Friday, November 21, 2008

English Totalitarianism goes Digital!

UK Government DNS Take-Over

The UK government, with a long track record of authoritarian measures has a new goal: a clampdown on the DNS system.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, run by former Young Communist League member, Peter Mandelson is making a power grab for Nominet the company that runs the UK DNS system.

BERR wrote a letter to the chairman of Nominet which contains the following weasel words:

What arguments would you employ to convince my Ministers that the present relationship between government and the company is appropriate in ensuring that public policy objectives in relation to the management of the domain name system and the standing of the UK in the Internet community are understood and taken into account?

In bureaucrat-speak this means "do what we say, or we'll take you over". Of course if a company does what the government says it has been taken over anyway, so really that paragraph is saying "we're taking you over".

This power grab is not surprising. It comes from the most controlling and authoritarian government in the so-called free world. We should have been expecting it.

In a country with more CCTV cameras per head than any other, with long periods of detention without trial, which has a government that uses anti-terrorism laws to grab the assets of Icelandic banks and fraud to create 'intelligence' dossiers, it is hardly surprising that free speech on the Internet is under threat.

Mandelson has recently been exposed as being in contact with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska has been given a $2.5 billion dollar helping hand from former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin.

Bloggers and the Internet is one area of self-expression where the power hungry Stasi that run Britain haven't been able to control. But they want to. An assault on the DNS system is one way they can start doing it.

How long before free speech on the Internet is dead?

UK Government to Ban Content It Doesn't Like

The UK Government wants to turn off web sites it doesn't like, that's the real aim of its plan to takeover the .uk DNS system.

On Wednesday a certain David Hendon who works for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, said that the domain name industry needs to toe the government line on phishing, spam and "bad content".

Now, no one is in favour of phishing and spam, but what on earth does this bureaucrat mean by "bad content"?

We don't have to look far. Hazel Blears, a career politician who is currently Communities Secretary, recently made noises about shutting down blogs she doesn't like. She particular doesn't like the blog of Guido Fawkes. It's not surprising she doesn't like that blog because he has broken many stories that have been very embarrassing to the government. This is what she said:

Unless and until political blogging 'adds value' to our political culture, by allowing new and disparate voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and pessimism.

Now, the thing is that Guido is a new and disparate voice. It's just that he's not the sort of new and disparate voice that Blears and the other aparatchiks in the government like. She only wants ones authorised by her.

This government is the most two-faced, cynical and authoritarian in the rapidly-becoming-less-free world. They have already banned certain types of protest in London. Now, they only want you look at content, they've authorised.

Welcome to hell.

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