Feeds

China makes human rights play ... but forgets the internet

Increasing broadband speeds but content still censored

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

China has issued its latest action plan on human rights, glossing over minor issues such as online censorship and press freedom but re-affirming commitments to increase broadband penetration in the country.

The National Human Rights Action Plan of China, which covers the next three years, claims to set out out “comprehensive protection to citizens' economic, social and cultural rights”.

This includes apparent improvements to social security, minimum wage, environmental protections and the right to fair trial, among other things, although cynics will be forgiven for thinking that in practice very little will change in the PRC.

The document is more than a little at odds with the US State Department’s recent Human Rights Practices report for the country, which noted general “deterioration in key aspects”.

Here’s a flavour of what is a rather bleak report:

Individuals and groups seen as politically sensitive by the authorities continued to face tight restrictions on their freedom to assemble, practice religion, and travel. Efforts to silence political activists and public interest lawyers were stepped up, and, increasingly, authorities resorted to extra-legal measures including enforced disappearance, “soft detention,” and strict house arrest, including house arrest of family members, to prevent the public voicing of independent opinions. The authorities increased attempts to limit freedom of speech and to control the press, the internet, and internet access.

On the plus side for China’s citizens – and the web companies both domestic and foreign hoping to target them – is a commitment to accelerate internet construction.

By 2015 over 45 per cent of China's population will have access to the internet, with fixed broadband connections exceeding 370m – a commitment more likely to be observed than, say, China’s promise to follow international human rights conventions.

The report continues:

The internet connection speed for urban households will reach 20Mbps, and that for rural households, 4Mbps. Fibre optic internet connection will cover 200 million households. In addition, China will build wireless broadband cities, and gradually spread internet connections and usage throughout the rural areas.

Efforts to improve fixed line internet access have been hampered in the past by the cost of fibre optic cables and the enormous size and challenging terrain of the nation.

Some reports have claimed that Chinese users pay up to three or four times more than their counterparts in the UK and US as a result.

While the target of getting around 800 million people online by 2015 is achievable, therefore, giving them a decent service may be a little more challenging.

The latest quarterly State of the Internet report from content delivery firm Akamai places China a lowly 90th globally when it comes to average broadband speeds, at just 1.4 Mbps, although this was a 21 per cent increase on the previous quarter.

Quality of service isn’t helped either by the Great Firewall, which can reset connections or lead to error pages if searched-for content has been blocked – something Google has tried to draw users’ attention to with a new feature in its Google.cn search service.

This is obviously an area of human rights abuses the Communist Party is never going to be up for addressing, in fact, the world ‘web’ doesn’t even make it into the action plan. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.