Free Speech

The End of the Free Internet Is Near

The idea that the internet should enjoy minimal government oversight precisely because it was a technology that enabled open and free speech for everyone has been turned on its head.

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Not too long ago, conventional wisdom held that the internet should enjoy minimal government oversight precisely because it was a technology that enabled open and free speech for everyone. The remedy for hateful and offensive remarks, that 1990s-vintage argument went, was more speech—or logging off.

This principle, which can be traced back through the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and John Stuart Mill, was nicely captured in the U.S. Supreme Court's 1997 decision striking down certain speech-chilling provisions of the Communications Decency Act. "Through the use of chat rooms," Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, "any person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox. Through the use of Web pages, mail exploders, and newsgroups, the same individual can become a pamphleteer."

A generation later, Stevens' argument has been not merely discarded. It has been inverted.

Politicians now insist that the internet should be subject to increased regulations precisely because it allows that hypothetical town crier to speak with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any physical soapbox. The possibility of freewheeling online discussions has been transformed, in other words, from virtue to vice. Platforms like Facebook and YouTube increasingly face demands that they restrict content. In some cases the demands are effected through public pressure, in others through outright government censorship.

The movement to stifle online expression is still in its early stages, but it represents a fundamental threat to the principles that have allowed the internet as we know it to grow and thrive. If these efforts continue, we may soon see the end of the free and open web.

Europe vs. Big Tech

At the vanguard of the efforts to restrict online speech are, ironically, Western nations that have historically prized free expression—in particular, the European Union.

In March, members of the European Parliament approved a Copyright Directive. What's known as Article 13 of the measure (renumbered as Article 17 in the final version) will require technology companies to impose "upload filters" to scan user-provided content and remove material viewed as unlawful. If a service provider fails to delete "copyright-protected works and other subject matter," the text says, it "shall be liable for unauthorized acts of communication."

Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Gilmore, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and dozens of other prominent technologists denounced Article 13 as "an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users."

Their arguments failed. An amendment that would have removed the upload filter requirement from the Copyright Directive was defeated by five votes.

In the short term, that will probably grant an unintended competitive advantage to large U.S.-based companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, which possess the resources to devise, test, and implement automatic filtering technologies. Smaller startups will find compliance more of a challenge. Nonprofit efforts such as Wikipedia and websites run by individuals are likely to shoulder even greater burdens.

Other E.U. measures include last year's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which imposed new rules on how businesses can handle and use user data, and this year's so-called platform-to-business rules, announced in draft form in February. The latter step is less known but arguably reaches further: Slated to take effect in February 2020, these regulations will control the business practices of "online platforms," including search engines, voice assistants, app stores, online marketplaces, price comparison tools, and some social media applications. They will be subject to new rules, including a ban on such "unfair practices" as suspending a user's account without explanation.

The French government applauded the draft rules in a statement, saying that the E.U. will now be able to "steer the market in the right direction"—though what the "right direction" is was left unsaid—while lamenting that they do not go further by regulating electronic devices too.

Privatizing Censorship

If Brexit actually happens and the U.K. manages to extricate itself from the European Union, Britain's internet users and businesses will be fortunate to escape the full impact of these efforts. But Westminster's elite have not been idle.

In April, the British government published a proposal, the "Online Harms White Paper," that echoes the approach of the E.U. Copyright Directive by holding tech companies, in particular social media platforms, liable for what their users post or upload. Under such a legal regime, internet censorship would be effectively privatized, as businesses would have no choice but to monitor and restrict users.

Among the online "harms" the U.K. proposes to outlaw are "extremist content," "disinformation," "violent content," and "trolling," which could include anything from what a government agency decrees to be fake news to remarks critical of the Prophet Muhammad. Another offensive category is "glamorization of weapons," which invites questions about how it may be applied to venerable British institutions like the National Museum of Arms and Armour, the nation's oldest museum.

In an April op-ed for CNN, Jeremy Wright, the U.K.'s secretary of state for digital, culture, media, and sport, argued for this adventure in online censorship by likening, without irony, adult internet users to young children. "It is similar to the principle that when you take your child to a playground, you trust that the builder made sure the equipment was safe and that no harm will come to them," Wright wrote.

The U.K.'s free market Adam Smith Institute calls the "Online Harms White Paper" illiberal and incompatible with English principles of freedom: "This proposal is about preventing Internet users from engaging in knowing and voluntary speech, and it's about recruiting vast armies of private sector policemen to patrol their thoughts."

Perhaps most problematic, the Adam Smith Institute points out, is that the U.K. proposes to restrict political speech that remains legal elsewhere in the English-speaking world. It is no exaggeration to say that "glamorization of weapons" is a popular hobby in the United States—and is fully protected by the American First and Second Amendments.

Other nations are edging in the same illiberal direction. Soon after the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque massacre that killed 51 people, Australia enacted a new law punishing the publication or hosting of "abhorrent violent material" with up to three years in prison. According to the law, it "is immaterial whether the hosting service is provided within or outside Australia."

Read broadly, this suggests that executives of U.S. and other foreign hosting services—at least those failing to strictly censor their services for Australian audiences—could face legal peril if they visited Sydney on vacation. The law also allows television stations to broadcast violent material while prohibiting Twitter users from posting an identical video online.

That was too much even for Australia's Labor Party. "There needs to be proper consultation with not just the social media sector but also traditional media, who are also caught up by this bill and whose legitimate journalism and online news sites will also be impacted on by these laws," said Mark Dreyfus, a Labor representative and former attorney general, during the parliamentary debate. Dreyfus warned the law was being rushed through Parliament for political reasons "as this chaotic and desperate government careen[ed] toward" an election this spring.

For his part, New Zealand's Chief Censor David Shanks—yes, this is an actual government title—ruled that the video recorded by the Christchurch shooter and his accompanying manifesto both fell under the category of "objectionable" material and would be illegal to watch or read. The censorship office's classification decision said the manifesto "promotes and encourages acts of terrorism in a way that is likely to be persuasive to its intended audience." Merely viewing the document in electronic form, even if it is not downloaded to local storage, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

It is possible that New Zealand's censorship will prevent further extremist violence. But it is more likely that a formal ban will turn the Christchurch shooter into a kind of free speech martyr, bringing more attention to his loathsome ideology. Forbidden ideas have a tendency to draw the curious and the untethered.

The United States of Deplatforming

So far, at least, the U.S. government has yet to appoint a chief censor. But Silicon Valley's coastal elites have been eager to volunteer their services gratis.

The last year has marked a dispiriting new low in the "deplatforming," or banning from various online channels, of dissident voices. The ax fell on Infowars' Alex Jones, actor James Woods, the editorial director of AntiWar.com, the director of the Ron Paul Institute, and radio talk show host Jesse Kelly. (Some of these accounts have since been reinstated.)

Lawmakers have encouraged these social media bans. Congressional hearings have been called to interrogate tech execs on how their products are being used. Last August, Sen. Chris Murphy (D–Conn.) urged an even broader crackdown, proclaiming on Twitter that "the survival of our democracy depends on it."

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D–Miss.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, must have been listening. In March, Thompson sent a letter to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Microsoft insisting that they remove "toxic and violent" content, even if it is legal to distribute in the United States. (The platforms already prohibit illegal content.) If the companies are "unwilling" to do so voluntarily, Thompson warned, Congress will "consider policies" to compel their cooperation. Left unexplained was how any such requirement could comply with the First Amendment.

The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, better known as FOSTA, ended the federal government's laissez faire approach to internet companies when it was enacted in April 2018. Executives are now criminally liable if they own, manage, or operate a service "with the intent to promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person." The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of FOSTA, saying it muzzles constitutionally protected speech and is not tailored enough to comply with the First Amendment.

The World's Most Effective Censor

Whatever threats from constitutionally challenged politicians the United States faces, it remains a beacon of freedom compared to China, which can claim the dubious honor of most effective internet censor in the world. Social media apps are blocked, political content is restricted, and activists and journalists who document human rights abuses may be arrested and held in lengthy pretrial detention. Anonymity is impeded, with real names required.

The country's constitution says that "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration." But the reality is that the internet in China is almost entirely subservient to government whims.

As Freedom House, a nonprofit group advocating for political freedom, reports, "websites and social media accounts are subject to deletion or closure at the request of censorship authorities, and Internet companies are required to proactively monitor and delete problematic content or face punishment." In addition, "officials systematically instruct Internet outlets to amplify content from state media and downplay news, even from some state-affiliated media, that might generate public criticism of the government." Hundreds of popular websites are blocked by the country, including Google, Facebook, Whats-App, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, Dropbox, Instagram, SoundCloud, WordPress, and Pinterest.

In 2017, China reinforced its control of the web with a law that increased censorship rules and, more worryingly, required that user data be stored on the Chinese mainland. "Data localization," as it's called, means that sensitive personal records will be easily available to police and intelligence agencies. U.S.-based companies such as Airbnb and Evernote dutifully moved Chinese user data to state-controlled companies. Last year Apple announced, without elaboration, that it was shifting iCloud operations for all its mainland Chinese customers to a government-owned local partner, Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry.

China is not alone in its efforts to control the internet. Instead, it is leading the way among authoritarian nations. Russia and Nigeria now have similar, though less comprehensive, data localization laws.

Getting Back to Our Roots

What nearly all of these extrusions of governmental interference have in common is that they focus their attention on the large internet companies that act as common platforms.

A small number of massive, slow-moving regulatory targets is a delightful state of affairs, at least from the perspective of Brussels or Beijing. It's far easier to pressure a few huge multinationals equipped with risk-averse legal departments than it is to control millions of unpredictable internet users, some of whom are certain to ignore bureaucratic diktats—or to invent creative ways to circumvent them.

When the U.S. government decreed that encryption was a munition—essentially a dangerous weapon subject to federal rules for exporting arms and tanks—Microsoft and Netscape complied. But programmer-activists thumbed their noses at the rules by exporting the source code of popular PGP encryption protocols in book form. Others shrunk the RSA encryption algorithm to three lines of code in the Perl programming language, which they gleefully wore on T-shirts. The Justice Department declined to make an example of these scofflaws.

Today, there's keen interest in homebrew gunsmithing, whether local laws permit it or not, thanks to online code repositories, such as GitHub and Defense Distributed's DefCad. These sites offer design files that allow key components of working firearms to be manufactured at home using a 3D printer.

There is no natural law of computing that says search must be centralized in Google or Baidu, social networking must happen on Facebook or WeChat, auctions must go through eBay or Alibaba, and so on. What we're accustomed to today represents a historic shift, one that's difficult to overstate, from an earlier era of the internet. From the moment of its public release at 2:56 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time on August 6, 1991, the World Wide Web was meant to be decentralized. Anyone could browse from any connected device. Every person with the technological means could set up his or her own website. The gatekeepers were gone.

It's true that centralized platforms have advantages, including improved security and better resistance to spam and abuse. They can also be quicker to build. But centralization brings costs with it, including providing a single convenient point of control for governments eager to experiment with censorship and surveillance.

There are some tantalizing hints that decentralization will return. Bitcoin and Ethereum, two blockchain-based computing platforms, are prominent examples. Solid—an open-source project backed by World Wide Web mastermind Berners-Lee—is intended to help you keep ownership of your own data by placing it under your control. The Internet Archive has hosted a pair of Decentralized Web Summits in San Francisco. Prototypes of distributed search engines, wikis, and Slack-like chat programs exist.

If a decentralized internet does return, it will likely arise only as a response to regulatory overreach by governments—and primarily because cryptonetworks provide developers and maintainers with economic incentives in the form of digital currency if they participate. A key advantage of open-source programming is developer friendliness: Twitter, especially, is notorious for disabling features that developers had relied on. Google's feature killing is memorialized at KilledByGoogle.com. When no one owns a platform, that sort of thing is much less likely to happen.

Chris Dixon, an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, wrote in a well-read February 2018 post on Medium: "Today, unaccountable groups of employees at large platforms decide how information gets ranked and filtered, which users get promoted and which get banned, and other important governance decisions. In cryptonetworks, these decisions are made by the community, using open and transparent mechanisms."

Decentralization is hardly a perfect solution to the internet's ills, but it's likely to be better than the unhappy situation we find ourselves in today.

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  1. I’m online (!) with decentralization. I believe the dark web and mesh networks will enter into the picture too. My imagination stops at trying to guess the form things will take, but I believe the EU regs and Congress butting in are both necessary and sufficient empetii.

    Google sure is handy. Facebook and Twitter have become part of life for a lot of people. But these regs will stifle and suffocate them, and the first decentralized replacements won’t have to be very good to lead the way away. Politicians and even the deep state apparently don’t have very good memories, or they’d remember the Clipper Chip and PGP (I have those t-shirts!) and Napster.

    That may be the biggest lesson learned from the coming collapse of current social media and Google: that the deep state is neither deep nor stateful.

    1. Decentralized and neutral providers, like minds, is preferred. Censorship doesnt matter if it is from the government or large monopolistic entities. Facebook is literally bragging about not allowing pro life ads to air around the Irish abortion referendum. Why some arent scared by this is shocking. They own a vastly large percentage of views. Domain servers have now begun discriminating, so the cries of just start your own facebook are meaningless. And it isnt just the internet effected as the censorious assholes on the left are also targeting banks and payment processors to silence their enemies. This isnt some innocent game where people have options to go other places. The left is seeking to carve various voices out of public life.

      1. The left is seeking to carve various voices out of public life.

        Exactly. This is the real danger. I really think that we are playing with fire. We have banks and payment processors proudly announcing that they won’t serve people for various forums of alleged wrong-think. Freedom of association… for gigantic continent-spanning multi-national corporations? Is this really a good idea?

        1. It’s far better than having you or some other idiot forcing the government to screw things up.

          1. I understand that I’m not right about everything, but at least I engage with people and discuss arguments directly. All you do is throw a temper tantrum and get mad when people throw insults right back at you.

            1. Do you really expect anything else from a philosophy that so enthusiastically embraces anti-intellectualism?

              1. I know plenty of smart libertarians. I think parts of the ideology are misguided, but it has a lot of really good merits that warrant discussion. Sevo is not a great example. He just acts like a child and then gets upset when people treat him like a child.

                1. TripK
                  July.12.2019 at 10:58 am
                  I know plenty of smart libertarians.

                  Yeah, but you’re entirely too stupid to learn from us.

                  1. You’re not one of those smart libertarians, Sevo. You’re just some punk kid whose only thought is “fuck off.”

                    1. I must object to these offensive remarks directed at my friend, comrade and collaborator Sevo, who is by far one of the most astute contributors to these discussions. That said, I should also like to point out that the idea of a “freewheeling” internet was a disaster to begin with, and that its demise should be celebrated. Surely no one here would dare to defend the “first amendment dissent” of a single, isolated, so-called judge in our nation’s leading criminal “parody” case?

                      That case made it perfectly clear that neither the academic community here at NYU—a leader of colleges everywhere in this great country—nor law enforcement authorities, nor the criminal courts would tolerate certain forms of “expressive mimicry,” or “speech” that no one wants, and that everyone knows are not permissible.

                      Hopefully the message we sent here in collaboration with a brilliant team of criminal prosecutors was very clearly understood by the “social media” community in its entirety. The owners of any site that allows improper postings should pack their bags and close up shop as quickly as possible, before facing the stiff legal penalties we are planning for them all. See the documentation at:

                      https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

                    2. Fuck off, Quixote; your pathetic desire to gut A1 deserve nothing other than derision.

          2. Yea, only Facebook and Google should work with the government to screw things up

            1. Oh, and oligarchs like the Kochs and Soros

        2. You either have self-ownership for everybody or you have slavery.

          If you’d throw over self-ownership for such a petty problem as this, then you have a low threshold.

          The right answer leads to new solutions. In this case, it is decentralization, which is a very natural response to centralization.

          1. You either have self-ownership for everybody or you have slavery.

            Equating the ability of huge multi national organizations to proudly announce that they will no longer serve people who like yellow more than purple to the right of an individual to refuse association with another individual is a stretch. The narrow thinking you have seems to be endemic in libertarian circles.

            Even if you were able to prove that large groups of people under a particular organization (a company) acts like an individual would (I don’t think you can prove that), you’d also have to prove that there isn’t an in-between for self-ownership and “slavery”, which is difficult to prove especially since what we currently have is an in-between (we currently have limited self-ownership in this country).

            The right answer leads to new solutions. In this case, it is decentralization, which is a very natural response to centralization.

            Some things may very well become decentralized, but we haven’t seen much of it. The trend seems towards centralization, even with new technologies like the internet.

            1. The only time huge multi-national businesses screw people over is when they are in bed with governments.

              Instead of principles, what do you have? Think hard. Yes, that’s right, you have pragmatism, rule by whatever feelz good.

              Fuck off, slaver.

              1. The only time huge multi-national businesses screw people over is when they are in bed with governments.

                Oh, I see you have not graduated past the high school version of libertarianism. There are libertarians that claim what you just did (which absolutely ridiculous on its face), and then there are Libertarians that understand that people screw people over (doesn’t matter if its government or business), but claim that government have more of an incentive to screw people over than businesses do. And, that when businesses screw people over, they can go out of business.

                Instead of principles, what do you have? Think hard. Yes, that’s right, you have pragmatism, rule by whatever feelz good.

                Instead of blind faith in ideology, I’m more of a utilitarian. I look at the set of facts in front of me, choose a desired goal, and attempt to get there using logic and reasoning while causing the least amount of friction as possible. Am I always right? Certainly not. Am I always willing to hear and engage with a different perspective? Yes.

                Fuck off, slaver.

                When you have nothing to offer to a conversation, this is a good way to say so.

                1. TripK
                  July.12.2019 at 12:51 pm
                  “Oh, I see you have not graduated past the high school version of libertarianism.”
                  Oh, I see you are incapable of understanding the term “principle”
                  Fuck off, slaver

                  “Instead of principles, what do you have? Think hard.”
                  I have “principles”, you favor “pragmatism”.

                  “Instead of blind faith in ideology, I’m more of a utilitarian.”
                  Yes, as above. You are more than willing to opt for “pragatism” the first time you don’t like something. That’s called “stupidity”
                  Fuck off, slaver.

                  “When you have nothing to offer to a conversation, this is a good way to say so.”
                  When some scumbag is a slaver, it’s a very good way of pointing that out.
                  Fuck off, slaver.

                  1. I’m still waiting for your actual arguments. Instead you keep going with the edgy teenager angle, and it just really doesn’t play that well.

                    Fuck off, slaver.

                    This seems to be a way that libertarians use to mark their posts “ignore me, I have absolutely no original thoughts.”

                    1. TripK
                      July.12.2019 at 4:49 pm
                      ‘I’m still waiting for your actual arguments. Instead you keep going with the edgy teenager angle, and it just really doesn’t play that well.’
                      I’m still waiting for you to learn basic reading skills and understand when you’ve been called on your bullshit. You are too fucking stupid to understand when an argument has been presented.

                      “Fuck off, slaver.
                      This seems to be a way that libertarians use to mark their posts “ignore me, I have absolutely no original thoughts.””
                      Your response is the way fucking statists admit they didn’t understand the argument.
                      Fuck off, slaver.

              2. Your principles have been on full display these past 3 years.

                I am not impressed.

    2. “I’m online (!) with decentralization. ”

      I don’t think your government is. The US government is certainly happy with Google’s dominant position. It’s American and has proven itself to be compliant with government requests. It has become too big to fail.

      1. The government is no more happy with Google than they were with Napster. They are just dumb enough to salivate over one huge centralized data mine and fuck it up by fucking it up. Multiple people will come up with decentralized alternatives because that is how markets work.

        The government will destroy it, then prop up the remains and act surprised when all the little successors thumb their nose at it.

        1. “The government is no more happy with Google than they were with Napster.”

          Are you talking about the French government or Chinese government? In that case I agree. But the American government surely views Google et al as assets to be exploited.

          ” Multiple people will come up with decentralized alternatives because that is how markets work.”

          AI (artificial intelligence) requires huge pools of data to work. The bigger the better. That’s what gives the Chinese the advantage in the area: large numbers of people doing much more online.

          1. Are you talking about how stupid or how sophomoric you are?

  2. Too much money at stake.

    1. Didn’t help Napster; just the reverse. All that money is way too tempting for government to ignore.

      1. Yeah, that was part of what I meant. That and big business loves to invite expensive regulations in to keep competition out.

    2. Too much money at stake.

      Creating a special class that’s more insulated and legally protected and believes itself to be more informed or educated than the plebes doesn’t hurt either. Money is tempting but when you roll it up with a smug sense of self-righteousness, it becomes damn near irresistible. Just ask the Catholic Church.

  3. Politicians love free speech, until someone criticizes them, and then they want to end it.

    1. I agree. The government isn’t “privitizing censorship”, it’s outsourcing what would be illegal government censorship, into legal private censorship.
      What’s the problem with government prosecuting anyone who publishes illegal speech (and there is some) rather than having media companies “filter” speech? It’s not censorious enough for the government.
      The government also doesn’t want foreigners posting stuff when they can’t arrest those foreigners, but they can “regulate” social media companies into doing it for them.

      1. Once a “private” company accepts government favors such as contracts or legislation that protects them from competition, they are no longer truly private. They become enmeshed with the bureaucrats and politicians whose favors they accept. Shadow banning or closing accounts becomes state censorship even if the force used is simply a cost of regulation that smaller competitors cannot afford.

        As free private companies they can ban, censor, censure or silence any of their customers. As regulated utilities, they are arms of the state and will do what is necessary to protect their exclusive status.

        What do you think will happen when president Kamala Harris says “Will no one rid me of this turbulent online magazine?”

  4. ” There needs to be proper consultation with not just the social media sector but also traditional media, who are also caught up by this bill and whose legitimate journalism and online news sites will also be impacted on by these laws,”

    Implicit in that statement is that non traditional media do not do legitimate journalism and therefore censoring them is acceptable.

    Even where some restraint is recommended by government officials, it is not a full blown endorsement of free speech as a principle.

  5. Yes. Decentralization is the answer. Empowering the individual is the answer. Not regulation, not centralization, not authoritarian diktats.

    I read a discussion somewhere – I think it was at techdirt.com – about how one possible solution would be to make a person’s profile modular. So if you decided to leave Facebook, you could still maintain your profile and your list of contacts to other modular profiles, and wouldn’t have to leave behind the valuable part of the network. Social media sites like Facebook would then compete with each other not based on the networks that they themselves would create, but by the experience with the interface that those with pre-existing networks would enjoy.

    I can’t say I know a great deal about this whole idea, but it sounds intriguing, and developing ideas like this is a much better idea than applying the boot of government regulation, or trying the hopeless task of taking down all of the ‘hate speech’ out there.

    1. Requiring profiles to be modular is a regulation dummy.

      1. I guess reading is hard. Where did Á àß äẞç ãþÇđ âÞ¢Đæ ǎB€Ðëf ảhf say it would be required??

        1. Nowhere. He was responding to chemjeff radical individualist, not me 🙂

          You are right, though, reading is hard, AND chemjeff radical individualist did not say it would be required.

          1. Yes apparently reading message headers is difficult for me…

          2. So who makes the profile modular?

      2. There are lots of industry standards that developed without any mandate or regulation.

    2. I read a discussion somewhere – I think it was at techdirt.com – about how one possible solution would be to make a person’s profile modular.

      I think the solution is to grant standing in court to hear claims about violation of private data as personal property.

      Before the Web came along, there was a move in many countries towards defining data about you as property of you. Then – it was entirely about putting limits on what govt could do with data that they had to collect about you and forcing them to do other things to protect the privacy of that data. But it really hadn’t gone very far.

      Then the Internet came along and boom the trickle of data turned into a infinite torrent – and with no secure legal recognition that that data was your property, it was vacuumed up and turned into property of the private entity that vacuumed it up.

      Have no idea how to get back to where we were so we can go to where we were going then. But that’s the solution imo. It doesn’t solve the ‘hate speech’ stuff – but it starts to address the different roles of how data/info/content gets communicated/transferred from your head to the rest of the world and the limits of what rest-of-world can do to intrude/trespass on that property.

      The notion that it happened right the first time simply because there was an Oklahoma Land Grab with no rules is silly. Of course it didn’t. Nothing ever works like that the first time. And keeping the resulting status quo in place into the future means that current/future generations are living under the tyranny of the past/dead generations (if that can describe Web 1.0 and 2.0)

      1. Except privacy is not property. You can’t define property in any way that is coherent that will also include the concept of privacy. Because privacy is all about what OTHER people know or do not know about you. That’s not your domain to control.

        You want into a store and buy an item, the store knows you bought that item. There’s no way to prevent it. Same thing online. There’s no way for amazon not to know that you bought an item from them. It’s the same thing no matter how much people want to make them sound different.

        Yes, you can wear a mask and pay with cash. But that’s on YOU to do. It’s nonsense to demand that the government compel brick and mortar stores to pretend they don’t recognize you. But we demand government do similar things for online purchases. The solution is to wear a mask and pay with cash online as well. Or their near equivalents. Prepaid credit cards. Throw away accounts. Shop at multiple stores. Block third party cookies. Heck, clear your cookies every half hour. Etc.

        1. It’s also about what other people DO. Not just what they know.

        2. If I work at a bank, I can’t just disclose customer information to whoever walks in the door willing to pay me for it. That seems like a good restriction.

          Or, for a different example – if someone goes and buys some HIV meds from a pharmacy, that pharamacy knows and therefore has the right to sell that info to whomever it wants – like facebook, so they can advertise to you for HIV meds… then an observant friend with a little bit of surface-level tech know-how notices all your ads are related to HIV right now and starts to get the idea that his friend may have HIV. A father recently found out that his daughter was pregnant because of advertising company data purchased from a search engine company.

          I think we can place some privacy protections on businesses regarding personal data.

          1. I think we can place some privacy protections on businesses regarding personal data

            I think the better option is to flesh out where we were going re what govt can do regarding personal data. And then have the govt open a communications infrastructure that has those legal protections – but that is open to any private company that wants to provide their services on that platform. Kind of like the Post Office has the ability to deliver communications – but absent the Comstock stuff (or maybe including the stuff that is still legal re that), it doesn’t decide who can put a stamp on an envelope and send it and it doesn’t use data that the PO itself knows to allow stuff like push-distribution of kiddie porn or hate speech using junk mail rates.

            That way the govt is providing an option – that is known and has been long understood by the public – but is not coercing usage by anyone. There would be no monopoly on that infrastructure (unlike use of the home mailbox).

            1. This seems like an option worth considering but I’m not sure if I fully understand what you’re proposing.

              What is the “platform” that gov’t would provide for private companies to use to provide services? Is this the behind-the-scenes tech but companies just provide a UI? Is the government really equipped to handle such tech? Do we really want the government actually handling the tech itself?

              I’m genuinely confused about what you’re proposing but I am intrigued.

              1. I’m confused too don’t worry. I don’t have a clear idea because I’ve forgotten a lot of the ‘where we were going back then’. And that is what would define what the PO would legally be providing in that infrastructure vs what would the tech companies building the infrastructure do vs what would the companies using that platform do.

                We now have the benefit of hindsight to go back to eg the OECD ideas re data protection/privacy that began ramping up in 1980 or so and that were targetted mostly at limitations of govt use of that rather than corporate/other use of that. But that hindsight doesn’t do any good unless we actually go back to the time when that hindsight will be useful.

                If we just abdicate it to govts to develop, then they will either go ad-hoc/piecemeal (always the US approach that quickly makes it impossible to see the forest for the trees) or will go full-bore power-mad cuz the target is now other/corps rather than themselves/govt.

                1. Hard to remember computing in 1980. I didn’t do anything on them until the mid-80’s.

              2. As an aside – I’m not remotely thinking of the PO actually doing anything technological. That would be a total cluster$%^#. I’m thinking of them offering something legal. The unique crime of ‘mail fraud’ which is currently defined the same as ‘wire fraud’ – but there is no real reason that needs to be that way. They don’t need to have the same definitions of ‘property’. And they won’t have the same constitutional restrictions re ‘speech’.

                I could see the PO offering a broader definition of property on their system – but with fraud being also redefined more broadly to include the retransmission/etc without permission or the unsolicited marketing to others. But the free speech restrictions on the PO system would mean that someone who gets kicked off a private system would not lose their de facto rights of free speech in the modern era.

                idk whether that sort of a dual legal structures would even work. But all markets are based on a legal structure – and by default the current crap of Web2 is running under the wire fraud structure. so they will buy off pols and distort any possible changes to that and protect their own status quo – and I simply don’t trust that whatever changes the govt makes to that will be anything but corrupt. Rethinking the mail fraud stuff to include a much better idea of what we want and can’t do in a public communications space re data/privacy/etc – and then offering THAT as an alternative legal underpinning makes it far more likely that competition can emerge – eg Facebook with its current ‘policies’/freedoms/WildWest/arbitrarybanning v a neoInYourFace using a different ‘public utility’ type model. And where the competition will be much more clearly based on legal protections than on bells-and-whistles of a user interface.

                1. I don’t want you to think that you have typed all this for nothing, so I just wanted to reply and say (1) I read everything you wrote and (2) I’m trying to process and understand it.

                  I need to think on this. I’m not a very technical person.

                  1. No prob. As I think more on it, it seems totally silly to me that the PO/mail legal system can’t be made virtual/digital. It’s got user protections already – mail theft, mail tampering, mail defacement, mail inspection without a warrant, mail fraud, etc. All tested in courts and well-understood by everyone. Most people can grasp that the 2nd doesn’t stop with muskets – why should postal communications stop with paper inside an envelope with a stamp on it?

                    Online user consent agreements are all contracts of adhesion (ie take it or leave it). There is no way users CAN ever ‘negotiate’ better terms – hence no way data rights will ever improve. My guess is there are a ton of people who would prefer an online environment with very different legal protections. And where there’s a ton of people, there’s a market where providers will figure out how to make their service work within that legal environment.

          2. “if someone goes and buys some HIV meds from a pharmacy, that pharamacy knows and therefore has the right to sell that info to whomever it wants”

            Prior to HIPPA the only thing that prevented that possibility was (certain) State law and a professional code of ethics.

            1. Exactly. And I think that not only is it the right thing to do from the perspective of my own personal morality (which is irrelevant honestly), but I believe having some reasonable privacy restrictions in this arena set in place is actually good for public health. We don’t want people not getting treatment for HIV because they can’t reasonably expect privacy when buying the meds.

              Same thing for banking/financial services. We don’t want people keeping their transactions outside the system because we refuse to guarantee privacy inside system (think huge piles of cash sitting in places of businesses, similar to what we see with Marijuana businesses that cant access financial services for a different reason).

              Maybe we should consider something similar for privacy in online communications? I don’t know, but its something worth considering.

          3. “I think we can place some privacy protections on businesses regarding personal data.”

            Wouldn’t this bugger up the business model of these business that buy and sell the information garnered from surveiling their users’ online habits and activities?

          4. TripK
            July.12.2019 at 11:34 am
            “I work at a bank,…”

            I hope it’s not one I use, or that you empty the trash and scrub the floors.

        3. “Because privacy is all about what OTHER people know or do not know about you. ”

          No, that is silly. It is functionally equivalent to saying that property is what stuff other people do or do not take. Privacy is a right control access to your information. Same as property is the right to control access to your stuff. Not surprisingly that makes the right to privacy a form of property.

          Right to property and property in your rights.

      2. “I think the solution is to grant standing in court to hear claims about violation of private data as personal property.”

        There isn’t a problem, and no solution is necessary, because of free speech. It’s already illegal to publish “private data” such as stolen trade secrets or copyrighted material, and the government can prosecute those who do. But also consider, whether it’s in the public’s interest to publish “private data” such as the Pentagon Papers, the DNC/Podesta emails or the Panama Papers, and whether such information should be private and people should be prosecuted for publishing them.

        I say freedom of speech should be broadly defined.

    3. Social media sites compete by their ability to filter what you want to see. But what you want to see is subconscious. There’s no way in heck you can consciously edit your own profile to result in what getting what you want. In some ways this is a good thing. Facebook, et al, are profiting off of revealed preferences. They did not impose ideological bubbles on us, we subconsciously sought out those bubbles to inhabit. Carrying around your profile with you won’t change that.

      And the sites can still identify your profile by the fact that you’re using a profile.

  6. The censorship office’s classification decision said the manifesto “promotes and encourages acts of terrorism in a way that is likely to be persuasive to its intended audience.”

    And he is correct. The stated intention of the act was to get a government overreaction, and it did.

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  8. activists and journalists who document human rights abuses may be arrested and held in lengthy pretrial detention.

    Well, I guess China and the US do have some things in common.

  9. China reinforced its control of the web with a law that increased censorship rules and, more worryingly, required that user data be stored on the Chinese mainland

    If you run a telecommunications company here in the U.S., you are required by law to be able to trace all activity of any particular internet user on your network to the IP that generated that activity, and be able to produce a record of such activity for a certain length of time. Not quite the same as “data localization”, but not too far off.

  10. It’s a shame these companies couldn’t grow a sac and merely just ban illegal speech. Nah, they had to virtue signal.

    So now it’s time to break them up. Nope don’t care about “muh private company”. They have too much power. Especially now that courts have said the public are owed access to Trump’s Twitter, but also that Twitter can decide on who gets such access.

    There is no valid defense for giving a corporation that type of power.

    1. Somehow I manage to make it through life without Facebook or Twitter. They have power because people choose to give it to them.

      1. I gave them up to. Most people haven’t, and their votes will be heavily influenced to vote in such a manor that will “prevent another Trump situation in 2020.”

        1. Also if you look past the specific applications of Facebook and Twitter it’s a bit of an arcane/conservative/Luddite way to look at it and think about it. It’s pretty obvious that dead tree/hanging chad representative democracy has its flaws. Twitter’s obviously not the right solution but God help us if, in 20-30 yrs., we’re still only able to pick the representatives who’ll decide if we go to war on any given day every 2-4 yrs. Sure, you get through life without Twitter and Facebook. That life includes 9/11, GW I & II, the ACA and penaltaxes, Title IX ‘Dear Colleagues’ letters, DACA, etc.

          1. Exactly. I get that we’re saying “Facebook and Google won’t be around forever, the market will replace them.” I don’t doubt that. But what if that doesn’t happen for another 10 years? That’s at least 2 presidential elections and many, many senate races, house races, state-level and local-level races. How much legislation can be passed during such time that Facebook and Google have the power to influence voters to get the “right” type of people in office?

      2. No people did not ‘choose’ to give it to them by any meaningful definition of the word ‘choose’. I was around in a company in Web 1.0 when every company was struggling with privacy policies because every one of those early users understood what was actually happening with the data that was being collected/etc.

        Then usage exploded with people who had no clue what was actually happening – and Web 2.0 became companies that disguised what they were doing via dense legalese that no one reads/understands. And all of a sudden that should become the ‘norm’/default going forward? The model now is essentially based on information asymmetry and legalistic fraud.

        I’m not on Facebook or any social media either. Because I was around way back when and I don’t trust Zuckerberg/etc as far as I can spit. But the power they wield over the Internet – and the influence now OF the Internet as a means of communication – means that ‘free speech’ as it existed before the Internet has diminished.

        Maybe the solution is for the Post Office to offer a communications infrastructure platform to tech companies – with the legal constraints that govt itself faces re free speech and ‘privacy of the mail’. Where those companies would compete based on the user interface and network of other users – but NOT on the basis of hidden legalese and disinformation about what they’re doing. HAHAHA – but seriously

        1. JFree
          July.12.2019 at 11:24 am
          “No people did not ‘choose’ to give it to them by any meaningful definition of the word ‘choose’.”

          Yes, people did and do “choose” to give it to them by any meaningful definition of “choose”

    2. “It’s a shame these companies couldn’t grow a sac and merely just ban illegal speech. Nah, they had to virtue signal.”
      Define “illegal speech”

      “So now it’s time to break them up. Nope don’t care about “muh private company”. They have too much power. Especially now that courts have said the public are owed access to Trump’s Twitter, but also that Twitter can decide on who gets such access.
      There is no valid defense for giving a corporation that type of power.”
      Fuck off, slaver

      1. Define “illegal speech”

        It’s defined in Brandenberg v Ohio, IIRC.

        Other than that, I’m right there with you.

        1. Yeah, I was waiting for CR to come up with a doozy…

  11. This principle, which can be traced back through the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and John Stuart Mill, was nicely captured in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1997 decision striking down certain speech-chilling provisions of the Communications Decency Act. “Through the use of chat rooms,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, “any person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox. Through the use of Web pages, mail exploders, and newsgroups, the same individual can become a pamphleteer.”

    A generation later, Stevens’ argument has been not merely discarded. It has been inverted.

    Reason “wet roads cause rain” magazine at it again; Roberts and SCOTUS were right in striking down *most* of the speech-chilling parts of the CDA but the speech-chilling/anti-petitioning parts they left in were sensible and well-reasoned and anybody who tells you otherwise has the story inverted.

    Fucking bullshit magazine.

    1. Er, Stevens not Roberts.

    2. > Fucking bullshit magazine.

      And yet here you are. Day after day. Cognitive dissonance much? What color is that noise in your head?

      1. And yet here you are. Day after day. Cognitive dissonance much?

        Are you suggesting I go find a more insulated intellectual bubble and go post there?

  12. What nearly all of these extrusions of governmental interference have in common is that they focus their attention on the large internet companies that act as common platforms.

    The main reason we have these “large internet platforms” in the first place is because of regulatory capture and government policies: telecom regulation, safe harbor provisions, net neutrality, etc. Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. wouldn’t exist without it.

    Ironically, people now call it “censorship” when the very government interference in the market that created these behemoths strike down regulations such as net neutrality and safe harbor provisions.

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  13. Leaving the internet an undefined Wild West will enable the fascist propagandists to censor our free speech, the greatest achievement of the internet by far.

    Had anyone had the foresight to recognize that defining in law that the internet is a public place, bound by the rules of the constitution, we would not be watching this unfold as it is.

    1. “Leaving the internet an undefined Wild West will enable the fascist propagandists to censor our free speech, the greatest achievement of the internet by far.”

      We know he’s a scumbag bigot, but he’s stupid besides.
      He thinks getting the government to censor the ‘net will keep those who cannot censor anything from censoring the net.
      Does bigotry cause stupidity, or do you have to be stupid to be a bigot?

      1. Misek’s not just a stormfag who got lost. He’s also stated that he wants to gut the First Amendment.

        1. I simply shared a few facts about the bullshit holocaust narrative. Shoved them up your ass.

          You are a liar. Provide a link to my alleged attack on free speech, dipshit.

          1. You have stated on numerous occasions that lying should not be protected speech.

            1. Lying is not protected speech, therefore criminalizing all lying would not be unconstitutional.

              It’s called logic dipshit.

              “The Supreme Court has already ruled that at least five specific areas — commercial speech, defamation (libel and slander), speech that may be harmful to children, speech broadcast on radio and television, and public employees’ speech – do not warrant full protection. “

              http://www.care2.com/causes/does-the-first-amendment-include-the-right-to-tell-lies.html

              1. More logic to fuck with your brainwashed head.

                The spirit of free speech logically requires that speech be true to be protected as a right.

                Lying is coercion by misdirecting people to make decisions they wouldn’t if they knew the truth.

              2. “Lying is not protected speech, therefore criminalizing all lying would not be unconstitutional.
                It’s called logic dipshit.”

                That’s called bullshit, asswipe.

                1. You know about bullshit kol nidre boy.

                  Where would your Jewish religion be if the couldn’t chant their plans to lie for the next year on their holiest day.

                  The kol nidre for those who aren’t Jewish.

                  “All vows, and prohibitions, and oaths, and consecrations, and konams and konasi and any synonymous terms, that we may vow, or swear, or consecrate, or prohibit upon ourselves, •from the previous Day of Atonement until this Day of Atonement and …• ♦from this Day of Atonement until the [next] Day of Atonement that will come for our benefit.♦ Regarding all of them, we repudiate them. All of them are undone, abandoned, cancelled, null and void, not in force, and not in effect. Our vows are no longer vows, and our prohibitions are no longer prohibitions, and our oaths are no longer oaths.“

                  1. Oh, boy! Misek is now it bigot 5th gear and headed for a record!
                    Stuff it up your ass, scumbag.

                    1. The truth I share serves you right.

                      Get used to it.

                    2. Rob Misek
                      July.12.2019 at 10:27 pm
                      “The truth I share serves you right.”

                      You share lies, you scumbag bigot. Fuck off.

          2. Rob Misek
            July.12.2019 at 12:19 pm
            “I simply shared a few facts about the bullshit holocaust narrative. Shoved them up your ass.”

            You simply posted one bigoted lie after the other, and got them jammed down your throat, asswipe.

      2. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I never respond to your posts except when you try to foul one of mine. You are a foul smell.

        Fuck off troll.

        How do I scrape dog shit like you off my shoe?

        1. “How do I scrape dog shit like you off my shoe?”

          Lick it off like any scumbag bigot would do.
          And fuck off, slaver

          1. How did you both end up like this? Who hurt you?

            1. Do yourself a favour.

              For every interaction between this troll and I, recognize who makes a reasonable comment first and who is the dog shit, always following like a foul smell.

              That ought to put your question in proper perspective.

              1. Rob Misek
                July.12.2019 at 7:33 pm
                For every interaction between this troll and I,”
                A “troll”; one who calls a bigoted scumbag a bigoted scumbag.

                “recognize who makes a reasonable comment first”
                You have yet to make a reasonable comment since you started stinking up the place.
                Fuck off, slaver.

            2. TripK
              July.12.2019 at 6:05 pm
              “How did you both end up like this? Who hurt you?”

              No body hurt me, I simply laugh at idiots like you and load what shit I can on scumbag bigots like Misek.

        2. “How do I scrape dog shit like you off my shoe?”

          Click your boot heels together while giving a nazi salute. Isn’t that how you usually do it?

      3. We know he’s a scumbag bigot, but he’s stupid besides.
        He thinks getting the government to censor the ‘net will keep those who cannot censor anything from censoring the net.
        Does bigotry cause stupidity, or do you have to be stupid to be a bigot?

        To be fair ‘How the Nazis won the West’ sounds like a cool idea for a movie.

  14. Is this what you wanted?

  15. One statist POS after the other, each one claiming they are “forced” to use something which millions of people ignore with impunity, and therefore the state should DO SOMETHING!
    And of course to each one of the imbeciles with idiotic schemes, THEIR scheme will have the government controls work this time! Not like all those other times when other idiots proposed other idiotic schemes.
    Go whine you your mommies, you pathetic excuses for humanity; maybe they’ll buy your bullshit about how victimized you are.
    Oh, and fuck off, slavers.

    1. “One statist POS after the other, each one claiming they are “forced” to use ”

      Not a single statist POS here has made such a claim. Isn’t there an invading army of raping asylum seekers you should be worrying about?

      1. “Not a single statist POS here has made such a claim.”
        It comes as no surprise that, given your limitations as a bullshitter and/or a sophist, you didn’t bother to read those perhaps as stupid as you, and you should have read JFree’s bullshit, since he is among those who always default to a statist solution:

        JFree
        July.12.2019 at 11:24 am
        “No people did not ‘choose’ to give it to them by any meaningful definition of the word ‘choose’….”

        Given your self-assumed skills as a sophist, I’m sure you’ll manage some lame attempt to explain how ‘not allowed to choose’ is other than ‘being forced’, but then I’m sure you have an amusing take on how “is” can be defined as other than “is”.
        Or you could also just STFU and fuck off. And leave the adults alone.

        1. You really can’t find a more pressing issue to exercise your hysteria over? Can you construct an even more dishonest reading of this person’s ideas? This is shameful, Sevo.

          1. mtrueman
            July.13.2019 at 9:26 am
            “You really can’t find a more pressing issue to exercise your hysteria over?”
            So you admit your post is bullshit? Imagine my surprise!

            “Can you construct an even more dishonest reading of this person’s ideas? This is shameful, Sevo.”
            Asswipe, can you construct some sophistry to eve suggest your claim is correct? In your case, it’s not shameful; you have none.
            Now, tell me how I misrepresented the comment; put up or shut up, you pathetic piece of shit. Even JFree didn’t bother with that sort of lie.

    2. Is anyone out there saying that the govt should take the 2009 – or 2010 – or 2011 – or 2012 – or etc data from Facebook? I don’t hear that. Facebook stole that data then fair and square.

      Of course the thing about online data is that it’s like your shtick. Gets old and worthless really quickly. The old data is useless without being able to combine it with new data. to serve new cookies. To project what someone will do tomorrow – today – based on yesterday’s data.

      It’s not just about data. It’s about control of time. In the first generation of the Internet, it was very easy to tell someone’s age by their email addy – aol? yahoo? hotmail? gmail? Just as in real life, it’s often easy to guess someone’s age by their name – who’s oldest/youngest – Mildred? Donna? Brittany? Kaylee?

      The thing is – what YOU are advocating is that the existing be allowed to control tomorrow merely because it exists today. Don’t change anything. It’s precious as is. You conservatives are fucking useless.

      Me? I’m just advocating that government can have a role to CREATE competition where it doesn’t exist now. To create a legal framework for Internetv2019. And hell for Internetv2020. And for Internetv2021. If and when competition arises in the market, then there won’t be any interest in gummint doing anything. Until then v2022. v2023. v2024. At some point what happens is that those different versions BECOME competition. Who knows – maybe the best legal framework produces a free competitive market. Maybe a company finds a way to thrive in multiple legal environments and proves it’s best by that means rather than by attempting to CONTROL and ossify its legal environment.

      Hell – even if gummint does all that – do you seriously believe gummint stormtroopers are gonna show up at your door and say You haven’t used the Internet today. We require you to log on immediately and provide your data. Or else – no soup for you.

      1. JFree
        July.13.2019 at 12:05 am
        “Is anyone out there saying that the govt should take the 2009 – or 2010 – or 2011 – or 2012 – or etc data from Facebook? I don’t hear that. Facebook stole that data then fair and square.”

        Is anyone here willing to credit the bullshit JFree claims?
        Does anyone here credit the conspiracy which JFree tries to construct by posting lame conditions?
        Fuck off, JFree.
        —–
        “Hell – even if gummint does all that – do you seriously believe gummint stormtroopers are gonna show up at your door and say You haven’t used the Internet today. We require you to log on immediately and provide your data. Or else – no soup for you.”
        Compared to:
        JFree
        July.12.2019 at 11:24 am
        “No people did not ‘choose’ to give it to them by any meaningful definition of the word ‘choose’….”

        So which is it, you statist POS? Do we have choices, or are you now claiming that the government will not *require* that compliance?
        I think we here all have your number: You, as a fucking slaver, think that *YOU* are smart enough to avoid al the mistakes those other imbeciles made, since you are *SO* smart!
        You’re not, you pathetic POS. Fuck off and die.

          1. JFree
            July.13.2019 at 1:00 am
            “blahblahblah”
            Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.
            Keep it up, bullshitter. No one is fooled outside of those as stupid as you.

            1. No YOU get off MY lawn

              1. So being smarter than you is being older than you? That’s the best you got?
                Keep it up, bullshitter. No one is fooled outside of those as stupid as you.

  16. Europe has figured out that hate speech doesn’t benefit free speech ~ it’s only we Americans who cling to the idea that free speech should be limitless. The problem here isn’t a matter of censorship, but one of transparency ~ as it will come down to fallible human moderators to decide what to remove, the methods for arbitrating bad rulings regarding what gets taken down need to be made clear.

    1. because we’re right. For free speech to exist, hate speech must be permitted. If you ban hate speech, you simply have banned free speech.

    2. Michael Q. Rudnin
      July.13.2019 at 10:43 am
      “Europe has figured out that hate speech doesn’t benefit free speech ~ it’s only we Americans who cling to the idea that free speech should be limitless.”

      It’s only slavers like this POS and the Euros who cling to the idea that *they* know what constitutes ‘right-speech’!
      Were you born this stupid or did you work at it?

  17. To be clear, the western governments do still idealize free speech. However, we’ve seen the rise of the Totalitarian left, and that group has NEVER appreciated free speech. They crush it whenever possible.

  18. The only speech protected in the spirit of the constitution is truth.

    Lies are nonsense or intended to coerce and intimidate people by misdirection to make decisions in the liars interest. Hatred is conflict and conflict in speech always results from lies.

    Lies are not protected because they do not carry the same weight as truth. Imagine if they did in courts and contracts where lying is already illegal. Everything we know becomes meaningless nonsense.

    Every statement would be called a lie. Every proof, a lie. Without recognition of truth progress is completely random. Some trolls on this website already employ this tactic.

    Because truth carries more weight than lies, truth is protected speech while lies aren’t.

    So criminalizing lying everywhere for everyone is not unconstitutional and would eliminate all hate speech and corruption at the source.

    The real problem is the corrupt propagandists who will try to censor truth. But to do so, they need to lie.

    1. Rob Misek
      July.13.2019 at 5:39 pm
      “Because truth carries more weight than lies, truth is protected speech while lies aren’t.”

      True enough. Your fucking constant lies carry no weight at all. I guess you know that and choose to ignore it, you scumbag bigot.

        1. Glad you like it, scumbag

  19. […] Not too long ago, conventional wisdom held that the internet should enjoy minimal government oversight precisely because it was a technology that enabled open and free speech for everyone. The remedy for hateful and offensive remarks, that 1990s-vintage argument went, was more speech—or logging off.This principle, which can be traced back through the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and John Stuart Mill, was nicely captured in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1997 decision striking down certain speech-chilling provisions of the Communications Decency Act. “Through the use of chat rooms,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, “any person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox. Through the use of Web pages, mail exploders, and newsgroups, the same individual can become a pamphleteer.”A generation later, Stevens’ argument has been not merely discarded. It has been inverted.Politicians now insist that the internet should be subject to increased regulations precisely because it allows that hypothetical town crier to speak with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any physical soapbox. The possibility of freewheeling online discussions has been transformed, in other words, from virtue to vice. Platforms like Facebook and YouTube increasingly face demands that they restrict content. In some cases the demands are effected through public pressure, in others through outright government censorship.The movement to stifle online expression is still in its early stages, but it represents a fundamental threat to the principles that have allowed the internet as we know it to grow and thrive. If these efforts continue, we may soon see the end of the free and open web. […]

  20. The people who want internet censorship to prevent copy-right infringement and acts of terror I understand. But to claim that our democracy depends on it is to claim that democracy depends on the electorate only being exposed to right perspectives. That seems to mean giving up on representative democracy completely. In that case stop fiddling around with the details and propose a completely different system of government.

    1. Been there, done that for years.

      Fixing a completely fucked up society is simply a project, a big one, but one that requires a vision, support for the details, and skill to develop and implement a necessary schedule.

      The vision: a civilization working together on the principles of truth and justice. Where everyone is born with the opportunities for health and success.

      The schedule of details:

      1. Designate the internet a public place with all constitutional rights.
      2. Criminalize all lying for everyone.
      3. Create a separate and secure citizen internet with all constitutional rights.
      4. Give every citizen the right to record everything they witness everywhere they go.
      5. Develop an internet technological democracy, where citizens are expected to vote online daily about all current political decisions.
      6. Government becomes simply the project planners and information/democracy coordinators.
      7. Update the constitution to recognize current technology.

      I didn’t just now think of this. I wrote an original university paper entitled “Technological Democracy” more than 30 years ago.

      1. The 1% is only 1%.

      2. Rob Misek
        July.14.2019 at 8:50 am
        “Been there, done that for years.
        Fixing a completely fucked up society is simply a project, a big one, but one that requires a vision, support for the details, and skill to develop and implement a necessary schedule.
        The vision: a civilization working together on the principles of truth and justice. Where everyone is born with the opportunities for health and success.”‘

        And one which accepts anti-semite scumbags like Misek as someone worthy of other than derision.
        Fuck off, you pathetic excuse for humanity.

      3. “2. Criminalize all lying for everyone.”

        BTW, you’d be in jail.
        Tell us again about how the jooze started WWI and WWII, scumbag.

        1. I stand proud that everything I say is true.

          You anonymous kol nidre troll, are fucked.

  21. To puts an end to net neutrality laws in the USA which many believe, that means the end of the free /open internet for users in the USA.
    Also see: Importance of Computer in Our Life

  22. Maybe once infrastructure costs go down and reliability stays up. A true free internet would mean no one would work at said companies. No technicians. No customer service. No technical service. No one selling anything. Just lay down the infrastructure and walk away. We can’t get that to happen for a month let alone going forward. There are always problems to be solved, where the internet is concerned.

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