I am seventy-plus years old. I have been around the block numerous times; and though I don’t think that age necessarily equates to intelligence – I can post an impressive resume. And, the one thing I know for sure is: I don’t blindly trust our government to act in our best interest.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a loyal American (of American ideals) – and I have the scars to prove it. But, I don’t trust our government (politicians.) Our government has never been a government of the people, by the people… etc. It has always been the government of special interest and “the bigger picture” gamesmanship.
Our government constantly packages swamp land as “Preferred Real Estate Property” and sells it to the citizenry. They tell us it’s candy but in the bottom of the box there is often a scorpion.
The last thing I blindly bought into was the liberation of the South Vietnamese people in the Vietnam war; only to discover that our real reason for occupying South Vietnam was to tactically establish a permanent nuclear military presence on the southern border of China (sounds familiar in reverse: Cuban missile crisis.) Then, of course, “Iraqi Freedom” where a White House full of oil men invade a country with the second largest oil reserve on earth.
We have constantly been sold a bill of goods only to find that some patriotic spin name has been added to cover up the smell: The Patriot Act – I need say no more.
We have moved from Bush’s “phone tapping of (only) foreign suspected terrorist”, to authorized surveillance of American citizens and to expanded surveillance authority for civilian police. Now Obama has just signed an appropriations bill that allows the government to arrest and detain, without trial, any American citizen suspected of terrorist connections. Obama says he will not use this authority, but what about a future fundamentalist, Tea Party, Republican President – what about a President Cheney clone?
Think about how this could fit in to George Orwell’s 1984 repackaged as 20XX.
Now there is a new government threat covertly aimed at taking the first step to control and censor the Internet.
On October 26, 2011 the Bill HR-3261 was introduced by Lamar Smith (R-TX.) The bill is touted to prevent the piracy of
copyrighted material. The bill is commonly
known as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act.)
The actual title is “To Promote Prosperity, Creativity, and Innovation
by combating the theft of U.S.
property, and for other purposes." U.S.
It’s the - “and for other purposes,” - that bothers me. At first glance the bill seems to require Internet providers to monitor customer’s traffic and block web sites suspected of copyright infringement.
But, the bill also states that it would make unauthorized streaming of copyright material a crime with a maximum imprisonment of 5 years for ten infringements within six months.
That has me nailed; and probably everyone reading this blog who include pictures or YouTube clips on your post. This is an open invitation to some political regime of the future to use the NSA or FBI to monitor web sites and blogs that they feel are not in the best interest of Big Brother and shut you down; or to threaten or actually imprison people that speak out. (Does anybody still remember the First Amendment to the Constitution?)
The internet should not be the property of any government and no government should have the right to censor it “for the greater good” of its people.