Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Internet censorship’

Privacy, National Security, Human Rights, Social Value, Whatever – It’s Whatever the West Says

September 11th, 2015 2 comments
Microsoft

Microsoft, Privacy, and Rights over Ex-territorial Servers

The Economist today had an article on a case involving Microsoft’s alleged refusal to turn over documents stored on a foreign server to FBI. The article can be found here (archived here).

According to the Economist:

SUPPOSE FBI agents were to break into the postbox of an American company in Dublin to seize letters which might help them convict an international drug dealer. There would be general uproar, if not a transatlantic crisis. But that is essentially what the FBI wants to happen, albeit in the virtual realm: it has asked a court to order Microsoft, in its capacity as a big e-mail provider, to hand over messages from a suspect in a drugs case which are stored in a data centre in Ireland. On September 9th an appeals court in New York will hear oral arguments on whether Microsoft has to comply.

The case has many wrinkles … But at the core of the case is one of the most knotty legal questions in the age of cloud computing: how to give law-enforcement agencies access to evidence when laws remain national, but data are often stored abroad and sometimes even at multiple places at once?

This article rightfully brings up conflicts in law in the Internet arena within the West. Over the last few years, certain very public and passionate debates have flared up with Europe and the U.S. regarding privacy, right to delete, and censorship on the Internet.

A few years ago, as early as 2008, when I noticed Google Streetview growing to incorporate the streets of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Asian regions, I realized that everyone there simply took it for granted that it’s ok. What Google did must be the right, enlightened, and forward-thinking. Read more…

About that Bastion of the Free Internet, Google…

May 6th, 2015 1 comment

Have you guys run across this little post at antiwar.com?

– because we have a page showing the Abu Ghraib abuses.

Update: After channels of communication were opened as a result of this article on Gawker, Google contacted us and said they would be restoring our ads.

However, Friday morning I received another demand to remove content from our site. Google has decided this page must be removed.

We have no intention of letting Google dictate our editorial policies.

Original post:

On 3/18/15 we received a note from Google Adsense informing us that all ads for our site had been disabled. Why? Because of this page showing the horrific abuses committed by U.S. troops in Iraq at Abu Ghraib.

This page has been up for 11 years. During all that time Google Adsense has been running ads on our site – but as Washington gets ready to re-invade Iraq, and in bombing, killing, and abusing more civilians, they suddenly decide that their “anti-violence” policy, which prohibits “disturbing material,” prohibits any depiction of violence committed by the U.S. government and paid for with your tax dollars. This page is the third-most-visited page in our history, getting over 2 million page views since it was posted.

To say this is an utter outrage would be an understatement: it is quite simply the kind of situation one might expect to encounter in an authoritarian country where state-owned or state-connected companies routinely censor material that displeases the government.

Is Google now an arm of the U.S. State Department?

Read more…

Chinese Government Tightens Constraints on Press Freedom

June 20th, 2014 1 comment

Oh no … the Chinese government is at it again.  The New York Times is running on its front page today an article with the ominous title “Chinese Government Tightens Constraints on Press Freedom.”  Here is the full text of the article.

HONG KONG — China introduced new restrictions on what the government has called “critical” news articles and barred Chinese journalists from doing work outside their beats or regions, putting further restraints on reporters in one of the world’s most controlled news media environments.

Reporters in China must now seek permission from their employers before undertaking “critical reports” and are barred from setting up their own websites, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television announced in new rules Wednesday.

Read more…

Shadows of Censorship? Really???

October 23rd, 2013 24 comments

public opinion analystTwo weeks back, Russia Today broke a story with the title “China employs 2 million analysts to monitor web activity.”  From that, we get a plethora of dark articles about how bad the Chinese government is.  For example, from the BBC, we get an article titled “China employs two million microblog monitors state media say“:

More than two million people in China are employed by the government to monitor web activity, state media say, providing a rare glimpse into how the state tries to control the internet.

China’s hundreds of millions of web users increasingly use microblogs to criticise the state or vent anger.

Recent research suggested Chinese censors actively target social media. Read more…

The Euphemism of Freedom – Case Study on Google in the Aftermath of Benghazi

September 14th, 2012 54 comments

Whenever a for-profit – or even non-profit – organization professes to do good, to be a society’s guardian – as Google has – I feel queasy. It’s not that I think Google (or more generally corporations, NGOs, charities, even churches) is inherently evil.  It’s just that no non-government entity owes society at large a fiduciary duty 1 per se, as governments do.

Take as a case study Google – that self professed guardian of Freedom.

In the aftermath of the recent violence in Benghazi, Google has taken itself to task to block access to inflammatory videos that may have caused the violence.

According to the New York Times: Read more…

Notes:

  1. The purpose (legal duty even) of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders. The obligation of non-profits is to their sponsors and donors … and incestuously to itself. The duty of churches is – well if you are pious – to God, although often a God who cares only for a segment of society, who may be so hateful of the rest as to condemn them all to eternities of hell.

On Michael Anti: Behind the Great Firewall of China

September 1st, 2012 101 comments

Recently a TED video featuring Michael Anti on China’s censorship seems to be making the rounds.  I think Anti does bring some unique insights to the English speaking audience about China that we don’t generally see in Western media; hence I am providing his video below. However, I think Anti can also be a stubborn ideologue who insist on viewing the world through ideological blinders.

Below is a transcript of the video (in quotes) as well as my response. Read more…

India v/s China: We’ve got Facebook! What’ve you got?

December 1st, 2011 70 comments

An interesting analysis in TIME magazine, to the extent that it tries to be an analysis:

And don’t forget to check out these two accompanying arguments, one for India and one for China:

I plan to blog about this general issue sometime soon. Right now however, I just can’t help commenting on just two points for the time being, particularly because many westerners have humongous misconceptions about these issues. Almost every article on the topic contains at least a reference to these two fallacious points.

Read more…

What does “Internet Censorship” Mean?

March 16th, 2010 16 comments

As Google prepares potentially for a highly politicized exist of China, we’ll hear a lot more accusations on how closed China’s Internet is.  The presumption of Google’s move would be that China’s Internet is closed while the rest of the world (in which Google still does business) is open.

Of course, anyone who has even remote experience with China’s internet (and Chinese society for that matter) will understand the Internet in China is amongst the most dynamic in the world, as well as amongst the most explosive and important.

China’s Internet is not closed in the sense that has been depicted in the West. Read more…

Green Dam Follow up – Stopping China Through the WTO

June 24th, 2009 52 comments

The Green Dam controversy continues. Most recently, U.S. trade officials also seem to be getting into the act. The following is an excerpt from a recent WSJ report: Read more…

(Letter from BI Yantao) China: Internet censorship tightened

October 30th, 2008 136 comments

As Beijing Olympics closed, the Internet censorship in China further tightened. Undeniably, this deterioration has affected and frustrated an increasing number of netizens in China. Read more…

Categories: media Tags: ,