Freedom of speech was the last bastion that could hold tight the boundaries of a liberated society. Freedom and boundaries don’t actually work well when put together, but somehow, freedom takes note of a certain kind of discipline. And discipline is fundamentally a boundary.
Once upon a time, there were these techno utopians who were dreaming about a virtual land where censorship was treated as damage, hurting communication and preventing the natural flow and progress of human relationships. Utopians remain in the Utopialand while in realityland things look extremely different. The ongoing centralization of the internet in the name of security, privacy and convenience facilitates surveillance, censorship and control.
Of course it does, because in a land where there are no boundaries, suspicion and fear arise, driving people to slowly start constructing boundaries and they let them grow until these boundaries completely block perspective over everything.
Officials from “liberated” states comment on the necessity of security. Enterprises and governments need to try to keep their customers and their public secure. Ok, but secure from what? Secure from their own degree of exposure? We should all be in control of everything we say and everything we are given back, in order to avoid chaotic situations, where our security is at risk. Internet is harmless if we know how to keep ourselves safe from overexposure, although all social channels invite us to show ourselves to the extent of feeling basically naked and deprived of any degree of privacy. Security, from a governmental point of view, happens by automatically updating client software from a trusted central controller…..”controller”…. and this creates choke points. Instead, people want to use convenient, secure and extremely available online services, such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, but this centralizes and strengthens control to an extreme.
“Decentralization empowers people to make their own decisions about right and wrong”. But today, the over-centralized internet makes those decisions on our behalf. And not only that, but manipulates all information we deliver and it monetizes it. To cover it all up and offer it a clean face, they call it “moral standard”, which is basically a censorship move by which photos of breastfeeding moms are reported as inappropriate or a government “cracks down on cybercrime” by convicting people for incrementing URL strings.
Moral laws are the reason why internet freedom becomes a mere illusion. On paper, all statements highlight terms like freedom, choice, privacy, ethics, but in reality, some masterminds out there have the power to control our every move, know about every button we’ve pressed, every article we’ve read and every song we’ve listened. This is paradoxical, to say the least and this is maybe the last proof, us, humans, needed, in order to conclude once more that we’re almost incapable at progressing at a large scale, a scale that would enlighten minds and lift up spirits. We are afraid of freedom actually and we construct our comfortable walls that limit our perspective. We scream inside those walls but we’ve only entered the cell we’ve built ourselves. Internet freedom is dead, long live internet freedom!
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