Monday, March 07, 2005

Internet cops: No longer simply a bad metaphor

As reported by the New York Times, the Chinese government now has over 50,000 police on their payroll, doing nothing else but trawling Chinese websites, looking for "subversive" content that the government has banned. But take heart - Chinese bloggers are consistently outsmarting them, posting the latest on the government's automated spybots and offering advice on how to easily defeat them (like to misspell certain keywords, or to offer 'praise' for a recent government act, so that the bots think no criticism has been made, that in actuality is so outrageously obseqious that readers automatically understand it's satire).

I would normally mention something here about how futile, time-wasting and morally bankrupt it is for a government to try to monitor what all of its citizens are saying, and to attempt to step in and control this information. But it ain't like China has a real good track record in understanding this concept, so why try explaining it to them again?