As long as the platforms recommendation and ranking algos are a black box, there is no guarantee that China isn’t conducting misinformation campaigns via the platform.
At the very least, the government should audit the algos and make sure China can’t arbitrarily alter ranking results.
Corporations as a rule, and there have been exceptions, but as a rule have none of those powers. Theoretically the worst crimes they’re going to commit are fraudulent in nature and crimes of negligence. They’re not just a separate org chart ultimately serving as a private arm of the State with its own private rules that it self-enforces; they’re different beasts entirely.
The problem with PRC-based corporations is that they muddy the waters entirely between what is private and public. As far as the PRC is concerned, all private life is subject to the State and should serve the interests of the State. Google and Facebook and your favorite café or tea house can and do have interests that lie entirely outside of the State and are free to pursue them. That is the difference between a free society and an authoritarian State.
If the national community agrees on something, it's all that matter. We don't have to abide by other countries standards on everything especially if we dont like it.
Im thinking as a French I had to fight a lot with free speech absolutists abroad, while at home we're quite okay with selective censorship... it sounds scary to an American sometimes, but hell we dont care :D
Forgive me for not just taking your word for it. Citation needed.
Even your freedom of speech is subject to certain restrictions in the US – you can't make violent verbal threats to people, to name one example.
The problem with Law is that laymen opinions seem to matter even less than in other domains.
The problem here (as I see it) is that the definition of liberty is very subjective, and yet people make arguments like yours based on the premise that their personal definition of liberty is an objective truth.
Liberty and humanism are topics built on millennia of context and nuance. Blanket statements like yours, while passionate, risk being so reductionist that they distract from the important substance of the conversation.
I'm not surprised you're being downvoted as I've tried to make this point with American friends before and gotten the same reaction 10/10 times.
To use a very topical example: in other jurisdictions outside of the US, racism is a crime, and speaking out in favor of it or discriminating against someone verbally is not protected by free speech.
In fact, jurisdictions outside of the US often do not even have a definition for the "right to free speech" – it's obvious that you can say whatever you want.
It just so happens that by saying some of those things you may be doing something illegal, not unlike how threatening someone isn't a protected action in the US. So it's not so much a matter of censorship, but one of limits to rights. Every right has certain limitations, and free speech isn't absolute, be it in America or elsewhere.
Free speech as a strongly held value is incredible, because it avoids situations like the above (Austria). It also avoids situations where the police pay you a visit to check your thinking over a tweet (UK). It also avoids the situation where a teenager gets arrested for quoting rap lyrics on Instagram (UK). It also avoids situations where you can be fined for insulting the president by holding up a sign that says "get lost, you prat" (France). It also avoids situations where the government can refuse to allow (not ban, simply do nothing) the publishing of video games, movies, and books in the country (Australia and New Zealand).
Note that in the French case the ECHR actually got their act together and found the French law to be in violation of free speech. If that situation had happened in the US then there wouldn't have been a fine in the first place, because the right to free speech is that important.
People accept these kinds of things, because they don't think they'll ever be in the wrong. However, when it happens to them there's no real recourse.
Edit: keep in mind that that are the countries that are considered to be doing well.
"Point" in your comment means the muzzle of a gun, not a logical argument.
This is another slippery slope and Covid-19 will increase censorship further. Indeed India by censorship legitimize the censorship regimes around the world (including China).
Been working with Internet since it's early years in 1991 and hope it remains free. But it seems less and less likely given every country wants to create it's own Internet, as it became important for being in power.
PRC corporations have a history of behaving in a mistrustful manner, combined with their obligations to the PRC State which treats its citizens as subjects, and sometimes not even its citizens, but anybody of Chinese descent, PRC corporations absolutely should be singled out and treated with mistrust. Our corporations have the obligation to turn a profit for their shareholders and sometimes that even means entering into a contract with the government, but theirs also have the obligation to advance the interests of the State. Dual mandates, even when not initially at odds with each other, often eventually come into conflict with each other, and State-owned or controlled corporations often don’t even have the profit incentive but are instead subject to politics. See also: the American corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for examples of why they’re a bad idea, although their enterprises are domestic.
This is off topic but since you brought it up, we’re not the free speech absolutists that we believe we are. What we took issue with specifically was the idea of a central government regulating speech, assembly, the press and the establishment of churches. We still had established churches for quite some time, but they were governed by the States, not the United States. Let me quote you the First Amendment:
> Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Everything you really need to know is in the first five words. It’s a prohibition on Congress, not a grant of rights, and this would later come to be incorporated against the States as well such that their legislatures have the same restrictions. The reason this amendment exists at all was 1. To quell dissent from the Anti-Federalists which campaigned against the Constitution in the ratification conventions and 2. Because then and now, we’re a nation of dissenters. Many of the people that migrated from Europe to the United States were religious dissenters or penal colonists living in exile. I don’t know to what degree you studied the Huguenots in French history, but they made a few attempts to establish themselves, each time French politics seeking their resupply attempts after the initial landing, before receiving a land grant in what is now Brooklyn, and then was part of the New Netherlands.
In France, censorship is a real problem for most intellectuals and individual citizens
Assa Traoré, the leading personality protesting against police violence has been repeatedly sued. Charlie Hebdo, the satiric newspaper that was attacked by terrorists who killed 12 people had been repeatedly sued. Eric Zemmour, a right-wing intellectual has also been condemned for speaking. Citizens who have placed a "Macronavirus" (concatenation of Macron, our president and Virus) sign in front of their house have spent a night at the local police station.
"Hate Speech" is a way too broad definition. And the censorship in France is getting bigger and bigger, notably since the highly-controversial Avia Law that forces Social Media platforms to censor "Hate Speech".
All these examples, have been made with non-evil governments. Our current president is a centrist and the last one was a leftist. Now, imagine what could happen when the far-right has to decide what "Hate Speech" is? I don't want to live that, and the Rassemblement National has been rising to dangerous levels.
We would be much better with constitutional and absolute free speech as in the US.
Not that clear cut.
I was thinking more about companies that have actually had militaries, the Dutch East India Company being a prime example.
I think there’s a difference, but if you don’t think so, why?
This might be a shock to most people in the western world, but if you go on almost ANY news website in china, the headline news is dedicated to government propaganda.
The reality is that Chinese firms and government operates together intimately. Nearly all sizable firms have a party secretary that is involved in board level decisions, and steps in when things get political. You can ponder who has the final say.
No, I get this, but here's the thing: YouTube and, more specifically, it's advertisers do everything that you're accusing China of. There are material consequences if YouTube doesn't keep in line. What this means is that a status quo that pleases advertisers will be maintained.
It's every bit propaganda as dropping leaflets, but you can't point out a boogeyman pulling the strings.
Advertisers are not a homogeneous block. YouTube et al can afford to piss off some advertisers; if they're pissing off all advertisers, the material is probably extremely objectionable to most humans.
I challenge you to point out an example of content that has been banned from youtube because it offends advertisers, that you really think the banning of which is a significant issue. There's no shortage of material on YT hypercritical of Goldman "Vampire Squid" Sachs.
Whereas there is a long litany of material banned from Chinese networks for obvious political reasons. Furthermore, if you don't like YT's policy, you can use other video sharing sites or even gasp host your own videos. Try doing that in China and see how long it takes for men with guns to show up.
You don't have to have consensus from advertisers to ban something. If an advertiser of significant enough size, or a block doing similar, threatens, YouTube will listen.
> I challenge you to point out an example of content that has been banned from youtube because it offends advertisers, that you really think the banning of which is a significant issue.
You don't have to ban it, you just have to demonetize it and content creators will fall in line.
> Whereas there is a long litany of material banned from Chinese networks for obvious political reasons.
I really think you need to reckon with this. You speak a lot about hosting your own shit, but, as American hegemony crumbles, your consumption will meet road blocks.
This week we saw one social media platform after another ban the same people. The North American cartel moves together as one, once again.
You can host your own videos but if you do expect to be banned by paypal and mastercard and visa. Because all north american companies are just different faces of the same underlying entity.
Chinese companies offer real competition to that. Chinese companies are very good for my political freedom.
Like, I get that the milquetoast world advertisers want to live in is some kind of lens that colors the views and opinions presented by their platforms. It's just that the worst that happens from being influenced by it is it that you live a more boring life and consume more product. That's not nearly as worrying as being influenced to hating racial minorities in an attempt to distract from the South China Sea or something.
Coca cola sent death squads into South America.
> That's not nearly as worrying as being influenced to hating racial minorities in an attempt to distract from the South China Sea or something.
I don't know if you've noticed, but there are currently protests going on in America over racist injustice.
> It's just that the worst that happens from being influenced by it is it that you live a more boring life and consume more product
And how do you think this interacts with the above point?
For US-based firms, that’s simply not the case.
Yes, YouTube needs to make sure Nike is happy. But Nike didn’t just kill two dozen Indian soldiers.
Certainly there’s privacy related concerns with US companies - as with Chinese companies. But nobody had accused the DoD of manipulating YouTube search rankings.
If the DoD wants to conduct a YouTube propaganda campaign, they can buy advertising like everybody else.
> For US-based firms, that’s simply not the case.
Disingenuous or naive?
Probably not the best company to choose given their history.
Consider past agreements about/agency infiltrations to create backdoors and the like or canary clauses in licenses and why they exist.
Still better despite being only a partial mechanism for increasing balance between powers.
>> The reality is that Chinese firms and government operates together intimately. Nearly all sizable firms have a party secretary that is involved in board level decisions, and steps in when things get political. You can ponder who has the final say.
> No, I get this, but here's the thing: YouTube and, more specifically, it's advertisers do everything that you're accusing China of. There are material consequences if YouTube doesn't keep in line. What this means is that a status quo that pleases advertisers will be maintained.
You're basically saying: "YouTube has to please group X, TikTok has please group Y. Since they both have to 'please groups,' they're doing the same things!" That's a flawed comparison, because the the devil is in the details: the relevant differences between group X (YouTube advertisers) and Group Y (the Communist Party of China) get obscured when you're reasoning about such high level abstractions.
Why must every single posting on Hacker News that involves China be flooded with whataboutism? It's a recurring thing, not even subtle.
Maybe we shouldn't have worked so hard to support building up their manufacturing base when we knew this all along.
Oh well, we just get to repeat the Dutch mistake of financing your enemy into having a robust manufacturing base until they gradually overtake global control.
YouTube and its advertisers aren't countries, and aren't engaged in recent, deadly military skirmishes with India.
It might help to read the parent posts I was replying to, but we're talking about the effects of black box algorithms.
Unless or until they approach the scale of a nation-state (and to be fair, many do) it seems like commercial interests are at the very least clear (and arguably market-driven and subject to competition).
For a specific if arbitrary example: I don't think Facebook values privacy (or YouTube free speech) but that's a side effect of their primary objective. Maybe it's a distinction without a difference, but it sure feels more sinister when the app is purpose built for privacy-invasion or opinion-manipulation.
And in Canada, corporations are not exactly actors which perform rigid functions outlined by the government.. the liberals, who are currently in power, don’t have party members sitting at the top of companies whose function is to literally oversee compliance to liberal propaganda.
China isn’t quite as bad as western media makes them out to be, I’d argue that in many ways they have been improving and loosening up, but it’s silly to pretend that YouTube is no different than TikTok or that Amazon is no different than Alibaba.
So they actually have a good influence, redirecting marketing dollars for "marketing" ( since it looks good on the outside).
China doesn't care, they even block Winnie the Pooh.
Those people would be even more shocked by the extent to which this is true in the western world as well.
Lets say it's December 2015 and I want to find out what ISIS has to say about it's activities.
It was nigh impossible to find unfiltered information from them.
The only two political parties in the US, for instance, differ remarkably little in terms of foreign policy and labor rights. Headlines in major US media will virtually never indicate there is any significant room for debate here. The public is satisfied with the false dichotomy of "raise military budget by $100B" vs. "raise military budget by $200B".
In China, the government has more power than corporations. In the US, corporations have more power than the government.
I still can't get over the lack of self-awareness in this post.
Well I have news for you... Most of the news about international politics you read in the west are propaganda as well- and it works so well you're about to hit the downvote button in disbelief.
I think he is referring to Google.
There's nothing xenophobic about the claim that PRC blocks a huge portion of the internet. I operate several websites that are blocked by CCP in PRC, despite having no relation to any policy priority of the CCP or law/edict in PRC.
A U.S. company like Twitter even bans the U.S. president's posts on their platform, and so does Facebook. Something like that is impossible in China as whoever does that will instantly get shut down. Think about the implication of this. This means you have to assume that any Chinese tech company will have to comply when the government tells them to spread some propaganda through their media.
This is what has been called in a science fiction as "information warfare", and it can be even more catastrophic than a real war, but I don't think most people realize this because they've never seen one before. What's even scarier is that even as this is happening, nobody knows this is happening, which is worse than a war because, unlike a physical war where everything is visible, one country can "attack" another country without anyone else realizing, causing a huge damage to their economy.
Groups violently turning on eachother, families splitting over political divides, lynchings... these matter a lot more than whether people have nice cars.
If Indian government sees no harm in US apps whilst banning Chinese apps, this is the definition of diplomatic pressure. Asymmetry is the tool used to apply this pressure.
Your point is valid - we have no way to know Facebook algorithms and it is a blackbox, but this isn't supposed to be a symmetric comparison for aforementioned reasons.
A private company will optimize profit, all things being equal. Sometimes this means it’s product/platform can be used to disseminate possibly dangerous information, but it also can be regulated in response.
Another government? Not so easy
Only way to really assert influence is through a much more narrow and limited scope like diplomacy, economic sanction, war, or otherwise influence the state/affairs of the country through target regulations like the ones mentioned in the article
I don't think this is true specifically in the case of America. Who are you going to get to actually grapple that beast of a multi national? Yeah, lots of people talk about it, but politics ultimately requires a degree of consensus.
When you have investors calling up their representatives saying they will donate to their opponent next election or they will move jobs out of the area, politicians are going to start falling off. Oh, these politicians are all probably invested in these companies to some degree, or maybe they rent apartments to their workers. There's also the gridlock issue that likely can't be resolved unless we start adding states, so legislation will be hard there.
Companies like alphabet and Facebook are the culmination of the last 40 years of politics in America.
You can’t pass legislation that makes another government open itself up to transparency though. That’s the fundamental difference
That wasn't the intention
There are no "shootouts". There are standoffs sometimes (think once a year if you want to define regularity) due to the loosely demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China. It's usually a melee. Even the recent escalated incident wasn't a shootout. There are agreements between Indian and Chinese governments that prevent usage of firearms in standoffs like these.
> What’s happening along the Himalayan border is an unusual kind of warfare. As in the brawls last month, Chinese and Indian soldiers fought fiercely without firing a shot — at least that’s what officials on both sides contend. They say the soldiers followed their de facto border code not to use firearms and went at each other with fists, rocks and wooden clubs, some possibly studded with nails or wrapped in barbed wire.
It's pretty simple if you don't try to extrapolate everything to logical extrems. India and US is ally, India and China is rival. Full stop, it ends there. KISS
No tear will be shed for those apps, regardless from which country they come from (I know this is very targeted due to recent tensions, but its still a step in the right direction re privacy)
If you furthermore consider how bad the "western world" (mainly Britten and the East India Company) had treated it in the past, some aspects of the Chinese culture and the current Goverment direction western countries expecting any fair or reasonable treatment once china succeeded to become the worlds dominant power is kinda a sad joke.
A) Having democracy does not correlate with having transparency and freedom, this has been de facto proven.
B) If the "western world" is the bar, the bar is low.
By analogy you're basically equating tortute in order to prevent the detonation of a bomb to torture in order to detonate a bomb.
Yes, ethically all sides are compromised but as things stand they are by no means all the same.
Also, no one included SA as part of the West.
I really can not see how I am doing this. Care to illustrate?
>Also, no one included SA as part of the West.
There is a reason why I used the word hadwaveingly.
And yet China manages to fail this low bar stunningly. To the point that they are running actual concentration camps for Muslims. Something no Western government has done, and the last one to do finished paying reparations to the victims 4 years ago, 70 years after it happened.
Right now, America is running actual concentration camps for African Americans.
Don’t think western governments are any better.
What do you think PRISM and Five Eyes are? It is my experience that people who bring them up as huge evils have no idea what they are. They typically think that PRISM allows the NSA to read anybody's email (as opposed to being an ingestion system for data collected by the FBI) and that Five Eyes allows governments to indirectly spy on their own citizens, both of which are ridiculous ideas that are legally impossible.
I don't think this is even hand-wavingly a thing. If it is then it doesn't bode well because "we" don't exactly have a great track record of treating people on the other side of the world well.
Also I wouldn't say that YouToube is controlled by an " fascist-lite corporate oligarchy". It something different then fascism, maybe even worse.
It's also off topic in that TikTok being banned doesn't mean YoutToube is better or shouldn't be banned. India just didn't have to fear a militaristic invasion of the US corporate oligarchy...
(6/100,000 in US VS <1/100,000 in China)
Maybe US has some problems on its own...
But one large difference is that they had a private army and used it to force through their ways in any non EU country.
It is not absurd to say that the East India Company did occupy India like a country would have occupied another country they won against in a war.
They where also one of the main driving force behind the Anglo-Chinese War (see Opium wars).
But the Party can just put officials in the Douyin (TikTok) offices and ask for any encryption key without having to divulge anything and without the company having any recourse. This in complete legality.
Large corporations becoming the end point for debate is a real problem, but I don't think it really overlaps with public/private collusion (or the lack of true private in China's case).
A nation state and a company are different in substance as well. I am sympathetic to the idea that companies (in America) can do more to curtail your freedoms. But, this is only true because of our system of government. In principle, a government can do much more than a company to curtail your freedoms. In practice, this is often less true. (although if you bump into eminent domain, or similar laws, then the government is much more threatening to you.)
We don't have to look far for this theoretical: the Chinese government rounds up people and puts them in camps, and disappears people for having the wrong opinions.
That's a clear proof of difference.
I often think what would California look like if it had the laws of Texas. Or what would China look like if it had the structure and motivations of Nevada? Both have Elon Musk and gambling.
I don't think it's a stretch to state the risk of tiktok being mass propaganda machine, from India's perspective.
Additionally, I don't take this as a particular politically charged statement against China, as quite a few replies stated. The reason is that China and India are on a very delicate geopolitical environment. The history is long and ambiguous. The current rivalry is subtle and dangerous. You just cannot give any chance in this situation. After all, China do not have any foreign social network services anyway. There is no reason to gift the opponent an potential upper hand.
The Pandora's box was formally opened in the Arab spring already. It was a well intended start, followed with an ugly development and messy prospect left for generations to suffer and struggle.
Now the whole idea of social networking services as an actual helper of connecting people with different cultural background roughly reduces to nil. That really was a buffer.
Lastly, I don't think it makes sense for any sovereign government to force their country's corporation to serve them directly.
That would immediately destroy any chance of those organizations to expand beyond their home country. Someone might argue Chinese firms are OK to that because they had a big market already. That's a totally unreasonable imagination on Chinese business men's brain structure. I never encountered any such Chinese business man who believe loyalty to CCP is higher than their profit. Other argument is that Chinese law can coerce, but all the laws are saying the company ought to corporate when necessary for the security of the country. I cannot imagine any sane political personnel can convince anyone else that offensive propaganda in peace time is necessary for national security. At least I did not see any such behavior or even minor behavior with hint of such reasoning from past history.
All platforms recommendation and ranking algos are ultimately a black box. Why is TikTok special here?
If you understand that, then surely you must see the symmetry in banning Tiktok etc?
99.9% of them are US apps and websites. you don't need to ban india apps in China as I've never heard any of them, you don't need to ban india website as the india infrastructure won't be able to serve requests from a country like China anyway.
Anyway, India's hotstar holds the world record of maximum number of consecutive users watching a live stream.
This is just a lame attempt at economic warfare and "misinformation campaigns" is a very weak excuse.
What concerns me the most is that in 2020 people are overwhelmingly in favor of governments and corporations controlling what their people watch and read and think.
Is the problem, let's say, with:
- the country of origin, so if this was the exact same app from US it would have been less harmful, or,
- the amount of time people spend on it, so if people spent time on something like facebook it would have been less harmful?
It is an extreme move, but I see the logic behind it.
Letting government step into this space creates an alternative form of censorship. I would rather ask all content platforms for transparent open-sourced moderation rules.
At the meantime, TikTok has a remarkable traction that put in a row of the greatest product of the decade. Previously ByteDance tried to move HQ away from China, but I now I guess they might even consider selling their product.
I guess it is more political decision rather than Indian government really cares about data security. Seems that US and specifically Facebook become the absolute winner in India.
Many countries have broadcast laws around a maximum amount of foreign programming (for one example amongst many, private French radios have to play French music for at least 40% of their programming).
See the top comment as the video has now been removed from YouTube.
TikTok is bound to the CCP in a way that has no comparison in the west.
If you consider that they also run on operating systems made by American-owned companies who don't really care that much about privacy, it's even scarier.
China isn't the boogeyman here. The United States is.
If any this sounds like a propaganda move aimed at giving the people a feeling that the government has done something about it.
Some of these may relaunched as a web service, some may relaunch under a different branding, there are any number of things the app makers can legitimately do to skirt around this.
Using summary executive powers to do such is a rather undemocratic move, and which time and again this Indian Government has indicated it has no qualms of using.
This is a politically motivated move, where as it should not be. If there was established wrongdoing then ban the apps, not because it is politically convenient to do it.
As opposed to Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and all the others?
Can we do the same for YouTube ?!
If India was serious about taking action it would have done something about the Chinese branded phone and Chinese infra project. All the largest phone brands in India are chinese. Same is true for Tv's. All unicorn startups in the country has considerable chinese interest. This ban carefully stays away from all apps, businesses and things that could really invite a response from China.
And it worked. As in the link above, Modi's followed have taken the bait. They are happy and all over social media celebrating this as a fitting reply for the soldiers life lost in the border.
I installed tiktok just maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago.. it was kind of fun at first and was amused by some stuff on there. What it was showing me I thought was very relevant to prior stuff I had seen in some regard (just the type of humor) so I was kind of impressed.
Then all the sudden it started showing me all this pro-Trump/pro-religion/antiBLM stuff. And look, a platform like this and the age demographic the amount of pro-trump & pro-religion stuff is TINY. The amount that was coming up was baffling. And it would just be inserted at the weirdest times, where it honestly felt like I was being targeted to see this stuff.
I'm not one to be a conspiracy nut at all, but there were some flags hitting in my head that something weird was going on.. so I promptly uninstalled.
Honestly it's too bad, I think tiktok is a very unique thing, and seemed to fill some type of space where people just want to create stupid little videos that either say a little message or are just funny. But there's something weird going on.
Hard to explain exactly, just saying that it really seemed unusual. Again it was also the amount that were coming up. I watched a descent amount of BLM related videos a few nights.. like, a lot. Then a few insane trump ones which maybe I watch a few moments but keep swiping away, only to be suggested more Trump and less BLM?
Anyway- I understand it's conjecture and hard to say what I was seeing.. just seemed off, and it's pretty easy to jump to the conclusion that it was attempting to manipulate me.
It seems more sustainable and much easier to work with if you have your own network, and you don't rely on US-services looking away / Twitter tolerating your stuff.
For a bad actor, the cost-reward looks pretty low (if we assume a high initial investment like a couple hundred million dollars to approach our goal of data collection in a shorter timeframe), but for a government that is probably totally doable.
And who cares if they are? We live in an open society, and in the US, freedom of speech is a foundational principle. This is among the trade-offs you face when prioritizing absolute freedom of speech.
Foreign propaganda is explicitly legal and protected in the United States. I'm sorry that you think it should not be, but it is, and it always has been throughout the entire history of the country.
How exactly do you intend to distinguish the types of speech that the government is allowed to ban? Any foreign ownership of a media organization from a country deemed an enemy of the state? And you're wondering about what needs to be said out loud?
That's not to say the United States Government cannot take _diplomatic action_ to counter propaganda. It certainly can, and it does. And indeed, the Congress just passed the Countering Foreign Propaganda Act a few years ago, to do precisely that in response to Russian efforts in the 2016 election.
But you know what it doesn't do? Ban the protected speech. We don't ban RT, which is broadcast into most of the homes in the country, despite being directly controlled by and funded by the Russian State, because that would be unconstitutional, and the Congress does not have the power to do it.
The standard in the United States is that the information published is both knowingly false and published with actual malice. And for matters of public concern, there is a further requirement that the information be provably false. Separately, the charges cannot be ridiculous, as demonstrated in Hustler v. Falwell, where it was held that even though Hustler published a story that Jerry Falwell had incestuous sex with his mother in an outhouse, and even though that story was false, known by the publisher to be false, and published with actual malice, it still did not meet the standard.
Misinformation campaigns are absolutely allowed in the United States. This is a current problem with Fake News. Fake news is protected by the First Amendment, no matter who writes it. And indeed, much of it is written by foreign agents, specifically with the intent of influencing US elections.
I'm surprised, actually, that Trump hasn't expressed a desire ban TikTok. Especially after they trolled him so badly at that Tulsa rally!
He's managed to ban Huawei over (unproven and strenuously denied) security issues. Yet TikTok has direct influence over something much more important than 5G radio equipment: the hearts and minds of a generation of American children!
Governments may seem dumb and bureaucratic, but good ones tend to have some level of pragmatism.
Most people don't see it, but I hate it to realize that she's being slowly influenced by hidden propaganda :(
Stroking nationalism and pointing at foreign enemies in hard times is a tried and tested tactic.
But it is a dangerous game because it can get out of hands. I think both sides know it and they don't want things to escalate. We need to see how the pandemic develops and hits both countries and their economies. I'm more worried about the Indian side at the moment because the pandemic situation seems out of hands and deteriorating fast there.
This seems like yet another instance of the paradox of tolerance (reciprocity is a must have for a tolerant/liberal/globalized society): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance
It's just armchair philosophy used as justification for intolerance by intellectuals, the mental gymnastic people need to get over their cognitive dissonance.
AFAIK Plato came up with it to justify autocracy. That says it all actually.
It would be better to say that people shouldn't use a paradox as evidence for something (e.g., claim aliens must exist because of Fermi's Paradox).
Unnecessary use of the 'paradox' label.
If a criminal shoots a cop, that is violence.
If a cop shoots the criminal back, is that the 'paradox of violence' ?
If a surgeon cuts open a patient with a knife, to treat a tumor, is that the 'paradox of violence' ?
Violence used to curb violence is peace. Peace used to ignore violence is violence.
There is nothing 'paradoxical' about not tolerating the intolerant. That is basic justice.
>Violence used to curb violence is peace. Peace used to ignore violence is violence.
So an eye for an eye, eh? And if I use my eye to look away, I also deserve to lose it? I think you are a dangerous fellow. I'd sooner allow someone to say some mean things on the internet than let someone like you ever get into a position of power.
So if a criminal is shooting at you (violence), the police should not shoot the criminal (also violence)?
Are there documented cases of this happening or is it just a wild guess?
My bet is on the later.
I personally had to come up with arguments to justifiably censor people to stop the sub I became a part of, from becoming more of a chess pool.
I was a card carrying member of the market place of ideas/ free speech camp till 12-13 years ago, at which point it was clearer to me that giving free speech to certain groups was the same as allowing prions to proliferate in the food chain.
Which is why stronger moderation was required to reverse the descent into madness - it worked.
The people who were hateful bigots were ejected and made their own forums, where they promised never to ban dissenting voices.
Sure enough, they too started banning voices because
1) they weren’t there for free speech in the first place, just for indoctrination.
2) free speech meant that They became petri dishes for even more extreme material and eventually had to be banned or risk getting the entire forum/subreddit removed.
I’d love alternate interpretations for it, if possible, but the experience from these multiple natural experiments show that letting malicious Machiavellian actors on your platform will result in the abuse of normal users and the tolerance of the system.
This is such a great point and to me rings absolutely true.
> "Tolerance" is kind of a weasel word anyway, essentially giving carte blanche to the one that invokes the paradox.
How so? Demonstrating that a principle makes for a poor foundation has little bearing on its ultimate validity.
Consider a group of Neo-Nazis that want to stage a peaceful protest espousing their ideology. They get their permits and set out in a town square, chanting all kinds of anti-Semitic and white power nonsense. The question "are the Neo-Nazis being intolerant?" is a tricky one. On one hand, the answer is a resounding "yes," but on the other, they're the proverbial dog that's all bark and no bite.
Consider some local Jewish group that wants to stage a counter-protest. I'll give you the same question: are the Jewish protesters being intolerant? Again, it's a tricky one: they might argue they're being intolerant of the Neo-Nazis' intolerance (as I'm sure Popper would say).
The Neo-Nazis could, in turn, argue that they aren't being intolerant at all - they're just exercising their First Amendment rights. In fact, it's the Jewish counter-protesters that are the ones being intolerant! So we're just going around in circles debating who's being "intolerant," what "intolerant" means, and what it takes to go from "tolerant" to "intolerant" -- the classic sorites paradox. This is all equivocation.
When we look at simpler tests like Mill's Harm Principle, the problem is simplified! If, the Neo-Nazis aren't harming anyone, they're free to do whatever they please -- as are the Jewish counter-protesters. Harm is a lot easier to wrap one's head around than "tolerance," so that's why I think it's a much more palatable litmus test.
Maybe it should be paradox of even/odd level of tolerance? Also, in practice, it's hard to define which are the primitive intolerances and which are not.
Is it based on empirical evidence? Is it based for example on longitudinal social studies? The answer is no.
And certainly absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence but it's baffling to me how people can cite this as fact, even if it might as well be bullshit.
So do you tolerate intolerance?
The real question is whether reacting with similar intolerance leaves you better off - or has any meaningful influence on the bad actors in question.
Diplomacy is full of these tradeoffs.
it seems to be perfectly acceptable to be intolerant to some groups of people and religions/ideologies.
This is nothing but good old fashion economic escalation.
As soon as those apps reach the western hemisphere (or just anything outside China) and become dominant communication mediums, the Chinese government will be able to dictate opinion in the West.
Im just making the case about HN not because I disagree with their job of keeping things civil, in fact this is much less toxic a platform than many others. My point is that whoever has the control can dictate whatever they see fit or serves their interest. For that reason I’d never use TikTok, not even to see what it is about because of who is backing it
At some point it's not really about censorship or freedom of speech anymore... and more about not letting the other guys win.
No, it is not. You just didn't read up what the paradox is—or what a paradox is for that matter.
It's no different from the police using violence on violent people.
> TikTok is a data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network. If there is an API to get information on you, your contacts, or your device... well, they're using it.
> For what it's worth I've reversed the Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter apps. They don't collect anywhere near the same amount of data that TikTok does, and they sure as hell aren't outright trying to hide exactly whats being sent like TikTok is.
It doesn't seem surprising now, given that Zoom, which is also being developed in China, acts like a malware application, too.
I'm glad, that India is more aware of the possible consequences of using any software made in China than, for instance, the government of the UK is.
> “Our product development team is largely based in China, where personnel costs are less expensive than in many other jurisdictions,” Zoom wrote in a regulatory filing.
I'm not taking sides and I don't have the technical expertise to judge everything said there. It's just that I'd be much more comfortable if all of those "evidences" came from a more trusted source & not a reddit comment from god-knows-who.
Honestly, as someone who doesn't belong to China/USA/India and genuinely curious about this, I'm tired of seeing all this "but but communist evil" and not much in the way of actual evidence.
Noone told that. CCP is not even communism.
Chinese apps collect a fucking lot of data and Indian People innocently use those shit apps like ShareIt because inertia and maybe network effects. If you want to share a movie / song something with an ordinary indian citizen you'd have needed ShareIt which is a piece of shit. Technical ones among us use Google Files or something like that but I have so far refused to use ShareIt because it is such shady adware. Note that most Indians don't have Laptop / PC and USB / Pendrives aren't ubiquitous.
Now that there is some friction between China and India and given the nature of Chinese Governance these apps are threat to national security.
Ideally they could have banned PUBG also, the shit is ruining many lives.
I find this unconvincing and reddit comments are not trustworthy at all.
Wouldn't data collection be limited by the mobile OS anyway? I actually have TikTok on my phone and it requested no special permissions, compared to most other apps which don't even let you view content without validating a phone number.
Maybe on iOS. But on Android of the ones that he listed, many can be retrieved without any permissions, such as
>* Phone hardware (cpu type, number of course, hardware ids, screen dimensions, dpi, memory usage, disk space, etc)
>* Whether or not you're rooted/jailbroken
I also suspect that they can get some or all of the network information without any special permissions either.
>* Everything network-related (ip, local ip, router mac, your mac, wifi access point name)
As for "other apps you have installed", it looks like it's getting it through the "retrieve running apps" permission, although I'm not sure whether that shows up as a permission prompt or not.
You should probably read the original comment on reddit, not just my summary of it. I found it to be extremely detailed and technically convincing, even though it's still hard to determine the level of its trustworthiness.
I am wary of his claims too.
Still, it's a well known fact that authoritarian regimes tend to use all the tools available to them for spying in foreign countries. That's why Russia's Yandex, VKontakte, and Mail.ru are banned in Ukraine since 2017.
If these claims are true, a remote state actor can now take over 40% of young American's phones.
Imagine if they decided to shut off everyone's ability to communicate. That would be an incredible capability to possess in the event that they wanted to launch an attack or distract us. (I'm not saying that they would, but that we should be wary of the possibility.)
This is incredibly dangerous.
Furthermore, this does not seem like an accident in TikTok's design. This app is very well put together. Given the expertise involved, I can't see this as an "oops, we didn't know" oversight with respect to either alternative design choices or platform rules. It feels very deliberate.
Google should ban this app immediately for breaking the terms, and US legislators should make a law prohibiting it outright.
We have to do some more due diligence to make sure these claims are valid, but if they do turn out to be true, then we have some very serious issues to consider.
This is one of the few instances where I'll admit that I wish Facebook or Twitter had an answer for this.
How is this scary at all - much less the "scariest part"? The vast majority of the bullet points also seem standard and not worth paying attention to. I also read the Penetrum paper he linked which was similarly unconvincing.
They might as well be describing Facebook or Google. They are data harvesting services - first and foremost. The actual applications are only the bait yet since they're owned by the country that makes those great movies and TV series, somehow, they aren't as bad.
I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with this https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/china-has-intruded-423-metre...
Imagine if US.app and China.app were both clean, no spyware. If China subsidizes and allows China.app to have access to their domestic market but bans US.app, while US allows China.app to rake in billions of dollars in revenue in the US - this is purely an economic fairness and global trade issue.
There is no sane defensive argument against this. Chinese market is 1.3 billion people. It is massive. Not allowing western apps/services to serve this market is unfair in every imaginable way. I would say the US should ban all CCP services/apps, etc until China opens up its borders for any country to service their people.
This shouldn't just apply to US. Are you an Italian software company? Do you need to kow-tow to the CCP or plainly banned from serving in China? Swedish company? English? Australian? German? French? This has nothing to do with nationalism or politics which divides us all. It is about preserving global trade to the benefit of all nations and following fair practices and requirements set forth by the WTO.
All democracies need to get together and put light on this problem. I think that's happenning: https://www.ipac.global/
There is also no mystery around this - China does not want to expose their citizens to international values, services, culture and information. Thus, this diplomatic/economic pressure hits the nerve center of the CCP machinery.
Unfair to who?
Whether I agree with it or not (I don't). China gets to have it's cake and eat it too. Big win for China, wouldn't you say?
If everyone else is willing to leave the cake on the table, It's perfectly fair for China to have it if you ask me.
"Imagine if US.app and China.app were both spyware"
But India only banned the China spyware and left the US spyware roam free. If they truly cared about spyware, many other apps do similar stuff, scooping just as much data.
Spyware problem (which I condemn) is irrelevant and orthogonal.
The US spyware might be a problem in the future. But the Chinese spyware is a big problem right now. Both require different strategies to counter. And the immediate concern and first priority will always be China
If one side is gaming the system by blocking foreign competitors while competing in those foreign markets, then that side should in turn be blocked until they're willing to change their tune.
China can be allowed to compete in other markets when they allow others to compete in their market.
You could even made it explicit in the law, similar to what the EU is doing for travel reciprocity now that the coronavirus situation isn't as bad: have the text of the law explicitly say that the ban automatically lifts if the other country cooperates.
China is basically using these apps as spyware.
There was also a period of time where if you didn't give it Location permissions, it wouldn't let you login to WeChat. With LineageOS I was able to "give" it the permission but hand it fake sensor data instead of actual hardware data from the OS side.
I'd never think to run WeChat on a closed-source OS like iOS that doesn't give access to these kinds of introspection.
That said I don't necessarily think Facebook's or Google's set of apps are necessarily better in terms of spying, but at least it's possible to message people using a pure web interface without downloading anything, which WeChat doesn't let you do.
For any value of "TikTok," including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, iMessage, gmail, &c.
Oh you have a wedding to attend do you? Here let me show you this ad for gifts that you can purchase at 50% discount. Oh but what about the dress that you need to wear? Here, buy this suit with 20% discount. Oh wait, you need to fly to say Delhi from your current location. Here let me offer you tickets to book your flights to at 10% discount. And while we are at it, let us retarget you endlessly, wherever you go, whichever site you visit! We will follow you. Until you buy one of the above!
Do you not see how quickly one can profile with realtime access to data? Aadhaar breach did not even include biometrics. But I bet your phone (if Chinese made) with a fingerprint or face lock would not only have your biometrics but also know every single detail about you in realtime through these apps. Aadhaar data breach is pale in comparison to this! And you have been feeding realtime data to a draconian regime for the past decade. If Aadhaar data breach upsets you, you should be frightened with what data gets collected by these social media companies.
Aadhaar has data like DOB, PAN, Address, Passport details which can be used for identity theft etc. It's a nightmare once it happens to anyone.
Now coming to your new point: The details that are taken by Social Media platforms are transferred to third-parties too. And identity theft is not as big a problem as invasive tracking and profiling is. Identity theft happened before Aadhaar existed and will continue to happen whether we have Aadhaar in the future or not.
The former needs someone to actually misuse breached data. The latter is being misused in realtime. And what do you feed these social media companies apart from your realtime data? Your DOB, your address and your phone number. Then they ask you for verification that you are a real person and not a bot. For that you have to hand over your passport/aadhaar/voter ID/PAN or any detail that will confirm your identity and address location! Like I said, you can't even compare the two! Aadhaar is nothing in comparison to what is collected by social media companies and handed over to third-parties like Cambridge Analytica.
And if you think you can dox someone only through Aadhaar then you are so wrong my friend. You can literally dox anyone who has interacted online to some significant degree. Traces of their digital footprint is left every where on the internet to be exploited.
That said, I'm glad to see this not getting much press coverage in the US. The political discourse here has shown a willingness to throw gasoline on any fire, and the last thing we need is our fearless leader weighing in on an already tense and dangerous situation.
China uses a different coordinate system inside the country (GCJ-02 vs WGS-84) and it results in discontinuities whenever you try to display a map of a border region (for example, the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge).
Larger tensions and security concerns, yeah I'm willing to bet it is a larger issue.
Chinese infiltration takes a myriad of forms and data collection is one of the biggest.
And those apps form a basis for click-of-the-button hacking.
And ordinary users will find it very very difficult to determine if an app is Chinese made or not.
And the Chinese govt. will have it's fingers in everyone of them, one way or the other.
What I do worry now is that since China has been exposed, it will resort to even elaborate deceptive methods to hide itself and it's infiltration.
China is not to be trusted.
However, US is not about expansionism.
Its about trade and control. It wants markets, trade and resources.
China is about expansionism and lacks moral or ethical compass.
... wait, what? Since when? You don't think US military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan are about expansionism?
Besides, the concept of expansionism includes economic expansion, not just border expansion.
Economic expansion is slightly lesser degrading than border expansion.
You may bankrupt a man, he will sulk and move on, but if you occupy his land, he will lash out.
I love how the world paints China as an aggressive power while conveniently forgetting the completely unjustified and unwarranted invasion of Iraq by America.
From a neutral POV, China has only 'invaded' some islands. America has toppled governments and literally occupied sovereign nations - all under the guise of "national security".
And it all happened in the distant past of just 17 years ago
You should read about China's antics in African countries.
I see absolutely no way that any American can ethically justify the invasion of Iraq.
It's also quite ironic that so many companies with strong Chinese funding are still operating. Chinese smartphone makers are also doing great in India despite economic slowdown. OnePlus recently did a flash sale and sold out.
It'll be interesting to see what's going to happen in Long term. But this one, it's just a spicy headlines.
India must shift its trade integration into democracies and wean away from China.
Everything must have a beginning and this is the right time for India to wake up and stop its indirect economic support toan authoritarian bully.
I highly doubt the indian government woke up one day and said "how can we distract the public from COVID today?" and someone replied "lets ban a bunch of highly popular mobile apps and games our citizens use to entertain themselves on the internet".
That seems like a great way to make them less distracted, not more.
On the other hand, banning spyware from the country you are currently in conflict is common sense and not that tricky. It's far more than spicy headlines.
The amount of actual impact on trade in between China, and USA is completely microscopic in relation to the amount of noise, and commotion.
One can not believe that sides genuinely oppose each other, rather than doing a theatrical performance with unspoken mutual understanding.
Where I think a lot of folks are missing the point is that this is also a tremendous boost to local Indian entrepreneurship. One of the really clever aspects of China's Great Firewall is that it keeps out international competition, which would crush local startups. By banning more advanced, foreign competitors, India gives its local entrepreneurs a chance to grow hugely successful domestic apps, which can then compete internationally.
> By banning more advanced, foreign competitors, India gives its local entrepreneurs a chance to grow hugely successful domestic apps, which can then compete internationally.
If India bans international apps from competing within India, wouldn't Indian apps from these new found enterpreneurs expect the same response from other countries? There is a paradox here.
Why should any country allow Indian apps if they cannot compete in India? You realize this is the exact same situation as what India is doing with China. Now replace China with India.
When you turn inwards(like China) and then expect widespread adoption and cooperation whilst banning domestic competition, do you really think that’s better for India?
India has the capability to compete at the global level without turning inwards. Entrepreneurs in India can and will compete internationally. When you have virtually no international competition, the overall incentive to compete is reduced and the quality with it.
I am from India, and I don't think this would matter a lot if the company doesn't suffer from grand delusions of trying to go global etc. There are a lot of very idiosyncratic things about the culture here (just as in other countries) where it makes a lot of sense to develop India specific apps.
Also, the nature of innovation itself would change if an app is developed to cater primarily to people in India. A perfect example of this is the recently introduced UPI payments scheme, which if I understand correctly is already far ahead in terms of convenience when compared to payments services in developed countries. And I am very thankful neither Facebook nor TikTok controls it in any way, shape or form!
Otherwise, I agree with your sentiment, as it applies generally to trade policies between true allies. The only problem I have is that China is an exception when it comes to these bilateral trade policies, because they have a long history of bullying  smaller neighbors, and they can rarely be trusted when it comes to any kind of neighborliness. People who are pro-China should come and live a few years in these regions, and I expect they won't remain pro-China for very long.
And then throw in the rampant IP theft, and it seems to me that pro-China advocates are acting like useful idiots.
I will add a very ironic thing I read recently by one of those useful idiots, who said "Thank God this didn’t start in somewhere like India, because there’s absolutely no way that the quality of Indian governance could move to react in the way that the Chinese have done" . The irony of course is that China is trying to convince the world that the virus didn't even originate in China. In other words, Mr. Jim O'Neill would likely be in Chinese prison if he had made that statement from inside of China. I bet the heavy-handedness wouldn't taste so good if you become one of the victims. Nassim Taleb would have mocked this as the statement of a guy who "has no skin in the game".
- A company that wants to cater to Indian public must understand the local system, rules, culture, laws, taboos, and norms.
- Local and domestic entrepreneurs in India have that edge by the virtue of being immersed in the locality.
- Foreign companies will always need to adapt and evolve according to the needs of the Indian public.
This is the best kind of “head start” or “subsidization” one can have in a free and open market. There is nothing wrong with this.
The problem is in preventing international companies from competing in India which, I believe was the case before the 90’s. That was a disastrous foreign policy as the history books tell us.
Speaking of state victims, here's a fun fact - India rounded up all of its ethnic Chinese residents (including Indian citizens) and put them into an internment camp for 5 years with no apology or compensation.
"On 13 June 2019, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman pronounced the incident and "ordinary maritime accident". The following day, the Chinese Embassy in Manila released a statement via Facebook claiming that a Chinese fishing boat, Yuemaobinyu 42212, "was berthed near Reed Bank when it was suddenly besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats". In attempting to evade the Filipino boats, the Chinese vessel's lightning grid cable dragged into the Filipino boat's pilothouse, causing the boat to tilt and founder. This Facebook post however, was later deleted.
China released a revised statement on 18 June 2019, this time omitting the narrative that Yuemaobinyu 42212 had been besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats. The statement referred to the incident as an "accidental collision" between fishing boats and offered sympathies to the Filipino fishermen.
In August 2019 Chen Shiqin, the president of the Guangdong Fishery Mutual Insurance Association sent a letter to the Philippines apologizing for one of its member's ships sinking F/B Gem-Ver and subsequently abandoning its crew. It was initially reported that the apology was accepted, but this was later refuted by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs."
The initial reaction to the incident certainly looks like bullying. What would you call it?
>>Speaking of state victims, here's a fun fact - India rounded up all of its ethnic Chinese residents (including Indian citizens) and put them into an internment camp for 5 years with no apology or compensation.
There was an actual war going on at that time. There is a perception in India that China backstabbed the Indian prime minister of that day. I am fairly certain not one person in China would agree.
Isn't that exactly what USA did to its Japanese citizens during World War II? Is that supposed to prove anything one way or another? Yes, during war lots of ugly things happen. But that's why nobody likes to go to war, isn't it? The first casualty of war is the truth.
> Isn't that exactly what USA did to its Japanese citizens during World War II
It was, but eventually they got the dignity of an apology and a check to get their lives in the USA back on track.
The war in India also only lasted barely 2 months, to be held for 5 years seems excessive.
> But that's why nobody likes to go to war, isn't it? The first casualty of war is the truth.
Sometimes the loss of truth is placed before the lead up to war. I'm seeing a lost respect for truth (I'm not directing this at you) and I find it very concerning.
- the Indian startup ecosystem is dependent on external capital, a lot of which comes from China. This protectionist attitude will lead to a overall negative sentiment about investing in Indian tech.
Not only is it a good idea from security perspective - as well as privacy as a selling point - by forbidding specific, popular foreign services, it opens up the market for domestic players to grow. This is what China has done, and now India is doing the same to them.
Overall, this seems like a win for the people in India.
India’s GDP is much much smaller than most think: its smaller than California’s GDP. That doesn’t seem so bad since they’re so close to other European countries but remember that India’s population is also considerably larger.
Last I looked, a good portion of the funding for Indian startups is from China.
Or, you could question both. Whataboutism isn't a valid argument, so censorship of the Internet can still be wrong at the same time as China is a malevolent force both on the Internet in general terms and for specific pieces of software or services in more concrete terms.
A Great Indian Firewall is shaping up. Now that the sentiment is all "anti-China!", people would celebrate instead of protesting the great firewall.
"Masterstroke!"* - Indian public.
*Basically, anything the current leader does, his PR team and his party spokespersons end up terming "unprecedented" / "masterstroke" / "genius move". Everything seems headed towards hardcore Soviet scheme of things.
How did you get that impression? There are a ton of chinese messanging apps, e.g., QQ, which is also on the list of banned apps.
But besides that: There exist further chinese messengers and non chinese messengers that are not blocked in china.
The rest is, in my opinion, irrelevant to the topic of wechat being the only chinese messaging app.
>WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, whose main social media service has been blocked in China since 2009. In September 2017, security researchers reported to The New York Times that the WhatsApp service had been completely blocked in China.
>According to Time, Sarsenbek Akaruli, 45, a veterinarian and trader from Ili, Xinjiang, was arrested in Xinjiang on November 2, 2017. As of November 2019, he is still in a detention camp. According to his wife Gulnur Kosdaulet, Akaruli was put in the camp after police found the banned messaging app WhatsApp on his cell phone. Kosdaulet, a citizen of neighboring Kazakhstan, has traveled to Xinjiang on four occasions to search for her husband but could not get help from friends in the Communist Party of China. Kosdaulet said of her friends, "Nobody wanted to risk being recorded on security cameras talking to me in case they ended up in the camps themselves."
Are they still putting people in concentration camps for having an app on their phone?
The global economy is too interwined with China. No country can afford to put a blanket ban on things that matter, without a viable plan-B.
If values were such important, Saudis wouldn't have been your best buddies.
Think about the "special relationship" among the UK/US that is (definitely was) primarily based on values.
The Saudis are a pragmatic ally, not a values-based one. Both exist.
Which values? Atheism? The welfare state? Well defined social classes? The royal family?
Would love to hear more detail from those who know more on the subject.
This seems like a really specific request. I'm not sure what aspect you're looking for. But for starters, here's an interesting wikipedia page for governors that went outside the major parties:
Looks like the most common thing in recent times is to just use the label "independent" rather than start a new party.
That's perhaps why China is getting a bit more cocky
I don't think any substantial shift will happen in near future.
Especially in terms of mixing religion and politics and right-wing based supremacy views.
Uncritical alliance or support will only strengthen the anti-democratic forces. The govt is very interested in stoking anger against an external force (china) to divert serious failures in handling covid crisis. It had adopted the same strategy using pakistan or muslims as the bogey man several times in the recent past.
This is the first step.
India should engage more with democracies.
The trade alliance with China has been materially good to Indians. We've been able to afford more goods at cheaper rates. While we should try and move things back home, it's not going to happen overnight.
In the meantime, a population that was already struggling with income inequality, wage stagnation, unemployment and even growing poverty will see its material wealth slip further.
It's better than just raising the hands and saying that it cannot be done.
If only people read about PBOC, CNY/CNH and how currency is a political tool within China, you realize they have successfully exploited the "free market" impulse to effectively use state capitalism and dumping to create the world we are in Today.
Just because the supply chains got complex and intertwined with China does not mean it will that way forever -- it is going to be a painful 5 - 10 years, just like the ramp up, the tear down will take time.
God forbid other countries give China a taste of their own medicine.
Facebook recently invested in Reliance Jio. There have been other investments from Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners etc.
TikTok is a big threat to FB, Instagram & YouTube. ByteDance apps TikTok, Vigo Video, Helo have around 300 million users in India. Facebook user base is 280 million. ByteDance had more apps planned for this year.
Banning BD is a big win for Facebook & Reliance. Government also get's to score a few points in this coronavirus mess.
When military is getting active, they seriously don't care about a chat app.
Except if it's from the invader ofc.
The intent is not financial. The intent is to block the direct access that China has to manipulate and shape opinions inside India. It's to prevent China from opening another front in it's ongoing war with it's neighbors.
- Ban the companies for 3 months. Then allow selectively.
- Reduce the tax from South Korea and Japan.
Doesn't china comparatively has lesser moves than india as it enjoys trade benefit far more than India.
If this ban lasts:
My concern is that Facebook will introduce India-specific products to fill this void, while my hope is that local players significantly up their product quality and reach to build a strong domestic tech scene - the way China did a decade and a half ago w/ Tencent, Baidu, ByteDance, etc. This domestic talent expansion will help build a stronger domestic tech ecosystem.
Why the concern w/ Facebook? They already have a deathly grip on Indian consumers w/ WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram. Tik Tok was the only major social platform used by Indians that wasn't owned by Facebook, and now they have a chance to potentially grab that as well. I'm not comfortable with one company owning that much attention, I don't trust their privacy policies with their data privacy track record and they don't iterate quickly enough on localized product-features meaning Indian users lag months / years behind western regions (e.g. Instagram in-app shopping experience).
Can you give some example?
Also, many of the apps listed have been removed from the Google Play store several times for violating Googles developer policies and user privacy.
Anyone familiar with Android knows to avoid apps made by DU and CM.
Another little known factoid is that the “Beauty camera” line (Mitu?) has an admistrative level person that used to work at Cambridge Analytica.
"Jayanth Kolla, an analyst at research firm Convergence Catalyst, told TechCrunch the move was surprising and will have huge impact on Chinese firms, many of which count India as their biggest market."
That's the real reason. This is just posturing between two neighbouring countries who are currently involved in a border dispute. There is already a lot of military posturing, a lot of diplomatic posturing and now a lot of market posturing, which includes the Internet.
The site guidelines call for original sources, of course (https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html), but press releases are a bit of a grey area because they tend to leave out important context, if not outright mislead.
One compromise would be to promote democracies around the world and incentivize apps/services developed, operated and controlled in democratic environments.
We should have a non-profit org that promotes manufacturing in democracies. From shirts to iOS apps, it would be interesting to experiment with a "Made in Democracy" or "Developed in Democracy" mark.
I ran this idea through a manufacturing consultant in SF and they were very receptive of it.
In addition to counterfeiting and deception, another problem is in the definition of what constitutes, for example, a "Made in Switzerland" product. According to Swiss law, 60% of the manufacturing BOM cost needs to be domestically sourced . Therein lies the problem of enforcement as well as impossibilities due to the entangled supply-chain with China as well as accountability and prevention of abuse.
Essentially in this case it would make more sense to embargo financial systems from Chinese application developers (putting aside how poorly the attempted trade war have gone in the past) but the apps themselves being technically legal.
I am not sure of the actual cold war legal specifics but it would be like the difference between wiring money to Pravda being illegal funding of the USSR but republishing it in the US to point out what the hell they are saying internally would be protected. (The piracy being allowed is essentially a feature - why privledge enemies with your enforcement absent existing treaties?)
I think banning spyware is less problematic than the rest of the current and past interference and might actually have some positive effects.
Defeatism around something so critically important to the success of a country isn't a plan.
Absolutely, one of the big systemic changes we need to effect is a switch to ranked choice voting. There are several other significant changes to the US's voting system that would also be needed. Things like a complete elimination of voting machines, and honestly a full switch to vote-by-mail would probably help.
Of course, the voting system in this country isn't even the biggest problem, some how. Things need to change before next election, not in a few election cycles.
Obviously it would be really REALLY nice if there was a trustworthy entity who could do that, but it's pretty absurd to suggest that if we simply vote for the other guy suddenly the US government will be that entity.
No, this ain't just it. Even if I trusted the current US government (which is already a shaky premise to begin with), I cannot be sure I will trust the US government that will be in place in 10 years or 20 years. And once you give them that power, there is no easy way to put it back in the box.
So, for me at least, it is less about distrust and more of a "freedom" or "systems" sort of an argument. I am ok with the government issuing some sort of an "advisory list" of potentially invasive apps. But no, I don't want government to essentially preventing me from using certain apps due to "privacy concerns", if I am aware of the risks and still want to proceed.
Any government is only as good as the trust people place in it. A trusted government invites trust-worthy candidates, is held to a higher standard of transparency, etc. If you want a government that you can trust, you may want to write to your congress-people and ask, for instance, that they ban corporate funding of elections (through those ridiculous dinners), Super PACs, etc. By the people, for the people, after all.
Like, first they made us wear masks, what's next? Kind of literally nothing, there is nowhere further to push this specific requirement towards. And the requirement itself is very specific and leaves no room for ambiguity. This law doesn't give the government any power to make arbitrary decisions. Neither does it require trust in the government. It is just a very specific one-off thing. The effects of this law remain within the specific scope of what this law was intending to do and have no room to escape.
With app bans, you can easily imagine tons of "worst case" scenarios, where they ban arbitrary apps they don't like or don't want people to use. Why? Because the right to ban apps includes a lot of room for ambiguity. It gives power to the government to decide which apps they want to ban, based on their own criteria that don't need to align with reality or what people want. Given how digitized our lives are these days, this is an insane amount of power that can be used fairly arbitrarily. And it relies solely on your trust in the government acting in the interests of their populace at all times.
P.S. Mind you, my sentiment on app bans by the government doesn't apply to app bans for super specific scenarios, like certain app bans on work devices for groups of people with access to classified info. For example, banning WhatsApp and TikTok on work devices for active military and people working on classified contracts for the government? That's a fair game, because the reasoning makes sense, and there is way more at stake than just "personal data" or something like that. And the devices aren't even personal, in the first place. And, it is something you can sort of choose to do by working on classified projects. You have agency over this and can take concrete steps to avoid this ban affecting you. Blanket banning apps for everyone in the country? Yeah, I am not a fan of this.
In some countries, some people trust their government to do such things, and it may even be majority of people. That doesn't help the portion of citizens that get such decisions imposed on them against their will.
Let’s look at the latest tragity, the EARN IT bill you will see that this is a bi-partisan effort. The Democrats are not standing in opposition. They are co-sponsors. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/339...
It is the duty of the government to protect its citizens from foreign influence and banning apps is a legitimate exercise of the govts power in fulfilling that duty.
However, I wouldn't oppose there being a "cyber martial law" if there was some sort of "cyber declaration of war" that would enable the US government to declare software/hardware products from another country to not be used in native soil (while in "cyber war").
The US doesn't have to allow a malicious player to map their whole infrastructure and technology usage habits.
Democracy is very hard, why would the US have to allow other countries to be able to have such a strong profile and possible blackmail on its citizens?
You almost got it. We do indeed need to make it harder to spy on people. Not doing anything is not the better option right now.
All Chinese companies are completely at the mercy of CCP. No two ways about it. If tomorrow a War does break out between India and China, then the CCP can utilize these apps to spread propaganda to influence Indian public against the Government. Foreign interference is grounds for strengthening National Security. And this ban is not from the Government alone. Indians have literally been demanding a boycott of Chinese apps and goods for well over a year now! So it is actually the Government which has acted late!
You can read more about it here: https://www.thequint.com/tech-and-auto/tech-news/tiktok-app-...
It is not easy to get an app rating to go down from 4.9/5 to 1.3 within few days on Google Play Store when it has close to 1.5 billion downloads. You can imagine the anger among the Indian public.
If you're concerned about Tiktok influence where most content can be described as attractive young people do nonsense on camera you should be much more worried about Twitter, Facebook, Google, News media, Reddit, etc.
TL;DR TikTok looks waaaaaay more shady than FB with their Android SDK.
(seems like archive.is is down atm, tried to load via wayback machine, but they don't have this site cached, ugh)
A significant portion of Indian smartphone users are not technically literate. Lot of shady adware developed in China is ubiquitous in India, due to inertia and network effects, as well as lack of awareness about security / permissions given to apps etc..
For example, that file sharing application called ShareIt. That's a piece of shit. But people used it and if you wanted to share some movie / song / something like that with other people, you would've needed that crap. I have refused to use such adware since an year and it worked for me because content I consume was different, there was cheap Jio internet and I didn't need to share much files with others. The technically educated of us used Google Files or Xender which were better than ShareIt. And most people don't own PC/Laptop thus Pendrives are out of question.
Similarly people used browsers like UC browser without concerns, because they didn't know better.
Now there is friction between China and India, the ubiquity of Chinese apps is a threat, and Govt. has taken right step. But more stuff needs to be banned, and the danger needs to be clearly communicated instead of a blanket ban, which leads people to think it is just an act of patriotism.
Seems these repercussions are already put into consideration.
There is such a thing as real dissent in the country where Facebook and Google are headquartered. It actually matters to people who use these services.
Do you doubt it? A Twitter account like this cannot be run from inside of China:
If you disagree, please comment with a Twitter profile (preferably written in English, but I can also use Google Translate if it is written in Chinese) and change my mind.
What about all the naysayers about a LOT of America's policies who still have a public platform? Here is an example:
By the way, just because I am linking to it doesn't mean I agree with everything on that website, which is sort of the whole point isn't it? I am still able to read and then think about dissenting voices.
Can someone show me the Chinese equivalent of that website?
In such scenario, it is not difficult to imagine, that India use whatever strengths it has, to compensate for this asymmetry.
India is a big digital market. Consumerism is being weaponized.
One can debate if this indeed is the driver or not.
Yet, a statement has been made.
Boycott of Chinese physical goods is not as straightforward as digital ones. Low hanging fruit, to make a statement.
Tibet quenches the thirst of 3Bn people through ~10 rivers in SE Asia.
Kashmir and Tibet are red hot conflict zones and this is through and through a contest of freshwater.
This is a powder keg unlike any other and this scenario
is collateral shrapnel.
China has 5% arable land and its water becomes more putrid by the day. 20% of industrial waste water pollution is from textile dye that's dumped into water, and China has cornered the textile manufacturing market.
China uses water for dams. They built something like 20k+ dams in 70 years.
China uses water for agriculture, extremely inefficiently.
China weaponized water data on the Brahmaputra river and it caused downstream deaths in India.
I'm aggressively invested in $DFEN and $BA.
Boeing has 400 vendors in Inda. This will heat up.
MOD and DRDO ain't no joke.
If you were a murderous dictator like Xi Jinping, it would be prudent to kill the muslim minority to ensure a long and stable CCP indoctrinated control of Tibet and all the water brouhaha.
While both countries engage in Sabre rattling, its inconceivable that there would be an arms race of the kind that would cause a significant change in the stock price of defense contractors.
A more likely scenario is the upcoming Biden administration steps in and bullies China and/or India into backing down. The hollowing out of the US State department has probably been one of the most underappreciated casualties of the Trump administration.
Australian here wayyyyyy out of the US political loop. Is Joe Biden looking likely to win? Has he been promising a hard-line stance on China?
Although, as the 2016 election showed, polls may not always be reliable.
I recently bought an LG phone for mobile dev (LG V30). I need to enable developer mode to properly use this device for development. I am able to set the device in developer mode, but there is no way to select transfer protocol over USD with connected computer.
I worry this device might be hacked and this device is modified to prevent people from removing any hacks. I am also not able to do a hardware reset using the instructions I can find on internet.
On the other hand, this could just be some weird Android bug. But I think it's all quite suspicious.
By the way, part of the OS (e.g. the first menu shown after doing a soft reset) are not in English, only in Korean (I think). Also a bit weird imo.
Either way, these weird experiences with this device made me a lot more worried about security.
@dang - why was this changed, do you know? May be the Indian Gov Press release site hit hard by HN?
(For the curious, my TikTok data is shared here: https://tiktometer.com)
TL;DR: A tweet posts photos of "someone on reddit" saying they had analyzed the TikTok client and it was sending all sorts of data and able to execute .zip downloads, etc. Reddit thread has the poster saying "I'd provide proof, but it's in a soldered on SSD in a broken computer."
Next will be zoom why there is JioMeet. Can anyone find 5 differences between JioMeet and Zoom app.
Recently TikTok donated 30 crore rupees to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PM_CARES_Fund
Will Modi regime return these funds ?
Not to be confused with the more popular "Clash of Clans" which is owned by a Finnish company https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Clans
In more recent months, China's military has become increasingly aggressive against India and in the South China Sea, and they've just recently passed a draconian 'national security' law in Hong Kong which pretty much allows them unlimited control over the territory.
With this in mind, China is starting to look like a grave threat to the peace and stability of Asia and beyond (apropos their recently influencing the elections in Kiribati and having a puppet leader installed).
India welcoming Chinese made software is like the US deploying Iranian or North Korean origin software. Tell me how that works out.
This thread is hilarious. You have people spamming the same link over and over again and not be greyed out, but if you look into their comment history you'll find dead comments with such controversial opinions as "spice was lucrative during the age of sail" and "Vegan Italian food is possible". HNers are a mercurial lot.
I'm looking forward to see the reactions of HN once similar bans get enacted closer to home. The free speech and free market absolutists have been silent so far, let's see how long they can maintain the cognitive dissonance.
TikTok and a lot of some Chinese apps are seriously untrustworthy
What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
People with adolescents and teen daughters please chime in here. The rates of suicide, cutting, and psychological problems are climbing. My wife and I find a charity that offers counseling and therapy to young girls. What is common place now was nearly unheard of in my generation (X).
My thinking is, this would be a good casus belli for India if they have the national ability to develop home grown alternatives.
If you look at the evolution of the Chinese market, one of the key reasons China was able to develop a vast and independent internet ecosystem was its ability to ban the U.S. based groups such as Youtube, Google, facebook all at select political moments. Had the Chinese never done this, there is no way its domestic eco-system would have developed the way it has. At best foreign firms would own a substantial minority share, instead the Chinese firms like Alibaba and Tencent were able to consolidate monopolistic positions at home and then use that as a base to expand outwards into SEA, India and other developing markets, thereby challenging what would otherwise be a U.S. based monopoly on leading information technology.
From a nation building and state capitalist perspective it was actually quite a smart move. At the time, the western content providers were all banned at one point or another based on individual political reasons (Google hacking, arab spring..etc) and while there were political reasons to do so (censor and control the discourse of Chinese popular opinion) there was vast economic benefits down the road. I am sure the high level thinking in policy making in China recognize this "two birds with one stone" aspect.
I suspect India would like to do something similar. Right now the "foreign barbarians" in India are not the technologically more advance American firms like in China's days in the 90's. It's cash rich and state backed Chinese firms (Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, Douyin, and the like).
So seizing this as a good excuse to maybe not outright ban (we don't know if the TikTok ban won't be reversed at a later time) but even to throttle and restrict them in the domestic Indian market, provided there are domestic alternatives that can built up would be a good move 10-20 years down the road. Or even better, use the opportunity to shake down and force more technology transfer from the Chinese firms in return for market access. India like China has a sufficiently large population and thereby potential domestic market to pursue this strategy.
This is small potatoes compared to the concentration camps and genocide and ethic cleansing being forced on Tibet and East Turkistan (what CCP calls Xinjiang). Or to the forced harvesting of organs from living political dissidents.
What will it take?
Don’t allow Chinese apps until they open their own market to freely allow foreign apps like Google, Facebook, Youtube etc to function
Free societies should be completely isolated from societies without remotely the same liberties, human rights or sense of ethics.
If you make money off a country because it permits its workers to be enslaved and paid a pittance, you both support the ongoing enslavement AND reward the leaders of that country. This is a devils' tradeoff.
Also this news is not confirmed. Just speculation which is enough to make the public feel good.
From a humanitarian point of view, everyone in the world should uninstall these apps as they help collecting data for censorship in China .
Also, apart from being a spyware, TikTok is simply a dangerous app which brings much harm to society .
 - https://citizenlab.ca/2020/05/we-chat-they-watch/
 - https://nypost.com/2020/02/13/the-dumb-dangerous-challenges-....
[user@host tmp]$ nslookup pib.gov.in 22.214.171.124
[user@host tmp]$ nslookup pib.gov.in 126.96.36.199
server can't find pib.gov.in: SERVFAIL
People started removing Chinese apps not because of national security but because they thought it would stop boosting Chinese economy which in turn will come as defense budget
Bigger question is how do you stop the market penetration of mobiles like Oppo/Vivo/Xiomi etc and all the Startups like Ola/Flipkart which is backed by Chinese investment.
I think this is a bigger concern than loss of privacy.
Those comparing loss of privacy for Indians on US apps / platforms compared to Chinese apps / platforms, China and India are openly hostile.
US and India are not. This is a big difference.
Thank you, India, for keeping national security first. Hoping it is for the long haul and the decision should not change in a meeting.