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UN Approves China-Backed Internet Convention That Could Lead to Lead to Censorship of Free Expression in Pretext of Fighting Crime


The UN has approved a new convention, led by Russia and backed by China, that would counter the criminal use of information and communications technologies, but the criminal use may become any criticism of government officials. -GEG

The United Nations on Friday approved a Russian-led bid that aims to create a new convention on cybercrime, alarming rights groups and Western powers that fear a bid to restrict online freedom.

The General Assembly approved the resolution sponsored by Russia and backed by China, which would set up a committee of international experts in 2020.

The panel will work to set up “a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes,” the resolution said.

The United States, European powers and rights groups fear that the language is code for legitimizing crackdowns on expression, with numerous countries defining criticism of the government as “criminal.”

China heavily restricts internet searches to avoid topics sensitive to its communist leadership, as well as news sites with critical coverage.

A number of countries have increasingly tried to turn off the internet, with India cutting off access in Kashmir in August after it stripped autonomy to the Muslim-majority region and Iran taking much of the country offline as it cracked down on protests in November.

“It is precisely our fear that (a new convention) would allow the codification at an international and global level of these types of controls that’s driving our opposition and our concerns about this resolution,” a US official said.

Any new UN treaty that spells out internet controls would be “inimical to the United States’ interests because that doesn’t tally with the fundamental freedoms we see as necessary across the globe,” he said.

Human Rights Watch called the UN resolution’s list of sponsors “a rogue’s gallery of some of the earth’s most repressive governments.”

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British Hospital Sentences Baby to Die in Compliance with UN Convention on Children’s Rights

UK: The parents of an 11-month old baby facing imminent death from a rare neurological disease raised over a million dollars to seek treatment in the US. The British socialized health-care system, however, forbids it and says it will shut down the child’s life-support so he may “die with dignity”, in accordance with the UN Convention on Children’s Rights, which replaces parental authority in such matters with government authority. The hospital’s statement says: “A world where only parents speak and decide for children … is far from the world in which [this hospital] treats its child patients.” –GEG

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOPp0Q-ixHY

Why is a hospital fighting so hard to block parents with a child dying from a rare condition from getting experimental medical treatment another hospital is offering for free?

Would it damage the reputation of the hospital “revered as one of the world’s best children’s hospitals” if another hospital succeeded where they failed?

Perhaps. But in arguing to kill the baby rather than allowing someone else to treat him, they said “a world where ONLY PARENTS SPEAK & DECIDE FOR CHILDREN and where children have NO SEPARATE IDENTITY or rights and no court to hear & protect them is far from the world in which [this hospital] treats its child patients.”

They may be trying to protect their reputation, but they were appealing to the court and reminding it that it is subject to the UNCCR, the United Nations Convention on Child Rights.