The Government Goes to War Against the Internet, We've Already Lost
Evgeny Morozov writes via WSJ:
Does the Internet really need an overhaul of norms, laws and technologies that gives more control to governments? When the Egyptian secret police can purchase Western technology that allows them to eavesdrop on the Skype calls of dissidents, it seems unlikely that American and European intelligence agencies have no means of listening the calls of, say, a loner in Norway.
We tolerate such drastic proposals only because acts of terror briefly deprive us of the ability to think straight. We are also distracted by the universal tendency to imagine technology as a liberating force; it keeps us from noticing that governments already have more power than is healthy.
I wasn't in London but what I took away from "news reports" was that we already somehow determined that this was a roving bunch of Gen Zers after electronics, BBMing their strategic plans as they went from shoe store to computer store. How is it possible that we figured that out already?
Let me tell you a story I've probably already told some of you before. I once had a roommate from Shanghai and we'd talk about the differences between America and China on our tiny ass kitchen table. One night, I made some uninformed comment about their state-run media and she wisely quipped "your media is run by the state too, except they don't tell you."
She didn't need to be here longer than 3 months to figure that out. Many of us have lived here forever and don't get that, getting into a lather over Fox News' sketchy conservative bent or MSBNC's annoying ass, snarky Rachel Maddow clones. Who gives a fuck? It's fake, get over it. Those people are staged to either placate or enrage you, depending on which channel agrees with your views (which are either one or the other but never allowed to be somewhere in between).
So whomever "caused" the London Riots, and for whatever reason, many people seem in agreement with the idea that it was item-starving, consumer whore 11 and 12 year olds. Is that accidental?
Don't think they don't understand how powerful the Internet is. Why else would they buy all these fake identities? Afghanistan? How many of those motherfuckers have computers?
How many of us do?
China has it right, at least they pay 280,000 of their own people to troll the Internet.