Posts tagged ‘Freedom of Information’

2011/02/22

The Tweety Bird

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2011/02/17

China Warns US Over Internet Freedom

China has warned the US not to use calls for internet freedom as an excuse to meddle in other countries’ affairs.

The foreign ministry comments came after yesterday’s announcement by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of an initiative to help dissidents around the world get past government internet controls.

Since Clinton’s speech, comments about it have been removed from China’s popular Twitter-like microblog sites.

“It is ironic that the Chinese are blocking an online discussion about internet freedom,” said US Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman.

Complete article via BBC

2011/02/17

US Using Web To Sow Unrest In Cuba?


If the internet is the new battlefield in the long, simmering standoff between Cuba and the United States, then jailed American contractor Alan Gross is the conflict’s first POW.

The basic facts of his case are not in dispute. Gross, 61, was arrested in December 2009 and has been held at a high-security Cuban prison ever since. Posing as a tourist, he came to Cuba to set up laptop-sized satellites that would deliver unrestricted internet access as part of a broader U.S. government program to spur political change to Havana’s one-party rule.

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2011/02/16

How Egypt Found Internet’s ‘Off’ Button

In the Egyptian Revolution, the mobilizing power of the Internet was one of the opposition’s most potent weapons. But quickly lost in the swirl of revolution was the government’s ferocious counterattack, a dark achievement that many had thought impossible in the age of global connectedness. Just after midnight on Jan. 28, a technologically advanced country with more than 20 million people online was essentially severed from the global Internet.

The blackout was lifted after just five days, and it did not save Hosni Mubarak. But it has mesmerized the worldwide technical community and raised concerns that with unrest coursing through the Middle East, other autocratic governments – many of them already known to interfere with and filter specific Web sites and e-mails — may also possess what is essentially a kill switch for the Internet.

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2011/02/15

US To Make Social Media Harder To Block

Days after Facebook and Twitter added fuel to a revolt in Egypt, the Obama administration plans to announce a new policy on Internet freedom, designed to help people get around barriers in cyberspace while making it harder for autocratic governments to use the same technology to repress dissent.

The State Department’s policy has been bogged down by debates over whether to view the Internet primarily as a weapon to topple repressive regimes or as a tool that autocrats can use to root out and crush dissent.

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2011/02/14

Price Of Keeping Peace In Bahrain? $2700

Bahrain, one of the tiniest, wealthiest and, because it serves as the parking lot for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, strategically important countries on Earth is facing their own rebellion as the Tunisian contagion caught by Egypt spreads.

Bahraini Shi’ites have long complained of discrimination by the ruling Sunni dynasty, whose crackdown on dissent last year touched off riots.

In advance of protests scheduled for today by Shi’ite opposition groups, Bahrain’s royal rulers have been making concessions – not the least of which being last week’s grant by King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa of $2700 per family – and a promise to allow greater freedom of information.

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2011/02/11

Bernanke Interview Will Stay Secret


The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, created by Congress to investigate and report on the causes of the market meltdown late last decade, won’t publicly release its full 2009 interview with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a commission spokesman said.

The FCIC is withholding records when there is “legal or proprietary information in those interviews that meant they could not be made public,” or no audio, transcript or summary exists, Tucker Warren, the FCIC’s spokesman, said after the panel yesterday released more than 300 witness interviews. He declined to elaborate on Bernanke. The interview is among records being transferred to the National Archives that will be made public in five years, Warren said.

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2011/02/06

How Google Geeks Outwitted Mubarak


The Observer

When they first came to office, the Obama team had a mantra: “Never waste a good crisis.”

They then spent the next two years doing exactly the opposite. In the past few months we’ve seen a couple of decent crises – the first involving WikiLeaks, the second involving the political upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt. Both involve the internet in one way or another. So, in the spirit of Obama Mk I, let us ponder what might be learned from them.

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2011/02/03

China Mulls Impact Of Mideast Uprisings

The main Chinese newspapers all carried front-page stories about the protests, including photographs, but largely without any analysis or editorial comment. Much of the recent coverage has focused on the looting and the breakdown of order in Egyptian cities, without much explanation of the root causes of the unrest.

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2011/02/02

The WikiLeaks Revolt

Ed. Note: Not sure if I’m particularly open to assigning blame to the GW Bush administration for the situation in Egypt – five consecutive administrations have been strongly supportive of Mubarak – but I did appreciate this commentator’s attempt to put some perspective on events.

The current popular unrest in the Arab world has a lot of lessons for Washington. Undoubtedly one of the most jarring is this: The leak of a simple series of cables from a U.S. ambassador in an obscure country — officially condemned by Washington — may have done more to inspire democracy in the Arab world than did a bloody, decade-long, trillion-dollar war effort orchestrated by the United States.

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