PowerKee’s Bastion of Privacy #13 – Censorship Portends Control
There is a media tug of war between China and the United Kingdom (UK). The Chinese government recently banned the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) from airing in China. This is in response to the action of British media regulator Ofcom withdrawing the license of CGTN, a Chinese broadcasting outfit.
Actions like these expose the weaknesses of the current systems of global media practice. In an era where technology offers the possibility for free information flow, the banning of media outlets brings into question the agenda of authorities. Before we consider how to protect freedom of speech, we will outline the details of this media conflict.
In the last Bastion of Privacy, we will look at the events that have led to the current crisis between the two parties. We will also explain why the rights and freedom of expression should be sustained, while suggesting how this can be achieved without government intervention.
The US Accuses China of Genocide
The United States accused China of committing genocide against the people of Uighur. Uighur is a predominantly Muslim ethnic group located in the north-western region of Xinjiang, China. They account for roughly 12 million of the total population of China, representing over half of the people in Xinjiang.
The accusation thickened after Anthony Blinken, the current secretary of state of the US, acknowledged the genocide reports. Blinken supported Mike Pompeo’s designation that China committed genocide against the Uighurs. There were suggestions that the Chinese government detained over 1 million Uighurs and used them for forced labor while claiming that they were in “re-education camps”.
China has since refuted the claims. The spokesperson of China’s foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, described the allegation as “a piece of wastepaper”. In her speech, she expressed hopes that the new US administration will approach issues concerning Xinjiang reasonably.
The Two-way Sanctions That Launched A Media War
In the first week of February 2021, the UK media regulator, Ofcom announced that it had banned China Global Television Network (CGTN) from operating in Britain. The reason for this ban according to Ofcom is due to CGTN’s affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party, which violates broadcasting laws.
The allegation by Ofcom against CGTN goes beyond its coverage of the Uighur situation described above. The perceived lopsided reporting that supports the Communist Party has also raised concerns in the past. One of these cases was the alleged “forced confession” footage of Peter Humphery, a British private investigator, while imprisoned in China.
In what could be retaliation, the Chinese regulator banned the BBC from airing its programs in China through satellite services. Similarly, the reasons given for this ban are based on biased and inaccurate reporting that has “damaged the Chinese ethnic unity”. China is accusing the BBC of bearing false reports about the coronavirus and the persecution of the Uighurs.
Right now, it is all about who’s story can be heard and the narrative of the reporter. This further reveals the limitations of a controlled media community, where the powers of the day can determine what goes out to the public.
Privacy Blockchains As A Solution
The information flow has been bastardized. Netizens receive subpar information that has been censored and controlled. When the information can’t be altered, the powers that be may even resort to shutting down information access. For instance, during the Myanmar protests, the military government completely cut off internet supply.
Until last year, OTC trading desks were popular among Chinese cryptocurrency traders. It was a route for users to acquire cryptocurrencies after the clampdown on regular exchanges. However, in July 2020, the suspected arrest of Zhao Dong, a popular cryptocurrency OTC trader, and his team, was another control attempt in the industry. These clampdowns can hinder the growth of cryptocurrencies in a potential global hub like China.
Widespread censorship, and the narrative control that it portends, is a dangerous trend. The benefits of blockchain technology, and privacy-focused platforms like Powerkee, cannot be overemphasized at this time. With PowerKee, users can exchange data and information in a completely anonymous environment, preserving users’ privacy, and avoiding censorship and control from authorities.
Today, every angle of the story matters. The internet and other supporting technologies have made it possible for all sides of any story to be available for public consumption. However, this is not the reality that is materializing. With the benefit of decentralized technologies, privacy and freedom of expression have become achievable. Powerkee is one such solution which facilitates these fundamental rights.
PowerKee is a cryptocurrency network that makes privacy easy. Users can transact cheaply and instantly while maintaining anonymity. The PowerKee protocol uses a mixture of zero-knowledge proofs and coin mixing to provide strong privacy assurances to its users.