mistersandman: (Default)
[personal profile] mistersandman
The United States has called on China to end the apparent house arrest of the wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner and jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Speaking to the BBC by telephone, Liu Xia said she was unable to leave her home.

"Liu Xia's rights should be respected, and she should be allowed to move freely without harassment," a spokesman for the US embassy in Beijing said.

The award honouring Mr Liu has drawn a furious reaction from China.

Beijing has called it an "obscenity" that went against the principles of the Nobel prize.

Liu Xiaobo was a key figure in the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.

Read more... )



Hey, remember when Wen Jiabao said that freedom of speech is indispensable?  How he is disappointed that the rate that social reform has dragged behind economic reform?  It looks like he lied.

The Nobel Committee made a strong statement with the selection of Liu Xiaobo, that statement being. "Hey China, it's great that you have rockets and World's Fairs and half a billion people uplifted from abject poverty, but there are significant problems with your government!"

It would appear China's response is that favorite playground gambit, "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"
treesahquiche: (Default)
[personal profile] treesahquiche



Evidently, the only person in all of Western news media that Premier Wen Jiabao will talk to is Fareed Zakaria. I don't blame him; there are few people in news media in general -- whether it be Eastern or Western -- that are capable of presenting an interview in a way as thoughtful, impartial, objective, and non-judgmental as Dr. Zakaria.

The entire video is about forty minutes long, but it is more than worth it. The interview with Premier Wen is interspersed in relevant segments throughout the broadcast.

The main topic, of course, was economics. What does Premier Wen think about the way the US handled the financial crisis? How does the US stimulus package compare with China's stimulus program, which Premier Wen engineered? What is Premier Wen's take on and deconstruction of the trade and currency imbalance between the US and China?

I thought the segments where Dr. Zakaria directly and frankly asked Premier Wen about censorship in China -- especially Internet censorship -- were interesting, but not very enlightening as far as Premier Wen's answers went; he did some major waffling.

I wish I could have listened to Premier Wen without the voiceover translation. I much prefer subtitles when it comes to these things. Much of the nuance of his rhetoric in the original Chinese may have been lost in translation, since Chinese is one of those finicky languages with turns of phrase for oddly specific things.
mistersandman: How would you feel if you had to put on a really stupid hat? (comical hat)
[personal profile] mistersandman

WASHINGTON — Broad new regulations being drafted by the Obama administration would make it easier for law enforcement and national security officials to eavesdrop on Internet and e-mail communications like social networking Web sites and BlackBerries, The New York Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said the White House plans to submit a bill next year that would require all online services that enable communications to be technically equipped to comply with a wiretap order. That would include providers of encrypted e-mail, such as BlackBerry, networking sites like Facebook and direct communication services like Skype.

Federal law enforcement and national security officials say new the regulations are needed because terrorists and criminals are increasingly giving up their phones to communicate online.

"We're talking about lawfully authorized intercepts," said FBI lawyer Valerie E. Caproni. "We're not talking about expanding authority. We're talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security."

The White House plans to submit the proposed legislation to Congress next year.

The new regulations would raise new questions about protecting people's privacy while balancing national security concerns.

James Dempsey, the vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the new regulations would have "huge implications."

"They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function," he told the Times.

The Times said the Obama proposal would likely include several requires:

-Any service that provides encrypted messages must be capable of unscrambling them.

-Any foreign communications providers that do business in the U.S. would have to have an office in the United States that's capable of providing intercepts.

-Software developers of peer-to-peer communications services would be required to redesign their products to allow interception.

The Times said that some privacy and technology advocates say the regulations would create weaknesses in the technology that hackers could more easily exploit.


Resisting the urge to use any Orwellian rhetoric, I find this highly problematic.


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