China's Netizens Declare they will Fight Back vs Censorship
With the recent protests in Iran, there has been a lot of discussion in the news of late about the power of technology in circumventing government control and censorship. Of course no one knows this kind of censorship better than Chinese netizens, especially after these past few weeks that saw the blocking of many popular social media sites and the introduction of the 'Green Dam' filtering software.
In the face of such censorship, some more creative Chinese netizens (I have no idea who, or how many) have used Google Docs to release a declaration of war against this government imposed internet filtering. While I don't like to get too political on this site, I do think this document is worth republishing. It
sheds light on hypes a fascinating battle over a group's right to use the internet freely as the rest of the world does (relatively speaking). And what's more, it's very eloquently written with lots of juicy ominous drama to boot!
2009 Declaration of the Anonymous Netizens
To the Internet censors of China,
We are the Anonymous Netizens. We have seen your moves on the Internet. You have deprived your netizens of the freedom of speech. You have come to see technology as your mortal enemy. You have clouded and distorted the truth in collaboration with Party mouthpieces. You have hired commentators to create the "public opinion" you wanted to see. All these are etched into our collective memory. More recently, you forced the installation of Green Dam on the entire population and smothered Google with vicious slander. It is now clear as day: what you want is the complete control and censorship of the Internet. We hereby declare that we, the Anonymous Netizens, are going to launch our attack worldwide on your censorship system starting on July 1st, 2009.
For the freedom of the Internet, for the advancement of Internetization, and for our rights, we are going to acquaint your censorship machine with systematic sabotage and show you just how weak the claws of your censorship really are. We are going to mark you as the First Enemy of the Internet. This is not a single battle; it is but the beginning of a war. Play with your artificial public opinion to your heart's content, for you will soon be submerged in the sea of warring netizens. Your archaic means of propaganda, your epithets borrowed straight from the Cultural Revolution era, your utter ignorance of the Internet itself - these are the tolls of your death bell. You cannot evade us, for we are everywhere. Violence of the state cannot save you - for every one of us that falls, another ten rises. We are familiar with your intrigues. You label some of us as the "vicious few" and dismiss the rest of us as unknowing accomplices; that way you can divide and rule. Go ahead and do that. In fact, we encourage you to do that; the more accustomed you are to viewing your netizens this way, the deeper your self-deception.
You are trying in vain to halt the wheels of history. Even with your technocratic reinforcements, you will not understand the Internet in the foreseeable future. We congratulate you on your adherence to your Cultural-Revolution style conspiracy theories in your dealings with dissent; for we too get nostalgic at times. We toast to your attempts to erect a Great Wall among your netizens, for such epic folly adds spice to any historical narrative. Still, there's something we feel obliged to tell you.
NOBODY wants to topple your regime. We take no interest whatsoever in your archaic view of state power and your stale ideological teachings. You do not understand how your grand narrative dissipated in the face of Internetization. You do not understand why appealing to statism and nationalism no longer works. You cannot break free from your own ignorance of the Internet. Your regime is not our enemy. We are not affiliated in any way with any country or organization, and we are not waging this war on any country or organization, not even on you. YOU are waging this war on yourself. YOU are digging your own grave through corruption and antagonization. We are not interested in you, destined for the sewage of history. You cannot stop the Internetization of the human race. In fact, we won't bat an eyelid even if you decide to sever the transpacific information cables in order to obtain the total control you wanted. The harder you try to roll back history, the more you strain the already taut strings, and the more destructive their final release. You are accelerating your own fall. The sun of tomorrow does not shine on those who are fearing tomorrow itself.
We are the Anonymous Netizens. We are the sum of the world's entire online population. We are coordinated. We are dominant. We are innumerable. For every one of us that falls, another ten joins. We are omnipresent. We are omnipotent. We are unstoppable. We have no weaknesses. We utilize every weakness. We are the humanity under every mask. We are the mirrors of conscience. We are created equal. We are born free. We are an army. We do not forgive. We do not forget.
LIBERTY LEADS THE INTERNET.
Link to English Version coutesy of Michael Anti
Link to Chinese Version courtesy of Fumi
June 25 Update: Google has now been blocked in China. I wonder how Chinese netizens will react to this? Lets hope it doesn't last long.