Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

China fights to control the net

Filed under
Web

A CHINESE government threat to close down unregistered websites has convinced just 430,000 to make themselves known at the Information Ministry - suggesting that most of the country's estimated 4 million web loggers, or bloggers, are choosing to stay out in the cold.

"There's a bit of a chill blowing through right now," said Duncan Clark, managing director of Beijing-based media consultancy BDA China. The campaign for registration is "obviously an effort to impose control" on web activities, said Mr Clark, who has moved his website offshore to avoid the regulators.

Li Xinde should be more worried than most.

The freelance investigative journalist is gaining fame for his site, www.yuluncn.com, which targets official corruption. The site, known in English as Chinese Public Opinion Surveillance Net, was shut down last year when it carried pictures of the allegedly corrupt vice-mayor of a major Chinese city on his knees apparently begging not to be exposed.

The official was arrested soon afterwards and awaits trial on accusations of stealing $530,000. But the woman who first accused him, and whom he allegedly tried to kidnap and intimidate, has already been sentenced to five years in prison in a case Li believes was mounted in revenge by the vice-mayor's government cronies.

But Li says his site was shut down only because the vice-mayor's younger brother worked in the Public Security Bureau. "We'll register according to the regulations. Similar websites by my friends have all passed registration so far. I don't think anyone will tell us not to post corruption-fighting content."

By confining his writings to factual exposures of corruption, and never questioning the party's rule, Li minimises his risks. He is a Communist Party member. He believes he has the support not just of the general public, but of the party too. In an anonymous Beijing hotel room with his tools of trade - an IBM laptop and a digital camera - he says they share the same aims.

"There are many people (with grievances) who go around from department to department without result, and they come to me very upset and scolding the party loudly," he said.

"I tell them, 'If you believe in the party, tell me what happened. if you don't believe in the party don't tell me, because everything that follows depends on the party for a solution'."
Li lives by the creed of "publish or perish", keeping one step ahead of corrupt local officials by working quickly and in secret, travelling in and out of places before he can be detained by the local officials he specialises in exposing. "I could not do what I do without the internet," he says.

The site gets an average of 15,000 hits a day. Even if he does have tacit official backing, Li's activities are highly risky. He claims no one is immune from his attention, yet he must also know that he will be abandoned to his fate the moment his investigations sail too close to the true centres of party power.

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

Parabola GNU/Linux-libre 2016.07.27 Adds LightDM as Default Display Manager

André Fabian Silva Delgado proudly announced the availability for download of the live ISO images of the Parabola GNU/Linux-libre 2016.07.27 operating system based on Arch Linux. Read more

Modular Moto Z Android phone supports DIY and RPi HAT add-ons

Motorola and Element14 have launched a development kit for creating add-on modules for the new modular Moto Z smartphone, including an adapter for RPi HATs. We don’t usually cover smartphones here at HackerBoards because most don’t offer much opportunity for hardware hacking. Yet, Lenovo’s Motorola Mobility subsidiary has spiced up the smartphone space this week by announcing a modular, hackable “Moto Mods” backplate expansion system for its new Android-based Moto Z smartphones. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate
    As your humble HPC correspondent for The Register, I should probably be running Linux on the array of systems here at the home office suite. But I don't. I've been a Microsoft guy since I bought my first computer way back in 1984. You, dear readers, can rip me for being a MStard, but it works worked well for my business and personal needs. I've had my ups and downs with the company, but I think I've received good value for my money and I've managed to solve every problem I've had over the years. Until yesterday, that is. Yesterday was the day that I marked on my calendar as "Upgrade to Windows 10 Day." We currently have four systems in our arsenal here, two laptops and two desktops. The laptops are Lenovo R61 and W510 systems, and the desktops are a garden variety box based on an Asus P7P55D Pro motherboard. The other desktop is my beloved Hydra 2.0 liquid cooled, dual-processor, monster system based on the EVGA Classified SR-2 motherboard. These details turn out to be important in our story.
  • Rygel/Shotwell/GUADEC
  • How to setup HTTP2 in cPanel/WHM Linux VPS using EasyApache3
  • Pushed Fedora Graphical upgrade via Gnome software utility
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Week 2016/30
  • Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Available for System76 PCs, Ubuntu 15.10 Users Must Upgrade
    As reported by us last week, Canonical announced the first point release of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and it looks like the guys over System76 were pretty quick to push the update to users' computers. Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS is the latest, most advanced version of the Xenial Xerus operating system, and we recommend that you upgrade to it as soon as possible if you didn't do it already. This is an important point release because it also opens up the upgrade path for users of the Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (Trusty Tahr) distribution.
  • A Reminder Of Why I Hate Ubuntu
    Yesterday I was reminded why I hate Ubuntu. I suddenly was unable to SSH into Odroid-C2. From Odroid-C2 I could do everything as normal. It turned out the IP address had changed despite my HOST declaration in Beast’s DHCP server and Odroid-C2 being set to use DHCP, or so I thought. Nope. There was a dhclient.conf file in Odroid-C2 which requested everything and the kitchen sink from DHCP, stuff I had no use of like netbios… The man page for the dhclient.conf file says it all: “The require statement lists options that must be sent in order for an offer to be accepted. Offers that do not contain all the listed options will be ignored. There is no default require list.”
  • Thin Mini-ITX board taps Braswell SoCs, offers 4K video
    IEI’s “tKINO-BW” Mini-ITX board features Intel Pentium and Celeron “Braswell” SoCs, 4K video, triple display support, and optional remote management. Over the last year, numerous Mini-ITX boards based on Intel’s “Braswell” family of 14nm SoCs have reached market, but there have been far fewer models billed as being “thin.” This somewhat arbitrary term refers to boards with low-profile coastline port layouts, generally for space-constrained embedded applications rather than big gaming boxes.

Server Administration

  • MicroBadger and the Awesome Power of Container Labels
    Containers have the power to change infrastructure architecture, making it more secure and more energy efficient. This is because containerized applications can be started, stopped or juggled from machine to machine in seconds — far faster than applications can be moved on VMs or bare metal. That speed opens up the world to intelligent container-aware tools that can control what’s running in a data center in near real time. Combined with clever tooling, containers could help make data centers less static and more like an organic body: re-assigning resources or repelling threats as and when required. But for this vision to come about, those clever tools of the future need information. They need to know things like: is a particular containerized image mission critical? Does it contain a security flaw? Can it be safely stopped? Who should be paged if it crashes?
  • 7 Tips for SysAdmins Considering a Linux Foundation Training Certification
    Open source is the new normal for startups and large enterprises looking to stay competitive in the digital economy. That means that open source is now also a viable long-term career path. “It is important to start thinking about the career road map, and the pathway that you can take and how Linux and open source in general can help you meet your career goals,” said Clyde Seepersad, general manager of training at The Linux Foundation, in a recent webinar.
  • 3 Unique Takes on the Linux Terminal at Your Command
    When I first started on my journey with Linux, back in the late 1990s, there was one inevitability: the terminal. You couldn’t escape it. The command line was a part of your daily interaction with the open source platform and that was that. Today’s Linux is a much different beast. New and seasoned users alike can work with the platform and never touch the command line or terminal. But, on the off-chance you do want to take advantage of the power that is the command line, it’s good to know there are numerous options available, some of which offer unique takes on the task. Those are the terminals I want to highlight today—the ones that offer more than just the ability to enter a command. If you’re looking for a far more efficient interaction with your terminal and OS, or you’re looking for more flexibility with your terminal, one of these will certainly fit your needs.
  • OpsDev Is Coming
    OpsDev means that the dependencies of the various application components must be understood and modeled first before the development process begins.
  • One DevOps tool for all clouds: Cloudify
    Who doesn't want one program to run multiple clouds? I know I do. Cloudify, an open-source orchestration software company, now claims it can support all the top five public clouds and Azure, OpenStack, and VMware, with its latest release, Cloudify 3.4.
  • 5 sysadmin horror stories
    The job ain't easy. There are constantly systems to update, bugs to fix, users to please, and on and on. A sysadmin's job might even entail fixing the printer (sorry). To celebrate the hard work our sysadmins do for us, keeping our machines up and running, we've collected five horror stories that prove just how scary / difficult it can be.
  • A guide to scientific computing system administration
    When developing applications for science there are times when you need to move beyond the desktop, but a fast, single node system may also suffice. In my time as a researcher and scientific software developer I have had the opportunity to work on a vast array of different systems, from old systems churning through data to some of the largest supercomputers on the planet.