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Oleg Kozlovsky on how Russia uses "hate crime" law to silence and imprison cyber dissidents
Speaking from Russia via skype -(his trip to Dallas was stopped by Nature, not government) Oleg summarized Russian activities against bloggers and dissident activity online. The Russian government, in Oleg’s view, is simply “smarter” than the official censors in China and Iran. They stop traffic to dissident web sites and blogs not by banning them, but by quietly hiring hackers to pull the web sites down behind the scenes and unofficially, through cyberattacks “that are quite expensive” to undertake. The other tool is human rights legislation. The incitement of hate against a given social group is a crime in Russia (as it is in many countries). However in Russia, social groups may be described in a much freer way. So bloggers of Oleg’s acquaintance have received years-long sentences for inciting hatred against the police, against local government officials, and the like. Both techniques have been quite successful in stifling cyber dissent – a true public/private initiative on the part of the Government of Russia.
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Chinese Prisoner’s Death Holds a Message for Americans and China
Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner died this week. His death holds a message for Americans and for China.
Release of Chinese Political Prisoner a Timely Reminder to Support Freedom Advocates Abroad
More than half the world’s population still lives in countries where basic political rights and civil liberties are only partly respected, if at all.
Bringing Freedom to the Forefront of 21st Century Politics
Is the global liberal democratic order in danger? Purposefully constructed in the aftermath of World War II, this order -- and the American leadership that is central to its success --has contributed to securing peace and expanding prosperity in the United States and around the world. Today, that order appears to be dissolving. This crisis is not new or sudden; it has been mounting for several years. Global challenges like authoritarian capitalism, violent extremism, demographic pressures, and displaced populations have placed global freedom in decline. Fraying traditional alliances united by core values of freedom are increasingly weak to respond. It is alarming that the downdraft in democratic resilience over the past decade or more includes countries that have long been part of the consolidated democratic West. This is democratic deconsolidation. In much of the Western world, we see a rise in demagogic populism, illiberalism, nationalism, protectionism, and waning conf
The Importance of Speaking Truth to Tyrants
What the president of the United States says matters. Even during the realpolitik policies of détente under Richard Nixon, it was still clear that American policy was based on a set of core values. Nixon’s practical goals of reaching deals with America’s adversaries was never based on the “great chemistry” with himself or praising the Soviet or Communist Chinese leadership doing a “fantastic job.” When the president aligns himself with the autocrats and dictators, he aligns America with their oppression. He sends a message that corruption and brutality are not our concern. Contrast that with how Ronald Reagan defied much of world opinion in calling out the brutality of the Soviet system. Natan Sharansky, then a refusenik imprisoned in a Soviet gulag, later wrote for the Weekly Standard of his thoughts on Reagan’s pronouncement that the USSR was an evil empire: “It was the great, brilliant moment whe