While we have social media – and before it gets any more censored than it already is – we can choose to use it simply as yet another way to entertain ourselves – or to create a more equitable, better world through applying group pressure on unethical actions.
A good place to start to clearly understand why you should care is EFF.org’s Cybersecurity Bill FAQ: The Disturbing Privacy Dangers in CISPA and How To Stop It. Even if CISPA is not how the Internet is eventually controlled, understanding what these laws attempt to do is a good primer in what is being implemented.
Americans tend to believe that the United States is somehow different and like to believe we have freedom of the press and that we get the truth – the whole truth – from our major media. Hopefully by now most realize that simply is not true.
SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP
What happens in other countries does eventually happen in the U.S. – and censorship does NOT prevent uprisings if the masses are already aware of the issues and then governments attempt to keep them from discussing solutions.
Many believe the solution to public outcries or even riots is to censor social media as reported in this Technorati post Censoring Social Media Does NOT Prevent Riots.
Science Daily reports that “recent research suggests that uncensored citizens experience less violence and longer periods of peace between outbursts than communities subject to censorship. These new findings appear in the Bulletin of Sociological Methodology, published by SAGE.”
I suspect no American believes that our government would actually shut down social media or turn off cell phone service the way China cut off Internet in the area of Tibetan unrest, but they would be wrong.
INTERNET KILL SWITCH
On July 6, 2012, the official WhiteHouse.gov Web site published Executive Order — Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions – which many believe gives him an “Internet Kill Switch“.
While most will think, “no big deal – no Twitter or Facebook” they may be forgetting that Internet access is a must for many businesses that rely on it.
“Every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world.”
INTERNET OUTAGE IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESS
Few stop to think that businesses from car dealerships to banks to trucking companies to the companies that supply food to grocery stores and restaurants all depend on the Internet.
Can you even check into the local YMCA if their Internet access is down?
And it is NOT only traditional businesses that will be affected. What about all the people who now make a living entirely online?
How long could bloggers, social media community managers,
consultants, ecommerce stores – anyone dependent on
Internet access – survive if the Internet goes dark?
While some keep insisting there is no such thing as a Kill Switch, Daily Tech reported U.S. Government Accidentally Abuses Internet “Kill Switch”, Shuts off 84,000 Sites – so how did that happen if the technology does not yet exist to do this?
“Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday said the cybersecurity executive order that the White House is drafting is “close to completion.” ~ Hillicon Valley – Sep 19, 2012 (The Hill’s Tech Blog)
That would be ANOTHER executive order, because we linked above to one that is already signed. One way people are kept lulled into apathy is that they are continually told what they fear is in the future rather than being notified that it has already been done!
Would you believe even Rush Limbaugh talks about the Internet Kill Switch and Presidential Control of the Internet:
“Republicans said (summarized), “What do you mean the president’s gonna have the power to turn off the Internet? We’re not gonna do that!” So Obama said, “To hell with you guys. We’ll just bypass you.” Obama is again set to bypass Congress, which has rejected any attempt to pass this kind of legislation.”
MEDIA FOR PROPAGANDA
Traditional media has long been used to manipulate what the public believes to be true, and social media is being used in this way as well, including through manipulating social proof.
First Post details how some they called “mainstream media stars” while purporting to be “against censorship” were actually arguing in favor of it:
“While appearing, outwardly, to be opposed to censorship, some of them sought circuitously to justify the clampdowns in the name of reining in “hate speech”. Such “on-the-one-hand, on-the-other” waffling and the resort to false equivalences on their part seemed calculated only to use their media megaphone to deflect criticism away from the government’s sneaky attempt at cracking down on social media criticism under the cloak of protecting “national security”.” ~ Social Media Censorship and the silence of the lambs ~
If you have ever tried to stop legislation being considered in Congress this should be no surprise to you, because the best way to keep real grass-roots movements from blocking what those in power want is to create their own organization that claims they are trying to protect your interests (while secretly – and sometimes not so secretly – being backed by those seeking to do you harm.
By doing this, most believe that SOMEONE is already
acting on their behalf – so they do nothing!
As we’ve seen with attempts to take away the Internet as we know it, those who seek to control us are patient and persistent. No matter how many attempts we block, they will continue to find a way so we must stay vigilant.
“The free exchange of information on the Internet has eliminated Big Brother’s ability to control the message. This makes elites walking the halls of power uneasy. That’s why efforts by government to regulate and censor the Internet won’t die, no matter how many times the public thinks it’s killed them.” ~ Personal Liberty Digest in Internet Censorship by Fiat ~
Honestly, I hope that some brilliant geeks somewhere – and I use the term “geeks” with reverence as they have technical skills far beyond my own – have already created an alternate Internet we can use if ours goes away.
We may even have to rely on print media instead – as some have suggested that Print 2.0 is the ultimate defence against the Internet Kill Switch.
What do you think? Are you concerned the Internet might
go dark or do you prefer to just not think about it at all?
Do you have any suggestions on how to fight Internet Censorship?
Any ideas on alternatives to use if only those
who can pay to play can still publish online?
Tell us in the comments. We’d love to hear from YOU!
NEWS and MEDIA
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