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October 15, 2005


Joseph Wang

Question: Why *can't* mainstream media link back to blogs? Is there something other than snobbery here?

sun bin

thanks for the great post.


The Guardian op-ed is here now. I hopt this settles the controversy and we can all move back to the Taishi cause.

It is also worthwhile to point out that there are numberous cases preceding Taishi which did not get the media attention. I would be great if Western media can cover some of these cases.

I am sure many were difficult struggles, and maybe also some that proceeded smoothly.

bobby fletcher

I hope Guardian would start covering the borning, successful village impeachments that are held peacefully (might be a good experience to help BJW to "recover" from whatever; maybe he won't freak out this time.)


But I have a feeling our free and independent media will be even less interested. Especially when people aren't demanding this kind of information:



Dear Rebecca,

I am a Chinese reader and blogger. I live in the U. S. but blog in Chineses on websites in China. I read your articles about China with great interest and I appreciate your website a lot. I have linked your website in one blog post of mine: http://jidian.bokee.com/3289179.html

Many thanks.



Thanks for keeping me updated on these international afffairs in terms that I can understand.

John Carey and Lien Do

Fight for Freedom of Speech on the Internet
By John E. Carey
China and Vietnam are among the nations that restrict the internet and email to "approved" topics, words and discussion. People in both countries always assume, and usually correctly, that "Big Brother" is watching.
India, in an effort to stop the communications of subversives following terror bombings in July 2006, also took steps to implement internet and email restrictions.
Is India going the way of China and Vietnam? And if so, what is becoming of the Great Indian Democracy?

When India announced even temporary restrictions in internet blogs, the Indian Government took a stand against Freedom of Speech. So the story is about one of the rights we Americans hold dear, and sometimes take for granted.
Internet sites and computers pose a two edged sword, Communist nations have found. If a government fosters internet communications widely people will communicate. Before long, if you aren't careful, people will think and communicate at the same time.
In Vietnam, starting in the 2006-2007 school year, all high schools must provide accredited and extensive IT education to all students. Each high school must also be equipped with a computer center with at least 25 computers connected to the Internet. These reforms are dictated by the Communist Party's Ministry of Education and Training.
But the Vietnamese leaders, like the Communists in China, want to control the internet, monitor usage by individuals , and limit access to many western sites. Prohibited search words include "democracy," "freedom," and "declaration of independence." Many sites Americans take for granted are prohibited in Vietnam and China: like my own Washington Times (most articles much of the time).
Email is monitored in both China and Vietnam. Users caught writing "subversive" material or communicating too much with western friends find the police at the door.
It seems a pretty good rule of thumb that where information and access to information is limited and controlled by the government: the government is almost always up to something bad. We'll call this the "Peace and Freedom Freedom of Speech Rule of Thumb."
Vietnam and China are perfect examples of our Freedom of Speech Rule of Thumb: no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no opposition party or independent government sector, no writs of habeas corpus, no search warrants authorized by an independent judiciary, no "Miranda rights," and no probable cause. Add a tireless attempt to limit and control what the people can know and you have yourself a witches brew rife with human rights violations.
It is a very sad commentary that India feels that it is appropriate and useful to limit "blogs," no matter what their content.
It is an even sadder commentary that U.S. companies including Google and Microsoft, eager to get into the huge Asian market including more than 123 Million Chinese users, acquiesced to the Chinese restrictions on internet and email use that the Chinese demanded.
I know these corporations have an obligation to their shareholders. I know the Chinese market is too big to totally cede to others. I know the arguments...but....
If we Americans are so eager for cash that we easily cast aside our most basic freedoms, the freedoms our forefathers fought to maintain during many wars, maybe we need to rethink our principles.
Just google "Google" and "Microsoft" and check their quarterly profits: they are staggering. And both these companies and their leaders, especially Bill Gates, are justifiably proud of all the good they do in the world. But in the case of freedom of speech in Asia, and now apparently India, both corporations and their leaders have failed to take a stand that protects the rights of their fellow men.
We are pleased to join Amnesty International in speaking out for Freedom of Speech.

Stifling freedom of speech will almost always fail. Men of principle cannot be silenced. They only keep quiet while the evil ones are watching. Or they seem to.
And in the year 2006, those stifled find a way to blog, text message and all the rest. And that's a good thing.

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