Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Internet Censorship

I was browsing the internet over here earlier trying to dig up some sources for an idea I have for a blog post. Mostly it was smooth sailing aside from the internet being slow due to so many people being logged onto the same server; but while trying to navigate to a certain site I got this error message,
"This site was blocked by the Ministry of Transportation and in accordance with Article VII of the Ministerial Decree No. (2000/103), paragraph number one on the bases and rules for the Internet service provided by the companies of the Internet in the State of Kuwait."

The site I was trying to view? Answering Islam. Now I understand that Kuwait is an Islamic nation and the website I was trying to view was all about how Islam is wrong (written by converts from Islam), but I find it absolutely deplorable that any government would censor the free flow of information for anybody seeking it, even in a scholarly light.

And I realize that there are people back in my own country who are trying to do the very same thing!
Now, I understand censorship to a point, such as making sure your children are not exposed to pornography or other obscene things and the military blocking social network sites on government computers so classified information is not leaked. But I fear that with things like SOPA and other things in the air that America could soon reach the same stage as what I have experienced here in Kuwait.

Imagine if you will that you might not agree with a certain thing that Congress is doing, say healthcare (purely for examples sake). One of your buddies gives you a website to go to that goes into detail about how evil healthcare is and how unconstitutional the mandate is, so on and so forth. You go home, fire up your computer, open your internet browser and enter the web page. Then you get an error message that reads similar to the one I received.

Now you might be saying, that could never happen in America, what with the First Amendment and all. But consider this,
"Take for example of what recently occurred when two journalists were taking on the phone about a story that appeared on Google News. The story was about a Christian fundamentalist move in Congress to use U.S. military force in Sudan to end genocide in Darfur. The story appeared on the English Google News site in Qatar. But the very same Google News site when accessed simultaneously in Washington, DC failed to show the article. This censorship is accomplished by geolocation filtering: the restriction or modifying of web content  based on the geographical region of the user. In addition to countries, such filtering can now be implemented for states, cities, and even individual IP addresses." (source: http://www.rense.com/general69/intercens.htm)

So apparently censorship is already happening in the ole' US of A. In fact one only needs to do a quick google search for internet censorship in america to find a plethora of information dating back to the Bush administration. Even the current administration is pursing steps to not only censor the internet, but also spy on us with out warrants and claiming immunity to lawsuits (censorship america).

Naturally they are trying to tell us that this is for our own security and to catch potential threats. They weasel these propositions by us with smooth double talk, expecting us to fall for it, but don't sell you liberty in the pursuit of security!

I am a firm believer in my First Amendment right (as well as my 2nd - 10th). I do not believe that information should be hidden from us just because it might shed a bad light on those in charge; in fact if those in charge are so afraid of the negative things being said about them why don't they clean up their act? I also do not agree to being spied upon with out a warrant or even just cause. But the government, despite the protests of its citizens continue on with destroying our rights one by one.

Now then, I am not trying to be political, in fact I am trying my best to leave out any insinuation that one party or another was responsible for this - it isn't any one parties fault, it is our own for letting them walk all over us and not taking an active interest in what is going on in our own country. I fear that if the American public does not wake up then we will see our rights and protection go right out the window.

If I have offended anybody with my post I apologize, as it was not my interest to offend, but rather inform from my point of view. Take it or leave it, that is up to you.
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