but website owners will not be told officially when their sites are added to the list.
Wouldnt they notice
Mines the one with dark shades in the pocket
In a brave attempt to generate some international interest in its internal affairs, Belgium declared last week that it intends to join the ranks of European nations operating a hidden list of blocked websites. The move is controversial, as it would build on existing powers to block websites – but essentially hand jurisdiction …
I am getting more & more pessimistic about largely open nature of the internet. I suspect in a mere 5-10 years it will be far more restricted & monitored than it currently is. So many things are combining against it's freedom: commercial interests, democratic governments, dictatorships, campaign groups. Yes there's a lot of dross & evil stuff out there but a lot of these processes that are going on are secretive & unaccountable. Actually I suspect they are opposed to the internet precisely because it gives so many people, good & bad, the ability to exchange information & ideas so freely & easily. It has undermined old elites. Conversely the internet may actually be an 'enemy' of freedom: it allows easier monitoring of the populacy &, as more & more people rely on it for news & other information, it is easier to control what they say & see.
Paranoid? Not in the slightest. A whistleblower has revealed that the NSA in the US spied on ALL AMERICANS, particularly journalists, & also credit card transactions (not everyone was listened on personally, but things were flagged up for analysis). Of course he could your typical disgruntled ex-employee, but even a US senator who sponsored the programme believes him. Is this the model for the UK government's proposed Interception Modernisation Programme? Or is it they simply want their own ability to surveil everybody? Don't believe it when they say they don't want to know the content of communications! This imperils democracy in this country. The only ways to avoid it are protest. I personally think there will be movements that develop that will shun computers & technology to keep their lives away from prying eyes.
Knowing the Belgians as I (like to think I) do, this can go only one way:
Either the Flemish-speaking or the French-speaking Belgian police will block a website from the other region, initially on reasonably solid grounds. The other side will take offence, retaliation will be swift and action will escalate exponentially. Soon all of Belgium will be blocked from viewing any websites except those from outside the country.
Yeah, it's a daft idea. Still...
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"...before a compromise is achieved that succeeds in protecting both vulnerable individuals and internet freedom."
Protecting vulnerable individuals from what - mean thoughts? What the hell are you smoking? Equivocating about censorship which not only censors illegal material (a bad idea for many reasons regardless of the illegality of the subject matter) but which censors IDEAS pure and simple (racism, 'hate' - whatever that is) - gives the idea credibility it doesn't deserve.
It's pretty ironic that El Reg takes Google to task for doing business in China on a regular basis, but fails utterly to condemn this kind of brutally sweeping censorship.
The biggest problem with society and it's view on internet anonmity is that they don't know how valuble all this behavoiral data is.
Forget filters and cencorship - your data will one day be logged. This is just a prelude.
Every site you visit, every article you read, every comment you left - perhaps even how long you read certain pages for - can be used to build up profiles of people and populations.
People aren't all that complicated as they'd like to belive. Stimulas goes in, reaction comes out.
You control the simulus... you control the reaction.
Targeted ads specific to you?
Bah, don't worry about it - wait untill there are ads targeted at you and everyone who is in your geographical area. Then you're screwed.
"Oh hey, have you heard about the xyz?"
"Yeah man, i read about it on the internet, apparently it's really good"
"Yeah i read something about it somewhere too. We should all talk about this product/idea more, and let the irrational, social part of our brain determing how we feel about this!"
Anonimity is the only real answer to the future of the internet as we know it.
Everyone who is a provider of services will want to log everything about you. Every end-user will either prevent it as best they can, or pretend it isn't happening and hope it goes away.
I would recommend to anyone reading this now - if you have a few minutes spare, go and get yourself a shell account on a server in a country which doesn't (yet) care who you are.
Route all your personal information through there. Be one of the statictics which didn't get recorded. Join the anonymous revolution!
Fire. Because it's an uprising.
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