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China’s Digital Expertise And Export Strategy Concerning, Say Experts

China’s digital savvy and its influence over developing countries is concerning some experts.

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Eileen Donahoe from Stanford University’s Digital Policy Incubator

May 27, 2021—China’s utilization of digital tools and its export to developing countries poses a serious threat to human rights agendas and the global order of democracy, according to Eileen Donahoe, executive director of Stanford University’s Digital Policy Incubator.

Donahoe said Wednesday that dictators and autocrats are capitalizing on digital resources to better repress and control their own people. Ethiopia shut down its internet nationwide last summer to quell protests demanding justice for the killing of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. The Myanmar military has used social media to spread disinformation and sway public opinion throughout the Rohingya genocide. China has used its growing digital infrastructure to increase surveillance of its own citizens.

Steven Feldstein, author of The Rise of Digital Repression: How Technology Is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistance, says that developed countries are better equipped to use virtual assets to repress their citizens. However, countries like China are supplying these digital resources to underdeveloped countries.

In his book, Feldstein says there is little evidence of overt Chinese efforts to push other governments towards digital repression. However, Donahoe says, “China is pushing hard for governments to buy, in a more figurative sense, an entire model of digital authoritarianism as an alternative to democracy.”

She believes that underdeveloped democracies are fragile; repression is easy. If China supplies the technology that can be used for repression, emerging democracies (like Ethiopia) may sacrifice their democratic ideals in the name of control.

Domestic implications

Historically, information processing companies such as Google or Twitter have followed government takedown orders, regardless of the government’s motives. Recently, however, these companies have become increasingly bold in resisting such orders when the order clearly comes from a standpoint of political oppression.

For example, in the past few weeks, Google and Twitter both refused Russian orders to removed content from their websites following anti-Putin protests deemed illegal. Both companies were fined as a result. Donahoe wonders how long these companies should bear fines.

“How much should they be willing to pay out before leaving the country?” Donahoe asks. “Is it better or worse for the community if Twitter and Google are forced to leave Russia?”

Google was forced out of China in the early 2010s over a dispute regarding censorship and search results.

Reporter Tyler Perkins studied rhetoric and English literature, and also economics and mathematics, at the University of Utah. Although he grew up in and never left the West (both Oregon and Utah) until recently, he intends to study law and build a career on the East Coast. In his free time, he enjoys reading excellent literature and playing poor golf.

China

Biden Executive Order on Chinese Investment Restrictions a ‘Policy Misstep,’ Says Huawei Official

A new White House order could further push Huawei and other Chinese firms to be more self-sufficient, executive says.

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John Suffolk, Huawei's global head of cybersecurity and privacy officer

May 27, 2021—China’s utilization of digital tools and its export to developing countries poses a serious threat to human rights agendas and the global order of democracy, according to Eileen Donahoe, executive director of Stanford University’s Digital Policy Incubator.

Donahoe said Wednesday that dictators and autocrats are capitalizing on digital resources to better repress and control their own people. Ethiopia shut down its internet nationwide last summer to quell protests demanding justice for the killing of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. The Myanmar military has used social media to spread disinformation and sway public opinion throughout the Rohingya genocide. China has used its growing digital infrastructure to increase surveillance of its own citizens.

Steven Feldstein, author of The Rise of Digital Repression: How Technology Is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistance, says that developed countries are better equipped to use virtual assets to repress their citizens. However, countries like China are supplying these digital resources to underdeveloped countries.

In his book, Feldstein says there is little evidence of overt Chinese efforts to push other governments towards digital repression. However, Donahoe says, “China is pushing hard for governments to buy, in a more figurative sense, an entire model of digital authoritarianism as an alternative to democracy.”

She believes that underdeveloped democracies are fragile; repression is easy. If China supplies the technology that can be used for repression, emerging democracies (like Ethiopia) may sacrifice their democratic ideals in the name of control.

Domestic implications

Historically, information processing companies such as Google or Twitter have followed government takedown orders, regardless of the government’s motives. Recently, however, these companies have become increasingly bold in resisting such orders when the order clearly comes from a standpoint of political oppression.

For example, in the past few weeks, Google and Twitter both refused Russian orders to removed content from their websites following anti-Putin protests deemed illegal. Both companies were fined as a result. Donahoe wonders how long these companies should bear fines.

“How much should they be willing to pay out before leaving the country?” Donahoe asks. “Is it better or worse for the community if Twitter and Google are forced to leave Russia?”

Google was forced out of China in the early 2010s over a dispute regarding censorship and search results.

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China

Huawei’s Success In China A Win For Washington, Expert Says

The Chinese telecom giant is finding greater financial success on home turf, keeping it away from the U.S.

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Photo of Scott Malcomson via Inc.com

May 27, 2021—China’s utilization of digital tools and its export to developing countries poses a serious threat to human rights agendas and the global order of democracy, according to Eileen Donahoe, executive director of Stanford University’s Digital Policy Incubator.

Donahoe said Wednesday that dictators and autocrats are capitalizing on digital resources to better repress and control their own people. Ethiopia shut down its internet nationwide last summer to quell protests demanding justice for the killing of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. The Myanmar military has used social media to spread disinformation and sway public opinion throughout the Rohingya genocide. China has used its growing digital infrastructure to increase surveillance of its own citizens.

Steven Feldstein, author of The Rise of Digital Repression: How Technology Is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistance, says that developed countries are better equipped to use virtual assets to repress their citizens. However, countries like China are supplying these digital resources to underdeveloped countries.

In his book, Feldstein says there is little evidence of overt Chinese efforts to push other governments towards digital repression. However, Donahoe says, “China is pushing hard for governments to buy, in a more figurative sense, an entire model of digital authoritarianism as an alternative to democracy.”

She believes that underdeveloped democracies are fragile; repression is easy. If China supplies the technology that can be used for repression, emerging democracies (like Ethiopia) may sacrifice their democratic ideals in the name of control.

Domestic implications

Historically, information processing companies such as Google or Twitter have followed government takedown orders, regardless of the government’s motives. Recently, however, these companies have become increasingly bold in resisting such orders when the order clearly comes from a standpoint of political oppression.

For example, in the past few weeks, Google and Twitter both refused Russian orders to removed content from their websites following anti-Putin protests deemed illegal. Both companies were fined as a result. Donahoe wonders how long these companies should bear fines.

“How much should they be willing to pay out before leaving the country?” Donahoe asks. “Is it better or worse for the community if Twitter and Google are forced to leave Russia?”

Google was forced out of China in the early 2010s over a dispute regarding censorship and search results.

Continue Reading

China

Loopholes Allowing Private Purchase Of Chinese Goods Must Be Closed: Commissioner Carr

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Screenshot taken from CSIS event

May 27, 2021—China’s utilization of digital tools and its export to developing countries poses a serious threat to human rights agendas and the global order of democracy, according to Eileen Donahoe, executive director of Stanford University’s Digital Policy Incubator.

Donahoe said Wednesday that dictators and autocrats are capitalizing on digital resources to better repress and control their own people. Ethiopia shut down its internet nationwide last summer to quell protests demanding justice for the killing of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. The Myanmar military has used social media to spread disinformation and sway public opinion throughout the Rohingya genocide. China has used its growing digital infrastructure to increase surveillance of its own citizens.

Steven Feldstein, author of The Rise of Digital Repression: How Technology Is Reshaping Power, Politics, and Resistance, says that developed countries are better equipped to use virtual assets to repress their citizens. However, countries like China are supplying these digital resources to underdeveloped countries.

In his book, Feldstein says there is little evidence of overt Chinese efforts to push other governments towards digital repression. However, Donahoe says, “China is pushing hard for governments to buy, in a more figurative sense, an entire model of digital authoritarianism as an alternative to democracy.”

She believes that underdeveloped democracies are fragile; repression is easy. If China supplies the technology that can be used for repression, emerging democracies (like Ethiopia) may sacrifice their democratic ideals in the name of control.

Domestic implications

Historically, information processing companies such as Google or Twitter have followed government takedown orders, regardless of the government’s motives. Recently, however, these companies have become increasingly bold in resisting such orders when the order clearly comes from a standpoint of political oppression.

For example, in the past few weeks, Google and Twitter both refused Russian orders to removed content from their websites following anti-Putin protests deemed illegal. Both companies were fined as a result. Donahoe wonders how long these companies should bear fines.

“How much should they be willing to pay out before leaving the country?” Donahoe asks. “Is it better or worse for the community if Twitter and Google are forced to leave Russia?”

Google was forced out of China in the early 2010s over a dispute regarding censorship and search results.

Continue Reading

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