We, the American people, let out a collective exhale after the defeat of the attempted federal government takeover of the Internet carefully named Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). A similar measure, Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), has been shelved for the time being due to the public uproar to the proposals. Don’t pop the champagne quite yet because while our Democrat and Republican leaders have distracted us with these deceitful pieces of legislation, Barack Obama has already signed a global treaty, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). This international accord, dressed up as a trade agreement, would create a United Nations (UN) type global governing body to monitor and enforce the details of the secretive agreement. This all begs the question, why the sudden obsession with regulating the Internet?
Surely online piracy has gone on for quite some time, causing some financial angst amongst millionaire musicians, directors, and media companies. With laws already on the books that prohibit sites from facilitating the piracy of copyright material, such as the laws that allowed the Feds to seize Megaupload.com, it hardly seems necessary for our wise overlords to protect us from the evils of online piracy anymore than they already have. Of course SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and any other cleverly named bills that Congress dreams up have never been and will never be about stopping online piracy, child pornography, or creepy naked dudes on Chat Roulette. Instead these acts represent desperate attempts by weakening leaders to curtail free speech, undermine the free educational material found throughout the net, and control the information that the public accesses.
On a typical day online, I check Dailypaul.com, where Ron Paul supporters post current events from all over the world, videos of politicians past and present, and educational media on a bevy of topics. It was on this site that I first read about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allowing the military to detain American citizens indefinitely, which the mainstream media conveniently neglected to cover. Daily Paul and other similar blogs operate using copyrighted media from television networks and the like; under the proposed Internet regulation bills, the Daily Paul domain could be seized by the Department of Justice for copyright infringement for simply posting a video from Fox News without written permission.
After reading an article on Yahoo about how Iran poses an imminent threat to the United States, I access, through YouTube, videos of Israeli intelligence officers and high ranking US military and intelligence officials refuting such ludicrous claims. I read up on our military history in the Middle East and see nearly 30 military actions in the region since 1953. Wanting to understand much of the Middle East’s deep-seated hatred for the United States and not believing the mainstream media’s twisted narrative that Jihadists are willing to come here and blow themselves up solely because they hate our freedoms and values, I watch interviews and read any literature available by CIA Head of the Bin Laden Unit Michael Scheuer about “blowback”. Simultaneously educating myself on world affairs and casting the television talking heads into oblivion.
Perhaps the most pressing reason that our despotic government desires to assert its oppressive thumb on the Internet is because it makes our leaders powerless. I can compare video of the 2008 Presidential candidate Barack Obama to the 2012 shadow of his former self. The man who ran on “change”; bringing an end to the wars, cutting the ballooning deficits in half, and ending the warrantless wire tapping, has brought no change. Instead a President Obama has continued the wars and started new ones, tripled the deficits by spending money we do not have, and stepped up the police state by continuing to enforce the Patriot Act and signing NDAA into law. This is no different from Presidential candidate George W. Bush, who in 2000 argued for a humble foreign policy with no nation building before his aggressive invasion and nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through the Internet with its tools at my disposal, I can hold our leaders accountable to their promises and current positions by looking at their previous stances on key issues, accessing their voting records on key votes, and researching their political contributors. With the Internet, we are the masters they are the servants.
Only a secretive government intent on undermining our freedom, our rights, and access to a truly free and independent press could despise such a thing as the Internet, because “the truth is treasonous in an empire of lies”.