War against the internet
The war against the internet refers to the efforts of various powermongers to diminish the democratizing effects of the internet by imposing regulations and technical obstacles in the path of those who are less politically powerful.
Ideally, the internet makes it impossible to suppress politically damaging news and other "controversial" information, since any individual can ultimately spread the word to an arbitrary number of others, instantly, at essentially no cost.
Although it was clear as early as the mid-1990s that the internet, because of this symmetricality and lack of centralized control, represented a grave threat to established power structures, the powermongers were initially slow to realize (or, at least, to act on) the extent of the threat.
It was only in the mid-to-late 200Xs, as internet usage became more ubiquitous and people came to depend upon it for information and daily tasks -- and less upon the more centralized and hierarchical traditional news sources -- that telecommunications companies began looking for ways to restrict "talkback" from non-privileged users and eventually to seek legislative retribution against dissenters and those whom they wished to "make examples of" (such as "media pirates").
- wikipedia:Scientology versus the Internet describes successful and often non-obvious tactics used to close down open discussion (in this case, by advocates of Scientology)
- PeaceFire is a dual-purposed site:
- shows how site-blocking software "for the protection of children" is subject to abuse as a device for censorship
- provides practical tips for circumventing such software
- Megaphone desktop tool allows individual users to "slave" their voting and posting to a central server, so that votes and posts are made on their behalf without exposing the users to the actual arguments under discussion. While participation is entirely voluntary, use of this tool (especially given that it does not offer users the choice of whether to take action in each case, much less which action to take) violates the "citizen participation" spirit of the internet.
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