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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

How the Chinese Communist Party uses "Chinese culture" as an excuse to justify its crimes

Shanghai, Nanjing Road (photo by Agnieszka Bojczuk via Wikimedia Commons ) Since its founding in 1921 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has mastered the art of propaganda and recruitment of individuals both inside and outside the country who are willing to cooperate with it and further its interests - a practice known as "united front work". "United front work" refers to the CCP's strategy of cooptation of groups or individuals that are not members of the CCP but are willing to cooperate with it. Cooptation describes the process of bringing outsiders (usually the resource-poorer) inside (usually the resource-richer) ( Saward , 1992). An example of this strategy is the case of former Hong Kong's Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. Prior to the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Tung Chee-hwa had close ties with the government of Taiwan. However, after his shipping company ran into financial trouble and

Washington Post correspondent in China Gerry Shih assaulted for walking with Caucasian European

Gerry Shih, a China-based correspondent for the Washington Post, was assaulted on a Beijing street for "walking with a Caucasian European," according to a Tweet he posted on November 29. The assailants allegedly shouted at them: "F*** your American embassy!" Sign of the times: roughed up in Beijing street tonight for walking with Caucasian European. Neither of us said we were American but their parting shot was “操你美国使馆” pic.twitter.com/ekPLNsLBnj — Gerry Shih (@gerryshih) November 29, 2019 In recent years the Chinese Communist regime has intensified its anti-foreign rhetoric as Xi Jinping has sought to consolidate the power of the Party and rid China of perceived "foreign influence". Foreigners in China have been targeted by the government and anti-foreign sentiment has been enouraged. This year arrests and deportations of foreign teachers in China have increased amid a government campaign to promote "patriotic education." An inc

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg - Who Claimed That China's Xi Jinping Is Not A Dictator - Now Wants To Run For President

Michael Bloomberg (image by AFGE  via Wikimedia Commons) Billionaire business mogul and ex-mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg is reportedly preparing to enter the Democratic presidential primary  . Last March Bloomberg had ruled out running for president, but he is now "increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned" to defeat President Trump, as his adviser Howard Wolfson told NPR. Wolfson was a high-profile aide on Hillary Clinton's 2008 primary campaign. What exactly prompted Bloomberg to change his mind is not clear, but it is possible that he feels increasingly concerned about the rise of left-wing candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Other wealthy individuals, like Bill Gates, have recently expressed their opposition to wealth tax plans. Bloomberg's entry into the primary race clearly shows what is wrong with the American political system, dominated by elites who think that the US gover

Did China or Automation Lead to US De-industrialization?

West Exit of Zhengzhou East Railway Station. Zhengzhou, in China's Henan province, is famous for its "iPhone City" (photo by  Windmemories   via Wikimedia Commons) Automation has become a major topic of debate in the United States. A recent study by Oxford Economics claimed that robots could take over 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world by 2030. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has made the fight against automation's disruption of the labour market one of the central themes of his campaign. "Technology is quickly displacing a large number of workers, and the pace will only increase as automation and other forms of artificial intelligence become more advanced," Yang wrote on his campaign website. "⅓ of American workers will lose their jobs to automation by 2030 according to McKinsey. This has the potential to destabilize our economy and society if unaddressed." Amid Donald Trump's "trade war" with

There Is No Such Thing As A Free Market

New York City Stock Exchange (by LeoTar, via Wikimedia Commons) In mainstream economics free markets are considered the linchpin of a free and prosperous economic and political system. As t he  CATO Institute , a think tank "dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace", explains in his website: "To survive and to flourish, individuals need to engage in economic activity. The right to property entails the right to exchange property by mutual agreement.  Free markets  are the economic system of free individuals, and they are necessary to create wealth. Libertarians believe that people will be both freer and more prosperous if government intervention in people’s economic choices is minimized." However, the concept of "free market" is nothing but a construct created by ideologues more interested in abstract theories than in practical analysis. Indeed, what are "free markets"? As ec