RFA in the News (December 2008)



Dec. 3 “Morning Edition: Chinese City Cracks Down On Pirated Software”

Red Flag Linux is the name of a Chinese-made operating system. Officials in Nanchang are forcing local Internet cafe owners to install it in place of Microsoft Windows. An official from the city's Cultural Discipline Team confirmed this to Radio Free Asia, which is funded by the U.S. government. The rule is apparently aimed at cracking down on pirated software. But some cafe owners say they're using Microsoft legally and don't want to change.


Dec. 3 “China Internet cafes switching to Chinese OS”

Requirements that Internet cafes in a southern Chinese city install Chinese -developed operating systems are raising new concerns over cyber snooping by authorities, a U.S. government-funded radio station reported Wednesday. The new rules that went into effect Nov. 5 are aimed at cracking down on the use of pirated software, said Hu Shenghua, a spokesman for the Culture Bureau in the city of Nanchang. Internet cafe operators are required to remove unlicensed software and replace it with legitimate copies of either Microsoft Windows or China's homegrown Red Flag Linux operating system while paying a fee, he said. However, Radio Free Asia said cafes were being required to install Red Flag Linux even if they were using authorized copies of Windows. It quoted Xiao Qiang, director of the California-based China Internet Project, as saying the new rules would help authorities regulate Internet cafes that now operate on the margins of the law, and allow them to undertake heightened surveillance.


Dec. 1 Memoir: Born and raised inside a North Korean concentration camp”

He’s written a book about growing up in one of North Korea’s most brutal prison camps, but Shin Dong Hyuk grows quiet when asked about his past. After writing Escape to the Outside World, “I thought I had rid myself of my scars — I felt uplifted, as if I’d gotten a big burden off my chest,” Shin said in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA). Even his nightmares stopped.