China: Great firewall undermined

The end to China's Cultural Revolution thirty years ago took with it the need to censor one's self in order to survive. While people in China can now speak freely—a right protected in the Chinese constitution—there still exists an unwritten set of rules and standards for when and if an audience is involved.

For the average Chinese netizen, there are two main fronts in the Chinese Communist Party's war on free speech. Up front are search engines, where a query on sensitive keywords might let you get as far as the second page of results—if they appear at all—before browser paralysis sets in and your connection is disabled, often for twenty to thirty minutes at a time.

On the back end are websites and blogs where if the wrong characters don't bring a cease and desist order, software is triggered which quickly renders the offending page unloadable. Removing the sensitive content will sometimes secure the survival of your blog. Often it does not.

You want to post on the relevant political and social issues, but when words act against you, what's a blogger to do?

Podcasts seem to be an answer, at least until voice-monitoring technology catches up—an idea not lost on Democratic China Blog's Neo, whose MSN Spaces blog of the same name was blocked on the mainland not long ago.

First up is a news report [zh] on Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference delegate Zhang Xianliang and his proposal to build a Cultural Revolution museum.

Following that Neo posts a series of four recordings [zh] of Ming Ju-zheng (明居正), Dean of National University of Taiwan's political science department speaking on the Cultural Revolution.

Volume one: In the nearly thirty years since the Cultural Revolution ended, Chinese Communist Party officials have all along evaded discussing it. It's absolutely necessary that we can have a review. This piece attempts to clarify three major problems: Mao Zedong's motives and role in bringing about the Cultural Revolution, why he used such tactics in seizing power, and the Communist Party's role.

Volume two: This volume discusses some of the phenomena seen during the Cultural Revolution such as the struggle against capitalists, cult of personality, and how allowing politics to determine state affairs led to such cruel battles. In particular addresses the Cultural Revolution's absurd nature and examines the devastation done to Chinese society and humanity.

Volume three: This volume looks into Lin Biao, the Gang of Four and the Red Guards‘ responsibilities in the Cultural Revolution and puts forward a view different that of Chinese Communist Party.

Volume four: Some political happenings before and after the Cultural Revolution and the negative affect this had on political and social life on the mainland, including: public denouncements and trials, factionalism, financial incentives for exposing the politically incorrect, all of which are discussed at length.

How long will podcasts remain a viable option in subverting internet censorship? Let's hope longer than it takes Cisco to drive to the bank.


  • I’ve tried to translate it into Chinese in my blog entry here:

    but some content is difficult for me to translate, cuz i am lack of history knowledge.

  • […] 原文链接:China: Great firewall undermined by John Kennedy 中国的文化大革命已经结束30年了,同时人们也不必再为了保证人身安全而进行自我审查。但即便现在在中国已经可以自由的发表意见(中国《宪法》所保护的权利),仍然有一系列潜在的规则和标准,来判断何时以及是否有涉及言论过度的现象。 对于普通的中国网民,中国共产党限制自由言论有两个主要的措施。首先是针对搜索引擎,当你查询一个敏感关键字的时候,最多只能够打开两页的搜索结果(如果能够显示的话),然后浏览器就瘫痪了,并且网络连接也会被断开,每次通常二十到三十分钟。 另外一方面,如果网站和博客中有一些违禁的内容,(监控)软件会执行操作,使人们不能打开这些含有不合时宜的内容的网页。有时候,删除掉那些敏感的文字内容可以保证博客网站的正常运作,不过这个方法经常不起作用。 如果博客想对相关的政治和社会议题发表意见,但是写的文字无法通过审查,那么应该怎么做呢? 至少在语音监控技术还未成熟的时候,采用播客似乎是一个选择。对于民主中国博客的Neo来说还是一个好主意,而他在MSN空间上的同名博客在不久前在中国大陆被屏蔽了。 首先是一篇有关于中国人民政治协商会议的代表——张贤亮的新闻报道,他建议要建立一座文化大革命博物馆。Neo在其后发表了四段由国立台湾大学政治学系的系主任——明居正对文革的评论录音。 第一段:在文革结束的近30年内,中国共产党官方都避免讨论这个问题。但是我们一定要回顾一下,这段试图弄清楚三个主要问题:毛泽东在发动文革中的动机和在其中所扮演的角色;他为什么采用这样的策略来夺权;中共所起的作用。 第二段:这段主要讨论了在文革期间的某些现象,比如批斗走资派、个人崇拜、以及导致残暴斗争的政治运动治国。这段还特别阐述了文革的荒谬性和对中国社会和人性带来的巨大破坏。 第三段:这段分析了林彪、四人帮、红卫兵在文革中的所负有的责任,阐述了与中共不同的观点。 第四段:文革前后的某些政治事件,及其对中国大陆的政治和社会生活所带来的负面影响。这段详细讨论了包括公审批斗、派别主义、揭露政治错误的经济激励的问题。 (以上四段翻译有原始的中文文本) 播客,作为一种可行的方法来绕开因特网审查制度,究竟还能够维持多久?希望能够比思科公司跟政府合作开发出相应功能的时间要长。 ----------原文---------- […]

  • […] 原文链接:China: Great firewall undermined by John Kennedy 中国的文化大革命已经结束30年了,同时人们也不必再为了保证人身安全而进行自我审查。但即便现在在中国已经可以自由的发表意见(中国《宪法》所保护的权利),仍然有一系列潜在的规则和标准,来判断何时以及是否有涉及言论过度的现象。 […]

  • Palingene

    Make this site GFWed!!!!!

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