Noam Chomsky has a principle that he will only criticize his government (the US government in his case). His reason is guarding against co-optation, he doesn't want the chorus of reactionary intellectuals that manufacture consent for the powers that be, to be able to use anything that he writes or says for their sinister purposes. I think the Chomsky principle is largely correct but it's too strict, i think that you can criticize other governments as long as they aren't on the official LE-BIG-BAD list. So based on that you can criticize countries like Saudi Arabia or Israel, but for example Russia, China, and the DPRK can't be criticized, because they are the ""axis of evil"" in the mainstream narrative. I'm following this weaker Chomsky principle because i don't want to say anything that might be appropriated for an argument that supports a new cold-war or worse. Keep that in mind when you read this.
I'm trying to get a materialist view of liberties. Usually people consider liberties to be timeless conditionaless absolutes. In some places of the world owning a gun is considered a liberty. In order to have that liberty you do need a government that doesn't try to disarm it's population, but far more importantly you need to have invented sophisticated metallurgy and gunpowder. So in conclusion liberties are conditional to development, in this case technical development. Tho not all conditions for liberties must be of a technical nature.
Many people are criticizing China for lacking certain personal liberties, and a big chunk of that is made up horror stories that never happened, but not all of it is wrong. For example China lacks technology privacy.
A considerable section of the Chinese population is not plugged into the techno-social information infrastructure. Since China has only beaten absolute poverty but not yet uneven development. That means if china were to move ahead and improve the tech-rights for Chinese citizens at this point in time they would benefit only the wealthier sections of society that can afford all the information services. That section of society could potentially seek to pull up the ladder behind them selves and prevent the rest of society from gaining access to beneficial information services.
So I will speculate that once China has leveled the uneven development, it will become politically viable for China to advance tech-rights. Politically viable in this context means that it doesn't produce stratification in society. I'm not saying by the way that it will be an effortless automatic process, it will be difficult like everything of this nature always is.
It might be fun to speculate about how the Chinese equivalent to a Free Libre technology movement will look like. Based on my limited insights it seems that at the moment there is no real understanding of FOSS in China and they consider only the difference between open and closed source technology. Revers-engineering is also considered equivalent to open-sourcing. The Stallman argument about the importance of the 4 freedoms (https://yairudi.com/foss-principles-explained-ch-ii-open-sources-four-freedoms/
) doesn't resonate because, in the Chinese context freedom is not a term with a political meaning, it merely means not being locked up in a prison. If I had to guess, they will reach similar conclusions in substance, but use a totally different framing.
- preserving the 4 freedoms
- avoiding the 4 barriers to cooperation
1 run the technology as you wish -> avoiding the breakage of functionality.
2 study and change the technology as you wish -> avoiding obfuscation of technical principles and barriers to new functionality
3/4 redistribute copies and modified versions as you wish - avoiding barriers to cooperative development of technologyi know i counted wrong the freedom is freedom zero, but i linked an article that also starts at 1
So for China the conditions for increasing liberties in relation to technology might not have been reached, i.e. the technology hasn't fully penetrated their society. In the west this is a different story, access to technology has been very universal and if anything the western world is lagging behind on tech-rights relative to it's development level.
I do realize it's perhaps difficult to follow my reasoning for developmental-conditional-rights, so ponder your right to leave earth and explore the universe, at the moment you have no such right, and even if you could build a rocket-ship it would very likely be shot down by a military if you tried to leave earth without seeking the approval of governments. But you don't give a single shit about that because the developmental conditions for a space-faring-right have not been met yet. (Space chariots are nowhere near accessible). If the few individuals with the means to get to space were to start making noise about not having a right to freely explore the universe, you'd role your eyes and dismiss it as "billionaire problems". As such, a movement to advance space-rights isn't politically viable yet.