11.28.13

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Western Censorship: Are We Really Better Than Other Countries?

Posted in Action at 9:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Book burning
Book burning in Chile following the 1973 CIA-backed coup that installed the Pinochet regime

Summary: Book burning (in the digital sense) is still practiced in Western nations, but those nations are adept at hiding it or justifying it

THE corporate media in the United Kingdom has been advocating online censorship for quite some time. Of course they throw all sorts of speech under the bus, labeling it all “extremist” [1]. In Facebook, a platform of censorship (some views are not permissible), the suppression of free speech continues to get worse [2], but somehow we’re led to believe that Internet censorship is only a problem in China, Russia, Iran, and so on (rivals of Western ideologies other than the money ideology).

While it is true and it is still evident that there is censorship in places like Russia [3] and Iran [4], here in the West we have similar restrictions that the newspapers don’t quite tell us about. Our ISPs are silently blocking many sites [5-6] for corporate reasons (nothing to do with “extremism”) and our governments spy on us like nowhere else, sometimes in order to facilitate blackmail against those with "extremist" (i.e. different/dissenting) views. It is a form of retribution [7].

Censorship is a global problem. Western nations are part of it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Ministers will order ISPs to block terrorist and extremist websites

    The government is to order broadband companies to block extremist websites and empower a specialist unit to identify and report content deemed too dangerous for online publication.

    The crime and security minister, James Brokenshire, said on Wednesday that measures for censoring extremist content would be announced shortly. The initiative is likely to be controversial, with broadband companies already warning that freedom of speech could be compromised.

  2. Fitness Mom Runs Afoul of Facebook … Again

    A California fitness trainer and mother of three was banned from Facebook for 48 hours after she published a post last week which was highly critical of a Curvy Girl Lingerie marketing campaign promoting body confidence in plus-sized women.

  3. Netizen Report: Russian Child Porn Law Applied to Pussy Riot Image

    Index on Censorship tracked websites blocked by the Russian government under a law intended to combat child pornography. Among the materials banned: anti-Putin articles, Mein Kampf, content related to drug use, gambling, and suicide, and—of course—an icon of jailed band Pussy Riot.

  4. Netizen Report: I can’t haz encripshun? Iran blocks Cryptocat

    Global Voices Advocacy’s Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world. This report begins in Iran, where Cryptocat, a user-friendly browser-based chat encryption tool envisioned as “cryptography for the masses,” was blocked last week. A blog post about the blocking reminded users that Cryptocat is “experimental software” that is “not guaranteed to protect you from excessively serious situations, such as government targeting, physical spying, or computer backdoors.” Heed that, kitty cats.

  5. ISPs Condemn “Useless” Blocking Proposals From Secret Piracy Talks

    ISPs have condemned negotiations on a potential update of Swiss copyright law that is being influenced by the U.S. Government and entertainment companies. According to the ISPs the secret anti-piracy discussions, from which they were excluded, have so far yielded “useless” proposals including web blocking and file-sharer warnings. “We reject the monitoring of Internet traffic on principle,” a spokesman said.

  6. ISPs Can Be Required to Block Access to Pirate Sites, EU Court Hears

    In legal advice to the EU Court of Justice, Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón today announced that EU law allows for Internet service providers to be ordered to block their customers from accessing known copyright infringing sites. The opinion, which relates to a dispute between a pair of movie companies and an Austrian ISP over the now-defunct site Kino.to, is not legally binding. However, the advice of the Advocate General is usually followed in such cases.

  7. Kim Dotcom traces Megaupload raid to Wikileaks donation

    FILESHARING MAGNATE Kim Dotcom reckons that a donation to Wikileaks kicked off all the trouble that saw his Megaupload service shut down.

    Dotcom, who lost Megaupload but launched Mega a year to the day later, has been profiled in a book. We’ve not seen it yet, but Torrentfreak has. It reported that Dotcom said that a €20,000 tribute sent to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks could have triggered his problems.

    David Fisher’s book, “The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom – Spies, Lies and the War for the Internet”, was written with access to Dotcom and reveals new information about a colourful character who lives in the spotlight.

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