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Israel, Like China, Has Weaponized Surveillance Technology to Suppress Peaceful Dissent

Tech-enabled control of a persecuted population. Abusive facial recognition. Severe restrictions on movement. Branding peaceful dissent as “terrorism”. For many readers, the scenario brings to mind China’s mass human rights violations against…
A display shows surveillance technology capable of analyzing body motion for specific actions like fighting, theft or fall during Security China 2018 in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.
News

Still Major Emitter Despite Coal Phase Out Announcements

“Glasgow must be the COP that consigns coal to history.” Those were the words in July of Alok Sharma, president of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26). With world leaders gathered in Glasgow this week, the need to phase out coal has never…
Steam billows out of the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Huai'an in east China's Jiangsu province, July 20, 2021.
News

Demand — for lumber, meat, soybeans, and other goods — is driving deforestation around the world. And China is a major customer.

“We need to have deep reverence for nature,” China’s President Xi Jinping told a crucial summit on biodiversity earlier this month. Yet he failed to mention that the Chinese government allows the import of millions of tons of beef, soy, and…
Fires near Novo Progresso, Brazil on August 23, 2020, burned land deforested by cattle farmers.
News

Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
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Washington Needs to Offer an Alternative

Nearly every week, the international news media reports on the Chinese government’s troubling use of technology to spy on its own citizens and those of other countries. China’s tech giants, Foreign Policy reported late last year, work hand…
Chinese paramilitary police wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus stand guard near the portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Saturday, January 9, 2021. 
News

If you’re looking for proof that Big Tech never stood a chance against the Chinese Communist Party, here it is.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the country’s regulators to ramp up control on the internet economy in a speech on Monday, spelling more trouble for Chinese tech giants that have already been in the government’s crosshairs for their…
Photo by Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
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Beijing Blocks Clubhouse App to Stop ‘Political’ Conversations

On Monday night, Clubhouse, the red-hot app where people can create chatrooms that disappear after use, became inaccessible in China, presumably blocked by the authorities. Many had expected this to happen, but some were still surprised by how fast…
Logos of social media platforms including Clubhouse, center, are seen on an iPhone 12.
News

Arbitrary Detentions for Independent Reporting, Criticizing Government

(New York) – The Chinese authorities have stepped-up arbitrary detentions of journalists and activists reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues, or criticizing the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the beginning of…
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Letter to International Olympic Committee Urges Human Rights Risk Assessment

(New York) –The Chinese government’s heightened repression from Xinjiang to Hong Kong threatens its hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. The…
Photo of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games logo in Zhangjiakou City where the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will take place, September 17, 2020, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, China. © 2020 Imaginechina via AP Images
News

Leaked List of Over 2,000 Detainees Demonstrates Automated Repression

(New York) – A big data program for policing in China’s Xinjiang region arbitrarily selects Turkic Muslims for possible detention, Human Rights Watch said today. A leaked list of over 2,000 detainees from Aksu prefecture provided to Human Rights Watch…
2020 Badiucao for Human Rights Watch
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Technical Difficulties - A ChinaFile Conversation

The U.S. and other governments should make decisions about Chinese tech companies based on human rights considerations, including the companies’ impact on the rights of people around the world—not just their own citizens. The Chinese companies…
A logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
News

Once it seemed inevitable that the internet would create a more open society. Now it’s fostering young nationalists.

In May, Wuhan Diary, the Chinese writer Fang Fang’s account of the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, was released in English by HarperCollins. Fang is no radical. She’s the former chairwoman of the Hubei Provincial Writers…
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Inside Terminus 2049: The Young Idealists Risking Everything to Beat Chinese Censorship

Readers of online materials from sources in China are often frustrated when they click on an interesting article—only to find it has been deleted by government censors. Sometimes only a few minutes elapse after an article is published before it…
Cai Wei and Chen Mei.
News
Zoom apparently has no qualms about censoring critics in China. In a statement, the company said, “We shut down the meetings instead of blocking the participants by country.” The company apologized for not doing a good job censoring international…
Signage at the headquarters of videoconferencing, remote work, and webinar technology company Zoom (ZM) in the Silicon Valley, San Jose, California, March 28, 2020.
News
  We used to worry about Terminator-type artificial intelligence robots dominating the human race, but what we are moving toward is more the opposite: humans are being turned into automatons with little freedom to decide what we do. Across…
A Chinese national flag flutters near surveillance cameras mounted on a lamp post in Beijing, March 15, 2019.
News

Government Response Hinged on Invasive New Surveillance Methods

“I thought the days when humans are ruled by machines and algorithms won’t happen for at least another 50 years. [But] this coronavirus epidemic has suddenly brought it on early,” a blogger on the popular Chinese forum Zhihu wrote. The blogger was…
A security guard monitors people through his augmented reality eyewear equipped with an infrared temperature detector in Hangzhou, China, March 24, 2020.
News

But Little Action Holding Beijing Accountable

“His wife wore veils.” “He has one more child than allowed by the family planning policy.” “He prayed after each meal.” These are some of the reasons people in Karakax County in Xinjiang, northwestern China, are being detained in “political…
Government social media post in April 2017 shows detainees in a political education camp in Lop County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang.
News

New Videos from Families of Activists Wrongfully Detained

(New York) – The Chinese government should immediately release activists, lawyers, and others arbitrarily detained for their work defending human rights and allow them to return to their families to celebrate Lunar New Year, Human Rights Watch said…
From left to right:  Yu Wensheng, Qin Yongpei, Ding Jiaxi
News

President Xi Faces Protests in Hong Kong, Global Outcry over Xinjiang

(New York) – The Chinese government’s heightened repression faced unprecedented resistance from Hong Kong people and growing criticisms from concerned governments, as the Chinese Communist Party marked the 70th anniversary of its rule, Human Rights…
Protesters march on a street during a rally against the extradition law proposal on June 9, 2019 in Hong Kong.
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