Servers for data storage are seen at Advania's Thor Data Center in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland August 7, 2015. As it emerges from financial isolation, Iceland is trying to make a name for itself again, this time in the business of data centres -- warehouses that consume enormous amounts of energy to store the information of 3.2 billion internet users. Picture taken August 7, 2015. REUTERS/Sigtryggur Ari - RTX1RCWZ

The internet’s war on free speech

The dream of internet freedom has died. What a dream it was. Twenty years ago, nerdy libertarians hailed the web as the freest public sphere that mankind had ever created. The Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, written in 1996 by John Perry Barlow, warned the ‘governments of the industrial world’, those ‘weary giants of flesh and steel’, that they had ‘no sovereignty where we gather’. The ‘virus of liberty’ was spreading, it said.

Now it seems that the virus has been wiped out. We live our online lives in a dystopian nightmare of Twittermobs, ‘safety councils’, official procedures for ‘forgetting’ inconvenient facts, and the arrest of people for being offensive. The weary giants are asserting their censorious sovereignty.

  • Alain

    I suspect my cover was blown since I just recently received a ridiculous long form census while none of my neighbours did. I might add that it came on top of another ridiculous long form census for agriculture.

    • Cripes, they really want to get to know you!

    • Gary

      Don’t get your hopes up though for any progress by Justin.
      He will ignore the FACTS that about 90% of the Population is NOT a muslim,nor will he care that more than 80% of the Citizens are still White.

      He knows that Toronto makes up just over 40 Federal Seats and that refugees and Immigrants are ignorant peons that can have their Votes bought with bobbles and trinkets.
      Toronto is close to being over 50% non-citizens/non-Canadian background and non-white as well. The Public Sector jobs for Ontario that are based in Toronto do NOT use the Census FACTS……Liberals meet their Quota’s for jobs based on the Diversity numbers in TO which will only get worse because about 70% of the refugees and Immigrants pour into Toronto , so when it’s 85% non-white the Provincial HQ’s for Services will be about 80% non-white plus new comers and refugees.

      Twenty two years ago I saw how Toronto was heading towards being a Chicago or a Detroit because the White Leaders refused to admit to the young Canadians being killed because they weren’t Whites.
      As longs as the guns and gangs weren’t in David Miller’s high park area or Bob Rae’s Bloor Wt. Village or McGuinty’s neighbourhood…… they will let the City turn into a 3rd World hell hole after it goes bankrupt from the Public Unions which destroyed Detroit .

    • I’m not filling out the census. Jail or a fine, so what? The fact is the long form census provides more personal information to the Government than provisions in Harper’s Bill C-51 for collecting metadata. All metadata does is show patterns, whereas the l-f census collects specific personal info on matters that are none of the gov’s business.

      The Liberals’ faux outrage about C-51 “violating Canadians’ privacy” was never compared with what the l-f census does, the latter of which is far worse. Conservatives will never get my vote again because they have ceased speaking out on issues that are important. We need a complete shakeup of conservatism similar to the U.S.

      • Alain

        Not only does the long form I got demand the most personal and private information, none of that kind of information has any bearing on Canada. The claim that such information is required to plan for the future is a lie. No idea yet what I’ll get with the agriculture census, since it hasn’t arrived. On May 2 I got a notification that I was required to complete it by going on-line and providing my e-mail or to call to request a hard copy. I called for the hard copy as they do not need my e-mail. I’ve been told by a friend living in a different area that the agriculture census is just as bad as the long form demanding again all kinds of personal information. I’ll find out if and when it arrives. My disgust is that I was spared this crap for the past 9 plus years only to have it started up again by this gang of thieves and clowns.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    It’s not the internet’s war on free speech.
    The internet is a thing.
    It’s the left’s war on free speech seeking to control the popular forms of internet discourse.
    Facebook is one example.
    The internet is a many layered thing that can be used for communication in many different ways.
    I know people who still use bbs’ and irl.

    • Keep your bbs hardware and software handy as a backup system in case the fascist left takes complete control of the internet (a likely scenario if Dems get elected again in US).

      And bbs’s are more feasible today than they were back in the ’80-90’s. Reason being that most people today can get inexpensive long distance plans — extends point-to-point communications to the international level.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        It can get even lower level than that.
        In school we had to design our own uarts and control languages.
        ASCII doesn’t need that much bandwidth.

        • Yep, ascii is fast. If information communication is all you really need (vs. entertainment) then the old system is more than sufficient. Even 1200 bps modem was sufficient, and today with 56000 bps standard makes it lightening speed.

          • Get a ham radio and a solar charger.

          • Practical, the only drawback is privacy (although it’s not unusual to hear something like “encoded messages” over ham or even shortwave bands — usually coming from the direction of Cuba). 🙂