Date: Mon Feb 05 2007 - 09:24:28 EST
The story has hit the bougeois press. The tone and content of _The New York Times_ article below is very predictable. How they love stories like this! In solidarity, Jerry Who's Attacking an Online Marxist Archive? China Is Suspected of Trying to Block Access to Texts - New York Times By NOAM COHEN Published: February 5, 2007 If ever there was a believer in the power of the written word, it was the best-selling author and former librarian Mao Zedong. As he explained to an early chronicler of his life, Edgar Snow, "Three books especially deeply carved my mind, and built up in me a faith in Marxism, from which, once I had accepted it as the correct interpretation of history, I did not afterwards waver." Those books, he said, were Marx's "Communist Manifesto" and a history of socialism and a history of class struggle. According to the Marxist Internet Archive (www.marxists.org), an online community that produces and organizes an ever-growing Marxist library, the wheel has turned full circle. People at the site believe that computer attacks primarily from China are jeopardizing its ability to provide Marxist texts, perhaps forcing the library to stop providing material in Chinese. "We are not 100 percent sure this is the Chinese government; there are a lot of possibilities," said Brian Basgen, who has worked on the archive since 1990. But he noted that the archive has been temporarily banned by the Chinese government before, about two years ago. "There is a motive," he said. "They have done it to us in the past. What they are doing is targeting just the Chinese files." Since January there have been hundreds of "denial of service attacks," Mr. Basgen said, 99 percent of which emanate from China. The attacks involve a computer trying to download the same document over and over again, until it prevents others from accessing the archive. He said the site has managed to stay ahead of the attackers by creating "mirror sites" around the world, but the attacks have prevented the archive from updating its collection since they began. Of course, since the Chinese have banned the archive before, it raises the question of why it would use computer attacks. Also, security experts say that Chinese machines can be exploited by people outside the country, making the attacks appear to come from China, because they often lack sophisticated protections. Mr. Basgen said the purpose of the attacks seemed to be to motivate the archive to sacrifice its Chinese-language material to keep the rest of the archive available. It is a move they may have to consider, he said, depending on how a test turns out. While some might find it odd that the government created by Mao's Communist Revolution would be behind an effort to deny access to the texts so important to its founding, Mr. Basgen said he did not. "It is ironic for people who don't know what is going on in China," he said. "The Chinese so-called Communist government has nothing to do with Communism. It has been going toward capitalism for a long time." And, to be strictly accurate, the Marxist archive does not even consider Mao a true Marxist. He is considered a "reference writer," along with Adam Smith, Josef Stalin, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, among others. Mao failed a key question, Mr. Basgen said: "Did he serve to liberate working people?"
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