Life Inside China’s Total Surveillance State 2018

Life Inside China’s Total Surveillance State

China has turned the northwestern region of Xinjiang into a vast experiment in domestic surveillance. WSJ investigated what life is like in a place where one’s every move can be monitored with cutting-edge technology. Video: Clément Bürge/WSJ; Image: DeepGlint





Case has “enormous potential fallout for free speech online”


A Canadian man faces 6 months in jail for disagreeing with feminists on Twitter, a case that one journalist warns “could have enormous fallout for free speech.”

54-year-old Greg Elliott could be charged with criminal harassment simply for expressing his opposition to a campaign by activists Steph Guthrie and Heather Reilly to publicly shame a young man in Northern Ontario.

Father of four Elliott was arrested in 2012 and fired from his job as a graphic designer after he opposed Guthrie and Reilly’s plan to generate “hatred on the Internet” targeting the designer of an online video game which allowed players to simulate punching feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian in the face.

Elliott felt that the two activists’ plot to publicly shame the young man “was every bit as vicious as the face-punch game,” and could cause the young man to commit suicide, urging Guthrie and Reilly not to follow through.

Guthrie and Reilly then claimed that Elliott’s refusal to endorse the plot (he had previously helped Guthrie’s feminist group by offering to design a free poster), represented “criminal harassment.”

Under Canada’s draconian anti-harassment laws, the victim merely has to claim that the offending conduct made them “fear for their safety.”

In other words, if Elliott is convicted, feminists in Canada could claim that anyone who disagrees with or offends them is engaging in “criminal harassment” and demand they be sent to prison.

Guthrie and Reilly also claimed that Elliott was engaging in harassment merely for tagging them in tweets. At no point did Elliott make any remarks directed at the two that could be construed as sexual harassment, hate speech, or violent rhetoric, according to Toronto Police Detective Jeff Bangild.

The very worst comment that Elliott made in reference to the activists was a tweet in which he indirectly referred to the women as “fat” and “ugly”.

The National Post’s Christie Blatchford writes that the ruling, expected to be made on October 6, will have, “enormous potential fallout for free speech online.”

The notion that someone could be arrested and incarcerated for engaging in vigorous online debate “will have a chilling effect on people’s ability to communicate, and not just on Twitter,” said Elliott’s attorney Chris Murphy.

The astounding thing about this case is that Elliott himself was clearly subjected to harassment by Guthrie and Reilly when the two activists sent him a barrage of hateful tweets. Another supporter of Guthrie and Reilly even pretended to be a 13-year-old girl to try and portray Elliott as a pedophile.

“If anybody was being criminally harassed in this case, it was my client, it was Mr. Elliott,” Murphy told Ontario Court Judge Brent Knazan.

Guthrie and Reilly also met in August 2012 to discuss how they would attempt to disparage Elliott.

“That was a conspiracy to commit a criminal offence … they were conspiring to go out and publicly shame Mr. Elliott,” said Murphy.

This case once again illustrates how politics is downstream from culture. The sewer pipe of social justice warrior mental illness, once restricted to the dark recesses of Tumblr and Twitter, is now infecting law and government – posing a direct threat to free speech.

It’s bad enough that Twitter acquiesces to contrived hate mob outrage and bans prominent anti-feministsfrom its social media network, but to actually send people to prison for politely expressing disagreement with feminists represents a staggering lurch into unbridled authoritarianism.




BRICS bank opens for operations in Shanghai

BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has opened for operations in Shanghai, and will seek to deploy its $50 billion initial capital to fund infrastructure and sustainable development projects.

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong and NDB chief Kundapur Vaman Kamath  attended the ceremony, China Radio International reported.

At the inauguration ceremony Jiwei was quick to point out that NDB will serve as a complement to the existing international financial system and would focus its efforts on innovation and governance. The same message was echoed by Vaman Kamath.

“Our objective is not to challenge the existing system as it is but to improve and complement the system in our own way,” NDB President Kundapur Vaman Kamath said.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim also welcomed the launch of the bank, saying the institutions have common goals.

“We are ready to work closely with the BRICS New Development Bank and other infrastructure banks, to share our knowledge and to co-finance infrastructure projects. Such partnerships will be essential to achieve our common goals: to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, improve the well-being and reduce the inequalities,” he said.

International affairs expert Sreeram Chaulia was more radical in his comments to RT, saying the bank would be a counterbalance to the Western-led development institutions.

“We needed something that would counter the hegemony of the Bretton Woods institutions that have been defining the global financial architecture for the last 60 years. I think it’s a huge new player and rightly it’s called New Development Bank, as the BRICS bank is formally called,” he said.

The agreement to establish the NDB was signed by the BRICS member states – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – during the group’s sixth summit in Fortaleza, Brazil in July 2014. The main purpose of the new finance infrastructure is to promote sustainable development in BRICS states.

Each BRICS member is expected to put an equal share into establishing the startup capital of $50 billion with a goal of it reaching $100 billion. Besides the creation of the $100 billion BRICS Development Bank, the member states also established a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 billion.

READ MORE: BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency pool to cut out Western dominance

NDB’s $100 billion pool, called the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), is designed to assist member countries at times of currency liquidity crises.

Brazil, India and Russia will each contribute $18 billion to the CRA. South Africa is set to contribute $5 billion. China will be responsible for the largest share of the CRA after contributing $41 billion to the bank.

BRICS represents 42 percent of the world’s population and roughly 20 percent of the world’s economy based on GDP, and 30 percent of the world’s GDP based on PPP, a more accurate reading of the real economy. Total trade between the countries is $6.14 trillion, or nearly 17 percent of the world’s total.


BBC ‘Newsnight’ Asks Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich About His Ostriches

In an interview with BBC “Newsnight” on Monday, former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich defended himself against claims that he used his position as leader to embezzle state funds in the years preceding the Maidan protests that ended his rule in early 2014.

Speaking in Moscow where he fled after demonstrators overran his residence on the outskirts of Kiev, Yanukovich denied the allegations of corruption, claiming he bought his opulent estate with his own money.

Protesters who raided the property found finery, trappings of wealth and even a private zoo replete with a collection of live ostriches, animals Yanukovich said he was “supporting” despite them living on a “separate territory” near to his house.

When cornered on the issue by the BBC journalist, the former president said he “didn’t have time to be” at his property, even though he does “love animals.”


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Cyber sanctions: US threatens China over hack attacks ahead of Xi Jinping talks with Obama

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s US tour might leave a nasty aftertaste after Washington threatened Beijing with economic sanctions over alleged hacker attacks against American business entities.

Xi is touring the US ahead of negotiations with Obama, meeting senior business figures and securing huge deals, but the US administration has an agenda of its own and does not limit itself with formal ceremonies.

The recent cyber scandal at the Office of Personnel Management, already dubbed the biggest government hack in US history, when the agency admitted the hackers gained access to 5.6 million fingerprint records, has pushed the US administration to decisive steps.

“This is not just a matter of us being mildly upset, but is something that will put significant strains on the bilateral relationship if not resolved,” President Obama said.

Obama’s press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday presidential office is considering economic sanctions against Chinese individuals and entities claiming they profited from the results of the hacks made in the US networks.

“I will just say that we have made clear our concerns about China’s activity in cyberspace,” the Guardian cited Earnest as saying. “There are a range of tools that are at the president’s disposal to respond to those concerns. We do believe that having those tools on the table, including possible financial sanctions, have been effective as a deterrent and in advancing our interest in that regard.”

And in case anyone doubts America’s hacking capabilities, President Obama said that “Although the Chinese and Russians are close, we’re still the best at this,” adding that if the US goes on the offense, “a whole bunch of countries would have some significant problems.”

READ MORE: Will ‘interests outweigh obstacles’ in US-China relationship?

Punishing alleged international cybercrime with economic sanctions is a newsflash and the White House might become a pioneer in that undertaking. China has consistently denied all cybercrime allegations.


Traditions mean a lot in the East, where hosting high-ranking guests is an honor and responsibility. The threat of sanctions comes just as the guest has crossed the US threshold. Earnest has also accused Chinese officials of unfairness, promising to pay “particular attention to China’s behavior and their conduct,” because, as he told the White House press corps, “Their actions are more important than their words.”

The number of irritants in China-US relations appears to be growing steadily, with Washington and Beijing trading accusations about many issues for years. Cybercrime has always been positioned high on the list of bilateral accusations.

As the world’s superpower (the US) and the world’s emerging superpower (China), the two are locking horns diplomatically, commercially and to a certain extent militarily everywhere possible.

With China having territorial disputes with most of its neighbors, the US is rigorously backing Beijing’s opponents and arming them, also sending additional troops and military hardware to the region in order to challenge China’s claims in the South China Sea.

READ MORE: ‘Cold War mentality’: Beijing slams new US military strategy over South China Sea

For example Beijing has a territorial dispute with Tokyo over a group of Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands in Chinese) in the South China Sea, with Washington maintaining naval presence in the region.

READ MORE: ‘US military rhetoric is really aimed at Beijing’

“As a large country with a powerful military, you can’t move around and push your little neighbors around just because you’re bigger,” Obama said. The statement raised some eyebrows because that’s exactly what many think the US does.

In turn, China pays little to none attention to Washington’s critics over Beijing’s constructing artificial islands and facilities in disputed waters in the South China Sea.


With China preparing to replace the US as the world’s leading economy, every piece of economic news from Beijing is met with a nervous reaction from Washington.

READ MORE: ‘Scapegoating’ China: Is US Fed to blame for market crisis or is Beijing ‘exporting pain’?

Such was the case with the announcement of China planning to launch its own crude oil benchmark denominated in yuan, not US dollars.

In one case, the US and China have become rivals at a continental level. In Africa they compete over resources, in which Beijing has been investing for years now, establishing a secure African foothold.

Unlike the traditional international investment, China invests in Africa in a flexible way, opting to do business on an equal partnership basis without interfering in the internal affairs of the respective countries. The US opts for a more confrontational approach, forming the AFRICOM military command and moving drone bases there.

READ MORE: US interests in Africa: Four things you need to know

Washington and Beijing have accumulated tons of outstanding sensitive issues and whether President Xi’s visit is going to solve at least some of them is to be seen soon, with the respective leaders preparing to test their personal ties this Friday.


Chariots of the Gods – Erich Von Däniken

Chariots of the Gods -The Series is based on the books of Erich von Däniken who more than twenty years ago first presented his theory of extraterrestrial contact with the ancient world – a theory so incredible yet so logical that it has become part of a wide ranging debate that continues stronger today.

His examination of ancient ruins, forgotten texts, and other archeological anomalies points to evidence of extraterrestrial intervention in human history. Most incredible of all are von Däniken’s claims that we ourselves are descendants of these galactic pioneers and that the evidence is out there to lead us to them. Chariots of the Gods follows the adventures of the team who will attempt to do just that.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 106A-117 of the US Copyright Law.




Inside The Dark Web

Twenty-five years after the World Wide Web was created, the issue of surveillance has become the greatest controversy of its existence. With many concerned that governments and corporations can monitor people’s every move, this programme meets hackers and scientists who are using technology to fight back, as well as the law enforcement officers who believe it’s leading to opportunities for risk-free crimes.

With contributors including World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange.