The Internet Needs (More) Regulation
The internet is a dangerous tool. It allows for the spread of ideas that people otherwise would not be exposed to without a lot of effort.
Throughout Ron Paul’s rise to infamy over the last 5+ years, it has been obvious that he never could have achieved the brainwashing of the masses that he apparently achieved without the internet. He said the same recently in his weekly “Texas Straight Talk” address:
Until the late 1990s, individuals interested in Austrian economics, U.S. constitutional history, and libertarian philosophy had few sources of information. They had to spend hours scouring used book stores or the back pages of obscure libertarian periodicals to find the great works of Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, and other giants of liberty. Local library and university collections ignored libertarian politics and economics.
Today, however, the greatest classics of libertarian thought, libertarian philosophy, and libertarian economics are available instantly to anyone with internet access.
And on this point, I agree with Ron Paul. People would never have found out about these ideas if we didn’t have the internet.
I would never suggest we go back to the pre-internet days (how would I ever be able to read Paul Krugman’s columns and blog?), but we do need more regulation.
According to a study put out by one our of top enemies, Russia’s Foreign Ministry, we’re already one of the world leaders at internet censorship:
The ministry cited a recent Google ‘Transparency Report’ that says the search engine site received 6,321 requests to release users’ private data to US government agencies – including law enforcement.
The report also revealed that the number of requests by US officials for removal of particular internet content had exploded by 103 percent year-on-year in July-December 2011.
US law enforcement agencies appealed for the removal of 1,400 ‘insulting’ videos from YouTube, while there were some 6,300 appeals for data disclosure on more than 12,200 users.
Internet websites, including Google, complied with 93 percent of such appeals, the ministry noted, while adding that such measures represent a blatant disregard for the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
The report also mentioned CISPA, which I have written about previously. CISPA is (hopefully) going to be passed either by Congress or the President soon via executive order. This is one of the most important pieces of legislation there is because:
“In the opinion of human rights defenders, CISPA…will practically grant the US government unlimited powers to monitor internet browsing by individuals,”
What else can I add to that? If there was ever a time to pass this important legislation, it is now before even more people discover Mises and Rothbard.
But just in case good does finally triumph over evil and they start blocking access to the ideas of these kooks and their disciples, I’m going to go check out their books at the library and burn them now.
I suggest you check out their books as well.