Dec 31, 2012 7:30 AM CT

  - Facebook Share<http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbloom.bg%2FTAiiV8&t=How+China+Is+Sealing+Holes+in+Its+Internet+Firewall>
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  Q

Two things struck me when I first flew into Beijing: lack of sunlight
and lack of Internet.

The sun, on many days, hangs behind a haze of pollution, its light
filtered down to a soupy dusk. The Internet is stuck behind a government
firewall, its main offerings obstructed to those living in China.

That neither the sun nor the Web is fully gone, merely crippled, makes
dealing with their abbreviated selves especially annoying. You know their
full versions are out there somewhere because they tease you most days. The
sun’s orange halo might appear briefly at dawn, only to be engulfed by the
smog. Gmail’s homepage might begin to load tentatively, only to stumble and
freeze.

In many parts of the world (with some notable exceptions), we have come
to count breathable air and unfettered Internet access<http://topics.bloomberg.com/internet-access/> among
basic human conveniences, alongside indoor plumbing and access to
education. That’s why it is so jarring and disorienting to suddenly lose
them in Beijing to man-made forces of breakneck industrialization and
censorship. No amount of reading or hearing about Beijing’s air pollution
and the Great Firewall, as the system of Internet censorship is inevitably
known, is enough to prepare you to deal with them.

For the moment, I’ll leave the sun where I hope it still is, wrapped away
in a blanket of smog so thick I can barely see the high-rises less than a
mile away. It smells faintly as if someone is burning tires.
Registration Required

The Great Firewall is a more complex and nuanced phenomenon, and it
appears to be getting more capable in tripping up undesirable Web
connections<http://www.miit.gov.cn/n11293472/n11293832/n11293907/n11368223/14870738.html>
.

Like many foreigners in China <http://topics.bloomberg.com/china/>, I
signed up for a virtual private network, or VPN, geek-speak for a link to
an overseas server, which allows you to leapfrog the Chinese Internet and
plug straight into the real thing, as if you were sitting in New York<http://topics.bloomberg.com/new-york/>
or London <http://topics.bloomberg.com/london/>. Twitter, the New York
Times and Gmail loaded seamlessly on my iPad, ending a tense couple of days
of withdrawal symptoms. And then it all crashed.

My VPN provider, a major player in the market, explained in an e-mail
that the disruption was due to a recent update of the Great Firewall,
referred to as the GFW, which “now has the ability to learn, discover and
block VPN protocols automatically.”

The next day, the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper, ran an article
headlined <http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/750158.shtml>, “Foreign-run
VPNs illegal in China: govt.” In it, the man known as the founding father
of the Great Firewall was quoted as saying that foreign VPN providers
needed to register with the government. “I haven’t heard that any foreign
companies have registered,” Fang Binxing, who is now president of Beijing
University of Posts and Telecommunications, told<http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/750158.shtml> the
newspaper.

Fang gained notoriety in 2011 when a student threw a shoe at him while he
was delivering a lecture on cybersecurity. The shoe connected with the
target. The student fled the scene and went into hiding, becoming an
instant celebrity among the country’s many opponents of Internet curbs.
Sometime later, hackers broke into the homepage of Binxing’s university and
defaced it with an image from something called Angry Shoes, a spoof on the
wildly popular “Angry Birds” game. The birds at the slingshot are replaced
with shoes, and the pigs in the wooden house are replaced<http://yilee.info/media/fang-xiao-zhang/1.jpg> with
Binxing’s face.

The most recent VPN disruption seemed intended to target mobile devices,
which are fast becoming an important way to access the Internet. As my VPN
provider promised to find a way to outwit the Great Firewall, several
articles in state-run media reminded readers of the dangers lurking on the
Web.
China’s Rationale

On Dec. 18, for instance, a commentary piece on Xinhua, China’s official
news agency, called<http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-12/18/c_124114387.htm>for
new laws to govern the Internet: “If there is no strict legal punishments
on the violators in cyber space, the negative factors will run wild to
destroy the Internet order and even incite online violence, which will
bring great damage to people and society.” This is the Chinese government’s
original rationale for erecting the Great Firewall, an elaborate network of
blocks, network slowdowns and censorship rules that keep many of China’s
half- billion Internet users in the dark about events in the world and in
their own country.

The unease about the broader issue of curbs on free speech was stoked
anew recently when Mo Yan, the Chinese writer who won this year’s Nobel
Prize <http://topics.bloomberg.com/nobel-prize/> for literature, seemed
to liken censorship to airport-security checks: an indispensable nuisance.

China’s Internet is a strange place. Twitter and Facebook are blocked,
their ability to disseminate unwelcome news and serve as organizing
platforms for all sorts of protests deemed too grave a threat. Some of
Google Inc.’s services, including Gmail, are intentionally slowed down to a
snail’s pace, which is arguably even worse than being blocked outright
because it gives customers an impression of poor service.

At the same time, Chinese clones of these American companies operate
freely and load lightning-fast, their searches carefully scrubbed for
sensitive terms by in-house censors. Western Internet companies that choose
to enter the booming Chinese market have to play by the government’s rules.

The most striking example is Skype Inc., owned by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)<http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/MSFT:US> As
detailed by Greatfire.org, a website tracking all things related to the
Great Firewall (and, of course, blocked by it), when you download Skype
software in China, you are actually getting a product tweaked in a crucial
way. Chinese Skype, a joint venture majority-owned by a local company,
allows<https://en.greatfire.org/blog/2012/dec/china-listening-skype-microsoft-assumes-you-approve> the
government to monitor your chats.

Among the many curious things about the Chinese Internet, one apparent
contradiction stands out. Xinhua, the mouthpiece of the government that
insists on blocking Twitter, recently opened a Twitter account, sending out
more than 3,000 tweets, and attracting 8,000 followers -- following no one
itself. Xinhua’s appearance on Twitter, and the one-way nature of its
boosterish account, invited an avalanche of ridicule<http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1102860/xinhuas-twitter-account-stirs-uproar-among-chinas-weibo-users> in
the Chinese blogosphere.
Blocked Sites

Western news outlets that touch taboo subjects are blocked, too.
Bloomberg.com<http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-29/xi-jinping-millionaire-relations-reveal-fortunes-of-elite.htmland> and
nytimes.com are both blocked because of their recent investigative
reports on the financial dealings of top Chinese leaders.

How effective is the Great Firewall, given the many ways of leaping over
it? China’s Internet sleuths aren’t overly concerned with how foreign
companies and individuals access the Web, or what they read there. They are
concerned about Chinese public opinion, and about ways to influence it by
regulating what the Chinese people are and aren’t allowed to see on the
Internet.

By that second measure, the firewall achieves its objectives just fine,
despite the availability of VPNs and other technical tricks, many of them
free.

Of China’s 500 million Web users, only about 1 percent “use these tools
to get around censorship, either because most do not know how or because
they lack sufficient interest in -- or awareness of -- what exists on the
other side of the ‘great firewall,’” Rebecca MacKinnon writes in “Consent
of the Networked,” a book on Internet freedom around the world.

Meanwhile, the wizards at my VPN provider finally found a way around the
firewall’s latest crackdown on smartphones and tablets. My iPad is useful
again, until the firewall catches on and a new round of cat-and-mouse
begins.

Sadly, there’s no good news to report on breaching the wall of smog
blocking the sun. No one has yet invented a virtual private network to
transport one through the Beijing pollution.

(Philip Shishkin is a fellow at the Asia Society<http://topics.bloomberg.com/asia-society/> and
the author of “Restless Valley<http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300184365>:
Revolution, Murder and Intrigue in the Heart of Central Asia,” to be
published in May by Yale University Press. The opinions expressed are his
own.)

To contact the writer of this article: Philip Shishkin at
Philip.Shishkin at gmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this article: Katy Roberts at
kroberts29 at bloomberg.net.

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Assets & Finance: Audits and Valuation of Intellectual Property (West
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(Law Journal Press)

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