Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Federal Government Steps-Up Anti-Internet Tactics

MISO Internet Takedown
MISO Internet Takedown
The US Federal Government has been coming after the Internet for a long time.  From PIPA to SOPA to comments made by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to whatever Silk Road is and beyond, the Federal Government has been pushing for Internet regulation for many years.  Failing this, they have "creatively interpreted" existing laws to tighten control of the Internet, and even employed social media teams to silence opposition.

Like heavy metal, Dungeons & Dragons, comic books, and the printing press before it, the Internet has been demonized for political gain -- and to the public's detriment.  Every political snafu, aggressive maneuver, and conspiracy has involved the US government or agents thereof; normal people use social media to communicate with friends and family, and meet others -- not plot terrorist acts.  Between corporate trackers to government black ops, American citizens are among the most heavily-surveilled in the world; it's increasingly difficult to believe that anyone can do, or get away with doing, anything without someone knowing it.

If I had to guess, I would say this is as much a commercial issue as military.  While law enforcement and intelligence agencies would love to see more legislature along the lines of The Patriot Act, Old Media corporations have been losing audiences to "new" media in record numbers.  Recent decisions could allow the Big Six to wrest control of the Internet.  This is even more conspiratorial than it sounds, given the revolving door between politician, CEO, and lobbyist: The very corporations seeking more control write and lobby for the laws they pass as politicians.

Labeling social media sites such as Facebook "nation states" is more than just hyperbolic, it's inflammatory and defamatory (although they may have a point).  In this case, such allegations were used to bully Internet companies into agreeing to a Bill they previously opposed.  

But it also opened the door to more high-level meetings on legislating these, and other, Internet services.

© Copyright 2017, The Cyberculturalist

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