Archive for the ‘Surveillance’ Category
If what flashed through your mind when you read that title was a British expat and a Chinese high official’s wife…I hope to persuade you by the end of my article to think quite differently.
…I’m posting this scathing piece that I worked on with high-level North Korean defector Kim Kwang Jin. Written earlier this year, it’s a serious economic analysis with a very grim prognosis for the future of North Korea. Not for the casual browser.
Google the keywords “Cisco, Falun Gong, lawsuit and China” and you won’t get far in our memory-hole society. So here are my best picks for journalists and everyone else. Copy, distribute, and quibble if you like. But read to the last entry, because it’s important to accurately reflect history and the collective gathering of evidence. This investigation has never been a silver bullet, but a slow chain reaction. A long time coming perhaps, but be assured that it has now gone critical.
1997: Groundbreaking article on the early efforts to censor the Chinese web written by the only journalists to actually make it inside the PSB: Geremie R. Barme and Sang Ye.
In an equipment-crowded office in the Air Force Guesthouse on Beijing’s Third Ring Road sits the man in charge of computer and Net surveillance at the Public Security Bureau.
2002: Prescient essay on Chinese (and Western) self-censorship by Perry Link.
Normally the great snake doesn’t move. It doesn’t have to. It feels no need to be clear about its prohibitions. Its constant silent message is “You yourself decide,” after which, more often than not, everyone in its shadow makes his or her large and small adjustments–all quite “naturally.”
2002: Critical chapter from the RAND publication You’ve Got Dissent! by Michael S. Chase and James C. Mulvenon which traces the first hacking attacks on North American Falun Gong websites back to China.
The name of the organization, “Information Service Center of XinAn Beijing,” sounded innocuous enough, but the street address told a very different story. The address, #14 East Chang’an Street…in Beijing, is that of the Ministry of Public Security, China’s internal security service…
In this shaky, unsustainable age of free content and bargain-rate kindle, it is understandable that National Review would want to keep my review of Tim Johnson’s new book behind the paywall. Fair enough. Lord knows, I can relate. But David Kilgour informs me that he is putting it up for free on his website tonight. So go to David’s website and look around, lots of interesting stuff there. Alternately, since the barn door is open, you can read my take on the book here.
“All movements—even pocket-protector ones—have their legends and their origin myths, often set in an older, simpler place and time, as is this one. But although he never won a Nobel Prize, the man who died was real. And in 2002, when China experts in the West universally judged that his cause was a failure, he commanded the most successful Falun Gong action ever undertaken on Chinese soil—the hijacking of a massive city’s television signals for nearly an hour. Pulled off by a small gang with minimal experience or resources, the operation was strikingly uncharacteristic of Falun Gong at the time, but from it would grow far more sophisticated challenges to Chinese Communist party control over information in the years to come. Television hubs would become Internet routers, guerrillas would be replaced by geeks, infocops and robbers would go virtual, and the brawl would spill out from China into Atlanta, Tehran, and the State Department. But it all started in the city of Changchun with a man named Liang Zhenxing.”
Read it here. Over 5000 words, so get comfy.
BIG UPDATE: “Into Thin Airwaves” is being transformed into a graphic novel by one of the most talented artists ever to come out of China: Daxiong! Raised in Changchun, Daxiong actually logged some hours in the same prison cells as Liang and his gang.
Go here for the occasional update on Daxiong’s progress.
“If you are going to read one magazine article today, let it be this one.” Tom Ricks, ForeignPolicy.com
Yahoo’s lawyers informed me that there was a security breach in my account just over a month ago. I’m flattered.
The Weekly Standard, February 1st, 2010:
OK, it should have happened a decade ago and it’s awfully late in the day. But by openly anchoring their opposition to censorship to PROFIT, not just human rights, Google is not only rebuking the Cisco-Yahoo-Nortel paradigm of seeking revenues from the Chinese government’s demand for censorship and surveillance technologies–they have turned it on its head.
Full-throated, no kidding, loud and clear now: All hail Google!!! Put my book on the web, sell my surfing scores to advertisers, whatever…I won’t forget this moment.