It Was Always Going To Happen

Our political ‘leaders’ are conspiring to assert even more control over us, leveraging the tragedy in Christchurch to rein in the internet and clamp down on our freedom to express, discuss and dissent. Of course they blame the evil internet corporations for promoting the evil, or at least facilitating it. Rather than address those uploading the content, they are hitting the hosts. Fair enough, but why didn’t they do this in 2014 when ISIS hit the web and posted their radicalysing material that helped thousands decide to up sticks and cut out for the Caliphate?

At the moment there is the expected grab for semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand, the political capital wrought from any ‘threat to weaken our gun laws’ here and the push for extending the restrictions on free speech under the heading of ‘hate speech’. And this play for more control over the internet. So what’s new? Back in the 1990s there was a Government White Paper asking if the Internet could be controlled. Every Western government asked the same question as we headed off to the on-ramp for the ‘information superhighway’. Remember that term? If you follow the link (this is an updated 2004 version) and read the paper you will note there is no mention about social media because it hadn’t really been invented then. There is no prediction of live uploads of massacres but then we hadn’t kicked off the ‘War on Terror’ back then, either.

The problem is, like it is with semi-automatic weapons, only honest, law abiding people will be restricted and impinged upon. The outlaws will do as they have always done and break the laws. I don’t own any firearms as I have no need for one. If I need one, I will get one. I don’t think the proposed restrictions on social media will affect me, either, as I have always posted everything under my own name. But who knows where it goes from here.

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