Sam “FISA” Brownback is OUTRAGED that China Will Spy on Guests

International hotel chains are making a fuss about having to install internet surveillance software at their Chinese properties, at the request of China’™s government. Senator Sam Brownback is incensed that another government would potentially spy on their own people, as well as foreigners. Funny, that, since Brownback is one of the more vocal supporters of FISA in the U.S.

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This is snort-out-loud laughable.

Sen. Sam Brownback is hopping mad that the Chinese government is requiring all international hotels in China to install internet monitoring software prior to the Olympics. Apparently, a few of the hotel chains have made a fuss.

Listen, it’™s not like the Chinese government (unlike the American government) hasn’™t been right up front about controlling use of the internet / world wide web within the borders of their country. In fact, back in 2005, China forced Yahoo! to give up email records on dissidents, and Google was forced to redesign their search engine software to make it easier for the Chinese government to spy and conduct oversight:

‘¦However, some [U.S.] lawmakers at the hearing thought this argument dubious at best. Choices to operate in China have also led to Yahoo’™s cooperation with Chinese authorities to arrest a dissident and Google’™ redesign of its search engine to reflect Chinese censorship.

‘œU.S. technology companies today are engaged in a sickening cooperation decapitating the movements of Chinese dissidents,’ human rights subcommittee chair Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said at the hearing. Smith will soon introduce the Global Online Freedom Act of 2006 that aims to ‘œprotect United States businesses from coercion to participate in repression by authoritarian foreign governments.’ ‘¦

So, Sam Brownback is now carrying the anti-spy water for the hotel chains operating in China. As I said at the outset of this post, that’™s quite laughable, coming from one of the strongest proponents of FISA, warrentless wiretapping, and internet surveillance. Glenn Greenwald has the details, but this stands out:

‘œThese hotels are justifiably outraged by this order, which puts them in the awkward position of having to craft pop-up messages explaining to their customers that their Web history, communications, searches and key strokes are being spied on by the Chinese government,’ Brownback said at a news conference’¦

At least you get a pop-up message in China. In the U.S., DHS just pops up at your door.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

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