Big Tech and Big Government Censoring the Internet. Who’s Next?


The New American
by Alex Newman

 

censored

Since the orchestrated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the establishment effort to censor the Internet has gone into overdrive. It started with the take down of unsavory white supremacist, neo-Nazi-type websites such as the Daily Stormer — it always starts with the easy targets. Google and GoDaddy, a hosting service, practically banned the site from the Internet. Then it was Stormfront, another such hate site. But smelling blood in the water, it did not take long for the pro-censorship establishment in America and around the world to demand full-blown censoring of not just racism and hate, but virtually everything they disagree with. Some of the efforts appear to have backfired. But without a change in course, free expression on the Internet is in grave danger.  

The trend toward restrictions is picking up steam, with an alliance of Big Government-linked tech firms and crony Big Business working hard to squelch free speech online. For almost a year, giants such as Youtube were banning advertising on conservative and liberty-oriented channels, all but crushing budding commentators hoping to make a profession out of it. And already, mainstream voices such as former Congressman Ron Paul have had some of their videos “de-monetized,” as the increasingly Orwellian video site calls it. Every day, the net gets wider and the targets more numerous. Google and Facebook have both been exposed censoring the alternative media, and especially conservative media. And the chief of Facebook has become increasingly brazen in his political activism on behalf of mass immigration, big government, and other “progressive” causes.

After Charlottesville, it got worse, fast. The examples of conservatives, libertarians, truth seekers, Christians, constitutionalists, patriots, and others being banned, censored, demonetized, and more are practically impossible to count at this point. On August 30, as just one example among many, Shane Trejo at The Liberty Conservative reported that Google sent a letter threatening the website that unless a particular article is removed, all of its ad revenue opportunities would be lost. “This is the newest method that Big Brother is using to enforce thought control,” Trejo explained. While the article itself contained nothing offensive, it was targeted by Google for having been written by a so-called “unperson” who reportedly played some role in organizing the demonstrations in Charlottesville, which included some racists and provocateurs. The same website had previously been censored by Facebook over a post defending Congressman Ron Paul from a smear.

The danger is obvious, he said. “An incredibly dangerous precedent is obviously being set here, and if you think that it won’t impact you directly at some point, think again,” continued Trejo. “We look forward to the day where rival ad platforms who respect the intellectual freedom of their customers can outcompete Google, but those days have not arrived yet. These tech companies have us all by the short hairs, and post-Charlottesville, they are all working in unison to enforce the Orwellian nightmare. Nobody is safe.” Indeed, even “mainstream conservative provocateurs” such as Lauren Southern and Paul Joseph Watson with massive followings are being targeted, he added.  

“All conservatives and libertarians must realize that the Orwellian nightmare enforced by private hands is just as harmful to human freedom as if the dystopia was enforced by the hands of government commissars,” said Trejo. “The results will be the same, as freedom of expression will be sacrificed to the God of political correctness. After they destroy free speech, the rest of our rights won’t be far behind. A world where digital lynch mobs can ruin people’s entire lives — harming their reputations, making it impossible to feed their families, and potentially subjecting them to retaliatory violence — for merely expressing an honest opinion would amount to a dark age for liberty.”

“A world where Big Brother is judge, jury and executioner is right on the horizon, and that does not bode well for anyone except a small handful of oligarchs and elites,” Trejo concluded. “We all must band together, eschewing mindless partisanship, to defeat the burgeoning Orwellian surveillance state before our rights are lost forever.”

But while some see the censorship spree as alarming, some of those targeted, ironically, see it as a major victory for their cause. For instance, all of the banning and hysteria had Andrew Anglin of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer, the first to be dropped by GoDaddy and later Google for a post ridiculing the woman killed in Charlottesville, expressing utter delight with the way Big Tech companies reacted. Gloating over the fact that the CEO of GoDaddy was pushed out about a week after the decision to ban the hate site, Anglin wrote that “it is now absolutely clear that the decision was a mistake for them and for the whole of the tech industry, hence the resignation.”

As a result of the banning, not only did Anglin get more free publicity than he could have ever obtained through other means, he believes that his “joke” will have positive repercussions for his cause. “Right now, we are talking about a complete transformation of the tech industry,” he wrote on a new website he created, adding that the “results were more than I ever could have hoped for.” “Some of the most powerful people in the world, as well as society at large, are considering the fact that these few mega-corporations are capable of unifying together in order to ban legal content from the internet, and beginning to draw the conclusion that this situation is incredibly dangerous.” Across the political spectrum, Anglin’s virtual banning did, indeed, spark alarm bells.  

Among other perceived victories, Anglin celebrated the “beginnings of a real conversation about the government regulating the domain registry system.” He also speculated that any government effort to regulate the tech industry would go further than that, something he viewed as positive because the industry “has become much, much too powerful to remain in private hands.” “Excluding the media and the mega-corporations themselves, no one on any side of the political spectrum likes the idea of a cabal of billionaires effectively being able to unilaterally control the direction of society,” he added, expressing a point of agreement with anti-business, pro-big government forces seeking regulation of quasi-monopolies in the Internet business.

Indeed, even prominent left-wing media sites such as Vice sounded the alarm. Calling the Big Business ban on the hate site “a flashpoint in a long-overdue debate,” two writers at Vice wondered “how much control should a few powerful internet companies have over user content?” Even the CEO of one of the companies that tried to disappear the Daily Stormer expressed concerns. “Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet,” the CEO of Cloudflare was quoted as saying in the Vice article as part of an e-mail to employees. “No one should have that power.”

Also sounding the alarm was the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation. “All fair-minded people must stand against the hateful violence and aggression that seems to be growing across our country. But we must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with,” explained a trio of EFF analysts in a very insightful piece. “Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one — not the government and not private commercial enterprises — should decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t.”

On the arguably “conservative” end of the spectrum, the (increasingly irrelevant) National Review, which published its founder William F. Buckley defending white supremacy and denying voting rights to blacks, warned about the consequences, too. “This was an ominous development for free speech — and not because there is anything at all valuable about The Daily Stormer’s message,” wrote David French, an attorney, adding that the lines of Internet communication were in “progressive” hands. “Instead, The Daily Stormer’s demise is a reminder that a few major corporations now have far more power than the government to regulate and restrict free speech, and they’re hardly neutral or unbiased actors. They have a point of view, and they’re under immense pressure to use that point of view to influence public debate.”

All of the backlash from across the political spectrum had Anglin, the first target to be removed from the Web, gloating about his success. “Needless to say, I am extremely happy with the results of this particular piece of performance art,” Anglin continued, suggesting his ridicule of the deceased victim in Charlottesville was somehow art. “The fallout from it shows that the ruling powers are extremely unhappy with the way things shook out. They miscalculated, they made me into a folk hero and a martyr, and they turned themselves into megalomaniac super-villains intent on using suppression of speech to direct the course of society. It could not have came together more perfectly. I will overcome these setbacks, as I always have, and the amount of people listening to me will grow to numbers I could never have imagined two weeks ago.”

He is probably right. Indeed, many millions of people who in July had never heard of Anglin or his hate site now know all about him. Some of those millions will no doubt agree with his extreme agenda — and others on the fence will certainly become converted. And now, talk of having government nationalize the tech giants, albeit often for other reasons, is in the headlines worldwide. Plus, across the political spectrum — from libertarians and conservatives to liberals and progressives — there is a growing awareness that a tiny, interconnected “cabal,” as David Rockefeller labeled his fellow “conspirators,” wields tremendous power and has an anti-freedom agenda. So basically, unless the goal of the Internet giants was to get themselves (unconstitutionally) regulated by government while promoting white supremacist views, their effort to ban a lone hater from the Web backfired in spectacular fashion.  

But the threat of Internet censorship at the national and global level is very real. With Obama having surrendered control over key Internet infrastructure to globalist “stakeholders” unbound by the First Amendment, and with the United Nations actively campaigning for censorship worldwide, Internet freedom has never been in more grave danger. If the Orwellian trends are not halted, it will only be a matter of time before the World Wide Web — even in the United States, famous and admired around the world for its absolutist protections of free speech rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution — will be facing full-blown censorship by a rogue alliance of governments, dictators, international institutions, and their Big Business cronies.

It must be made clear that the issue is not simply Big Business. Indeed, the leaders of Big Tech firms regularly cavort with their Big Government allies behind closed doors at events such as the annual Bilderberg summit. The chiefs of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Amazon, among others, meet regularly with establishment politicians, cabinet officials, royalty, mega-bankers, Rothschild agents, NSA and CIA bosses, and more — along with some senior Chinese Communists for good measure — at the secrecy obsessed confab. And statements by attendees reveal an agenda for global government, something that will become increasingly difficult for globalists to achieve if free speech continues to flourish online as humanity wakes up to what is going on.      

The companies have more direct links to Big Government, too. Google, for example, which owns Youtube, “has been a partner with the CIA since 2004,” reported CBS News, pointing to its myriad links to the CIA’s investment arm known as In-Q-Tel. “Google is already helping the government write, and rewrite, history,” the report continued. Other sources, such as investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed, went even further. “Google is a smokescreen behind which lurks the US military-industrial complex,” he wrote. One of the first investors in Facebook, meanwhile, was In-Q-Tel. Amazon owner Jeff Bezos signed a contract with the CIA worth several times more than the purchase price of the increasingly dishonest Washington Post, which never mentions its owners’ ties to the CIA even on stories about the agency. The tech firms are also lawlessly helping authorities spy on people worldwide. And that is just the start of it.      

In Europe, mega-corporations based in the United States such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and more are proudly working with unelected, unaccountable transnational bureaucrats at the European Union to censor the Web. Last year, those firms joined with the EU to unveil an online “Code of Conduct” to remove and prosecute “illegal” speech, while promoting government propaganda. Everything from the Christian Bible and the Islamic Koran to criticism of Islam or concerns about uncontrolled immigration could fall under the vague new censorship rules. Alongside the censorship and propaganda, the EU touted “a robust system of enforcement” to effectively apply “criminal sanctions against the individual perpetrators” of illegal speech.  

In Communist China, the situation is even worse. The Great Firewall of China has long blocked access to any information the mass-murdering dictatorship wishes to conceal from its victims. Even the pro-censorship American tech giants — some of which largely agreed to Beijing’s censorship demands — have been mostly blocked from China. And as if to prove its hostility to free speech and Internet freedom, the UN installed an actual Chinese Communist agent, who claims censorship is in the eye of the beholder, at the top of the UN International Telecommunications Union. That is the agency currently being groomed by the establishment for the role of world Internet regulator and censor.   

Now, the United Nations is even demanding censorship in America. Following the violence in Charlottesville, the UN disgorged an avalanche of press releases, statements, warnings, and condemnations demanding that the U.S. government take action against “hate speech.” Aside from the fact that “hate speech” was a bogus narrative pushed by the mass-murdering hate regime enslaving the Soviet Union to ban speech it did not like, the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits any government restrictions on speech — whether hateful or otherwise. But as if more evidence were needed of the danger, a quick look at Europe, where pastors are literally thrown in jail for defending the Biblical understanding of marriage, and politicians are arrested for quoting Winston Churchill, should suffice to make the point.  

Of course, private companies are well within their rights to refuse service to anyone, even if that means denying some people or viewpoints a platform. And Americans should be careful to resist the urge to have the federal government regulate businesses without constitutional authority. But when the line between the mega-corporations and the government is so blurred, and when Big Government operatives are meeting behind closed doors with the Big Business tycoons running the architecture of the Internet, the danger becomes obvious. Because of the Internet, and the free expression it has enabled, many millions of people around the world now understand the threat posed by the establishment to freedom, nation-states, and humanity. It is crucial that Americans, as the guardians of free speech and the free Internet, do not allow the establishment’s war on free speech to succeed.

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at anewman@thenewamerican.com

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