2 July, 2005

cisco in china

Rebecca McKinnion has a long but must-read post, featuring research from Ethan Gutmann, on how Cisco Systems technologies are being used to block the free flow of information in China and to enable the state to monitor its own people without pesky legal restrictions.

Gutmann says:

    The real problem is that the next Tiananmen - in whatever incarnation - is much more likely to fail if Chinese citizens have to fight not only the PLA, but Cisco and Motorola, Microsoft and Intel. And this time, Americans will bear a special responsibility for that failure.
   And I predict that the excuses that we hear from Cisco and Microsoft today (“Microsoft abides by the laws and regulations of each country in which it operates…" - as if the Chinese constitution forbid the word “democracy”) will be remembered as a shameful moment in U.S. corporate history.
    So it’s up to us, activists, journalists, watchdogs, Congress, anyone who’s involved with China, to put pressure on American corporations; shareholder proposals; divestment from university contracts. Make a copy of this brochure and send letters, faxes, emails demanding an explanation. Tell them if the Chinese Communist Party wants to use our technology, it must pay the democracy tax.

by @ 11:10 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Money, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, Media, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Censorship

star tv won’t be showing this one

NEWSFLASH: Simpson’s episode to be banned in China:


Homer: "Ohhoh, look at him, he’s like a little angel… who killed 50 million people, goocheegoochee goo! Yes you are!"


Via the Flea.

by @ 10:10 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media, Censorship

thailand blocking websites

Another Southeast Asian nation decides to follow China’s example.:

Recent reports have indicated that Thailand is now blocking the websites Thai-insider.com and FM9225.com. ISP’s in Thailand have been filtering for some time, Jeffrey Race wrote about it back in 2004. The government ordered ISP’s to begin blocking a list compiled and hosted by the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT). The target of the filtering was pornography, specifically local pornography but would also target subjects such as “Royal Family, sites that are a threat to security, violent online games, and illegal web sites such as those for online gambling.” There was debate about what exactly to censor and the process appeared to be fairly transparent. But back in May 2004 I wrote:

Despite this open and transparent process at least one unofficial block has been identified. The promise of transparency does not necessarily mean accountability. In this case the web site in question highlights a corruption scandal. Once a national filtering system is in place it governments may be tempted to use it as a tool of political censorship.

It appears that the Government of Thailand is extending its filtering system to blocking for overtly political reasons. Once the system is in place….

by @ 8:56 pm. Filed under Blogs, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Censorship

short saturday links

Via Howard French, a closer look at the story that inspired 2,000 Chinese journalists to protest the arrest of colleagues.:

It could have been the scoop of the year: the deputy governor of Henan
province had reportedly conspired with a local mayor to have his wife killed
and chopped up. If proven, the murder would rank as one of the worst crimes by a senior official for decades.
But the story was a minefield. Knowing how many papers have been closed down,and how many journalists arrested, for covering such sensitive topics, most editors gave Henan a wide berth.

A look at yesterday’s democracy rally in Hong Kong from China Confidential, China Digital Times, and of course there are several posts at Glutter and several more at ESWN.

I always wonder why Europe so often sides with China when it shares so many common values with the US: freedom of religion, the right to organize, the right to property, freedom of speech

Just saw a report on 3sat about a new law in Austria that demands from each individual that runs a website or a weblog “which can influence public opinion” to reveal his or her true identity. Starting from today, 1. of July everyone with a website or a Blog has to reveal his or her true name and even the personal address on the website. Everyone infringing the law can be charged with a penalty up to 2000 €.

Gaijin Biker is off to the beach, but offers plenty of reading material to peruse in his absence.
Over at Japundit, a look at perverts and privacy.

Milton J Madison evaluates his holdings in CNOOC.

Amit Varma looks at bribery in India, its costs and its causes. Also at India Uncut the latest India

Via Internet Censorship Explorer, a short CBC television item on the Great Firewall of China.

Henry Kissinger has apologized to India, and Indira Gandhi. Ennis doesn’t think that’s good enough.

Malaysia gets a nuclear-powered visitor (but remember, Malaysia isn’t an US ally).

NK Zone offers a look at the newest report on North Korea from George Bush’s favorite thinktank.

Every college student in the West is taught that "No Means No." South Korean students should be taught that "yankee go home," does not mean "change your attitude"

I admit to being confused by the legalities of Philipine President Gloria Arroyo’s admission of being on a tape seemingly seeking to influence election results. Thankfully, there is a lawyer in the house. A good roundup of the week’s events is at Torn and Frayed. And yes, do visit the comments at Sassy’s, MLQIII and PCIL.

You know you’re an Indonesian if

Enjoy the long weekends. Happy Independence Day weekend, Canada Day
weekend and HK handover holiday weekend. Not so happy CPC Founding Day.
Happy birthday to me. And Remember Beaumont Hamel.

by @ 12:49 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Hong Kong, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Censorship

support the registran

I can’t find a direct link to this on the registran.net site, so here is the news from Siberian Light.:

Nathan, webmaster extra-ordinaire of registan.net has has just had to quit his job after his workplace was taken over by eulogising Scientologists (I kid you not).  As a consequence he’s opened up a tip-jar for donations to help him balance the books over the next couple of months.

Rather than recount the whole tale, the past couple months have been extremely uncomfortable. They have included a vicious and nasty verbal attack on me from a Hubbard management consultant, plummetting morale amongst coworkers (many have left), having my concerns dismissed by my boss, and much more. What really brought it to a head was my boss acting like the staff’s unhappiness and the concerns I brought to her about WISE and ABLE make her a victim of religious persecution. Let’s repeat that. Disagreement equals persecution.

Registan.net is a wonderful source of information and insightful analysis on Central Asia - a real labour of love for which Nathan has never charged a cent.  As Nathan says, he’s "not quite in the poorhouse," but the time and effort he puts into maintaining the site and the great information we all get from reading it are certainly worth a few dollars, especially when times are tough for its webmaster.

by @ 12:31 pm. Filed under Blogs, Asia, Media, Weblogs, Central Asia

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