894 – The Law

Sometimes I feel very small against the powers that be, against the people who make our laws and take our freedom. It’s so tedious to hear them lie and lie and lie. Always the same and always over again. They want something and they want it badly.

They never liked the Internet. It was always too … unregulated. They always wanted to cut it down, to twist it into a broadcast medium, and they still think in these terms. If they had had their ways then, Linux and all the free software in the world, they would never have happened.

They try and try, they tell lies, they instill fear, because people in fear can be controlled.

Terrorism worked pretty nice as a vehicle, but what can you do when the goddamn terrorists don’t bomb? Ya can’t throw them damn bombs yourself, can’ya?

And here’s how Child Pornography comes to the help. In Germany they have recently induced hysteria about child porn. The campaign is led by Ursula von der Leyen, a passably looking secretary of family affairs, mother of seven, rising star of the conservatives. At the moment she tries against much resistance to install an Internet censorship system. Officially it is called a means to hurt the commercial market for child porn. Noble, huh?

Well, it ain’t. There are several reasons why this system can’t ever be effective towards its official goal.

First is, that it can easily be circumvented by people with only minimal know-how. You can bet that the commercial providers of child porn have that and that they will find ways to provide their customers with that information.

Second is, that denying access to those pages (if they even exist), would help nobody, or at least not the children. A raped child is a raped child, whether it is seen in Germany or not. Abuse for political purposes by a Secretary of Family Affairs, who fights an election campaign, won’t hurt them further, but it certainly won’t help them.

Third is, that Germany wants to block access to a list of more than 1000 websites, and that the majority of these websites are hosted in the EU and the US. Why don’t they simply shut the servers down?? THAT would hurt business with child pornography, not essentially ineffective blocking.

Now, if these blocking measures are ineffective anyway, why do I care? Well, I care because those filters may be abused for political purposes. The lists of blocked websites are top secret, thus there is no way to check if it is really only child pornography that is blocked. In fact, three of these lists, the Finnish, the Danish and the Australian have been leaked recently, and the majority of blocked websites do NOT contain child porn. Many of them contain porn, but they are legal. One website blocked by Denmark even belongs to a transport company!

And even if the filters may be circumvented, do you really believe that a majority of people would do so, even if a perfectly legal site were blocked? And we all know, that in election times even some hours or days before a scandal leaks may be enough to restrict the damage to a ruling party. Do you really believe that someone in power can resist? Richard Nixon could not.

No, our rights are ours and we won’t tolerate that they want to take them away. In the past, people have died for these rights. It is our duty to make sure that they did not die in vain.

The technical infrastructure that these so-called politicians want to install, that infrastructure is exactly what the next totalitarian régime will long for. Complete control over communication, that’s more than Hitler and Stalin ever had. Let’s give them a deep, resounding NO, regardless how often they try!

Uhhh … well, the Song of the Day is “The Law” from Leonard Cohen’s 1985 album “Various Positions”. Hear it on YouTube … as long as you can 🙂

3 thoughts on “894 – The Law”

  1. Again a lonesome voice of one crying in the wilderness…
    But at least the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” this morning publicly stated the ineffectiveness of those filters for the pretended purpose.

    The bad thing is that all this technology is already there, well tested in large scale not only in China. Big business with this, fear driven as was the completely futile installation of fingerprint scanners in the perinatal ward in our hospital.

    But besides simple-minded politicians we have the lobbied-ones and together they make a poisonous mixture, concentrated in the european parliament and well complemented with as well lobbied heads of administration.

    Oh well…

  2. I pretty sure prefer the parliament. At least there’s an astablished democratic procedure, and in those matters they have spoken quite reasonably in recent years. Not sure if that would have been different if they actually had had the power that they would have if Lissabon were ratified.

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