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Friday
Apr192013

MIIT: It is forbidden to install five types of malicious software on smartphones

State-run media reported today that Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released new restrictions on software that may be installed on smartphones, to take effect later this year. Internet users have noted that the 4th provision of this announcement may be the most notable, as it could be used to further restrict freedom of speech. The full translation of the article is below.

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MIIT: It is forbidden to install five types of malware on smartphones

4/20/2013

Source: Beijing Morning Post

Beijing Morning Post (Journalist Jiao Likun): The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted the “Notice Concerning Enhancing Mobile Smartphone End-client Management” on its official website yesterday, enhancing management of internet access by smartphones. In the notice, the MIIT clearly addressed public complaints that have long circulated about malware, clearly outlining “five major software that are forbidden to install.”

 

The MIIT made clear that in recent years, mobile smartphone end-clients have developed rapidly, and while they have benefited users with their convenience, all kinds of security issues have come about; for example, some collect users’ information without their permission; this seriously infringes upon users' legal rights. This “Notice” further clarifies regulations related to management of smartphone internet access, and forbids manufacturers from installing apps with the following characteristics:

1) Those that actively collect and alter users’ personal information without notifying or obtaining agreement from the user;

2) Those that actively alter the end communications functions without notifying or obtaining agreement from the user, resulting in a waste of data, monetary losses, information leaks, and other negative consequences;

3) Those that impact the normal functionality and secure communications network operations of mobile smartphone end clients;

4) Those that contain informational content whose posting and dissemination is forbidden in
“Regulation on Telecommunications of the People's Republic of China;”

5) Those that infringe upon the personal information security and legal rights of users or diminish network and information safety in other ways.

 

In June of last year, the MIIT submitted this Notice to the public to seek feedback on it. In the past several years, smartphones have become increasingly prevalent; however, problems involving issues such as information security and malware charging users fees have spiked sharply.

 

The aforementioned “Notice” will take effect on November 1st, 2013. Companies have been given six months to comply before it becomes officially enforced. The MIIT requires cellphone manufacturers to improve their products in accordance with relevant standards, and improve cellphone security. Furthermore, from April to December of this year, the MIIT will carry out a campaign against spam messages; the long-discussed “Regulations on the Management of Communications Messaging Services” is expected to come out shortly. 

Tuesday
Apr162013

SARFT to enhance control over editors’ online activities

This article was published nearly simultaneously by almost all state-run media organizations in China. I could not find the actual notice spoken of on the SARFT (State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television) website, but I have translated the article about the regulations in full below:

 

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SARFT to enhance control over editors’ online activities

14:14:44 4/16/2013

Source: China Publishing Press and Publishing Journal

 

Editors setting up professional Weibo accounts must receive approval from their work units; if they have not received approval, they may not publish any information obtained through their professional activities.

 

   ● All news work units are forbidden from using news/informational products from foreign media or foreign websites without first obtaining permission;

   ●It is expressly forbidden for editors to use internet platforms to participate in activities such as seeking illegal benefits; such editors will be investigated according to the law;

   ●News work units that have established official Weibo accounts must keep records for their managing work unit and appoint a person to be responsible for posting information.

 

In order to allow the internet to play as active a role as possible, and in order to promote the establishment of a healthy news order, SARFT recently released “Notice on Enhancing Control over Editors’ Online Activities,” which requires that control be enhanced over news editors’ use of online information and registering of personal Weibo accounts, as well as other online activities.

 

The “Notice” requires that news editors must uphold the policy of encouraging unity and stability, and promoting positive coverage in the main, while actively using traditional media, news sites, blogs, Weibo accounts and other methods of information dissemination to broadcast mainstream information, guide public opinion, and take the initiative to  reject leaks and broadcasts of harmful information; they must not use or report online information that has not been verified through official channels, and must not disseminate or repost online rumors or speculative information.

 

The “Notice” outlined “3 Steps Forward”: one step forward in the improved regulation of news editors’ actions, one step forward in the enhancement of management over media news websites, and one step forward in the management of blogs and Weibo. Of these, in the portion pertaining to improved regulation of news editors activities, the “Notice” requires strict control over news editorial activities and the editorial and review process by news work units; and the prevention of the production of false news intended to gain as many readers, viewers and listeners as possible through one-sided, sensationalist coverage. All news work units are also forbidden from using news or informational products from foreign media or foreign websites without first obtaining permission.

 

Regarding the one step forward in the enhancement of management over media news websites, the “Notice” requires that news work units must enhance control over news website content-review process checkpoints and the online activities of news editors, and must strictly review and verify all information posted by news websites according to the standards and procedures by which traditional media report the news. It is forbidden to lend, rent out or entrust news editorial work in websites and website channels to others, and it is forbidden for individuals without news journalist permits to interview others or post reports on websites or online channels. All news work units are forbidden from posting unverified information provided from news “informants,” special authors, public organizations, commercial organizations, or other sources without receiving permission.

 

As for the one step forward in enhancing control over blogs and Weibo, the “Notice” requires that news work units that have established official Weibo accounts must keep records for their managing work nuit and appoint a person to be responsible for posting information. It also requires that they must quickly delete harmful information. News editors must receive permission from their work units to set up professional Weibo accounts, and must not post information on Weibo that violates laws, regulations, or managing rules from their own media organizations. Without approval, they are not permitted to post any kind of information obtained through their professional activities.

 

The “Notice” has also clearly regulated the enhancement of supervision over the news and public opinion, requiring news work units to continuously enhance and improve the supervision and control over public opinion. News editors are not allowed to exploit control over public opinion to seek readers, advertising, or assistance from grassroots organizations or individuals; they are not allowed to post false information online, and without review, verification, and approval from their news organization, are not allowed to publish news information obtained through professional interviews on foreign websites.

 

Furthermore, the “Notice” makes clear that news and publishing industry government administrative departments everywhere and all news and media management work units must fully carry out their responsibilities in management according to their region and level, and must enhance supervision and management of news journalists and their news activities in local media, media under their jurisdiction, and journalists in their jurisdiction from central media organizations, as well as central media branch organizations, and local channels on news sites.

 

Editors using internet platforms to participate in activities such as seeking illegal benefits must be expressly opposed, and will be investigated according to the law; these editors may be barred for an appropriate period of time, or forbidden in perpetuity, from working as news editors. (Journalist Pu Yasu)

 

Wednesday
Mar062013

Li Chengpeng on the murder of Haobo: "Evil never walks alone, but with its like"

 

Recently, a car thief discovered a 2-month-old infant was in the car he had stolen, and murdered the child, burying her in the snow. The case has drawn national attention in China, dominating discussion on social media. Below is my translation of an essay by Li Chengpeng, detailing his thoughts on the case. 
***
Evil never walks alone, but with its like
1. The story is really very simple. A husband and wife opened a small convenience store, one with a chain security gate. They drove to the store with their child. It was cold, and the husband went in first to turn on the heat. The wife saw that the 2-month-old baby girl was sleeping soundly, and entered without turning off the light. After ten minutes, they came back out to find that the car and baby were both gone. This tragedy is really quite simple. It’s just like the time that a mother went upstairs to take down the clothes she had hung out to dry, and her 2-year-old child Xiao Yueyue somehow ran out into the street to play, and was hit by a car. 
2. These tragedies have nothing to do with the system, there are evil people in the world, that’s all. Sooner or later, you’re bound to come into contact with the evil of humanity. My grandfather told me, before he passed, that not all people you see walking along the streets are human: some are demons wearing human clothes.
3. I don’t deny that the mother of little Haobo made a mistake. Even if she was leaving her daughter in the car to help her stay waarm, she should have considered the danger posed by those 10 minutes. However, looking back, many of us have grown up in such rough environments, with the keys to our house hanging around our necks, running wildly through busy streets and industrial areas. We have slid down bannisters in tall buildings, run away to swim in the river without telling anyone…Haobo’s mother is just an example of a small mistake leading to a big mistake, and not an example of criminal neglect. I don’t think the mother should be charged. She has already been subjected to the cruelest punishment on earth.
4. There have been too many children who have died in unusual circumstances lately. What I care about more is whether we can do something for the future of other children. Undoubtedly, the social reform that we are promoting actually means we must change ourselves, including the way we raise and educate children. Chinese parents’ love for their children is a matter of bloodlines, and lacks societal abilities. Parents that can afford a car, but haven’t bought a child seat for their baby, who can’t bear to let their children run from them in a field, but let him run up to the roof to jump off…some Chinese parents don’t understand ways of supervising children in modern society, and they need guidance.
5. However, China’s law protecting minors seems to be a long-form essay full of slogans, not even as specific as the regulations in a high-class neighborhood’s property bylaws. There are no guidelines for implementation or quantitative standards. Every state of the US, on the other hand, has detailed laws requiring the minimum age at which children can be alone at home without parental supervision: in Maryland and Georgia, it is 8 years old; in North Dakota, it’s under 9; in Washington it’s 10; in Nebraska it’s 11; in Colorado it’s 12, in Illinois it’s 14. Around the same time those 4 boys drowned in Zengcheng, Guangzhou, an American mother was imprisoned for a year and fined 18,000 USD for letting her three children go swim by themselves in the river.
6. While people are smuggling baby formula as if it were heroin, officials are thinking about how to get their hands on mistresses while regular people are thinking about how to get their hands on baby formula, these comparisons are a luxury. A woman said on Weixin yesterday, “Oh God, they dare to have a baby, how do they dare?” Just as they confirmed that it was Zhou Xijun who killed Haobo, news also came that an American car thief had discovered a car as he stole it, and reported it twice to the police, leaving a note…these totally different choices by two car thieves drew another round of heated discussion on Weibo: “Does the case of the murdered infant have anything to do with the system?”
7. I truly don’t think it has anything to do with the system. Although China has always had this or that problem with protecting women and children, this is the result of the level of development in the economy and society. I have also done some research and found that in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, a woman who was only 20 years old put her newborn infant in the refrigerator, where the baby died. The autopsy showed that the poor child was still alive when she was put in the fridge. There was also another instance of cruelty in Germany’s history: A 39-year-old woman killed 9 of her own babies from 1988 to 2000, and then buried them in her own flowerpots and buckets.
8. I also discovered that on the evening of November 28th, 2001, Xu Deyong and Xu Gongwei climbed a wall to look for money and were discovered by a husband and wife, whom they subsequently stabbed to death. Afterwards, Xu discovered that there was also a 10-month-old child in the room, and stabbed it to death. There is also the case in Heilongjiang, Jiamusi city, when a 35-year-old man surnamed Gu fought with his girlfriend, and then forced her to kill her 3-month-old on her bed. He then forced his mother-in-law to dismember the infant’s body.
9. It’s clear that such cruel murders of infants occur in China and abroad. They just do not believe in hell. The act of killing a baby is not related to the system or education. The “human evil” of the individual is the source of violent acts. However, in contrast with how officials made sure to demonstrate their moral education after the Xiao Yueyue incident, in Germany, the government came out to conduct psychological examinations and documentation for the criminal: “We could not prevent the criminal act, but we can deeply investigate in order to lower the rate at which these tragedies occur.” Brandenburg’s local government head also took responsibility and expressed to the public that in the face of these cases of infant murder, all of German society must examine their own hearts, no matter if they are in the government, relatives of the woman in question, neighbors, local doctors or government departments, everyone should reflect upon it. 
10. The German media reported on this widely, criticizing the government’s reaction, but didn’t contact the government departments in charge at all.
11. The evening of the day before yesterday, Changchun’s local papers received a notification: the case could not be on the front page, and it should emphasize the capabilities of the police, playing down the piece. After 6 days, it was forbidden to make any report on the case. Very obediently, one paper only ran a small article in its inner pages, while another didn’t make any mention of it at all. Yesterday evening, reporters sent to the scene by the Southern Weekly also received similar orders.
12. To kill an infant who is totally unable to resist you just to steal a car; to use the image of the murdered child to run an ad for a GPS system; for a man named Li’er Chaisi to first say the search for the infant was just a publicity stunt, and then to put on performance art about it; to pretend that the streets have been peaceful, that everything under heaven is in order, a single order made it as if none of the above had happened at all, that it didn’t exist. Evil never walks alone, but with its like.
13. Something that has happened everywhere in the world, and was a product of human evil that didn’t originally have anything to do with the system at first, later did have something to do with the system…that’s what inevitably happens with so many matters in this country. 

 

Saturday
Mar022013

NPC delegate advises changing the sentence for accepting a bribe

China’s lianghui, or “Two Sessions,” has convened, and delegates from across the country have gathered in Beijing to discuss changes to law and policy. On March 3, Guangdong lawyer and NPC delegate Zhu Lieyu described his proposal for changing China’s criminal law on bribery, calling for lawmakers to lower the minimum sentence for accepting a bribe of 100,000 RMB from 10 years to one year, raising the maximum sentence from 15 years to 40 years, as well as replacing the suspended death sentence – which Gu Kailai received last year – with life imprisonment in a remote desert prison.

 

Below is my translation of Sina’s article on this proposal.

 

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NPC delegate advises changing the sentence for accepting a bribe of 100,000 RMB to one year

The average income has tripled, but the penalties for corruption have not changed, remarks Zhu Lieyu

Sina Quick Report – Special correspondents Luo Shi, Li Guohui

 “Since 1997, when the criminal laws currently in effect were established, China’s disposable per-capita income has changed greatly, and we must make corresponding changes to the standard length of sentences.” NPC delegate and Guangdong lawyer Zhu Lieyu plans to put forward his proposal, “On changing regulations requiring unreasonably long sentences for the crime of taking bribes,” in which he calls for the standard sentences for accepting bribes to be adjusted according to the actual development of China’s society and economy, and also calls for the establishment of a system to adjust the sentencing every five years.

●Suggestion #1

Accepting bribes totaling 100,000 RMB should result in one year in prison

Zhu Lieyu’s proposal points out that the average disposable income of China’s urban residents has risen to 21,810 RMB in 2011 from 5,160 RMB in 1997, while that of rural residents has risen to 6,977 RMB from 2,090 RMB, which represents an increase of 323% and 234% respectively. However, in judicial practice today, the standards of 1997, in which accepting bribes of over 100,000 RMB could result in 10 or more years in prison, are still in effect. “This is a clear example of an excessively harsh sentence,” stated Zhu Lieyu.

 “The criminal law from 1997 established ‘100,000 RMB’ as the basic standard for corruption, as it was equivalent to 50 times the yearly income of a rural resident, or 20 times the yearly income of an urban resident. With regards to purchasing power, 100,000 RMB today is the equivalent of 10,000 RMB in 1997.” Therefore, Zhu recommends that the criminal law’s sentence of at least ten years for accepting bribes of 100,000 RMB be changed to a sentence of at least one year.

He also advised that standards sentences for the crime of accepting bribes be adjusted every five years according to factors including the development of the economy and society, the living standards of the people, and the price of commodities.

●Suggestion #2

Sentences should be capped at 40 years

 “According to the criminal law currently in effect, the sentence for a single crime, excepting those laid out in Articles 50 and 69, must be at least 6 months, but no longer than 15 years.” Zhu’s proposal explains that the maximum sentence for a single crime is set too low at 15 years, meaning that sentences for the crime of accepting bribes may be restricted by that upper cap, and therefore not equal to the crime.

The proposal raises the examples of Xie Wuwei, the county party secretary of Jinggu county, Simao Region, Yunnan province, who was sentenced to 10 years for accepting a bribe of 100,000 RMB, and that of Sun Duokang, the CEO of Qinghai Investment Co. Ltd., who took bribes totalling 1,686,000 RMB and was sentenced to 10 years. The latter embezzled 16 times the amount of the former, but their sentences were exactly the same. “This kind of result is not only unacceptable to the criminals, but also to people in our society,” said Zhu Lieyu.

He recommends that the concrete standards for sentences as well as the rules for sentencing for the crime of accepting bribes be adjusted in accordance with the actual development of the economy, and that the basic standard for sentencing for the crime of accepting a bribe of 100,000 RMB be at least one year, while raising the maximum sentence for accepting a bribe to 40 years.

●Suggestion #3

Changing the suspended death sentence to life in prison in exile

The proposal states that the suspended death sentence is a special kind of punishment created by China, and it played an active role in China under certain historical conditions, but as the conditions for a suspended death sentence in our criminal law have been changed from “resisting reform and maliciously plotting,” to “intentionally committing a crime,” the suspended death sentence has become a life sentence in all but name.

Analysis within the proposal shows that criminals whose death sentences are suspended are already unable to commit crimes because they are under strict supervision, while the phenomenon of criminals being sentenced to death and having their sentences commuted has been an important reason why China still has a high rate of death sentences.

 “Criminals who receive suspended death sentences have committed crimes more serious than those who have received life in prison, but less serious than those who have been sentenced to death and are set to be immediately executed.” The proposal therefore recommends that the suspended death sentence be changed to life in prison in exile. “Changing the suspended death sentence into a life in prison in exile sentence, sending prisoners to specially designated national prisons in the northwestern desert or Gobi desert where living conditions are hard, will allow for prisoners to still serve life in prison while receiving additional punishment, and will also greatly lower the rate at which death sentences are given in China, demonstrating China’s policy of appropriately applying the death penalty.”

Tuesday
Feb262013

A Call for Marriage Equality in China

Two women recently made headlines in China when they were denied the right to marry. In response, some parents from China’s chapter of PFLAG sent this letter to the delegates of China’s National People’s Congress, which will convene soon, calling for marriage equality for their children. Below is my English translation of the letter.

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Greetings, respected NPC delegates!

We are from all parts of China, and our children are homosexuals, so we are called “Comrade Parents” [“comrade” is slang for homosexual in Chinese]. Our children are unable to legally form a family with their beloved partners, becoming husband and husband or wife and wife, because of their sexual orientation, which has caused a great deal of inconvenience for them in a number of ways, including in everyday life and when they seek medical treatment.

It is widely accepted in the field of sociology that homosexuals represent 3-5% of the population. That means that China has about 60 million homosexuals, and because China’s Marriage Law defines marriage as a partnership between one man and one woman, they are unable to enter the halls of marriage. Some of our children have been with their same-sex partners for almost ten years; they care for and love each other dearly, but they are unable to legally sign for their partners when they are ill and in need of an operation. As the parents of homosexuals, we are often worried, because they cannot legally marry, and this impacts to various degrees their ability to adopt, sign [for a partner] in the event an operation is needed due to illness, inherit their partner’s assets, or even buy a house.

What is even more incredible is that our homosexual children have the right to legally marry opposite-sex partners, even if they do not love someone of the opposite sex. It is widely known that when homosexuals marry partners of the opposite sex, this leads to the serious societal problem of the heterosexual partner becoming a “beard,” leading even more people to live unhappy lives. Our laws can’t possibly be encouraging homosexuals to marry heterosexuals, can they?

Furthermore, homosexuality is not a violation of any Chinese law currently in effect; homosexuals have all rights afforded to citizens of the People’s Republic of China, and homosexuals cannot be denied the right to marry for long.

We strongly request that NPC delegates and CPPCC committee members give their attention to this matter, listen to the voices of 120 million “Comrade Parents,” acknowledge the wishes of 60 million homosexuals for equality and dignity, and call for a the Marriage Law to be changed as soon as possible, so that China’s 60 million homosexual citizens can have an equal right to marry.

Thank you for taking the time to pay attention to our request, and we wish you all the best in your work and health!

 Best regards,

 Some parents of PFLAG China

February 25, 2013