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UK Considers Opt-in Freedom Of Speech

16

Freedom of Speech – Andrew Lee

Freedom of Speech – Andrew Lee

As outdated as a broken record, the UK is once again considering a plan to force Internet Service Providers to censor adult content online.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.

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About The Author: Andrew Lee

Andrew is a long-time advocate of privacy. He served as the brand manager for an internationally recognized product prior to co-founding Private Internet Access VPN Service. He also co-founded Mt. Gox Live which was acquired by Mt. Gox, the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange and built their official mobile application.

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This article is also available in other languages: Italian, Spanish, Hungarian.

By participating in the discussion and posting here, you are placing your contribution in the public domain (CC0). If you are quoting somebody else, credit them.

Contributors take own responsibility for their comments.

16

  1. 1
    Doyle

    It’s the start of the end.

  2. 2
    Ringmaster

    There’s also forced moral choice in this, a choice that gets registered and is available to both the ISP and government – “Well I see here you opted in to watch porn. And you have two kids living at home/is supposedly happily married/straight/devout Christian/running for a political position/whatever”. Ad hominem galore.

    The internet is first and foremost a tool, a very powerful one at that, and just as you wouldn’t leave your kid alone to play with your nailgun you shouldn’t leave them alone in front of the computer.
    Legislation substituting parenting raises citizens governed by what they can get away with in regards to the law rather than do right by their moral conscience.

    • 2.1

      That’s probably true. I think you can bet that information would be used against people–even if the ISPs & government say it won’t be. Or at least, we don’t really have any reason to trust they will respect out privacy.

      The UK is starting to get seriously worrying…

  3. 3

    I just need a bigger desk to smash my head into…

  4. 4

    As a UK resident I really despair at this lurch toward online fascism, and I call on our Euro-zone colleagues and the international community further afield to put political pressure on my Government to cease these blatant breaches to basic civil liberties and Human Rights.

    Please write to:
    Her Majesty’s Government
    c/o 10 Downing Street
    London SW1A 1AA

    or contact them online via
    http://www.number10.gov.uk/contact-us/

    Thanks people.

  5. [...] such as Tor or a VPN.  Recently, the UK and David Cameron have come under scrutiny due to a backwards censorship bill.  However, given this latest proposal, it looks like they love the spotlight, that is, putting a [...]

  6. 5

    Yeah I don’t think I’ll move to the UK anytime soon. This is insane!

  7. 6
    Joe Bloggs

    They are shooting themselves in a foot. All this will get them is further proliferation of total end to end strong encryption on the Net, darknets, VPN’s etc… It will be much more difficult to spy on the population.

  8. [...] The second is from Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Pirate Party: 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? http://falkvinge.net/2012/05/09/uk-considers-opt-in-freedom-of-speech/ [...]

  9. 7
    mohamed lee

    I would not really worry about this or cameron and most of the shit being fired out right now. Its a long con keep focusing where they want your attention, meanwhile they are trying to reform the house of lords. They might not be democratic but its the lack of democracy (popularity contest that depends on the manipulation of a self serving elitest media and vast sums of money) that is protecting UK citizens. Democracy died a long time ago. The house of lords are the last protection from the corperate media we have

  10. [...] to their respective forum communities and social circles. – We recently had a post published on Falkvinge.net. – And for the more conspiracy theory inclined, we decided not to go forward with a (Google [...]

  11. 8
    passstab

    “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.””

    misattributed
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Narcotics_Anonymous

    good article otherwise :)

  12. 9
    Justin Biebel

    Within a few years you cannot go online without proper ID check. Governments will have full control over the internet and it’s contents. Porn and anything deemed ‘unethical’ will become illegal over time. And since everybody will be subject to 100% surveillance it will become very difficult to access anything ‘illegal’. A worldwide nanny state.

    At least, this is the plan an international brotherhood society has. It’s convinced it must tell you what is right and what is wrong, in your own interest. The father of George Orwell belonged to this society. Many people in governments, banks and industry around the world are members.

    We’re on the brink of a totalitarian surveillance state. Friendly in the beginning, on the surface, but we have seen what members are capable of. Illegal prisons, torture, breaking constitutions, breaking own laws. The world won’t be anything you are familiar with now. No escape.

  13. 10
    Backnblack

    The UK has been a lost cause for several years on personal liberties.

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About The Author

Andrew is a long-time advocate of privacy. He served as the brand manager for an internationally recognized product prior to co-founding Private Internet Access VPN Service. He also co-founded Mt. Gox Live which was acquired by Mt. Gox, the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange and built their official mobile application.

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