Coming Soon To An Internet Near You: Government Censorship

There is a bill presently making its way through the labyrinth of the American legal system, originaly it was called the PROTECT-IP bill and besides an unfortunate name change, the bill has been altered by the US House of Representatives in such a way that it would potentially allow the government and/or various corporations that feel their good name / intellectual property / right to rob us poor punters blind without fear of legal consequence being curtailed, the ability to censor the Internet in whatever way they see fit.

Should the United States government (and be sure wherever they lead on the goosestep to fascism, other will follow) be allowed to censor the Internet to fit their own whims and desires?

OK, for now maybe the last paragraph is hyperbole, but after reading portions of the updated bill, as well as some of the reactions to it on web professionals forums, it’s pretty clear that if the bill becomes law American public could soon be the first to use a very different version of the Internet than what we have all become familiar with.

The sad thing is, besides a small section of informed reactions to the bill, very few among the American public seem to know and/or care about the implications of PROTECT-IP, which, thanks to the ineptitude of House of Representatives technology committee now goes by the unfortunate name the E-PARASITE Act.

Here’s an version of the document, although, it’s doubtful anyone outside of the tech/Internet sector will actually concern themselves with it until they find the only stuff they can read online apart from government propaganda will be the inane drivel and verbal diarrhoea generated by the cast of idiots on sites like Facebook and Google +.

When bureaucrats are handed a power two things are inevitable: That they will never give it up and that they will find a reason, however flimsy why it should be used.

As George Orwell put it in his novel of an authoritarian state, 1984; “Who controls the past controls the future and who controls the present controls the past.”

Orwell needed to add nothing to that but modern readers are not universally sophisticated so I’ll explain; the unwritten subtext there is, “Who controls the information controls the present.”

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The Arab Spring – Leopards and Spots. I Told You So

When Little Niucky questioned the wisdom of the west’s air war on Libya with it’s aim not of preventing a massacre in Benghazi as the UN resolution permitted (a couple of Tiger Moths could have done that – well, if they had been backed up by a few Apache helicopter gunships that is) some readers were quick to point out what an evil tyrant Gadaffi was.

Well yes, he was. A scumsucking son of a pox whore’s scab louse in fact. But that was not a good reason to support an uprising by a rag bag coalition of tribal factions, Al Qaeda terrorists and and religious fanatics that could not possibly have succeeded without western support.

At the time Little Nicky warned that the likely outcome of our support for any of the so called Arab Spring uprisings would not be to oust unpleasant regimes such as Gadaffi, Mubarak in Egypt, Assad in Syria or the long winded President Zine El Abedine Ben Ali in Tunisia and replace them with Goldman Sachs friendly western style crypto democracies.

Well the first democratic election spawned by the Arab Spring uprisings, in Tunisisa, has resulted in an overwhelming victory for the Islamist party, Ennahda, which may be making reassuring noises about a western style government but which campaigned on promises to impose Sharia law (not compatible with western social liberalism at all)

Ennahda was banned under Ben Ali because it planned to turn Tunisia into an Islamic theocracy. If leopards can change their spots, and I’ve heard they can’t, it does not happen that quickly. When the Ennahda leader and putative President Rachid Gannouchi went to cast his vote last weekend he was greeted by shouts of “terrorist.”

Apparently people who know the beast have their doubts about leopards and spots too.

As we look forward to the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood when Egypt holds its long awaited ‘democratic’ elections Little Nicky must once more, and with regret, say, “I told you so.”

Meanwhile I hear that in neighbouring Libya the civil war is about to reignite over arrangements for victory celebrations as rival factions in the Transitional Council argue about which brewery the piss up should be held in.

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Too Insane To Be Funny

I saw this on Bishop Hill blog and thought of putting this in Boggart Blog but then decided it is too insane to be funny:

A few months ago the Obama Justice Department brought charges against Continental and six other oil companies in North Dakota for causing the death of 28 migratory birds, in violation of the Migratory Bird Act. Continental’s crime was killing one bird “the size of a sparrow” in its oil pits. The charges carry criminal penalties of up to six months in jail. “It’s not even a rare bird. There’re jillions of them,” he explains. He says that “people in North Dakota are really outraged by these legal actions,” which he views as “completely discriminatory” because the feds have rarely if ever prosecuted the Obama administration’s beloved wind industry, which kills hundreds of thousands of birds each year.

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See what we’re up against?

Iceberg Alley Blues