It’s a pretty interesting time on the internet lately – Wikileaks is busy releasing just about every cable the US government has been sending and world governments busy running into full dystopian government mode.
I thought we had a free society?
Governments overall seem intent on locking down our freedoms with ideas such as internet filtering, including the traditionally “pro-freedom” western governments. Meanwhile the right to travel freely is being restricted with new scanning regimes including random checks of laptops and portable storage media at borders.
Even my home country, New Zealand, which is typically pretty liberal is known to scan laptops and have been trying to push through internet disconnection and possibly filtering legalisation.
The internet routes around damage
I wonder if part of the problem is the fact that people like myself who want change can’t be fucked dealing with all the issues and headaches that come with fixing a broken system, or a population who won’t listen.
As much as I want to fix things, at the same time a life in politics trying to appeal to mass market voters who simply want less taxes and vote for the person with the craziest promises, really doesn’t appeal or seem like a good use of my time.
In many ways, intelligent people are like the internet – we tend to just route around damage and find a new way. If someone censors our internet connection, we’ll build a VPN through it.. If laptops get scanned, we’ll build untraceable disk encryption. If recording companies get one P2P system blocked, we’ll build another.
The problem is the old world doesn’t want to listen either, they’ve been brought up with their old biases and are unable to consider new mindsets or approaches to things.
The Wikileaks issue
Rightly or wrongly, Wikileaks is airing some interesting secrets and governments are showing how poorly they respect our so-called concepts of freedom or liberty, closing down servers, removing domains, demanding assassination and crushing rights as they see fit.
I’m not sure whether I believe that Wikileaks should necessarily be airing all that content, but I do know for a fact, that I don’t believe that governments should be trying to block citizens rights to access that information and attacking via underhand methods that set dangerous precedents.
My fear is that we will end up in a world where it’s OK to take embarrassing/undesirable content down and go after people… and the list of illegal content will grow to cover more and more information that governments and politicians dislike.
Julian Assange and the other members of wikileaks are nothing short of heroes for showing us how twisted and controlling our so-called free societies really are whilst we maybe still have a chance to fix it.
Don’t take my freedoms you old world tossers
We’ve had the taste of freedom, my generation isn’t going to back down and let governments take away the freedom of information now that we’ve had them – they’re far too liberating, far too ingrained in our very core.
Consider that people like myself grew up with a fully free internet. Since I was about 15 I’ve had an online presence – at times I’ve visited some interesting places and had a taste of different views, morals and such – consider sites such as 4chan, wikileaks, euthanasia websites, political blogs, things which would probably be unprintable if they had to go via a censorship panel in even a liberal western country like NZ.
Yes, for sure I’ve come across some sick stuff at times – but I don’t need someone to tell me what’s right or wrong, I can make these decisions for myself as an adult.
These are ideas I wouldn’t have had with a censored world – if the internet was locked down like governments desire, I’d have concepts like:
- Believe the government has our best interests in mind.
- Believe anything other than vanilla hetro sex is wrong.
- Be busy eating meat.
- Going to church.
- Believe that all software should be brought, free software of course being criminal.
- That the media is the only unbiased (ha!) information source.
- Working for some large corporation for 40 years is the purpose of life.
Instead, I have a completely different mindset:
- Don’t trust anything – government, religion, businesses – the internet quickly teaches you that not all is at is may seem.
- Open to love and sex of all kinds – hetro/homo, poly/mono, other – essentially as long as it’s consensual, I’ll defend your right to do it.
- Interacted with people all over the world, including traditional enemy states like Iran.
- Heavily involved with the open source movement (something I’ve mentioned before) and believing that there is something worth working for with motives other than just financial return.
Do your job, don’t get in my way
At the end of the day, a government’s role should be to prevent physical harm of citizens and ensure a safe place for us to live and work, that doesn’t include legalisating to keep old world orders running or trying to mould us to fit their own twisted views of morality.
The government needs to be there to stop your neighbour clubbing you with a stick, or prosecute child molestation, not trying to block/filter internet access, or restrict ideal and content they disagree with.
Just pretty sick of the world ATM, I fear it’s not going to be a world I want to be a part of in 10 years time if the current tends continue. :-(