As outdated as a broken record, the UK is once again considering a plan to force Internet Service Providers to censor adult content online.
With the recent censorship of The Pirate Bay being forced onto UK ISPs, and Virgin Media’s quick follow through thereof, it is evident that the captain of the ship is steering it into an iceberg. It is universally agreed that Albert Einstein was a genius, and he defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting different results.” So why, exactly, does the UK Government and David Cameron expect the results to be any different when heading down this path than that of North Korea, who censors everything?
The Opt-In Plan
The new plan to censor adult content involves allowing ISP customers to check a box which indicates that they are willing to, or desire to, view adult material online. Just like SOPA and PIPA, the move is touted as a way to protect children online, since children are not exposed to sexually explicit material in Lady Gaga’s music videos. However, without a need for an explanation, this is an invasion of privacy on so many levels.
Casting a Shadow over the internet is Shady.
The opt-in plan is corrupt. To begin, as many journalists have already pointed out, whoever governs the lists and boundaries of censored content will essentially have control over the internet comparable to the current media conglomerates. Secondly, it should be up to parents to protect their children from provocative online content. A plethora of tools already exists that can censor racy content online, such as Net Nanny amongst others.
Additionally, if the UK Government really wants to run companies like Net Nanny out of business, and parents would like to protect their children, then the opt-in program should be an opt-in to censorship instead of an opt-in to un-censorship. This would protect the privacy of many without taking away the freedoms of access to content. However, this would weaken the government’s totalitarian control over censorship.
Have the Government’s Prohibitions Worked in History?
Myself, journalists, and readers of this article, of course, will never be able to make perfect decisions and predict the future. However, what we as a society have evolved to be able to do is analyze mistakes in history and make sure to never repeat them again. When is the last time prohibition has worked out? Did it work on alcohol? Did it work on drugs? While this is not an essay on prohibition, it is a proven fact in history that prohibition leads to organized crime while not really helping to prohibit that which is prohibited in the least. It simply drives it underground and completely out of the control of the government. Just ask El Chapo! Tor will definitely earn itself a grand world tour.
A Battle of Control
To make a long story short, with every little “win” the government makes with new legislations on censorships, surveillance and the overall removal of our privacy, each generation grows up in a different setting where this new environment is the “norm.” In other words, it is the slow and steady desensitization of society to accept full and complete subordination to the totalitarian rulers who are making their come back. It is quite evident that the world of rulers and peasants is coming back, just ask the 1%. As new laws continue to be made in favor of rulers, all of society outside of the ruling class will lose the opportunity to live life and fulfill their dreams.
Opt-in is not an option.