How Artificial Intelligence Is Being Used In Job Interviews In China 

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We’re all familiar with strategies for a successful job interview. Make eye contact, have a firm handshake, and so on. But if you’re applying for a position in China, it might be a computer you have to impress. That’s as Chinese companies increasingly use artificial intelligence to help them vet potential new hires.

Belarus Extraditions – Pro-Democracy Activists Fear Deportation

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Dozens of people who escaped a crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Belarus last year now fear being deported from Georgia. A security agreement between Tbilisi and Minsk took effect earlier this month and has sparked concern. Al Jazeera’s Robin Forestier-Walker reports from Tbilisi, Georgia.

Foreign Policy – “Germany’s Online Crackdowns Inspire the World’s Dictators” – Made In Germany Für Diktaturen

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By Jacob Mchangama, the executive director of Justitia, a Copenhagen based think tank focusing on human rights, and Joelle Fiss

Jacob Mchangama is the executive director of Justitia, a Copenhagen based think tank focusing on human rights and the rule of law and author of the forthcoming book Free Speech: A History From Socrates to Social Media.

Joelle Fiss is a human rights expert, researcher and analyst based in Geneva, Switzerland, and a member of the OSCE/ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Joelle has worked for Human Rights First and for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament. 

An anti-hate speech law written in Berlin has been copy-pasted by authoritarian regimes from Caracas to Moscow.

Ein in Berlin verfasstes Anti-Hassrede-Gesetz wurde von autoritären Regimen von Caracas bis Moskau kopiert.

Since the adoption of the new German law, at least 13 countries—in addition to the European Commission—have adopted or proposed models of intermediary liability broadly similar to the act’s matrix. According to Freedom House’s 2019 assessment of freedom on the internet, four of those countries are ranked as being “not free” (Venezuela, Vietnam, Russia and Belarus, Honduras is not surveyed but is ranked as “not free” on press freedom), five are ranked “partly free” (Kenya, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines), and only three are ranked “free” (France, the United Kingdom, and Australia). With the exception of India, Kenya, Vietnam, and Australia, all these countries—as well as the European Commission—have explicitly referred to the Network Enforcement Act as an inspiration or justification for their models of intermediary liability.

Moreover, several of these countries, including Venezuela, Vietnam, India, Russia, Malaysia, and Kenya, require intermediaries to remove vague categories of content that include “fake news,” “defamation of religions,” and “anti-government propaganda,” and many of them include overly broad definitions of hate speech that go much further than the German law. A Russian bill signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in March is a good example. 

Seit der Verabschiedung des neuen deutschen Gesetzes haben mindestens 13 Länder – neben der Europäischen Kommission – Modelle der Vermittlerhaftung übernommen oder vorgeschlagen, die der Matrix des Gesetzes weitgehend ähnlich sind. Laut Freedom Houses Einschätzung der Freiheit im Internet von 2019 werden vier dieser Länder als „nicht frei“ eingestuft (Venezuela, Vietnam, Russland und Weißrussland, Honduras wird nicht befragt, aber als „nicht frei“ in Bezug auf Pressefreiheit eingestuft), fünf werden als „teilweise frei“ eingestuft (Kenia, Indien, Singapur, Malaysia und die Philippinen), und nur drei werden als „frei“ eingestuft (Frankreich, Großbritannien und Australien). Mit Ausnahme von Indien, Kenia, Vietnam und Australien haben sich alle diese Länder – ebenso wie die Europäische Kommission – ausdrücklich auf den Network Enforcement Act als Inspiration oder Rechtfertigung für ihre Modelle der Vermittlerhaftung bezogen.

Darüber hinaus verlangen mehrere dieser Länder, darunter Venezuela, Vietnam, Indien, Russland, Malaysia und Kenia, dass Vermittler vage Kategorien von Inhalten entfernen, darunter „Fake News“, „Diffamierung von Religionen“ und „Anti-Regierungs-Propaganda“. und viele von ihnen enthalten zu weit gefasste Definitionen von Hassrede, die weit über das deutsche Gesetz hinausgehen. Ein gutes Beispiel dafür ist ein russisches Gesetz, das Präsident Wladimir Putin im März unterzeichnet hat.

“Socially significant information disseminated under the guise of reliable messages, which creates a threat to life and (/or) the health of citizens or property, the threat of mass disturbance of public order and (/or) public safety, or the threat of creating or impairing the proper operation of vital elements of transport or social infrastructure, credit institutions, energy facilities, industry or communications.”

Any controversial opinion or criticism of the government could plausibly be covered by this overly broad and vague definition, which falls considerably short of international human rights standards.

The explanatory report of the Russian bill explicitly referred to the Network Enforcement Act, and, responding to criticism, Kremlin representatives argued that false information “is regulated fairly harshly in many countries of the world including Europe. It is therefore of course necessary to do it in our country too.” This is a clear example of how Germany’s internet law provides cover for authoritarian states attempting to restrict online content.

„Unter dem Deckmantel zuverlässiger Nachrichten verbreitete gesellschaftlich bedeutsame Informationen, die eine Gefahr für das Leben und (/oder) die Gesundheit von Bürgern oder Eigentum, die Gefahr einer Massenstörung der öffentlichen Ordnung und (/oder) der öffentlichen Sicherheit oder die Gefahr von Schaffung oder Beeinträchtigung des ordnungsgemäßen Funktionierens lebenswichtiger Elemente der Verkehrs- oder sozialen Infrastruktur, von Kreditinstituten, Energieanlagen, der Industrie oder der Kommunikation.“

Jede kontroverse Meinung oder Kritik an der Regierung könnte plausibel durch diese zu weite und vage Definition abgedeckt werden, die deutlich hinter den internationalen Menschenrechtsstandards zurückbleibt.

Der erläuternde Bericht des russischen Gesetzentwurfs bezog sich ausdrücklich auf das Netzdurchsetzungsgesetz, und als Reaktion auf die Kritik argumentierten Kreml-Vertreter, dass falsche Informationen „in vielen Ländern der Welt, einschließlich Europa, ziemlich streng reguliert werden. Deshalb ist es natürlich auch in unserem Land notwendig, dies zu tun.“ Dies ist ein klares Beispiel dafür, wie das deutsche Internetrecht autoritären Staaten Schutz bietet, die versuchen, Online-Inhalte einzuschränken.

In May, Singapore adopted the wide-ranging Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill. The law includes a vague definition of “false statements of fact,” authorizing a minister to issue directions to internet intermediaries that must correct or disable content. Prior to the adoption of the bill, a preliminary report referenced the German law. What might constitute false statement of facts? A 2018 report by the policy forum of Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party highlighted a Human Rights Watch report critical of press freedom restrictions in Singapore as based on “deliberate falsehoods” used to “advocate political change.” In other words, the law may well be used to target human rights and civil society groups shining a critical light on the Singaporean government.

However, both the Russian and Singaporean laws pale in comparison to the sweeping category of illegal content covered by Vietnam’s draconian Law on Cybersecurity, which passed in 2018 and prohibits: “propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” “distortion or defamation of the people’s administrative authorities,” “psychological warfare … causing division or hatred between [Vietnamese] ethnic groups, religions and people of all countries,” “insulting the [Vietnamese] people, the national flag, national emblem, national anthem, great men, leaders, famous people or national heroes,” and “invented or untruthful contents causing confusion amongst the Citizens.”

Im Mai verabschiedete Singapur das weitreichende Gesetz zum Schutz vor Online-Fälschungen und Manipulationen. Das Gesetz enthält eine vage Definition von „falschen Tatsachenbehauptungen“, die einen Minister ermächtigt, Internetvermittlern Anweisungen zu erteilen, die Inhalte korrigieren oder deaktivieren müssen. Vor der Verabschiedung des Gesetzentwurfs wurde in einem Vorbericht auf das deutsche Recht verwiesen. Was könnte eine falsche Tatsachenbehauptung darstellen? Ein Bericht des Politikforums der regierenden People’s Action Party in Singapur aus dem Jahr 2018 hob einen Bericht von Human Rights Watch hervor, der die Beschränkungen der Pressefreiheit in Singapur kritisiert, die auf „absichtlichen Unwahrheiten“ basieren, die verwendet werden, um „politischen Wandel zu befürworten“. Mit anderen Worten, das Gesetz kann durchaus dazu verwendet werden, Menschenrechts- und Zivilgesellschaftsgruppen anzugreifen, die ein kritisches Licht auf die singapurische Regierung werfen.

Allerdings verblassen sowohl die russischen als auch die singapurischen Gesetze im Vergleich zu der umfassenden Kategorie illegaler Inhalte, die unter das drakonische Gesetz zur Cybersicherheit von Vietnam fallen, das 2018 verabschiedet wurde und Folgendes verbietet: „Propaganda gegen die Sozialistische Republik Vietnam“, „Verzerrung oder Diffamierung der Volksrechte“ Verwaltungsbehörden“, „psychologische Kriegsführung … die Spaltung oder Hass zwischen [vietnamesischen] ethnischen Gruppen, Religionen und Menschen aller Länder hervorruft“, „Beleidigung des [vietnamesischen] Volkes, der Nationalflagge, des nationalen Emblems, der Nationalhymne, großer Männer, Führer, berühmte Persönlichkeiten oder Nationalhelden“ und „erfundene oder unwahre Inhalte, die unter den Bürgern Verwirrung stiften“.

It is also problematic that some states, including Russia and Vietnam, have established (or proposed to establish) governmental entities responsible for notifying and ordering intermediaries to remove illegal content without any independent review or complaint mechanisms. When you combine the sweeping nature of the prohibited content with the lack of meaningful oversight, it is clear that these laws will serve to further entrench tight government control over an already restrictive online sphere.

Several of the laws or proposals we identified, including in the U.K. and India, don’t merely rely on a notification and takedown regime. They establish a “duty of care” requiring intermediaries to actively police and preventively remove illegal or undesirable content. Such a step may encourage automated moderation or filtering of user content through artificial intelligence and upload filters. This essentially poses the risk of reintroducing government-mandated prepublication censorship enforced by private tech companies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, European censors lost the struggle to keep up with clandestine publications and increasingly sophisticated printing presses. Consequently, pre-publication censorship all but died in the second half of the 19th century, only to be revamped and revitalized by totalitarianism in the 20th century. But in the digital age, censorship may ultimately be able to search and destroy undesirable content at a scale previously unimaginable.

All these developments suggest that the Network Enforcement Act has provided an important impetus for, and legitimacy to, models of intermediary liability that violate freedom of expression as set out in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This development contributes significantly to the weakening of the already perilous state of internet freedom around the world.

The adverse consequences of the Network Enforcement Act were certainly not intended by the German government. In conjunction with the German constitution and commitment to the rule of law, the act provides safeguards absent from the most draconian laws subsequently adopted by other states. Indeed, several of the countries that have mimicked the German law had already implemented severe restrictions of online freedom prior to the German initiative and would likely have tightened their grip irrespective of the Network Enforcement Act.

Yet, the act seems to have provided several states with both the justification and the basic model for swift and decisive action. Unwittingly, Europe’s most influential country has contributed to the erosion of global internet freedom by developing and legitimizing a prototype of online censorship that can readily be adapted to serve the ends of authoritarian states.

In a world where both online and offline speech is under systematic global attack, democracies have a special obligation to err on the side of free speech. Succumbing to the ever-present temptation of fighting illiberal ideas with illiberal laws is shortsighted and irresponsible. Once democracies cede the high ground, authoritarians will rush in, creating a regulatory race to the bottom. This entails severe and negative consequences for free speech, independent media, vibrant civil society, and political pluralism, without which authoritarianism cannot be defeated, nor democracy defended.

Problematisch ist auch, dass einige Staaten, darunter Russland und Vietnam, staatliche Stellen eingerichtet haben (oder deren Einrichtung vorgeschlagen haben), die dafür verantwortlich sind, Vermittler zu benachrichtigen und anzuweisen, illegale Inhalte ohne unabhängige Überprüfungs- oder Beschwerdemechanismen zu entfernen. Wenn man die weitreichende Natur der verbotenen Inhalte mit dem Fehlen einer sinnvollen Aufsicht kombiniert, wird klar, dass diese Gesetze dazu dienen werden, eine strenge staatliche Kontrolle über eine bereits restriktive Online-Sphäre weiter zu verankern.

Mehrere der von uns identifizierten Gesetze oder Vorschläge, darunter in Großbritannien und Indien, beruhen nicht nur auf einem Benachrichtigungs- und Deaktivierungsregime. Sie begründen eine „Sorgfaltspflicht“, die Vermittler verpflichtet, illegale oder unerwünschte Inhalte aktiv zu überwachen und präventiv zu entfernen. Ein solcher Schritt kann eine automatisierte Moderation oder Filterung von Benutzerinhalten durch künstliche Intelligenz und Upload-Filter fördern. Dies birgt im Wesentlichen das Risiko der Wiedereinführung der von der Regierung vorgeschriebenen Vorab-Zensur, die von privaten Technologieunternehmen durchgesetzt wird. Im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert verloren die europäischen Zensoren den Kampf, mit geheimen Veröffentlichungen und immer ausgefeilteren Druckereien Schritt zu halten. Infolgedessen starb die Zensur vor der Veröffentlichung in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts praktisch aus, um im 20. Aber im digitalen Zeitalter kann Zensur letztendlich in der Lage sein, unerwünschte Inhalte in einem bisher unvorstellbaren Ausmaß zu durchsuchen und zu zerstören.

All diese Entwicklungen legen nahe, dass das Netzdurchsetzungsgesetz einen wichtigen Impuls und Legitimität für Modelle der Haftung von Vermittlern gegeben hat, die die Meinungsfreiheit gemäß Artikel 19 des Internationalen Pakts über bürgerliche und politische Rechte verletzen. Diese Entwicklung trägt maßgeblich dazu bei, den ohnehin schon lebensgefährlichen Zustand der Internetfreiheit weltweit zu schwächen.

Die nachteiligen Folgen des NetzDG waren von der Bundesregierung sicherlich nicht beabsichtigt. In Verbindung mit der deutschen Verfassung und dem Bekenntnis zur Rechtsstaatlichkeit bietet das Gesetz Garantien, die von den drakonischsten Gesetzen, die später von anderen Staaten verabschiedet wurden, fehlen. Tatsächlich hatten einige der Länder, die das deutsche Gesetz nachgeahmt haben, bereits vor der deutschen Initiative starke Einschränkungen der Online-Freiheit eingeführt und hätten ihre Kontrolle wahrscheinlich unabhängig vom Netzdurchsetzungsgesetz verschärft.

Dennoch scheint das Gesetz mehreren Staaten sowohl die Rechtfertigung als auch das Grundmodell für schnelles und entschlossenes Handeln geliefert zu haben. Unwissentlich hat Europas einflussreichstes Land zur Aushöhlung der weltweiten Internetfreiheit beigetragen, indem es einen Prototyp der Online-Zensur entwickelt und legitimiert hat, der leicht an autoritäre Staaten angepasst werden kann.
In einer Welt, in der sowohl die Online- als auch die Offline-Sprache systematisch weltweit angegriffen wird, haben Demokratien eine besondere Verpflichtung, auf der Seite der freien Meinungsäußerung zu irren. Der allgegenwärtigen Versuchung zu erliegen, illiberale Ideen mit illiberalen Gesetzen zu bekämpfen, ist kurzsichtig und verantwortungslos. Wenn Demokratien erst einmal die Oberhand verlieren, werden Autoritäre eingreifen und einen Regulierungswettlauf nach unten auslösen. Dies hat schwerwiegende und negative Folgen für die freie Meinungsäußerung, unabhängige Medien, eine lebendige Zivilgesellschaft und den politischen Pluralismus, ohne die der Autoritarismus nicht besiegt und die Demokratie nicht verteidigt werden kann.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/06/germany-online-crackdowns-inspired-the-worlds-dictators-russia-venezuela-india/

Regimekritiker Michail Efremow Vor Dubiosem Moskauer Gericht – 11 Jahre Gefängnis Gefordert

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Russland: Populärer Schauspieler nach Alkoholfahrt mit tödlichem Ausgang  unter Hausarrest — RT Deutsch

Das Gericht verkündet demnächst ein Urteil über den Regimekritiker & Schauspieler Michail Efremow. Die Staatsanwaltschaft fordert, den Schauspieler wegen eines Unfalls, bei dem der 57-jährige Sergei Zakharov starb, zu 11 Jahren Gefängnis zu verurteilen.

Continue reading “Regimekritiker Michail Efremow Vor Dubiosem Moskauer Gericht – 11 Jahre Gefängnis Gefordert”

REPORT – Khadija Ismayilova, the famous Azerbaijani investigative journalist, is free

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Amal Clooney, counsel to Khadija Ismayilova

Dear members and friends of press freedom

We have just heard the news and want to share it with you: Khadija Ismayilova, the famous Azerbaijani investigative journalist finally gets out of prison today. Her sentence of seven years and a half in prison was commuted to a sentence of three and a half years of probation.

It’s a huge relief to know that Khadija can finally leave her cell, go home and see her family after 18 months in detention on trumped up charges. Khadija’s counsel Amal Clooney explains the horror of this case.

Our mobilization was successful, and we are celebrating Khadija’s 40th birthday on May 27 in a special way. We hope you will join us and send Khadija a birthday card. But let us not forget that Khadija was still convicted. Without recognizing her innocence, the regime of Aliyev has only found a way to silence the outrage of all defenders of freedom.

Justice will be done when those responsible for Khadija’s judicial harassment are brought to trial. Continue fighting alongside the heroes of information!

The Reporters Without Borders team

Reporters Without Borders

 

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Video – News and Response of Islamic State’s Barbaric Murder of James Foley

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News and Response of Islamic State’s Barbaric Murder of James Foley

NOTE: This video does NOT include any of the disturbing footage from the video posted by ISIS referenced.

On August 19 2014, the Islamic State posted a graphic and shocking video of the murder and beheading of James Foley, an American journalist that had been missing since November 2012. The video was sent as a warning to the United States to end military operations in Iraq and ended with a threat to kill Steven Sotloff, another journalist also held captive by ISIS.

The video was met with disgust and shock around the world, and prompted a strong response from President Barack Obama as shown in this video. Watch James Foley in his own words describe his experiences in Libya during the revolution and overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in this fascinating video.

28.000 people disappeared in Syria

Fighting in Aleppo 17 Oct 2012
Fighting between government forces and rebels is continuing in the city of Aleppo

Human rights groups working in Syria say at least 28,000 people have disappeared after being abducted by soldiers or militia.

They say they have the names of 18,000 people missing since anti-government protests began 18 months ago and know of another 10,000 cases.

Online activist group Avaaz says “nobody is safe” from a deliberate government campaign of terror.

It intends to give the UN Human Rights Council a dossier for investigation.

The Syrian government has so far not commented on the claims but has in the past strenuously denied reports of human rights abuses.

Avaaz said it had gathered testimony from Syrians who say husbands, sons and daughters were forcibly abducted by pro-government forces.

They include Fayzeh al-Masri, from a suburb of Homs, whose 26-year-old son Ahmad Ghassan Ibrahim disappeared in February – the last number he called them from was traced to a military security branch.

The family were told by someone who answered his phone that he had died, but they have been unable to confirm this.

Counting the disappeared in the real time of a conflict is extremely difficult. It’s almost impossible for outsiders to double-check claims independently.

Recent history shows that accurate counts of those kidnapped and abducted can only begin once a conflict has finished.

Activists in Iraq are still trying work out how many people were killed or went missing during the country’s peak years of violence after 2003. In Latin America, it took Chile almost 20 years to count the exact number of its disappeared during the military coup of 1973.

But the numbers currently suggested by Syrian opposition activists do give a sense of both the scale of the country’s conflict and the uncertainty surrounding the fate of many of its citizens.

“We are certain that he would not have left us or his wife – who is expecting twins. We only want to know his fate,” Mrs Masri told Avaaz.

The brother of Hussein Eisso, a 62-year-old Syrian-Kurdish activist, said he was taken from outside his home in Hasaka after attempting to stage a sit-in over the arrest of other activists.

He said his brother had since been moved between security branches, and had had serious health problems, including a stroke.

The BBC’s James Reynolds, close to the Syrian border in Turkey, says it is often hard to establish real disappearance figures until a conflict is over, but the scale of the figures is an indication of the severity of the conflict in Syria.

‘Breeding fear’

Alice Jay, campaign director at Avaaz, said Syrians were being “plucked off the street by security forces and paramilitaries and being ‘disappeared’ into torture cells”.

“Whether it is women buying groceries or farmers going for fuel, nobody is safe.”

She said it was a deliberate strategy to “terrorise families and communities”, and that each case must be investigated.

“The panic of not knowing whether your husband or child is alive breeds such fear that it silences dissent,” she said.

Other Syrian rights groups backed the allegations. Fadel Abdulghani, of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, estimated that 28,000 people had disappeared since unrest against the government of President Bashar al-Assad began last year.

Muhannad al-Hasani, of human rights organisation Sawasya, said the figure could be as high as 80,000.

“People are being snatched at night, on the street and when no-one is looking,” he said.

Muhammad Khalil, a human rights lawyer from the Syrian city of Hassaka, said the Syrian government had two reasons for carrying out the abductions: “To directly get rid of the rebels and activists, and to intimidate the society so that it won’t oppose the regime.”

Avaaz collected its statistics through a network of independent human rights lawyers and local activist groups in Syria.

The scale of the work and the current instability meant the organisation could not independently verify each disappearance, but it confirmed to the BBC that none of the detentions listed had been official arrests.

Most of the people Avaaz spoke to had personally witnessed a friend or relative being taken from home or the street

The UN says more than 18,000 people have been killed in the conflict with 170,000 fleeing abroad and 2.5 million in need of aid within the country. Opposition and human rights activists put the death toll at more than 30,000.

As violence continues, UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is due to arrive in Syria on Saturday for talks with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, Damascus told AFP news agency.

Mr Brahimi has proposed a truce over the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, which starts on 25 October, to “allow a political process to develop”.

The Syrian government has recently indicated that it is interested in exploring a temporary ceasefire – and opposition groups have said they would match this.

Calls for the truce come as the conflict threatens to spill over Syria’s borders.

Turkey’s armed forces have several times returned fire across the border into Syria after Syrian mortar shells landed inside its territory.

Turkish TV reported further cross-border exchanges on Thursday morning. Our correspondent says smoke could be seen rising from the Syrian border village of Haram, while explosions and small arms fire could be heard.