中美互联网论坛回信

This is a translation of a Human Rights Watch letter "To the CEOs of technology firms participating in the US-China Internet Industry Forum:". See more at: https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/supporting_resources/hrw_open_letter_re_us-china_internet_industry_forum.pdf

 

September 18, 2015 

2015年9月18日

关于美中网络产业论坛的信函

致参与本次美中网络产业论坛各科技公司首席执行官:

人权观察是一个国际非政府组织,监察并报导世界近90国的人权侵犯问题。我们纪录并倡导解决中国的人权侵犯逾二十年,并为维护网络言论自由作出同样努力已达十年。

 

我们谨此致函,关注各位即将在中国国家主席习近平和国家互联网信息办公室主任鲁炜赴华盛顿特区进行国事访问前,和他们共同出席9月22至23日在西雅图举行的美中网络产业论坛及相关会议。我们敦促各位利用这次机会要求习主席改变其扩大网络监控、审查和数据收集的政策,并要求他和其他领导人保护隐私权和其他网络人权。我们期待您的公司至少应借此场合公开承诺,不会重蹈某些西方网络公司的覆辙,协助中国政府侵犯言论自由和个人隐私。鉴于您的公司曾经强烈抨击美国政府大规模监控网络,面对中国当然也不应降低标准。

互联网在中国扮演着创造透明性和推动人权侵犯获得救济的关键角色。网络实际上已成为中国仅存的公共空间,让人民可以在一定限度内发泄怨愤、交流观点和批评政府。通过集体探讨公共事件,例如2015年的天津仓库爆炸或2011年的温州动车出轨,中国民众得以推动政府强化问责和透明度。

然而,自从习主席于2013年3月上任以后,他的政府对言论自由和尊重公民社会等基本人权展开十年来最大规模的打压。(注1)在习主席前任手中完成的中国互联网基础建设,本来就以国家高度管控与审查为目的,习主席上任后,更强调互联网失控可能“亡党亡国”。近年来,中国当局不仅持续修建网络“防火长城”,更走向全面规管国內网络空间以维护“网络空间主权”,禁止政府机关采用外国科技,以“网络安全”为由加强检查相关科技,强化网络审查机构,拘捕具影响力的博客,并严格限制网民利用虚拟专用网(VPN)浏览遭政府屏蔽的境外网站。中国政府已草拟完成新的《网络安全法》,规定无论境内或境外的网络运营商都必须实施内容审查,登录用户真实身份,将数据存储于境内,并协助政府监控。(注2)

中国政府长期采取的策略着重在保护中国境内网络公司,监测并处罚批评政府的网络言论,以及尽可能控制网上内容。如今它日益试图要求外国公司协助中国政府执行其安全与监控目标,并通过法律规定或“自愿”服从确保网络科技的“可控性”。

您的公司在美国向來扮演捍卫言论自由和隐私权的关键要角。我们十分赞许各位在斯诺登事件后为推动监控计划改革所做出的努力。我们也欣见许多公司以坚定立场抵制美国执法单位的要求,拒绝在您公司的产品中设置便于政府监控的“后门”。

我们不应忘记,外国科技公司对中国政府具有相当影响力。您的公司研发出世上最尖端的科技,中国政府非常需要利用它们促进国家的经济繁荣。

然而,近期的媒体报导令我们深感忧虑,有些美国公司正在考虑──甚至已经被迫接受──将中国用户数据存储在中国境内,以交换中国政府准入其市场。这种做法令人质疑这些公司未来如何应付调阅用户数据的要求,尤其是在一个隐私权在法律上或实务上缺乏充分保障,而且和平的政治异见被等同于颠覆政权的国家。一旦您的公司将用户数据存储在中国境内,您的公司将更难避免沦为中国政府打压言论的助力。(注3)

您的公司有责任尊重人权,避免公司运营导致人权侵犯。我们了解中国对您的公司而言是一个重要市场,但我们期盼您致力促进和保护中国人权,如同在美国一样。习主席的访问和美中网络产业论坛是绝佳的机会,表明您的公司捍卫隐私权和其他人权以及您拒绝成为政府监控共犯的立场,在中国和在美国同样坚定。

本人将乐于有机会与您讨论上述重大议题。

人权观察执行董事

肯尼思・罗斯  谨上

 

CC:

收件人:


Mr. Larry Page, Chief Executive Officer
Alphabet Inc.
Google Inc.

阿尔法貝特公司、谷歌公司首席执行官

赖瑞・佩吉先生

 

Mr. Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer- Designate
Google Inc.

谷歌公司候任首席执行官

桑达・皮采先生

 

Mr. Tim Cook , Chief Executive Officer
Apple Inc.

苹果公司首席执行官

提姆・库克先生

 

Mr. Chuck Robbins, Chief Executive Officer
Cisco Systems, Inc.

思科系统公司首席执行官

恰克・罗宾斯先生

 

Mr. John Chambers, Executive Chairman
Cisco Systems, Inc.

思科系统公司执行主席

约翰・钱伯斯先生

 

Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer
Facebook

脸书首席执行官

马克・祖伯格先生

 

Ms. Ginni Rometty, Chief Executive Officer
IBM Corporation

国际商业机器公司首席执行官

罗睿兰女士

 

Mr. Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer
Micosoft

微软公司首席执行官

萨蒂亚・纳德拉先生

 

Mr. Travis Kalanick, Chief Executive Officer
Uber Technologies, Inc.

优步科技公司首席执行官

崔维斯・卡兰尼克先生

 

[1] Human Rights Watch, World Report 2015 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2015), China Chapter, https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/china-and-tibet; Maya Wang, “Dispatches: Gagging the Critics in China,” August 21, 2015, http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/08/21/dispatches-gagging-critics-china; Maya Wang, “Dispatches: China Tightens Screws on Civil Society,” May 8, 2015, http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/05/08/dispatches-china-tightens-screws-civi... “China: Quashing Criticism at Home and Abroad,” Oxford University China Africa Network, May 27, 2014, http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/27/china-quashing-criticism-home-and-abr... 注1:人权观察,《2015世界人权报告》(纽约:人权观察,2015),中国专章,https://www.hrw.org/zh-hans/world-report/2015/country-chapters/268174;王松莲,〈时评:中国钳制批评言论〉,2015年8月21日,;王松莲,〈时评:中国收紧对公民社会控制〉,2015年5月8日,https://www.hrw.org/zh-hans/news/2015/05/11/270354

[2] “China: Proposed Cybersecurity Law Will Bolster Censorship,” Human Rights Watch news release, August 4, 2015, https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/08/04/china-proposed-cybersecurity-law-wil... 注2:〈中国:网络安全立法将助长言论审查〉,人权观察新闻稿,2015年8月4日,https://www.hrw.org/zh-hans/news/2015/08/12/280173

[3] Human Rights Watch, “Race to the Bottom”: Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship, August 2006, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/china0806/china0806webwcover.pdf.  注3:人权观察,〈趋劣竞争:企业掖助中国网络审查〉,2006年8月,http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/china0806/china0806webwcover.pdf

This is a translation of a Human Rights Watch letter "To the CEOs of technology firms participating in the US-China Internet Industry Forum:". See more at: https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/supporting_resources/hrw_open_letter_re_us-china_internet_industry_forum.pdf

 

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Mon, Aug 03, 2020

Announcing the Release of GreatFire Appmaker

GreatFire (https://en.greatfire.org/), a China-focused censorship monitoring organization, is proud to announce that we have developed and released a new anti-censorship tool that will enable any blocked media outlet, blogger, human rights group, or civil society organization to evade censors and get their content onto the phones of millions of readers and supporters in China and other countries that censor the Internet.

GreatFire has built an Android mobile app creator, called “GreatFire AppMaker”, that can be used by organizations to unblock their content for users in China and other countries. Organizations can visit a website (https://appmaker.greatfire.org/) which will compile an app that is branded with the organization’s own logo and will feature their own, formerly blocked content. The app will also contain a special, censorship-circumventing web browser so that users can access the uncensored World Wide Web. The apps will use multiple strategies, including machine learning, to evade advanced censorship tactics employed by the Chinese authorities.  This project will work equally well in other countries that have China-like censorship restrictions. For both organizations and end users, the apps will be free, fast, and extremely easy to use.

This project was inspired by China-based GreatFire’s first-hand experience with our own FreeBrowser app (https://freebrowser.org/en) and desire to help small NGOs who may not have the in-house expertise to circumvent Chinese censorship. GreatFire’s anti-censorship tools have worked in China when others do not. FreeBrowser directs Chinese internet users to normally censored stories from the app’s start page (http://manyvoices.news/).

Fri, Jul 24, 2020

Apple, anticompetition, and censorship

On July 20, 2020, GreatFire wrote to all 13 members of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, requesting a thorough examination into Apple’s practice of censorship of its App Store, and an investigation into how the company collaborates with the Chinese authorities to maintain its unique position as one of the few foreign tech companies operating profitably in the Chinese digital market.  

This letter was sent a week before Apple CEO TIm Cook will be called for questioning in front of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. The CEOs of Amazon, Google and Facebook will also be questioned on July 27, as part of the Committee’s ongoing investigation into competition in the digital marketplace.

This hearing offers an opportunity to detail to the Subcommittee how Apple uses its closed operating ecosystem to not only abuse its market position but also to deprive certain users, most notably those in China, of their right to download and use apps related to privacy, secure communication, and censorship circumvention.

We hope that U.S. House representatives agree with our view that Apple should not be allowed to do elsewhere what would be considered as unacceptable in the U.S. Chinese citizens are not second class citizens. Private companies such as Apple compromise themselves and their self-proclaimed values of freedom and privacy when they collaborate with the Chinese government and its censors.

Mon, Jun 10, 2019

Apple Censoring Tibetan Information in China

Apple has a long history of censorship when it comes to information about Tibet. In 2009, it was revealed that several apps related to the Dalai Lama were not available in the China App Store. The developers of these apps were not notified that their apps were removed. When confronted with these instances of censorship, an Apple spokesperson simply said that the company “continues to comply with local laws”.

In December, 2017, at a conference in China, when asked about working with the Chinese authorities to censor the Apple App Store, Tim Cook proclaimed:

"Your choice is: do you participate, or do you stand on the sideline and yell at how things should be. And my own view very strongly is you show up and you participate, you get in the arena because nothing ever changes from the sideline."

In the ten years since Apple was first criticized for working with the Chinese authorities to silence already marginalized voices, what has changed? Apple continues to strictly follow the censorship orders of the Chinese authorities. When does Tim Cook expect that his company will help to bring about positive change in China?

Based on data generated from https://applecensorship.com, Apple has now censored 29 popular Tibetan mobile applications in the China App Store. Tibetan-themed apps dealing with news, religious study, tourism, and even games are being censored by Apple. A full list of the censored apps appear below.

Thu, Jun 06, 2019

Report Shines Spotlight on Apple’s Censorship Practices in China

The newest Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index makes recommendations on what companies and governments need to do in order to improve the protection of internet users’ human rights around the world. Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) works to promote freedom of expression and privacy on the internet by creating global standards and incentives for companies to respect and protect users’ rights.

In their 2019 Accountability Index, RDR looks at the policies of 24 of the world’s most important internet companies in respect to freedom of expression and privacy and highlights the companies that have made improvements and those companies that need to do more. RDR notes that:

Insufficient transparency makes it easier for private parties, governments, and companies themselves to abuse their power over online speech and avoid accountability.

In particular, the report highlights how Apple has abused their power over online speech, and notes instances of this in China. According to the report, Apple has not disclosed data around the content that it removes from its App Store when faced with requests from the government authorities.

While [Apple] disclosed data about government requests to restrict accounts, it disclosed no data about content removal requests, such as requests to remove apps from its App Store. Apple revealed little about policies and practices affecting freedom of expression, scoring below all other U.S. companies in this category.

The report makes intelligent and sensible recommendations for governments. However, the recommendations also highlight how difficult it is to have these discussions with governments like China’s.

Thu, Nov 30, 2017

About those 674 apps that Apple censored in China

Apple opened the door on its censorship practices in China - but just a crack.
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