Technology

Classic Internet Censorship – The New York Times

I want us to consider the impact of this new reality: in three of the four most populous countries in the world, the government has now given itself the power to order the Internet to delete messages of citizens that the authorities do not like.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous and democratic country, is in the process of implementing what civil rights groups say is too broad a rule to require the removal of online speech that authorities deem disturbing to society or public order. Most major internet companies, including Google, Meta, Netflix, TikTok, Apple and Twitter have effectively agreed to abide by the rules, for now.

Indonesia’s regulation is another sign that strict online controls are on the way. is not limited to self-governing countries such as China, Iran, North Korea and Myanmar. They are also increasingly the land of democracies that want to use the law and the Internet to shape the discourse and beliefs of citizens.

In a free society, there has been an incitement to war longer than free speech and its limits. But one of the enduring questions of the online era is what governments, digital companies and citizens should do now that the Internet and social media make it easier for people to share the truth (or their lies) with the world and be attractive to the nation. Leader to close it all.

What is happening in three of the four largest countries in the world are China, India and Indonesia. cheer; The United States is the 3rd largest – it’s simpler than that. It fits the classic definition of censorship. Governments are seeking to silence their outside critics.

Indonesian officials say their new rules are necessary to protect privacy. of people, remove online media that promotes child sexual abuse or terrorism, and Make the Internet a welcoming place for everyone.

Governments sometimes have legitimate reasons to regulate what happens online, such as preventing the spread of harmful misinformation. But Dhevy Sivaprakasam, Asia Pacific policy adviser for the global digital rights group Access Now, said Indonesia’s rules are a trump card used by the government to stifle journalists and citizen protests, with few checks on that power.

The rules require all types of digital companies, including social media sites, digital payment companies and video game and messaging apps to continuously scan for illegal online material and take it down within hours if discovered. Officials also have the right to request user information, including public communications and financial transactions. Companies that do not comply with the law can be fined or forced to stop operating in the country.

Indonesia’s new and unimplemented regulations “raise serious concerns” “For freedom of expression, association, information, privacy and security,” said Sivaprakasam. me

Access Now has also called for other internet censorship laws in Asia, including in Vietnam, Bangladesh and India.

(My colleagues reported today that the Indian government has withdrawn a proposal on data protection that some privacy advocates and lawmakers say would give authorities too much power over personal data, while exempting law enforcement agencies and public organizations from the law’s requirements.)

It is very complicated trying to decide what to do about these laws. Companies in technology and other industries tend to say that they must comply with the laws of the countries in which they operate, but they sometimes push back, or even withdraw from countries such as Russia, arguing that the law or the interpretation of the government. They violate the basic freedom of the people.

Access Now and other rights groups say the company should not bow to what they say are violations of international human rights and other standards in Indonesia.

America’s internet company executives have said privately that the US government should do more to stand up to excessive government control of online expression, instead of leaving it up to Google, Apple, Meta and Twitter alone. They said that American companies should not be put in a position of trying to cover To protect the citizens of other countries freely from abuse by their own government.

Of course, there is the less obvious question of whether the government should have a say in what the public announces, when and how. Countries like Germany and Turkey have state controls on online information, employed in the name of suppressing hateful ideology or maintaining social health. Not everyone in those countries agrees that those are reasonable restrictions on the Internet, or agrees on how restrictions should be interpreted or enforced.

The U.S. Supreme Court may soon weigh in on whether the First Amendment allows government authorities to regulate expression on Facebook and other large social media sites, which currently make those decisions largely on their own.

The original, utopian idea of ​​the Internet was that it would help break down national borders and give citizens the ability they never had before to challenge their government. We’ve seen versions of that, but then the government wants more control over what happens online. “Governments have a lot of power, and they don’t like to be displaced,” Mishi Choudhary, a lawyer who works on internet users’ rights in India, told me last year.

Therefore, our challenge is to enable governments to act in the public interest to determine what happens online when necessary, while requiring them to leave when officials use this right to maintain their own power.


Tip of the week

Are you looking to buy a used computer, phone or other device? It’s great to save money and be kind to the planet – as long as you don’t buy lemons. Brian X. ChenConsumer technology reporter for The New York Times, has his own story about buying used products the smart way.

Recently, my wife needed a new iPad Pro to create sketches, and maybe send the occasional email. I grimaced.

The largest version of the tablet costs $1,100. Add an Apple Pencil for on-screen drawing ($130) and a keyboard ($100 or more), and we’ll spend $1,330. Instead, I did some work and bought everything used. My price is 720 dollars. This is how I do it.

I started by looking for used iPad Pro devices on eBay. The 2021 model is still priced — $850 or more. The 2020 version is less. I ended up buying an iPad Pro 12.9 inch 2020 with 256 gigabytes for $600. That’s about half the price of the new model with less data storage.

I am careful. I purchased an iPad described as being in “good condition” from a seller with reviews. 100 percent positive. The seller also includes a one-year warranty and a 30-day return policy. To my delight, the iPad arrived the next day and looked new.

I couldn’t find a good deal on an Apple Pencil on eBay or Craigslist, but I did on Facebook Marketplace. I found a seller who lives near me with five star reviews. His profile shows a picture of him with his girlfriend, and he was very polite in our conversation. I feel comfortable. We met during lunch in the parking lot of a taqueria, and I paid him $70 via Venmo.

The last step is to buy a keyboard. Apple sells its own model, but I chose one from Logitech. I found one on Amazon that was listed in “like new” condition, meaning the keyboard was previously purchased and returned with an open box. It’s $50, compared to $115 for a new one. When the keyboard arrived, it looked great and worked well.

Bottom line: There is an art to buying used. There is some risk involved, but you can reduce your chances of getting ripped off by looking for online sellers with high ratings, generous return policies, and product warranties. And when it comes to transactions in person, have a sense for good vibes – and found in public. The money saved is worth it to me.

Should you buy a refurbished phone? (Consumer Reports)

  • They also compared their soldiers to a losing football team: On Chinese social media, many people took the rare step of mocking their own government for failing to do so. Take military action to stop President Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. My colleague Li Yuan writes that the internet backlash has shown that the nationalism promoted by the Chinese Communist Party can turn against the government.

  • Buyer beware: People looking for weight loss treatment have many options for telehealth companies. Stat News reports that virtual options can be a good thing, but experts are still concerned that some sites are ineffective or use prescriptions for profit.

  • We have feelings About the sound: Twitter’s app now makes loud and alien-like noises when people reload their feed. Input Mag explores why sound is so important in technology and product design.

Check this out Hungry goats do a good job destroying invasive plants. (I’ve shared videos of goats in New York’s Riverside Park before, but I just can’t get enough of them.)


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