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Re: [NOISE] Re: censored? corrected [Steve Pizzo cited in The Spotlight]
On Thu, 2 Nov 1995, Bryce wrote:
> That's one way to look at it. Of course since the "license
> requirements" had to do with some obscure administrivia that nobody
> thought would apply to ISP's, none of the 6 or so ISP's in Hong Kong
> had thought to apply for it. One has to wonder why the gov't pulled
> the plug on 5 of them without so much as a warning, much less a
> chance to comply.
> Did I say 5? Oh yes. The largest HK ISP-- and the one with closest
> ties to the government-- had gone ahead and applied for the license
> just a couple of weeks before the blackout. Corruption is the modus
> operandi in HK, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if that one ISP
> got a special favor by being warned of the impending black-out, or
> even if it had a hand in instigating it.
Look: I've followed very closely all that sad story, as I routinely
participate to the meetings between the Government's Telecom regulator
(OFTA) and the representatives of the IT industry regarding ISP
regulations and the difficult relationships with the telephone carrier
(in the role, incidentally, of a strong advocate of de-regulation).
The cutoff was determined by an initiative of the Police's Commercial
Crime Bureau, tipped by complaints from that provider you're mentioning
(HK Supernet). The initiative was taken without any pressure from above,
and actually the CCB had to backpedal very hurriedly after the
intervention of several legislators (I assisted to an embarassing panel
meeting where one of them scolded the chief of the CCB and advanced the
hypothesis of a possible lawsuit by the providers agaist the Government
for unlawful action, due to a few clumsy procedural "faux pas" by the
police). In other words, the whole matter looked more like "Inspector
Clouseau vs the ISP's" than a perfidious conspiracy to suppress the
freedom of speech.
In any case, before Perry (rightly) send us stern reminders of the scarce
crypto relevance of this thread, let's take it out of Cypherpunks and, if
someone is interested, let's continue by e-mail.