Tag Archives: Internet

China Googles Along Without You Tube

Millions may be afraid to anger the power of YouTube, but the Chinese government is making clear it will not be intimidated by any upstart organization which dares to challenge the 3,000 year old dynasty that is known as China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry made clear that YouTube will not be available for the inhabitants of its nation. According to a spokesperson Qin Gang, “many people have the false impression that the Chinese government fears the Internet. In fact, it is just the opposite.” So there, all you rabble rousers who present these weird ideas about freedom of speech and press! Of course, there are 300,000,000 people in China who daily access the Internet and sites like YouTube. Since early March, access to YouTube has ben spotty.

Since January, there has been a crackdown on the Internet. It may partly stem from fears the anniversary of the Tibetan conflict last year would be used by Internet sources to stir up anger against China. As always in fights with the force of Internet, there may be a temporary victory, but the power of communication will never be stifled.

Greece–First World Internet Sparked Youth Riots?

Students in Bordeaux hurled flaming garbage cans at the Greek consulate and there were other similar protests around the world as young people expressed support for the youth of Greece. Pupils staged protests across Athens as self-styled anarchists clashed with police in an attempt to prove the government was wrong about the decline of riots in the capital. Forensic tests appear to dispute claims by the police the 15 year old whose shooting by police initiated the violence died due to a bullet that ricocheted. In Athens a protest march that began at the University of Athens escalated to a riot by nightfall. In the district of Patissia, hundreds of students clashed with police while near Piraeus about 700 pupils marched on a prison only to be halted by tear gas.

There were sit-ins at about 100 universities in which it was apparent students were not only concerned about the boy’s death but about education “reforms” proposed by the government. There is abundant evidence web sites were providing directions as to the location of protests and providing Internet followers with information on how to join the demonstrations.

Perhaps, future historians will identify the Greek protests as among the first examples of the Internet fostering riots in many places.

Australia’s New Sex Party Adds Sex To Politics!

Australia has a new political party whose goals are in line with modern thinking by advocating a little more sex in the lives of people. In sharp contrast to right wing conservatives who deny reality, the sex experts want a national sex curriculum in schools and recognition of gay marriage. According to Eros head, Fiona Patten, “we’re concerned about the Australian government becoming nanny state.” She had hoped Kevin Rudd would be more open to ideas, and was shocked when he termed photographs of nude teenagers as “shocking.” Ms. Patten also expressed concerns about a government proposal for a national Internet filter that would block about 10,000 web sites.

The Chinese government blocks web sites it deems offensive because they express ideas about freedom, the Iran government does not want its youth accessing 5,000,000 web sites that offer a variety of ideas about life in the 21st century and now Australia is concerned that people will access information about sex. One can be against pornography without denying the right of those who enjoy it their right to pursue what attracts their interest. Government has no place making decisions about personal human interests.

Older Finns Prefer Internet Censorship

An overwhelming majority of Finns, age 55 to 64 are more receptive to the idea of restrictions on Internet free speech than are younger Finns. three out of four in the older group accept some form of restrictions on free speech. Younger men and women are against such restrictions. Most probably, incidents such as the shootings in a Finnish school have made older people aware how the Internet can serve as a means of communication for young people and make them aware of various forms of violence. Many would accept the concept of preventive censorship to prevent certain ideas being presented on the Internet.

One might suspect that older people attribute violence as stemming from Internet and other forms of media which readily project brutality on public media. Younger people know that violence is an individual decision and is not shaped by the Internet or other forms of media.

China Surpasses USA On The Internet!

China’s booming Internet population has defied attempts by its government to exert control and continues growing at the fastest rate of any nation in the world. There are currently 253,000,000 Chinese on the Internet compared to 223.1 million Americans. The Chinese figure represents a 56% increase from a year ago. This means approximately 19% of the Chinese population is online compared to 71% in the United States. It represents the first time another nation has soared ahead of the United States in access to the Internet. Of course, one dramatic difference is the extent of government interference with use of the Internet by Chinese authorities. Beijing blocks access to Web sites run by dissidents, human rights groups, and some foreign news media. For example, the Chinese population was blocked from seeing pictures or stories concerning Tibetan protests several months ago.

The research firm BOA China, says China’s online population should keep growing by 18% annually and will reach about 490 million by 2012, a number that exceeds the population of the United States. The bad news is continued Chinese government efforts to suppress dissident voices on the Internet. The good news is this spurt in Internet membership offers possibilities the creative ingenuity of those on Internet may one day surpass the ability of any government to suppress the voices of freedom.

Neo-Nazis Use Internet As Weapon Of Attack

Neo-Nazis in Germany are using the Internet as part of their campaign to intimidate and silence those who oppose their message of hate. Left-wing politicians and activists are discovering their names, photos, and addresses published on web sites in order to encourage these two bit thugs to resort to messages of hate and violence. The police are powerless in most cases to do anything about posting messages filled with anger on a web site. Rainer Sauer, a politician from Bocholt, has received countless insults and death threats via the Internet. He has discovered Nazi symbols painted on his garage door and shots fired in front of his home. There are an estimated 1,700 far right wing Web sites in Germany.

A judge in Kiel sentenced a member of the right wing National Democratic Party to pay a fine. Within days, his address was published on a Web site along with information about his children and urgings to pay him a visit. Trade unionist Ruth B. had words sprayed on the wall of her house and her car was painted by neo-Nazis as a warning.

The Internet is a source of democracy and has strengthened forces of free speech, but along with all important innovations in expanding human rights come the lap dogs of terror and hate trailing in its wake.

South Korea Cracks Down On Internet Libel

The ever confusing limits of Internet free speech came under examination by the South Korean government in light of recent turmoil surrounding importation of American beef which led to numerous stories appearing on the Internet. Justice Minister Kim Kyung-han vowed to introduce stringent measures against online libel, including criminalizing cyberspace libel. “Online defamatory actin, dissemination of false information and menacing calls for businesses not to run their ads in some newspapers have reached a perilous level, and subsequent damage is at a very serious scale, heightening public concern. We needed special measures to redress such illicit acts and disorder in the cyberspace.”

The Justice Minister wants to compel people to identify themselves when presenting information on the Internet. He was particularly upset because several businesses were warned to cease advertising in newspapers that supported the government’s policy of allowing the importation of American beef. The Justice department indicted a woman reporter las month who posted incorrect information on her web site that a female protestor against been imports had been strangled by the police.

Anyone who spends time on the Internet or in MySpace and Facebook undoubtedly encounters examples of individuals spreading false information. But, in a democracy, the right to spread false information is as protected as the right to spread correct information. The situation undoubtedly becomes murkier when a person is the subject of false information and, hopefully, existing libel laws should handle such situations.