Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iranians are fighting with Internet as a weapon

A couple of my closest friends are from Iran and to some extent this makes the conflict going on in their birth nation a bit closer to home. Also as a history buff I really love the area and hope I can visit and travel around in the future looking at fantastic sites like Persepolis and the Bam Citadel. Of course I also feel appalled and I'm sending thoughts in support of the dying, tortured and imprisoned people now fighting against the horrible regime. But besides that what I want you all to remember about this – regardless of the outcome - is how the Iranian dictatorship has shown how important it is for those in charge to control the Internet. Just as pretty much every totalitarian regime before they are doing everything they can to control the news flow and today – to the horror of politicians everywhere – news comes faster, better and more unbiased over the internet than in the old media. Journalists in general also loath this fact since their jobs becomes close to redundant. To those two groups we ad big business and those shadowy supporting troops surrounding them and we have a constellation of what I usually call: “The enemy class”.

So when the Iranian are fighting they are not only fighting for their lives and democratic rights, they are also showing us a future with ACTA, IPRED, FRA and other stupidities that exists to control the Internet. Journalists can be bought, bribed or frighten to silence, but Internet lives its own life with billions of users making it the most vibrant and free place ever existed in the human world. Internet is about information, free for all, why do you think politicians everywhere wants to regulate, control and monitor it?

To further enhance my point I refer to an earlier post this year and please also check out the other two related postings.

Saturday, May 2, 2009
The third biggest fear of the enemy class
Out of everything I have written and ever will write on this blog, this is probably the most important. I hope you understand this and I really hope you understand the ramifications of it. Part II. Read Part I here.

He who controls the flow of information also controls the world - this I do believe most of you out there understand. Still most of you sit quite and say nothing when the flow of information get tightened more and more with restrictions and regulations being imposed on a daily basis. And those that are supposed to monitor the power elite, journalists, does hardly nothing. I promise you all that there are lots of fun stories to be found if you just search for it. An old lady being stalked by the secret police for writing “Hitler” in an email or some poor smuck being black-listed for reading about bombs online and without knowing it hardly ever getting a job again. Things like this have already happened or are happening right now. Promise. How can I be sure without having proof? Because this is how the government and its thugs “works”. Not only are “mistakes” like the ones mentioned going to happen, sometimes they will be intentional because agencies and the surveillance system needs to show results. If they cannot find any terrorists, they need to show they are putting the money to good use so they don’t get less founding the next year. As I have written before, this is one of biggest absurdities of our entire system. A governmental entity needs to show it is doing something, show results and it needs justification towards other entities and the best way to do this is to waste money.

IPRED; ACTA and FRA and other laws to control information is just the start, no person in their right mind will believe anything else. Firstly “mistakes” will happen, those need to be “corrected” hence not only correcting within the governmental entities doing the prodding and monitoring, the laws also needs readjusting. Secondly technology evolves therefore new laws will be required. Thirdly the economical crisis will continue, maybe even worsen or an terrorist attack will happen and from that we "need" harder punishments and more laws to “protect us” and so on. And lastly, and most importantly; He who controls the flow of information also controls the world.

This is what’s at stake when we are talking about Piratebay, file-sharing, 1984-society or anything else you might read about. It is not about some thief’s trying to watch a movie for free; it is not about catching terrorists or finding child-molesters. It is about control. No matter how anyone tries to explain it, no matter how many lawyers or entertainment executives say’s anything different, it is about control. Think about the latest swine flu or any other news with potential to be “scary”. If you cannot visit certain sites, if all information that comes is from government, how will you ever find out the truth? And even if you still do, do you have the guts to write it? You domain might be closed down, a sudden new law might make you liable for slander, or just the fact that agencies might be reading and visiting you might be enough to keep you quite. There are already voices being heard that want to outlaw certain bloggers and/or certain opionions online. Do you really think those voices are the last ones?

Even if you think all this sounds like I’m one of those believing a giant hedgehog is stalking me, imagine all the laws and all these new/enhanced agencies and then imagine a economic depression with all the political turmoil that comes with it or that some well-spoken totalitarian gains control at the parliament. And then imagine all this surveillance in those hands and situations.

The third biggest fear of the enemy class is that people thinks for themselves, that you, all of us, have access to free information faster than the propaganda can tell it’s version. And this is a justified fear because informed and well educated people are far less inclined to believe in what journalists or governments tell them. Don’t let them take this away from us. And to you journalists out there, start digging, use your mandate and go do your job, you will find fun stuff, promise.

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