By ShareAmerica December 18, 2019 The Chinese government continues to be the worst abuser of internet freedom, according to the 2019 Freedom on the Net report, released in November. Its oppressive censorship is increasingly affecting people outside of China.For the fourth year in a row, Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world, named Beijing as having the most controlled, most oppressive, and least free internet in the world.“The level of internet freedom in China also reached its lowest point since the inception of the Freedom on the Net report,” the report stated. “Censorship and surveillance were pushed to unprecedented extremes as the government enhanced its information controls.”The Chinese government censors the internet to block dissent and to maintain its control over its population. The U.S. State Department estimated in a 2018 report that Beijing directly employs tens of thousands of people to monitor electronic communications and online content. Private internet companies, acting on the government’s orders, employ thousands more to police users.“The Chinese Communist Party’s [CCP] violations of internet freedom are clear evidence that CCP officials care more about maintaining their grip on power than they do about the well-being of their own citizens,” said Annie Boyajian, director of advocacy at Freedom House, in an interview.The United States is in fifth place out of the 65 countries surveyed in the report, tied with the United Kingdom and Australia. China is in last place at 65th.Censorship abroadBeijing’s censorship is increasingly affecting people outside of China because of the CCP’s influence over Chinese technology companies that have developed apps used worldwide.“Not only does the Chinese government restrict internet access, surveil internet users and spread propaganda within China’s own borders, it is also stepping up efforts to expand this digital authoritarianism beyond China as well,” Boyajian said.WeChat is the most popular social network app in China, and Chinese diaspora communities around the globe use it. Many who live outside of China are shocked that the Chinese government apparently monitors and censors what they can and cannot say. For example:–An American in Texas had his account shut down for discussing the recent election in Hong Kong, where most pro-Beijing candidates lost.–A Canadian member of parliament had a message to her Canadian constituents deleted by Chinese censors in 2017 for discussing democracy protests.–A doctor in America had his ability to post articles to chat groups suspended for posting too many political articles. When he returned to posting articles about music, his permission returned.If a user outside of China is “communicating with somebody else who’s outside of China who has WeChat, [then] they’re still for the most part often operating under the rules that are inside China,” Sarah Cook, a researcher for Freedom House, told National Public Radio.Another popular Chinese app is TikTok. A teen in New Jersey recently had her account suspended after uploading a video to TikTok about the Chinese government’s persecution of the Uighurs.TikTok denied that the suspension was related to the video. However, documents revealed by The Guardian show that TikTok has a history of censoring topics that the Chinese government objects to.The issue of internet censorship and online repression is especially relevant at a time when China is trying to sell the future of mobile internet to the world through 5G networks. “The Chinese Communist Party can force any 5G supplier headquartered in China to turn over data and take other actions in secret,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said December 2.
Fianna Fáil is urging residents and businesses across Letterkenny to make their voices heard at a meeting opposing the abolition of Letterkenny Town Council.Cllr Ciaran BroganThe cross-party meeting, arranged by public representatives from all sides, takes place at Public Service Centre in Letterkenny at 7pm on Tuesday, 05 November.Fianna Fáil Leader on Donegal County Council Ciarán Brogan said the loss of Letterkenny town council would be a major blow to Donegal. “Letterkenny is a role model town council. It has taken the lead in developing Letterkenny and making the town a more attractive place to live in and to work in, and a more attractive place for investors,” said Cllr Brogan.“Letterkenny was one of the first town councils in the country to hire a litter warden and to have its own town gardener. It has an excellent working relationship with Donegal County Council, resulting in significant investment in local amenities, such as Bernard McGlinchy park, Ballymacool park, Ballyboe park and Aura Leisure Centre. It works closely with sporting organisations and the community, operating 90 residents’ associations,” explained Cllr Brogan.“The town structure has served this community well and there is no doubt that Letterkenny would not be where it is if it wasn’t for the council working on behalf of the community. But now the Government now wants to bulldoze through this. It wants to abolish the system where local decisions are made by local people.“This Tuesday, Letterkenny has an opportunity to speak with one voice and demand that our town council is retained. We need to strengthen democracy in Donegal, not weaken it. We need greater community input into the decisions that are made on our behalf. Letterkenny is the only cross-border gateway in the country and it needs the strong leadership that the council provides. “The Environment Minister Phil Hogan, who is leading the charge on abolishing town councils, is in Donegal on Thursday and Friday of next week. So far he has refused the council’s request to meet him about this extremely retrograde step. I am appealing to the Minister to facilitate a meeting with a cross-party delegation from Letterkenny Town Council while he is here. The very least he could do is hear them out.”FIANNA FAIL URGE PUBLIC TO ATTEND MEETING TO SAVE LETTERKENNY TOWN COUNCIL was last modified: November 1st, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Cllr Ciaran BroganLetterkenny Town Council