Classic Internet Censorship – The New York Times

I want us to consider the implications of this new reality: in three of the world’s four most populous countries, governments have now given themselves the power to order that citizens’ posts that authorities dislike be removed from the Internet.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and a democracy, is in the process of implementing what civil rights organizations say are too broad rules for demand the deletion of the online performance which officials consider a violation of public order or public order. Most major internet companies, including Google, Meta, Netflix, TikTok, Apple, and Twitter, are effectively agreed to agree to the rules, for now.

Indonesian rules are another sign that strict online controls are no longer restricted autocratic countries such as China, Iran, North Korea and Myanmar. They are also increasingly becoming the realm of democracies that want to use the law and the internet to shape citizens’ discussions and beliefs.

There has long been a tug-of-war in free societies on freedom of speech and its limitations. But one of the enduring questions of the online era is what should governments, digital companies and citizens do now that the internet and social media make it easier for people to share their truth (or their lies) with the world and make them more attractive to national leaders. to close it all.

What is happening in three of the four largest countries in the world – China, India and Indonesia; USA – 3rd largest – it’s easier. This fits the classic definition of censorship. Governments seek to silence their external critics.

Indonesian officials said their new rules are needed to protect people’s privacy, remove online material that promotes child sexual abuse or terrorism, and make the Internet a welcoming space for everyone.

Governments sometimes have legitimate reasons to influence what happens online, such as to prevent the spread of dangerous misinformation. But Devi Sivaprakasam, Asia-Pacific policy adviser for global digital rights group Access Now, said Indonesia’s rules are a fig leaf used by the government to choke journalism and civic protests, with little checks for that power.

The rules require all kinds of digital companies, including social networking sites, digital payment and video game companies, and messaging apps, to constantly scan online material that breaks the law and remove it within hours if found. Authorities also have the right to request user data, including people’s messages and financial transactions. Companies that do not comply with the law can be fined or forced to cease operations in the country.

Indonesia’s rules, which are new and have not yet been enforced, “raise serious concerns about the rights to freedom of expression, association, information, privacy and security,” Sivaprakasam told me.

Access Now also has called other massive online censorship laws in Asia, including Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India.

(My colleagues informed The Government of India today withdrew a proposed data protection bill that privacy advocates and some lawmakers say would give authorities overly broad powers over personal data while exempting law enforcement and government entities from the provisions of the law.)

It becomes more difficult to decide what to do with these laws. Companies in technology and other industries usually claim that they are required to comply with the laws of the countries in which they operate, but in reality this is not the case. push off sometimesor even withdraw from the countries such as Russia, arguing that laws or their interpretation by governments violate people’s fundamental freedoms.

Access Now and other advocacy groups have said companies should not be subject to what they call violations of international human rights and other norms in Indonesia.

U.S. internet executives have privately said the U.S. government needs to do more to counter overly strict government control of online expression, rather than leaving it up to Google, Apple, Meta and Twitter alone. They say US companies should not be forced to try to protect citizens of other countries from abuse by their own governments on their own.

There are, of course, many less clear questions or when and whether governments should have a say in what people publish. Countries like Germany as well as Turkey have state control over online information used in the name of eradicating hateful ideologies or maintaining public health. Not everyone in these countries agrees that these are reasonable restrictions on the Internet, or agree on how these restrictions are interpreted or applied.

The US Supreme Court may son weighs on whether the First Amendment allows government agencies to dictate the rules of expression on Facebook and other major social networks, which now make those decisions largely on their own.

The original utopian idea of ​​the Internet was that it would help break down national borders and give citizens opportunities they didn’t have before to challenge their governments. We saw a version of it, but then the government wanted more control about what happened online. “Governments are very powerful and they don’t like being pushed out.” – Mishi Chowdhary, Internet rights lawyer in India, told me last year.

So our challenge is to empower governments to act in the public interest to determine what happens on the Internet when needed, and at the same time call on them when authorities abuse that power to keep their power.


tip of the week

Want to buy a used computer, phone or other device? It’s great to save money and be kinder to the planet – as long as you don’t buy a lemon. Brian H. Chenconsumer technology columnist for The New York Times shared his story on how to buy used goods wisely.

Recently, my wife wanted a new iPad Pro so she could create illustrations and maybe send emails from time to time. I winced.

The largest version of the tablet costs $1,100. Add an Apple Pencil for drawing on the screen ($130) and a keyboard ($100 or more) and we’d be spending $1,330. Instead, I did some work and bought everything used. My price was $720. Here’s how I did it.

I started by looking for used iPad Pros on eBay. Models released in 2021 were still expensive at around $850. The 2020 models were much smaller. I ended up buying a 2020 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 256 gigabytes for $600. That’s about half the price of a newer model with less storage space.

I was careful. I bought an iPad that was described as being in “good condition” from a seller whose reviews were 100% positive. The seller even included a one-year warranty and a 30-day return policy. To my delight, the iPad arrived a few days later and looked brand new.

I couldn’t find a good deal on the Apple Pencil on eBay or Craigslist, but I did on the Facebook Marketplace. I found a seller who lived near me with five star reviews. His profile had a photo of him with his girlfriend and he was very polite in our conversation. I felt comfortable. We met at lunch in a taqueria parking lot and I paid him $70 via Venmo.

The last step was to buy a keyboard. Apple sells its own models, but I chose Logitech. I found one on Amazon in “like new” condition, which means the keyboard was previously purchased and returned with the box open. It was $50 compared to $115 for a new one. When the keyboard arrived it looked pristine and worked great.

Bottom line: buying used cars is an art. There is some risk, but you can minimize your chances of getting ripped off by looking for online sellers with high ratings, generous return policies, and product warranties. And when it comes to personal transactions, get in the mood and date in public. The money I saved was worth the effort.

Is it worth buying a refurbished phone? (Consumer reports)

  • They even compared their military to a losing football team: On Chinese social media, many people have taken the rare step of ridiculing their government for not taking military action to stop Speaker Nancy Pelosi from visiting Taiwan. My colleague Li Yuan wrote that the online backlash showed that the nationalism encouraged by the Chinese Communist Party could also be turned against the government.

  • Buyer Notice: There are many options for telemedicine companies for people looking for weight loss products. Statistical News informed that virtual options can be great, but experts also worry that some sites may be inefficient or churn out recipes purely for profit.

  • We have the senses about sounds: The Twitter app now makes whistling and alien sounds when people refresh their feed. Input power explored why sounds are so important in technology and product design.

check it a hungry goat that does a good job of destroying invasive plants. (I have already posted videos of a herd of goats in New York’s Riverside Park, but I don’t have enough of them.)


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