Last year, in Hillary Clinton’s Historic Speech on Global Internet Freedom, Adam Thierer praised Hillary Clinton for a speech drawing
a bold line in the cyber-sand regarding exactly where the United States stands on global online freedom. Clinton’s answer was unequivocal: “Both the American people and nations that censor the Internet should understand that our government is committed to helping promote Internet freedom.” “The Internet can serve as a great equalizer,” she argued. “By providing people with access to knowledge and potential markets, networks can create opportunities where none exist.”
But of course this is a complete sham. The fedgov and the Obama administration may not like it when other oppressive regimes restrict their own subjects’ access to technology, when this is contrary the American state’s geopolitical “interests,” but the cekatS1 is not at all in favor of Internet freedom. Witness the relentless push to keep increasing copyright law and its insidious effect on Internet freedom. Thus, Obama signed the horrible ACTA (probably unconstitutionally),2 and his administration is also: using other trade agreements to export the draconian DMCA-type copyright provisions to other countries;3 and has proposed to expand “tough” enforcement of copyright, including wiretaps4 and other legislation to curb “piracy” on the Internet.5 And it’s why
U.S. Copyright Czar and Obama administration officials secretly cooperate with Hollywood, recording industry and ISPs to disrupt internet access for users suspected of violating copyright law … Obama administration’s cozy relationship with Hollywood and the music industry’s lobbying arms and its early support for the copyright-violation crackdown system publicly announced in July.6
And it’s why we have the looming threat of SOPA,7 which endangers Internet freedom, which, as I’ve noted before, is one of the most important tools available in the fight against the state.8 And it’s why the cekatS wants to control and restrict it. And it’s doing so, cleverly if perversely, in the name of (intellectual) “property rights” and fighting “piracy”. And who can doubt Obama will sign SOPA if Congress puts it on his desk? (Even though Vice-Thug and IP Poobah Biden hypocritcally spoke out against SOPA type provisions recently.)
And it’s why the Obama administration has seized websites to censor Wikileaks. And ICE has seized hundreds of domains in the name of stopping piracy and at the behest of the MPAA, in addition to other ICE domain seizures in the name of stopping child pornography (“Operation Protect Our Children“–What do you mean “our,” kemosabe?).
No one can seriously think that the central state, or the Obama administration, is in favor of Internet freedom.
As for Hillary Clinton’s lies and claims to be for global Internet freedom despite being part of an administration hell bent on destroying it, her true views were revealed long ago, in 1998 in the wake of the Drudge Report breaking the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, in response to a question by reporters Hillary Clinton was asked by reporters whether she favored curbs on the Internet. Her response:
“We’re all going to have to rethink how we deal with the Internet. As exciting as these new developments are, there are a number of serious issues without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function…”9 And, as Thierer notes in his piece, Hillary Clinton also said “We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with [the Internet], because there are all these competing values. Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?” Note here how IP (reputation rights are a type of IP) is once more at the root of the threat to the Internet (one reason I have concluded that copyright is even worse than patent). Of course the political elites–the real 1%–and the Big Media they are in cahoots with, hate the lack of the official “gatekeeper” function. They hate the Internet, social media, talk radio, podcasting, cell phones, twitter, and video cameras.
Update: see Democrats and “Internet Freedom”.
Wired article, U.S. Copyright Czar Cozied Up to Content Industry, E-Mails Show. ↩