Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
It is now an indisputable fact that the United States is attempting to control the internet through censorship; in fact the U.S. issued more “content removal requests” to Google than China, which is regularly criticized in America for their draconian internet policies.
While China issued 3 content removal requests from January to June 2011 for a total of 121 items to be removed, the United States issued a whopping 92 requests with a total of 757 items requested to be removed.
The disturbing part is not just the sheer number of requests and the compliance rate of 63%, but also the plethora of reasons given for the takedown requests.
The most popular reason given by what Google classifies as “Executive, Police, etc.” (meaning police and any one of the many agencies that falls under the executive branch) is “Privacy and Security” with 13 requests.
Defamation is the most popular reason given by court orders, with a total of 29 requests made, the vast majority of which were direct at web search results.
The executive and police have made three requests due to so-called “Hate Speech”, two for “Impersonation” and “Violence”, along with one for “Government Criticism” and one for “National Security”.
Both of the requests made for national security and government criticism reasons were made due to videos on YouTube.
This begs the obvious question: in the United States, where we are supposed to have free speech, what on earth is the government doing attempting to get the largest search engine and video hosting site to censor items for government criticism?
One would not be surprised if this was occurring under a totalitarian regime elsewhere in the world but in America government criticism is a sacred right protected by the Constitution and lauded by our forefathers.
A local law enforcement agency has requested that YouTube remove videos of police brutality, although Google claims that they did not remove said videos.
Another law enforcement agency requested that Google remove videos which allegedly defamed law enforcement officers, which they also did not comply with.
It is good to know that they did not kowtow to law enforcement for such frivolous reasons, although the fact remains that our government is making a concerted effort to fight free speech on the internet.
In this reporting period between January and June of 2011 the total number of content removal requests received in the United States increased by a staggering 70% over the previous period.
Similarly, the number of “user data requests” received in the United States went up by 29% compared to the previous period.
This is noteworthy because 93% of user data requests are complied with fully or partially. A total of 5,950 user data requests were made for a total of 11,057 users/accounts.
With a 93% compliance rate, that is roughly 5,533 filled user data requests and a total of 10,283 users/accounts.
In a similar trend, the United Kingdom increased the number of requests by 71% compared to the previous reporting period and there videos including government criticism have already been taken down or blocked within the UK.
Back in May of this year, the British government – with YouTube’s help – censored footage of the British Constitution Group’s Lawful Rebellion protest.
During the protest, the activists attempted to civilly and symbolically arrest Judge Michael Peake at Birkenhead County Court.
The British Constitution Group protests what they consider to be the illegal British council tax and Judge Peake was ruling on a case involving Roger Hayes a former UKIP member who refused to pay council taxes.
Just like the United States, the United Kingdom has made the slow descent into tyranny while continuing to pretend to be a bastion of hope and freedom for the world.
It is laughable for the illegitimate American government to continue the charade that is “democracy” in the United States given their flexing of dictatorial powers, especially when it comes to the internet.
All one must do is look at the fact that Chinese takedown requests pale in comparison to the United State to see the total destruction of what America is supposed to stand for.
Ordering the takedown of a video over “government criticism” is something I hoped I would never see in the United States but it is clear that we are so far gone at this point that almost anything is possible.
Without the American people getting vocal over issues like this and standing up for our rights we can bet that the government will continue to erode our freedoms with a vengeance.