Hopefully you used a faux-excited voice for that, because that was how it was meant to be read. I read something today which made me ask this question in a very honest way. See, there is this new filter that the UK is going to be using soon. See, it bans what they call “Esoteric Content.” I have a link over the term, so you can see for yourself.
If you look at what this blocks, it is REALLY vague. In other words, it gives the UK carte blanche to block whatever they want. For real, this new filter could literally block anything. The reason is, by definition, esoteric means –
Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.
See what I mean? That could literally account for absolutely anything that is anywhere on the Internet. Any content that is niche is, by definition, esoteric. One large theory right now is that the primary focus is going to be on smaller religious groups. But regardless, this is a filter that will step on people’s rights. Once the filters are in place, at the end of this year, they will be affecting roughly 95% of all Internet users in the UK.
But it doesn’t end there. See, these new filters also allow them to block content on forums. The places where people go to exchange ideas. Forums, by their nature, are not a bad thing. But this legislation can block whatever they want on those as well. Meaning that they have carte blanche to block what people say, whenever they say something that the government of the UK doesn’t like. And they aren’t very specific of that as well.
Now, the stated goal of this filtering is to block child pornography. But, it is plain as day that that is not the only thing that this will block. No, it can block whatever the government wants to block. Even this blog. Of course, UK government apologists will come on and say that they will use it ethically. That’s bullshit. History has shown us, time and time again, that when the government has huge amounts of power, they will abuse it. They will use it to their own ends.
Which brings me to America. Here in this country, we have a spy network in place, working in conjunction with ALL the major email and social networks to give the NSA the info they want on anybody. Naturally, they say that they aren’t gathering the content of people’s Facebook pages and email, just the “meta-data,” but this has been proven to be bullshit too. Without ANYONE’S consent, our government took it upon themselves to have vast amounts power over us, and they are already abusing it.
And the filtration that the UK wants to do isn’t limited to them. No, China, Russia, Australia and France are eager to jump on this bandwagon as well. They want to stomp on the rights of their people, all in the name of good intentions. How ALL abuses of rights have started. For real, when was the last time that a leader (dictator) just got up and say “hi there! So, I was thinking, I am going to stomp on your rights because I think it’s right. You all cool with that?” No, they blanket it in good intentions, so the rest of us like it too.
As we read stories like this, we can’t help but wonder – are America and England having a race to see who can get to fascism first? America sure does have a lead. We have the NSA who has access to anything they want at anytime. We have the NDAA of 2012 that lets the government detain ANY American citizen they want without trial or charge, indefinitely. We have these drones that can spy on every single one of us and you would never even see them. The UK sure does have some catching up to do, but they are well on their way.
Of course, the apologists will scream that this will be done ethically, like human nature just flies out the window the moment those in positions of power can do stuff like this. But whenever I read story like this, I think back to that story that broke earlier this year about the cop in New York. This cop had used police resources to get the personal information of several women. Women that he wanted to rape, cook and then subsequently eat. He even got information on how to get an oven big enough to cook a human being in. He also did some research into how long he could keep a person alive so that he could take every moment relishing hearing them scream. This was a police officer, in this country, who wanted to do this. If it weren’t for his plan getting busted, who knows how far it would have gone. Naturally, he pleaded that he would NEVER do something like that, and that what he had written down, his written plan, was just fantasizing, but they had proof of what he had looked up and what he was planning.
So now, here in America, we have people who, at the click of a button, can get onto any Facebook page they want, any email they want, anywhere they want to go. Before Snowden leaked this, we didn’t know how far down the rabbit hole this went. We didn’t know the extent of what they had. So how much oversight was there to this? Congress hardly ever saw anything from it. And what they did see, often was when the NSA would over-step its bounds. People want to tell me that human nature – sick, twisted human nature – is going to just fly out the window the moment we give people this kind of power?! Really?!
Part of me doesn’t know which is worse – a government that can actively censor whatever the fuck they want, or a government that can track anyone, anywhere at anytime. I leave it to you to decide. Who is reaching fascism first?
Until next time, a quote,
“As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we must all be aware of changes in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” – Justice William O. Douglas