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US-Made Censorware Used To Oppress Burma

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the doesn't-work-as-well-as-pulling-the-plug dept.

Censorship 199

An anonymous reader writes "The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that US-made censorware is being used to oppress the people in many countries, including Burma. That in itself may not be surprising, but a more interesting point is that according to lawyers interviewed by the CS Monitor it appears to be legal — in spite of all the economic sanctions against the country, and even though people know it will be used to hush up any mention of things like attacks on peaceful protesters."

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199 comments

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Hmm? (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096401)

I really don't understand why that's not illegal...isn't this why there are so many restrictions on where certain programs can be legally downloaded?

The only way I can see it as legal is if it was obtained before the sanctions, and then shame on the authors for not providing an adequate license, something I have no problem with except in cases such as this where it involves censorware or other "mass restriction" software.

Export restrictions mainly cover encryption (2, Informative)

Airw0lf (795770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096431)

I really don't understand why that's not illegal...isn't this why there are so many restrictions on where certain programs can be legally downloaded?
That's usually due to encryption capabilities of the software being "exported." IIRC, there used to be export versions of IE that were limited to 56-bit encryption due to US export laws which classified certain types of encryption as a "weapon." But I think that's pretty much a non-issue in the developed world nowadays. Someone could correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:Hmm? (1)

Typoboy (61087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096495)

As someone else said, the restrictions have to do with things that could be considered 'weapons'. Filtering software isn't really seen as a military threat. The latest sanctions [state.gov] list only financial products as being restricted on export.

Re:Hmm? (2, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097501)

But isn't filtering software the worst kind of weapon, a weapon against the people.

Re:Hmm? (5, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097847)

I have just read the current sanctions section of that link and notably absent is ANY restriction on the selling of arms to the goverment. It bans investment in the country but a simple sale of weaponary (even that which may be used to surpress the pro-democracy campaigners) where the profit all ends up in the hands of a US company seems to be fair play.

The fact is the the western governments (mine included, I am British) do not like banning the sale of arms to these sort of countries as it damages our economies and may cost us jobs. The only time we ban the sale of arms is when we fear they may be used against us, if they are just going to be used to surpress indiginous pupulations we generally don't mind.

If anyone wants to prove this to be incorrect then please be my guest. Post a quote from the document proving me wrong. Modding this post down as flamebait or troll does not contribute to this discussion in a positive way.

Re:Hmm? (4, Informative)

Camael (1048726) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096547)

What the company did was against the US embargo, actually. http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2144178/fortinet-investigates-sanctions/ [vnunet.com]

So yes, it's illegal but the company doesn't care.

Re:Hmm? (4, Insightful)

Sontas (6747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096655)

Actually, the company, Fortinet, is looking into the matter. As the article states, they don't sell directly to end users, all sales go through resellers. Their policy with their resellers states that all US export laws must be followed.

So the company apparently does care and it isn't yet clear how this software came to be in use in the embargoed nation. For all anyone knows it was pirated by a Burmese government sympathizer who worked for another company that attained it legally. Let's not pile on this company in undue haste.

Re:Hmm? (4, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096685)

damn it man, your wasting valuable flag burning time with your reason and logic!

Re:Hmm? (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096803)

Although, reading TFA, it seems that a Fortinet executive was reported to have been associated with the Burmese government, as reported in the Burmese press.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck ...

Having said that, if one reads TFA to the end, the argument that the existence of more-or-less ineffective filtering actually helped in the dissemination of information about the Burmese government repression seems reasonable - the sense of false security afforded the authorities by their possession of filtering may have provided a window of opportunity for the citizenry to get information to the world.

Re:Hmm? (3, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097469)

From the article:

The firm, says ONI, responded by saying it doesn't sell software directly to end-users. ONI challenges Fortinet's claim, pointing to a 2004 article, reachable online, by the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper. The story covers a ceremony bringing together Burma's prime minister and Benjamin Teh, described as "an official representative of Fortinet." "Given Mr. Teh's participation, it seems unlikely that Fortinet did not know of the sale of its software to Burma," notes the ONI report.
Anyway, How is it illegal to export this software to Iran but not Burma?

Re:Hmm? (1, Troll)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096989)

Who in the hell are we to say that we need to take a stand against a country and how it treats the people within it when there are perfectly good Wal-Marts and Kentucky Fried Chickens to be built for further corporate expansion?!

What is the small price of a few lives in return for a higher price on WallStreet for the consumer goods and fast foods sector?! After all, if they were supposed to enjoy freedom, god would'a done born them in the US of A!

Oh, also -- cue everyone who is going to spit out the "spreading capitalism spreads democracy -- just look at all the countries that have Levi Jeans, Coca Cola and Burger Kings" thing.

Re:Hmm? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097851)

Comparing the number of totalitarian human rights abusing countries around the world that are begging to get their asses kicked, compared to the amount of ass kicking that has actually happened; I'd say we've shown remarkable restraint.

Re:Hmm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096637)

Silly person.

If the past couple of years should have taught you anything it's that it's only bad if the Frenchies do it.

When it turns out the French suppliers are subsidiaries of US companies, you can bury it in a couple "OMG they're against FREEDOM!" opinion pieces on Fox News.

Re:Hmm? (1, Informative)

im just cannonfodder (1089055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097257)

As with the oil companies private security and weapons dealers they all seem to get around any blocks on trade and mostly originate from the usa!

the world is a testing ground for usa weapons and anti personal liberties technology until the police state is unleashed in the usa under the false guise of anti terrorism laws

US tech firm behind massive new human-tracking system in China!

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/12/us-tech-firm-behind-.html [boingboing.net]

Authorities in southern China are installing 20,000 (or more) police surveillance cameras, managed by software from an American-financed company. That spying system is designed to automatically recognize faces of criminal suspects, and spot potential crimes. And citizens of Shenzhen (pop: 12.4 million) will soon be required to carry computer-chipped residency cards programmed by that same company. Snip from NYT story: Data on the chip will include not just the citizen's name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China's controversial "one child" policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card. More about the US-financed company behind both technologies: "If they do not get the permanent card, they cannot live here, they cannot get government benefits, and that is a way for the government to control the population in the future," said Michael Lin, the vice president for investor relations at China Public Security Technology, the company providing the technology. Incorporated in Florida, China Public Security has raised much of the money to develop its technology from two investment funds in Plano, Tex., Pinnacle Fund and Pinnacle China Fund. Three investment banks -- Roth Capital Partners in Newport Beach, Calif.; Oppenheimer & Company in New York; and First Asia Finance Group of Hong Kong -- helped raise the money.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096407)

Yay more kdawsonfud!

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097145)

take your Blackwater, Inc. ass elsewhere

This is news? (5, Informative)

scgops (598104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096417)

Seriously, why would this surprise anyone?

This just in, companies are legally selling the same Internet filtering software used by companies, libraries, etc., to Burma, and the government is using the software for its own purposes.

Websense, one of the Internet filtering "censorware" companies mentioned in the article, had a partnership in place with Cisco starting over a decade ago to integrate URL filtering into Cisco PIX firewalls. That's how far from new this concept is. Burma could have bought all the parts they need used on eBay.

Re:This is news? (-1, Troll)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096529)

This just in, companies are legally selling the same Internet filtering software used by companies, libraries, etc., to Burma, and the government is using the software for its own purposes.

Hmmmmn, try:

This just in, companies are legally selling the same armaments used by companies & individuals, to Burma, and the government is using the armaments for its own purposes.

Should you be able to sell arms to Burma? If not - what's the difference?

Re:This is news? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096703)

because guns kill people, filtering out goatse.cx and tubgirl does not.

Re:This is news? (1)

scgops (598104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096747)

Should you be able to sell arms to Burma?

Yes. I'm a capitalist.

Is there much of a difference between selling "censorware" and guns to a foreign government? Probably not, other than the specific words likely to be used by the permanently hyperbolic press to describe the sales.

Re:This is news? (4, Insightful)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096815)

Of course we shouldn't sell weapons to Burma. You're kidding, right? That's like selling bullets to a semi-Hitler.

It's not your fault if you're not aware of just how oppressive and violent the government is there (how could anyone keep up with all the monsters in the world?), but it's pretty bad there.

And no disrespect intended, but being a capitalist does not mean being a nihilist in business. There is absolutely no sense to that idea. Capitalism was invented by Karl Marx, by the way, as a way of describing the absence of an economic system. In other words, nature.

In favoring free markets, there is no reason not to disincentivize barbaric governments.

But I agree with you insofar as you make no distinction between this type of software and bullets.

This is like selling rat poison to Hitler. Sure, there could be a legit use if we bury our heads in the sand. Sell Burma medicine, food, heating oil, basic things like that. Don't sell them weapons or tools whose main purpose is to impose policy. Generally speaking, there is a broad category of things that are inherently about control. Weapons and this software are included.

Re:This is news? (4, Insightful)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096907)

Of course we shouldn't sell weapons to Burma. You're kidding, right? That's like selling bullets to a semi-Hitler. It's not your fault if you're not aware of just how oppressive and violent the government is there (how could anyone keep up with all the monsters in the world?), but it's pretty bad there.
Well to be honest, unless we're at war with them (or they're at war with one of our allies), no, selling stuff to them shouldn't be illegal. It's immoral, yes, and I wouldn't do business with someone selling guns to the Burmese government... But that's the proper response in that case: don't do business with someone who's business practices you find disagreeable, don't legislate them out of existence...

And no disrespect intended, but being a capitalist does not mean being a nihilist in business. There is absolutely no sense to that idea. Capitalism was invented by Karl Marx, by the way, as a way of describing the absence of an economic system. In other words, nature.
1) Marx didn't "invent" capitalism any more than Newton "invented" gravity, he described a system he already observed and gave it a name. 2) People such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, etc. also described essentially the same system well before Marx.

In favoring free markets, there is no reason not to disincentivize barbaric governments.
If you're denying someone the ability to trade with a party, it's not a free market any more. Let the market deal with it; if people care about the people in Burma, they won't do business with a company supporting that government. Better yet, start selling the people of Burma weapons...

This is like selling rat poison to Hitler.
Hi Godwin.

It's not my business how someone uses a product I sell them. It's your business who I'm selling to, though. If you don't like who I do business with, then don't do business with me. People like Hitler have a habit of ending up dead, and if my only customer base is megalomaniacal homicidal dictators, I'll run out of customers pretty fast...

Sell Burma medicine, food, heating oil, basic things like that. Don't sell them weapons or tools whose main purpose is to impose policy. Generally speaking, there is a broad category of things that are inherently about control. Weapons and this software are included.
Weapons are just as much (if not more so) about breaking controls and defending freedoms than enforcing them and taking them away.

Re:This is news? (2, Interesting)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097233)

yeah yeah yeah, Godwin. Except that I'm exactly right to make the banal observation that selling rat poison to Hitler is a special problem. Some things can uniquely be used to control. We can't forsee the future, but we can use as much sense as we can to limit software that prevents human rights workers from exclaiming their distress.

Morality is the basis of law. What else are we supposed to base our laws on? Efficiency? That's utilitarianism. If we know something is immoral to a level that is outrageous, then we make it a felony. This helps to adjust the market, of course, so that it is not cost effective to sell weapons to bastards.

Adam Smith was describing nature. Marx was inventing the concept of capitalism to describe the problems he saw in our system. What Marx explained was certainly not to be seen in Adam Smith's account. I understand I'm being unclear. Think of it like this: Adam Smith was the scientist describing Ted Bundy's physical body. Marx was the guy pointing out, for the first time, that Ted Bundy was doing specific things that were bad.

I don't understand your comment about selling weapons to the freedom fighters in Burma (if there are any left). What does that have to do with what we're talking about? Specifically as a comparison to censorship software. Are you claiming that somehow this software, in the right hands, can overthrow the Burmese government?

I think you got lost in the analogy and forgot it wasn't real (China gives weapons to the Burmese government for free, etc)

Re:This is news? (2, Insightful)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097309)

yeah yeah yeah, Godwin. Except that I'm exactly right to make the banal observation that selling rat poison to Hitler is a special problem.
Then at least be creative and use Pol Pot or something... :)

Some things can uniquely be used to control. We can't forsee the future, but we can use as much sense as we can to limit software that prevents human rights workers from exclaiming their distress.
Lots of things have undesirable uses. Medicines are a good example of that. I'm not saying that a company should be selling the Burmese government ANYTHING, I'm just saying it shouldn't be illegal.

Morality is the basis of law. What else are we supposed to base our laws on? Efficiency?
How about on protecting rights? If you're doing something that doesn't violate someone else's rights, why should it be illegal?

This helps to adjust the market, of course, so that it is not cost effective to sell weapons to bastards.
Are you kidding? It's infinitely more cost effective to deal in illegal merchandise than legal. Look at the Columbian drug cartels or Al Capone for good evidence of this...

Think of it like this: Adam Smith was the scientist describing Ted Bundy's physical body. Marx was the guy pointing out, for the first time, that Ted Bundy was doing specific things that were bad.
Or Aristotle described (badly) how gravitation worked and Newton actually came up with the language (math) capable of describing the system fully... Until Einstein poked holes in it, but that's not the point. Marx came up with terminology for it, but he was still describing a system that existed in some form or another in the real world, not one that he created.

I don't understand your comment about selling weapons to the freedom fighters in Burma (if there are any left). What does that have to do with what we're talking about? Specifically as a comparison to censorship software. Are you claiming that somehow this software, in the right hands, can overthrow the Burmese government?
Well I was actually originally responding to the assertion that selling weapons to Burma is/should be illegal, the bit about blocking software was just an aside to me. You can buy secondhand PIX boxes with web filtering in them, or you can come up with your own solution to the problem pretty easily in house... Actually giving the software to the dissidents probably would help, they could deploy it themselves and try to find the holes in it.

Re:This is news? (1)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097463)

Good points.

I just like to rag on Hitler.

It's an interesting perspective to see black markets driving up the price as evidence that it is more cost effective. You're right... but this still makes like harder for the subject of the prohibition (the drug user or Burma for censor software). Still... my fault for putting it in the perspective of the seller. I think it could be argued that it's not more cost effective for black marketers. Al Capone did not do as well as Anheuser-Busch does. Though Al being a thug benefited from the black market, the sellers at large and in general did not benefit. That's my argument anyway.

re: the general moral issue, I think it's tough to agree on what rights the Burmese have against us. It's nice to talk about justice as fairness or universal principles or rights, but laws are meant to do two things: express outrage and regulate. If society funds X outrageous enough, then it outlaws it. All those constitutional issues are hogwash; we would overcome them if we were outraged enough. the regulation argument is easier (but less helpful). I simply think that selling Burma this technology is something society ought to be pissed off about. And if you want to discuss it about rights, it's easy to claim that there is a universal right to live in a society where fascists do not censor my communication about what they are doing (and thus, there should be a ban on selling the means for that censorship to fascists). Who knows?

Re:This is news? (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097621)

It's an interesting perspective to see black markets driving up the price as evidence that it is more cost effective.
It's not just more cost effective because the price has gone up. Once you've decided that you're going to engage in an illegal business, then there's no reason to follow legal business practices. Labor standards? Payroll taxes? Import tariffs? Minimum wage? Why bother? You're already doing something you'll go to jail for, so save the cash on compliance as well...

Al Capone did not do as well as Anheuser-Busch does.
No, but he benefited more directly from his liquor sales than the executives at AB do. I'll bet his profit margins are way better. He didn't have to bother with any pesky labor laws, import regulations, taxes, etc... That's what they finally got him on, after all, tax evasion. The only reason the Columbian drug cartels can stay in business is that their product is illegal. That lets them ignore laws in making and selling it and means they can charge whatever they want since there's no real market forces to keep them in line. If it were legalized, the costs of complying with labor standards, import laws, sales tax regulations, consumer safety, etc. on top of the fact that now anyone can do it, not just people willing to kill other people, would mean they couldn't turn the kind of profits they're used to making.

the general moral issue, I think it's tough to agree on what rights the Burmese have against us. It's nice to talk about justice as fairness or universal principles or rights, but laws are meant to do two things: express outrage and regulate. If society funds X outrageous enough, then it outlaws it. All those constitutional issues are hogwash; we would overcome them if we were outraged enough.
You're right, but that doesn't mean that's the way things are supposed to be. Legislation written for emotional reasons is almost always bad legislation. Look at all the suggested laws after Columbine, etc. Some people find drug use to be morally outrageous. Some people find alcohol to be morally outrageous. Some people find pornography to be morally outrageous. Once we start accepting that something being "morally repugnant"--as opposed to infringing on someone else's rights--is a good reason to to legislate it out of existence, we start down a bad path that could see homosexuality, fast food, and violent movies being felonies... Yes I'm being absurd, but you get the point.

I simply think that selling Burma this technology is something society ought to be pissed off about.
I think the fact that we haven't just assassinated the bastards in charge over there is something society out to be pissed off about. But being pissed off about something is different than passing law based on it.

And if you want to discuss it about rights, it's easy to claim that there is a universal right to live in a society where fascists do not censor my communication about what they are doing (and thus, there should be a ban on selling the means for that censorship to fascists). Who knows?
Freedom of expression is one of those inalienable human rights and anyone denying someone one of their most basic rights should be the enemy of all human beings on this planet. Regardless, filtering software, like VCRs, guns, medicine, fertilizer, etc. has legitimate uses. The fact that something COULD be used for evil is not a good reason for it to be banned--that's a pretty common refrain around here, at least. :)

All in all, I respect your points and I understand where you're coming from. I just really don't like this trade embargo BS--- 1) it doesn't work, and 2) it interferes with free markets. If someone is honestly bad enough that we're going to cut relations with them we should just take them out, not stand around twiddling our thumbs.

Yeah, right (3, Insightful)

orzetto (545509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097893)

Let the market deal with it

One day, people will realise that this sentence belongs in the same league of:

This ship cannot be sunk
640K will be enough for everyone
We have superior firepower, the Vietnamese will lose
We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down
History has ended

Market is powered by greed. Greed may improve the economy, but if you think greed is going to do any good to democracy, well you're in for a surprise.

Re:This is news? (2, Interesting)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21098149)

Well to be honest, unless we're at war with them (or they're at war with one of our allies), no, selling stuff to them shouldn't be illegal.

Why not? Please can you explain the benefit why that should remain legal?

But that's the proper response in that case: don't do business with someone who's business practices you find disagreeable, don't legislate them out of existence...

Again - can you please explain the benefit of that?

Let the market deal with it; if people care about the people in Burma, they won't do business with a company supporting that government.

Neither me, nor anyone else on earth has enough time to evaluate the business practices of every single company they buy goods from, and of the suppliers of every single company they buy goods. The amount of information required to make such decisions in every aspect of live is ridiculously large.

Let's look at the facts here: if the market would solve these problems, the Burmese government would not have this software. They do, and that means that the market is not going to solve the problem. If you want you can blame the public at large for not caring enough about Burma - rather than those who don't have enough morals not to sell them the stuff in the first place. This doesn't really matter - regardless of the reason - fact is the market has provably not solved the problem. Why would you expect different results in the future?

I blame George W. Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097147)

As a Democrat and loyal Slashdot user, I blame the Jew puppet Bu$Hitler Chimpy McHaliburtin

Instead he blows the heads off children in Iraq for his amusement.
Oh well, every dead soldier is one less Republican vote and one more victory for us Democrats

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097841)

"That's like selling bullets to a semi-Hitler."

Is that anything like a semi-trailer?

But seriously, the Americans sell stuff to warlords all the time. It's funny that you mention Hitler because Americans really did sell him stuff prior to the entry of the USA into WWII. Remember the lend/lease system? How about cash and carry trade?

I'll let you go check wikipedia now

The Abuse is News. (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097015)

Seriously, why would this surprise anyone?

It's not a surprise, but a light should shine on the the whole situation so that we can know the consequences of a non free internet. If people know how bad internet filtering really is, it will be denounced and eliminated. People in the US are more likely to demand network neutrality if the opposite is associated with a backwater where monks are murdered in cold blood.

It is also shocking that US companies would continue to do business with Burma. The market is tiny, so there's not even a good economic explanation for it. The backlash from that business is going to cost them much more than they could ever earn. Even GWB is repulsed by Burma.

Re:The Abuse is News. (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097601)

People in the US would do well to learn what the people of Burma and other model states around the world are already well on their way to learning. As the song says "Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose."

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097151)

Yeah - it's great to see the US exporting something we can charge for! We NEED to sell a lot more to balance our budget.

Perhaps we could become the world's specialists in torture and human oppression? Looks like it's a growing market....

Re:This is news? (1)

dr_d_19 (206418) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097529)

That's how far from new this concept is. Burma could have bought all the parts they need used on eBay.

The problem isn't the fact that this is new technology. The fact is that Websense or anyone else could have denied Burma the purchase. But they won't, because they don't care about anything else but profit. THAT is the problem.

If I hadn't ratted on Anne Franke, my neighbour would have anyway, right?

Why don't they install some censorware at (-1, Troll)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096419)

Fox 'News' and at the home of the little tin horn dictator?

US-Made Censorware (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096423)

Translation: you can use photoshop to draw a black rectangle.

Re:US-Made Censorware (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096457)

Or make a spiral effect.

It's quite OK (3, Insightful)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096443)

Governments are allowed to censor and suppress their populations. The thing that isn't allowed, is for general populations to have free access to encryption, anonymising and other clandestine enabling technologies that prevent governments from suppressing populations.

I don't see what the legal or moral issue is here...

Re:It's quite OK (3, Interesting)

Camael (1048726) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096531)

Governments are allowed to censor and suppress their populations.
I quite disagree. More accurately, in a country that respects the rule of law, the general public may in certain limited circumstances allow their government to censor or suppress certain types of information, for example secrets which impact on national security, or financial information crucial to the nation's economy.

Perhaps what you meant to say was governments which are not popularly elected and which are not accountable to their citizens can by rule of force censor and suppress their populations who can do nothing about it.

Perhaps you will begin to see the legal or moral issue here if it was your blog or email being censored.

Re:It's quite OK (1)

d12v10 (1046686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096569)

I think you missed the sarcasm in GP's post, sir

Re:It's quite OK (1)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21098039)

Whether the GPs post was sarcastic or not, why was this modded offtopic? Perhaps the problem is that Carmael's answer was polite and rational - two traits that many on slashdot lack?

Re:It's quite OK (1)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096595)

Are you kidding? Allowed? What is this higher authority that confers on governments the right to do such things? Governments don't have such authority just by virtue of being governments, you know. They derive all their authority from the consent of the governed. Providing freedom from suppression is one of the goals of government, since it exists only to serve the governed.

This means that the right to arbitrarily censor and suppress populations is never possessed by governments, especially when the governed are overwhelmingly rising up against such oppression. (Here I'm equating suppression with oppression. Oppression is "the state of being kept down by unjust use of force or authority," so it fits quite well.)

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

Re:It's quite OK (1)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096615)

Er, if the parent was being sarcastic, then it wasn't successful as sarcasm because there are people out there who actually think like that.

Re:It's quite OK (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21098211)

Thankfully we have people who think that you can revolt for whatever reason you like.

Re:It's quite OK (3, Insightful)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096681)

Governments don't have such authority just by virtue of being governments
I think you need to take some history lessons, and see things from a global perspective, rather than a 20th century US viewpoint.

Re:It's quite OK (1)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096763)

If John Locke and Voltaire had been Americans, and if the framers of the United States Constitution had lived in the 20th century, then I would have said you have a point. However...

Re:It's quite OK (0)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096887)

Governments are allowed to censor and suppress their populations. The thing that isn't allowed, is for general populations to have free access to encryption, anonymising and other clandestine enabling technologies that prevent governments from suppressing populations.

I don't see what the legal or moral issue is here...
Either you're a troll most wily, or else a moral vacuum. You don't see what the moral issue is of it being legal for a US company or person to aid in the oppression of the people of another country? Really?

Re:It's quite OK (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096927)

I think this [cambridge.org] is the word you're looking for.

Re:It's quite OK (3, Insightful)

mrjb (547783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097413)

Governments are allowed to censor and suppress their populations. The thing that isn't allowed, is for general populations to have free access to encryption, anonymising and other clandestine enabling technologies that prevent governments from suppressing populations.
You are being cynical, right? I hope that this is the case and it was recognized by those who modded you +4 insightful. Governments are supposed to rule country for the good of the people. This is where they derive their power from. If a government does not act in behalf of the people it rules, it has no right to be in that position of power, and should be brought down. Oh and by the way, 'for the good of the people' does not mean 'whatever the government decides is for the good of the people'. Let the people think for themselves.

Disgraceful (4, Insightful)

Camael (1048726) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096475)

It would be a massive disgrace if this news was true.

An excerpt from the source article:

It's hard to know exactly what happened on a technical level, but politically, it seems pretty clear at this point. The monks and other activists began their protests. The military did not crack down right away, I believe because they feared the impact of citizen journalists posting images and videos of brutality to the Web. The military decided that they were going to take more-severe steps, so they cut access to the Internet through the ISPs, particularly in cities like Yangon and Mandalay. They also cut off access to cell service and otherwise.

This is what's going on in Burma http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/09/28/myanmar-internet-blocked/ [globalvoicesonline.org]

Internet cafes were closed down. Both MPT ISP and Myanmar Teleport ISP cut down internet access in Yangon and Mandalay since this morning. The Junta try to prevent more videos, photographs and information about their violent crackdown getting out. I got a news from my friends that last night some militray guys searched office computers from Traders and Sakura Tower building. Most of the downtown movement photos were took from office rooms of those high buildings. GSM phone lines and some land lines were also cut out and very diffficult to contact even in local. GSM short message sending service is not working also. Burma is blacked out now!


How can any company with a shred of ethics or morality excuse the sale of their filtering product?

Re:Disgraceful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096551)

Mod this guy funny - this must be what they call sarcasm, eh?

Re:Disgraceful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096577)

What about all the business that's done with China [slashdot.org] ? Hmm? The last few USian Regimes seem to be pretty happy with things just the way they are. how they could care about Burmese censorship.

My dog ate my password.

Re:Disgraceful (1)

scgops (598104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096783)

How can any company with a shred of ethics or morality excuse the sale of their filtering product?

I'll assume you meant in general, not just the sale to Burma.

Filtering software continues to sell because companies don't want to risk sexual harassment lawsuits from people who've accidentally seen someone else surfing porn. Or from someone who has seen one jpeg spam too many and decides to try to hit the lawsuit jackpot. If you want to get rid of filtering software, you'll need to get rid of the lawsuit-friendly environments that make filtering software a reasonable investment for companies seeking to limit their exposure.

In the case of filtering software sold to Burma, that's what resellers are for -- plausible deniability. Avoiding responsibility for a sale made by a third party is pretty easy. The reseller has it pretty easy, too. After all, they're just the middleman. They didn't create the software and have no influence on how it gets used. People are great at rationalizing just about anything to make themselves feel okay.

Re:Disgraceful (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21098295)

How can any company with a shred of ethics or morality excuse the sale of their filtering product?

Oh that's easy:

1 - the market must be free, the business man's only obligation is to grow the wealth of the shareholders. If it's immoral, then society should take care of making it illegal.

2 - the free market will solve all the world's problems, so we can not legislate anything.

3 - if the market does demonstratably not solve a problem, well then it's because people didn't sufficiently care about it.

Neat, no? You can do whatever you want, and feel great about it - there is just nothing else you could possibly do, but strive to put more money in your own pockets. Even if it can be shown that doesn't work for society, it's still not your fault.

US made guns used to oppress Burma (4, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096481)

US, Russia and France, among other countries, export massive amount of munitions to rather flakey "allies" willing to pay good money. It's a certainly that some american guns made it to burmese military through secondary market. Shouldn't we clear this up first, before going after software that can not be used by people to kill people quite as directly as guns?

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (2, Interesting)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096643)

As a sanction to the Burma junta, french compagnies are frobidden to deal with burman small businesses, but Total has a few large oil drilling contracts there, and some even say that the money from these contracts saved the junta at least once.

I bet this is a general trend (we all remember the iraki embargo in the 90's that resulted in tens of thousands children death by lack of food and medecine and the continuation of Sadam reign), the public intention of the west is to fight against dictatorships, but the action is twisted in a way that actually helps the dictatorships by hurting their population (and give a few billion to large corps in the process).

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096723)

Fuck. i knew it had to be those megza corperations and the white man that was to blame!

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097119)

(we all remember the iraki embargo in the 90's that resulted in tens of thousands children death by lack of food and medecine and the continuation of Sadam reign)

Yes, we do remember... how Saddam let this happen under his reign. Not that he cared or anything, he was just another tinpot dictator or some such.

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096689)

It's a "certainly" that "some" Americans guns are in Myanmar, but you have nothing to back it up? This is nothing more than speculation.

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096757)

I love how them thar fishy foreign countries are actively distributing "massive amount of munitions to rather flakey "allies"" but when the source is the US it's suddenly only "some" guns secondhand.

Bias much?

Now go look up who the major arms exporter in the world is and who it exports to.

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (1)

Cosmic AC (1094985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097037)

GP said: "US...export[s] massive amount[s] of munitions to rather flakey 'allies'".

Get some sleep or something.

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096949)

It's a certainly that some american guns made it to burmese military through secondary market.


Why would they bother? You can get ten soviet guns that are just as good (or arguably better) for the price of one American gun, secondhand or not.

Hell I just want an M1911, and I've paid less for cars than what some people are asking...

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097021)

Hell I just want an M1911, and I've paid less for cars than what some people are asking...

I want a PS90, but some fruit loop in my country has decided that it's a pistol and has classified it as such. Since it is a very long pistol, and holds more than 10 rounds, it's illegal to own one.

It's similar for P-90 BB guns: they're classed as automatic firearms, and the police consider them to be a major threat to the public, so it is illegal to own one of those, too.

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097053)

I want a PS90, but some fruit loop in my country has decided that it's a pistol and has classified it as such.


A pistol? Are you serious? Based on what, exactly? What country, for that matter?

Since it is a very long pistol, and holds more than 10 rounds, it's illegal to own one.


Even though they make 10 round magazines for it? That's crazy. I mean, the Chinese knockoff AK-47 I had was legal to hunt with as long as I used the 5-round mag... That reminds me, I need to get a larger capacity mag for my 742 before some crazy congressman decides to reinstate the AWB...

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097093)

A pistol? Are you serious? Based on what, exactly? What country, for that matter?


I'm serious. I live in New Zealand. A friend of mine is a member of the local pistol shooting club (pistols are highly restricted firearms here), and while I was there one day getting some sounds (44 calibre Desert Eagle, 9mm Beretta) for a project I was working on, I mentioned to my friend that I'd love to own a PS90. He turned to the guy next to him, and asked if that was a legal firearm here. The guy replied that it's classified a pistol due to its length (it's something like an inch shorter than the minimum legal length for a rifle), and is illegal.

Even though they make 10 round magazines for it? That's crazy. I mean, the Chinese knockoff AK-47 I had was legal to hunt with as long as I used the 5-round mag... That reminds me, I need to get a larger capacity mag for my 742 before some crazy congressman decides to reinstate the AWB...


I *think* you'd be allowed to use that, on the condition that it was not capable of firing in automatic mode, plus you'd need a special category licence for a military style firearm.

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097159)

*replies to self*

A PS90 is 667 mm (26.2 in) in length, and in New Zealand "pistol means any firearm designed to adapted to be held and fired in one hand. It includes any firearm that is less than 762mm in length."

Before you ask if we have drugged out hippies running the country, yes, I think we do.

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097211)

pistols are highly restricted firearms here
Of course, they're the easiest weapon to defend yourself with... :P

I *think* you'd be allowed to use that, on the condition that it was not capable of firing in automatic mode, plus you'd need a special category licence for a military style firearm.
Yeah it's semi-auto, a company in California specialized in importing them as sporting rifles years back... Good gun. Someone screwed up the firing mechanism on it, though, before I got it... Would occasionally fire two-round bursts due to the bolt not sliding home properly and setting off the second round. Would usually then eject the third round without firing and bend it in half in the breech. Kinda scary, actually...

Military style? I'd love to see how they define that. Any bolt action 30 caliber rifle could be argued to be a knockoff of the K98, and that's obviously a military weapon...

A PS90 is 667 mm (26.2 in) in length, and in New Zealand "pistol means any firearm designed to adapted to be held and fired in one hand. It includes any firearm that is less than 762mm in length."
My first shotgun (single shot .410) wasn't 762mm in length, it was only 28". That's patently ridiculous. They gonna call that a pistol, too? I'm assuming they're talking about barrel length, here, since total length is meaningless... You can always put a stock on a pistol to make it ten feet long if you wanted to.

Before you ask if we have drugged out hippies running the country, yes, I think we do.
Well, at least the scenery's nice? And I've had it claimed the school systems are good, too...

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097557)

I don't know if "Wahhabism" is the problem. While yes, a bunch of terrorists have come from a background of study in it, the scholars of the ideology are pretty solid in condemning the acts. Wahhabi scholars were among the first to condemn suicide bombing decades ago. I'd say its a subset of them that cause the trouble, though I don't agree with the entire movement.

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21098219)

Of course, they're the easiest weapon to defend yourself with... :P

I'm told that the scariest two things at the pistol club were one guy whose Glock pistol malfunctioned, and it went full auto. He lost control and it took his pinky off. (He drove himself to hospital.) The other was a bunch of foreign students, who wanted to get a 44 Magnum revolver for the car. Apparently, they wanted it to impress girls...

Yeah it's semi-auto, a company in California specialized in importing them as sporting rifles years back... Good gun. Someone screwed up the firing mechanism on it, though, before I got it... Would occasionally fire two-round bursts due to the bolt not sliding home properly and setting off the second round. Would usually then eject the third round without firing and bend it in half in the breech. Kinda scary, actually...

It sounds like it, especially if you weren't expecting it. That's what my friend did with his pistols. He started my ex- off with the Beretta, move her up to a 40 calibre pistol, and then finally let her have a shot with the Desert Eagle. I set my camera on timer, and got a wonderful profile of her reaction. She thought the same as I did when he did that to me. "It's only a fractionally larger round, it won't be that bad!" But she's 30kg smaller than I am, and that's a powerful handgun. I thought she was going to kill me when I sent her the reprint.

Military style? I'd love to see how they define that. Any bolt action 30 caliber rifle could be argued to be a knockoff of the K98, and that's obviously a military weapon...

I think one of the characteristics required for a military style rifle is a rifle with a pistol-style grip on it. I have the feeling that, if you throw a curved mag on your rifle, it's classified as a military style one. (They're just making stuff up, now.)

My first shotgun (single shot .410) wasn't 762mm in length, it was only 28". That's patently ridiculous. They gonna call that a pistol, too? I'm assuming they're talking about barrel length, here, since total length is meaningless... You can always put a stock on a pistol to make it ten feet long if you wanted to.

It could be either. A lot of what they come up with has little to no basis in reality. There's more information on the NZ Police website [police.govt.nz] about licencing and classifications, I really don't know too much about it myself.

Well, at least the scenery's nice? And I've had it claimed the school systems are good, too...

The scenery is great, but I think it is pretty much anywhere you could go. As for the schools, they used to be. We've got a nasty case of "make it easier so the grades look good, and you don't hurt anyone's feelings."

Guns are Not Important. (3, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097067)

Shouldn't we clear this up first, before going after software that can not be used by people to kill people quite as directly as guns?

No, the software is more important. You may recall the 1994 Rwandan Genocide [wikipedia.org] where the primary weapon was machetes, an intentionally cruel method of murder. What's being demonstrated in Burma is that a non free network can be used to target and eliminate unarmed dissidents. The guns are secondary.

Re:US made guns used to oppress Burma (1)

ghyd (981064) | more than 6 years ago | (#21098247)

At the same time communication may help to save many lives. "Quite as directly" doesn't seem very important to me in the context where information could save lives and self respect for occidental people. Heard about Burma in the news much those last days ?

Freedom doesn't matters anything serious for occidental countries. Money, oil, hypocrisy, do.

OSS? Anyone? (1)

scgops (598104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096483)

I guess the Burmese government hasn't heard of open source software. [freshmeat.net]

Re:OSS? Anyone? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096581)

Interesting point.

How would the GPL deal with this? The GPL says you can not limit the use of the software from a specific group. So you wouldn't be able to say "The military can't use this software" because it limits who uses the software... is this an issue for anyone else?

Re:OSS? Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096653)

How would the GPL deal with this? The GPL says you can not limit the use of the software from a specific group. So you wouldn't be able to say "The military can't use this software" because it limits who uses the software... is this an issue for anyone else?

Well the GPU folks didn't want the military using their software so they modified the GPL.
http://www.linux.com/articles/56426 [linux.com]

There is also the SLUC license:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SLUC [wikipedia.org]

I'm sure there are probably others out there who would not wanting the military using their software either.

Re:OSS? Anyone? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096663)

They used to use dansguardian a few years ago...

bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096515)

One of the worst articles I've ever seen on /.

The US makes firearms that are used by countries to suppress their populations.

Why does this surprise anybody?

Censorware doesn't censor people. People censor people.

Re:bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096613)

Firearms don't suppress people. People suppress people.

(Modded troll in 4.. 3.. 2.. 1..)

Re:bah (0)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096923)

The US makes firearms that are used by countries to suppress their populations.


No, US firearms are a bit too expensive and require a bit too much maintenance for two-bit thug governments to bother with, really. Especially when AK-47s are so damn cheap. Hell, look at Iraq, you'd think we'd of turned them into a client state but they're still using AKs...

Re:bah (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097581)

You think the military rulers of Burma are short of money ? With the resources of an entire country at their disposal I rather think not and suggesting that they make carefully balanced purchases based on the relative costs and merits of a product rather than the size of the bribe from the vendor is also a little far fetched.

Re:bah (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097683)

You think the military rulers of Burma are short of money ?
No, but I think they'd rather spend the money sniffing cocaine off the tits of a $10k/hour prostitute than an overpriced easily broken toy from the US when they can get ten sturdy, equally functional tools practically for free from an old Soviet satellite state.

Please note I am not disparaging US rifles, just pointing out that they're not what most thugs look for in a weapon. They're designed for a well disciplined, organized, and funded fighting force, not murderers, insurgents, and rapists...

With the resources of an entire country at their disposal I rather think not and suggesting that they make carefully balanced purchases based on the relative costs and merits of a product rather than the size of the bribe from the vendor is also a little far fetched.
Actually after looking into it, it looks like they produce a licensed variant of the H&K G3 (which is German) as their main battle rifle, so they don't buy their guns from anyone.

Nevermind Burma (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21096607)

Our own phones are all tapped, and we the "free" people of the US can't do squat. Burmese are "oppressed?" Nevermind them, sort out our house before worrying about internet access of a people on the other end of the globe.

Re:Nevermind Burma (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096967)

Yes, we certainly have no right to interfere with free enterprise here in America. Proud Patriotic Persons all know that no law has ever impinged on any one's freedom here in the U.S.A. It just wouldn't do to start now by trampling the rights of some blameless corporation. It isn't like we have any right to complain about brutal slaughter of unarmed civilians by their own government, when we sort of encourage that all over the place ourselves, either. At least some one's getting a buck out of it. Or is that why Fortinet is looking into this? I wouldn't put it past those thugs to be software pirates too.

What happened to "information wants to be free"? (2, Insightful)

Sontas (6747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096617)

So what? Let me guess, we're supposed to get all hauty over this "criminal injustice" of a piece of software being used by an enemy state in a way we wouldn't like. Yet we'll cry "let the information/code/whatever be free" when it comes to encryption software, despite the fact that it is used by criminals, enemy states, and even terrorist groups. Hell, we'll tie ourselves in knots trying to make sure our criminal and military intelligence services can't overcome those encryption tools despite their use by the enemy. Actually, we tie our intelligence services hands behind their back even when they get lucky enough to find a criminal enterprise not using the encryption tools, too.

Let me guess, we're upset now because this software is inherently "evil" whereas encryption software is inherently "good", or at least benign. "Blocking software? Why that's used to stop the flow of information and it's used to oppress. Of course it shouldn't be making it's way from the US into our enemy's hands." Maybe we should throw on a good old, "Damned neocon's!" or "Corporations profiting by their export of legalized digital oppression! Same old story."

Give me break. If we're going to support free use and access for the one (PGP, for instance) aren't we logically bound to support the other, since the basis of the support was that programs are neither good nor bad and that information/code/software yearns to be free? Sure, lament their use for evil purpose, but lets not go all "this shouldn't be allowed to happen" or "there should be a law against it". At least not unless you're willing to split the moral/ethical hairs for all the "good" software too.

Re:What happened to "information wants to be free" (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096905)

Just to play Devil's Advocate for a moment, there is a moral difference. Encryption software can be used by the bad guys, but it can also be used by the oppressed to get their message out. Content filtering/blocking software can only be used to restrict access to information - there's no way to use it to spread information.

So, it's perfectly possible to preach that information "wants" to be free* and be for software that can help that in difficult situations, while still being against software that can only be used to restrict information.

(* Although dropping the advocacy for a moment, I've always hated that phrase)

At least not unless you're willing to split the moral/ethical hairs for all the "good" software too.

Again playing Devil's Advocate, we do that already with all sorts of objects and services; why should software be any different?

Re:What happened to "information wants to be free" (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097539)

...of a piece of software being used by an enemy state...


Are we at war with Myanmar or something? What makes them an "enemy state"?

Re:What happened to "information wants to be free" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097681)

Software that allows me to dictate what happens to my data == Good
Software that allows you to dictate what happens to your data == Good
Software that allows me to dictate what happens to your data == Bad
Software that allows you to dictate what happens to my data == Bad

See the difference?

Frankly (1)

G-News.ch (793321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096631)

I consider it much less of a problem if its only a software product, as opposed to some hypocritical "liberation-invasion". They will handle themselves, just give them a little bit more time, with or without censorware.

Censorship and guns (5, Insightful)

Askmum (1038780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096749)

How is this different from countries oppressing people using US-made and -funded guns?

Re:Censorship and guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097381)

It's different in many, mostly obvious, ways. It isn't, however, worse.

"News for Nerds" (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097679)

This is Slashdot, not the NRA.

Re:Censorship and guns (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21098003)

How is this different from countries oppressing people using US-made and -funded guns?

US guns have also liberated people.

Or do you blame the Soviets every time someone is killed with an AK?

If that's the way you think of it I'd say you're likely an American. It's popular in America today to blame the producer of a tool instead of the user who uses it for destruction and corruption.

Frankly, it's a sickening trend since it diverts attention from the real issue.

Crapware isn't new (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21096933)

US made spam blasting software and MS Windows Vista is also used world-wide to oppress people.

Burma runs google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21097003)

Who knew?... I guess they are like china-lite...

Censorware tyranny (2, Insightful)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097569)

They should release it under the GPL. Then it will be free, as in freedom.

Huh? (2, Interesting)

blackdew (1161277) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097881)

(i'll probably get modded into oblivion for this, but...)

What's exactly the difference between:

1) RIAA saying bittorent is bad because you can download pirated music with it.
2) CIA saying encryption is bad because terorists can use it.
3) The slashdot crowd saying filtering software is bad because you can censor burman internet with it.

Isn't that hypocritical? What happened to "guns dont kill people, people kill people"? am i missing something?

If the US doesn't deliver it, someone else will (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21097919)

so the US should, because otherwise US companies will loose. We have seen this with Iran and their nuclear power program. Because of stupid restrictions Pakistan and Russia now supply the Iranians. No more boundaries for US companies for those only hurt the US economy.

OFAC on Burma (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21098165)

OFAC (US Office of Foreign Asset Control) has a guide on the US laws relating to trade with Burma. (link [treas.gov] ):

There is no prohibition on the exportation of goods and services other than financial services to Burma.

Note: there are restrictions on imports from Burma. Perhaps the law should be changed (to prohibit certain or all exports).

Couple of facts about Burma (4, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21098227)

1) China is one of the largest trading partners with Burma
2) Burma has lots of oil reserves, China does not.

Next time you see some proposed UN sanctions against Burma vetoed by China - you'll know why.

Listen, Stupid (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21098289)

Repeat until you comprehend:
There is no country named Burma.
There is no country named Burma.
There is no country named Burma.
There is no country named Burma.
There is no country named Burma.
There is no country named Burma.
There is no country named Burma.
It's Myanmar.
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