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Showing posts with the label democracy

China deployed "Great Cannon" to take down Hong Kong pro-democracy website LIHKG

PRC and Hong Kong flags (photo by Alan Mak via Wikimedia Commons) China has deployed the so-called "Great Cannon" tool to launch a malware attack aimed at taking offline Hong Kong's popular pro-democracy website LIHKG , according to a report published by AT&T Cybersecurity. The Great Cannon is a "distributed denial of service tool (“DDoS”) that operates by injecting malicious Javascript into pages served from behind the Great Firewall ", the report states. "These scripts, potentially served to millions of users across the internet, hijack the users’ connections to make multiple requests against the targeted site. These requests consume all the resources of the targeted site, making it unavailable," the report adds. LIHKG is an online forum launched in November 2016. During the anti-extradition bill protests it became popular among Hong Kong activists , which used it as a platform to discuss politics and organize protests. On August

Hungary censors Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International - And why the European Union needs to stand up

Orban rally in 2012 (photo by Derzs Elekes Andor  via Wikimedia Commons) On November 29 Hungarian news outlet Nepszava reported that MTVA, Hungary's government controlled news agency, ordered its staff to ban statements from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch . Censorship of human rights-related content is yet another step towards authoritarianism in the country. Freedom House ranks Hungary as "partly free", giving it a score of 70 out of 100. "Hungary’s status declined from Free to Partly Free due to sustained attacks on the country’s democratic institutions by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, which has used its parliamentary supermajority to impose restrictions on or assert control over the opposition, the media, religious groups, academia, NGOs, the courts, asylum seekers, and the private sector since 2010," Freedom House writes in a 2019 report. The Council of the European Union (EU) will hold a hearing on Article 7 proceedin

The Putin-proof golden rule to combat Russia's active measures - stop trashing each other

Kremlin, Moscow (by Минеева Ю. [Julmin] , retouched by Surendil via Wikimedia Commons)) In his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election Special Counsel Robert Mueller described how Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA) spread propaganda and disinformation and manipulated American public opinion through the use of social media. "The IRA conducted social media operations targeted at large U.S. audiences with the goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system," the document stated. These operations are described by the report as "active measures," a term that refers to the Russian intelligence's methods of propaganda and subversion directed at foreign governments. Originally, the phrase was used in the context of the Soviet Union's secret service, the KGB, but its practice has continued after the fall of the Soviet Union and has once again become a central part of Moscow's strategy. Oleg Kalugin , a f

European far right leaders gather in Yalta to defend Russia's Crimea policy

Yalta, Crimea (by Marcin Konsek via Wikimedia Commons ) In early April the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin notified the German government that 22 individuals, including five lawmakers of the far right, anti-EU Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, and two of the socialist Left party, planned on attending the Yalta International Economic Forum in Russia.  The 5th Yalta International Economic Forum titled "World. Russia. Crimea. New Global Reality" took place in the Crimean city of Yalta on April 17 - 20 for the purpose of attracting investment and promoting relations between Russia and foreign politicians willing to accept Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.  At a conference held within the framework of the Forum, Head and Prime Minister of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov urged Friends of Crimea clubs to consolidate efforts to lift sactions imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea.   "We saw how many allies we have," Aksyonov said. "Toda

Singapore as a pioneer of capitalist authoritarianism

On July 18, 2010, British author Alan Shadrake was arrested in Singapore , two days after the country's attorney general had submitted an affidavit recommending his prosecution on charges of "scandaliz[ing] the Singapore Judiciary." The 75-yeard-old Shadrake had arrived in Singapore to promote his book ' Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock ’, which uncovered alleged bias in the implementation of the madantatory death penalty for drug trafficking by the judicial system. Police detained him after a complaint was lodged by Singapore's Media Development Authority. On November 3, 2010, Alan Shadrake was convicted for "scandalizing the judiciary." Singapore’s attorney-general argued that "public confidence in the Singapore Judiciary cannot be allowed, in any way, to be tarnished or diminished by any contumacious behaviour." The defendant claimed that his book amounted to "fair criticism on matters of compelling public inte

Venezuela, China, And The New Failure Of Western Foreign Policy

2017 Venezuela protests (by Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons) On January 23 United States president Donald Trump recognized Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president. The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela. https://t.co/WItWPiG9jK — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2019 Opposition leader Guaidó had previously declared himself interim president in an attempt to remove from office incumbent president Nicolas Maduro. Other countries, including Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and other South American governments , soon joined the United States in recognizing Guaidó as Venezuela's president. The European Union released a statement calling "for the start of an immediate political process leading to free and credible elections, in conf

Chinese Dissident Zhang Jilin Detained By Police In Chongqing After Calling On Xi Jinping To Resign

Portrait of Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Square (photo by Rabs003 via Wikimedia Commons) Chinese dissident Zhang Jilin (张吉林) has been detained by police in the city of Chongqing after publicly saying that President Xi Jinping should be removed from office. According to Taiwan-based Apple Daily , on January 17 Zhang talked about China's current affairs on a WeChat group. His ideas received praise from the group members, and he later told friends that he wanted to give a public speech based on the thoughts he had expressed online. Other dissidents urged him to be careful, but he insisted that he had "the right to free speech." On January 19 Zhang went to Guanyinqiao Square, in the city of Chongqing, and delivered a speech about China 's political situation, calling on Xi Jinping to be removed from office. "I think it's time for Xi Jinping to be removed from office," Zhang told a crowd according to an audio recording. "The Chinese Comm