Declaration of War

Web Liberation

It was my goal to ensure that my first post here was going to be mellow and save the radical ideas for later posts after people got comfortable reading my columns, however, I feel that this message is too important to sit on: The governments of the world have collectively declared war on the Internet and, furthermore, on basic civil liberties and human rights.

It is the responsibility of us as creatures on this Earth to defend the our rights, the rights of our brothers and sisters, and to ensure a free and open society for the future. For too long we have tried to warn people about the dangers of blind patriotism, we said “ask questions of authority”. We were told over and over that we are just being paranoid, how many times have you had referenced the “tin foil hat”? But now, Sweden shuts down websites that are totally legal; There is the Digital Economy Act; France calling for a great world firewall; Nations are still working together to pass a version of ACTA. What’s worse is that the majority of the population wont even pay attention to how important it is because the governments have corrupted their education and the media industries are the ones pushing for this change so they are not covering it.

NEW CONTRIBUTOR

This is the first article from Travis McCrea. Travis is a 21 year old activist and entrepreneur, formerly an officer of the United States Pirate Party. He has since moved to Canada, and uses direct action to protect civil liberties and the internet.

Make no mistake about it, we are at war. Anonymous is working the front lines right now disabling access to websites of companies and organizations that work to damage the Internet. It is, unfortunately, not enough though. We must come together, and create an Internet Liberation Front. Humans are an inherently violent species, we kill each other, we destroy our environment, so to say that we should create a non-violent movement is against our nature. It would also be ineffective, there has never been a revolution that has been won through pacifism. I am not suggesting anyone harm another creature, that goes against everything I believe in. What I am suggesting is that we make it so the organizations and corporations who are funding the lobbyists and politicians no longer have a fiscal motivation to continue. I am suggesting that we ensure that smaller companies and organizations see no financial advantage of assisting the major industry players.

We should not feel bad about what happens to these corporations either, they are violating human rights. We are simply enforcing the UNs declaration for human rights, something governments wont do. Specifically:

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Article 28.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

These are not just things that are being taken away, these are HUMAN RIGHTS that are being denied to ALL HUMANS by abusive governments being pushed forward by industries who are trying to force their dying business models on the new world. The world would not remain quiet if the Horseshoe Industry of America decided to make all cars illegal in the world, just so they can sell more horse shoes in the United States… so why would the world agree to allowing legitimate rights be taken away now?

When I had the idea for the Internet Liberation Front, it wasn’t to create an organization… but to create a disorganization, a bunch of groups acting independently of each other (while sometimes collaborating, of course) that would use it’s influence to push the lines back on this war for the Internet.

The simple fact is that freedom isn’t free. We cannot move forward while being stuck in the past. We cannot stay within the flawed systems to make genuine impacts on the laws that oppress us. One day when the governments of the world get their way, the day-to-day activities we participate in now, will be illegal. So when you think about taking action, you may have the fear of legal action… but victors write the rules, and victors write history. You can choose to stand on the sidelines in cowardice as the lines falter and more innocent people are fined and put in jail  and more rights are taken away… or you can say “no” to oppression, gather your friends into a small group and start using direct action against those who oppress us.

Discussion

  1. Pia

    A good thing you left your position to Anna. You are killing PP.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Coming from you, I take that as an excellent counterindicator that I’m doing a lot of things right. Thank you!

      1. Shawn

        Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into this cause, Rick, I think you’re doing a lot of things right too.

      2. Steve

        I also thank you, Rick. You’ve done a lot. The Internet, our home is being raped by governments and corporations and lose our rights and freedoms as we may, we must continue this fight for freedom of information. Not only for ourselves but for the future of mankind. This is indeed war.

      3. Micke

        Indeed you are! Alot of right things! Anna is as well, in her corner, but I am really glad you are where you are and let your voice and the voices of those you inspire roll over the world. A free and non-violent world can only come if we will never be silenced! Thanks Rick!!

    2. Rolf

      Pia, thank you for confirming the importance of Rick’s continued work as well as of this guest-post!

      Whenever someone like “Pia” or “nejtillpirater” (as well as a few others) feels the need to pipe up and make a post or a comment, I *know* something important has just been said, indicating I should read it and then spread it further for others to read.

      For a statement (or a person) to be criticized by those people (and I use the term loosely) has become a quality-statement and an indicator of being worth reading. Obviously not their intent, so of course I take advantage of it and transform the stupid enemy into a useful enemy. It’s fun, and anyone can do it. :-)

  2. Fredrik

    It’s not war. Not yet. It’s still a political struggle, with no violence except the abuse of police forces by the mafiaa.

    When we pick up guns and start shooting our enemies afk, then it will be war.

    1. Travis McCrea

      I don’t feel it’s to the point where we need to inflict violent action against other people. However, I feel its time for us to elevate our tactics to more than MEAN LOOKING TEXT and petty DDoS attacks. While the DDoS attacks are great at causing limited damage… we need to make their attack against our liberties non-profitable. Right now governments and corporations profit majorly by taking away our rights.

      1. Micke

        I think that we should never, ever, inflict violent action against our fellow human beings and their loved ones. That is where we are different and ultimately stronger. Having said that I fully agree that crushing and breaking society structures that imprison us, no matter economical damage, is not just necessary it is our obligation. Internet is the key to a new offline world as well and I for one have tasted its nectar and will NEVER go back…

      2. Travis McCrea

        Micke – Exactly. However, the option of physically creating economic ruin for the people who oppress us is needed too. A brick through a window doesn’t hurt anyone physically but it certainly sends a great message and causes them to have to buy a new window.
        **NOT ENDORSING ANY WINDOW BUSTING >> JUST POINTING OUT IT WOULD HELP**

      3. Anders Troberg

        We need to prepare for violence, though, as the best way to avoid violence is to be prepared for it. Sie vis pacem para bellum.

    2. Anders Troberg

      It is a war, but it’s a cold war, not a shooting war. The sooner we realize this and start to respond in kind, the sooner we’ll have this problem solved.

  3. Makelle

    I think you strike the right note with your appeal to the Human rights for all humans. There can be no other solid base for a rightful war on those who oppress and deny us these our basic rights.

    With the birth of the Internet we have a new world, new vistas and people must be made aware and be aware of not only its benefits but also its threats. E g we cannot let an undemocratic entity gain sole access to how it should be used and run.

    People should not be hindered to contact each other and exchange information freely and above all not by politicians trying to inflict their own agendas of political goals above our heads.

    1. Travis McCrea

      I agree, I will be writing further on this and other topics but at some point we need to draw the line in the sand and say we will not back down from this line. It’s time for us to form our ranks.

  4. Jeff Coleman

    I understand the war metaphor, Travis, but I don’t think it’s effective. Maybe that’s because I’ve actually seen a war. Who knows? Either way, I don’t think an “Internet Liberation Front” would be helpful. The information future will win because it’s strictly superior. The real battle is simply to inform people about the importance and relevance of anti-informationist policies and practices for their lives; this battle gets easier and easier with each generation that grows up online. The information future is inevitable–the objective of information activism in my mind is primarily to keep our world from fighting itself to a bloody pulp in the process of getting there.

    1. Travis McCrea

      Looking at Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia — I would call this a war.

      The ILF is needed on two fronts:
      *The evils of the world are becoming richer and richer off of removing our rights. Creating economic hardships for anyone who tries to stand in between us and our rights is a great way to at least remove the corporations from the fight.
      *Currently most digital rights groups already play the middle ground. What we ask for is reasonable. The public views this as our radical position so they draw the line in the middle between their highly abusive policies and our middle ground policies. What we need to do is have a group which makes substantial requests in the pro-liberties fight, so then when people view reasonable it skews it back towards Pirate ideals.

  5. Datavetaren

    I have been thinking of modifying the US “Declaration of Independence” to something analogue to it in order to protect Internet from destructive forces. Furthermore, we should have something equivalent to the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Maybe throwing a dollar overboard by buying a dollar using bitcoins and then transfer that to a website (published public key). The website could be called “The Internet Dollar Party 2011”. Once a designated sum has been acquired, we delete the “wallet” file on the server and thus the dollars have been thrown overboard.

    1. Travis McCrea

      Actually, if you read through Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” if you change “the king” to Media Industries and change parliament to “Worlds Governments” it actually fits like a glove to our movement.

  6. jeffer

    I totally sympathize with your feelings.

    But we should not use violence as long as there is a reasonable chance of political influence.

    First we must have a casus belli (justification for war). That we are in conflict with other people is far from enough. However if the other side keeps escalating by using judicial violence and the violence apparatus of the state for their partisan objectives, such casus belli gradually builds up. But at first we will be the victims. It is our blood that will flow. But this blood will make us strong. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

    We should study successful upheavels, rebellions and revolutions. Like:

    – The Protestant uppheavels and revolutions during the 16th centuary..

    – The English upheavels and revolutions during the 17th centuary.

    – The American Revolution during the 18th centuary.

    All of them started with dissidents and rebels receiving violence rather than making it..

    The American Revolution, for example, started in the early 1760 with boycotts and civil organization, more than ten years before large-scale violence. This is definitly worth looking into as a potential inspiration.

    But avoidance of violence does not preclude our ability to do enormous harm by other means. And the worthless and destructive aggregators of content truly deserves to be destroyd.

    Stop the cash flow, by copying and sharing everything to everybody like fanatical evangelists, unstoppable by any kind of terror. The Protestant heretics were burned alive by the thousands. Still the message was spread…

    1. Travis McCrea

      Our blood has already been the first to spill (Tunisia/Egypt/Toronto), and our blood will continue to fill the streets long before there is ever an attack from our end.

      “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson

      It’s funny you mentioned casus belli, because I had that in the post (I must have accidently edited it out, I do that sometimes) above the 3 human rights denied to us from the UN Charter. I feel that the fact that our rights have been violated time and time again, we certainly have CB in this matter.

      We are the ones who fought for fair elections in Iran, we are the ones who brought internet to those in Egypt… We will keep fighting. I just feel we need to up our game a bit.

  7. Lennart Lindgård

    Travis,
    I äm with you all the way on this Internet Liberation Front (ILF).
    However, to be practical: We need ways to ensure the survival of some kind of Internet access, undependant of access to your own central servers and ISPs. I read about some app that was being developed to make your smartphone WiFi work as an emergency Internet node for other smartphones to form a net of smartphones in, for instance, a city center. This means that if one of the phones have contact with an ISP, they all have. Or they might even be able to cross-communicate without any ISP contact at all, which would make revolutions easier, sinve you could communicate more independant of the government. That is a project that the ILF should promote, don’t you think?

  8. James Westlake

    Good work Travis.

    Rights do not come from the government or the UN. You cannot on the one hand, claim to be be for everyone’s rights, and also defend the UN and the State’s false rights. Here is what I am talking about:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-Lb8YitPs8

    Finally, you really need to read this article:

    http://tpuc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=33185

    if you are in any way serious about the crisis that faces us, as you appear to be.

    If you are truly against violence, then you cannot be for the State and the UN, with their coercive and false ‘rights’.

  9. Putte

    I assume that many readers find this text overly aggressive and alarmist. But don’t dismiss it. The political rhetoric in the U.S. is extremely confrontational and partisan, where it is standard practice to totally demonize political opponents. The facts are correct; it is just that many Europeans are unused to this tone of voice.

  10. Scary Devil Monastery

    The really interesting thing to note about civil rights movements coming to the internet is that on the internet everyone enjoys the second amendment as put forth in the US constitution. In order to arm yourself with the real-world equivalent of a stealth fighter or a tank all you need where IT is concerned is some knowledge and an internet connection.

    Yes, governments certainly possess far more powerful hardware but that hardware doesn’t scale well. Hence Anonymous and anonops are still in business.

    In any information war the handicap is always on the side which possesses the biggest coherent organization – which is why the US in effect stands powerless against a small organization such as wikileaks which has sufficient backing by private citizens.

    Today ordinary individuals can secure their own data in a way which an organization simply can’t do. On the internet there is no monopoly on violence held by any state or government in any western country.

    For all intents and purposes, the “war” was won by the online citizenry sometime around when the first TCP/IP protocol was invented.

    1. Travis McCrea

      We also have that classic “our heart is in it more” scenario. I am willing to die to protect the civil liberties of everyone else and to protect the Internet as we knew it. I don’t want to of course 😛 I would prefer to keep on fighting… I know that I am not alone either.

      This is far past kids wanting to download m00viez for free… this is a serious war that is going to result in either a more open world or a world of censorship and distrust. There will be no middle ground.

      Big corporations are fighting for money, money can be destroyed, money can be lost. Not to mention their fiat money has no value, and we use our own currencies that allow for secure transactions and actually have value.

      The simple fact is they can lose their money, but we cannot lose our passion. The war will be won by us… we just need to pick ourselves up and fight it.

      In 3 days my post will be published about how we should prepare for the war.

  11. L’ONU condamne les lois liberticides, Hadopi fait sa com’, et on vote une loi sur la neutralité du web aux Pays bas http://bit.ly/j09srJ

  12. Declaration of War – Falkvinge on Infopolicy: http://t.co/V1B1SK3 via @addthis

  13. Iain McIntosh (@Ixtinct)

    @AnonNewsNet Canadians are with you, Declaration of War. http://t.co/yxdXL0D

  14. […] I would support these actions passively and go about my business, but as I have posted before, there are times for actions. We have the Pirate Party which fights to change things on the long […]

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