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Twitter Developing Technology To Thwart Censorship

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the unblockable-force dept.

Censorship 144

SHMG writes "Micro-blogging site Twitter is developing technology that will prevent government censorship, after Iran and China moved to censor its users. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Twitter CEO and co-founder Evan Williams said the company was working on 'hacks' to stop any blocking by foreign governments. 'We are partially blocked in China and other places and we were in Iran as well,' he said. 'The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about.'"

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In SOVIET RUSSIA... (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928588)

Whenever there was a coup attempt going on in the USSR, the first place to get invaded by supporters of the coup the was the broadcasters, and then they had to get to the newspaper before it published the next issue. If they win over the media, they were effectively in power. If the media reports there's a coup in progress, then that would scramble the defenders of the existing rulers and it would fail. If the media reports the coup was successful, then whoever was reported to be the leader effectively had power.

This is why governments like Iran and China want to control all forms of communications. If people can organize in a way the government can't easily listen in on or censor, then the government is going to fail. As we have seen, a government doesn't need to be good at helping its people as long as its good at controlling them. Squash your opposing people, and you've got an easy time governing the rest.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30928740)

I hear what you are saying, and it all makes sense... ... It just feels like, as of late, people are a lot more complacent when it comes to challenging the power of their government. This isn't just a U.S.A phenomenon, it feels like it is a worldwide issue.

Maybe, however, I'm just not tapped into this decade's "resistance for freedom" movements. But, once upon a time, it felt like real individuals could set examples of government defiance and cause the waves of change to splash. A simple refusal to stand up from a bus seat. A brave individual facing down a tank. A monk giving his life in the most painful of ways to let people know what he is fighting for. A person calling their representatives non-stop on an issue that is important to them. Thousands of people marching to let their voices be heard. There are tons of examples. It just doesn't feel like people really care anymore.

Oh well.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929262)

I hear what you are saying, and it all makes sense... ... It just feels like, as of late, people are a lot more complacent when it comes to challenging the power of their government. This isn't just a U.S.A phenomenon, it feels like it is a worldwide issue.

Maybe, however, I'm just not tapped into this decade's "resistance for freedom" movements. But, once upon a time, it felt like real individuals could set examples of government defiance and cause the waves of change to splash. A simple refusal to stand up from a bus seat. A brave individual facing down a tank. A monk giving his life in the most painful of ways to let people know what he is fighting for. A person calling their representatives non-stop on an issue that is important to them. Thousands of people marching to let their voices be heard. There are tons of examples. It just doesn't feel like people really care anymore.

Oh well.

I do care and I do love you. There is someone like me out there that cares despite all the bolllocks. S/SGT 42 commando Devon

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (2, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929346)

Really? Monks under siege in monasteries as protest ends in a hail of gunfire [timesonline.co.uk]

Or:

Front Line was pleased to receive confirmation today that human rights defender Aminatou Haidar has finally been allowed to return home to her family after 32 days on hunger strike. According to BBC sources Ms Haidar was able to speak to members of the media before boarding the flight. "This is a triumph for international law, for human rights, for international justice and for the cause of the Western Sahara" said Ms Haidar.

http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/2300 [frontlinedefenders.org]

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (2, Interesting)

hellop2 (1271166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930586)

"Witnesses described violent clashes between monks and police on the outskirts of Lhasa on Monday afternoon and reported hearing as many as 60 gunshots as troops forced the monks to return to their quarters early yesterday."

"They said that about 60 monks from Drepung monastery were detained".

I wonder if "detained" means, "never heard from again."

“It’s really nothing. Everything is great,” said the Tibetan Governor.


Sometimes, you're glad you live in America. Since we're talking about censorship, I think this is on-topic. Quoted from your first link.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930600)

Well, it's not as if 'everybody' stood up against the government back then. As you said, few individuals actually did and got a movement going. Yet, you can hardly say that the entire population were rebellious. On the contrary, I'd say.

Nowadays, there are a lot of people trying to get things right: bloggers, youtubers, photographers, artists or wikileaks...

I would say there are even more than there used to be. Maybe not in the 'milk and honey' continents: distance does create indifference.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30928760)

woah woah woah woah....

This is totally blowing my mind here. I'm very impressed with your post, and with the content. You even took it so far as to mask your message. But I've totally found it!

It's so obvious, he sets the stage, but the second word after the first comma is a dead giveaway. Follow that up with the description of how you "stop" the media, which is a clever anagram...

You almost got me!

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30928798)

You could have just said "In Soviet Russia, government selects you."

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30928836)

Strange, I lived in USSR and I can not recall a single coup except of revolutions of 1905 and 1917. But those were in Russian Empire, not USSR. Are you inventing a history to support your point?

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928868)

I can not recall a single coup except of revolutions of 1905 and 1917

Shouldn't you be gumming your yogurt, grandpa?

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928876)

You watched the censored media in the USSR. There were frequent reports of coup attempts in the 80s/90s in the form of attacks in attempt to take over the broadcasters reported on by the American media... you wouldn't have heard about it there, because the government controlled the media.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928956)

Aren't you implicitly trusting that the news you were presented by the American media during the Cold War wasn't designed to manipulate your opinions of the Soviet government?

Consider how today's American media presents the Chinese government. Who is it actually being mind-controlled?

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929000)

American news is the best you can get in the world. Woodward and Bernstein were able to publish news so scandalous it forced Nixon to resign. Does any other government allow that?

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929034)

No, you're right. America is the Land of the Free(TM)! What was I thinking?

USA! USA! USA!

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929940)

Forget responding to his point?

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929040)

All european newspapers... And if you'd ever read any of them, you'd laugh at FOX news for the rest of your life...

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929654)

Well I'm not so sure. There was never any risk of any of the journalism about the Iraq war bringing down the government in the UK for example. The UK has libel laws that protect the rich and famous and most journalists stick to reporting gossip about the government rather than actually trying to prove wrongdoing like Woodward and Bernstein.

I'm not saying that there's some sort of arrangement - most UK journalists truly hate most UK governments. Labour was popular with them in 1997 but has not been since before Iraq and that's the only case I can think of of a government that was popular with journalists. They would love to uncover evidence of Watergate style wrongdoing by them. It's just that gossip is easy, safe and sells papers. Woodward and Bernstein style investigations probably don't.

Still the end result is that lots of people criticize the government but the government is probably not going to be toppled like Nixon no matter what they do as a result of anything in a newspaper. Of course elections are another matter. Still Blair managed to win an election after Iraq, even though the vast majority of the population and the coverage in the press was extremely hostile.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929754)

Seriously? I mean, really? You know Rupert Murdoch owns papers and news channels in Europe too, right?

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (3, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929206)

American news is the best you can get in the world. Woodward and Bernstein were able to publish news so scandalous it forced Nixon to resign. Does any other government allow that?

Uh, yeah:

  • Keith Murdoch [wikipedia.org] (ironically, Rupert Murdoch's father) broke the story of the Gallipoli debacle. It was the first public sign that WWI was anything other than a noble fight without terrible consequences.
  • E. D. Morel [wikipedia.org] , who broke the story of atrocities in the Belgian Congo, as well as breaking the story that Great Britain and other allied nations had signed secret treaties that led to World War One.
  • William Russell [wikipedia.org] , whose descriptions of conditions during the Crimean War not only brought down a government, but led to fundamental changes in patient care in modern warfare.

Journalism has been a dirty business from the get-go, but for as long as there have been newspapers, there have been intrepid reporters who actually care about the truth and made a difference when they told it.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (2, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929708)

Most of the time it's not a problem of what governments allow, it's a problem of that sells papers. Gossip does, Watergate style involved reporting does not.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929748)

Yes, I'm sure the Chinese would allow you to publish a story so scandalous it could force Hillary... er Obama to resign.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929822)

The standard I was setting was a story that would allow the local leader to be in trouble.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (3, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929932)

Two things:

First, it was a joke

Second, it doesn't matter where you are. The ruling party is more than happy to throw a member(Nixon) or two under the bus as an exercise in theatrics to maintain its power. The Chinese put to death officials who get caught. And will be on the first page. Nixon drew a nice retirement package. The power structure remains intact. A triumph indeed.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (2, Interesting)

Monsuco (998964) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930344)

Nixon drew a nice retirement package. The power structure remains intact. A triumph indeed.

Yes, a triamph indeed. Nixon abused his powers and a free press caught him. He was forced to resign and there was a peaceful transfer of power. As an ex-President he did more than just "draw a nice retirement package", he would go on to do a great deal to ease US relations with the USSR and China serving as something of a negotiator. In fact he was considered one of the most respected foreign policy experts in the world. He also was a prominent speaker at universities, but ironically unlike most ex-Presidents, he generally didn't charge for speaking since he felt it was a corrupt abuse of the title of President.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930580)

American news is the best you can get in the world. Woodward and Bernstein were able to publish news so scandalous it forced Nixon to resign. Does any other government allow that?

It was a mistake. Governments learned their lesson so Watergate won't happen again. Just ask the boys and girls down in Mexico talking (in secret) about ACTA.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

Monsuco (998964) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930196)

Consider how today's American media presents the Chinese government. Who is it actually being mind-controlled?

Are you fucking serious? Are you really descending to the moral relativism of comparing the media outlets of a country with a state-run press to one where the media has a long history of exposing scandals and bucking the system. American media has its problems, but it certainly is better than any demonstrated alternative.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

asaz989 (901134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929622)

Citation needed (for these supposed coup attempts). Only one I recall is the '91 one, and one case (a rather uncharacteristic one, seeing as it was the death knell of the Soviet state) doesn't give someone license to go ranting about "every time a coup was attempted in the USSR..."

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929770)

1991's was the Russian coup that brought down the USSR... but when the USSR was in its aquiring phase each place they took over had a similar overthrow of the sitting government.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

asaz989 (901134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930246)

I believe those are called "invasions", not "coups". (yes, for places like Ukraine and the South Caucasus too. The Soviet expansion into those areas generally involved the Red Army going in and overthrowing whatever short-lived government and army had been established in those areas in the meantime). In those invasions there were some other actions taken that just may have been a bit more important than taking over the media: killing off the existing governments, martial law, etc. Yes, they took over the media, but first they took the government and armed control of the territory.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928946)

Apparently the coupsters did not succeed at taking the news media...

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929028)

Right before and of course after Soviet Union collapse there was no censorship. I read a lot about those times but I never came across a coup attempt in 80s. Shit hit the fan during SU collapse in 1991 and after. Then yeah we saw plenty of coups and revolutions... but SU was dead at that time. If you think I am mistaken give me an example of a coup, in 80S, not general BS - you read controlled media, SU censorship is long gone and plenty of information about those time is available.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929050)

In Soviet Russia, AC's have no sense of humor.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929170)

In Soviet Russia, senses of humor have no anonymity.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929220)

Governments like Iran and China aren't the only ones who want to control all forms of communications. The US Government squashed numerous stories relating to the War on Terror by either asking news organizations not to publish or by claiming national security and telling them not to publish. The telecom spying scandal is the first example that comes to mind.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929598)

There is a curioius facet to freedom of the press in America, which may seem counter-intuitive.

Basically, the US government cannot prevent a newspaper from publishing a news story, regardless of what the consequences of such a story may mean. For example, say some intrepid embedded reporter manages to get ahold of planned troop movements for an upcoming mission of extreme sensitivity, and the intrepid reporter wants to publish those troop movements before they are to happen. In that case, the military cannot raise a finger to stop the reporter from publishing the story, even if doing so will effectively kill thousands of US soldiers. All they can do is ask them not to, really. However, should the reporter actually be dumb enough to publish such a story, they will be going to jail for a long, long time for dozens of national security violations, perhaps even treason.

So basically, since the constitutionality of the telecom spying would probably ultimately favor the newspaper and not the government, all that we really needed was a newspaper with the will to take the abuse from the government. Unfortunately, most reporters and news orgs seem rather spineless when it comes to anything meaningful, all they seem to like to do is take potshots at each other.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929790)

"War on terror" followed 9/11 in a time when everybody, media included, trusted the government much more than usual or that they should. Basically, NATO was ready to attack any nation we pointed at. However, Bush waited too long before pointing at Iraq, and the weakness and unsoundness of the reasons why destroyed that trust.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930938)

We attacked Afghanistan after 9/11, remember?

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

cyberjessy (444290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929836)

I just hate this line of argument, which is unfortunately too common.

Article on how HIV/Aids is a big problem in Africa.
HIV is a big problem in the US too.

1. -- Insert significantly affected country here. --
2. Insert _relatively_ marginally affected country here.
3. Claim the situation is very similar, and hence the article to be moot.
4. Profit!!

In China, every day broadcasters are summoned by a Govt. agency to tell them what can be published, or should be taken off. This includes even cultural news, entertainment and other seemingly innocuous news - because they prefer such control being absolute.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930052)

3. Claim the situation is very similar, and hence the article to be moot.

I just hate THAT line of argument, which is unfortunately EVEN MORE COMMON.

If ya hates it so much as all that, ya thinks ya could recognize it, eh?
Where the FUCK did the pp even intimate that "the article is moot?"

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (4, Informative)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929858)

There is no comparison between US censorship and Chinese or Iranian. If there was Jon Stewart would be dead.

I Like Iran (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929232)

Oh yes, I do and If the USA and other countries started to be more compassionate. We can quit this nonsense regarding Iran being part of an axis of Evil. That fucking money Oil grabber Bourne again Christian "George W Bush". Moron monkey.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929242)

Not fail, go out of power. If the people want to put it out of power, it's already failed.

Re:In SOVIET RUSSIA... (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929288)

Funny that you mention the USSR, because Sergey Brin was born there and it was partly what motivated the recent decisions Google made over China [slashdot.org] .
(I need to create a new Slashdot submission on this)
And it is interesting that Twitter is following suit too.

...What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30928652)

How can one censor censorship? Prevent something from happening before you know what said 'something' will be? This will not work.

Other companies should follow suit. (5, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928660)

'The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about.'"

That Google / Apple / Microsoft / etc. would ever make such a statement...

Re:Other companies should follow suit. (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928718)

Google's current public stance on China is that they're thinking of closing their Chinese offices telling Chinese users to use google.com with the "in your language" features for translation rather than the censored google.cn.

What would be much better would be to tell China to use https://google.com..../ [google.com....]

Re:Other companies should follow suit. (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929094)

Yea, I think Twitter actually is the one following suit with Google leaving China after it's computers were hacked by the Chinese.

Re:Other companies should follow suit. (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928726)

Twitter has no real incentive to make a profit, as contrasted to the others. Keep in mind they have some weird setup with long term VC funding or something and a "worry about it later" attitude to profits.

Re:Other companies should follow suit. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928896)

You must have missed the story about Twitter actually turning a profit last quarter.

Everybody thought Google and Amazon didn't care about profits at first... now they're world leaders in what they do, and have many offshoots.

Re:Other companies should follow suit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929270)

They only lost millions of dollars last quarter, rather than tens of millions? That's a strange way to turn a "profit".

Re:Other companies should follow suit. (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929352)

Wired claims [wired.com] they actually turned a profit, in the real sense of dollars coming in being greater than expenses. Apparently the Google deal [slashdot.org] plus a similar one with Microsoft brought it $25 million in return for a data feed, which is more than running the site costs.

Re:Other companies should follow suit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929146)

Care to translate? I'm having a terrible time understanding that sentence. Is it missing some commas or a "but" or something?

Central Choke Points (2, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928666)

In Iran, moreso than China from what I understand, the Internet and telephones go thru central choke points that are controlled by the gov't. They can effectively just turn the whole damn Internet off in their country, if they like. Ditto for cell phones and text messaging.

My first question would be is peer-to-peer traffic regulated, and if so, how? While the gov't might be able to cut off the main Internet egress points, all it would take is one person with a covert satellite link and a good p2p network. Or, maybe, a covert side channel on a bank leased line that runs to Switzerland, for example? How about packet radio? Twitter isn't exactly super bandwidth intensive.

Re:Central Choke Points (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928778)

My first question would be is peer-to-peer traffic regulated, and if so, how?

Simple... controlling governments route all routes through the choke points. All traffic, even to the house next door, would have to go through the censorship point and then back to the destination.

While the gov't might be able to cut off the main Internet egress points, all it would take is one person with a covert satellite link and a good p2p network.

Simple... controlling governments ban satellite dishes.

Or, maybe, a covert side channel on a bank leased line that runs to Switzerland, for example?

Simple... controlling governments run the banks.

How about packet radio?

Simple... controlling governments don't allow consumer bandwidth. Try transmitting on an unlicensed spectrum here...

Twitter isn't exactly super bandwidth intensive.

Simple... controlling goverment loves things that are low-bandwidth and cleartext because that doesn't take much effort to scan what they've collected.

How far should social responsibility reach? (1, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928680)

I think we can all agree that censorship is a bad thing, but how far should such social responsibility reach? Should companies be concerned about social responsibility in countries which are not their own? Should they help criminals violate the laws of their own countries? Is aiding and abetting in the name of freedom something that companies should really be doing?

Take for example Bob Barker, a major donor to the Sea Shepherds. The Sea Shepherds practice terrorism on the high seas in an effort to eliminate practices which they see as abhorrent, namely whaling and drag net trawling. Barker, with his name and money, support these actions which are in violation of international law. Likewise, New Zealand and Australia also provide shelter for the group by refusing to prosecute them for illegal actions taken in their waters. These supporters and harborers of the terrorist organization are just as responsible as the terrorist organization itself.

However, it would be somewhat odd if a completely unrelated country like, say, Armenia got involved and tried to sink the Sea Shepherd's ships or arrested Bob Barker for international terrorism. It's just not their problem.

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30928866)

Defending the whales is "activism" not terrorism lol

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (5, Insightful)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929076)

That's what I keep saying about defending Allah, but they still won't let me fly the airplane!

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929134)

That's what I keep saying about defending Allah, but they still won't let me fly the airplane!

You should have posted as an AC... now they won't let you on the airplane anymore, either.

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930278)

It's a good thing he didn't post as AC. Else, the thousands of us who post as AC wouldn't be able to get on a plane!

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (1, Flamebait)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929222)

Sea shepeard do great work, your terrorism spin is plain ludicrous.

In fact the Japanese whalers are the people breaking the law, as their blatant deliberate ramming and sinking of a sea shepard boat recently attests.

The rape of the seas thru bottom scraping overfishing is an upcoming disaster of epic proportions, and personally, I support Sea shepard 100%.

What drives your irrational dislike of them I wonder? I smell a financial incentive.

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929450)

Loosen your tinfoil hat. Try some different drink choices, too.

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929510)

Or a "BadAnalogy". (The rest of us are used to him. Please try to keep up.)

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (1)

zondag (1114149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929626)

Sea shepeard do great work, your terrorism spin is plain ludicrous.

In fact the Japanese whalers are the people breaking the law, as their blatant deliberate ramming and sinking of a sea shepard boat recently attests.

The rape of the seas thru bottom scraping overfishing is an upcoming disaster of epic proportions, and personally, I support Sea shepard 100%.

What drives your irrational dislike of them I wonder? I smell a financial incentive.

Even Greenpeace refers to Watson as "a violent extremist and an eco-terrorist". ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/5166346/Paul-Watson-Sea-Shepherd-eco-warrior-fighting-to-stop-whaling-and-seal-hunts.html [telegraph.co.uk] )

I don't support whaling but I would also like to see Sea Shepherd blown out of the water (non-violently...)

I'll have my financial incentive now please.

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929720)

I wouldn't believe everything you read in the telegraph.

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (1)

Aliotroph (1297659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929638)

I don't know about him, but I was sitting around a campfire with a Sea Shepherd guy and he told me they sink ships. Sure, the commercial guys are doing things that are obviously wrong, but sinking ships sounds like terrorism to me. They're not considering the motivations and knowledge of everyone involved; they're just attacking the ships involved, effectively using intimidation to get what they want.

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (1, Interesting)

wjc_25 (1686272) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929340)

The entire point of having more than one government, of having national rather than global governments, is so that governments and citizens of other nations can step in when a national government has oppressed its bounds. We can argue about where the appropriate boundary is (for example, if it came to violence, I certainly wouldn't approve of a corporation like Twitter arming revolutionaries or lending its support to dissident groups), but I would argue that a group of people working to make means of communication available among repressed people is clearly within its bounds, regardless of whether the repressive government in question approves of this communication.

This is, of course, leaving aside the possibility (if not likelihood) that for Twitter this is as much about image and self-promotion as activism. But if it is, so what? No one does anything for just one reason, and I approve of their action whatever the reasoning behind it may be.

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929456)

Sorry, I had to stop reading your post when you wrote that 'the entire point of having more than one government' - as if this were a design decision.

"Yes, we considered a global government but decided against such because of a...b.. and c..." and this is how we have the system we have today.

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (1)

kinko (82040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930028)

just to pick nits, I think the Sea Shepard vessels are careful not to break any Australian or New Zealand laws when they are in Australian or New Zealand waters. All the "action" happens in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica.

They're definitely not following the established "rules" of the sea though, in terms of who has right-of-way...

Re:How far should social responsibility reach? (4, Informative)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930044)

The Sea Shepherds practice terrorism

If the Sea Shepherds used terrorism they would be a lot more effective. One RPG would put an end to the whaling for at least a season. In words of South Park, they are a bunch of vegan pussies.

Keep Reinventing the Wheel (2, Interesting)

PurpleCarrot (892888) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928780)

There are many users of Twitter, Facebook, and LiveJournal that use Tor and other anonymizing proxies to get around constricting and censoring firewalls. If Twitter thinks they can do it better, by all means, but have they even reached out to some of the existing communities working on this problem before diving headlong into it themselves?

I know for a fact that LiveJournal has a cordial relationship with the Tor project, and, when abuse from Tor spikes, has always worked with the project to ensure access from Tor users is quickly restored. I would be surprised if Twitter didn't have similar issues and that they wouldn't know about Tor, what with the Iran dissidents and Chinese users.

Twitter technology to fight censorship... (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928804)

It's called "Not having anything to say worth censoring". It's foolproof!

Re:Twitter technology to fight censorship... (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928858)

That's not fighting censorship, that's quite literally surrendering to it.

Re:Twitter technology to fight censorship... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30928932)

You guys never would have been able to say that on Twitter, due to the character limit.

Re:Twitter technology to fight censorship... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929116)

73 and 74. Yes they would!

Re:Twitter technology to fight censorship... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929318)

Yeah awesome we'll drown out all the cries of millions dying and being oppressed by flooding the world with information about what i'm eating for breakfast and when took my last bow movement.

It's the peoples form of a Numbers station [wikipedia.org]

Fight the powers that B.

Re:Twitter technology to fight censorship... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929764)

Wow, I never knew about Numbers Stations. That article was fascinating. It's amazing that people are still using such a low tech encryption method.

Re:Twitter technology to fight censorship... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930582)

The use of one time pads shouldn't amaze you, it's low tech but considered unbreakable without the pad.

Re:Twitter technology to fight censorship... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929782)

Ah, so this technology is called "Facebook"

Green-backs. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929042)

"'The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about.'"

Making money?

Re:Green-backs. (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930684)

The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about.

Does their CEO speak in only 140 character phrases now?

No such thing as censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929102)

There's no such thing as censorship. After all, everybody who was able to say he/she got censored, didn't get censored saying that; how else would such person say such thing? ;) Srsly; brave effort from Twitter.

Well okay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929136)

Someone standing up against censorship? I just might sign up.

problem is twitter users have comfortable life (4, Insightful)

jkajala (711071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929162)

I seriously doubt it's the Twitter users who will start revolution, at least in China. The revolution is still alive in the masses of countryside, like before. Just look at the incidents which have sparked there recently. For example, in one province a slight rise of bus ticket prices resulted in violent demonstrations. I'm 100% sure none of them had ever heard about Twitter. Twitter has maybe ~0.3% reach in China compared to population, that's about less people than Beijing pisses off routinely at once by moving a whole city because of one more dam or railroad every few months. Still, I have to give credit to Beijing as well. China's growth and drive has been nothing but unbelievable. It would not have been possible without making strong and fast decisions without asking much from the people. It's very easy to build a railroad if you just relocate the people by sending them a letter with two weeks notice time. China is run more like a company than western countries, and western companies generally love it. At least as long as it doesn't cross their interests.

Re:problem is twitter users have comfortable life (1)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930068)

I have to give credit to Beijing as well

Bullshit. India is growing as fast as China with a Democratic system. Please don't defend those genocidal thugs.

Re:problem is twitter users have comfortable life (1)

jkajala (711071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930182)

Well, you can define growth in many ways, but if you compare foreign direct investment, China leads India by a large margin (FDI in China is at least double or more compared to India). And that FDI money comes from western companies. So even if western people value democracy "in general" when you ask them, the same people running western companies surely not weight it much at all when making investment decisions. Hypocrites. One other thing which you should consider is that democracy does not have long tradition in Asia. The culture has been different for a long time, so there are a lot of people who don't really care that much about democracy/politics or even know what it means. Look at for example Singapore: Average GDP per capita is higher than in US, but still the country is not democracy by any definition. And not too many people cry about it, even if everyone there using Twitter, mobile, Facebook, whatever. Some people even think corruption is "ok", because everyone should take care of themselves, including the government! What I'm trying to say is that what is "normal" depends a lot on your point of view and what is prevailing culture on that particular place.

Re:problem is twitter users have comfortable life (2, Interesting)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930358)

Look at for example Singapore: Average GDP per capita is higher than in US, but still the country is not democracy by any definition.

On paper, Singapore is a fine democracy.

The two things that get in the way are (A) the willingness of the courts to indulge politically-motivated libel suits, and (B) the lack of an effective press. Between these two, the ruling PAP has been able to sidestep a lot of what would be healthy competition, with the result that most serious politicians and aspiring technocrats just take the path of least resistance and work within the party rather than running against it.

Over the years, it has been getting more democratic, though, and the trend seems to be continuing.

Many people seem to overlook the degree to which Singapore is a model for the slow but steady emergence of democracy in east Asia.

Re:problem is twitter users have comfortable life (1)

vacarul (1624873) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930446)

...if you just relocate the people by sending them a letter with two weeks notice time.

a letter?! really? I would laugh if it would not be a very serious problem. Dictatorial regimes don't send letters because they don't care about you!

I agree with the rest of your post but stop being naive.

Re:problem is twitter users have comfortable life (1)

jkajala (711071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30931156)

Well they need to put people somewhere, even under totalitarian rule. :P So they just send you a new address, basically, and you have some time to move your stuff there before they bulldoze your building. This is very hard especially for old people who have maybe lived in their childhood houses all their lives, and suddenly someone forces you to move to some suburban apartment building with 1000 other people... They actually put even an address where to complain about the decision, but of course that's just for the show, in practice you cannot complain about things there.

Applicability of technology to other sites? (2, Insightful)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929216)

While noone in China uses twitter enough to care even if Twitter found a way to "uncensor itself", if they could succesfully find a technical workaround that required no effort from end-users, it might be worth talking about (if my reading of TFA is right, any site could use such hacks to unblock itself, even google or dissident websites). However, if it forces end-users to install software to route around firewalls (a la Freedomgate and other already available software), the sites will remain unaccessible to the majority of users, who just don't care enough to bother.
I'm honestly very curious as to what technical methods are out there for opening access through government firewalls that would not involve illegal and nearly impossible invasions into foreign computer networks. The Chinese and Iranian governments control the "pipes"; what software solutions could twitter possible be thinking of? Nice goal, but technically possible, beyond current "hacks/proxies"?

Re:Applicability of technology to other sites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929520)

Satellite transmissions to everyone's new satellite phone

Anonymous Coward (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929314)

Hypothetically speaking, if there is a way to freely share copyrighted content on twitter, will the US government tries to censor this information? Or more likely, will the US government pressure Twitter CEO and co-founder Evan Williams to censor these postings and would Evan give in? Just to point out that hypocrisy works both ways.

People are still using twitter? (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929324)

Seriously? The fad hasn't passed yet?

Australia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929378)

What about Australian censorship? Will it work around that too?

trenderiffic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30929656)

#iTampon

Oh, sorry, wrong story.

Finally (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930436)

'The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about.'"

Finally someone calls this what it is.

Don't be evil (1)

legio_noctis (1411089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930516)

At least somebody's picking up Google's old motto. There's only one teeensy problem: they have no income.

Thank God for China... (1)

dragisha (788) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930588)

Because US (and of course many other) developers can work on anti-censor tools in stealth mode!

If for not such a noble reason, such technologies would never be allowed to be even talked about.... But I doubt if noble reason is protection enough - secret orders for implementing backdoors are normal thing to expect.

Probably some people in Iran and China are making tools to counter censorship in US as we speak. :)

Twitter is developing technology? (1)

melted (227442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930620)

That's something new for them. Up to now they've only been developing new ways to milk the gullible VCs.

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