BY ETHAN GUTMANN Investigating Chinese surveillance is a rather lonely job. For all the dissidents yammering about dramatic arrests and torture and harvesting of organs, you can’t really guarantee publication or much of an audience unless you can prove that there are links to America: brand name corporations, scary cutting-edge U.S. technology, insidious Washington collusion. That’s…
BY ETHAN GUTMANN How a handful of unknown Chinese martyrs aided the cause of freedom around the world Back in January 2010, Secretary of State Clinton gave a pay-any-price, bear-any-burden address calling for the liberation of the global Internet. The price Washington was willing to pay? It promised $50 million to groups developing “new tools…
NOV 24, 2008, VOL. 14, NO. 10 • BY ETHAN GUTMANN
The jeepney driver sizes us up the minute we climb in. My research assistant is a healthy, young Israeli dude, so I must be the one with the money. He addresses his broken English to me: “Girl?”
No. No girls. Take us to the …
No. No ladyboy, no kickboxer, thanks. I may be a paunchy, sweaty, middle-aged white guy, but I’m here to–well, actually, I am on my way to meet a Chinese woman in a back alley. She is going to tell me intimate stories of humiliation, torture, and abuse. And the truly shameful part is that after 50 or so interviews with refugees from Chinese labor camps, I won’t even be listening that closely.
House International Relations Committee
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations
Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 10:30 A.M.
2172 Rayburn House Office Building.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for inviting me to make a contribution to the Committee’s profoundly important work.
Approximately two months ago, your Committee heard representatives of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Cisco Systems defend their companies’ role in constructing China’s Internet. Simultaneously the Committee floated an extremely important draft – the Global Online Freedom Act of 2006 – which appeared to place this committee and the aforementioned companies on a collision course. Some commentators, particularly those searching for a middle way, characterized the Online Freedom Act as an “overreaction.” I don’t agree. I believe that it is better characterized as a tragedy.
I would guess that few people in this room actually desire intrusive government intervention and oversight of U.S. companies. I certainly don’t. I’m a former consultant to American corporations operating in China and a former vice-chair of the Government Relations Committee for the American Chamber of Commerce Beijing. I’m also a former believer in the concept that we would change China, not that China would change us.