The Lights Are Going Out For Free Speech On The Internet
Type the keywords “Internet censorship” into Google News and you will immediately understand to what degree the world wide web is under assault from attempts by governments globally to regulate and stifle free speech.
From Australia to Belarus, from Turkey to Vietnam, from Pakistan to Egypt, from Afghanistan to Iran, huge chunks of the Internet are going dark as the Chinese model of Internet regulation is adopted worldwide.
But why should Americans concern themselves with countries halfway across the globe adopting Chinese-style net censorship? Because under Senator Joe Lieberman’s 197-page Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, the United States would formally mimic China’s “great firewall” of web censorship.
When Lieberman himself attempted to debunk claims that the bill provides Obama, and any following President for that matter, with a figurative ‘kill switch’ to disable certain parts of the Internet, he explained that the government was merely seeking to emulate powers over the Internet already enjoyed by the Communist Chinese.
Firstly, despite Lieberman’s spin, the text of the bill clearly gives Obama the power to shut down the Internet for at least four months without Congressional oversight.
Secondly, and even more alarmingly, Lieberman’s acknowledgment that the United States is seeking to emulate China’s policies on Internet control confirm that the entire cybersecurity agenda is primarily concerned with silencing political opposition to the state, since this factor completely dominates the Chinese model which Lieberman openly invokes as the ultimate goal of cybersecurity.
China’s vice-like grip over its Internet systems has very little to do with “cybersecurity” and everything to do with silencing all dissent against the state.
Chinese Internet censorship is imposed via a centralized government blacklist of any websites that contain criticism of the state, porn, or any other content deemed unsuitable by the authorities. Every time you attempt to visit a website, you are re-routed through the government firewall, often making for long delays and crippling speeds.