China now has SEMINARS to teach other countries how to censor free speech as its ‘techno-dystopia’ spreads

Friday, November 2, 2018
By Paul Martin

Governments worldwide are stepping up use of online tools to suppress dissent
Chinese officials have held sessions on controlling information, report found
They have provided surveillance equipment to a number of foreign governments

PHOEBE WESTON
DAILYMAIL.COM
2 November 2018

China now has seminars to teach other countries how to censor free speech as its ‘techno-dystopia’ spreads, a worrying report has found.

Governments worldwide are stepping up use of online tools to suppress dissent and tighten their grip on power, a human rights watchdog study found.

Chinese officials have held sessions on controlling information with 36 of the 65 countries assessed, and provided telecom and surveillance equipment to a number of foreign governments, researchers said.

India led the world in the number of internet shutdowns, with over 100 reported incidents in 2018 so far, claiming that the moves were needed to halt the flow of disinformation and incitement to violence.

Many governments, including Saudi Arabia, are employing ‘troll armies’ to manipulate social media and in many cases drown out the voices of dissidents.

The annual Freedom House study of 65 countries found global internet freedom declined for the eighth consecutive year in 2018.

The Freedom on the Net 2018 report also found online propaganda and disinformation have increasingly ‘poisoned’ the digital space, while the unbridled collection of personal data is infringing on privacy.

‘Democracies are struggling in the digital age, while China is exporting its model of censorship and surveillance to control information both inside and outside its borders,’ said Michael Abramowitz, president of Freedom House.

‘This pattern poses a threat to the open internet and endangers prospects for greater democracy worldwide.’

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