10 ways web freedom is being butchered worldwide.
The Internet has emerged as the most empowering tool of individual freedom since the Gutenberg’s press, affording billions of people worldwide not only the tool of instant communication, but access to a wealth of liberating information, freedom from the chains of received consensus, and the opportunity to become their own media platform.
This represents an ever increasing threat to the status quo of the elite, which is why the establishment is working feverishly to dismantle the freedom granted by the world wide web in its current form.
1. The Death of Net Neutrality
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently gave the green light for large Internet Service Providers to create a two-tier Internet system which would allow large corporations to buy up dedicated faster bandwidth, ending net neutrality and potentially leaving smaller websites in the dust.
If passed this will allow the “televization” of the Internet, resulting in large companies forming monopolies and restricting consumer choice.
“[S]maller companies that can’t afford to pay for faster delivery would likely face additional obstacles against bigger rivals. And consumers could see a trickle-down effect of higher prices as Web sites try to pass along new costs of doing business with Internet service providers,”reports the Washington Post.
For almost a decade, we have warned of plans to create an ‘Internet 2′ under which the old Internet would be left to crumble and die, eviscerating the world wide web as a tool of free speech that allows independent voices to be heard amongst the cacophony of corporate and statist propaganda.
2. Intelligence Agencies are Manipulating the Internet With Deliberate Disinformation
Documents recently released by whistleblower Edward Snowden confirm that western intelligence agencies are deliberately flooding the web with disinformation in order to, “inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets.”
These techniques are intended to “control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse,” which has the effect of, “compromising the integrity of the internet itself,” according to journalist Glenn Greenwald.
3. Governments are Paying Trolls to Sway Public Opinion
In 2010, Canada’s CTV News reported on how federal authorities were paying companies to “correct misinformation” on web forums.
The Turkish, Israeli and Chinese governments along with a host of others have also implemented similar programs, while the U.S. Air Force hired data security firm HBGary to create large numbers of fake social media profiles that could be used to spread propaganda while countering anti-U.S. rhetoric online. Raw Story reported that the obvious function of the program was to “manipulate public opinion on key information, such as news reports,” thereby creating, “the illusion of consensus.”
4. Mainstream News Websites are Killing Comment Sections
Although this remains a relatively rare phenomenon, increasing numbers of mainstream news websites are killing or severely restricting comment sections in order to drown out dissident voices that challenge the prevailing status quo.
Studies confirm that article comment sections – for better or worse – are heavily swaying public opinion. Popular Science recently announced its decision to kill comment sections on their website in order to silence global warming skeptics. BoingBoing.net is following a similar track. The New York Times also recently indicated that it is scaling back comments and removing them from some articles altogether.
The effort to kill comments is part of the establishment media’s desperate effort to dictate reality and maintain a grip on manufacturing consensus in the face of a burgeoning independent media and the Internet as a vehicle of free speech in general.
5. The Obama Administration’s “Cognitive Infiltration” of the Internet
In 2010, a White House program was revealed that centered around infiltrating conspiracy groups in order to undermine them via postings on chat rooms and social networks. Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, spearheaded this “cognitive infiltration” of the web and has been heralding its success ever since.
Sunstein pointed out that simply having people in government refute conspiracy theories wouldn’t work because they are inherently untrustworthy, making it necessary to, “Enlist nongovernmental officials in the effort to rebut the theories.”
Sunstein suggested that “government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action.”