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Archive for October, 2019

Freedom from the Prying Eyes of the State

October 24th, 2019 2 comments
Prying eyes of the State?

The Sydney Morning Herald published an Editorial Titled “Rare bipartisan consensus on right to privacy” today. It reads in part:

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Freedom Does Not Include the Freedom to Loot, Vandalize, and Kill…

October 15th, 2019 1 comment

Wrote this piece for the SCMP. Some minor differences between version below and at SCMP because of space imitation and other minor editorial issues…

On China’s Indignant Response to Morey’s Tweet and Apple’s release of HKmap.live.

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The Chinese Don’t Understand Freedom … They are Too Sensitive and Easily Offended… Right?

October 9th, 2019 4 comments

Over the last week or so, there has been a strong reaction in China against Apple for releasing an App called HKmap.live as well as NBA’s apparent official support for the “protesters.” From SCMP:

Chinese state media on Tuesday accused Apple Inc of protecting “rioters” in Hong Kong and enabling illegal behaviour, after the US-based technology giant listed on its app store an application that tracks police activity in the city.

Apple had previously rejected the app, called HKmap.live, but reversed its decision on Friday and made the programme available for download from the iOS App Store on Saturday, according to the program’s developer.

The app relies on crowdsourced information to track the location of police presence in the city, alerting users to police vehicles, armed officers and incidents in which people have been injured. The app — a website version is also active — displays hotspots on a map of the city that is continuously updated as users report incidents.

“By allowing its platform to clear the way for an app that incites illegal behaviour, [does Apple] not worry about damaging its reputation and hurting the feelings of consumers?” said a bellicose commentary published on the app of People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece.

Such outcry echoed the recent vitriol against the NBA and, in particular, the Houston Rockets. Daryl Morey, general manager of the Rockets, tweeted an image that read “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” – a slogan frequently used by the protesters – on Saturday before quickly deleting it.

The post drew outrage from the Chinese public, government officials and Chinese business partners of the league, and prompted the Chinese Basketball Association to suspend ties with the Rockets.

As the NBA scrambled to distance itself from Morey’s post, the league came under fire at home, with scores of US lawmakers accusing the association of sacrificing principle for profit. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has since sought to assuage such concerns, saying at a Tuesday news conference in Tokyo that the league supported Morey’s right to freedom of speech.

So here we go again, Americans waiving the flag of “freedom” to dismiss Chinese national (security, social cohesion, and otherwise) concerns.

Would Apple or Google release apps or other platforms that are used to evade police and to conspire violence? Would Apple or Google release an App to help violent rioters such as certain “white supremacists” or “antifa” people commit crimes against fellow citizens and police?

We know Twitter, Facebook, Google and everyone else remove posts and apps that “violate” their terms of policy, including platforms that promote “hate speech,” “untrustworthy” information, “promotion” or “incitement” of “violence,” etc. Would they ever openly justify aiding and abetting violence in the U.S. or its allies? No way! But I guess when it comes to China, social and national concerns can have no legitimate place, only shrill calls for “freedom”…

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