News June 2, 2021 Find out more News Organisation News March 12, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific ChinaAsia – Pacific Help by sharing this information Follow the news on China China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Receive email alerts China’s Cyber Censorship Figures to go further September 18, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Is China imposing more powerful version of Green Dam, called Blue Shield? Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes RSF_en April 27, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders is very worried about reports that Internet Service Providers in the southern province of Guangdong have installed a new filtering software called Landun (Blue Shield or Blue Dam in English) that is more powerful that its problematic predecessor Green Dam.The press freedom organisation calls on the provincial and national authorities to explain their intentions with Blue Shield (http://download.bluedon.com/), which ISPs were reportedly told install by 13 September and which is said to be more dangerous for Internet users and companies.At the same time, Chinese Internet users have told Reporters Without Borders that in the run-up to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, on 1 October, it has become harder to visit certain foreign-based websites and more proxies have become inaccessible.“It was encouraging that the government backed down on Green Dam in the face of a public outcry in China and abroad and protests from Internet players, but the reports of Blue Shield’s installation by some ISPs sound frightening for the protection of personal data and online free expression in China,” Reporters Without Borders said.“It seems that the government has again acted on the sly, perhaps to avoid a storm of protest similar to the one about Green Dam,” the press freedom organisation added. “We urge Chinese and foreign Internet companies to resist requests from the authorities to install filters and monitoring tools without telling their clients.”According to an article in the Hong-Kong based Apple Daily (http://tw.nextmedia.com/applenews/article/art_id/31938140/IssueID/20090913), Chinese network providers were given until 13 September to install Blue Shield to avoid being sanctioned.Blue Shield is said to be more powerful than Green Dam and its installation is obligatory, not optional, as the authorities had reportedly promised. It is intended to provide stronger protection against porn sites and to increase the monitoring and filtering capabilities of Internet connections.As a result of its installation, Internet users will find it harder to circumvent existing censorship based on website blocking and keyword filtering. The use of proxies (browsing software that sidesteps firewalls) could become more difficult for China’s 300 million Internet users.Even if it is hard to gauge the impact of this software for Chinese Internet users, access to independent news websites is liable to become more difficult and more risky.A study of Green Dam by the OpenNet Initiative demonstrated that its keyword filtering was not very effective for the porn sites that are officially targeted, but it was good at blocking political, cultural and news sites. It also filtered out images that have a high percentage of “skin-coloured” pixels but not porn sites with other skin colours. At the same time, the pixel-filtering blocked sites with lots of demonstrators or animals with the censored skin colour.Testing also showed that Green Dam registers all attempts to visit blocked websites and that computers slow down and become very vulnerable to virus attacks. More dangerously, personal data can be extracted remotely from computers.Several models of computers with Green Dam installed – made by the Taiwanese manufacturer Acer, the Chinese manufacturer Haier and (as an option) the Japanese manufacturer Sony –reportedly went on sale in China before the official U-turn. Internet cafés have already installed it. We urge these companies to withdraw these computers from sale to avoid being accomplices to the government’s censorship.
Home / Daily Dose / COVID-19’s Impact on Homeowner Payment Ability Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago COVID-19’s Impact on Homeowner Payment Ability Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago March 31, 2020 1,556 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Millions of homeowners and renters alike are at risk of losing their jobs in the wake of COVID-19, with around 13 million Americans reliant on wages from at-risk jobs, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS). JCHS notes that many of these households were more likely to be cost-burdened than those relying on income from other industries even before losing work.The JCHS’s research indicates that renter households are even more likely to be burdened with COVID-19 layoffs, as renter households relying on wages from at-risk jobs had a cost burden rate of 53% while 35% of renter households in other jobs were burdened.“The loss of service jobs would undoubtedly worsen affordability for households who already must spend an outsized portion of their incomes on rent each month,” Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, Research Associate, JCHS said.Forty percent of households (5.2 million) whose wages came exclusively from at-risk jobs were cost-burdened as compared to 22% of households (13.1 million) whose income came only from other jobs.While it is difficult to know what a COVID-19 recession will mean for housing markets, the ongoing affordability crisis will only worsen in coming months. Federal Housing Finance Administration Director Mark Calabria notes that mortgage rates and sales are expected to recover after the crisis, as it is now disrupting both the primary and secondary mortgage markets. Additionally, Calabria stated that the slowdown in economic activity will increase the number of homeowners who struggle to make their mortgage payments.However, recently, there have been low rates of serious delinquency.”In the secondary market, Agency MBS liquidity has decreased as investors pull back, especially REITs, money market funds, and some banks,” Calabria said. “Also, the Agency debt market has dislocated as a result of economic uncertainty, investor aversion to long-term debt, and a market-wide flight to cash.”The federal government announced a temporary moratorium on public housing evictions and foreclosures of mortgages backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration. State and local governments are similarly implementing eviction protections for renters, though these delay but do not forgive rent payments.“While these measures are a needed stopgap to help households with reduced incomes now, continued efforts and assistance will be necessary to ensure that those who do lose major sources of income will still be able to afford housing,” added Airgood-Obrycki. Share 2Save Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Tagged with: Coronavirus Homeowners Renters Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Coronavirus Homeowners Renters 2020-03-31 Seth Welborn Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Investment, Market Studies, News Print This Post Previous: DS5: How Servicers, Vendors Can be Better Prepared Next: Activists Push for Further Eviction Moratoriums Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: Seth Welborn Sign up for DS News Daily The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago