Flight attendant union head fired for supporting Hong Kong protests on social media

Flight attendant union head fired for supporting Hong Kong protests on social media

Rebecca Sy. Image from inmediahk.net. Used with permission.

Airline Cathay Dragon, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, has fired Rebecca Sy, the chair of its flight attendant union, after she confirmed the posting of three posts on her Facebook timeline in support of Hong Kong protesters.

The taming of Cathay Pacific

The Cathay Pacific saga started on 9 August 2019 when the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) informed the airline that its staff members who had taken part in “illegal protests” and “violent actions” would be banned from China’s airspace beginning 10 August.

On 14 August, the airline fired two pilots and two ground personnel who had taken part in the recent protests. Two days later, Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg announced his resignation from the company.

On 20 August, the company reminded its employees that social media content expressing support for anti-government protests in Hong Kong could violate CAAC’s new policy. The warning not only covers public posts but also private conversations on Facebook, Telegram and other apps since these messages could be exposed through doxxing by pro-government trolls or China’s immigration checkpoints.

On the same day, lawmaker Jeremy Tam from the pro-democracy Civic Party told the press that he had resigned from Cathay Pacific to “protect the company from unreasonable attacks”. Tam had been a pilot for the air carrier for nearly two decades.

Cathay Dragon labor leader fired

Cathay Dragon fired Rebecca Sy, the chair of its Flight Attendant Union (FAU), after she confirmed that three screen captures of Facebook posts about the Hong Kong protests were from her account. Sy was still able to fly to Beijing and back to Hong Kong on 19 and 20 August. However, she was told not to work on a scheduled Hangzhou trip the following day.

FAU was one of the worker unions which participated in the 5 August general strike. Together with six other airline worker unions, the airport strike led to the cancellation of more than 200 flights. As head of the FAU, Sy has been vocal about her support of the protests.

The company said the decision to fire Sy was not related to her union activities but did not explain the reason behind her dismissal. In a statement issued on 23 August, it affirmed the company’s compliance with Chinese regulations:

We are a leading international airline with global operations and therefore we are required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we operate.

Sy was not the only victim of what has been described as politically-motivated dismissal. The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) said that at least 14 airline personnel had been sacked in relation to recent protests and eight of the cases were related with their online speech. The union coalition plans to stage a protest outside Cathay Pacific’s office building on 26 August.

‘White terror’

Sy described the crackdown on free speech as ‘white terror’:

This is not just about me. This is about the whole industry. This is about Hong Kong. When will this white terror end?

It is unclear how Cathay Pacific obtained the screen captures of Sy’s Facebook messages. However, in the past few weeks, Chinese immigration has started inspecting the mobile phones of travelers for images and chats related to Hong Kong protests at border checkpoints. When suspicious content is identified, the travelers would be questioned and interrogated. Although majority of the questioned travelers were not detained or arrested upon checking, it is likely that the Chinese government could use the data for other purposes.

The pressure exerted by Beijing authorities on Cathay Pacific is seen by some analysts as a warning intended for other multinational companies in Hong Kong that they have to be in compliance with China’s Hong Kong policy or else they risk being sidelined from the Chinese market.

In addition to Cathay Pacific, a number of international accounting firms have issued a warning to their personnel about social media posts and conversations supporting the protests.

Over the years, China has cultivated close relations with local business leaders by appointing them as representatives of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and giving them extra voting rights in the functional election of the legislative council and the election committee of the city’s Chief Executive.

However, the participation of professional groups and labor unions in the protests has shown how Beijing can also export other coercive measures to force the business sector to support its political goals by disciplining their workforce.

But even if the international firms do not control the political behavior of their employees, Beijing could mobilize party affiliated media outlets and online patriots to put political pressure, or to submit ‘evidence’ to corporations and force them into taking disciplinary action against their ‘errant’ employees.

If such trend continues, there are fears that Hong Kong could face a brain drain by forcing skilled professionals to leave and settle in other places where there is freedom of expression.

To read more about the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong, visit Global Voices’ special coverage page.

Twitter, Facebook accuse China of using fake accounts to undermine Hong Kong protests

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Twitter, Facebook accuse China of using fake accounts to undermine Hong Kong protests

Both Twitter and Facebook are blocked in mainland China by the government but available in Hong Kong

WORLD Updated: Aug 21, 2019 09:35 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Anti-extradition bill protesters react as they watch a documentary protest video during a protest outside Siu Hong station in Hong Kong, China, August 20, 2019.
Anti-extradition bill protesters react as they watch a documentary protest video during a protest outside Siu Hong station in Hong Kong, China, August 20, 2019.(REUTERS)

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter accused China of using fake accounts to undermine Hong Kong protests. Beijing hit back, saying it had a right to put out its own views.

‘STATE-BACKED CAMPAIGN’

■ The crackdown was rare in the way that it involved a tip-off from one social media firm, Twitter, to another; Facebook.

■ Both said they took the action after observing a coordinated state-backed effort originating in China that undermined the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement in Hong Kong

■ Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher told reporters that the bulk of the Facebook accounts were created in 2018.

■ Both Twitter and Facebook are blocked in mainland China by the government but available in Hong Kong.

COMPARISON TO COCKROACHES

■ In examples provided by Facebook, posts described the protesters as cockroaches who “refused to show their faces.”

■ Examples of posts provided by Twitter included a tweet from a user pretending to be a Hong Kong resident with the comment: “…We don’t want you radical people in Hong Kong. Just get out of here!”

■ In another post cited by Facebook, the protesters in Hong Kong were likened to extremist Islamist militants

CHINA CRIES FOUL OVER CRACKDOWN

■ A Chinese minister said on Tuesday that China had a right to put out its own views.

■ Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, while declining to directly comment on the Twitter and Facebook actions, said: “What is happening in Hong Kong, and what the truth is, people will naturally have their own judgement. Why is it that China’s official media’s presentation is surely negative or wrong?”

ADS ROW

Twitter and Facebook have come under fire from users over showing ads from state-controlled media that criticised the Hong Kong protesters. Twitter said on Monday it would no longer accept advertising from state-controlled news media

First Published: Aug 21, 2019 09:29 IST

A Humor Test—See How You Do

A HUMOR TEST—I GOT THIS FROM MY NEPHEW ON FACEBOOK

(Just humor for humors sake)

Divorces………………..2
Children………………….4
Surgeries………………..7
Piercings………………..0
Tattoos………………….2
Shot a gun………………yes
Quit a job………………..yes
Ever been on tv………..no
Been in a fist fight……yes
Hit a deer………………..yes
Watched someone give birth……..yes
Watched someone die……yes
Ridden in an ambulance……….yes
Visited Las Vegas……yes
Sang karaoke………….yes
Rode a jet ski…………yes
Ice skating……………..no
Surfing…………………… no
Ridden on a motorcycle…………yes
Stayed in a hospital…… yes
Ridden in back of police
car ………………………..yes

Now u know everything

Copy & paste, then change with your own answers.

If Twitter had any decency about them

IF TWITTER HAD ANY DECENCY ABOUT THEM
(THIS IS JUST THE OPINIONS OF AND OLDPOET)

As you probably know by now, today Facebook banned a few bad apples from their platform and Donald Trump took exception to the company doing that.  The Moron-n-Chief then got on twitter and bashed Facebook for doing that. Those that they banned were ‘hate’ speakers, ones they considered to be ‘far right’. Twitter had rules that should have banned Trump from the day he was born yet they have proven that to them money is far more important than having any morals. Pretty much everything the idiot tweets is either ignorant or just plain hate speech. Instead of banning this Moron they doubled the key strokes allowed for the purpose of giving this one man more ease in spreading his hate filled, ignorant rants and pure B.S.. Maybe the Twitter executives should be held accountable when hate crimes are committed because of the poison and ignorance that spews out of this person’s mouth. In my opinion Trump and the Twitter main bosses are made for each other, total sell outs for a dollar bill.

‘Love has no borders’: Arizona man fulfills Christmas wish list for Mexican girl who sent it by balloon

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

‘Love has no borders’: Arizona man fulfills Christmas wish list for Mexican girl who sent it by balloon

“It really touched my heart to find it,” said Randy Heiss, who spotted a balloon with the note attached.
By Janelle Griffith

It was a Christmas wish that crossed international borders. An Arizona man fulfilled the Christmas list of an 8-year-old girl in Mexico whose letter to Santa reached him by way of balloon.

Earlier this month, Randy Heiss was hiking in Patagonia, Arizona, when he saw the ragged remains of a balloon with a note attached.

One side of the note read: “Dayami.” On the other was a numbered list written in Spanish.

Heiss’ wife translated the list and the pair identified its likely sender as a girl named Dayami. The note was intended for Santa and asked for art supplies, slime, a doll and a dollhouse, among other things. No contact information was left on the note.

“It really touched my heart to find it and I said, ‘Well, how in the heck am I going to be able to figure out how to make contact with this little girl and make her wishes come true?’” Heiss told NBC affiliate KVOA in Tucson.

Heiss believed the winds carried Dayami’s Christmas wish list about 20 miles away from Nogales, Mexico.

He shared the letter on his Facebook account. After a few days with no leads, he enlisted the help of Radio XENY, a station in Nogales. The station posted Heiss’ story to its Facebook page.

Within an hour, they were able to find Dayami, who lives in Nogales.

The radio station told NBC News on Monday that it helped to arrange for Heiss and his wife to meet Dayami and her family at its offices late last week.

Heiss and his wife delivered the toys to Dayami and her sister younger sister, Ximena, during the meeting. It brought him “healing joy” to see the children’s happy faces, Heiss told the “Today” show.

“Love has no borders,” he said. “That wall melted away for the day.”

As it turns out, the experience was a gift for the couple, too.

“We lost our son nine years ago,” Heiss told KVOA. “So we don’t have grandchildren in our future and so really getting to share Christmas with kids was something that’s been missing in our lives.”

Is Russian social media giant VKontakte sidestepping the GDPR?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

Is Russian social media giant VKontakte sidestepping the GDPR? One user is trying to find out.

As if revealing their users’ personal data to Russian authorities wasn’t bad enough, VKontakte may now run in serious trouble in Europe // Martinsson Serg, CC2.0

Russian social media network VKontakte has been having a bad few months. Multiple platform users have been prosecuted for their posts, and the company has been publicly shamed for its lack of transparency regarding how it shares user data with law enforcement authorities.

Now, VKontakte (VK) is facing a new privacy-related challenge: Kristian Shinkevich, a Belarussian activist living in Poland, is demanding that VK give him all the personal data that it has pertaining to him. The company has yet to comply. And in the meantime, it has suspended his access to the account.

Shinkevich first began wondering about VK’s data collection practices after he faced legal threats for participating in a demonstration in Belarus. Shortly thereafter, he was expelled from his university, where he says an administrator told him that the school had access to all their students’ VKontakte data, including which posts they had liked. In his case, this would have revealed his involvement with demonstrations.

Between this, and the fact that other Belarussian activists have been arrested for VKontakte posts promoting protests (an indication that authorities in Belarus also monitor activity on the social network), Shinkevich found himself wanting to know more about VK’s data collection practices.

So he looked to the European Union’s newly-instituted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of policies aimed at standardizing the handling of personal information by companies and organizations. Under the GDPR, any company that processes the personal information of EU subjects must comply with certain rules regarding the protection and transfer of such data.

Another provision stipulates that EU subjects have a right to access the personal information that companies retain about them, and that they have a right to know how this information is used.

Although Shinkevich is a citizen of a non-EU state, Belarus, he is entitled to request this information under the GDPR, as an EU resident (or “subject”, as described in the GDPR) in Poland. Additionally, despite the fact that VKontakte is a Russian company, it must still comply because it is providing services to EU subjects abroad and handling their information.

Noncompliance would give EU authorities the power to levy a fine of either 20 million euros or 4 percent global gross revenue, depending on which is higher.

When Shinkevich filed a request to VKontakte Support to get access to all the data VKontakte had collected about him, he received the requested file. He described what he found on Facebook:

Today I have received the file, and that’s freaking serious.

They store:
1. the whole name and surname changes history
2. groups and public pages I’ve managed
3. name of files uploaded, from which IP address, city, links to the deleted files, moreover, even simple voice messages from deleted conversations are there
4. complete list of files I’ve removed from my page, their exact address, name, date added, direct link – no matter that they all have been removed – voice messages, PDF documents etc.
5. adresses [sic] of pictures from Saved Photos album (protected). Direct links can be opened without being logged in
6. complete history of conversations, including removed, up to 27.06.2018 20:43:51 (the first message is dated 01.09.2016 21:40:30), with all the attachments including removed ones.
7. complete history of phone number ever linked to the account
8. history of password retrieval requests
9. all the comments and posts from my page timeline, including ones removed about 1-2 years ago (the section is titled “Messages posted on the user’s wall”)

This file is about 1,5 Mbytes but it has al [sic] the history of my activity on VK since 2016 (when my page was created).

Shinkevich was not surprised by what the file contained — but he was surprised at what it lacked. “I am pretty sure that what they have sent me is not the whole information, and they have much more,” he wrote on Facebook.

Indeed, VKontakte’s privacy policy indicates (in section 4.2.1) that the company processes a wide range of information about users and their activities, including but not limited to information about the “user’s operating system, type of a browser, geographic position, the Internet provider, contacts, data obtained accessing the camera, microphone and similar devices.” The policy does not clearly define how this data is treated after being processed. VK’s terms of service (7.2.5) indicate that “the Site Administration has the right to keep archive copies of the user Content for an indefinite period.”

Do these and other types of information qualify as “personal data”? It depends on where you ask the question. While Russian Federal Law 152 defines personal information as any information directly or indirectly related to a specific individual, the GDPR has a very specific breakdown of this wide interpretation. But as the terms of the GDPR apply to all companies providing services to EU subjects, VKontakte is required by law to follow these terms when dealing with customers in the EU.

When Shinkevich asked VKontakte for the rest of the information, it evaded his request. The company later blocked his access to his account at the end of July. His page is still online, but he cannot log in to it or reset his password.

When Russian news aggregator TJournal reached out to VKontakte, they said:

We didn’t block the user’s page. Access was restricted after the user changed several key parameters, including first name, last name, gender, and so on. Such activity is considered suspicious and could be proof that the account was sold or given to another person.

Restricting access to the page isn’t in any way related to the user’s GDPR information request.

Shinkevich has since filed a complaint with Poland’s personal data security service and has taken the controversial step of advocating that VKontakte be blocked in Poland.  He joins a growing number of voices urging users to stop using VKontakteand delete their pages.

Last year, VKontakte’s total revenue was over $200,000,000.If found in violation of GDPR, their fine would be ten percent of that amount. With upwards of two million EU users, the social network could soon pay a hefty price if it doesn’t address privacy concerns.

Neighbor Calls Police For 12 Old Boy Mowing Lawn

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ABC NEWS)

 

Neighbors who call police on 12-year-old mowing lawn increase his business, customer says

PHOTO: Reginald Fields has received a new lawnmower and new leaf blower from people in the community after neighbors called the police on him for cutting their grass.WEWS
WATCH12-year-old boy mowing lawn gets business boost after complaint to police

A 12-year-old Ohio boy who operates his own lawn mowing business has gained more customers after one neighbor called the police one him for mowing part of her yard.

Maple Heights resident Lucille Holt had employed 12-year-old Reginald Fields, who owns Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Cutting Service, to mow her lawn on Saturday, she told ABC Cleveland affiliate WEWS.

Reginald’s cousins often help him work, and one of the neighbors called the police on them after the group of kids accidentally cut part of their grass, Holt said in a Facebook video she posted on Saturday.

“They called the police to tell the police that the kids was cutting their grass,” Holt said. “Who does that?”

The patch of grass the neighbors were apparently referring to sits between Holt’s home and theirs. There is no fence there to mark where the property begins and ends.

“I guess I have a line there, that’s not part of my yard,” Holt said.

The video showed a police car parked across the street from Holt’s home and two neighbors sweeping grass debris off their driveway. Holt said that, in the past, neighbors have called the police when her kids were throwing snow balls and another time when her son “was crying ’cause he was getting a whoppin’.”

PHOTO: A police car is seen parked outside the home of Lucille Holt Colden in Maple Heights, Ohio. Lucille Holt Colden
A police car is seen parked outside the home of Lucille Holt Colden in Maple Heights, Ohio.
PHOTO: Neighbors in Maple Heights, Ohio, called the police on Mr. Reggies Lawn Cutting Service because he cut their grass by mistake.Lucille Holt Colden
Neighbors in Maple Heights, Ohio, called the police on Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Cutting Service because he cut their grass by mistake.

“You called the police cause the kids [are] out here cutting the grass, and they cut the grass that wasn’t part of our grass?” Holt said. “I don’t know what part is my grass and what part is your grass.”

She continued, “They should be glad these kids aren’t out there breaking their car windows out,” Holt said. “They should be glad the kids [aren’t] out here stealing their cars.”

Holt then asks one of the boys how old he is. When he responds that he is 9 and went to school with one of the neighbors, she praises him for being productive.

“I’m so glad [you’re] out here doing something positive, she said.

PHOTO: Reginald Fields has received a new lawnmower and new leaf blower from people in the community after neighbors called the police on him for cutting their grass. Lucille Holt Colden
Reginald Fields has received a new lawnmower and new leaf blower from people in the community after neighbors called the police on him for cutting their grass.more +

An officer then comes to talk to Holt, asking her if they can “go inside around the corner so you guys don’t have to look at each other while I talk to you.”

When Holt asks why, the officer says, “‘Cause I don’t want it to turn into anything. I’m trying to make it easy on everybody.”

The Maple Heights Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. WEWS reached out to the neighbors, who said they saw the video but declined to comment further.

Holt ended the video saying she was “so angry right now that these babies [are] going through this — getting the police called on them ’cause they’re cutting grass.”

Reginald didn’t realize he was cutting the neighbor’s grass, he told WEWS.

“They said I was cutting their grass,” he said. “I didn’t know it!”

Ever since the incident, which has been viewed more than 150,000 times on Facebook as of Friday, Reginald has been getting more business calls than ever from all over the city, he said.

“People are inboxing me like, ‘How can I get in touch with this children? Where are they at? I got property I want these kids to cut,'” Holt said.

Reginald told the local station that he planned on saving the money he made to buy new equipment and grow his business.

PHOTO: Mr. Reggies Lawn Cutting Service has received a new lawnmower and new leaf blower from people in the community after neighbors called the police on him for cutting their grass.Lucille Holt Golden
Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Cutting Service has received a new lawnmower and new leaf blower from people in the community after neighbors called the police on him for cutting their grass.more +

On Friday, Holt posted video of Reginald receiving a new lawn mower and leaf blower from members of the community who saw her video.

BRAZIL: Politicians Now In Power Will Never Allow An Election With Lula On The Ballot

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRAZILIAN NEWS AGENCY 247)

 

Only In America Is It Possible For Politicians To Be This Clueless About China/Reality

(THIS ARTICLE IS FROM ‘ANDY TAI’S’ GOOGLE PLUS WEB SITE ON GLOBAL RELATIONS)

(ONLY IN AMERICA IS IT POSSIBLE FOR POLITICIANS TO BE THIS COMPLETELY CLUELESS TO REALITY, RIGHT?)

in US Congress:
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)…: “Mr. Zuckerberg, quite a story, right? Dorm room to the global behemoth that you guys are,” he began. “Only in America, would you guys agree with that?”
Zuckerberg: “Senator, mostly in America.”
Senator: “You couldn’t do this is China, right?”
Zuckerberg: “Well, uh….well, senator, there are some very strong Chinese Internet companies.”
Senator: “Right but, you’re supposed to answer ‘yes’ to this question. Okay, come on, I’m trying to help you, right? Gimme a break. You’re in front of a bunch of senators. The answer is ‘yes’!”

but the answer is, honestly, not yes.

“Only in America” (Are Lawmakers this Clueless about China)

Good Joke From A Old School Friend On Facebook; Copy Pasted

Good Joke From A Old School Friend On Facebook; Copy Pasted

 

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