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'Idealistic' Snowden Should be Welcomed by China (Xinhua, China)


Are people like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning standing up on behalf of the world against 'the hypocrisy of those who preach about Internet freedom abroad while stifling it at home'? For China's state-run Xinhua, According, columnist Xu Peixi makes the case for granting asylum to NSA whistelblower Snowden, who has taken refuge from U.S. authorities in Hong Kong.


By Xu Peixi*


June 14, 2013


People's Republic of China - Xinhua - Original Article (English)

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower who has single-handedly turned the intelligence world inside out, now on the run in Hong Kong.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Snowden still in hiding in Hong Kong after new claims U.S. 'hacked' China, June 13, 00:02:41RealVideo

BEIJING: Last week, a bright idealistic young man named Edward Snowden single-handedly opened lifted the lid on the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM program. Due to its scope, country of origin and implications, this marks the bleakest moment yet in the history of the Internet.


In terms of scope, major transnational Internet service providers ranging from Google to Apple are involved in allowing the NSA to access customer data for the purposes of "surveillance." Nearly every type of service, ranging from email to VoIP, have come within the program's scope. It all originates in the country that dominates the world's Internet resources - a fact recognized in the information leaked by Snowden: "Much of the world's communications flow through the U.S." and the information is accessible. The case indicates that through outsourcing and contracting, Big Brother is breaching the fundamental rights of citizens by acquiring unfettered access to their most personal communications.


As the case unfolds, there are many issues to be concerned about. How do we make sense of the fact that the market and state colluded in the abuse of private information via what represents the backbone of many pieces of modern infrastructure? How do we rationalize the character of Snowden and his fellow whistleblowers? How do we understand the one-sided accusations of cyber attack the U.S. has poured on China over the past few months? To what degree have foreign users of these Internet services fallen victim to this project? Amidst these suspicions, let us clarify two types of American personality.


First of all, Snowden's case offers us a rare opportunity to reexamine the integrity of American politicians and the management of the dominant Internet companies that reside in the United States, and it appears that while many of these individuals verbally attack other nations and people in the name of freedom and democracy, they ignore America's worsening domestic situation. In her eloquent speech on Internet freedom [see below], former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that if Internet companies can't act as "responsible stewards of their own personal information," then they would lose customers and their survival would be threatened. In the same speech, she also urged U.S. media companies to take a proactive role in challenging foreign governments' demands for censorship and surveillance.


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Clinton certainly seemed under the impression that her own government was above reproach on these matters, when every piece of evidence, whether in hindsight or not, suggests the opposite. We must also remember that Clinton's Internet freedom speech was addressing Google's grand withdrawal from China. So following the logic of her speech, it is surely time for Google to take responsibility for leaking data and information to the NSA and withdraw from the U.S. market. David Drummond, Google's senior vice president and chief legal officer, justified Google's withdrawal from China by citing "state surveillance" and the "fact" that the G-mail accounts of dozens of human rights activists were being "routinely accessed by third parties." If Google wants to be consistent with its past statements, the PRISM program gives the Internet giant much more cause to act.



Le Figaro, France: Google Affair Harms Reputation of China

The Times, U.K.: China Returns Fire Against America in 'Google-War'

The Times, U.K.: Hillary Guards Net Freedom; Attacks China's 'Berlin Wall'

Taipei Times, Taiwan: China vs. Google - Why is Taiwan Making Enemies?

People's Daily, China: China Urges U.S. to Stop Accusations

China Daily, China: Life Without Google? China Will Be Fine

ABC News, Australia: Australia, U.S. On Collision Course Over Net Censorship

People's Daily, China: Google's Attempted 'Threat to Chinese Sovereignty'

Global Times, China: Google-China Split Would Be a Loss for 'Both Sides'

China Daily, China: Google Grabs More Eyeballs in China

China Daily, China: Google No Exception' to the Law

Frankfurter Allgemeine, Germany: Google Was Wise to Enter China

The Economist, U.K.: Google and China - Flowers for a Funeral


We can see, therefore, that when American politicians and businessmen make accusatory remarks, they turn a blind eye to their own misdeeds and have them firmly fixed on foreign nations. This calls the integrity of these rich, powerful and influential figures into question, and gives the clear impression that America bases its own legitimacy not on good domestic governance, but on stigmatizing practices abroad.


Perhaps the most confusing issue revolves around the hypocrisy of those who preach about Internet freedom abroad while stifling it at home. The Fudan University students who listened intently to President Obama's speech about Internet freedom and censorship at a town hall-style meeting in Shanghai in 2009 certainly took his remarks seriously. How must they be feeling now, that it's obvious President Obama himself doesn't believe his own Internet rhetoric? In the same vein, many like-minded young Chinese once put flowers in front of Google's Beijing headquarters to pay tribute to its "brave" and outspoken challenge to perceived Chinese government surveillance. How must they be feeling in light of Google's involvement in PRISM and with the knowledge that Google's action against China are only part of its commercial strategy? An increasing number of Chinese people will come to understand that the democratization of domestic Chinese media is entirely different from that which happens abroad.



Al Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Obama a 'Humble Leader Worthy of His Great Nation'

The Times, U.K.: Obama Bow Shows 'Confidence'; Need for Change After Bush

Global Times, China: Addiction to Growth is China's 'Berlin Wall'

Global Times, China: U.S. and Beijing Disagree on Obama's Chinese Name

Global Times, China: Chinese Netizens Have 'Sharp Words' for President Obama

China Daily, China: Obama Can Teach Shanghai Officials a Thing or Two

China Daily, China: VIDEO - Chinese React to Visit of President Obama

Global Times, China: 'Obscene Postcard' Emerges of Taiwan President and Hillary

Der Spiegel: German Editorials - Obama's Soft Approach to China Won't Succeed

The Times, U.K. Obama's Bow to Japan Emperor Shows U.S. 'Confidence'

The Telegraph, U.K.: Obama 'Breaks Conciliatory Tone'; Criticizes China Censorship

The Australian, Australia: Obama's Personal Story No Substitute for Policy in Asia

Globe & Mail, Canada: China 'Plays Down' President Obama's Visit


Second, let us look at another kind of American personality. How can we understand and explain Snowden and similar figures? These young idealists, including The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who helped bring down President Nixon after the Watergate affair, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange and U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, among others, can be categorized as the "bright feathers" of our time, to borrow words from the popular American movie The Shawshank Redemption. They all embody the courage to fight the system, which the film also celebrates.


[Editor's Note: The author refers to this quote from the film The Shawshank Redemption: "I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more grey."]


The 25-year old Manning is now a prisoner, having been arrested in Iraq in May 2010 on suspicion of having passed classified material to WikiLeaks. Assange has been confined in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for nearly a year. Snowden is on the run in Hong Kong. While human rights activists from developing countries (certainly as far as Western agencies are concerned) are often blessed with a range of hiding places, we now see the dilemma of Western dissidents. For this reason China, despite the fact that it doesn't have a good reputation as far as Internet governance is concerned, should move boldly and grant Snowden asylum.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


After all, what American and British authorities have done to people like Snowden represents a challenge to the common sense of the global public. These people are too brilliant to be caged. Their feathers are too bright. For the emerging evils that have been committed and continue to be done by the alliance of state and market in the digital age, Snowden and those like him represent the hope and possibility that counter measures exist to combat them. Unfortunately, those who proclaim to the world "don't be evil" are themselves, as they are willing conspirators in the game, and their drive for profit has led them to play a major role in this evil. If intelligence work can be contracted or outsourced this way, anything can.


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That is why we appreciate and salute the efforts of Snowden et al., who have gambled their careers, family, personal freedom, and even their lives to let the global public know what the most powerful force in the world is doing with perhaps the central infrastructure of our age; and to make the public aware that this force is acting in an unconstitutional manner and entirely contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To further understand the likes of Snowden, let us end with a narrative by the character Red from the Shawshank Redemption as he rationalizes the escape of his friend Andy: "Some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice."


*Xu Peixi is Associate Professor at the Communication University of China, Beijing. He is also a PhD candidate and researcher at the University of Tampere, Finland. His research interests include International Communication, Citizen Participation and New Media. He can be reached at


Le Monde, France: French Lawmakers Scramble Over News of NSA Surveillance
Le Temps, Switzerland: Last Resort for Confronting 'Electronic Big Brother'
The Frontier Post, Pakistan: On Global Spying for Selfish National Interest
Mediapart, France: The NSA is Spying on Us! What a Surprise!
El Espectador, Colombia: Please Consider Yourself Watched!
Le Monde, France: NSA Surveillance Storm Gathers Over Cloud Market
Folha, Brazil: Being 'Carioca' Helped Glenn Greenwald Break NSA Surveillance Story
Sol, Portugal: WikiLeaks and Facebook: What Came Before Will Soon Be Rubble
Guardian, U.K.: World Leaders Seek Answers on NSA Data Collection Programs
Guardian, U.K.: Artist Ai Weiwei: The U.S. is 'Behaving Like China'
Russia Today, Russia: Putin: Government Surveillance 'Should Not Break the Law'
Guardian, U.K.: Russia Offers to Consider Edward Snowden Asylum Request
Handelsblatt, Germany: Obama's Data Nightmare is Europe's
FAZ, Germany: Protect Us from Terrorism ... and Government Snooping
SCMP, Hong Kong: What Will Hong Kong do with Snowden? ... The World is Watching
SCMP, Hong Kong: Why Hong Kong? Chinese Wonder if Edward Snowden is in Wrong Place
Suedostschweiz, Switzerland: Exposed: Spy Powers that Obama Shouldn't Use
Le Temps, Switzerland: Exploring the Limits of Sino-U.S. Compromise
Business Day, South Africa: Obama Sets 'Dubious Example' on Freedom
Economist, U.K.: The Reason We Fear Broad Surveillance
Guardian, U.K.: The NSA's Secret Tool to Track Global Surveillance Data
Guardian, U.K.: Like Google, Facebook: Obama is 'Once Hip Brand Tainted by PRISM'
Guardian, U.K.: Edward Snowden - Saving Us from the 'United Stasi of America'
Guardian, U.K.: NSA Collecting Phone Records of 'Millions' of Verizon Customers
Guardian, U.K.: Data on Citizens has Been 'Collected for Years'
Guardian, U.K.: NSA Taps into Internet Giants' to Mine User Data
Guardian, U.K.: EDITORIAL: Civil Liberties: American Freedom on the Line
Guardian, U.K.: Obama Orders U.S. to Draw Up Overseas Target List for Cyber-Attacks
Guardian, U.K.: Facebook, Google Insist they Didn't Know of PRISM Surveillance
Guardian, U.K.: U.K. Gathers Secret Intelligence Via Covert NSA Operation 'PRISM'
Guardian, U.K.: Ministers Challenged Over GCHQ's Access to Covert U.S. Operation PRISM

Vremya, Russia: Good Riddance to the 'Zeroes': When the Nineties Turned Ugly

Die Zeit, Germany: If Only WikiLeaks Existed Before the Iraq War Began

Folha, Brazil: Testimony of Sex Charges Against Assange Don't Belong in Public

Guardian, U.K.: Ten Days in Sweden - The Full Allegations Against Assange

Libération, France: WikiLeaks: A War, But What Kind of War?

Le Monde, France: Le Monde Names Julian Assange Man of the Year

El Mundo, Spain: Julian Assange: The 21st Century 'Mick Jagger' of Data

Novaya Gazeta, Russia: An 'Assange' on Both Your Houses!

El País, Spain: Cables: Brazil Warned Chavez 'Not to Play' with U.S. 'Fire'

El Heraldo, Honduras: The Panic of 'America's Buffoon' Hugo Chavez

Jornal de Notícias, Portugal: If West Persecutes Assange, it Will What it Deserves

Correio da Manhã, Portugal: WikiLeaks: A 'Catastrophe' for Cyber-Dependent States

Romania Libera: WikiLeaks Undermines Radical Left; Confirms American Competence

Le Figaro, France: And the Winner of the Bout Over WikiLeaks is America

News, Switzerland: Assange the Latest Fall Guy for Crimes of World's Power Elite

Libération, France: Who Rules? Hackers, the Press and Our Leaders - in that Order

Tal Cual, Venezuela: If Only WikiLeaks Would Expose President Chavez

Berliner Zeitung, Germany: Assault on Assange Betrays U.S. Founding Principles

El Universal, Mexico: WikiLeaks Revelations a Devastating Shock to Mexico

L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon: WikiLeaks Makes 'Mockery' of 'U.S. Colossus'

Jornal de Negócios, Portugal: More than We Wanted to Know. Or Maybe Not!

DNA, France: The WikiLeaks Disclosures: A Journalist's Ambivalence

Global Times, China: WikiLeaks Poses Greater Risk to West's 'Enemies'

FAZ, Germany: Ahmadinejad's Chief-of-Staff Calls WikiLeaks Cables 'Lies'

Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Saudis Ask: Who Benefitted from WikiLeaks Disclosure?

Guardian, U.K.: Cables Portray Saudi Arabia as a Cash Machine for Terrorists

El País, Spain: Cables Expose Nuance of U.S. Displeasure with Spain Government

El País, Spain: Thanks to WikiLeaks' Disclosure, Classical Diplomacy is Dead

Guardian, U.K.: Saudi Arabia Urges U.S. Attack on Iran

Hurriyet, Turkey: Erdogan Needs 'Anger Management' Over U.S. Cables

Saudi Gazette, Saudi Arabia: WikiLeaks Reveals 'Feeling, Flawed' Human Beings

Frontier Post, Pakistan: WikiLeaks Reveals 'America's Dark Face' to the World

The Nation: WikiLeaks' Release: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Buenos Aires Herald, Argentina: Without Hypocrisy, Global Ties Would Be Chaos

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Release a 'U.S. Plot to Sow Discord'

El Universal, Mexico: WikiLeaks and Mexico's Battle Against Drug Trafficking

Toronto Star, Canada: WikiLeaks Dump Reveals Seamy Side of Diplomacy

Guardian, U.K.: WikiLeaks Cables, Day 3: Summary of Today's Key Points

Guardian, U.K.: Leaked Cables Reveal China is 'Ready to Abandon' North Korea

Hurriyet, Turkey: American Cables Prove Turkish Claims on Missile Defense False

The Nation, Pakistan: WikiLeaks: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Revelations a 'U.S. Intelligence Operation': Ahmadinejad

Novosti, Russia: 'Russia Will be Guided by Actions, Not Leaked Secrets'

Guardian, U.K.: Job of Media Is Not to Protect Powerful from Embarrassment



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Posted By Worldmeets.US June 14, 2013, 8:39pm