Published in Editorials

Why We May Never Have A Truly Free and Open Internet

by on23 February 2012 2165 times

90In the very recent past the NSA and other governmental agencies have tried to show Anonymous as a terrorist organization. To do this they are using very basic definitions of the term; after all a terrorist uses fear to achieve their goals. However, if you can qualify Anonymous as a terrorist organization based on the loose definition and the fact that fear of them uncovering the truth has led to changes in many areas then you can also classify the MPAA, RIAA, NSA and other organizations as terrorist too.

To break this one out let’s look at the recent attempts at censoring the internet with bills like SOPA and PIPA. Both of these used fear as their main argument. Fear of the loss of jobs, Fear of monetary loss and then worst of all they tried to tie copyright infringement into national security. All of those arguments are fear based so the MPAA and RIAA are trying to achieve their goals through fear.

The NSA recently released a report claiming that Anonymous would be able to shut down the power grid in 2-3 years. The reasoning behind this report had two possible meanings. One they wanted to instill fear of Anonymous into the general public or they wanted to scare legislators into allowing them to spend more money to fix a system that has been broken since the early 2000s when many critical infrastructure services were put on the internet to lower maintenance and monitoring costs. Either way you look at it the use of fear could classify the NSA as a terrorist organization in this situation.

The point I am trying to make here is that Anonymous as an organization has instilled fear into the government and into corporations the world over. They have shown that there are almost no secrets that they cannot uncover and release to the public. This has the people in charge very scared, Anonymous is a real threat to them and they know it. The only way to “fix” this is to make them feared by everyone, or to try and taunt them into action so as to “lay a trap” for them.

We are entering a new world here, and it is one where many can act to achieve one goal like never before. Unfortunately this also frightens the people in power. It will make them push harder and harder to control and limit the internet, one of the few places where free speech is still just that. Right now you can say what you want on the internet and there is not much anyone can do about it (unless you are a corporation and a legitimate publication and then there are laws to prevent outright lies and slander).  The down side of this is that there are people that will abuse this freedom; which is true of any item or freedom that we have. You still cannot take away every freedom or method of communication simply because there are people that are willing to abuse them.

This is what Anonymous has and does appear to stand for; a free and open internet and open government. Added in there is a desire for corporate responsibility. Personally I do not think that is too much to ask for.  To the NSA, the FTC, and all of the other organizations in all of the governments out there, lets allow technology to enhance our lives again instead of trying to allow corporate greed and political fears to stifle it.

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Last modified on 23 February 2012
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