November 3, 2006 at 2:42 am | Posted in digital rights | Leave a comment
Καθώς στο παρελθόν έχω αναφερθεί στη λογοκρισία στο διαδίκτυο στην ηπειρωτική Κίνα οφείλω να παραθέσω ένα απόσπασμα από αυτά που είπε ο Κινέζος εκπρόσωπος διαψεύδοντας μεταξύ άλλων τη νομική σχολή του Harvard, το Openinitiative, και το Google. παραθέτω το εν λόγω κείμενο… όπως μπορείτε να το βρείτε στο επίσημο δικτυακό τόπο του Internet Governance Forum που γίνεται στην Αθήνα.
Δεν γνωρίζω την επίσημη θέση της Κινεζικής κυβέρνησης πάνω στο θέμα αλλά ο κύριος Γιάνγκ Ζιαοκούν ήταν ξεκάθαρος “Δεν έχουμε περιορισμούς“.
>>NIELS ELGAARD LARSEN: This is Niels. Things like that happen in other
countries, too, and it is just as bad. And that is my question. It seems like
we Europeans are taking the high ground when in fact freedom of expression is
under a lot of attack just in the European Union, and specifically Denmark and
Sweden and so on. I am thinking about the filtering the fight against me
allowing to talk and now the Danish police is going to monitor for IP phone
conversations and so on. So what does that leave Cisco? Are they supposed to
be allowed to sell systems that can assist the Danish police in blocking my
phone call to my wife that is in Canada right now? I don’t want this to be an
excuse for China and so on to do repression. It’s bad where it happens.
>> NIK GOWING: You are talking about double standards. Please, there is an
intervention here. Can you introduce yourself, please. We can hear you, yes.
>>YANG XIAOKUN: Good.
>> NIK GOWING: Are we getting translation? No. Could you just wait one
moment. Is there a Chinese translator in there? Is anyone hearing the Chinese
or English translation? No. We are not hearing you. They can hear you now,
>>YANG XIAOKUN: First of all, I have to say that today we have talked a lot
about China, and think that’s rather strange because if we participate in
forums like this, I think that we should spend more time reflecting on the
issues that have been raised. And — Perhaps we have talked a lot about China.
There are lots of millions of Chinese that have no access to the Internet and
our deepest hope is that everyone will have access in the future, so that they
will be able to communicate and take part in these exchanges. We are here
because we would like to promote openness. But we have not really raised the
issue of how we could participate more fully and how we could have better
access to the Internet. My second point is that I heard what various people
here said, and collusion and collaboration and cooperation with China. The
Cisco example was given. Everyone knows that there is a lot of tourism in
China, and towards China. I hope that everyone will be visiting us soon. But
I think that we need to also protect tourists in our country. And I have to
say that I am a Chinese citizen and I feel that I need to be protected. For
example, we are threatened by terrorism. We do need protection. So we should
make sure that everybody can come to China, enjoy our beautiful country. And I
heard with great interest what our Pakistani colleague said. Now, on the
equipment use and the software in China, I don’t think that we should be using
different standards to judge China. In China, we don’t have software blocking
Internet sites. Sometimes we have trouble accessing them. But that’s a
different problem. And I know that some colleagues listen to the BBC in their
offices from the Webcast. And I’ve heard people say that the BBC is not
available in China or that it’s blocked. I’m sure I don’t know why people say
this kind of thing. I work in Geneva. I am part of the Chinese mission to the
U.N. And I listen to the BBC in my office.
>> NIK GOWING: (inaudible).
>>YANG XIAOKUN: I still have several points to make.
>> NIK GOWING: Could I — may I ask you a question? How would you define, for
those who are not familiar with your government’s policy and the detail of it,
what is the principle on restrictions of openness in China?
>>YANG XIAOKUN: We do not have restriction at all.
>> Come on! (Shouting out from audience).
>> NIK GOWING: All right. Do you want to answer — would you like to
elaborate on that? None at all?
>>YANG XIAOKUN: How can I elaborate on it if we don’t have any restriction?
>> NIK GOWING: Okay. What are the other points you wanted to make, quickly?
>>YANG XIAOKUN: Yes. Somebody talked about the — okay. Well, some people
say that there are journalists in China that have been arrested. We have
hundreds of journalists in China, very few have been arrested. But there are
criminals in all societies and we have to arrest them. But these are legal
problems. It has nothing to do with freedom of expression.
>> NIK GOWING: What was said from the Chinese representative that the BBC is
not blocked, can you clarify the BBC’s position on that?
>>RICHARD SAMBROOK: I’m glad he listens and reads us in Geneva, but he if he
was in China he would not be able to listen to our Mandarin service on short
wave radio and not be able to read our Mandarin news site on the website. And
this is now very well established and it is very effectively blocked on both
the Internet and shortwave radio and has been for many years.
>>NIK GOWING: I said I would come back to both Microsoft and Cisco and I have
to keep moving forward. There are a number of questions. I am not requesting
to ask you to stand up, because they are quite similar about corporate
responsibility in promoting free speech, and we heard that suggestion. Are
corporations meant to be involved in securing openness and freedom to speak.
Could we round off this section with your view and some of your responses to
some of the things you have heard, but about particularly, not least what we
heard from Vint about the limits to corporate responsibility in this particular
>>ART REILLY: Going back to the point at which I entered the queue, the
question was what do we have the ability to audit progress within China or the
situation within China, and I wanted to mention one metric. Cisco entered the
market in China in 1994 and in 1995 there were about 80,000 users on the
Internet in China. In 2005, so ten years later, they had gone from 80,000 to
130 million. So substantial increase in the use and the ability for the
information to flow within China as well as to across borders into other
locations and to get access to information in other locations. And as you can
imagine, with issues such as worms and denial of service attacks, these are not
unique to one part of the world and so the issues I raised before relative to
the need for capabilities to protect against the threats from viruses and worms
and denial of service attacks exist and so the equipment that’s provided in
China is the same as elsewhere. I very much agree with Vint on the issue of the
power of a company like Cisco or perhaps others to, in fact, exert influence.
The market in which Cisco is involved is a very competitive market. In fact,
it is a competitive global market and as many of you may know there are, in
fact, significant manufacturers of equipment that, as I mentioned before,
provide similar capabilities for the same purposes I mentioned, security and
network management to in fact ensure and promote the free flow of information.
So the actions that we are taking with regard to this technology is to allow
that free flow, not to impede it. Thank you.
>> NIK GOWING: But the word he used was persuasion being probably best you
could hope for. Do you agree?
>>ART REILLY: Yes.
>> NIK GOWING: Fred.
>>FRED TIPSON: Yes, and I do also, Nik. I think massive bargaining power is
an exaggeration, although we are actively exploring within the industry how we
can better exercise our joint persuasive abilities in these areas. But I think
it’s critical for the forum and in the entirety that we not portray the
Internet as a threat to governments. That that not be the theme that comes out
of this discussion, because the reality, take a country like China, the
Internet is transforming the political culture of China. There is no question
about it. And for someone who has worked in and around China for 20 years, it’s
incredible to me how much is available when you search for it, how widely
people are expressing their political views, often at great personal risk, on
blogs in China and chat rooms and all sorts of other places. There are
courageous people who are pushing the envelope of politics, but there are also
courageous people in the Chinese government who believe in the importance of
the importance of the Internet as a modernizing, educating force. There is not
a monolithic determination to suppress the Internet in a country like China.
But that’s obviously a much longer discussion. The point I really want to make
is if we are serious about human rights, if we really want to advance the cause
of human rights for users in China we must be specific about what it is we are
concerned with. The Yahoo! case is a classic example. First of all we need to
get the company right, but secondly, the Yahoo! case involved a situation where
the police came to Yahoo! and said, “We believe that there’s a criminal sending
e-mails across your service. We want to know who he is.” Yahoo! servers were
located in China. If they had turned them down, all the people would have been
arrested, they probably would have been thrown out of China. Now, it could be
the position of human rights organizations legitimately to say that should be
the result for Yahoo!. They should not be doing business in China if it means
they put users at risk. The fact of the matter is Yahoo! didn’t know this was a
journalist. Yahoo! didn’t even know he had gone to prison. I didn’t know what
Yahoo! didn’t know. Let’s talk about hypotheticals but the clear situation is
you don’t know when the police come in the door whether they are after a
journalist, a pedophile, an IP polluter. And no country in the world gives you
that information. In fact, you are required in the United States and I believe
in the UK not to inform the person the police are looking for when they come in
seeking information about that person. Now, we, and Microsoft, our services are
basically — our servers and the information relating to customers has been in
the United States and, therefore, is not as easily accessible by police
authorities outside the United States. But China and virtually every country in
the world is headed toward the situation where they are going to require that
personally identifying information is available to the police authorities in
that society as a condition of doing business with their citizens. So that is
the trend of the situation we’re watching. Not only that, the trend is for
governments to say you must retain this data in available form for at least two
years in the case of some of the discussions that are going on in the United
States, to make it even easier for the government under legitimate
circumstances and due process and so forth to get access to this information.
Now, that’s the reality of the kinds of human rights challenge that companies
have in trying to do business not only in restrictive societies. Arguably, in
virtually every country in the world, including my own. There are balances
being struck and challenges that we need to address. Obviously there are in
certain countries the effort that’s going towards restrictiveness is much
greater than in others. But that’s a conversation we need to have, because you
would be surprised when you look country by country at what’s restricted how
many subjects and how many countries have restrictive regulations. So I do — I
don’t want to monopolize this conversation at all but I think if we really are
serious about talking about human rights we need to talk about the rights that
we want to protect and how best to protect them and not broad brush condemn
nations of this government or that government without reference to the facts.