Thursday, May 2, 2013

Freedom of Speech ? Freedom of Expression ?

Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen o...
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1793 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal...
Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Spanish text. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Misunderstood Concept

 The freedom of Speech is one of the greatest Liberties our forefathers gave their Life for.
Concepts for the Freedom of speech can be found throughout early human mankind, probably the first Law's or Bills created in modern times were  England’s Bill of Rights 1689  granted it in Parliament and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted during the French Revolution in 1789, which specifically affirmed freedom of speech as an inalienable right.

The Declaration provides for freedom of expression in Article 11, which states that:

"The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law."
It is safe to say, that the above declaration is probably the forefather of most other Freedom of Speech Laws and Concepts and that it also lead to the more recent
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, which states that:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

So far so good, but those Rights are also probably also the most misunderstood and abused rights.

Most people, although taught in School, seem to have either forgotten or misunderstood them in the first Place.

This appears to me after reading through thousands of pages and Publications in the past Years in the Internet.So I will mention them again and elaborate a little.

Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas using one's body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them.

It is mostly confused with the freedom of expression which often get mentioned synonymously, but that includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. (Such as this article !)
In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as there are libel, slander, obscenity, sedition (including, for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of personal, company or govermental information that is classified and so on.
The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice".
Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "for respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "for the protection of national security or of public order (or the public), or of public health or morals".
Probably this last Paragraphs is not read closely enough.

The Internet Users have apparently overlooked something here

For over 2 years the Autor has followed Internet Publications, participated in various Forums and bulletin boards only to discover, that the majority of its Operators and users have no clue (or do not want to have a clue ?) about the above Rights.

Even relatively serious bulletin boards are full with defamations, libellous or slanderous remarks and  stunningly represent a foul language that one normally would alone be subject to censoring even in the most liberal societies around the Globe.
The Moderators or Administartors of those boards to often hide, when asked or complained to, behind the so called "Freedom of Speech", and include anything typed in their forums in this. How wrong they are !
Because even in the most liberal Nation in the matter of Freedom of Speech, the USA, it is NOT allowed to defame People or harm them otherwise.
Libel and Slander is simply NOT a Human right, it is a crime.
In the US just the costs for Litigation are scaring affected Persons away.
But also some Companies seem to have made it a business to publish unchecked 'Customer Information" about Products, and then will NOT remove those remarks except when paid a hefty sum for dubious 'Investigation and Corrective Changes". Yes, a company may can Counteract with their statements against the defamations, but how effective is this in the eyes of an innocent consumer ? In Reality this is often used by competitors to damage the products of the Competitor. The grind their teeth, pay the demanded Sum and sometimes retaliate in the same way. The self declared "Consumer Advocate Company" laughs and cashes in.

The Internet User need more self control and education of it's users

Before, as has already happened in some Nations around the Globe , the Governments take care of the problem and implements stricter laws, often really restricting the Freedom of expression or making it too difficult for Publishers, the Users and responsible Companies should maybe Introduce a Global wide 'Internetiquette" or "Charta of allowed Usage" of what can and should be acceptable.
Thus could be done by the Leaders and most interested ISP such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft in collaboration with the Universities Worldwide and the lawmakers.
The Other Media then could start to promote the 'responsible and self controlled" Use of the Internet, as well as the Public School system definitely need a Subject or Internet Class.

We should act before it is too late

If this will not be done in a reasonable time frame I predict a dark future for the freedom of speech or expression via the internet.
Registered User Licenses, a Big Brother Surveillance without Court orders, Harsher Penalties and forced mandatory Censorship are the price to be paid for undicisplined users.
Trolls, Defamers, Stalkers, Mobber and other social misfits just add to the problem, already now large parts of the Population in Western Countries complain about harassment online.
The statistical figure of at least 5 % of the Worlds population having more or less been diagnosed with mental disorders does not leave much space for Optimism.
Those can add to the already existing Army of Trolls in the near future or become candidates for them and add to the wave of suicides caused by Online Harassment.

The Internet grew fast, faster than any government or democracy can handle, only its users can make it a safe and better place.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, April 12, 2013

Crime of the Century - Cyberharrassment

No Name yet created for cyberstalking

Internet - Stalking, Mobbing, Bullying, Harrasment...

The Newest Trend of the 21st Century came so fast, that there hasn't even a Name created yet. No Dictionary or Thesaurus has definitions yet.
Psychologist, Police, Lawmakers are all trying
to catch up with this wave of Internet criminality.
Not only after the suicide death of several Teenagers
such as the widely broadcast one of Amanda Todd the
public and the Police organs scream for sharper and stricter laws fighting this menace.
They may get them sooner and stricter as they wished for. Already now in the Philippines, in spite of widespread protests, a new law called "Cybercrime Prevention Act" Republic Act No. 10175 threatens offenders with jail sentences of up to 15 years.

Although the phenomenon isn't something really new, since centuries malicious individuals used the Postal and Telecommunication System to harass their fellow citizens. Anonymous letters, the sick Phone Call, it has all been there since ages.

And so have the laws and punishment against those who abuse it. In the USA it the use of the mail or phone system for crimes was always even a federal offence which causes the FBI to investigate and harsher punishments for the culprits.

The only difference now is that sometimes the Crimes are committed from across borders and that regular Police officers are sometimes not trained to investigate the culprits.
But in reality it has become easier to find those committing the crimes, the internet meticulously records every trace back to its origin. Proxies, re-routing and other can slow down investigation, but ultimately the culprit will be caught.

But then what ? Convictions across borders are very difficult to obtain, and even if, how can this affect the Cyber Criminal ? After all, it is just a relatively small offence of defamation or insulting contents in the Internet and not murder.
Although victims may disagree and the real number of suicides caused by those criminals can only be guessed, as most victims remain silent about their real reasons.
However, the percentage of criminals which operate cross borders is insignificant, most Stalker, Mobber, Bullies etc. are within the neighbourhood or at least the same country. And therefore can be found and prosecuted.

And then there is also some cooperation of the Internet Service Providers such as Google, Facebook and others, which more and more become aware, that the liberty of the freedom of speech is becoming endangered through those reckless individuals.
Yes, the right of free speech, which was fought for by our forefathers under great loss of life comes more and more under attack due to those Cyber criminals and if not stopped will eventually, at least in the Internet, lead to a new age of censorship.
In a sad context this reminds one of terrorism, which also may have not achieved anything in their Terror attacks except stricter laws and the dismantlement of more and more freedoms of the citizens.
But it would give far too much credit to stalkers and internet harrassers to even suggest that they have an (Terrorist) Agenda. Stalker, Mobber, and other Internet Troll are all psychologically challenged people.

The Police and Prosecution organs classify them simply in two categories :
Psychopathic Personality and Psychotic Personality (Vernon Geberth, 1996)

Psychopathic Personality StalkerPsychotic Personality Stalker

Generally maleMay be male or female
Absence of mental disorderDelusions or delusional fixation
Targets familiar victimsUsually targets strangers
Harassment may be anonymousAttempt to contact the victim
Usually some precipitating stressorAbsence of precipitating stressor

The above may very much resemble the profiling of a serial killer, which isn't coincidental. 
Cyber Stalking, Mobbing, Bullying isn't to be taken "easy" or "forget about it".
For the victims it very much feels like Murder or Rape.
Not for nothing the German word for defamations is "Rufmord" which means "Reputation murder".
For Amanda Todd it was. 

English: the picture consist of articles on bu...
Published also here:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fear of the Internet

Some People still fear the Internet!

It is undeniable, the "Revolution" of the Internet, in particular the rise of Social Platform has already reached a stage beyond any expectations and predictions.
Only a decade ago, platforms like Facebook were not even invented, while  some People just got used to typed communication in a rudimentary chatroom.
Their Privacy was mainly the concern of People, many of the former Generations still feared that a totalitarian State as predicted by George Orwell in his Novel "1984" could one day use data of their citizens to suppress them. The Totalitarian regimes of the former Eastern Bloc nations back then were a living example of "What could be".
While this is true in real Dictatorships or totalitarian regimes, also the opposite has happened, as seen on the "twitter revolution" in Iran and the late  "Arab revolt".

And in practical reality the governments now rather fear the Power of the Internet and not its "Internetizens" the governments.
P.R.China, North Korea, Iran and many other States still ban many platforms for probable fear that their citizens can organize and up rise due to the Influence of this new media.

Maybe those Governments should think again.
Because a similar argument is used by absolute Internet enemies, People which rather do not use or participate in any of those new Online Media. They fear, when they publish something about themselves, others could use the data to harm them.
But in reality they do not protect, but rather isolate and harm themselves.
The fear of Governments abusing self-published data coming out of the Internet is rather neglect-able, as we can assume strongly, that Governments already have enough data of each citizen.
The governments know where we live, how much we earn, how we earn it and how we spend it. They could monitor our in- and outbound communication, just as they could before the Telephone was invented.
yes, one could maybe downsize to an absolute minimum, but that would rather be exactly what makes an individual suspicious.
Meaning- to have no data on the WWW available.
Isn't it rather smarter to participate in this new media and publish controlled data ?
Data which one wants others to know? Or at least does not mind that others would know about one?
Certainly some People have done things which they rather regret, such as a conviction for driving under the influence during their college days, or an arrest for a participation in a prohibited Anti Government demonstration. They now fear repressions from future Employers and rather hide.
The problem is, that the dark spots of the past maybe still remain in the Internet.
So it is better and more wise to publish and bury them under a flood of "good" data which one can control.
Such as opening a Facebook account and show your affiliation with a former High School Theatre or Science Group. Or use the LinkedIn or other Professional accounts to show ones professional achievements. No HR department would ever search hours through endless Facebook Timelines or MySpace pages when they have at hand, what really matters.

Yes, certainly some People such as envying work colleagues,  jealous ex lovers, neighbours with an axe to grind, mentally sick and deranged Cyberstalkers could also read what one publishes and most probably would twist and abuse the data they have gathered. But they would do this anyway.
Except that in those cases suddenly one has NO other data then the BAD one published. In fact, Cyber Stalker and other sick elements of the society often target  those, which are vulnerable and where an abuse attack would bear fruits. Those would be individuals with little or no Internet presence, as the search results of their defamatory Campaign would be on Top of the "google". But usually Stalkers and Cybertrolls would refrain to attack one Person which has plenty of positive Information and entries, as their libellous articles would disappear in the flood of other real information.

Just think first WHAT you publish and "Like". And if one of your Facebook "Friends" is behaving kind of "erratic", you may be better advised to remove him.
Combined with serious and good data, some nice Photos, if one wants, those social media platforms can rather be a positive for good character representation than harmful. But please do not post the funny pictures of yourself being drunk and disorderly in a Strip Club on the great college party back in the eighties ! Or at least hide them by limiting the access to certain groups only.
Used carefully, the "new" Internet can be a great tool for "Advertising" oneself. If one looks around in the web he will find, that all successful people do the same. Actually they employ people to do that, but still, they do control the data.

And it can be fun too.

Published also April 3rd in the Manila Herald

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Balamban, The Economic Miracle -Then and Now

English: Map of Cebu showing the location of B...
English: Map of Cebu showing the location of Balamban (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Balamban 20 years ago and now !

How Special Economic and Export Zones transform a sleepy Farmtown into a bustling Place.

In 1990 Typhoon Ruping devastated entire Cebu and left Parts of the Island powerless for weeks. Not that that really mattered much in a then sleepy town on the West Coast of Cebu named Balamban.

As a traditional farming town with no significant economic importance the People were used to frequent brownouts and power shortages. Life was slow and cozy in those days, just one Bus daily connected the sleepy Town to the City on the other side, with many stops along the way it took more than 8 hours to get there. People send the maid to the Highway to flag the bus down and only when it arrived, which was not always the case, they gathered their things and got on slowly. Nobody bothered, as time was a commodity in endless supply.
There were a handful of cars only, the Infrastructure consisted of one Road, the National Highway, with more or less developed dirt roads connecting to it.
The main Industries back then was Fish Farms and Agriculture. For the more wealthier there was only one way for their children- send them to Manila or Cebu into the colleges to find work in those cities or overseas and then hope to see them once a year during the fiesta. For the common Population there was no choice, they remained.
This all changed rapidly when in 1992 The Aboitiz Group of Companies and Tsuneishi Holdings of Japan decided to form the West Cebu Industrial Park (WCIP).
WCIP is registered as a Special Economic Zone under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). Its locators are enjoying the tax incentives and other privileges being a PEZA-registered import/export enterprise. Those commonly called "Export-zones" have the Advantage for the International Investors, that they can gain 100 % control over their investment and also enjoy lots of tax privileges.

In the humble beginning there was only a small shipwreck facility employing some hundred people from other places and nonody really noticed until environmental concerns brought up controvery and the facility was closed.
The Town Hall was worried, there only chance of getting into the 21 century seemed to diminish, but luckily the Japanese stayed put by their pledge and did not abandon the Town.
Also the Aboitiz Group themselves started to Joint Venture with a British Shipbuilder from the United Kingdom, Babcock Marine, and started to build FBM designed Alumimium Catamaran fast craft ferries.

Other industries from Germany and France followed soon, and now the Export Economic Zone provided direct Work to about 16.000 people and countless others in the towns support sector.
One can truly say, that Balamban now has full employment, a long lost dream of many Industrial Nations.
The sleepy and boring days are over, the Town now has a full developed Service Industry of Restaurants, Hotels and Entertainment.
Its is connected with the Metropolitan Centre of Cebu City by a 44 km modern and fully lighted (!) Highway across the Mountain Ridge, providing a fast less than one hour ride with nth V-Hire Vans.
Some People even commute to work to and from Cebu City.
When the Author came to Balamban in 2002 , there was only one nationwide Distributor of Appliances and Motorcycles, renting a 20 sq meter stall next to the Restaurant. Sales was still slow, but now there are about 50 (!) of those Appliance and Motorcycle.
Signs of the new wealth.
Housing is now rapidly developing, three story commercial building shoot up everywhere. Subdivisions, both low cost and High end, are available all over town.
The tourism and Entertainment also does not sleep, with Racetracks (!), Mountain resorts, Fine diners and Live Music Places featuring bands from Cebu City.
people do not have to send their Children to school over the mountains or into the cities, as there are 2 universities having set Camp in Balamban.
Luckily this growth has had no negative Impact. The Industries strictly observe not only the Philippines, but also their own Environmental standards, and due to the Economic Security there is also an almost Zero Crime Rate.
The downside ? Maybe the traffic rush hour- but I doubt anyone complains about this twice daily little inconvenience.

One can truly say, that the "experiment" of Placing 'Work" into the Province has worked.
And hopefully this will be seen by the leaders of this Nation and put into Place all over the Rest of the Country, or maybe even Nationwide.

This Article was also published in 'The Manila Herald" :

Friday, March 8, 2013

You want to learn German the easy way ?

German made very easy for anyone 


For a FREE 6 day Trial fill out here - you will be directed to the Page of the Learning Institute :

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Do You Speak English? Want a Job?

Would you like to get paid to translate simple things like emails into English, or from English into your language?

If you answered YES to these questions, then believe it or not, that is all it takes to start working right away as an online translator.
 Of course, you need someone to show you how to get started and let you know who is hiring, but once you know what to do, the rest is simple!
That is where we come in.

We have put together a step by step guide that will teach you where to get these jobs, how to get them, how much money you should charge and much more!
We literally work with hundreds of companies that hire translators on a regular basis... and many of them work from the comfort of their own homes!
If you don't have any experience as a translator, you don't need to worry.
There are plenty of opportunities for people to get started right away.

Most translators that are earning upwards of $100,000 a year, got started by just doing a few translation jobs for a company in their spare time! If this sounds good to you, and you are ready for a LEGIT way to make money online, please give this a try, you won't be sorry!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why being a Volunteer in the Philippines ?

English: Karla Henry - Miss Philippines Earth ...
English: Karla Henry - Miss Philippines Earth 2008 during the Press Conference of Miss Earth 2008 in Traders Manila Hotel, Manila, Philippines. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Volunteering in the Philippines ?! 

Why would one want to fill his days ( and empty his pockets) with volunteer works ?
That is a good question, which I have asked myself many years ago also.
To be exact after my world Travels where I was overwhelmingly helped selflessly by so many People, that being humbled is not the correct expression to express my lifetime gratitude to the armada of "Samaritian".
So I first joined some organisations helping the Philippines ( which were in Germany) Not the BIG ones such as Red Cross, no, just small and local active ones with overseeable goals.
Thus I also had more satisfying moments when things "worked out". Then in 1998 I moved to Cebu and continued, to receive Invitations to "Clubs" isn't a big deal, there is always a Rotary Club Member in the neighborhood. I was happy with my "Knights of Rizal" though and it took a while before I finally accepted the Invitation of Cerge Remonde to join the established Kiwanis Club of Cebu.
A year later I joined the Philippine Coastguard Auxiliary, mainly because I had a Sail Yacht and was more or less obliged to help the under equipped and understaffed Official one. As active Diver I also was glad to sail around with the "Flag" and see all those Dynamite Fishers running once they saw my boat coming up upon the Horizon. However, there is much more to this. The main reason instead is this : Filipinos in generally do not "mingle" too much outside their extended Family and friends which they have since ages. The visiting of neighbours with the "bottle of wine under ones arm" is not customary. For this one has Fiestas and other occasion. With other words, mostly every event is invitational. To "storm" a House of a Friend or without an Invitation or at least a well placed prior notice is not customary and can place the involuntary "host" into great shame. However, Filipinos, and especially Urban ones, do have a lot of social life, but not inside their homes which is reserved for family life. But since one needs a reason to meet, they do meet a great deal at Clubs and civic organizations. This starts as early as High School (Boy Scouts) and College Life and does not stop till they meet their maker.
In College often with Fraternities Commitments  (Often Lifetime), then via NGO Clubs like the JC's (Jaycees), Young Christian Fellowship organizations and always during those years in contact with 'grown up" organizations like Rotary etc.
Filipinos, as most Asian's are not individualistic orientated as Westerners, but seek comfort and strength in groups and Team Play. For us Expats, if we do not want to be left "outside", this means " When in Rome..."
But it is not only a satisfying goal to help, also-  "It's more fun in the Philippines".

Here is a ( not binding) "sample" List of the most popular Civic Clubs and Organizations which are open for (and towards) foreigners. (I also included the KoR and PCGA in it, although not open to everyone, but they are part of the other blog.)

Rotary Clubs - Basically everywhere, and the "mainstream" of Clubs with the largest Expat Participation. (~ P 4500 ,- php/annually)

Lions Clubs - Mainly, as in our home Countries, for business people and lawyers etc. - Mostly for Asian expats. ( Costs differ P 2000,- to HQ plus local chapter)

Kiwanis Clubs - very small and like Lions Club, but a bit more Family orientated. Only recently open towards foreigners. ( P 3750,- annual)

Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary - For Yachtowners, Divers, Environmentalists and Sea People in General. ( ~1600 lower rank/ - 3000-, Commander/Captain- annual )
Order of the Knights of Rizal- Academics. Not open, strictly invitational. (P 300,- annual donation for secretarial cost) Annual fees vary and the published ones only cover the minimum,
All projects are run on own donations within the club and can run into 100.000 of Pesos/Project. The money will then be collected equally among the members. So think first before you join the most prestigious ones of wealthy Filipino.

To conclude, mainly one should join some organization in his to help of course, with all the poverty and need around one in the Philippines something which does not need to be said.
The second and more personal reason is to meet friends and make friends. In civic org's People think likewise, they are educated, they are friendly and trust one another.
And it's a great regular "socializing" place. The meetings are mainly weekly and last 1-2 hours, but often members stay together or go out together. Also there are kind of Parties and dinners held for this or that occasion, and of course, as a "fellow xxxxx-ian" one would be invited to many occasions.
Since Clubs represent a "tested" group of people, one can also expect not to be scammed or otherwise exploited. At the very least the risk is almost down to zero.