Report highlights rising dangers to internet freedom globally

Source: The Times of India

Reuters, 21 June 2016. SAN FRANCISCO/ TORONTO: At least a dozen countries are considering or have enacted laws restricting online speech, a trend that is alarming policymakers and others who see the internet as a valuable medium for debate and expression.

Such curbs are called out as a threat to the open internet in a report on internet governance set to be released today at an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting in Cancun, Mexico.

The report, reviewed by Reuters, warns of dangers for the global internet, including intrusive surveillance, rising cybercrime and fragmentation as governments exert control of online content.

It was prepared by the London-based Chatham House think tank and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, founded by former BlackBerry Ltd co-chief Jim Balsillie.

China and Iran long have restricted online speech. Now limitations are under discussion in countries that have had a more open approach to speech, including Brazil, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bolivia, Kenya and Nigeria.

Advocates said some of the proposals would criminalize conversations online that otherwise would be protected under the countries’ constitutions. Some use broad language to outlaw online postings that “disturb the public order” or “convey false statements” — formulations that could enable crackdowns on political speech, critics said. Read more

New law gets noisy reaction – Azmi Sharom

Source: The Star Online


Should there have been a royal assent for National Security Council Act?

THE National Security Council Act is now law. What a surprise.

NSC_Act_2016There has been a lot of noise being made because, despite the Conference of Rulers asking for some provisions of the National Security Council Bill to be refined, there were no changes and the Bill became law anyway. Many voices cried that the Rulers were side-stepped and not respected.

The Government said it did nothing wrong, and as odd as this may sound, it may be correct in saying so.

You see, in the past, the King had a veto on any laws made. He never used this veto power but it was there nonetheless. In the 1980s, when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister, this power was taken away via a constitutional amendment. Anyway, nowadays after Parliament has passed a Bill, the King can only delay it for 30 days, after which it becomes law. The 30 days have passed and thus the National Security Council Act (NSCA) is law.

What about the Conference of Rulers, you asked. Well, they should have had nothing to do with the passing of this law in the first place. Read more

Human trafficking ring smashed

Source: The Malay Mail Online

TELUK INTAN, June 22 — Police have crippled a suspected human trafficking syndicate that was smuggling Indonesian migrants back to their home country.

This comes after they intercepted a cargo boat carrying 48 Indonesians as it was moving through the waters of the Bernam river on June 9.

The 48 migrants included 31 men, 16 women, and a two-year-old girl who were allegedly being transported to Tanjung Balai, Indonesia, from Bagan Lipas, near here.

Hilir Perak police chief ACP Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad said police intercepted the vessel after receiving information from the Rungkup police station.

“We made the arrests at around 6am, while the boat was one kilometre away from the shore. The passengers did not put up a fight but three men who were handling the boat jumped overboard,” he said at a press conference yesterday. Read more

Survey finds most auditors in Asia find child labour in supply chains

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A boy works at a seafood export factory in Hlaingthaya Industrial Zone, outside Yangon, February 19, 2016. — Reuters pic.JPG

A boy works at a seafood export factory in Hlaingthaya Industrial Zone, outside Yangon, February 19, 2016. — Reuters pic.

JAKARTA, June 22 — The majority of supply chain auditors across Asia have encountered child labour in the last two years, and in only a third of cases could they confirm the children were removed from the factories, a survey has found.

Of 557 auditors polled, 64 per cent encountered child labour during their on-site inspections in the last two years, said the Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR), a China-based consultancy that conducted the survey.

The auditors were mostly in the manufacturing sector, and most — 385 of the respondents — were from China, while others were based in countries including India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia.

The consultancy said the findings, released last week, showed a “surprisingly high” number of child labour cases encountered by auditors and noted there was often no remediation in place to ensure the interests of the child were protected.

“Right now it is more like ‘let’s just make sure the child is not in the factory’ and not ‘what do we need to do to make sure the child is protected?’” CCR CSR executive director Ines Kaempfer told Thomson Reuters Foundation. Read more

Poem by Caitlyn Siehl

WhatsApp-Image-20160621“when your little girl
asks you if she’s pretty
your heart will drop like a wineglass
on the hardwood floor
part of you will want to say
of course you are, don’t ever question it
and the other part
the part that is clawing at
will want to grab her by her shoulders
look straight into the wells of
her eyes until they echo back to you
and say
you do not have to be if you don’t want to
it is not your job
both will feel right
one will feel better
she will only understand the first
when she wants to cut her hair off
or wear her brother’s clothes
you will feel the words in your
mouth like marbles
you do not have to be pretty if you don’t want to
it is not your job”