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News News GREG BAKER / AFP China’s Cyber Censorship Figures RSF_en News Organisation News ChinaAsia – Pacific PredatorsFreedom of expressionInternet In the months prior to the Communist Party of China’s 19th Congress, which begins on 18 October, President Xi Jinping has been deploying a major arsenal of repressive measures against online social networks with the aim of perfecting the “Great Firewall” that censors the Internet in China. April 27, 2021 Find out more China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison October 9, 2017 Great Firewall of China closes loopholes to go further Receive email alerts June 2, 2021 Find out more Just weeks ahead of the Congress, which is expected to renew Xi’s mandate for another five years, the US encrypted messaging app WhatsApp suddenly began malfunctioning in China, in a sign that a new turning-point had been reached in the Party’s censorship. Use of WhatsApp had until then been tolerated.“Control of the Chinese Internet has grown day by day for more than a year,” said Cédric Alviani, the head of the East Asia bureau of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). “The president, who likes to call himself the New Helmsman in allusion to Mao Zedong, has established a very sophisticated system of information censorship and surveillance in recent years, one that has gone to a whole new level.”Since becoming president, Xi has proved to be a determined enemy of press freedom, pursuing complete control of the media in order protect China against what he calls the influence of “hostile foreign powers.”He began by “reorienting” journalists, who had cautiously tried to contribute to the social debate under his predecessor. Now their duties are restricted to the thankless task of relaying “the Party’s propaganda.” He then cracked down hard on bloggers who had taken up the torch of journalism.Industrial-scale surveillanceChat forums and social networks, on the other hand, had remained relatively spared. Sina Weibo, whose 340 million regular users exceed Twitter’s, and Tencent QQ and WeChat, which seem set to reach 1 billion accounts in the near future, had become spaces for free speech.The Chinese appreciated being able to chat with relative anonymity, which also allowed them to exchange information that was missing from the media. The evolving technology and inventiveness of its users limited the impact of censorship, which was mainly effectively in blocking foreign media and social networks such as Google and Facebook.This era may already be over. Under Xi, Internet censorship has reached industrial levels and has been combined with a formidable surveillance apparatus. According to official sources, China’s Internet espionage apparatus employs two million people, one mole for every 374 Internet users.The WeChat social network has rightly acquired a reputation for being a police Trojan horse. Since last year, information gathered from WeChat, including conversation detail, can officially be used as prosecution evidence in trials.To make matters worse, the Cyberspace Administration of China, an entity personally supervised by the president, has in recent months deployed a range of chilling measures directly targeting China’s 750 million Internet users.End of Internet anonymitySince last week, the moderators of discussion groups on social networks such as WeChat have been held personally responsible for “unhealthy or illegal information” and any content that “distorts the history of China and the Party, misinterprets policy directives and promotes abnormal values.” The definitions are so broad that almost any discussion could be concerned.Many discussion groups are expected to disband of their own accord. In those that continue, the moderators will undoubtedly be highly vigilant at all times to avoid problems.This latest provision reinforces already harsh regulations that, since June, have criminalized the “illegal publishing” of content and, since 2013, have exposed anyone posting questionable content that is reposted more than 500 times or is viewed more than 5,000 to the possibility of a three-year jail term.So, whenever Chinese Internet users are about to “like” or repost content, they will have to ask themselves whether it is compatible with Party doctrine or whether they want to run the risks involved.Recent changes have also sounded the knell for anonymity on the Chinese Internet. Since the start of the month, online communities are required to verify the identity of their users and to ban comments by unregistered visitors.Tencent, Sina and Baidu, China’s Internet giants, were slow to comply with this requirement, which is costly and complicated to implement, so the Cyberspace Administration of China imposed heavy fines on them to show who is boss.Suspended VPNsThere have been regular announcements of new Internet restrictions for more than a year now: a ban on streaming video or audio content without a special licence, closure of celebrity news sites regarded as frivolous and incompatible with the party line, a ban on foreign companies posting content online without a permit and a requirement that they store their data on servers in China they are easier to monitor.The next upcoming measure may be the most drastic one. The government has ordered telecom operators to put a stop to all Virtual Private Network services (VPNs) by next February. Millions of Chinese, including many researchers and businessmen, and most of China’s foreign residents use VPNs to bypass website blocking. If the VPN ban proves to be effective, the Great Firewall beloved of Xi will become an enhanced reality.The People’s Republic of China continues to be ranked 176th out of 180 countries in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index. Only Syria, Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea have even more disgraceful scores. Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes ChinaAsia – Pacific PredatorsFreedom of expressionInternet March 12, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on China Help by sharing this information read more
Homepage BannerNews Council asked to explain delay in providing public toilets and changing facilities in Rathmullan RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Pinterest Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th There are demands on Donegal County Council to explain the delay in providing public toilets and changing facilities in Rathmullan.Despite commitments being given that the facilities would be in place this year, its now expected to be 2018 before they are provided.Councillor Liam Blaney says he has constantly been given conflicting information on the issue and says the delays are a poor reflection on the workings of the council:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/RathmullanToilets10.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Google+ Pinterest By News Highland – March 11, 2017 Previous articleProtest organised to mark 40th anniversary of Mary Boyle’s disappearanceNext articleMinister for Health asked to urgently approve staff to support diabetes services at LUH News Highland Twitter WhatsApp Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Facebook Google+ 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North WhatsApp read more
Morgan Paige has seen her offensive role and responsibilities increase in the absence of 2012\’s leading scorer Taylor Wurtz.[/media-credit]The Wisconsin women’s basketball team was flying high as the fall semester came to a close, riding a four game win-streak into winter break after a 76-47 thrashing of Eastern Illinois at the UW Fieldhouse Dec. 15. But in a season beginning to resemble the 2008 Katy Perry hit song “Hot n Cold,” the Badgers have fallen off from their promising start to the season, losing seven of their last eight games, dropping Wisconsin’s record below .500 for the first time this season at 9-10 and 1-5 in Big Ten play.After The Badger Herald coverage ended for the semester, Wisconsin continued its winning ways at home when it defeated Florida Atlantic in overtime 82-73 Dec. 10. Trailing by two with nine seconds remaining in the second half, Morgan Paige sank two free throws to tie the game at 69. Florida Atlantic missed the ensuing shot and the game went to overtime. Wisconsin then outscored the Owls 13-4 in the extra session with Jacki Gulczynski leading the way, as she recorded her first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Paige gashed the Owls for 28 points.Then came Wisconsin’s “Return to the Fieldhouse,” where it had not played since the Kohl Center opened in 1998. The confines of the Fieldhouse proved to be just as friendly as they were back in the “old days,” as Wisconsin dominated Eastern Illinois with Gulczynski leading the way, scoring 24 points and recording yet another double-double while Paige and freshman Nicole Bauman dropped 16 and 15 points a piece, respectively.Badgers lose Wurtz, Brown to injuriesHowever, just as Wisconsin looked on track to rebound from its tough season a year ago, it got bad news, and ironically enough, doubly bad news. After playing in the first five games, senior guard Taylor Wurtz, largely considered the best offensive player on the Badgers team after averaging 16.1 points per game in 2011-12, had not played since and during break.Finally putting an end to the speculation of a potential return, Wurtz elected to take a medical redshirt to have surgery to repair back issues that had been ailing her all season on Dec. 31. Wurtz now faces a six to eight week recovery period for her injury after surgery and will gradually ease her way back through rehab for her return in 2013-14.As if losing its second-leading scorer wasn’t bad enough, sophomore AnnMarie Brown tore her right ACL in practice Dec. 18, further complicating Wisconsin’s depth issues. Brown was averaging 6.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest in 10 games before the injury.As a result of the two injuries and sophomore Lindsay Smith and freshman Makailah Dyer transferring out of the program earlier in the year, Wisconsin currently has only nine active players for the rest of the season.Wisconsin felt the combined absence of both players immediately as the Badgers fell to Green Bay 53-38 in the first game without the pair Dec 23. at the Kress Center. Once again Gulczynski recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double – her third in a row. But it was not enough as the Badgers struggled to score, shooting just 30 percent from the field and turning the ball over a catastrophic 25 times, a number that remains the highest of the season to date.The slippery slide of conference playIt appeared brighter days were on the horizon when the Badgers traveled to warm and sunny Miami for the Miami Holiday Tournament with Wisconsin’s thumping of Delaware State 83-54 in the first game. Four players recorded double-digits in scoring with Paige leading the way with 17 and junior Cassie Rochel missing a double-double by just two rebounds.But just a day later Wisconsin was beaten soundly by the hosts of the tournament, as Miami handled the Badgers 67-44. The game marked the beginning of Wisconsin’s six-game losing streak and displayed the team’s streaky shooting habits, as the Badgers made just 14 of their 58 attempted shots against the Hurricanes.Four days later, Wisconsin began Big Ten play with one of its tougher tests of the season on the road at Nebraska – one of this year’s favorites to win the Big Ten. Depth again proved to be a problem and the Cornhuskers outgunned the Badgers 70-52. The Badgers couldn’t find a way to slow down the Huskers’ Lindsey Moore, who torched the Badgers for 26 points.Wisconsin then returned to the Kohl Center for two consecutive games – where it averages 23 points better on offense compared to games on the road. But the homecoming turned sour when the Badgers fell to the Minnesota Gophers 60-55, despite a late run where Wisconsin went on a 13-6 run in the game’s final two minutes.In the final game of the two-game homestand, Wisconsin went shot-for-shot with Iowa until an eight-minute scoreless drought in the second half, which proved too much to overcome as UW lost once again 65-56 in another tough conference loss.Last Sunday, Wisconsin traveled to Michigan and the road woes continued for the Badger offense as they scored only 43 points in the 54-43 loss. Then in its game last Thursday against No. 8 Penn State, Wisconsin was clearly outmatched and its offense struggled yet again as the Badgers were trounced 84-40.Despite the recent losing streak, a bright spot for the Badgers has been Gulczynski’s play, who has scored 10 or more points in 11 straight games for the Badgers, including four double-doubles. And although Wisconsin lost six straight, it still matched its number of wins from a season ago with a win this past Sunday over Ohio State. read more