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Freedom of Speech in Retreat Globally

48 comments, 264 views, posted 9:30 pm 12/08/2019 in Politics by griffin
griffin has 15572 posts, 2187 threads, 539 points

Free speech and privacy on the wane across the world
Autocratic rule, increased media restrictions and use of mass surveillance affect almost half global population, researchers find

Nearly half the world’s people are living in countries where their freedom of speech and right to privacy are being eroded, researchers have found.

“Strongman” regimes seeking to squash voices of dissent and solidify political power are increasingly monitoring citizens through technology, cracking down on protests and jailing journalists, according to a ranking of 198 countries on issues including mass surveillance and data privacy.

The report, launched on Thursday by global risk analysis company Verisk Maplecroft, found that about 3.38bn people, or roughly 46% of the global population, live in countries deemed to be at “extreme risk” in relation to right to privacy and freedom of expression.

Out of 198 countries, 58 were categorised as “extreme risk” when it came to citizens’ right to privacy, a jump of 9% from 2017 levels.

The same number of countries were ranked as “extreme risk” in the report’s freedom of opinion and expression index. The rise from from 52 in 2017 to 58 in 2019 represents an increase of 11%.

However, just 28 countries were identified as “extreme risk” on the democratic governance index, which identifies and measures authoritarian regimes.

The figures represent a “worrying” trend in the global erosion of rights and freedoms that goes “beyond the most hardcore autocratic states”, the report says.

“This tells us that more countries are now prioritising control of the public narrative and the quashing of public dissent above the rights of citizens.”

The report highlights Cambodia, where national elections last year prompted Hun Sen, who has been the country’s prime minister for 34 years, to crack down on “fake news” by fining offenders and jailing them for two years. Hun Sen has also strangled dissenting speech online by extending cyber surveillance, and ordered all internet traffic to be transmitted through a state-owned data management centre.

China had the lowest aggregate score for both freedom of expression and right to privacy, according to the report. Home to one-fifth of the world’s internet users, the nation already faces the most severe internet restrictions. However, the study warns of the impact the 2020 rollout of the controversial social credit system – a mass surveillance and AI programme that gives citizens a social credit score based on their social, political and economic behaviour – could have, both within and beyond the country’s borders.

In Turkey, more journalists were jailed last year than in any other country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The government this week destroyed more than 300,000 books linked to the 2016 failed military coup; last year, a report from the Pen foundation found that 200 media outlets and publishing organisations had been shut down, 80 writers subjected to investigations and prosecutions, and more than 5,800 academics dismissed from 118 public universities.

Cambodia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Zambia have all dropped into the “extreme risk” in terms of right to privacy.

Countries that were classified as at “extreme risk’ on freedom of expression included Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Uganda and Venezuela.

Sofia Nazalya, Verisk Maplecroft’s human rights analyst, said Donald Trump’s increasingly authoritarian stance on media freedoms risked encouraging similar behaviours in other countries where freedom of expression and right to privacy are already the subject of concern.

“What’s happening with Trump and his anti-media stance is contradictory to how we think a leader of a democratic nation should act and it does set a dangerous precedent for other countries to be more open in criticising the press,” said Nazalya.

The report also underscored human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, where an estimated 1 million ethnic Uighurs have been held in detention centres. The report warns multinational companies of tainted apparel supply chains. China is the world’s largest producer of cotton, with three-quarters produced in Xinjiang, and the industry has been linked to forced labour.

Yet companies seeking to clean up their supply chains may find the process extremely difficult, said Nazalya.

“Conducting standard due diligence may prove problematic for the region, as the Chinese government will likely make any manufacturing that occurs in the region untraceable to other supply chains. This situation is fairly unique. It will pose a real challenge for companies as it constitutes a major reputational issue for those that are caught up.”

Extra Points Given by:

HariSeldon (5), Quaektem (5), tricpe (5)

Comments

0
3:18 am 15/08/2019

Quaektem

Quote by griffin:
Quote by Flee:
Show your work. If you have all the facts, show them.

Already did. You don't like 'em? Go pick your own, let me know how that works out fer ya.



Your own definition doesn't mention government once.

Just sayin'

0
6:00 am 15/08/2019

dr3n

If nobody can give a single example of something that they can't say because of censorship.. Then is there really an issue folks?

There seems to be a lot of angry people who are angry about something that they can't quite pin down or explain.. Or actually say...

2
7:34 am 15/08/2019

REALITY

Quote by dr3n:
If nobody can give a single example of something that they can't say because of censorship.. Then is there really an issue folks?

There seems to be a lot of angry people who are angry about something that they can't quite pin down or explain.. Or actually say...

The inability to openly criticise national origin, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability would probably be a good place to start.

0
8:16 am 15/08/2019

dr3n

oh.. so do you mean people cant openly say mean things or take the piss out of disabled people anymore?

but thats right tho isnt it? if there were a load of muslims at your kids school - standing at the gate every day calling all the kids white dogshit.. and telling them that they were all going to hell because they weren't muslim - and that they all needed beheading - you'd probably ask them to stop wouldn't you bud?

but... free speech..?

what about if some bloke repeatedly turns up at sports day and starts waving his willy around at the all kids - whilst declaring the virtues of his penis and how it ties into certain chapters of the bible and he has placards and everything under the guise of free speech.. is that ok too?

what if jeff epstein rises from the dead and creates a brand new tv show on how to groom and rape 13 year old girls and explains to the viewers exactly how to get away with it..? free speech yeah? still ok?

my line of thinking on free speech is like this.. i have free speech at home.. but.. if i go back tonight and tell my wife that her arse has definitely increased in size since we first met (many, many moons ago) then she would have my bollocks for earrings by tea time... so i wont, because a)im not a fucking idiot and b)i know saying that would hurt her feelings and would probably make her really upset.. doesnt mean i dont have free speech.. i just choose what i should and shouldnt say based on being a fucking grown up..

remember the bakers that wouldnt sell a cake to a gay couple? remember how many people on here were shouting and screaming that it was their right to refuse service?? and that was actual discrimination..! hahaha double standards much??

2
8:23 am 15/08/2019

REALITY

Quote by dr3n:
after all of these posts.. i still dont know what free speech is..

can someone explain what it is they think they aren't getting? or tell me what free speech covers please??

Well you did ask.

0
9:18 am 15/08/2019

dr3n

is it really as simple as people just want to be able to say racist things? is that what this is all about? if so then thats fine.. well.. you know what i mean.. its not..

but those same people should keep their traps shut when gay people want to buy a cake.. or ISIS are posting videos of goat raping and beheading white people - you cant just have free speech that only you agree with.. so that means willy waving at the school gates and pedo tv channels..

free speech is a great idea on paper.. but it doesn't work in real life...

but even then.. i still cant see how if somebody wanted to go online and post a video on how much they hated Muslims (for example) that they cant do that? put it up on imgur.. and if it gets took down put it up on tiktok.. and if it gets taken down from there then put it up on myspace or some other site that will host it..

nobody is stopping you from doing that.. they are just preventing you from putting it on the biggest sites who dont want that shite on them..

3
10:02 am 15/08/2019

REALITY

Free speech is like a piece of string, you can't keep cutting the end off without eventually running out of string.

REALITY 2019.

0
12:47 pm 15/08/2019

griffin

Quote by Quaektem:
Quote by griffin:
Quote by Flee:
Show your work. If you have all the facts, show them.

Already did. You don't like 'em? Go pick your own, let me know how that works out fer ya.


Your own definition doesn't mention government once.

Just sayin'

if you apply thought to the facts, it will become obvious.
Rational, logical thought, I mean.

2
1:58 pm 15/08/2019

Flee

Quote by dr3n:
If nobody can give a single example of something that they can't say because of censorship.. Then is there really an issue folks?

There seems to be a lot of angry people who are angry about something that they can't quite pin down or explain.. Or actually say...


I am only arguing one point. That private entities cannot censor. I have noted my opinion on free speech and that you aren't protected with a private entity. They can CENSOR whatever they like.

0
2:08 pm 15/08/2019

griffin

Quote by Flee:
They can CENSOR whatever they like.


All caps won't make this any correcter. Nice try, though.

Now excuse me, I'm going into my kitchen to LEGISLATE.

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2:43 pm 15/08/2019

dr3n

Quote by Flee:
I am only arguing one point. That private entities cannot censor.


and that is where you've got it wrong.. you know the firm you work for? go and put a post on twitter now about how the GM is fucking that fat lady from HR and that she's pregnant with his child.. But he wants her to have an abortion to keep it quiet and has offered her free McDonalds for life in exchange..

See how long it stays up for and time how long it takes until the firms solicitors give you a bell and tell you to take it down..

1
3:10 pm 15/08/2019

REALITY

2
4:22 pm 15/08/2019

Flee

Quote by dr3n:
Quote by Flee:
I am only arguing one point. That private entities cannot censor.

and that is where you've got it wrong.. you know the firm you work for? go and put a post on twitter now about how the GM is fucking that fat lady from HR and that she's pregnant with his child.. But he wants her to have an abortion to keep it quiet and has offered her free McDonalds for life in exchange..

See how long it stays up for and time how long it takes until the firms solicitors give you a bell and tell you to take it down..


What does any of that have to do with anything I've said? Do my comments not convey my point? I feel like it is stated well enough for anyone to understand.

2
4:26 pm 15/08/2019

Flee

To be clear ...

Governments can censor based on laws/rights.
Private entities can censor based on whateverthefuck they want.

Both censor. I've not once mentioned anything else.

0
4:33 pm 15/08/2019

griffin

Quote by Flee:
Private entities can censor based on whateverthefuck they want.


No they can't.

0
6:10 pm 15/08/2019

dr3n

yeah im getting that they can and they cant from you mate.. i dunno - perhaps its just the way its reading or something.. or the way im reading it..

anyway..

the bit that i am still trying to get to/understand is:

where is freedom of speech being impacted in your life..? what is it you cant say that you think you should be able to say? what is being said *and* censored that shouldn't be?

genuinely fascinated to know mate...

2
11:45 pm 15/08/2019

Quaektem

Quote by dr3n:
remember the bakers that wouldnt sell a cake to a gay couple? remember how many people on here were shouting and screaming that it was their right to refuse service?? and that was actual discrimination..! hahaha double standards much??



No... None of us are saying corporations don't have the right to censor, just fighting the absurdity that they can't (or don't) censor.

My only concern about Facebook/Google/Youtube is size and influence. At what point does a company become a utility, and at that point what should access to the modern equivalent of a town square look like?

The demise of Myspace, AOL and Yahoo tell me that things are bound to shift and new companies will rise to dominance (as long as anti-trust laws start preventing them from being consumed by the Alphabet monster). In this case, government intervention (outside of enforcing business, privacy and campaign laws) are not really necessary as people will shift to platforms that have better terms of service. If Alphabet keeps buying up their competitors while branching into ever more forms of media distribution (*cough* Disney *cough), there might be a point where we risk a Technocracy.

2
12:01 am 16/08/2019

Quaektem

Quote by dr3n:
where is freedom of speech being impacted in your life..? what is it you cant say that you think you should be able to say? what is being said *and* censored that shouldn't be?



Personally I am not affected, but so far what I want to say (other than on this site) isn't causing problems. The only thing that comes close is when I say that Islam is a horrible religion that is a threat to women, homosexuals, Jews and pagans and followers of that religion should be called out on it (as should the WBC and other religious and race-based groups).

I know that the Canadian law that compels the use of gendered pronouns is something that isn't that far away in America, and that would certainly impact me.

My issue is where it ends. I manage to keep my anti-Islamic opinions off FB (well, pretty much ALL of my opinions) and use it as a nessesary evil required to maintain social networks. I would love to see something better, but that's what my communities want to use. FB has become like my cell phone, I resent it... but it's something I have to have.

This isn't an original thought... I can't remember the source: Those who will not stand up for the freedoms of those they most disagree with don't deserve those freedoms.

I think the First Amendment allows people to be all kinds of ugly things. I think they should be able to express those things in ways that don't impose on others. Yelling at people, blocking their path, gathering in a mob around private homes or businesses are not appropriate applications of free speech, some are basically assault and should be treated as such (and yes, I am including the assholes that protest and block people at abortion clinics). If you want a mass protest, do it legally and at a public location. You want to scream and rant about *insert group* do it at home with your friends.

0
6:05 am 16/08/2019

dr3n

Thank you! That was what I was looking for..

0
3:44 pm 16/08/2019

Flee

Quote by dr3n:
yeah im getting that they can and they cant from you mate.. i dunno - perhaps its just the way its reading or something.. or the way im reading it..

anyway..

the bit that i am still trying to get to/understand is:

where is freedom of speech being impacted in your life..? what is it you cant say that you think you should be able to say? what is being said *and* censored that shouldn't be?

genuinely fascinated to know mate...


I never indicated freedom of speech being impacted. Griffin said that private entities can't censor, and I said they can. Not sure where you think I commented on anything about freedom of speech(apart from it not being protected with private entities. aka, they can delete a comment just because they feel like it or based on their personal guidelines), or anything I've said was being infringed upon.

Or course there are laws to prevent a private entity from censoring certain things(they can censor it, but may face legal consequences) but outside of those laws, they can do what they want with respect to a users contributions.

We have done it here many times, just because someone is an asshole.

0
6:19 pm 16/08/2019

griffin

Quote by Flee:
I never indicated freedom of speech being impacted.


Then there is no censorship. That is pretty much a central point of censorship.

2
7:28 pm 16/08/2019

Flee

Swing and a miss. I never spoke of any specific censorship. Only who can and cannot censor, but specifically who can.

Do you argue for the sake of arguing?

0
7:29 pm 16/08/2019

griffin

Quote by Flee:
Do you argue for the sake of arguing?


I correct.

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