China’s Xi says country will not close door to global Internet

China's President Xi Jinping has said the country will not close its door to the global Internet. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 03 December 2017
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China’s Xi says country will not close door to global Internet

WUZHEN, China: Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday the country will not close its door to the global Internet, but that cyber sovereignty is key in its vision of Internet development.
Xi’s comments were read by Huang Kunming, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s publicity department at the country’s largest public cyber policy forum in the town of Wuzhen in eastern China.
“The development of China’s cyberspace is entering a fast lane...China’s doors will only become more and more open,” said Xi in the note.
Cyber sovereignty is the idea that states should be permitted to manage and contain their own Internet without external interference.
China’s Communist Party has tightened cyber regulation in the past year, formalising new rules that require firms to store data locally and censor tools that allow users to subvert the Great Firewall.
In June, China introduced a new national cybersecurity law that requires foreign firms to store data locally and submit to data surveillance measures.
Cyber regulators say the laws are in line with international rules, and that they are designed to protect personal privacy and counter attacks on core infrastructure. Business groups say the rules unfairly target foreign firms.
China has advocated strongly for a larger role in global Internet governance under Xi.
“China stands ready to develop new rules and systems of Internet governance to serve all parties and counteract current imbalances,” said Wang Huning, a member of the Communist Party standing committee at the event on Sunday.
The conference, which is overseen by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) invited foreign executives, Apple Inc’s CEO Tim Cook and Google Inc. chief Sundar Pichai as well as a Facebook Inc. executive.
Google and Facebook are banned in China, along with Twitter Inc. and most major western news outlets.
Top executives from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. also attended the forum.


Facebook says it was ‘too slow’ to fight hate speech in Myanmar

Updated 16 August 2018
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Facebook says it was ‘too slow’ to fight hate speech in Myanmar

YANGON: Facebook has been “too slow” to address hate speech in Myanmar and is acting to remedy the problem by hiring more Burmese speakers and investing in technology to identify problematic content, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
The acknowledgement came a day after a Reuters investigation showed why the company has failed to stem a wave of vitriolic posts about the minority Rohingya.
Some 700,000 Rohingya fled their homes last year after an army crackdown that the United States denounced as ethnic cleansing. The Rohingya now live in teeming refugee camps in Bangladesh.
“The ethnic violence in Myanmar is horrific and we have been too slow to prevent misinformation and hate speech on Facebook,” Facebook said.
The Reuters story revealed the social media giant for years dedicated scant resources to combating hate speech in Myanmar, which is a market it dominates and where there have been repeated eruptions of ethnic violence.
In early 2015, for instance, there were only two people at Facebook who could speak Burmese monitoring problematic posts.
In Thursday’s statement, posted online, Facebook said it was using tools to automatically detect hate speech and hiring more Burmese-language speakers to review posts, following up on a pledge made by founder Mark Zuckerberg to US senators in April.
The company said that it had over 60 “Myanmar language experts” in June and plans to have at least 100 by the end of the year.
Reuters found more than 1,000 examples of posts, comments, images and videos denigrating and attacking the Rohingya and other Muslims that were on the social media platform as of last week.
Some of the material, which included pornographic anti-Muslim images, has been up on Facebook for as long as six years.
There are numerous posts that call the Rohingya and other Muslims dogs and rapists, and urge they be exterminated.
Facebook currently doesn’t have a single employee in Myanmar, relying instead on an outsourced, secretive operation in Kuala Lumpur – called Project Honey Badger – to monitor hate speech and other problematic posts, the Reuters investigation showed.
Because Facebook’s systems struggle to interpret Burmese script, the company is heavily dependent on users reporting hate speech in Myanmar.
Researchers and human rights activists say they have been warning Facebook for years about how its platform was being used to spread hatred against the Rohingya and other Muslims in Myanmar.
In its statement on Thursday, Facebook said it had banned a number of Myanmar hate figures and organizations from the platform.