Friday, May 05, 2006

The death of the Internet?

For how much longer you will be able to read this blog and how much longer will it be before I receive a knock on the door from the thought police a told to shut up or be locked up, is rapidly becoming a serious matter of debate as Internet censorship begins to bite.

In more repressive regimes around the world, this has been a reality for some time. China has already imprisoned 62 online ‘dissidents’ and in Iran, Mojtaba Saminejad has been in jail since last February for posting material regarded as offensive to Islam. Users have also been jailed in in Egypt, Iran, Libya, the Maldives, Syria, Tunisia and Vietnam with Burma, Cuba, Iran, Libya, Nepal, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam all using Internet censorship. You may say that this is pretty much par for the course for countries such as those who are largely religious and political dictatorships, but this trend is to spread and sooner or later we can be all be expected to have our views censored.

The popularity of the Internet as a vital organ in the transmission of real news, not the often spun disinformation that appears in the corporate controlled media, and is becoming an embarrassment to the movers and shakers who want to rule our lives. The traditional press cannot keep up with the vast amount of information posted daily on the web, updated in real time unlike a newspaper feature writer’s column which may only appear once a week, or, at best, once a day. Online commentators can update hourly if they wish and are not subject to editorial control to be politically correct.

These last few years have witnessed a serious decline in newspaper readership and even their online editions receive less attention as more and more people question the veracity of what is written when they can get alternative views of the news from fully qualified, un-embedded, independent journalists and political commentators online.

The elite are getting nervous over our greatly expanding knowledge of what is really going on in the world and as I reported yesterday, Universal Studios had to pull their ‘United 93’ online forum, with several newspapers withdrawing stories in retaliation of public comment over the film as that comment clearly showed a far greater awareness of the true reality of the events of 9/11 among the public than the conventional media is politically bound to portray. And only two months ago MySpace closed down several blogs which they regarded as politically unacceptable.

Already legislation is being drawn up in western countries under the dictate of the elite to put an end to this free exchange of free speech. With Internet 2 taking shape, the traditional Internet will become a shade of its present self being slow and wholly unreliable, outlawing audio and video streaming, making users forced to upgrade to the streamlined Internet 2 if they wish to preserve and enhance the facilities which we now take for granted.

But, there will be a big price to pay. Each Internet 2 user will have to pay a premium rate, sign up to a contract which will specifically ban dissident political comment, enforcing strict rules of use, with websites vetted on their content and strict penalties for non-observance of the guidelines. In addition a tax on sending emails will put many organisations that email political newsletters out of business, thus depriving subscribers of a valuable source of alternative information. These operations would be viewed as dissident or a 'security threat' and be forced off the Internet super highway.

As I have reported before, providers like AOL have, for some time now, being engaged in polling their users with questionnaires whose tenor implies hidden dangers in the Internet with everyone from paedophiles to terrorists using it to disrupt society. With this falsely spun message, an acquiescing public may just vote in favour of the censored world wide web, but in doing so cut off the genuine wealth of vital discussion and open speech which should be the cornerstone of a free and healthy society.

1 comment:

Ash said...

Very right. The title suggests it all. Scrutinizing the web and putting a cencorship will destroy the very spirit of internet.