View Full Version : attacks on freedom, what's under the radar?

January 25th, 2006, 12:46 PM
Maybe Bush needs his feet put to the fire on the NSA eavesdropping. But I hope that it doesn't become like the Clinton - Monica Lewinski incident, so that the press will have an excuse to let umpteen other big freedom or corruption issues slip under the radar. Maybe blog power will increase to help put other issues on the radar.

Almost inevitably, mass media must insidiously tend toward corruption because of the concentration of money and influence. Blogging (and bulletin boards,etc.) can be a threat to and/or a tool of mass media and other businesses. In every place in the world, oppression and corruption fly under the radar. If mass media companies, multi-national corporations, and other businesses, with deep enough pockets to afford lawyers to litigate and threaten to litigate, are sharp, they will figure out a way to intimidate individual and small news and information publishers, such as bloggers, and still give the appearance that they are in favor of freedom of speech and press. OTOH, maybe someday there will be a critical mass of business people who figure out that freedom and honesty are good for business.

If even small bloggers can get a share of advertising revenue (as some blog sites are now apparently doing) it might encourage them to become independent reporters and researchers. OTOH potential loss of ad revenue to small independents might encourage the big boys to attack freedom of the press on the internet. Not to mention pounding the little guys, to cover up the dirt.

The idea of "naming names" of bad guys in the stopbadware project (see below) is something that could be greatly extended. e.g. which companies are owned by whom and what big business contracts do they have with which terrorist sponsors and human rights abusers, etc. I would like the idea that if any product comes in a box or package or container with printed material or label on it or in it, it should have the name and home city of the current CEO on it (and maybe a mug shot too) and the names of the parent companies if the mfg. is a subsidiary.

Freedom of speech and press is a complicated worldwide issue. Some recent web articles illustrate the range of venues:


1/25/2006 8:28 am
This morning, the Berkman Center, the Oxford Internet Institute, Consumer Reports WebWatch, and a wide range of corporate sponsors announced the StopBadware.org initiative, a
project aimed at stopping the creation of badware - aka spyware,
malware, or deceptive adware."



Wild and Free (Internet)?

"A report released in September by Consumer Reports indicated that American consumers spent $9 billion over the preceding two years on computer repairs and replacements stemming from virus and spyware problems - and this despite shelling out over $2.6 billion in protection..."


"The danger, Zittrain said, and the inspiration behind the Harvard-Oxford project, is that if the wild and free Internet becomes so infested as to be unusable, consumers will demand it be cleaned up, locked down, and regulated into submission. And all of the good things that come from the loose, unregulated, serendipitous universe that the Internet has been until now will lost."


"The coalition will act like a "neighborhood watch" for the Internet, relying on citizens to report problems, he says. Users will be able to check www.StopBadware.org to see if programs they are thinking about downloading contain badware. The coalition will "name names" of companies that plant badware on computers, and establish a set of guidelines for determining what programs and practices qualify as badware."



"Google bows to great firewall of China
Search giant under fire for censorship
Iain Thomson, vnunet.com 25 Jan 2006"

(apparently MS and Yahoo have already kow-towed to Chinese mafia, a.k.a. gov't of PRC. D.H.)



"Ban urged on industry gifts to doctors
By Gardiner Harris The New York Times

(Since apparently violent pornography, such as "snuff" films, games, etc. are protected under freedom of speech, drug companies might successfully sue semi-public or governmental organizations which attempt to limit this form of advertising as violating the first amendment. There is no such thing as "equal time" in advertising, if you can't make money from telling the truth. D.H.)



January 24, 2006
The Washington Post's Web site recently shut down the viewer comments section of one of its weblogs after an article by the Post's ombudsman caused a flood of complaints."



"Lawmaker aims to stop China's Net censorship
Congressman: US may have to require firms resist Beijing
By Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff | January 12, 2006"

"Ryan stopped short of calling for legislation. But he noted that the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a research body created by Congress, recently called for legislation requiring American Internet firms to demand a court order from Chinese authorities before revealing information about a user. The law would also require US Internet companies to report such information requests to the US government."



"Its Secret Deal with Otto Reich to Wreck Cuba's Economy
Reporters Without Borders Unmasked

(I don't know how much of this is true. Being a tool of the recidivists, I tend to think it's probably at least unbalanced. I'm biased too, my wife and bro-in-law were political prisoners of communists.)



"4 January 2006
Violence still increasing 63 journalists killed, more than 1,300 physically attacked or threatened"
"Journalists killed in 2005"
- Afghanistan 2
- Azerbaijan 2
- Bangladesh 2
- Belarus 1
- Brazil 1
- Colombia 1
- Dem. Rep. of Congo 2
- Ecuador 1
- Haiti 2
- Iraq 24
- Kazakhstan 1
- Kosovo 1
- Lebanon 2
- Libya 1
- Mexico 2
- Nepal 2
- Pakistan 2
- Philippines 7
- Russia 2
- Sierra Leone 1
- Somalia 2
- Sri Lanka 2