Saturday, March 29, 2014

Judge Dismissed Baidu Censorship Case

A federal judge of the District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a case against Chinese search engine Baidu.

Activities alleged Baidu's government sponsored censorship prevented them from reaching to Baidu's users in the US.

Judge Jesse M. Furman reasoned in his ruling that Baidu as a business was entitled to its own right to free speech, in this case in form of censorship, from (US) government interference.

The Seagull disagrees with this analysis.

The court failed to recognize three facts: 1) Baidu is a government sponsored company, which is the only reason for its dominance in China, despite well recognized technical and service advantages of Google. 2) For people living in China, there is no alternative as the case of newspaper or radio stations. 3) Same can be said to Baidu's users in the US, who are stuck with the only search engine that they are familiar with.

The First Amendment was never designed are meant to protect a government speech. Other search engines who are considered of higher quality product and service standard including Google were literally driven out of Chinese market by the government.

In other words, Baidu is more of a propaganda arm of the Chinese government than anything else. Regrettably, Judge Furman built his rationale on a false assumption.

The case is Zhang et al v. Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-03388.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Slip of the Tongue

"It would be too good to be true. There is no such good deal to get Taiwan residency at only $8,000," said Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesman of State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, referring to the trade accord between the two parties across the Strait at new press on 3/26/2014.

"Multi-party systems can be corrupt, too", stated Xinhua News in an editorial on June 8, 2013, which is entitled "Party System and Anti-corruption".

"The US is the greatest villain of this era," stated Xinhua News in an editorial on June 24, 2013, which is entitled "The US is the real villain of this era".

Monday, March 24, 2014

How to Steer a Good-Will Visit

US first lady Michelle Obama is touring China with her mother and two daughters. The trip was designed as a good will visit, partially to compensate for the missed meeting between two first ladies when President Xi Jinping visited Washington. Madam Obama toured learned calligraphy from a high school boy in Beijing, then tried out local dishes in Xi'an. The two daughters were praised for their beauty and good manners.

However for propaganda experts in Beijing, there is always a way to steer the public opinions.

Right before the first lady to visit the Terracotta museum in Xi'an, special op police stormed the museum to kick every visitors out in name of security. A tour guide was not moving 'fast enough', and was kicked down unconscious in front of thousands of museum patrons. The last thing witnesses saw was the poor guy who was not moving or responding was thrown in a police car.

While the Obamas were still doing selfies with terracotta warriors, the pictures of the security kicking museum patrons went viral on Chinese social networking sites. "Because of Michelle Obama, an innocent Chinese was kicked down motionless."

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Du Daobin v. Cisco Systems Dismissed

A federal lawsuit against Cisco was dismissed by the District court of Maryland. Cisco had been accused of assisting the Chinese government to censor, monitor and control online speech made by political dissidents.

The court found there were legitimate usages for the networking equipment designed and manufactured by Cisco, such as routing and passing internet traffics.

The finding of the District Court contradicted to a monumental supreme court ruling in 2005 MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. (04-480), while the top court found that a company might be found liable for if they encouraged users on illegal usage of its products, even if that product might support legitimate usages. Grokster lost the file-sharing case and subsequently fell because they advertised file piracy, even when they demonstrated in the court (and accepted by a lower court) that their product was useful in lawful distributing files.

Cisco had produced and distributed printed materials boasting the censorship and monitoring capability of its routers to Chinese government.

The case was Du Daobin, et al, v. CISCO Systems, Inc. et. al, 8:11-cv-01538-PJM.