Thursday, 20 March 2008

China Banned! What's Up Next for Worker's Paradise?

Jonathan Zittrain and Benjamin Edelman of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society [part of the Harvard Law School] kept tabs on the websites that the Chinese authorities were keeping tabs on between August 2002 and November 2003.

The individual sites that were targeted can be found at Inaccessible Sites Tested by Users of the Real-Time Testing System along with a few observations as to why these sites have been censored in the first place. While some might be obvious, others less so. [Issues of aesthetics or good taste aside, why would they bother to censor granny porn sites??]

A recent article in The Atlantic observed that China's 'Golden Shield Project' [as the Internet firewall is known] allows for government authorities to monitor all Internet traffic going in or out of the country in a way that would be impossible in other nations thanks to a series of 'choke-points' created by the layout of China's phone service. A consequence of this technological bottle-neck has been China has been able to block videos on the Tibetan protest movement posted on YouTube while being unable to completely stop the flow of information related to Tibet from moving into and out of China, thanks in part to bloggers and others using spam tactics to bypass Chinese filters.

With the upcoming Olympics and the ongoing issues in Tibet, censorship can only get worse ... both in China and over here.

Despite all this, it is still [allegedly] possible to get outside news into the Worker's Paradise through a number of Transwiki: Bypassing the Great Firewall of China.

Anyhow, this might provide me with my big chance to get my own blog blocked by the Chinese authorities by passing on the following message from Play Fair 2008:

'Play Fair 2008 is an international campaign taking place in the lead up to the 2008 Olympic Games to push for respect for workers’ rights in the global sporting goods industry.'

'Play Fair 2008 is organized by The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and the International Textile, Garment and Leather Worker’s Federation (ITGLWF). The campaign is also supported by a diverse coalition of organizations worldwide.'

'We believe that sportswear and athletic footwear companies, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Olympics Committees, as well as national governments must take steps to eliminate the exploitation and abuse of workers in the global sporting goods industry.'

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