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China Spying On Internet Use In Hotels

China Spying On Internet Use In Hotels

AP
July 29, 2008


Foreign-owned hotels in China face the prospect of “severe retaliation” if they refuse to install government software that can spy on Internet use by hotel guests coming to watch the summer Olympic games, a U.S. lawmaker said Tuesday.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., produced a translated version of a document from China’s Public Security Bureau that requires hotels to use the monitoring equipment.

“These hotels are justifiably outraged by this order, which puts them in the awkward position of having to craft pop-up messages explaining to their customers that their Web history, communications, searches and key strokes are being spied on by the Chinese government,” Brownback said at a news conference.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Brownback said several international hotel chains confirmed receiving the order from China’s Public Security Bureau. The hotels are in a bind, he said, because they don’t want to comply with the order, but also don’t want to jeopardize their investment of millions of dollars to expand their businesses in China. The hotel chains that forwarded the order to Brownback are declining to reveal their identities for fear of reprisal.

Earlier this year, the U.S. State Department issued a fact sheet warning travelers attending the Olympic games that “they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations” in China.

“All hotel rooms and offices are considered to be subject to on-site or remote technical monitoring at all times,” the agency states.

The Public Security Bureau order threatens that failure to comply could result in financial penalties, suspending access to the Internet or the loss of a license to operate a hotel in China.

“If you were a human rights advocate, if you’re a journalist, you’re in room 1251 of a hotel, anything that you use, sending out over the Internet is monitored in real time by the Chinese Public Security bureau,” Brownback said. “That’s not right. It’s not in the Olympic spirit.”

Brownback and other lawmakers have repeatedly denounced China’s record of human rights abuses and asked President Bush not to attend the Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing.

Brownback was introducing a resolution in the Senate on Tuesday that urges China to reverse its actions.

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China To Censor Internet During Olympics

AP
July 29, 2008

China will censor the Internet used by foreign media during the Olympics, an organising committee official confirmed Wednesday, reversing a pledge to offer complete media freedom at the games.

“During the Olympic Games we will provide sufficient access to the Internet for reporters,” said Sun Weide, spokesman for the organising committee.

He confirmed, however, that journalists would not be able to access information or websites connected to the Falungong spiritual movement which is banned in China.

Other sites were also unavailable to journalists, he said, without specifying which ones.

Olympic panel ends ban, says Iraq can go to games
http://home.peoplepc.com/..3421_1334520080729-294375139

China Hits Back At U.S. Stands Firm On Internet
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/2008073..sGtapUp0mOsYxUinOROrgF

Google Says Privacy Doesn’t Exist, Get Used To Everyone Knowing Everything About You
http://www.informationweek.com/b..R0QSNDLPSKHSCJUNN2JVN

 



Congress Quietly Approves Billions More for Iraq War

Congress Quietly Approves Billions More for Iraq War

The Nation
September 28, 2007

The Senate agreed on Thursday to increase the federal debt limit by $850 billion — from $8.965 trillion to $9.815 trillion — and then proceeded to approve a stop-gap spending bill that gives the Bush White House at least $9 billion in new funding for its war in Iraq.

Additionally, the administration has been given emergency authority to tap further into a $70 billion “bridge fund” to provide new infusions of money for the occupation while the Congress works on appropriations bills for the Department of Defense and other agencies.

Translation: Under the guise of a stop-gap spending bill that is simply supposed to keep the government running until a long-delayed appropriations process is completed — probably in November — the Congress has just approved a massive increase in war funding.

The move was backed by every senator who cast a vote, save one.

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, the maverick Democrat who has led the fight to end the war and bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, was on the losing end of the 94-1 vote. (The five senators who did not vote, all presidential candidates who are more involved in campaigning than governing, were Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden and Republicans John McCain and Sam Brownback.)

Said Feingold, “I am disappointed that we are about to begin the 2008 fiscal year without having enacted any of the appropriations bills for that year. I am even more disappointed that we voted on a continuing resolution that provides tens of billions of dollars to continue the misguided war in Iraq but does not include any language to bring that war to a close. We need to keep the federal government operating and make sure our brave troops get all the equipment and supplies they need, but we should not be giving the President a blank check to continue a war that is hurting our national security.”

In the House, the continuing resolution passed by a vote of 404 to 14, with 14 other members not voting.

The “no” votes in the House, all cast by anti-war members, came from one Republican, Ron Paul of Texas, and 13 Democrats: Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer, Missouri’s William Clay, Minnesota’s Keith Ellison, California’s Bob Filner, Massachusetts’ Barney Frank, New York’s Maurice Hinchey, Ohio’s Dennis Kucinich, Washington’s Jim McDermott, New Jersey’s Donald Payne, California’s Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson and Lynn Woolsey.

That means that, of the 2008 presidential candidates, only Republican Paul and Democrat Kucinich voted against giving the Bush administration a dramatic — if not particularly well publicized — infusion of new money for the war.

“Each year this war is getting more and more costly — both in the amount of money spent and in the number of lives lost. Now this Congress is providing more funds so the administration can continue down a path of destruction and chaos,” said Kucinich, who noted the essential role of House and Senate Democratic leaders, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in passing the continuing resolution. “The Democratic leadership in Congress needs to take a stand against this President and say they will not give him any more money. That is the only way to end this war and bring our troops home.”

The Senate voted 53-42 to raise the debt ceiling to $9.815 trillion, the fifth increase in the U.S. credit limit since President George W. Bush took office in January 2001. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the higher debt limit earlier this year as part of the overall budget resolution and the legislation now goes to Bush for his signature.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson commended Congress for quickly passing legislation he said “ensures the U.S. government can deliver on promises already made.”

“The Senate’s swift action on the debt limit today helps to protect the full faith and credit of the United States and avoids creating unnecessary uncertainty in the U.S. Treasuries market,” Paulson said in a statement.

The Treasury Department had been pressing Congress to pass the debt increase quickly. Last week Paulson said the government would hit its current $8.965 trillion debt limit on October 1.

But Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, urged lawmakers to reject the debt increase and concentrate on spending cuts instead.

“Families across America don’t have the luxury of loaning themselves any money when they’ve maxed out their credit. But that’s what we’re going to do,” Coburn said.

Lawmakers said the $850 billion increase in borrowing authority, the second largest since Bush took office, should be enough to last the government through next year’s congressional and presidential elections.

U.S. debt stood at about $5.6 trillion at the start of Bush’s presidency.

“Increasing the debt limit is necessary to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States of America,” said Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the senior Republican on the Finance panel.

Congress agrees to raise U.S. credit limit
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2742101920070928

U.S. confirms Baghdad air strike
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL291896120070929

Iraq War Spreads US Army Thin, Warns General
http://www.ahora.cu/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4564