Dead Internet Tomorrow?

Tomorrow, This Site Is Dead.

Why?

All my sites go off-line tomorrow in what-is-to-be-hoped a world-wide protest against the proposed SOPA & PIPA acts in the USA. [Link to http://americancensorship.org/ is now dead] – but see the postscript

SOPA? Briefly.

Under intense lobbying from the entertainment industry behemoths, the law, far from protecting copyright holders like myself, will actually make it a simple process for any person or organisation with enough ‘clout’ to close down whole websites or force them to change content without any call to the process of law which has been bloodily built up over centuries in our Western world.

This means that those with ‘clout’ can censor – anyone – for anything – on their own whim.

This is draconian.  This is bad.  Very bad.  Essentially, it’s the beginning of end of what little civilisation we have and the start of a dark dictatorial era which can only end badly.

Internet Content

The internet started and spread because content is king.  If SOPA goes ahead, content will be at the behest of and regulated by vast faceless pan-global entities.

  • You will see what they want you to see.
  • You will read what they want you to read.
  • You will think what they want you to think.

My websites are just a pimple in the sea of internet content.  But many others are also closing for the day.  The 18th of January 2012 is the day the internet self-censors.  Many large websites are closing too.  It shows us what the future could become.

  • For all you yanks reading this, follow the links to find out how you can help.
  • For the rest of us, because the USA has traditionally and historically been a bastion of freedom, pray hard – because what the USA does affects us all.

Stop the SOPA Bill
Stop the SOPA Bill

POSTSCRIPT

Since this  post 8 years ago two things have arisen that challenge freedom of access to information and personal freedom cum privacy itself.

  1. Net Neutrality.  When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web all types of internet traffic were treated equally. Since then, especially in the USA and also because of burgeoning traffic demands, all sorts of throttling has occurred.  I can still access the web though….  For me, the two best references to see what this all means along with examples are the EU’s take on an open internet and a nice long Wikipedia article on Net Neutrality.
  2. Encryption.  On 10 December 1948 the United Nations, after the horrors of WW2, had a resolution called “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights“.  There are 30 articles and Article 12 explicitly states:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

In the old days, messages were paper in paper envelopes.  Or scrolls.   Wax seals were employed so that the receiver could see if their communication had been opened, read or otherwise interfered with.  The seal also showed who the message was from; e.g. the king’s stamp which made the seals was a protected device proving authority.  This is obviously important for state secrets and military plans, but also for individuals….love letters can be embarrassing, buying a house, tax returns.

It’s equally important for state secrets and individuals nowadays, not just back in medieval times or 1948 when there was no internet.  We conduct so much of our lives, our finances and our love trysts online.  It’s now secured not with wax seals but with encrypted messaging between computers.  If it’s not secure then online purchases and access to banks is not safe and robbery can occur.

But under the guise of child protection, ignorant politicians, most of whom have PPE degrees, not mathematics, think it possible to have encryption with backdoors for the use of “the state”.  n.b….Most house-breakers will break in out of sight – round the back of a house.  If the house doesn’t have a back door they will have to force entry at the front which means a greater chance of getting caught.

It’s the same with electronic encryption, which is rooted in mathematics.  Just the knowledge that a back door  exists means the crooks, using mathematics, will target that area of weakness.

Unbelievably, the political and military classes are pushing for these back doors in encryption.  It’s as if child molesters and paedophiles never existed before the internet in their minds, at least, that’s the excuse they’re using.

The real reason, of course, is to spy on citizens’ messages, which is directly against Article 12 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed by almost all counties on Earth…..

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

For more on this, see https://www.comparitech.com/blog/earn-it-act-privacy-free-speech-encryption/ .  It’s USA legislation called  EARN-IT, but the UK as part of the Five-Eyes is pushing for similar.  In fact, in 1943 it was just the UK & USA, sharing intelligence about encryption and secrets. They told Australia 30 years later!!

  • You think they’d know better.
  • A secret shared is not a secret.

Coupled with this stupidity, in the UK, the Johnson gov’t is hiding everything from public scrutiny (like the billions on unaccounted PPE Covid contracts) and is now preventing proper, legal, freedom of information (FOI) requests by obfuscation and delay, which amounts to targetted censorship.  https://pressgazette.co.uk/cabinet-office-accused-of-blacklisting-journalists-and-curbing-openness-with-orwellian-foi-clearing-house/

It’s dangerous times for citizens.  Secret government, collusions, nepotism combined with erosion of privacy and freedoms for individuals.

By Strangely

Founding member of the gifted & talented band, "The Crawling Chaos" from the North-East of England.