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Governments are afraid of the Internet[! or ?]

by admin

Lately I’ve been seeing more and more different threads on hubra, news on the Internet about how this or that government is trying to curb the Internet. The first ones to do this were probably the Chinese, who installed a firewall for the whole country in 2003. At the time, many governments didn’t take it lightly, but in today’s day and age, more and more governments are realizing that the Internet is a threat to their power and existence…
Here are some thoughts, written with a pitchfork in water, for the deaf of the country of the blind about what is happening today and what we will probably come to tomorrow. I just want to point out that this thread is about politics and the internet, as well as politics about the internet. The whole post reflects only my personal point of view and nothing more. And most likely it’s just a cry from the soul, after reading the news about another bill designed to protect us from… what?
A final preface from the author This whole article, is just an attempt to share the feelings that overwhelm me. Because lately I’ve been seeing more and more news about various bans on the internet. And it makes me sad that the only place where you could express yourself the way you think is right and be heard is ceasing to be one, mutating into something else…

Media companies

They were the first to fight the Internet. Because the Internet has become a huge piggy bank of media content exchange. Circulation sales fell (newspapers, movies, music, etc.). And along with this, the revenues of these companies began to fall. This is where they started to worry. They began to fight with torrents, with relicers and others, who in their opinion were taking away their income. But in spite of all their efforts and huge pours of money into politicians, legislative assemblies and other organizations, they couldn’t and still can’t do anything.
Personally, my point of view as an average everyday person. I buy licensed content and quite often. But I only buy content that in my personal opinion is worth the money. For example, I have a full collection of Mass Effect licensed discs. I bought GTA IV licensed, licensed discs of Transformers movies and more. But personally I think that the authors of these works deserved their money, and by buying their products I stimulate the market to produce an even better one. BUT, all of this was only bought after I tried these products. And I will never buy any product without trying it out. Why do media companies think we should buy a product blind? Just because they spent money to produce it? That’s not an argument…at least not to me.
There are three kinds of consumers. The first are lifelong freeloaders. And no matter how hard they try, they still won’t buy the media product. They will borrow it from a friend, download it on a torrent, or even refuse to consume it. The second, I’ll call them calculating, will do as I do, first try it, and then decide whether they need it. And if it turns out to be necessary to purchase the product. And the third are those who will buy anyway. No matter what the reason. A lot of money, fanaticism, because they want to. It does not matter, the main thing that they will buy.
But this kind of worldview is foreign to media companies. Because they want to make money. Has any company (say, a movie company) ever tried to cut the exorbitant salaries of actors or directors? By reducing them to the market average. Maybe then the "stars" would have less time for public outrage, unbridled behavior and other antics. They would concentrate more on their professional qualities, so they wouldn’t be squeezed out of the labor market without leaving their jobs. Why do firefighters, who risk their lives every day to save others, live on low-budget while barely-adult upstarts buy themselves Porsches?
This is all just a cry in the crowd, though, which will melt into the general homonium. The problem is that the Internet gives people a choice, and that is not what makes the media companies money. So they started a war that they keep losing. And in order not to lose it, they needed allies. And the most powerful ally in this matter is the governments of major countries…
By the way, this story resembles in its plot another that unfolded more than 20 years ago around the tobacco companies.

Governments

Freedom of speech is a threat to any, even the most democratic regime.
This unsophisticated law has been known to kings since times so ancient that it is unlikely that our history can find its origins. Whenever, in the 15th and 16th century, any state had extra funds that could lead to stability and freedom, the government of that country would arrange a crisis. So that people wouldn’t have time for free-thinking. When the expanding knowledge was a threat to Vatican revenues, they declared all knowledge a heresy and burned it at the stake. By the way it didn’t work out, today we laugh at their attempts to stop progress, although the same thing is actually happening. Most governments try with all their might to stop the progress of the internet because they feel it threatens their regime.
And then firewalls, restriction bills, ideas to collect fees from search engines, taxes on free software and content from the Internet, and so on and so forth begin to appear. Agree that the very first thought that arises when you look at such ideas – nonsense. And the slogans that cover this nonsense, we are all clear and understand, but we still do not solve anything, and can not influence the decisions of the government.
The first countries that could not be called "democratic" with all the will and various banana republics were the first to tighten the policy with regard to the Internet. But this is understandable. When we read about it in the news, we were shaking our heads, sighing and rejoicing that we live in a democracy… Today we are experiencing what those countries went through 10 years ago. And it seems, as smart people, we should have learned from other people’s mistakes, but for some reason we didn’t…
The fears of governments are not the same as those of media companies. They have a fear for their power. The Internet is accustoming people to doing everything openly. Take social media, for example, where we can find out almost everything about everyone. And the government is not a body that wants to act openly and Assange proved that. And he made it clear that he wasn’t posting information that was harmful to the states, he was only sharing information that was harmful to peaceful everyday people.
In the past, you had to find an audience to be heard. Get the audience’s attention. To get an idea, to grow it… Today it’s enough to have a page on the Internet… The Internet is a scary force. And scary.
No government has ever attempted to engage in an open dialogue with its citizens. Why? Because we can’t understand? Wouldn’t appreciate it? No government has ever tried to listen to its citizens in the process of passing laws restricting access to information. By the way, the national socialist party of Germany also started with laws restricting access to information.
The most incomprehensible thing about this situation is this. Doesn’t history teach anyone anything? After all, neither Caesars, nor the Vatican, nor Hitler, nor Hussein, nor Stalin, have succeeded. Progress is unstoppable. And freedom of information is as much a part of humanity’s progress toward hegemony as the discovery of the laws of electricity. It is an inevitability. And that any such attempt will lead people to revolt and overthrow restrictive laws. So why not try to start working out a new way rather than following a hackneyed and knowingly false path as we know it from history?
A sea of questions. Not a single answer. And we’re all so progressive and smart, watching what’s going on, indulging it with our inaction. Why? Another unanswered question.
And again the cries in the fog, which, like the cries of the hedgehog from that chorus cartoon of my childhood, will drown in it without leaving even an echo.
I could write and write this thread. The topic is almost inexhaustible. But I don’t see the point. We all know the story. We know the ending, too. All that remains to be decided is whether we will agree to end this problem in our lifetime or leave it to our descendants to sort out. If you have anything to say, please feel free to comment. I remind you that this post reflects only my point of view, and it may differ from yours.
If I offended anyone, I apologize.
Sorry if the post got a little emotional. I couldn’t help it.
Here are some links on the subject :
Stages of Internet censorship
Ubuntu blocked in the Orenburg region
"Beeline blocks Infogr.am "by decision of state authorities"
Google to block unfortunate video in Russia after all
State Duma wants to ban anonymizers
How does the hubra community feel about Bill #89417-6?
France wants to make search engines pay for content.
Freedom House has published a report, Freedom on the Internet 2012. Russia at Risk

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