Twenty years ago the internet was a place where you could find countless different perspectives about a wide range of diverse and interesting topics. This unfettered access to information was stimulating, thought-provoking, and a refreshing change from the limited media we had access to up until then. It was truly the wild west of information and anyone was able to propose or discuss new ideas, no matter how outrageous some of these ideas may have sounded. (It’s worth noting that many of the outrageous claims made years ago turned out to be true and is common knowledge to most people today).
Unfortunately, this wild west of information has been essentially tamed in the last decade. Now, information or content creators that do not support the official narrative are deemed “dangerous” and algorithmically expunged by the corporations that now own most of the infrastructure of the internet.
Some people might not like the idea of anyone being able to speak their mind but that is what free speech is, warts and all. You have to take the good with the bad because, without free speech, freedom cannot exist. Voltaire once said, “the right to free speech is more important than the content of the speech.”
The Internet of today is bland and sanitized. Free thought is punished while groupthink is rewarded. Today’s internet is dominated by mega-corporations that control almost every aspect of information we are allowed to see or hear. In my opinion, the early free-speech days of the internet were extremely important in the evolution of the human race and the globalists feared the awakening that was happening.
President Joe Biden’s new disinformation chief Nina Jankowicz argued online mockery of Vice President Kamala Harris and other women in public life was a threat to national security.
“Platforms and governments aren’t doing enough,” she wrote on social media. “It’s time to act. Our national security and democracy are at stake.”
The Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of the new Disinformation Governance Board led by Jankowicz on Wednesday.
Jankowicz argued that Congress should create new laws to block mockery of women online, citing the volume of “gender disinformation” used to criticize Harris.
“Congress should reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and include provisions against online gender-based harassment,” Jankowicz wrote in a WIRED article highlighting the “abusive content” sent on social media to women in public life.
“Dictators always dreamt about eliminating privacy, monitoring everyone, knowing everything you do, think, and feel…It is now possible.”
The privacy versus security debate is as old as civilization, historian and writer Yuval Noah Harari said recently at the Athens Democracy Forum, an annual international conference in Greece. “But there is now something new: for the first time in history, it is possible to eliminate privacy completely,” said Harari, chief advisor to the World Economic Forum’s leader, Klaus Schwab.
“It was not possible before,” said Harari, “It is now possible. A fundamental change has taken place. “Dictators always dreamt about completely eliminating privacy, monitoring everyone all the time, and knowing everything you do, and not just everything you do but everything you think, and everything you feel.”
The Motion Picture Association (MPA) wants stricter online identity checks to be part of the new trade agreement between the US and countries in the Indo-Pacific region. The film industry group also wants offline enforcement tools to apply online.
MPA is concerned that website operators use unconfirmed identities when signing up for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services. There are multiple types of IaaS services, but MPA narrows it down to CDNs, proxy services, domain registrars, and web hosting. Companies providing these services enable piracy by providing their services to piracy websites, MPA argues.
IaaS services providers are currently not legally obligated to carry out identity checks. MPA believes the new trade agreement between the US and Indo-Pacific region is an opportunity to introduce such a requirement, Torrent Freak reports.
The European Union is working to massively expand online censorship, strictly regulate speech during times of “crisis” and restrict online anonymity through digital passports.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both lobbied for the EU to back the censorship bill known as the Digital Services Act on Thursday.
From France 24, “EU agrees on new legislation to tame internet ‘Wild West’ “:
The Digital Services Act (DSA) — the second part of a massive project to regulate tech companies — aims to ensure tougher consequences for platforms and websites that host a long list of banned content ranging from hate speech to disinformation and child sexual abuse images.
[…] Tech giants have been repeatedly called out for failing to police their platforms — a New Zealand terrorist attack that was live-streamed on Facebook in 2019 caused global outrage, and the chaotic insurrection in the US last year was promoted online.
The dark side of the internet also includes e-commerce platforms filled with counterfeit or defective products.
[…] The regulation will require platforms to swiftly remove illegal content as soon as they are aware of its existence. Social networks would have to suspend users who frequently breach the law.
The DSA will force e-commerce sites to verify the identity of suppliers before proposing their products.
[…] The European Commission will oversee yearly audits [of Big Tech firms] and be able to impose fines of up to six percent of their annual sales for repeated infringements.
Looking over the outline of the new agreement it’s striking how they seamlessly conflate child sexual abuse material with “illegal hate speech.”
Both are jumbled together as “illegal content.”
President Barack Obama is today attending Stanford University to give a speech about censoring “misinformation” online. He has delivered such speeches multiple times over the past year.
According to The Chicago Tribune, Obama “is expected to add his voice to demands for rules to rein in the flood of lies polluting public discourse.”
“In private meetings and public appearances over the last year, the former president has waded deeply into the public fray over misinformation and disinformation, warning that the scourge of falsehoods online has eroded the foundations of democracy at home and abroad,” the New York Times said.
Recently, Obama talked about censorship at an event organized by the Atlantic and the University of Chicago. He said social media companies should censor what is not good for society.
“I think it is reasonable for us as a society to have a debate and then put in place a combination of regulatory measures and industry norms that leave intact the opportunity for these platforms to make money,” Obama said. “But say to them that there’s certain practices you engage in that we don’t think are good for society.”
In a tweet Tuesday, Obama promoted censorship, arguing misinformation is a threat to democracy.
It isn’t an exaggeration to say that not a single day goes by without a new data exploit, hack, breach, leak, or scandal involving censorship by private companies and government agencies. Of course, this is all compounded even further by the fact that more devices contain more sensors that connect to the internet than ever before, offering many new methods for targeting groups and individuals. It has been estimated that by 2030 there could be 125 billion devices — potentially 15 per user — that in some way will comprise the ever-expanding Internet of Things ecosystem.
Amid this sea of two-way data traffic, we have a massive amount of targeted advertising and personally identifiable information extraction that has shown very often to all be done without users’ consent. If there is consent at all, it very likely is through lenthy and confusing Terms and Conditions that almost no one reads in their entirety. Worse still is the proven targeting of children’s data. Lawmakers continue to attempt to rein in these consumer-unfriendly practices, but their current proposals will likely do more harm than good. At this point it should be obvious that even if legislative measures are effectively created, such a waiting game only leaves all of us, including our kids, increasingly vulnerable at any given moment. People want – and deserve – to become personally responsible for their own security and privacy.
Fortunately, there are residential proxy providers on the opposing side that understand the rising awareness by the public of these data violations and creepy intrusions. These companies are doing everything they can to offer the tools necessary for individuals to protect their family’s data and privacy, while also offering increasing freedom to reach the websites that we do want to visit.
An investment firm directed by President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was a financial backer of the online virtual reality game “IMVU,” which has faced repeated controversies over child predators exploiting the app to find and connect with minors. The President’s son, Hunter, also appears to have established an account on the website, according to details confirmed by The National Pulse from his laptop.
Founded in 2004, the virtual world and social networking site ‘IMVU’ allows players to create a personalized avatar and interact with others users via public and private chat rooms.
The platform – described as a “metaverse” style concept– has repeatedly boasted of its “most vibrant and young” user base despite also allowing adult content and communities for fandoms including “furries.”
The investment sticks out among the rest of the portfolio of Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners (RSTP) – a subsidiary of the Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz-founded Rosemont Capital – which includes Metabiota, a pandemic tracking and response firm with ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Ukrainian biological laboratories.
RSTP counted both Biden and Heinz as managing directors. Heinz is the stepson of former U.S. Secretary of State and current Climate czar John Kerry.
Though the technology-focused investment fund’s website has been deleted, archived webpages reveal IMVU belonged to RSTP’s portfolio since at least March 2014.
Barack Obama has suggested that people who are “rude,” “obnoxious,” or “lie” on social media should have be stripped of their online anonymity.
The former president made the comments during a keynote conversation with The Atlantic’s Editor in Chief Jeffrey Goldberg at the ‘Disinformation and Erosion of Democracy’ conference.
After Obama initially claimed he was “close to a First Amendment absolutist,” his response to Goldberg asking him how he would regulate social media companies “to make sure that they’re not privileging anger, privileging division and polarization through their algorithms,” suggests otherwise.
Obama argued that online anonymity protections should be removed when it comes to speech of which he doesn’t personally approve.
“In some circumstances, it’s important to preserve anonymity…so that there’s space in repressive societies to discuss issues but as we’ve all learned, it’s a lot harder to be rude, obnoxious, cruel, or lie when somebody knows you’re lying and knows who you are and I think that there may be modifications there that can be made,” said Obama.
Government regulation and control over the internet can defeat a “demand for crazy” through the spread of incorrect messages, former President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
Obama, 60, spoke with Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg at an event hosted by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and the magazine.
“I do think that there is a demand for crazy on the internet that we have to grapple with,” Obama said, before adding a mix of regulation and industry standards are needed to address the issue.
Obama lamented how misinformation plays out across the U.S., accusing those who say President Joe Biden did not win the 2020 election as guilty of falling for conspiracy theories.
He called out “a systematic effort to either promote false information, to suppress true information, for the purpose of political gain, financial gain, enhancing power, suppressing others, targeting those you don’t like.”
The former president blamed smartphones for accelerating “an erosion of accountability norms and standards in political life” from 2010 onwards.