Overt Internet Censorship

The Internet, especially the free speech that it has enabled, was fun while it lasted but it has become obvious that the governments of the world will no longer tolerate such a free system. Of course few governments wants to admit to attacking free speech so they are using euphemisms. For example, the United States government isn’t censoring free speech, it’s fighting sex trafficking:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. law enforcement agencies have seized the sex marketplace website Backpage.com as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a posting on the Backpage website on Friday.

Groups and political leaders working to end forced prostitution and child exploitation celebrated the shutdown of Backpage, a massive ad marketplace that is primarily used to sell sex. But some internet and free speech advocates warned the action could lead to harsh federal limits on expression and the press.

Notice how they managed to throw the “for the children” get out of jail free card in there? Shutting down Backpage wasn’t about prostitution, it was about human trafficking, especially the trafficking of children. It’s just like how the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) is being sold as a law against sex trafficking but it’s really about opening the door to censoring any online material that offends the political class.

Fortunately, there are new frontiers. Tor Hidden Services and I2P offer a mechanism for server operators to keep their location concealed, which makes taking them down more difficult than taking down a standard Internet service. As the precedent being set by SESTA expands, more Internet service operators will find themselves having to utilize the “dark web” to avoid being censored.

2 thoughts on “Overt Internet Censorship”

  1. “Overt Internet Censorship” as opposed to your covert censorship of comments on this blog?

    It’s your blog and you can do what you want, but leaving an on-topic comment about the demographics of London criminals in moderation purgatory until it disappears is absolutely “censoring online material that offends the political class.”

    Sure, you aren’t hosting /pol/ here, but a Churchill “invite them to our beaches” joke and a Wikipedia link is apparently also too much to avoid censorship.

    1. “Overt Internet Censorship” as opposed to your covert censorship of comments on this blog?

      I’m not censoring the Internet, I’m censoring my own site, which I have the right to do since the server is literally my property (it sits here in my dwelling). I’m not preventing you from starting your own blog and posting whatever you want.

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