Tag Archives: censorship

UK: Tony Blair Think-Tank Proposes End to Free Speech, by Judith Bergman

Hate provoked by crime is now considered more criminal than the crime itself. From Judith Bergman at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Disturbingly, the main concern of Blair’s think-tank appears to be the online verbal “hatred” displayed by citizens in response to terrorist attacks — not the actual physical expression of hatred shown in the mass murders of innocent people by terrorists. Terrorist attacks, it would appear, are now supposedly normal, unavoidable incidents that have become part and parcel of UK life.
  • Unlike proscribed groups that are banned for criminal actions such as violence or terrorism, the designation of “hate group” would mainly be prosecuting thought-crimes.
  • Democratic values, however, appear to be the think-tank’s least concern. The proposed law would make the British government the arbiter of accepted speech, especially political speech. Such an extraordinary and radically authoritarian move would render freedom of speech an illusion in the UK.
  • The Home Office would be able to accuse any group it found politically inconvenient of “spreading intolerance” or “aligning with extremist ideologies” — and designate it a “hate group”.
A new law proposed by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change would make the British government the arbiter of accepted speech, especially political speech. Such an extraordinary and radically authoritarian move would render freedom of speech an illusion in the UK. (Images’ source: iStock)

The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has released a report, Designating Hate: New Policy Responses to Stop Hate Crime, which recommends radical initiatives to tackle “hate” groups, even if they have not committed any kind of violent activity.

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Russiagate Might Be Dead, but Big Tech Censorship Is Here to Stay, by Michael Krieger

The fake news about Russian collusion was that there was Russian collusion with th. In response to a nonexistent threat from Russia, big tech implemented various forms of censorship. Now that the fake news has been exposed for what it is, don’t expect the censorship to be lifted. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. Nothing. Zero.

– George Carlin

Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community and they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.

– Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a 2017 interview on MSNBC

As someone whose website was slandered by the earliest manifestations of the hysterical Russiagate mob, I could go on and on now that’s the whole spectacle’s been disproven, but I’m not going to do that. Rather, I want to highlight how despite the whole thing blowing up, we’ll be living with severe direct consequences for years to come.

First, it’s important to point out that none of Russiagate’s most irresponsible grifters will face any serious repercussions for wasting the country’s time, money and energy on a fake story for the past two years. Russiagate was as much a business model as it was a conspiracy theory, and some of it’s most shameless peddlers made out like bandits over the past couple of years.

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Goodbye to the Internet: Interference by Governments Is Already Here, by Philip Giraldi

It’s only a matter of time before governments fully tame and domesticate the internet. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

There is a saying attributed to the French banker Nathan Rothschild that “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.” Conservative opinion in the United States has long suspected that Rothschild was right and there have been frequent calls to audit the Federal Reserve Bank based on the presumption that it has not always acted in support of the actual interests of the American people. That such an assessment is almost certainly correct might be presumed based on the 2008 economic crash in which the government bailed out the banks, which had through their malfeasance caused the disaster, and left individual Americans who had lost everything to face the consequences.

Be that as it may, if there were a modern version of the Rothschild comment it might go something like this: “Give me control of the internet and no one will ever more know what is true.” The internet, which was originally conceived of as a platform for the free interchange of information and opinions, is instead inexorably becoming a managed medium that is increasingly controlled by corporate and government interests. Those interests are in no way answerable to the vast majority of the consumers who actually use the sites in a reasonable and non-threatening fashion to communicate and share different points of view.

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Censorship Tightens As Governments Lose Control, by Tom Luongo

The harder government squeezes, the more that slips through its grasp. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Governments have lost control of the narrative that they are in control of events. Everyday I wake up to another instance of outrageous censorship from some ‘social media’ company blocking or banning someone for no apparent reason.

The latest outrage is Twitter banning the account of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange’s mother, Christine.

Australian and New Zealand ISPs have gone bonkers IP blocking sites in the wake of the Christchurch massacre. Sites like Zerohedge have been targeted in the past two weeks for publishing narratives orthogonal to what the governments in the West are comfortable with people consuming.

First it was Facebook, blocking and then unblocking Zerohedge with no apparent reasoning behind it. Now its ISP’s over-reacting to an emotional event ensuring that a good crisis never goes to waste.

And these ISPs are going much farther than just avoiding any potential legal liabilities. They are now openly calling for the platforms themselves — Twitter, Facebook, etc. — be regulated by governments to stop ‘dangerous information’ from reaching the eyeballs of consumers.

And another mask is ripped off revealing the ugly totalitarians underneath.

It begins with legitimizing de-platforming people like Alex Jones and social media companies like Gab. Because some speech is too free. These are people supposedly too fringe to be suffered.

So it’s easy to whip up some public support for censorship of them alongside a one-sided media bombardment of justify their silencing to a large swath of people.

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Censorship vs. Suppression, by Eric Peters

Whether you categorize speech suppression by ostensibly private entities as censorship or not, it’s clear that between government and the private entities that control the internet, the ability to speak out is being steadily constricted. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Libertarians – me included – have wrestled long and hard with this one: Is it censorship when private entities do it?

No – not in a legal sense. Because these private entities do not have the power to forbid publication, per se.

But they do have the power to suppress (and even to punish) publication when the entities at issue effectively control the means of publication – and so it amounts to the same thing as censorship.

It may even be worse, since one can always get around governmentcensorship (see, for example, the underground Samizdat press in Tsarist Russia or, later, the anti-communist press in East Germany and Poland).

But how does one “get around” private control of the all-encompassing Internet and related “social media platforms”?

There is no alternative Internet – nor is one (given present technology/infrastructure) even conceivable, regardless of one’s financial ability.

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Truth Is What We Hide, Self-Serving Cover Stories Are What We Sell, by Charles Hugh Smith

Most sentient people expect to be lied to, repeatedly, during the course of a single day, and they are seldom disappointed. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The fact that lies and cover stories are now the official norm only makes us love our servitude with greater devotion.

We can summarize the current era in one sentence: truth is what we hide, self-serving cover stories are what we sell.Jean-Claude Juncker’s famous quote captures the essence of the era: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”

And when does it become serious? When the hidden facts of the matter might be revealed to the general public. Given the regularity of vast troves of well-hidden data being made public by whistleblowers and white-hat hackers, it’s basically serious all the time now, and hence the official default everywhere is:truth is what we hide, self-serving cover stories are what we sell.

The self-serving cover stories always tout the nobility of the elite issuing the PR: we in the Federal Reserve saved civilization by saving the Too Big To Fail Banks (barf); we in the corporate media do investigative reporting without bias (barf); we in central government only lie to protect you from unpleasant realities–it’s for your own good (barf); we in the NSA, CIA and FBI only lie because it’s our job to lie, and so on.

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Avoid the Slippery Slope, by Robert Gore

Everything government touches turns to crap.
Ringo Starr

Social media companies, search engines, and payments platforms are excising conservative, libertarian, and assorted anti-government voices. SLL argued in “The Friendly Faces of Fascism” that the largest and best known of these companies were essentially arms of the government. They are mechanisms for conveying information, opinions, and commerce between billions of people. Given their reach, importance, and ties to the government, should these ostensibly private companies be subject to the First Amendment’s prohibition of government restriction of free speech and the free press?

The First Amendment states that: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. By its terms, the amendment applies to one institution, Congress. By necessary implication, freedom of speech and the press must also be the freedom to choose what not to speak or publish.

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