Author: satsu_jin

Western media play along in the disinformation game [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-6-30 20:22:14 |Display all floors
But McConnell isn’t the only threat to the open internet.

Just last week the National Telecommunications and Information Administration — the portion of the Commerce Department that has long overseen the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — said it was time for it to revoke its hands-off-the-internet policy.

That’s according to a February 24 speech by Assistant Commerce Secretary Lawrence E. Strickling.

In fact, “leaving the Internet alone” has been the nation’s internet policy since the internet was first commercialized in the mid-1990s. The primary government imperative then was just to get out of the way to encourage its growth. And the policy set forth in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was: “to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation.”

This was the right policy for the United States in the early stages of the Internet, and the right message to send to the rest of the world. But that was then and this is now.

Now the NTIA needs to start being active to prevent cyberattacks, privacy intrusions and copyright violations, according to Strickling. And since NTIA serves as one of the top advisers to the president on the internet, that stance should not be underestimated.

Add to that — a bill looming in the Senate would hand the president emergency powers over the internet — and you can see where all this is headed. And let the past be our guide.

Following years of the NSA illegally spying on Americans’ e-mails and phone calls as part of a secret anti-terrorism project, Congress voted to legalize the program in July 2008. That vote allowed the NSA to legally turn America’s portion of the internet into a giant listening device for the nation’s intelligence services. The new law also gave legal immunity to the telecoms like AT&T that helped the government illegally spy on American’s e-mails and internet use. Then-Senator Barack Obama voted for this legislation, despite earlier campaign promises to oppose it.

As anyone slightly versed in the internet knows, the net has flourished because no government has control over it.

But there are creeping signs of danger.

Where can this lead? Well, consider England, where a new bill targeting online file sharing will outlaw open internet connections at cafes or at home, in a bid to track piracy.

To be sure, we could see more demands by the government for surveillance capabilities and backdoors in routers and operating systems. Already, the feds successfully turned the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (a law mandating surveillance capabilities in telephone switches) into a tool requiring ISPs to build similar government-specified eavesdropping capabilities into their networks.

The NSA dreams of “living in the network,” and that’s what McConnell is calling for in his editorial/advertisement for his company. The NSA lost any credibility it had when it secretly violated American law and its most central tenet: “We don’t spy on Americans.”

Unfortunately, the private sector is ignoring that tenet and is helping the NSA and contractors like Booz Allen Hamilton worm their way into the innards of the net. Security companies make no fuss, since a scared populace and fear-induced federal spending means big bucks in bloated contracts. Google is no help either, recently turning to the NSA for help with its rather routine infiltration by hackers.

Make no mistake, the military industrial complex now has its eye on the internet. Generals want to train crack squads of hackers and have wet dreams of cyberwarfare. Never shy of extending its power, the military industrial complex wants to turn the internet into yet another venue for an arms race.

And it’s waging a psychological warfare campaign on the American people to make that so. The military industrial complex is backed by sensationalism, and a gullible and pageview-hungry media. Notable examples include the New York Times’s John “We Need a New Internet” Markoff, 60 Minutes’ “Hackers Took Down Brazilian Power Grid,” and the WSJ’s Siobhan Gorman, who ominously warned in an a piece lacking any verifiable evidence, that Chinese and Russian hackers are already hiding inside the U.S. electrical grid.

Now the question is: Which of these events can be turned into a Gulf of Tonkin-like fakery that can create enough fear to let the military and the government turn the open internet into a controlled, surveillance-friendly net.

What do they dream of? Think of the internet turning into a tightly monitored AOL circa the early ’90s, run by CEO Big Brother and COO Dr. Strangelove.

That’s what McConnell has in mind, and shame on The Washington Post and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee for giving McConnell venues to try to make that happen — without highlighting that McConnell has a serious financial stake in the outcome of this debate.

Of course, the net has security problems, and there are pirated movies and spam and botnets trying to steal credit card information.

But the online world mimics real life. Just as I know where online to buy a replica of a Coach handbag or watch a new release, I know exactly where I can go to find the same things in the city I live in. There are cons and rip-offs in the real world, just as there are online. I’m more likely to get ripped off by a restaurant server copying down the information on my credit card than I am having my card stolen and used for fraud while shopping online. “Top Secret” information is more likely to end up in the hands of a foreign government through an employee-turned-spy than from a hacker.

But cyber-anything is much scarier than the real world.

The NSA can help private companies and networks tighten up their security systems, as McConnell argues. In fact, they already do, and they should continue passing along advice and creating guides to locking down servers and releasing their own secure version of Linux. But companies like Google and AT&T have no business letting the NSA into their networks or giving the NSA information that they won’t share with the American people.

Security companies have long relied on creating fear in internet users by hyping the latest threat, whether that be Conficker or the latest PDF flaw. And now they are reaping billions of dollars in security contracts from the federal government for their PR efforts. But the industry and its most influential voices need to take a hard look at the consequences of that strategy and start talking truth to power’s claims that we are losing some non-existent cyberwar.

The internet is a hack that seems forever on the edge of falling apart. For awhile, spam looked like it was going to kill e-mail, the net’s first killer app. But smart filters have reduced the problem to a minor nuisance as anyone with a Gmail account can tell you. That’s how the internet survives. The apocalypse looks like it’s coming and it never does, but meanwhile, it becomes more and more useful to our everyday lives, spreading innovation, weird culture, news, commerce and healthy dissent.

But one thing it hasn’t spread is “cyberwar.” There is no cyberwar and we are not losing it. The only war going on is one for the soul of the internet. But if journalists, bloggers and the security industry continue to let self-interested exaggerators dominate our nation’s discourse about online security, we will lose that war — and the open internet will be its biggest casualty.

UPDATE: In an interesting coincidence, the Obama administration unclassified on Tuesday portions of the secret Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative it inherited from President Bush, including unclassified summaries all of the 12 initiatives. Note the veiled references to deterrence. See Threat Level’s report from the RSA conference on the release.

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Post time 2010-6-30 21:00:18 |Display all floors
Originally posted by ZhangKuang at 2010-6-28 18:04
w ww.gregoryclark.n et

He promotes himself with a huge "personal web site" - a "one-man-show", with biographical essays like this:

"deadlocked in Canberra"

a ...


A frustrated diplomat .......................

Are you eluding to yourself here ..............................  ?   

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Post time 2010-7-1 00:52:53 |Display all floors


It's always good to have open "critical" dialogues. Only with respect and tolerance for other's perspectives and opinions we can have this platform to understand the differences and work out disputes without referring to violence.

My main criticism towards the West in general is that this respect and tolerance are way too often missing and gives people the feeling that by claiming moral highgrounds these Westerners with the "Western media" as the main mouthpiece is trying to convert everyone in the world to one kind of thinking, the Western style of liberal democracy ideology & values.

Why I and many others would keep on insisting calling out "Western media", and most oftenly not specifying it? Maybe specifying it to the "established Western Mainstream Media" would give Western observers more air. Anyhow, why still all this generalization? This is because overall speaking this so-called plurality and wide range of "free media" are having certain aspects in common, which it is harder to understand for Western observers. (Needly to say, this is changing rapidly).
Maybe a paragraph out of a more recent article can illustrate it,and in line with my experiences:
”Media channels – especially those dispatching their news from various Western capitals - focus not simply on sensational news, but they also intentionally sensationalize news, and purposely relay the news so as to be understood within Western contexts. Thus ‘democracy’, ‘elections’, ‘government restrictions’ and ‘terrorism’ are the usual buzzwords. “

Source: ht-tp://

Key in this is "purposely relay the news so as to be understood within Western contexts."  It is difficult not to generalize all these Western Mainstream Media, which although occassionally does have some excellent articles in it, that it in general will always present the news and to be understood within the Western cultural contexts. No matter if it is the far left or far right. It gives the critical minded the perception that these Western media is merely a nicely dressed up and packaged mouthpiece of the official line of story-telling by what the Western authorities have decided on.  

Free media in the West is also very much to me and many others a term full of irony. It is hardly Free when the established Western Mainstream media is actually only owned by profit-seeking corporations. Another paragraph out of another article can express this again better than myself.
"Progressive activists and writers continually bemoan the fact that the news they generate and the opinions they express are consistently ignored by the mainstream media, and thus kept from the masses of the American people. This disregard of progressive thought is tantamount to a definition of the mainstream media. It doesn't have to be a conspiracy; it's a matter of who owns the mainstream media and the type of journalists they hire — men and women who would like to keep their jobs; so it's more insidious than a conspiracy, it's what's built into the system, it's how the system works. The disregard of the progressive world is of course not total; at times some of that world makes too good copy to ignore, and, on rare occasions, progressive ideas, when they threaten to become very popular, have to be countered."

Source: ht-tp://

Though I tend to ignore the rest of that article, one anecdote in this article can show some of our points even more clearly.
"At a White House press briefing concerning the same failed terrorist attack, conducted by Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan, veteran reporter Helen Thomas raised a question:

    Thomas: "What is really lacking always for us is you don't give the motivation of why they want to do us harm. ... What is the motivation? We never hear what you find out on why."

    Brennan: "Al Qaeda is an organization that is dedicated to murder and wanton slaughter of innocents. ... [They] attract individuals like Mr. Abdulmutallab and use them for these types of attacks. He was motivated by a sense of religious sort of drive. Unfortunately, al Qaeda has perverted Islam, and has corrupted the concept of Islam, so that [they're] able to attract these individuals. But al Qaeda has the agenda of destruction and death."

    Thomas: "And you're saying it's because of religion?"

    Brennan: "I'm saying it's because of an al Qaeda organization that uses the banner of religion in a very perverse and corrupt way."

    Thomas: "Why?"

    Brennan: "I think ... this is a long issue, but al Qaeda is just determined to carry out attacks here against the homeland."

    Thomas: "But you haven't explained why." [10]

American officials rarely even make the attempt to explain why. And American journalists rarely press them to explain why; certainly not like Helen Thomas does.

So Helen Thomas could be making an "excellent article", the question is how this is going to be presented to the public, if at all published. And maybe even screened out by "editors" from the media, just maybe because the news of the spokesman avoiding critical questions is not sensational and "profitable" enough. How many of these kinds of "excellent articles and reporters" are "censored" out because it is "not ing".

It is also not political correct to challenge the authority of the established line of thinking. "Why would you challenge and question the motivation of a 'known' terrorist group"? Next time, we can all bet on that Helen Thomas will have more difficult access to the White House, or difficulty in arranging interviews with officials who don't want to be looking stupid and tackling "critical" thoughts. Too often many of these reporters will just find the easy way out or create more sensational news to help their profit-seeking employers , what s is most important.

It is the whole system that is flawed, and objectivity is far to be found in the Western Mainstream Media, which is most often intentionally and/or subconsciously deriving the messages and information from a Western cultural perspective, no room for other world views. So how can we embrace and count on this "mono-plurality of illusionary Free Western Mainstream Media"?

Originally posted by in_ningbo at 2010-6-29 22:51
We probably disagree to which extent censorship of officials is self-serving, and what part is indeed benefitial for the countries development; but there must be more mechanisms for external (Chinese, but not official) questioning of government decisions to counter abuse of power and corruption. If the media is silenced on this it will not only be the loss of these people, but the public as well. Corruption is directly linked to poverty, and tackling corruption will be one of the major challenges and the media will have to play an increasing role here.

I fully agree with the need for accountability & verification mechanisms to avoid the abuse of power and corruption. This should be done by creating a similar institution as the ICAC in Hong Kong, hence there is a reason why Hu Jintao went to HK for case study how to fight corruption. Media can indeed play a role in this, and for the past few years we see a trend of more tolerance and embracing by Beijing for local media to help in the fighting of corruption. The internet is also becoming semi-official indirect platform for the people and public to be in touch with the officials who are in the continuous outlook to catch the corrupted ones.

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Post time 2010-7-1 01:21:13 |Display all floors

Western media has morphed into a disinformation and propaganda monster...Pt.2

From Media Reform Information Center; corporations dot org slash media

"In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. At the time, Ben Bagdikian was called "alarmist" for pointing this out in his book, The Media Monopoly. In his 4th edition, published in 1992, he wrote "in the U.S., fewer than two dozen of these extraordinary creatures own and operate 90% of the mass media" -- controlling almost all of America's newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, records, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies. He predicted then that eventually this number would fall to about half a dozen companies. This was greeted with skepticism at the time. When the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. More than 1 in 4 Internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time-Warner, the world's largest media corporation.

In 2004, Bagdikian's revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's NBC is a close sixth."

It should be noted that those 6 companies are International Conglomerates, in other words they have wide reaching influence around the world. Some posters argue that certain countries have an independent media. That's partly true but what influence do they have world wide compared to, say, CNN and the BBC? And for how long will these independent media be around? Remember that america boasted of 50 corporations controlling their media a mere 25 years ago. Now it's 6...

Further, where international politics is concerned it is the US that sets the tone for the west. That much is clear in Irag and Afghanistan and where many european countries timidly parrot the US line. Is one to believe that the US media (controlled by these 6 and which beat the war drums for the Pentagon ) have little or no influence in the media of all these other western countires? They do not set the tone to some degree as to what the media says? And what about the reporting of news about China? The US media had been largely negative for years, a childish attitude mimicked by Germany according to a recent article here on the pages of CD. Is Britain any different? Take a look at spiked online and it's special column 'Challenging China bashing' where the writers lambast the negative reporting about China, going so far as to accuse the British media of racism.

To what extent do they control what we hear and see? As recently as last week, Jesse ventura, former actor and governor of Minnesota was interviwed on an internet radio show. He told of his brief stint with MSNBC. Hired on a 3 year contract he was let go when MSNBC discovered that he was against the Iraqi war. Before that happened however, he discovered that he didn't have the right to discuss what he wanted on his own show. The topics were decided for him. On one memorable occasion he wanted to talk about the war but he was told that he had to talk about....Kobe Bryant (basketball player), and/or Laci Petersen (murder victim)...

In other words give them fluff! Pablum, disinformation, no informationa at all, propaganda, call it what you will. It amounts to the same thing...the west does not have an independent media and information is controlled....

The internet is the only true independent media remaining but now even that is under threat by the present "kill switch" legislation in the US...

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Post time 2010-7-1 01:47:52 |Display all floors

liuyedao, IchiNeSan and ganzhouli................

Many thanks for those very interesting thoughts.

The time you have put in will be lost on most.

But, for myself I am very much appreciative.

Thank you .................   

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Post time 2010-7-1 09:07:31 |Display all floors
Originally posted by tradervic at 2010-6-29 23:44

... having a "hissy fit" - given that P.R. Chinese investors are considering buying U.S. media outlets?

ht tp://w ww.impactlab.c om/2010/06/19/chinese-plan-to-acquire-u-s-media- ...

No idea why you posted it here. Although the bidder is a private company it was not allowed the purchase. Probably fear of an independent media, I assume.

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Post time 2010-7-1 11:22:50 |Display all floors

# 89

"Love to read"?

You mean that privately funded media is a prostitute.

Facts are always welcome.

Advertisers want penetration and coverage.

The buyers want sensation and speculation. (entertainment)

I don't think there is any room left for boring truths.

Just not sexy enough .........................  

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