Tag Archives: Lincoln Davidson

China and the Developing Closed Cyberspace

In the last few months, Chinese authorities have made a number of moves to restrict firms providing tech products and services in the PRC. A draft counterterrorism law recently reviewed by the National People’s Congress would require foreign firms operating in China to store all information on Chinese users in servers physically located in China and adopt protocols for monitoring content for “terrorist” activity. Chinese internet regulators recently issued new rules requiring tech firms providing products or services to Chinese banks to undergo a security review by state regulators; to pass review, firms may be required to reveal source code or encryption keys to regulators or create software “backdoors” so that regulators could monitor user data. Meanwhile, an increasing number of foreign tech products are being removed from PRC government procurement lists. The new restrictions on tech firms are part of a comprehensive “Cyber Security Review Regime” which China’s top decision-making body for cyber policy says will be implemented by the end of 2015.

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Obscuring the Past with Ethnicity

Original article from BaconPress, an independent Taiwanese media outlet

Translated from its original form by Lincoln Davidson ’15

On the evening of February 27, 1947, Taipei-based agents of the Monopoly Bureau of the Republic of China, which had taken control of Taiwan following the 1945 surrender of Japan, confiscated untaxed cigarettes from a 40-year old Taiwanese woman. When she demanded their return, one of the agents hit her over the head with his gun, prompting an angry response from a crowd that had gathered to see what was going on. As the Monopoly Bureau agents fled, one of them fired into the crowd, killing a bystander. Already angered by two years of corruption, repressive policies and an economy being dragged down in support of the Kuomintang’s (KMT) failing war effort against the Communist Party, the crowd began to protest. Anti-government protests soon sprung up all over Taiwan; in response, the KMT party-state declared martial law, called in thousands of troops from the Chinese mainland and initiated a bloody crackdown, rounding up leading members of Taiwanese society and executing them. Within a month, more than ten thousand Taiwanese had been massacred.

The incident, which came to be known as the “228 Incident” for the day it started (2/28), was a taboo topic in Taiwan for decades (until the 1990s). While the massacre has since been memorialized in a national holiday, a museum and public monuments and is now included in history textbooks published on the island, it remains an incredibly sensitive topic and is generally considered to be a key foundational moment for Taiwanese identity and history.

The following is a translation of an essay published on Facebook earlier this week by the independent Taipei media company BaconPress. It critiques authorities in Taiwan today for using the history of the 228 Incident to create ethnic divisions between native Taiwanese and recent immigrants from Mainland China. While the island democratized in the ’90s, the current ruling party (the KMT) is the same that conducted the 228 massacre. The author calls for restorative justice to recognize that the 228 incident was about the division between those with power and those without power, and that this division still exists today.

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