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Subject: China Helps Iran Shut Down The Web
SYSOP    12/24/2012 5:49:44 AM
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Reactive       12/24/2012 7:23:41 AM
China is leading a worldwide tendency for police state governments to tightly control how their subjects use the Internet. 
Not just police states either, most western governments are continually trying to do more to regulate the internet, from (in the UK) schemes to log all activity and store it for a year then make it accessible to several million public servants (from local councils to tax inspectors) without so much as a warrant. Australia tried the great firewall approach, the US plans to route/inspect/store a huge proportion of global internet traffic...
More websites are getting shut down/blocked, for now mainly those that infringe copyright but it's only a matter of time before that will expand into other areas - thankfully for the US there's the first amendment but for countries that rely on precedent for freedom of expression and information it is a scary time.
You can bet there's politicians in the west who look at China's capabilities with real envy - we are seeing a pattern of the concept of regulated/sanitised space being adopted in the west, and soon very little communication between people will be truly private. Trends like reliance on singular social media entities and mail providers only make that job easier.
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GeorgeSPatton    western censorship   12/24/2012 6:36:43 PM
At least here in the West we have had the benefit of having possessed a free and open Internet ever since it's inception, creating an experienced hacking population.  I'm pretty confident that any sort of attempt at government Internet blockage in the majority of Western nations would be overridden by hackers within a fairly short amount of time.  I can't imagine it being a very simple task to block off portions of the Net without killing it completely.
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Reactive       12/25/2012 12:37:00 AM
Yes we are used to freedoms, and there is a culture of dissent in the west that does not wash in the PRC for example, that said I do think we are seeing a gradual deterioration of free and unmonitored communication - the consequences may not me immediate but are still noticeable even now with plenty of examples of people in the UK and Europe having been arrested, charged and prosecuted for causing "offense" for example, it's quite a thin line to get to the point where that becomes "causing public upset" or causing "dissent", the arguments generally used in China to shut up anyone overtly critical. In other words there's plenty of weak, subjective law that always tends to become more hysterical in its application. 
Yes there are hackers and always will be but once the system is no-longer open the fact that someone is (for example) using a VPN stands out like a sore thumb, informed users will most likely always be able to circumvent surveillance systems but as those become more widespread the options diminish or become in themselves cause for investigation. TOR is probably already compromised, in fact it's almost inconceivable that it's not given the trivial amount of investment (in intel gathering terms) needed to control enough nodes to determine origin and recipient. 
Luckily the salvation may come in the form of higher-bandwidths, it will soon be possible to make a large-scale mix network with low-latency - the next "bittorrent" might well be this sort of system, i2p in particular looks like it might be a good framework to build on...
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trenchsol       12/25/2012 2:43:07 AM
The fact is that 99% of Internet is a large pile of human crap. Stupidity which almost hurts. But, not having access to it, makes it much more desirable. And remaining 1% is valuable, indeed.
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