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Saturday, July 10, 2004



i don't know about that last number: 100 million text messages are sent in the country each year. it has to be wrong.

there are about 250 million mobile phone users in china. they can't be sending fewer than one message per year. i suspect that the 100 million might be a per day figure, as some mobile phones do not have text messaging capabilities. even so, 100 million messages a day is beyond any bureacracy of humans to screen, so it must be left to computer systems.


History repeating itself? The Manchus have their own imperial surveillance system. Of course they use a graded and comprehensive system of spies. Then the KMT did the same thing. I wonder why the present Chinese Government is doing it? It is doing fine and can do without all this. You can't stop the human spirit from freeing itself. It is better to harness it for the good of all. All that surveillance and muffling of public consciousness often can be counter productive. Look at the Russian Czars' SS, The Persian Savak, the Japanese Kempetei (during the occupation) etc etc. They never managed to save their political masters in the end. The human spirit is quite indomitable and more endurable than we think.
BTW, you don't have to read all the 100 millions of messages to screen them. You need only to electronically look for strategic words and phrases. Encryption doesn't alleviate matters as it will immediately draw attention to the message encrypted. Remember, encryption is manmade and can be unmade (ie read). Most governments do random screening of cyber messages. Of course, we are grateful if they intercept and prevent a holocaust by terrorists thus saving lives. But then again, in the wrong hands... During the times of the Kempetei... so many cases of planted material and souped-up information...so many innocents died...sigh, it never ends, does it?


Might be fun to insert probable keywords into risque messages. Well, at least until big brother shows up at your door with an assault rifle. Actually, that wouldn't be funny at all.



PATHETIC!!! But that isn't gonna stop the Chinese people. There's always a way to work around the CCP.

Mr. Dew

I don't think that plan will work well for the Chinese government. If I were to be posting some anti-chinese government messages, I can always purposely mispell the words.
I can omit some vowels or something, that way the message will go through undetected. I can't imagine they'll get some people to read the archived message, if there is such things.
Still, I feel that the government should be spending money on other things and not this.


Foucault's Discipline and Punish - that's sooo UC Santa Cruz.


It has been said, "Knowledge is power." I think it is true in most senses. However, sometimes, too much knowledge, knowledge without grounding, or directionless knowledge is actually quite the opposite. In this sense, I think you just gotta move on and not worry that 'big brother is watching'. And get out and about so you head home tired as hell with no other option BUT to sleep. In fact, it's 9pm and I'm still at work. After a looong-ass day at work, a good nights rest is something of a luxury and definintely the anti-insomnia.


I'm curious: are mobile phones in China equipped to send text messages using kanji?

The answer's probably yes; but since I've not been to China I can't say for sure.


There was an NY Times article on this (now archived, if you want to buy it you can follow the link on my name). My favourite anecdote from it was about someone who sent text messages on June 4, and found that messages including the numbers 6 and 4 close together didn't get through.

Hong Kong cell phones can handle Chinese text messages (or anyway mine can), hard to believe it's different in China.


Wilson: Correction, *I* am so UC Santa Cruz. :)

Tom: Mobile Phones can show "Kajin" over here and also China. Except that's not what it's called. It's traditional or simplified characters. Kajin is Japanese.....




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