Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Hackers, bloggers and professors team up to tap into blocked microblog content [Global Times] #RisingChina #SocialMedia

Happening inside the Great Firewall right now if one cares to look –  is China’s great convergence of minds deliberating a consensus forward on a scale never seen before.

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Hackers, bloggers and professors team up to tap into blocked microblog content
By Xuyang Jingjing
Source – Global Times, published July 28, 2013

With over 500 million registered users and over 46 million daily active users, Sina Weibo is the largest and most influential social media platform in China. It has also become known as a fostering ground for discussions with a more liberal slant.

But what is not allowed to be discussed on Weibo perhaps says just as much as what can be. There are a number of projects that aim to uncover content blocked on Weibo. Most of the people behind such efforts are China watchers based overseas or foreigners living in China. While they may have different approaches and backgrounds, their efforts are successful in bringing this vanished content back to light.

One such project, Freeweibo.com, won the 2013 Bobs, or Best of the Blogs awards, for best innovation in June. The Bobs awards, started by Deutsche Welle in 2004, are given out in 34 categories in 14 languages, and aim to honor the open exchange of ideas of free expression.

Hu Yong, a professor at Peking University and a new media observer, served as a juror at the awards. He commented that Freeweibo preserves digital memories and makes disappeared content visible again, according to the official website of the Bobs.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, China Digital Times, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity

Photo Story: A woman carries her sleeping child on a scooter in Beijing [China Digital Times]

A woman carries her sleeping child on a scooter in Beijing, by Zhao Hua Xi Shi. Retrieved 07 April 2010 from China Digital Times online

Source – China Digital Times, published 07 April 2010

Filed under: China Digital Times, Culture, Photo Story

Two Chinese Schools Tied to Online Attacks Linked to the Great Firewall

Two Chinese Schools Tied to Online Attacks Linked to the Great Firewall
Source – China Digital Times, Feb 18 2010

An investigation into the cyber attacks on Google and other corporations has led to computers based at two universities in China, Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School. The New York Times reports:

Computer security experts, including investigators from the National Security Agency, have been working since then to pinpoint the source of the attacks. Until recently, the trail had led only to servers in Taiwan.

If supported by further investigation, the findings raise as many questions as they answer, including the possibility that some of the attacks came from China but not necessarily from the Chinese government, or even from Chinese sources.

Tracing the attacks further back, to an elite Chinese university and a vocational school, is a breakthrough in a difficult task. Evidence acquired by a United States military contractor that faced the same attacks as Google has even led investigators to suspect a link to a specific computer science class, taught by a Ukrainian professor at the vocational school.

Update: What the New York Times report does not include is the fact that, according to the school’s own website, the School of Information Security Engineering of Shanghai Jiaotong University is one of the main research units of the China’s “National Information Security Application Demonstration Project” “国家信息安全应用示范工程” – (code name S219) , and the Information Security Project within the “National 863 Program*.” The school is “a training base for high-level Information Security experts in the national 863 production (east) base” (“国家863产业化(东部)基地信息安全高级专业人才培养基地”).

And who are the trainers of these high-level information security experts? Here is just one example:

Professor Li Jianhua (李建华), Deputy Dean of the School of Information Security Engineering. Research area:Information Security, Computer Communication Network , Information/Signal Processing, Artificial Intelligence. His titles include: Chief Expert of the Expert Group of Information Security Project of National 863 Program; Expert Committee of National 863 Program Anti-Computer-Invasion and Anti-Virus Technology Research Center (Ministry Public Security) 公安部国家863计划反计算机入侵和防病毒技术研究中心专家委员会成员(公安部)国家863计划信息安全主题专家组首席/管理专家 (科技部)

Together with Shanghai Jiaotong University, the Lanxiang Vocational School is also one of the five colleges which are known to have associated with the national “information security” research program, including the  of China. The other three schools known to have participated are Harbin Institute of TechnologyBeijing University of Post and Telecommunications, and National University of Defense Technology.

From information available online, it is not difficult to find connections linking these university research units to the government’s “Information Security” technology research network. For example, from this already deleted list of “Second Term of (National) Internet and Information Security Working Committee (2007),” professor  is listed as a “Member of the Standing Committee”. And the Head of this Committee is none other than Dr.  (方滨兴), a computer scientist, widely known as the the father of the  of China.  is the honorary director of the National Computer network Emergency Responses technical Team/Coordination Center of China (CNCERT), a.k.a. the . In Dr. Fang’s public resume, he is the current president of the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications, and he taught and conducted research from 1984-1999 at the School of Computer and Electronic Engineering at the Harbin Institute of Technology. Since 2005, he has also been a Specially Hired Professor (“特聘教授”) at the National University of Defense Technology. Among many other titles held by Dr. Fang, he has been the Ministry of Public Security’s Specially Hired Expert on Information Security since 2007; a member of the Informationalization Expert Consulting Committee of the People’s Liberation Army General Logistics Department; and in 2001 he was awarded the title of “Outstanding Individual”, jointly given by the Chinese Communist Party Central Organizational Department, Chinese Communist Party Central Propaganda Department, Chinese Communist Party Political and Legal Committee, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Civil Affairs and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

* National 863 Program is the code name of China’s High Technology Development Program 《高技术研究发展计划(863计划)纲要》, which is a state-funded research program on high-technology.

Filed under: China Digital Times, Communications, Google Cyber-attack 2010, Media

Han Han’s Speech At Xiamen University: “The So-called Grand Cultural Nation”

An insight into what some of the more free-spirited Chinese think of their nation from the inside. In a sense, I agree that the powers that be try to control the culture. But like sand, the more and harder one tries to grasp it, the more it will slip away. With certain things, the Chinese have to learn how to be like the water. But certainly, water travels over time too. Open the floodgates carelessly and letting it gush too early – who knows what will happen?

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Han Han’s Speech At Xiamen University: “The So-called Grand Cultural Nation”
Source – China Digital Times, 04 Feb 2010

Han Han. Source - China Digital Times

Author, race-car driver and blogger ’s most recent speech at Xiamen University, translated on the EastSouthWestNorth blog:

This is my second time in Xiamen. The weather here is great. No wonder people like to go outside and stroll. Hmmm … I just heard Teacher Deng spoke about certain issues on nationalism. I was reminded of a couple of sayings which I came across them previously. They are other people’s words, not mine. The first saying is, “Nationalism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” The second saying is, “True patriotism is to protect this country so that it will not suffer any harm.”

For today’s talk, I have brought along a written speech in order to constrain myself. Mainly, I don’t want you to suffer any harm because I may stray all over the place. Let me begin.

Dear leaders, dear teachers, dear students, how are you doing?

Do you know why China cannot become a grand cultural nation? It is because most of the time when we speak, we say “Dear leaders” first and those leaders are uncultured. Not only that, for they are also afraid of culture, they censor culture and they control culture. So how can such a nation become a grand cultural nation? Dear leaders, what do you say?

Actually, China has tremendous potential of becoming a grand cultural nation. Let me tell you a story. I am the chief editor of a magazine which has yet to publish. The Constitution states that every citizen has the freedom to publish, but the law also says that the leaders has the freedom not to let you publish. This magazine has run into some problems during the review process. There is a cartoon drawing. In it, there is a man without clothes — of course, this is unacceptable because the law says that we cannot exhibit the private parts in a publicly available magazine. I agree with that and I don’t have a problem with it. Therefore, I intentionally created an extra-large magazine logo that was placed over the illegal spot of the cartoon. But unexpectedly, the publisher and the censor told us that this was unacceptable too — when you cover up the middle part of a person, you are referring to the “Party Central” (note: “party” is a homonym for “block/shield” and “central” is “middle”). My reaction was like yours — I was awed and shocked. I thought to myself, “Buddy, it would be so wonderful if you could put your awe-inspiring imagination into literary creation instead of literary censorship!”

Filed under: Censorship, China Digital Times, Culture, Han Han, Human Rights, Nationalism

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