Web Attack Bodes Political Censorship
12-05-2010, 04:24 PM,
Web Attack Bodes Political Censorship
The internet has allowed a greater degree of human interaction then the world has ever known. Recent assails on the very nature of unfettered exchange of information is heating up. The entrenched political elites fear that the benumbed culture will eventually break out of their sleep. The Hill reports, Homeland Security seizes domain names that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized dozens of domain names and appears to be targeting sites that help Internet users download copyrighted music, as well as sites that sell bootleg goods, such as fake designer handbags. The sites are replaced with a note from the government: "This domain named has been seized by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations."
The legality of such web stores is a question for the courts. However, the tactics and arbitrary action of a government bureau is everyone’s business. The absence of due process is self-evident. NaturalNews warns, "These seizures were conducted on the basis of language in the DMCA law, which is vastly overreaching in its powers (it was passed to appease the music recording industry and the RIAA). Even so, the U.S. Senate is right now considering passing yet another law -- COICA -- the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act", a new law that would give the federal government even more power to shut down websites it opposed. Today the U.S. government is targeting websites focused on copyright violations, but if the public tolerates this government-sponsored censorship of the web, it's only a matter of time before these government powers are expanded to control the content of the internet".
The leap from a vague copyright violation to political speech should be obvious. Yet, in today’s upside down political environment, the compliant society marches towards an inevitable clash with the federal goon squad. Capricious and selective targeting of dissident web sites squelches free speech, but even more important in the digital age, it stamps out the right of assembly. The content of speech is only politically relevant as long as it is shared and dispensed among individuals and groups. If it becomes common for a web site to disappear, how long would it be before an email account is cast into a 404-error void?
In order to rachet up the ploy to regulate the internet the latest episode of WikiLeaks diversion has embarked upon a 'mass distributed denial of service attack'. The New York Daily News writes that "Hours before the potentially explosive WikiLeaks publication of thousands of secret State Department cables, the website reported that it was under attack". Whatever you think of the accuracy of the data released, the attacks on the message publishers, being Julian Assange to the New York Times, the overt conclusion is that Homeland Security is the new arbitrator of public discourse.
When the New York Times publishes, "The possibility that a large number of diplomatic cables might become public has been discussed in government and media circles since May. That was when, in an online chat, an Army intelligence analyst, Pfc. Bradley Manning, described having downloaded from a military computer system many classified documents, including "260,000 State Department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world." In an online discussion with Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker, Private Manning said he had delivered the cables and other documents to WikiLeaks", is this just an attempt to focus a disinformation effort to provide a simple explanation to cast the blame on Manning or is there a much more sinister source behind the hullabaloo?
Gordon Duff from Veterans Today offers up this viewpoint.
"There are two opinions of Wikileaks. The worlds intelligence services all, every single one, believes Wikileaks is simply an intelligence agency playing games. They say this to each other, Vladimir Putin and Zbigniew Brzezinski have announced it to the world and others are following suit.
Nobody, at least nobody typically "answerable" will say the word "Israel" but it is what they mean when they say "intelligence agency." They mean Israel. Every Wikileak does something to help Israel in a different way at a different time. If Israel has a problem, a Wikileak is there, part of the solution. This time, Secretary Clinton was in the way and Wikileaks showed up to gut the State Department and give Israel the usual "buff and polish" job they usually do".
For a different take the emanate Paul Craig Roberts provides this take.
"Not only foreign governments are under the US thumb. So is Amazon.com. Joe Lieberman from Connecticut, who is Israel’s most influential senator in the US Senate, delivered sufficiently credible threats to Amazon to cause the company to oust WikiLeaks content from their hosting service.
So there you have it. On the one hand the US government and the prostitute american media declare that there is nothing new in the hundreds of thousands of documents, yet on the other hand both pull out all stops to shut down WikiLeaks and its founder. Obviously, despite the US government’s denials, the documents are extremely damaging. The documents show that the US government is not what it pretends to be".
Whom do you believe or what conclusion is correct? Any attempt to research or analyze the complexity of sub-rosa intrigue is a daunting task. Stripping away informational web sources, especially from whistleblowers just makes the search for valid conclusions that much more difficult.
What next can you expect from the Federal octopus? FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski proposes a plan for net neutrality, from the Washington Post.
"The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission plans to announce Wednesday a controversial proposal that would prohibit Internet providers from favoring or discriminating against any traffic that goes over their networks.
The court said in April that the FCC had no legal authority to sanction Comcast for blocking files shared through the BitTorrent application.
Broadband companies strongly resisted being reclassified, and now Genachowski has shifted his approach".
The Washington Times has it correct.
"With a straight face, Mr. Genachowski suggested that government red tape will increase the "freedom" of online services that have flourished because bureaucratic busybodies have been blocked from tinkering with the Web. Ordinarily, it would be appropriate at this point to supply an example from the proposed regulations illustrating the problem. Mr. Genachowski's draft document has over 550 footnotes and is stamped "non-public, for internal use only" to ensure nobody outside the agency sees it until the rules are approved in a scheduled Dec. 21 vote. So much for "openness."
Another power grab to regulate the internet is guised under the term net neutrality. What is the chance that WikiLeaks disclosures would be exempt from a Homeland Security filter? It all depends who benefits from the embarrassment of the info dump! Just ask Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. "Federal authorities are investigating whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange violated criminal laws in the group's release of government documents, including possible charges under the Espionage Act, sources familiar with the inquiry said Monday".
Who do your trust to place limits on the internet, the government or your own moral standard of use? Do not allow a WikiLeaks red herring be the next excuse to rationalize a government censorship of the internet.
It is a short step from censorship to silence. Can you imagine your favorite forum or group going black because some algorithm tripped a flag that some invented violation of an arcane regulation was discovered? Or is it far more probable that some faceless bureaucratic despot just finds the content or posts politically incorrect?
Persistent violators of the "New Net Normal" using a work around would be escalated to a higher level of infringement of the magnanimous privilege to use the internet might well be charged with a crime for daring to express their viewpoint. Shipping such outlaws off to a FEMA re-education camp might actually provide relief, since verbal and body language means of communication in prison is harder to censor than the banning of you IP address.
Corporate business will not allow the dismantling of the internet because so much commerce is now conducted over the web. But, the kind of attacks that will increase will be similar to Google’s Blacklist of Prison Planet.com. YouTube has become a powerful medium in itself. Alex Jones’ response is based upon facts, not hypocrisy.
"When we responded to You Tube by pointing out that the Wikileaks footage in question appeared in multiple places elsewhere on You Tube in far greater length and detail, and that it was not vulgar or offensive but a real incident that was of clear public concern which was posted under fair use (USC Title 17, Section 106A-117), You Tube reacted by freezing uploading privileges for the account while also threatening to terminate it entirely".
If the right to assemble is important to you, the struggle to control the internet is your battleground. Burning books takes too long. Pulling the plug on a server is a much more elegant way to black out current events. Ponder this simple question! Has your own political enlightenment gained ground because of the internet or are you fearful that unpleasant reporting might disturb your worldview? You know the government is uncomfortable with free dissemination of critical information, but why would you accept their version of disinformation?
SARTRE – December 5, 2010
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