I find that one of the most saddening things about censorship driven by Government/State/Commercial Lobby organisations is the scope that it affords for potential and actual oppression of people in societies that, in historical terms, have only relatively recently (since WW2) been able to live in peace and freedom. The German surrender to the Western Allies and the Soviet Union took place in late April and early May 1945 - that was only 67 years ago,
but probably before most of us reading this will have been born. The German surrender would probably not have been made then - if ever - if the Allies had not been strengthened by America joining the fight after the attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese in 1941.
This freedom and peace was earned with great difficulty and at the dear cost of hundreds of thousands of lives sacrificed for us
in WWII, and arguably in WWI. The people from the oppressing countries in those wars were embraced by the victors and invited into that freedom. But as soon as that freedom came into being, it was to be under attack from all sides by ideologies hostile to it.
The advent of the Internet has heralded an incredible acceleration in communication, the transfer of knowledge and the enablement/fostering of freedom, reaching like a light deep into the darkest recesses of some of the most oppressive States, surprising despotic regimes like a Trojan Horse.
It became clear from various statements and acts over the last few years that oppressive regimes wish to be able to control and censor the Internet within their own countries, and (in the case of the US) censor the Internet in other countries
- i.e., outside of their sovereign domain. Now it is becoming abundantly clear that regimes within "free democracies" are already moving progressively to control and censor the Internet within their own countries
- e.g., including the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the EU countries.
I had been of the view that the current generations that are of the age to contemplate inheriting the Earth were not up to the task. That they undervalued history and the price of freedom and had shown themselves to be too apathetic and disorganised to do anything to confront the oncoming onslaught on their freedoms.
But I hope I was wrong, because I have just read about a new "manifesto" for freedom that has been drafted (in pastebin - here
), which could help us to confront whatever is the latest piece of repressive legislation or proposal - e.g., including FRAND, SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/TPP or TSA or RIAA/MPAA or WIPO or Google or Facebook, or Google redesigning their country URL links to allow for (on an as-required basis) country-by-country filtering (censoring) on a national basis by those countries' governments.
From the Techdirt post Josef Anvil’s Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week:
… So where does all of this lead? To Glyn Moody’s article about the “We, the Web Kids” manifesto, my FAVORITE post of the week and possibly my favorite post EVER on Techdirt. This one article encapsulates almost everything that is discussed in this forum. Whether the debate is about SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/TPP or TSA or RIAA/MPAA or WIPO or Google or Facebook, we have to accept the fact that we are all far more connected than ever before, some of us are even hyperconnected, and it has changed us. We no longer just accept the opinions of “authority,” we want FACTS, we want data, we want the truth (or close as possible). This article details a fundamental shift in the way people THINK, and it’s not just the “web kids.” Personally, I didn’t grow up with the web, but I’m certainly not so blind as to miss how integrated into my life it is. Before the web, I didn’t talk to people all over the world on a daily basis, now I do. How I consume media is completely different, as I get to choose what, when, how, and why. In other words, the way things are done has CHANGED because of the internet.
This manifesto is a wake up call to politicians and corporations around the world. Your citizens and consumers have changed. They are becoming or have become a part of the digital era. They Skype, Tweet, FB, and IM their ideas, opinions, and comments without giving much thought about the process. They Google everything, they shop on their phones, they record video and post it before the “real news” can, they text while in meetings, they create with Gimp and NVU, they work with OpenOffice, and they consume media thru Netflix, HULU, Spotify, Grooveshark, HuffPo, and YouTube. They want to throw away physical storage and move stuff into the “cloud,” if you let them. They don’t want to hear that consumers shouldn’t dictate the market, because they know how to write reviews and share information. They don’t want to hear about laws being bought, and are willing to speak out and challenge the “old ways.”
(read the rest here.)