Freedom Isn’t Free, Even On The Internet

Dec 04, 10 Freedom Isn’t Free, Even On The Internet
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The Wikileaks organization is under a sustained attack from the United States government. Ever since their latest document dump, politician, bloggers, and pundits across the ideological spectrum have called for Julian Assange, founder and leader of Wikileaks, to be prosecuted for treason or assassinated. It started Thursday, when Senator Joe Lieberman, Homeland Security Chairman, pressured Amazon.com to stop hosting the Wikileaks website. According to Glenn Greenwald,

That Joe Lieberman is abusing his position as Homeland Security Chairman to thuggishly dictate to private companies which websites they should and should not host — and, more important, what you can and cannot read on the Internet — is one of the most pernicious acts by a U.S. Senator in quite some time.

After this, Tableau, a software company based in Seattle, stopped hosting charts uploaded by Wikileaks because Senator Lieberman asked them nicely. This morning, Paypal suspended the account Wikileaks was using to collect donations. These actions are part of a sustained fear campaign being implemented by some powerful politicians in order to discourage whistleblowers from coming forward and prevent Wikileaks from continuing to disseminate information that the public deserves to know. There is no legal basis for these actions. That this is occurring under the banner of “Protecting National Security” makes it all the more abhorrent.

Many nations already restrict Internet access for their citizens. However, the United States is supposed to be a shining “city upon a hill”, a beacon in a dark world occupied by less enlightened peoples. By attacking Wikileaks, the United States has become China, Saudi Arabia, or any other “scary” country that the government uses to keep the population scared, stupid, and docile. The Internet was supposed to be truly liberating. It has only made it easier for the government to invade and restrict our privacy.

Michelle Obama caught plenty of flak for her statement about being proud of her country for the first time. Yet with the unparalleled attack on our civil liberties and the shit our government does in our name, every real Patriot ought to be hanging their head in shame.

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1 Comment

  1. The people behind WL used to be all anonymous, but to raise money they came out of hiding. I guess their timing was off. This is a “speeding ticket” style of justice. You get a speeding ticket because you “might” cause harm from speeding. It’s a hypothetical that govts can enforce on civilians to discourage potentially harmful acts. However, the parade of hypotheticals being very large, one must be on the lookout for potential abuse by authorities. This tug-of-war tends to get redone with each generation because the incentives for the govt are so huge.

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