Censorship is rampant across the web and people are conforming to it nicely. Even on this website, visitors will tell us to delete comments with inappropriate language (that also happens to oppose their opinion), whatever it may be. Yesterday it was because of my “Just Say No to Romney/Rand election bid” article (speculation, of course). It was not my finest work but I wrote it in the early morning, straight off a coffee break and from the gut. It is what it is and the thought of a Paul-Romney alliances sends chills through my gills. As they say, “There is a line in the sand, which we do not cross, man.”
Beyond that though it is not a couple offended readers but rather the web syndication platforms on the internet (search engines, Feeds) that scare us most. What if we offended a reader who likes Paul, Romney or just disagrees with our overall format and that person reports us for allowing curse words in our comments section (or even…..THE HORROR….in our articles). Readers that report websites to the seach engine syndication media outlets are a valid concern for alternative news publishers. This censoring is popular for some Search Engine Optimization companies that report on their competitors for ‘black hat’ marketing approaches, but their is plenty of wiggle room for censorship.
You see what happens in these hypothetical Romney/Paul censorship cases? Editors are scared to offend readers, thus changing their style so they don’t ruffle any feathers. Yes, the government is successful in getting us to censor each other. Maybe if we change the curse words to this form, ####, people will be happy. If we leave up curse words, will we get yanked and cast as unreliable for news? Probably so eventually but it is hard to say. Regardless, online reputation is a relatively new concept that will be a controversial subject for years to come.
In the end censorship creeps into everything and all of it, even on our lowly level, can be bad. When the government gets involved that’s when it gets ugly.
It is important to address the fact that getting all your news from social media websites can be harmful. It’s important to step away from it all and soak in a book, real person-to-person experiences and avoid television/smartphones whenever possible.
With that said, the government is looking to control the internet addicts, like they do the television cultists.
Let’s start with WashingtonsBlog, who did a great job dissecting the master plan.
As articles show that Digg, Facebook and even Reddit, who trumpeted the anti-PIPA and SOPA campaign have been getting getting their hands dirty censoring alternative news or news that does not fit their liking.
All of the coincides with the CyberSecurity Strategy for the Homeland Security Enterprise released by Homeland Security.
Here are some highlights:
Enabling Economic Competitiveness and National Defense
In the future we seek, a safe, secure, and reliable cyberspace will fuel our domestic economy and the United States will remain a vibrant economic power. Businesses will have confidence in the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their intellectual property and a better understanding of risks. A secure cyberspace will support the orderly functioning of the economy and delivery of essential services. A healthy cyber ecosystem will also facilitate performance of the other homeland security missions: prevention of terrorism; border security; enforcement of immigration laws; and resilience to disasters. And finally, through partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), a secure cyberspace will support the United States’ execution of its critical national defense mission responsibilities.
Here they talk about our privacy being enhanced by the Blueprint:
The homeland security enterprise will protect civil liberties and enhance privacy in our efforts to secure cyberspace. Individuals will be able to understand how their personal data may be used and be confident that it will be handled appropriately. We will support an open and interoperable cyberspace that enables individuals around the globe to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas. This free flow of information has proven essential to the rapid evolution and growth of the Internet. Cyberspace must continue to be a forum for free association and free speech.
From a blueprint to the roadmap, here is a BBC report about a document called the”Information Operations Roadmap”. Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it.
The author closes with this:
And, in a grand finale, the document recommends that the United States should seek the ability to “provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum”.
US forces should be able to “disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum”.
Consider that for a moment.
The US military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet.
Are these plans the pipe dreams of self-aggrandising bureaucrats? Or are they real?
They discuss how to ‘fight the net’, public diplomacy, Psyops, equating the internet to terrorism and much more.
In all, if you thought it was hard to tell what was ‘real’ before it could get worse. There is a fight for social media and the web because it is where people get the news now. Try to avoid self-censorship first before worrying about others and let us know when the thought police censor you.