Log in

View Full Version : initiative by Reporters Without Borders

2006-02-02, 10:36
How are oppressive regimes to be dealt with? One line of thought supports international sanctions and isolation. But the downside of that approach is that it tends to help the oppressive rulers maintain their hold on power even more, because the general population is weakened and isolated. Also sanctions would create a nationalist backlash which would help the ruler. Another approach to dealing with oppressive regimes, such as what has been done with China by Americans, is to hope that allowing free trade and the exchange of culture will cause the country to be more open and for the oppressive regime to be weakened.

Americans sometimes take pride in their culture and in American companies when they believe that their presence promotes freedom throughout the World. One assumption behind allowing free trade and exchange with oppressive regimes, is that the same standards that American companies have domestically in the United States would also be applied to a foreign country. But that has not been the case with many companies doing business in China. Rather than exporting American freedom, those companies have cooperated with the local Chinese government to oppress the Chinese people. Such behavior is unethical and Congress should get involved to prohibit companies from using their services to help a government oppress its people. Such behavior defies the reason that free trade was allowed with such regimes in the first place.

An organization named Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders) has issued a proposal of ethical guidelines 2006-01-06 in an article here (http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=16110) that they hope will be voluntarily followed by American internet and technology companies. I think that their proposals should be enacted into law by Congress rather than be voluntary, as the companies have already demonstrated that they have no ethics. Here is their set of proposals:

We have listed our recommendations according to the type of service or equipment marketed by Internet companies :

- E-mail services :

No US company would be allowed to host e-mail servers within a repressive country*. So, if the authorities of a repressive country want personal information about the user of a US company’s e-mail service, they would have to request it under a procedure supervised by US.

- Search engines :

Search engines would not be allowed to incorporate automatic filters that censor “protected” words. The list of “protected” keywords such as “democracy” or “human rights” should be appended to the law or code of conduct.

- Content hosts (websites, blogs, discussion forums etc)

US companies would not be allowed to locate their host servers within repressive countries. If the authorities of a repressive country desire the closure of a publication hosted by a US company, they would have to request it under a procedure supervised by the US judicial authorities. Like search engines, content hosts would not be allowed to incorporate automatic filters that censor “protected” key-words.

- Internet censorship technologies

Reporters Without Borders proposes two options :

Option a : US companies would no longer be permitted to sell Internet censorship software to repressive states.

Option b : They would still be able to market this type of software but it will have to incorporate a list of “protected” keywords that are rendered technically impossible to censor.

- Internet surveillance technology and equipment

US companies would have to obtain the express permission of the Department of Commerce in order to sell to a repressive country any technology or equipment which can be used to intercept electronic communications or which is specifically designed to assist the authorities in monitoring Internet users.

- Training

US companies would have to obtain the express permission of the Department of Commerce before providing any programme of training in Internet surveillance and censorship techniques in a repressive country.

* A list of countries that repress freedom of expression would be drawn up on the basis of documents provided by the US State Department and would be appended to the code of conduct or law that is adopted. This list would be regularly updated.

Note : The purpose of these recommendations is to protect freedom of expression. They in no way aim to restrict the necessary cooperation between governments in their efforts to combat terrorism, paedophilia and cyber-crime.

2006-02-16, 01:28
SHAME :rebuke: SHAME :rebuke: SHAME :rebuke:

Tom Lantos gave well deserved shame to the four companies: Cisco, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo; today in a Congressional hearing. You can read the transcript of his comments here (http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-6040250.html).

While the largest disappointment occurred with Google, for violating its former "don't be evil" slogan, the most evil was actually done by Yahoo, which on at least two verified occasions, has cooperated with Chinese government officials to imprison people.

The companies have defended their cooperation with the Chinese officials by saying that they are required to follow the local laws, and have cooperated as law abiding corporations. That is a crock of shit. They only have to obey the law where they are based, which is the United States. In the other countries they maintain an internet presence, because the internet is ubiquitous. As a matter of fact the companies violated American law in their attempt to comply with Chinese law. And it is doubtful that they even followed Chinese law, because when oppression occurs in China, it is usually due to corruption with government members breaking their own Chinese laws.

I'm sure that if an unpopular government like the Iranian government had made similar demands of Yahoo, to identify and shut down its pro-Wester bloggers, they would proudly resist such efforts.

2006-02-16, 06:05
it's all about the benjamins


2006-02-16, 10:03
It´s all about ignorance and stupidity,politics and people who do not have any form of guts