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Blog service providers agree to register; censor bloggers for Chinese Government

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This is scary stuff. From Reporters Without Borders:

Reporters Without Borders condemns the “self-discipline pact” signed by at least 20 leading blog service providers in China including Yahoo.cn! and MSN.cn. Unveiled yesterday by the Internet Society of China (ISC), an offshoot of the information industry ministry, the pact stops short the previous project of making it obligatory for bloggers to register, but it can be used to force service providers to censor content and identify bloggers.

Under the new pact, blog service providers are “encouraged” to register users under their real names and contact information before letting them post blogs. More seriously, they will be required to keep this information, which will allow the authorities to identify them. These companies have already in the past provided the police with information about their clients, resulting in arrests.

The pact says “blog providers should monitor and manage comments … and delete illegal and bad information in a timely manner.” Articles 11 and 12 urge them to equip themselves with a secure management system that allows them to keep bloggers’ details, including their real name, address, contact number and email address.

ISC secretary-general Huang Chengqing was clear yesterday when he said: “Blog service providers who allow the use of pseudonyms may be more attractive to bloggers, but they will be punished by the government if they fail to screen illegal information.”

Most people know free speech does not exist in China.  What continues to amaze me is that American and European companies continue to agree to help the Chinese government monitor, censor and suppress their citizens free speech.

Gnomedex 7.0 Opening Keynote Robert Steele

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This morning’s opening keynote speaker Robert Steele is dropping bombs. This presentation is supposed to be about Open Source but Steele (a former spy and self proclaimed “moderate Republican” is off the rails. He opened with the statement that Dick Cheney had created at least 25 impeachable offenses. I missed quite a few of the gems during the first fifteen minutes of his presentation trying to get internet access (this may be the biggest single problem with blogging conferences by the way) but here is a running list of the controversial stuff Steele is saying.

  • “Message to Microsoft, we will let you live but we want your money.”
  • “We have a military industrial complex that profits from war and secrecy not open source and peace. “
  • “I dont think anybody unwilling to support open spectrum should be elected to anything anywhere.”
  • central banking is an evil cancer. These people are selling us credit they dont have to make profits they don’t deserve.”
  • “Lincoln and Kennedy were both assassinated when they were about to print money and not borrow from the banks.”
  • “I gave up on Wikipedia because I don’t have time to deal with morons.”
  • “The Federal Government is broken in every possible way. “
  • “I don’t want you to think I am Jane Fonda on steroids. “
  • “I am on my best behavior with you guys by the way. “
  • “Our education system stinks it beats the creativity out of kids by the fourth grade.”
  • “We have gone from America the Beautiful to America the shit in just two administrations. Clinton is just as much to blame”
  • “The Iranians have a sunburn missle and I think they have a nuclear warhead for hit.”
  • “I believe we need to start blogging retroactive impeachments. I am not saying we need to hang them or execute them just expose them.”
  • “I got thrown off Fox News for saying the global war on terrorism wasn’t real. Well its not”
  • “We are in a hundred year war that we started in 1988”
  • “our job in the next 15 years is to hand out cell phones around the world first one per village then one per family then one per person”
  • “your government is stupid and they are stupid deliberately.”
  • “I sent a letter to Bill Bradley and Bloomberg and asked why don’t you contact Ron Paul and McCain and build a cabinet and they didn’t respond.”
  • “No one here who doesn’t agree with me isn’t getting out alive”
  • “Every time someone touches my social security number I want a Cisco based system to notify me so I get to decide who gets to see my information.”
  • If I had my way I would significantly upgrade the luxury at Guantanamo and I would take Bill Gates, and
  • “if I had one take away message from here that you can blog I would say why aren’t Microsoft, and Google and Sunn and all of these guys asking for an antitrust waiver to create an Open Source skunk works.”
  • “We don’t do peace.”
  • “If I had been Shinseki, I would have grabbed Wolfowitz and thrown him down the steps of capital hill.”
  • “The Alien part I am not prepared to reject but it is much to digest right now.”
  • “Central Banks are Evil. The sooner we get a grip on open money, the sooner we stop buying stocks, the sooner we stop being serfs, the sooner we will do well.”
  • “In an unjust bandwidth environment, everyone should be a hacker, or a Ham radio operator.”
  • “The Freedom of Information Act is just a way to keep you busy.”
  • “Don’t waste your time on the Federal government. It’s going away.”
  • If the Federal Governmet does not get turned over in 2008 I expect serious session movements to follow. (Note I do not have this last quote 100% accurate and am paraphrasing)
  • “There is a sweeping movement across the country called home rule.”
  • “Extremist religions both Jihadists and Christian fundamentalists are evil.”
  • “Faith is not about god its about you and me.”
[tags] gnomedex, gnomedex+keynote, Robert+Steele, Open+Source[/tags]

Huffington Post Goes Mainstream?

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Today the Washington Post runs a mostly complimentary piece by Howard Kurtz recognizing HuffPost’s many achievements. Kurtz does point out several times that Huffington Post is a left leaning site which is true and Arianna is proud of it.

The most notable change is that HuffPost has morphed from a left-leaning site with a modest conservative presence to a pugnaciously liberal operation in which the banner headlines and majority of bloggers holler about the latest outrage perpetrated by the Bush administration.

“We are opposed to the war in Iraq,” Huffington says from her Los Angeles home. “We think the troops should come home. The headlines are going to reflect what is in the best interests of the country.”

Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer reiterates:

As Lerer puts it: “Attitude is a huge positive, not a negative. People don’t have to love you. Maybe people come to you because they don’t love you.”

Huffington and Lerer are absolutely correct but I don’t believe the MSM really understands it. Kurtz correctly points out they cover stories much faster than any network news channel can, and often times faster than cable but seems to suggest they are successful despite their blatant ideology:

Beyond ideology, though, the Huffington site has succeeded through its relentless updating, serving up links to all manner of news and entertainment

Huff Post is successful because they are forthright about their political leanings.

The MSM still tries to claim objectivity but hard core consumers of news just don’t believe that anymore. You may disagree with every word of a post at Huff Post (as I usually do) but you know where they stand and often times read things you will never see in the main stream press.

This isn’t a left / right issue and Arianna rightly recognizes another new media pioneer The Drudge Report (it’s not a blog but thats a whole other argument) for contributing to her success.

“We could not have existed without Drudge,” Huffington says. “Drudge habituated people to going online for their news.”

Blogs are changing the way political news is covered and The Huffington Post can rightly take credit for being a big part of that change.

Another blogger enters fray of Presidential Politics

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John Hawkins of Right Wing News has announced he is now consulting for GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter’s Presidential campaign via TCV Media. Here are details from his post at RWN:

On February 3, Nathan Tabor from TCV Media got in touch with me and asked if I’d be interested in consulting for the Duncan Hunter campaign. We bantered back and forth, came to a basic understanding that Saturday, and then finalized the deal the next day. Long story short, TCV Media brought me on board to be their point person in building up buzz for Duncan Hunter online.

Since I am a blogger who’s doing some consulting on the side, not a consultant doing blogging to get his name out there, I did attach a condition to my employment that Nathan was willing to go along with:

#1) I agreed to work a maximum of 3 months for the campaign — which should be, in my estimation anyway, plenty of time to give Hunter a huge boost in name recognition and prominence in the blogosphere.

Additionally, while I am working on the campaign, I’m not planning to blog about any of the 2008 Republican contenders on RWN unless a story too big to ignore hits the wires. That’s because I don’t want to come across like a shill for Duncan if I eviscerate one of his opponents or talk him up. Additionally, if I’m done by May of 2007, at the latest, it’s not as if it will be too late to get in on the serious 2008 discussions.

Being a San Diego Native I wish John and Congressman Hunter the best of luck

Blog to the Chief follow up

Author:

Lawrence Bush the facilities and events director at The Dole Institute has posted video of the panel discussion here.

I would like to thank Lawrence, Bill Lacy, end everyone else at The Dole Institute for hosting us and particularly Professor Perlmutter for putting the event together and moderating the panel.

As for the bloggers; all I can say is Wow! No matter your political views or interest I encourage you to watch the video and am confident you will be as proud and impressed as I was at how well they represented the blogosphere.

Jerome, Erick, Patrick, Scott and Joan absolutely know as much about modern politics as any beltway insider. What you will see in the video is really just scratching the surface. Sitting at the bar after the event I felt like I was at some post election reunion where the winners and losers get together over a beer to reminisce over the highlights and lowlights of the recent campaigns and which political stars inspired them and offered hope for a better future.

The animosity and hyper-partisan sniping that the political blogosphere is famous for at least for this evening was set aside. This night everyone agreed new media offered new hope for our political process. Certainly not a guarantee but hope.
I certainly felt privileged to be among this group of patriotic Americans who couldn’t disagree more with each others politics but who all deeply loved their country.

live blogging “Blog to the Chief”

Author:

It looks like about 250 people a standing room only crowd has showed up here at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics to see how blogs are impacting modern day politics. The bloggers back stage Jerome Armstrong of MYDD, Erick Ericson of Red State Patrick Hynes of Ankle Bitung Pundits and consultant to GOP Presidential candidate John McCain, Scott Johnson Co-Founder of Powerline Blog. Joan McCarter of Daily Kos and our host Professor David Perlmutter all seem very relaxed and are enjoying each others company.
*Update**

Some mild controlled chaos as last minute details of who is sitting where is worked out. The Institute’s Director Bill Lacy has made the introductions and the bloggers are taking the stage.

Just before the panel started we were all allowed to take a private tour of the archives and for all of us political junkies it was amazing.

*** update**

Joan McCarter:

“the most important lesson for presidential candidates to learn is this is not a static medium that they talk it. It is an interactive medium.

The first most important think is we are not an ATM. Politicians looked at all the money Howard Dean raised and thought of us as an ATM machine. We are more than that now and will demand more than that now.”

Scott Johnson:

“My partner John Hinderacker and I started writing about politics on their law practice site in 1992 for fun.”

**update**

Continue Reading

live blogging "Blog to the Chief"

Author:

It looks like about 250 people a standing room only crowd has showed up here at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics to see how blogs are impacting modern day politics. The bloggers back stage Jerome Armstrong of MYDD, Erick Ericson of Red State Patrick Hynes of Ankle Bitung Pundits and consultant to GOP Presidential candidate John McCain, Scott Johnson Co-Founder of Powerline Blog. Joan McCarter of Daily Kos and our host Professor David Perlmutter all seem very relaxed and are enjoying each others company.
*Update**

Some mild controlled chaos as last minute details of who is sitting where is worked out. The Institute’s Director Bill Lacy has made the introductions and the bloggers are taking the stage.

Just before the panel started we were all allowed to take a private tour of the archives and for all of us political junkies it was amazing.

*** update**

Joan McCarter:

“the most important lesson for presidential candidates to learn is this is not a static medium that they talk it. It is an interactive medium.

The first most important think is we are not an ATM. Politicians looked at all the money Howard Dean raised and thought of us as an ATM machine. We are more than that now and will demand more than that now.”

Scott Johnson:

“My partner John Hinderacker and I started writing about politics on their law practice site in 1992 for fun.”

**update**

Continue Reading

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