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[infowar.de] USA wollen sich in Chinas Internet engagieren
... und natürlich taucht gleich im ersten Absatz des Artikels das Wort
"information war" auf. Geplant ist eine Unterstützung chinesischer
Dissidenten und Surfer durch Anonymisierungs-Server, die eine Verfolgung
durch die chinesische Regierung erschweren. Finanziert wird das Programm
vom International Broadcasting Bureau, der Dachorganisation von Voice of
America. Die Firma Safeweb, die das technisch umsetzen soll, hat bereits
Verhandlungen mit In-Q-Tel, der Risikokapitalfirma der CIA geführt.
Zwei Sachen fallen mir dazu ein:
1) ist das eher ein Akt von "Noopolitik" statt von Informationskrieg
(vgl das Buch von Arquilla/Ronfeldt dazu,
2) frage ich mich, was wohl das FBI mit seinem
"Carnivore"-Überwachungsprogramm dazu sagen würde, wenn sowas die
Chinesen für amerikanische User bereitstellen würden.
New York Times, 30.8.2001
U.S. May Help Chinese Evade Net Censorship
By JENNIFER 8. LEE
The United States government agencies that once tried to breach the Iron
Curtain with radio broadcasts are taking the information war to the
Internet, hoping to finance an American-based computer network designed
to thwart attempts by the Chinese government to censor the World Wide
Web for users in China.
Government officials and private architects of the plan say the program
would be financed by the International Broadcasting Bureau, parent
agency of the Voice of America, which has been presenting the American
view abroad ? mostly by radio ? for decades. It would mark a significant
expansion of the long-running information war between China and the
The agency is in advanced discussions with Safeweb, a small company
based in Emeryville, Calif., which has received financing from the
venture capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, In-Q-Tel. The
discussions were confirmed by parties on both sides.
Safeweb currently runs its own worldwide network of about 100 privacy
servers ? computers that help disguise what Web sites a user is seeking
to view ? which are popular with users in China. The privacy servers
have been a continuing target for the Chinese government, which has
blocked most of them in recent weeks.
The bureau would provide money for new computers to run Safeweb software
specifically tailored for the Chinese audience and intended to be more
resistant to blocking by the government. It would also cover some of the
costs of network bandwidth to carry the the Internet traffic, but would
not act as host for the computers itself.
The plan would initially pay for around a dozen computers, with an
option to grow to a larger number after the new federal fiscal year
begins on Oct. 1. The project would be financed from a Congressional
allocation of $5 million last year intended to improve broadcasting to
China, including both Internet and radio. Of that $5 million, $800,000
was approved for "Internet and multimedia enhancement," some of which is
scheduled for use on this project.
"We recognized that we have an obligation to reach out to our audience
in ways that are effective, that includes the Internet," said Tish King,
a spokeswoman for the International Broadcasting Bureau.
To that end, Voice of America also started VOANews.com to make news
available worldwide on the Internet. Currently, audio broadcasts in over
53 languages are streamed live and archived on the site. Text is
archived in almost all the languages.
Voice of America has been developing an Internet strategy to reach an
audience in China with a daily newsletter in Chinese that is e- mailed
to 180,000 people and a Chinese-language news Web site.
In addition to a Chinese-language Web site, Radio Free Asia also
maintains Web sites aimed at ethnic minority groups in China like
Tibetans and Uighurs, who are concentrated in the northwest region of
But the Chinese government has sporadically jammed the radio broadcasts
from Voice of America since 1989 and from Radio Free Asia since 1997, a
year after it began, specifically those in Mandarin and Tibetan. The
government has also blocked the Chinese-language Web sites of Voice of
America since 1997 and Radio Free Asia almost since it began in 1998.
For Chinese leaders, the Internet is a doubled-edged sword, a rapidly
evolving medium that brings economic opportunity but remains beyond
Internet use in China is growing dramatically, seeping from urban
universities and businesses to homes and affordable Internet cafes all
over the country. The Chinese government estimates there were over 26
million Internet users in July, compared to only 9 million at the end of
Periodically, the government tries new ways to tighten control,
including police raids. Since April the government has waged a campaign
to shut down thousands of unlicensed Internet cafes, and the government
has publicized the arrests of over a dozen "Internet dissidents" over
the last three years.
The government maintains an elaborate set of rules that requires
Internet service providers to electronically filter content that may be
pornographic, anti-government, violent, unhealthy or superstitious.
Among sites that are blocked for the vast majority of users are those of
The Washington Post >news/quote), Amnesty International and various
sites identifying with the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which the
Chinese government has accused of being a cult. However, users can
access other news sites including ABCnews.com, the British Broadcasting
Corporation and USA Today.
Until early this month, the site for The New York Times on the Web was
blocked. The blocking was lifted after an interview with President Jiang
Zemin by top editors at The Times in which President Jiang was
specifically questioned about the blocking of the site.
Chinese Web users have nevertheless found methods to get around the
censorship. In a recent study by researchers at the Chinese Academy of
Social Sciences in Beijing, more than a quarter of Internet users
admitted to occasionally using Internet proxy computers, which work
similarly to those of Safeweb, while 10 percent admitted to frequent
use. That was much higher than was expected, said Guo Liang, one of the
Among the most popular masquerade services is Safeweb, an 18- month-old
company. The technology, dubbed Triangle Boy (after a character in an
episode of the sitcom "Seinfeld"), can fool an electronic filter into
thinking Web content is coming from a benign computer server instead of
a blocked site like Human Rights Watch.
But the service has become a target for the Chinese government, which
has engaged in a cat-and- mouse game with Safeweb, blacklisting the
Triangle Boy servers themselves.
"They are becoming increasingly aggressive," said Stephen Hsu, chief
executive of Safeweb. "We get these frantic emails from users saying
they are totally cut off now."
In addition, Safeweb says, the Chinese government is now blocking e-
mail sent to users who request Triangle Boy e-mail addresses. As a
response, Safeweb is encouraging users to sign up for free Web-based e-
mail accounts at non-Chinese services like Hotmail and Yahoo.
Part of the proposal being financed by the International Broadcasting
Bureau would have the Triangle Boy servers change their Internet
addresses on a regular basis ? perhaps as frequently as every few hours
? to make them more difficult for the Chinese government to find and
Despite government efforts to rein in the Internet, it is playing an
emerging political role in China. The study by the Chinese Academy of
Social Sciences, one of the most rigorous Internet studies in China to
date, found that 67.5 percent of adult users believe the Internet gives
people more opportunity to criticize government policies. And more than
74 percent agree the Internet allows people to "express their political
views" and to learn about politics.
"We want to force the Chinese government to accept the pro-democracy
consequences of the Internet," said Dr. Hsu. "Up until now the Chinese
government has been amazingly successful at having their cake and eating
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