November 2, 2018
The Chinese government has carried out a global campaign to disseminate its oppressive internet policies and digital surveillance tools, hosting seminars on cyber censorship with officials from at least three-dozen countries over the past two years, according to a new report.
In its annual study of internet openness, Freedom House, a democracy and human rights watchdog, warned Chinese efforts to spread its “digital authoritarianism” pose a threat to an open internet and the spread of democracy across the world.
Authoritarian governments have justified tighter internet restrictions and reduced privacy protections by contending the policies help counter fake news and data hacks. This pretext has also enabled countries to commit human rights abuses, such as jailing government critics and blocking foreign social media sites.
Freedom House research director Adrian Shahbaz, who authored the report, said China is working to create a network of countries that will impose its internet censorship model. Since early 2017, Chinese officials have led weeks-long seminars on censorship and surveillance with representatives from 35 of the 65 countries assessed by Freedom House. Government officials representing countries from the Middle East and Southeast Asia were most prevalent at these sessions.
This article was posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 at 7:05 am