Lawmaker aims to stop Net censorship

Lawmaker aims to stop Net censorship
January 12th, 2006  

Topic: Lawmaker aims to stop Net censorship

Lawmaker aims to stop Net censorship
Congressman: US may have to require firms resist B******By Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff | January 12, 2006
One of the most aggressive human rights activists in Congress has found a new cause: stamping out Internet censorship in C****.

Representative Christopher H. Smith, a New Jersey Republican and chairman of a House subcommittee on human rights, plans to hold hearings next month on reports that US Internet companies, including Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp., aid efforts by the government of C**** to suppress free speech. The issue has simmered for years as American companies have raced to enter the C****** Internet market, already the second-largest on earth and rapidly growing.
US businesses and politicians have long said the growth of Internet use in C**** would lead to greater freedom of expression; in turn, this would encourage the world's most populous nation to begin a gradual transition toward d*m*c**cy.
Instead, the government has repeatedly censored political speech on the Internet in C**** and to the dismay of Smith and other h*m*n r***ts activists, American companies have often acquiesced to this censorship. Last month, for example, Microsoft Corp. shut down a popular C****** blog run by a researcher for the B****** bureau of The New York Times.
The shutdown was denounced by h*m*n r***ts groups around the world. The international organization Reporters Without Borders last week urged American Internet companies to establish a voluntary code of conduct that would promote resistance to censorship demands from authoritarian governments. If that doesn't work, the organization said, Congress should pass a law to make such anticensorship policies mandatory.
Smith said such a law is probably the only way to stop US firms from cooperating with overseas censorship. He said that no US company should ever comply with C****** political censorship policies, even if it means they lose the right to do business in C****.
''Call them on their bluff," Smith said. ''We want an amelioration of your behavior, or we will not do business with you."
Elected in 1980, Smith has become known in Washington for his fervent opposition to human rights abuses. He drafted legislation in 1998 to provide federal funding to help refugees who had been tortured in their native lands. On Tuesday, he was present as President Bush signed a law against human trafficking that Smith wrote and championed, with support from media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
If Smith makes Internet censorship his next crusade, he won't be alone. The Congressional Human Rights Caucus also plans February hearings on the matter.
''We're going to get moving on this," said a caucus member, Democratic Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio. ''There are a lot of people in Congress who are very, very concerned."
Ryan stopped short of calling for legislation. But he noted that the US-C**** economic and Security Review Commission, a research body created by Congress, recently called for legislation requiring American Internet firms to demand a court order from C****** authorities before revealing information about a user. The law would also require US Internet companies to report such information requests to the US government.

The above article has certain words edited for obvious reasons. I am most interested in hearing from our senoir member in that large asian country whose site name begins with a b. Anyone interested in the rest of the article can PM me for the website. Obviously I did not want to post the source here in hopes that certain members will get this post.
January 13th, 2006  

Wow. I read the whole article and I am impressed. This Rep from NJ has his heart in the right place but I don't think he understands his enemy very well. This will become an issue of face and logic is immediately thrown out the window when we are talking about how business is done here. The best I think they will be able to do is to force American companies to not comply with the wishes of the big red chicken. This is supply and demand and the chicken is on the supply side of the equation, they are in the driver seat and they are NOT bluffing about this issue.

I am forced many times to engage a proxy to access things here like the BBC, the Geneva Conventions, and any US .mil site. If they ever figure out how to block the proxies I am screwed. Even this site occasionally drops from the radar and I have to go the long route home. I also double up with an anonymiser so they can't track me back from cookies on the site if they happen to "sweep" a site like they are prone to do if they identify a particularly subversive one.

I keep myself out of trouble by not talking to common chickens about what I think. I keep it locked up and share it only with you folks as I can. I am very mindful of the walls though. There are limits that I know if I cross I will be whisked away for a few years of intensive Chinese lessons while the local consul official visits me once a year to ensure I am being treated no worse than my fellow chicken inmates. There are words I will not say and subjects I will not broach, those are the guidelines within which I must live, so be it. As long as I steer clear of those life is grand and I live like a king. It can be most intoxicating, enough to almost make me forget that there are walls of glass all around me.

I know some people here who are from the west and they have gone, for lack of a better term, feral. They will even defend the chicken view of the world even when I show them how skewed it is. Some have even begun to actually believe the lies. I know one guy who is so brainwashed he actually HATES Japanese like the kids here do and he's an adult, raised in the west. I just don't get it. I console myself with thinking they just weren't raised right or something is missing in their education that allowed them to logically discern information.

The internet issues here can be easily subverted if you have the will. Most of them do know that there are other sources out there but they are too lazy to look. They also are afraid of learning something. Imagine you find out from the internet that the USA is actually the evil empire and that ALL the information you had ever seen or heard was false, propaganda, lies. But you couldn't leave... how would you feel? Sometimes when you feel so powerless, ignorance is truly bliss and many of the more intellectual people I know CHOOSE to remain ignorant so they can go on enjoying their life. (Soylent green is people.)

Something that IG and I were talking about to the wee hours of the morning yesterday was about the people of countries where the government is suppressing and oppressing them. Why don't they revolt? If they truly are unhappy why do they not rise up and strike? I offered to him and again to you all this... an animal bred in captivity never yearns for freedom. Once you go through one generation that knew freedom but is supressed you are set. With each passing generation the idea of freedom becomes buried deeper and deeper until it is nothing but a myth that people have no idea of and the unknown is many times scarier than the known no matter how bad it is.

About 16 years ago there was an uprising that was supressed in the chicken and the world was shocked. The government of that country will stop at nothing, NOTHING, to maintain its grip. Do not ever engage the logical western side of your brain when attempting to understand the reasoning behind the decisions of the chicken. It has taken me four years to get to a point where I can predict quite accurately the behaviour of a chicken and I am not infallible yet. The people of this country have lived in subjugation for over 2000 years. I am quite pessimistic that they will breath fresh air within my lifetime or even my son's without bloodshed.

One day when I am clear of the border I will take about six months and do nothing but write. Until then I will persevere under the parameters dictated to me and the citizens of this location just west of the river Styx. I would like to see the Representative be successful in building this bridge but I know it will not happen. The chicken knows that the key to maintaining their control of the people is by controlling the knowledge they have access to. That is the crucible upon which the decision will be made, nothing else matters. It has led them to abandon their communist ideology in order to maintain power and follow a nationalist doctrine. There is nothing they will not do to keep the power they have.
February 4th, 2006  

How many of you are still using Yahoo and Google? Just bear in mind every search you do, everytime you use their service you are making them money, you are supporting censorship. Here is a chance to make a difference, who's up for it when its time for the talk to end and take action?? Any takers?
Lawmaker aims to stop Net censorship