Global Internet Censorship Lockdown Begins In Canada
Digital Charter threatens free speech in the name of creating an "inclusive digital and data economy"
May 31 2019
The burning of the Library of Alexandria
[This article has been republished by Culture Wars magazine and The Council of European Canadians.]
On May 15th, 2019, leaders from around the world met in Paris, France, to discuss how they planned to collaborate with tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook to ruthlessly censor the Internet. Many world leaders, including Justin Trudeau, signed something called the 'Christchurch Call to Action' [archive], pledging to "eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online". By using a very liberal interpretation of "terrorist and violent extremist content", they intend to crush all online content that contradicts their agenda.
The same day that he signed the 'Christchurch Call to Action', Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian government was about to unveil something called the 'Digital Charter'. He promised that the government would begin policing the Internet for both "hate speech" and "misinformation", stating that Canadians expect the government to protect them from false information and "bullying" online.
It is pretty clear what they intend to do. They intend to eviscerate the free Internet, the greatest tool for sharing knowledge ever devised by man, and replace it with what essentially amounts to Television 2.0; a Safe Space walled garden playpen for the lobotomized citizens of the emerging globalist dystopia, populated only with cursed memes and government vetted Truth™.
Proposed Censorship Strategies
Initially, the way they intend to accomplish this was not readily apparent. Trudeau was sparse on details, besides alluding to backroom deals being made with tech oligarchs such as Mark Zuckerberg, and promising to manifest "meaningful financial consequences" for online platforms that refuse to (or cannot) comply with censorship requests. But since then, a Parliamentary committee called the 'Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
' has held some meetings in Parliament to discuss the various options they have at their disposal to eradicate "online hate".
They are probably going to pursue censorship through two primary means: Removal or blocking of online content, and fines and potentially criminal charges for Canadian citizens found to be spreading "misinformation" and/or "hate".
Their first line of defense against online content the government deems to be unacceptable will be to contact the online platform (e.g. a website) that is hosting the content, and demand that the content be censored. In Parliament, 24-48 hours was presented as a reasonable time frame in which an online platform has the opportunity to remove the offending content before facing any consequences, after which time fines as high as $25,000 per view
were suggested. Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault stated in Parliament
: "What if we held the platforms accountable for every time they posted something hateful online; for every view, $25,000 fine. Don't you think they would move quickly? ... If we could have heavy fines to the ISPs." (Note that Boissonnault referred both to platforms and ISPs.)
The reality is that if a web company does not have a business presence in Canada, then it will be difficult if not impossible for the Canadian government to levy fines against them. The solution proposed for this dilemma is to instead forward the request for content censorship to Canadian ISPs (Internet Service Providers). ISPs would then be required by law to block web pages, or perhaps even entire websites or IP addresses, so as to prevent the online content from being viewable by their customers. Presumably, the ISPs would be asked to do this under threat of massive fines.
Large tech companies like Google that own huge online platforms such as YouTube will be cooperating at a high level with the Canadian government to ensure their platforms are not blocked in Canada. Instead, what they will likely implement is a special feature, accessible to some government agency tasked with evaluating online content, that allows videos and other content to be reported as illegal. Once reported, the content will then become inaccessible from any Internet connection in Canada. In the case of videos, a message along the lines of "This video is not available in your country" will probably be displayed instead (YouTube already blocks videos on demand in the European Union in this manner).
Smaller web platforms that, after receiving an email from the Canadian government, refuse to outright delete content, or are perhaps incapable of blocking content delivery exclusively to Canadian Internet connections, will simply have their entire websites blocked by Canadian ISPs.
It is not difficult to see how such an aggressive strategy for censoring the Internet, coupled with loose definitions of "hate" and "misinformation", would soon leave huge swaths of the Internet totally inaccessible to Canadian citizens.
For the Canadian government, removing our speech from the Internet is however not sufficient. They also intend to punish Canadian citizens who are found to be spreading "hate" or "misinformation", either with fines levied through the Human Rights Tribunals, with criminal charges, or both.
In 2013, a section of the Canadian Human Rights Act which allowed Canadian citizens to be dragged before Human Rights Tribunals for "hate speech" published online or communicated via a telephone was repealed
. Ever since, enemies of freedom all across the country have been desperate to have it reinstated, and just last year the Liberals indicated that they were looking to potentially do just that
Reinstating Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, or replacing it with something similar, is an option being seriously considered. In Parliament, Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith suggested implementing a tiered system of fines for content posted to social media
: "wouldn't it be more appropriate and efficient to have an administrative system that is flexible and efficient, that would say 'there's going to be a $30 to $50 fine, and don't do it again'... and I want to stop the big hate speech, obviously, but it's the repeated, the people in their basements as it were, who post a one off comment on twitter in reply, and there's no way to hold that person accountable. So how do we effectively hold that person accountable?"
Erskine-Smith's question of "how do we effectively hold someone accountable?" is probably more astute than he realizes. When it comes to holding someone accountable for content posted online, how does the government intend to determine just who exactly posted the content?
Let's use Twitter as an example. There are two primary means by which Twitter can identify its users: IP address and cell phone number. If Twitter received a request from the Canadian government to identify a user so that they could charge that user with hate speech, Twitter could offer to share the user's IP address and phone number. Using the IP address, the government could then contact the ISP that owns that IP address, and ask them for the identity (e.g. name and home address) of the customer it's been assigned to. Using the phone number, the government could contact the cell service provider and request the same information. (One or both of these methods is presumably how the authorities identified a Montreal man in 2017 and arrested him in his home for allegedly posting criminal hate speech on Twitter
If the government decided to begin handing out $50 fines for offensive tweets, it is unlikely (though not out of the realm of possibility, to be fair) that they would send an officer to someone's front door to hand them a ticket. Instead, they would likely send it in the mail along with a screenshot of the offending tweet and a stern warning admonishing the citizen and reminding them that they are under constant surveillance. In this sense, the citizen's IP address would be like a license plate, and the ticket in the mail similar to a red light camera or speeding ticket. Twitter would flag the user and send in the IP address (i.e. license plate) to the Canadian government, and a ticket would be mailed out to the address associated with it.
But what if the Twitter user was connected to a public WiFi hotspot, or a friend's WiFi connection? Same goes for the cell number; what if they borrowed a friend's or family member's cell phone to verify their account?
For that matter, what if a user is intentionally protecting their privacy by using a VPN service
or technology such as Tor
? How do they intend to levy fines against the user (or even determine they are a Canadian citizen, for that matter) in an instance such as that? Basic anonymity technology renders enforcement of these proposed laws nearly impossible.
... And it is entirely possible that they are aware of that fact. In Trudeau's speech at the VivaTech conference, he stated: "Thanks to the anonymity of the Internet, people can bully, harass, and intimidate, nearly anyone who has a twitter account," and during an interview with the CBC, Navdeep Bains, Canada's 'Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development', stated that the Canadian government would "keep Canadians safe from hate, anonymous threats, and cyber bullying."
What they plan to do about the "problem" of anonymity remains to be seen. The fact that they have begun demonizing anonymity in general hints that they may in fact eventually attempt to outlaw technology such as Tor and VPNs, which would make Canada the first Western country in the world to do so
It is also possible that the tech giants will require users to submit personal identifiction to continue using their services, similar to how some online services operate in South Korea
. Facebook has already begun experimenting with requiring some users to upload a photograph of their driver's license to unlock their account (after Facebook locks their account for posting crimethink).
Regardless, if they do pass legislation that permits Canadian citizens to be prosecuted for posting "hate" or "misinformation" on the Internet, whether they attempt to outlaw anonymity or not, this will almost without a doubt result in thousands of Canadians being fined or even arrested for content they post online. Such is already the reality in the United Kingdom where recently in one year alone over 3,300 people were arrested for "offensive online comments"
. The police come to the door of your house
and put you in cuffs for Facebook posts and tweets that the state has deemed "offensive", and in Canada, that could also include posts deemed to be "misinformation".
Misinformation & Disinformation
Perhaps the most troubling part of the announcement is the promise to censor so-called "misinformation" and even potentially fine organizations and individuals for spreading it. The terms "misinformation" and "disinformation" have actually been used interchangeably by government officials when discussing this aspect of their proposed censorship scheme. They claim that people are intentionally spreading false information online with the intent to spread "hate" and divide communities.
Navdeep Bains, Canada's "Innovation Minister", asked during an interview with the CBC
"How can they [Canadians] trust their data be used to improve their lives when it's used to bombard them with disinformation?" Implying that the personal data of Canadians are being somehow harvested online and used to create targeted disinformation campaigns.
The question of course is: Who is going to determine what is misinformation (or disinformation, which implies intent to deceive) and what is truth? The answer of course is that the Canadian government will decide. Presumably, they will create a Ministry of Truth
that will serve as the final arbiter of consensus reality, or perhaps they intend to force the Canadian court system to individually evaluate the truthfulness of every meme and tweet that is reported to the government as "misinformation".
Something interesting is that the term "misinformation" is being used in two distinctly different ways throughout this discussion about Internet censorship. The first is within the context of alleged undermining of "democratic institutions". Under the heading of "Strong Democracy" in the 'Canadian Digital Charter
], it states: "The Government of Canada will defend freedom of expression and protect against online threats and disinformation designed to undermine the integrity of elections and democratic institutions." This is a reference to the meddling in the 2016 US presidential election that the Russian government allegedly engaged in, meddling that amounted to nothing more than legally purchasing some ads on Facebook.
The second way in which the term "misinformation" is being employed by the wannabe speech commissars in the Canadian government is within the context of spreading "hate". Liberal MP Colin Fraser, during a meeting in Parliament on the subject of "online hate"
stated: "I think that the essential point here is that it's about spreading misinformation that angers people, and riles people up online, and spreading that disinformation which turns members of a community against one another. That's the fundamental problem that we're seeing here with things online that are not true, and they're being propagated here by people with insincere motives, and motives that are outside of the bounds of civil society, I would suggest."
The idea that "misinformation" is being intentionally spread online to incite hatred was also echoed by Morgane Oger, representing the Morgane Oger Foundation
during the same parliamentary meeting: "Online hate is not insult, it is not an expression of divergent points of view, it is harassment, it is inciting people to discriminate, it is the deliberate publication of disinformation for the purpose of misleading the public by giving it a misplaced sense of indignation." For perspective, Oger considers online comments that point out the fact that he is a biological male to be a form of disinformation that incites hatred, since he literally believes that he has transformed himself into a female.
Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of the 'Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies', even recommended to Parliament
that an archaic law forbidding the spreading of "false news", a law that was struck down as unconstitutional in 1992 by the Supreme Court of Canada, be revived so as to be wielded as a bludgeon against those who spread "misinformation" online.
Anyone with any shred of common sense should be deeply alarmed by the government announcing that it is planning to censor what it deems to be misinformation, potentially even by prosecuting individuals who are accused of spreading alleged disinformation. Such power affords a government with the opportunity to manifest the most extreme forms of tyranny imaginable, for it grants them the power to arbitrarily redefine the most fundamental axioms upon which our society is predicated, and enforce those redefinitions at the point of a gun.
Why They Fear The Internet
It has been more or less just over twenty five years now
since the general public began crowding onto this convoluted and mysterious series of tubes
generally referred to as the Internet.
By clicking and tapping on a few pieces of plastic strewn about our desks, we are able to transmit ideas from inside of our minds to human beings (and their dogs) on the other side of the planet, at the speed of light. In a relatively short period of time, we have managed to amass and make available to anyone in the world who can find a net connection the entire collection of humanity's knowledge produced to date. Even just one hundred years ago this would have been seen as an incomprehensible miracle, the manifestation of which our predecessors surely would have believed heralded the coming of a golden age of human innovation and achievement.
And maybe it will, but we are on the verge of losing it all.
All because the Internet does exactly what it is intended to do: It transmits information. The Internet compresses space-time; it compresses the space between human minds to the speed of light, and information persists, unchanged, over great periods of time. The result of this space-time compression is an unprecedented expansion in human consciousness, to the eternal dismay of those who, up until now, relied on operating their games just outside of the boundaries of normal human consciousness.
Their reaction has been to attempt to filter and control the Internet's space-time compression so as to slow down or halt the rapidly expanding bubble of human consciousness, because that bubble is on the verge of flooding light into the deepest recesses of their machinations
The question is: What are we going to do about it?