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Amid censorship concerns, Google, Microsoft donate to Biden Inauguration fund

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Amid fears of Big Tech companies censoring alternatives to mainstream social media, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Comcast have publically donated to the inauguration fund for President-elect Joe Biden.

The Biden Inaugural Committee released a list of its donors Saturday who donated over $200 to the Jan. 20 festivities. The site does not specify the amounts, but according to campaign law, it will have to report the information within 90 days of the inauguration, as reported by Politico.

The full list is available here and shows hundreds of names and several companies funding the Biden/Harris swearing-in.

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Other notable names include Qualcomm, Verizon, Comcast, Boeing, labor union IBEW, medical tech company Masimo Corporation, and health insurance company Anthem, Inc.

The inauguration ceremony is expected to take place in person at the Capitol but supporters are urged to stay home due to the pandemic.

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This news comes at the same time that Google is taking down Parler, a free speech alternative to Twitter, from their Google Play store—demanding more censorship and moderation of content on the platform.

The site is notable for being a conservative go-to as many pro-Trump accounts are fleeing to Parler. Twitter crackdowns are increasing drastically on anyone “supporting violence,” or in other words, holding a different view of the world than Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence,” Google’s statement on pulling Parler read. “All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US….In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues.”

While companies are busy squashing conservative thought and platforms, they seem to find the time to cut checks for the incoming administration.

You can follow Ben Wilson on Twitter @BenDavisWilson 

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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world

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China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Key findings of the report are below.

“Persuaded to return”

According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.

Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.

The Nine Forbidden Countries

China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.

Conclusion

According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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