Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Europe Is Going to the Dogs. Are We That Far Behind?

The idea of censoring the Internet, the last bastion of freedom in our over-controlled world, looks more and more attractive to governments everywhere. Here is what the European Union is hoping to do to the freedom Europeans now have of using the Internet:
The Presidency of the LEWP [Law Enforcement Working Party] presented its intention to propose concrete measures towards creating a single secure European cyberspace with a certain "virtual Schengen border" and "virtual access points" whereby the Internet Service Providers (ISP) would block illicit contents on the basis of the EU "black-list".
Of course, we will be told that the black-list will only be used to prevent pedophiles and other criminals from posting their stuff online, which is patently false. Driving human traffickers and pedophiles underground will make it harder to apprehend them. So if this proposed Internet censorship has nothing to do with catching criminals, why introduce it? The answer is obvious:
 In 20 years the government-corporate nexus of power will be able to control nearly completely what that average person experiences in the media again.
Unless we start opposing these and similar measures today, our Internet will be stolen from us. The space where we all can say whatever we want, argue, discuss, find information, organize and plan for political activism can very easily be transformed into a place that offers nothing but political propaganda by those in power and inane advertisement. Look at television. Do you really go there for news and opinion? Or do you rely on the Internet where a multitude of voices is far more likely to tell you how things really stand and offer original thoughts and opinions instead of boring, chewed-over party line?

No matter where you live, when you hear about such measures being proposed, protest, organize, do anything you can to stop it. Don't buy the stupid propaganda about how good, benevolent, paternalistic governments need to protect silly little you from scary pornographers, pirates, and identity thieves. Pornographers, pedophiles and thieves have existed forever. Unfortunately, they will find ways to keep existing after the Internet is castrated. The free Internet has existed for a very short time and needs our protection.


Northern Gaijin 北外人 said...

If the Internet gets censored then we're really screwed. I don't know if you're aware that an orthodox Jewish newspaper photoshoped Hilary Clinton out of the Osama raid picture because either they don't believe in women having authority or men can't handle pictures of women.

“Ultra Orthodox Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung is telling its readers like it isn't- by editing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the now-iconic Bin Laden raid Situation Room photo. Oy vey.”


Anonymous said...

Totally agree. This whole censorship to stop child pornography absolute bullshit. Rather than making up black-lists that can be used to stifle freedom, they should go after the owners of the websites and the people who put up child pornography on the internet. Is that too hard?

Stupid bureaucrats.

Tim said...

We had a family minister that pushed for similar censoring in germany and actually got a law passed despite heavy critic from pretty much everyone.

The whole thing was wrapped up as a tool to combat child pornography and despite the fact that many people who know a lot more about how the internet works argued that we are not going to stop anyone but what we are doing is blending out the crime so we can sit in our cozy chairs at home and not be bothered by it.

But if you have a politician basically crying "What about the children" in every camera and the anti-porn movement right behind her then logic and reason are left far behind.

And of course a lot of other interest groups tried to jump on that bandwagon, among them several anti-something movements and, of course, the IP industry.

Well to make a long story short, the law is there but isn't used because it has been proved to be unrealiable and circumventable. Suprise.

The police somehow magically figured out that just asking the providers to take down the sites is working better.

Also, if you are concerned about digital freedom, you might want to check out the electronic frontier foundation.