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Malevolent

The dream of internet freedom has died

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More At The Source

 

The dream of internet freedom has died. What a dream it was. Twenty years ago, nerdy libertarians hailed the web as the freest public sphere that mankind had ever created. The Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, written in 1996 by John Perry Barlow, warned the ‘governments of the industrial world’, those ‘weary giants of flesh and steel’, that they had ‘no sovereignty where we gather’. The ‘virus of liberty’ was spreading, it said.

Now it seems that the virus has been wiped out. We live our online lives in a dystopian nightmare of Twittermobs, ‘safety councils’, official procedures for ‘forgetting’ inconvenient facts, and the arrest of people for being offensive. The weary giants are asserting their censorious sovereignty.

This week it was revealed that Facebook has been suppressing news stories from conservative sources. Facebook, used by 1.6 billion people, bigs itself up as a neutral distributor of news and facilitator of global chat. Yet, according to a former editor there, popular conservative stories are often kept off Facebook’s trending bar, either because the curator ‘didn’t recognise the news topic’ or ‘they had a bias’.

People log on to Facebook imagining that the stories they see are chosen by user ‘likes’, rather than by editors who decide what us web plebs should and shouldn’t know. In truth, this stuff is curated for us by our moral betters in Silicon Valley, who dish up decent liberal stories that might enlighten our mushy minds while hiding weird conservative news that might turn us Obamaphobic or funny about immigration.

The most surprising thing about this Facebook story was that anyone was surprised. Social media sites, vast planets of cyberspace, may advertise themselves as free meeting points for humanity, but for a couple of years now they’ve been casting out moral undesirables, blocking the offensive and engaging in political censorship.

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blah, blah, just because something is removed off the clearnet, they attk the other way (tor) that they made themselves and released, and almost everything else, the war will not be forgotten nor lost. There are over 150,000,000 ppl online sharing files just one one network. More spread out at other places. Do you really think those ppl give 2 shts what someone says? Yeah some get 404'd or something, but you just can't change it. When it gets past 1%, well usually they just take it out if they can. Since its decentralized, well, it doesn't work. File sharing knowledge as well as removal knowledge of idk 20 years. I've seen the net when it was 404 city, only to be continually propegated, regardless of all the attks. As yourself this question, when is the last time you could not find a movie to watch for free online? I only had this happen 2-3 times in my life. They were rare movies I am guessing or something. Anyhow, you can get the videos for as long as I can remember before they hit the theater  or at the same time. So far millions of dollars, lawsuits, court, arrest, etc, and when one group drops off, others pick up the slack. I don't see the net really censored, its only so much on the surface layer that we are on. There are other layers that go beyond this top layer, and are much bigger. So basically 150,000,000 million on top layer + saying wtv to mafiaa (movie and film industry of america). In one way or another, some things can't be stopped.

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There was supposed to be a specific HTTP error code just for pages that the government censored.

But then your browser would have to censor that HTTP error code so that you wouldn't know that the page was originally censored.  Oh this page is 404 even though we received another HTTP code for censorship.

Gotta hide any incriminating evidence that the government doesn't want us to find out about. 

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1 hour ago, counterintelligence said:

There was supposed to be a specific HTTP error code just for pages that the government censored.

But then your browser would have to censor that HTTP error code so that you wouldn't know that the page was originally censored.  Oh this page is 404 even though we received another HTTP code for censorship.

Gotta hide any incriminating evidence that the government doesn't want us to find out about. 

yeah always good to try different connections, see which one works best for you

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@rbear I hear you.  However we need to think like "normal" people here for a second.  Almost all of us on COP are well versed and some are even experts at the construction, operation and restraints / constraints on the internet.  We need to think like the housewife and casual user of technology.  These folk (who make up a great deal of the users) are point-and-click people they do not have the abilities and privilege we do.  I think for them who only ever use IE as a browser there is a threat in the above piece.

For me and I suppose a lot of less novice users the internet is a kind of hydra - they can try and close an avenue and the collective users will find another way.  There is very little big brother can do when you start linking VPNs or peer networks and sort of create a sub-set internet making a big intranet with sufficient firewalls to keep big brother busy for a while.  

The truth has an uncanny ability to crawl where it cannot walk...

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