The reasons given tend to be to stop child pornography and terrorism. Both of these are used as examples as law abiding citizens will obviously oppose them. They are however used to intimidate and scare rather than telling the truth.
It is a fact that uprisings such as the Arab Spring involved people mobilised by way of Facebook and Twitter. In the Summer 2011 UK riots thugs used Blackberry phones in order to out fox the police.
Tightening laws regarding our Internet freedoms will have little impact on thugs, child pornographers and terrorists. They will simply find another way. Like a criminal hell bent on stealing an old Master from a gallery, where there is a will there is a way.
All that the proposed laws will do is alienate citizens, intrude on our freedom and privacy, open the door for corrupt officials to abuse the system and allow governments to believe they can then go one step further.
Today July 11, 2012, Russia followed the West. Russia's lower house of parliament yesterday passed a censorship bill in its third and final reading, despite criticism of censorship from the country's most popular websites. Originally the Russian authorities only planned to censor information deemed harmful. In common with other governments it has now changed its mind.
Yesterday the Russian Wikipedia website had a black out in protest. SOPA, the western stop online piracy act, caused fury in the West and it seems the Russian proposals are doing the same in that country.
Last night a government re-think led to a hard list of what will be censored under the new law. According to RT the list now includes, web pages which advocate suicide, substance abuse, excessively risky behaviour, and child pornography. There will be a black list of sites deemed unsuitable for children but ultimately this will limit the Internet freedom of the Russian people.
The Soviet Union used strict censorship and more to control its people. New Russia looks set to go the same way. There has already been an election this year which many claim was rigged.
The West has a crumbling economy with the prospect of even higher unemployment, more poverty, conflicts and a brutally damaged environment. Allowing people freedom or the means to mobilise in such dire circumstances will not be desirable, will it?
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Tags: Russian Internet snooping, Russian Internet censorship, internet privacy, SOPA, western Internet snooping