The Longest Now


Awkward deadpan rant: China reviews human rights within the US
Wednesday May 30th 2012, 7:00 am
Filed under: indescribable,international,Not so popular,null,Uncategorized

This document is difficult to read.  It is a Chinese government doc trying with awkward sincerity to review human rights in the US by our own standards, most of which the authors clearly find arbitrary.

It’s like a baby wikipedia article: full of random tidbits that happen to have been published somewhere online.  With a mix of real issues and rumors, minimal context, axe-grinding, and undue weight to whatever attracted media attention.  It lacks the measure and professionalism of the US report it is responding to (though it gets partial credit for making a handwave at its sources, which our reports should do much more of).

But it does point out one oversight in our list of country reports: we do not publish an internal report on developments within the US in the same format — though the relevant data is gathered by other parts of government. This made me wonder: what sorts of reports do we put out?  Could we remedy that?  I was also reminded that plans to set up an umbrella national human rights institution have come and gone… were any still under active consideration?

So I checked: the closest thing we have to such a report is the quadrennial self-assessment of human rights that we compile (as every UN member should) as part of the UNHRC’s  “universal periodic review” process.  What I found was enlightening and surprising, though not always encouraging.  It is worth its own review; stay tuned for a future recap.



Censorship wars in China
Wednesday January 13th 2010, 4:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Google uncensors itself in China, and is playing hardball, prepared to be blocked there. This is officially a reaction to the latest revelation of snooping by highly-trained Chinese crackers.

What will other companies do or think?  Facebook for instance is officially pro-openness, and don’t feel they store much private data.   Nevertheless, they may start caring about the same issues of data security once they expand more into stricter regimes and users of their services start to disappear.




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