Red Alert

Posts Tagged ‘hillary clinton’

We need greater transparency and freedom

Posted by on January 26th, 2010

Transparency in trade negotiations and internet freedom have taken centre stage internationally which I believe has important implications for NZ.

The New Zealand negotiators for ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, have now said publicly that “New Zealand is calling for greater transparency in negotiations”. In December, MED held two briefings on ACTA, these slides have been made available.

ACTA is currently being negotiated in secrecy. New Zealand is participating in the discussions along with Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Red Alert posted on this before Xmas.

The NZ Herald reported in November that while the US government claims ACTA is about counterfeiting rather than major changes to copyright law, and shouldn’t be subject to public scrutiny, leaked versions of ACTA discussion papers seemed to indicate that copyright lobby organisations may have in fact turned treaty negotiations to suit their own agenda.

At the moment it seems like many of the countries are saying they’re calling for more transparency but they have to get the others to agree. The big question is, is this a tactic, to make it look as though they take it seriously, or is it real?

 The next round of ACTA negotiations kick off today in Guadalajara, Mexico today.  Transparency is on the agenda in Mexico, but it remains to be seen whether it will eventuate. It remains to be seen whether our negotiators from MED and MFAT mean it.

In the meantime, ‘Internet Freedom’ has now become a playing card in US foreign policy, in particular with regards to China and other oppressive regimes.

This has immediate implications for New Zealand, with regards to termination of people’s internet connections for copyright infringement which is included in the revised version of Section 92A of the Copyright Act and is considered by some to be included in ACTA drafts.

In her recent and significant speech on Internet Freedom, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:

“the freedom to connect – the idea that governments should not prevent people from connecting to the internet, to websites, or to each other. The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly in cyber space.”

I’ve been writing quite a bit about this and thinking about the wider issue of the right of our citizens to equitably access the internet (which implies that they shouldn’t be cut off from access)

Hillary Clinton also said:

“The private sector has a shared responsibility to help safeguard free expression. And when their business dealings threaten to undermine this freedom, they need to consider what’s right, not simply the prospect of quick profits.”

 The full text of Hilary Clinton’s speech is here.

I’ll be watching how the ACTA negotiations play out.


Racism & Hate – Remove it from FB or I’m Gone..

Posted by on January 25th, 2010

I’ve just discovered this group has been established on facebook. What’s interesting is that it’s been set up to pressure the Facebook administration into removing FB Groups that incite Racism & Hate of any kind. Consumer pressure. Wonder if it’ll have an effect.

The blurb states that such FB groups have been allowed to grow unchecked. The threat is that people will leave if these groups are allowed to persist. I haven’t come across any myself.

But I think it’s interesting, especially in light of Hillary Clinton’s speech on internet freedom delivered last Friday morning where she said:

Some countries have erected electronic barriers that prevent their people from accessing portions of the world’s networks. They’ve expunged words, names, and phrases from search engine results. They have violated the privacy of citizens who engage in non-violent political speech. These actions contravene the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which tells us that all people have the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” With the spread of these restrictive practices, a new information curtain is descending across much of the world…

…all societies recognize that free expression has its limits. We do not tolerate those who incite others to violence, such as the agents of al-Qaida who are, at this moment, using the internet to promote the mass murder of innocent people across the world. And hate speech that targets individuals on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation is reprehensible. It is an unfortunate fact that these issues are both growing challenges that the international community must confront together.

Wonder what Facebook has to say about this?

More on Hillary’s speech coming.


Hillary Clinton major address on internet freedom

Posted by on January 21st, 2010

Just received this notification:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver a major policy address on Internet freedom live from the Newseum in Washington, D.C. January 21, 2010, 9.30am EST, Friday 3.30AM NZ time.  Secretary Clinton will lay-out the Administration’s strategy for protecting freedom in the networked age of the 21st Century.

Following her speech, there will be a panel discussion on this issue. To participate, either by watching a high quality video stream of the speech and panel discussion or by submitting questions and comments while viewing go to: http://netfreedom.state.gov. From here, you may choose the high quality video option or the interactive CO.NX room. As always, no password is necessary. Enter as a guest and type the username of your choice.

For further information please visit http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/01/135379.htm

Information is also available at America.gov’s feature page on Internet Freedom. You can also follow the speech on Twitter: http://twitter.com/us_mission_nz

When released, a transcript of Secretary Clinton’s remarks will be available at http://newzealand.usembassy.gov/


Google threat on China gets Clinton support

Posted by on January 14th, 2010

This is interesting. Just discovered this piece in The Australian about US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “please explain” to the Chinese Govt over Google allegations that it’s been the subject of cyber attacks resulting in the theft of intellectual property.

The Australian reports that:

The attack was also made on about 20 large corporations operating in China and the company says it has evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Hillary is looking for an explanation from the Chinese government. She says:

The ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy.

I will be giving an address next week on the centrality of Internet freedom in the 21st century, and we will have further comment on this matter as the facts become clear.

That’s interesting, as she’ll be here around that time. The whole internet censorship issue is one that we need to pay close attention to.

Update: a quick google search shows this is a developing story. Interested in your thoughts as it means a pullout of China will have implications for the Chinese internet users.


Beatson on reason for clinton visit – our agricultural expertise

Posted by on January 13th, 2010

David Beatson has been around the National Party side of politics and the media. His Pundit take on why Hillary Clinton is coming here is worth a read.

His thesis is that she is going to ask us to use some of our agricultural expertise to help wean Afghanistan off opium poppies.