Censorship by US and UK

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The largest public protests, rallies and demonstrations that the world has ever seen are happening right now - with almost no media coverage.

Not only is there a blackout on these events in the media, but YouTube is frequently removing footage of these mass rallies and events when requested to do so by governments:

“Google, the owner of You Tube, has complied with the majority of requests from governments, particularly in the United States and the UK, not only to remove You Tube videos, but also specific web search terms and thousands of “data requests,” meaning demands for information that would reveal the true identity of a You Tube user.”

These events are truly inspiring and should be front page news! Yet mainstream media is working with governments to keep people uninformed and disempowered.

YouTube has also, on behest of the German government, removed a great many films (full films) and episodes of TV series from the German Democratic Republic – now gobbled up by the German state – because, more than likely, they have communist “propaganda” and to some extent “glorify” the first Worker and Peasant State on German soil and the people who brought about this New Germany after the War but also fighters of the communist and socialist cause such as Hans Beimler, Ernst Thälmann, Arthur Becker, and others.

In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.

The latest example is You Tube’s compliance with a request from the British government to censor footage of a protest by the British Constitution Group Lawful Rebellion.

The British government does not want certain kind of information going viral in the public domain because it is scared stiff of the possible repercussions by the people.

When viewers in the UK attempt to watch videos of the protest, they are met with the message, “This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request”.

YouTube, so it is said, also occasionally receives requests from governments around the world to remove content from sites, and as a result, YouTube may block specific content in order to comply with local laws in certain countries.

With regard to search terms, one struggles to understand how a specific combination of words in a Google search can be considered a violation of any law. This is about government and Google working hand in hand to manipulate search results in order to censor inconvenient information, something which Google now freely admits to doing.

The real reason for the removal is the fact that the British government is obviously petrified of seeing a group of focused and educated citizens, black, white, old and young, male and female, go head to head with the corrupt system on its own stomping ground.

But, as I have indicated earlier, it is not just the UK government that demands blocking of content on YouTube and the removal and suspension of users and their identity. Germany is doing the same, and the same is happening in the bastion of democracy and freedom – yes, I am sarcastic in this case – the USA.

Facebook too is doing its own censoring as to political content and that especially with anything that does not portray the Israelis in a good light.

In their efforts to keep a lid on the growing populist fury that has arrived in response to rampant and growing financial and political tyranny in every sector of society, governments in the west are now mimicking Communist Chinese-style Internet censorship policies in a bid to neutralize protest movements, while hypocritically lecturing the rest of the world on maintaining web freedom.

Via a combination of cybersecurity legislation and policy that is hastily introduced with no real oversight, governments and large Internet corporations are crafting an environment where the state can simply demand information be removed on a whim with total disregard for freedom of speech protections.

US Senator Lieberman has been at the forefront of a push to purge the Internet of all dissent by empowering Obama with a figurative Internet kill switch that he would use to shut down parts of the Internet or terminate websites under the guise of national security. Lieberman spilled the beans on the true reason for the move during a CNN interview when he stated “Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too.”

But China does not disconnect the Internet “in case of war,” it only ever does so to censor and intimidate people who express dissent against government atrocities or corruption. And this is precisely the kind of online environment the British and American governments are trying to replicate as they attempt to put a stranglehold on the last bastion of true free speech – the world wide web.

So much for democracy and freedom of speech but then we must not forget the words of one of the recent British Home Secretaries who stated that “freedom of speech is NOT a right of the people but a privilege and can be removed at any time that the government feels it right to do so”.

The Minister was, in fact, correct, as the “Freedom of Speech” in the UK not really applies to neither the people nor the press but only to Members of Parliament and that only when they are in the House.

© 2012