“I don’t think that there are many tragedies in China and there are no serious problems in china as long as you don’t fuck with the government“; that’s what John Perry Barlow said when Ido Kenan, Jonathan Silber and I interviewed him on August 2007. Barlow was enchanted by china so much that it seemed to forget that we have an inherent right to fuck with our government.
However, if you see Hillary Clinton‘s attack on China which marks the shot for the next world wide war, the war on information freedom, you need to think twice. Indeed, the alleged actions by China were hideous. Entering into a dissident’s email account and exploing zero-day vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer (the same browser that the Israeli Government requires people to use in order to interact with it) and Adobe’s Acrobat Reader is no less than troubling. However, Clinton’s rage on the involvement, censorship of political websites that try to undermine the government and reading personal emails was that it was blocking free trade. Therefore, China’s response was no less obvious: China reckons that Clinton (and Google) should obey the local laws, which include China’s ability to monitor and enforce the net.
Whether Clinton (and Google) are right, and whether China is right, one should still see Clinton’s hypocrisy.
During the same week where the United States decides to pick on China, we discover that the FBI made warrentless surveillance and obtained data illegally claiming that these activities were made against terror suspects. The US also performs warrantless and causeless searches in laptops when crossing the US border, copies their content and violates the privacy of those who enter the US, and even without need for cause. Meaning, the United States’ conduct is no different than China; The only difference is that the US performs this due to rules and regulations and China hacks.
“It is easier for the United States to point at China and say that they have a human-rights problem than to look at themselves”, Barlow said. But the Democracy residing in Zion is not innocent. When we blame China and stand next to our greatest friend we have to remember what Israel has been doing during the last year. Just last year we buried the Internet Censorship act, and now a new bill by Danny Danon threatens the freedom of the net, where the bill, if passed, will allow the Israeli government to shut down websites harming the Government’s stability, or sites which risk national security. More than that, the MetaData act in Israel allows the same crimes we blame China: our phone and Internet providers must provide the government with details about their users.
Israel already addmitted searching Mordechai Vanunun‘s computer when violating the law and tapping his emails; the same actions China made and is being blamed for; we just call these actions “National Security”