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New Laws In China For Internet "Criminals"

By mattx in MLP
Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 04:39:34 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Apparently China has passed a law citing certain activities on the internet illegal, and punishable as a crime. You can find a report on BBC's News Site.


Think blocking content in US libraries is bad? What if the US government (or any world government) blocked access to certain sites? Monitored your usage?
"Using the internet to...incite the overthrow of state power, topple the socialist system or... destroy national unity" are constituted as crimes.
Other activities on the internet deemed as crimes are:
  • Breaking into networks concerned with national affairs, defence and advanced technology
  • Creating and disseminating computer viruses
  • Promoting Taiwan's independence organising "cults"
  • Establishing pornographic websites and providing links to such websites
  • Spreading rumours to manipulate stock prices
  • Tampering with personal e-mails
Compared to this, the controversies in the US (Carnivore, etc) are nothing. Once again, another argument that the US lives in it's own little world, and we (US citizens, including myself) take our freedom for granted.

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New Laws In China For Internet "Criminals" | 31 comments (19 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
At least they're honest (3.94 / 19) (#1)
by untrusted user on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 05:32:15 PM EST

"Using the internet to incite the overthrow of state power" - Well, try that in the US, and as soon as the Powers think you're serious, the only difference is they'll have to make up some charges to fuck you.

They're late.. (3.81 / 11) (#2)
by enterfornone on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 05:35:53 PM EST

Many of these are crimes elsewhere. Breaking into networks and spreading virii certainly is. Spreading rumours to manipulate stock prices is a crime in most places (whether online or off). Tampering with personal (snail) mail is illegal in many places, although I'm not sure about email. Speaking out agaist the Chinese government and promoting Taiwan's independence are already illegal offline so it isn't surprising that they are making this illegal on the net.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
Er? (3.55 / 9) (#3)
by darthaya on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 05:38:27 PM EST

Aren't those supposed to consider crimes? I am sure FBI would be interested in people who "incite the overthrow of state power, topple the capitalist system or... destroy national unity".

No different from existing laws in the West (3.88 / 9) (#4)
by wib on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 05:40:40 PM EST

Most of the activities spoken about above are already deamed to be illegal in most western countries, at least in the UK and US. Only cults and the promotion of Taiwan (or any country) are generally covered by the right to 'free' speech. However the desire to monitor and implement monitoring only goes to show where the balance of power is in China.

wib
-- McDonalds? if i want some anti-biotics i'll go see my doctor.
-1 for Media Hysteria (3.22 / 9) (#5)
by farl on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 05:56:38 PM EST

sounds all reasonable. Don' assume other countries work on the same principles as the USA might. Nothing in that is particularly bad (except the porn blocking).

Consider the differences between where you are and there and then stop trying to use hyped up topics.


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
As far as I can tell: (3.55 / 9) (#8)
by daani on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 07:33:39 PM EST

Every one of those things is illegal in the USA as well. It seems we still love to have a bash at those darn commies.

Of course, I am not denying that there may be some difference in the ways that the law is applied.

metta

daani



Not All of Them (3.16 / 6) (#9)
by Malicose on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 08:14:57 PM EST

I can promote Taiwan's independence and establish pornographic websites (or provide links to such websites). Even President-elect Bush said we will defend Taiwan if China attacks, which is most certainly promoting its independence.

[ Parent ]
Not All of Them (2.00 / 3) (#11)
by eMBee on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 11:49:54 PM EST

oh, have you tried promoting communism some decades ago?
and not all porn is legal here either
i prefer outlawing porn over someone snooping my email

greetings, eMBee.
--
Gnu is Not Unix / Linux Is Not UniX
[ Parent ]

try advocating the violent overthrow of the US gov (4.00 / 2) (#25)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 11:16:11 AM EST

.... and see how far your free speech gets you. Indeed, try selling holidays in Cuba to US citizens.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Shocking (2.60 / 5) (#10)
by tumeric on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 08:16:17 PM EST

... to hear that promoting Taiwan's independence is illegal in the US.

But then that's how stupid laws get passed -- by piggy backing on a set of laws that make sense and getting lost in the noise.

[ Parent ]

So ? (2.25 / 4) (#12)
by Anonymous 7324 on Sat Dec 30, 2000 at 10:39:43 AM EST

Using the internet to...incite the overthrow of state power, topple the socialist system or... destroy national unity" are constituted as crimes. Other activities on the internet deemed as crimes are: Breaking into networks concerned with national affairs, defence and advanced technology Creating and disseminating computer viruses Promoting Taiwan's independence organising "cults" Establishing pornographic websites and providing links to such websites Spreading rumours to manipulate stock prices Tampering with personal e-mails Wait, wait, with the exception of porno, which is something to do with national values and equally illegal offline, and the Taiwan thing, which may well be considered aiding and abetting the enemy, the rest of these are illegal in the U.S. as well. So uh, your point?

come back down to earth (2.00 / 7) (#15)
by neetij on Sat Dec 30, 2000 at 10:20:12 PM EST

im quite pissed off now 'cos i wrote a bunch of stuff in reply and it didn't post. neways. to recap briefly what you did not read.
americans (america) needs to come back down to earth and take a good look around. its almost just as bad, if not worse here. china subscribes to a different idea of life. that doesnt mean its a bad or evil idea. there's a lot of censorship in america too. its just not apparent and public. how many times have you heard/read/seen of an instance where someone (mostly a child) was repreimanded for having "evil" ideas of communism or non-capitalist ideas. communism isn't bad. china's doing great and its communist. its got a low crime rate (compared to america) and is one of the fastest growing economies. how can you explain that. im sure the fbi is just as worried about internal terrorism as any other government's security organisations. they may not be as vocal or as forthcoming in providing information regarding their ideals concerning their idea of what constitutes "free speech", but they do have things in motion (carnivore).
bottom line being: america harbors a strong holier-than-thou personality (how do you explain its entry into so many world conflicts off its own accord, and failing in a number of them), which i think is very wrong. be realistic. and just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.
this isn't the most well-written opinion, but i hope you get my drift.

It's a good thing China gets proper legislation (4.43 / 16) (#16)
by joto on Sun Dec 31, 2000 at 10:26:08 AM EST

I think those activities you mentioned probably are punishable in any country (including US if you insist on an american bias). Let's see:
  • Incite the overthrow of state power
    Illegal anywhere I guess
  • Breaking into defence networks
    Are you kidding?
  • Spreading viruses
    Yeah, right! As if it has ever been legal
  • Promoting Taiwans independence organising "cults"
    If there where any paralell to this, it would probably be legal in US, and in my opinion it should be legal, but it's not like this is something that is illegal only on the Internet, it's something that is illegal in all of China.
  • porn
    Legal somewhere, illegal elsewhere. Definitions of various forms of pornography and their legal status varies from country to country. The Internet creates problems for local legislation. China chooses to do something. That's fine with me!
  • Spreading rumors to manipulate stock prices
    This is, has always been, and will always be illegal in any western state as well.
  • Tampering with personal emails
    Something that definitely should be illegal. Maybe that's not the case at present, but it should be!

Unless you can find something really shocking, I'm not really impressed by how evil those "commies" are. IMHO Carnivore and US is much more scary because what you have is an almost Orwellian situation. You are being watched and monitored. You don't know how. You don't know when. You have a vague idea of who. And most importantly you don't even know what is illegal. The DVD CSS crack is a good example of the last point, because (1) Reverse-engineering was considered legal in US (2) Jon Johansen lived in Norway (3) Reverse engineering might or might not be legal in Norway, but most likely it is (4) For some reason he was put to trial in California, under Californian law (5) Nobody could predict what would happen.

I prefer clean legislation (even if it is unfair) to arbitrary and silly court-decisions. At least you know what you can do.

Re:It's a good thing China gets proper legislation (1.50 / 2) (#18)
by MeanGene on Sun Dec 31, 2000 at 07:42:35 PM EST

joto wrote:

  • Promoting Taiwans independence organising "cults" If there where any paralell to this, it would probably be legal in US, and in my opinion it should be legal, but it's not like this is something that is illegal only on the Internet, it's something that is illegal in all of China.
  • Spreading rumors to manipulate stock prices This is, has always been, and will always be illegal in any western state as well.
Isn't this the sad state of our civilization when the supposedly educated and liberal-minded people do not see a crucial difference between the questions of national unity and some shmucks' pocket change.

Taiwan is and Hong-Kong was for China the issue of national unity - just like the Confederate South was for the U.S. Except the U.S. didn't have a major superpower supporting the break-away provinces.

You put next to it a question of petty theft in the equity markets - and proclaim the superiority of the capitalist society in that it puts money above nation. Good riddance!

[ Parent ]

exactly how did you read my post? (4.25 / 4) (#20)
by joto on Mon Jan 01, 2001 at 10:22:16 AM EST

I have no idea what you are trying to imply...

I haven't compared or otherwise implied any connection between any "illegal activities" listed either in my posting, or in the original article. If you think you see such a connection, maybe you can explain to me where you did find one?

But if you want a comparison, in my opinion China would get a lot more pocket change if it "absorbed" Taiwan. Taiwan has a rapidly growing economy, and lot's of money-making technology that could make China happy as well. So it's not like national unity and money are totally separate issues. I am not sure where I stand in the "debate" between a free Taiwan or a Taiwan as a part of China. If anything, I hope it is up to the people of Taiwan. I think it is sad that you are not allowed to have an opinion of this in China, unless it is the official opinion. I also think the situation is very difficult to compare to anything in the US so I avoid comparisons.

As for your claim of me proclaiming superiority of the capitalist society for putting money above nation, that is pure nonsense. I merely pointed out that manipulating stock-prices through rumors is illegal anywhere. Not just in China. I am not an economist, so I can't comment on why this is so, or why people think it is good. It does conflict with other very worthy ideals, such as free speech. And it seems to be very difficult to enforce in a fair manner.

About the only thing I recognize in your article is the part about being "supposedly educated and liberal minded". Yes, I consider myself to be just that. But my education is in computer science and logic, not law, economy, government, or anything else. So I am not taking this any further, especially from someone deliberately trying to put words into my mouth. Fuck Off!

[ Parent ]

US vs China (4.71 / 7) (#17)
by mattw on Sun Dec 31, 2000 at 03:33:02 PM EST

"Compared to this, the controversies in the US (Carnivore, etc) are nothing. Once again, another argument that the US lives in it's own little world, and we (US citizens, including myself) take our freedom for granted."


Actually, I'd say the reason some people make such a big deal out of carnivore is that we DON'T take our freedom for granted. We thirst for our liberty, lament every bit taken away, and we know that a revolution isn't the only way to lose our liberties. There are certainly people in the US who take their freedom for granted, but I'd say the controversies in the US are more indicative of those who do not.


[Scrapbooking Supplies]
On the contrary... (none / 0) (#31)
by josh_staiger on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 12:04:28 AM EST

we know that a revolution isn't the only way to lose our liberties

I would venture to guess that it is more often the case that a revolution is required to take freedoms back from an establishment that has slowly chipped them away over time.



[ Parent ]
I know what you are trying to say.. (3.16 / 6) (#21)
by Sheepdot on Mon Jan 01, 2001 at 02:47:11 PM EST

Instead, talk about how in China, you die for doing those listed things. Anyone here remember those two boys that hacked that Chinese bank? Did they end up getting electrocuted or gassed?

A more effective anti-communism stance could have been taken, but I applaud your effort. I'd talk about hacking, virii, and email tampering being stuff that could be considered a crime punishable by death more than it being a crime.

Most of those are crimes in the states too, like most posters pointed out, but what they failed to mention was that indeed China does punish way more harshly for committing those crimes.


RE: I know what you are trying to say... (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by odaiwai on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 03:23:47 AM EST

> Instead, talk about how in China, you die for doing those listed things. Anyone here
> remember those two boys that hacked that Chinese bank? Did they end up getting
> electrocuted or gassed?

The standard execution method in the PRC is a bullet in the back of the head.

Electric chairs and gas chambers are just too expensive. They usually bill the family for the bullet.

Life is cheap in China, but death is cheaper.

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]
New Laws In China For Internet "Criminals" | 31 comments (19 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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