“As Edward Snowden revealed, the cozy relationship between Washington and Twitter, Facebook, and Google among others, has been incestuous. The timing of recent developments out of Silicon Valley and Washington to surveil and censor the social media sites of independent journalists such as Alex Jones, Caitlin Johnstone, Telesur and Venezuela Analysis is striking for a few reasons.
First of all, we believe that there is a coordinated operation under way by the US intelligence community in partnership with Silicon Valley and their global partners, to clamp down on independent news sites and their publishers. This was highlighted by WikiLeaks Founder, Julian Assange being cut off to the outside world by the Ecuadoran government, the country that gave him political asylum and even granted him citizenship. Under pressure from the United States, Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno made clear that Assange’s stay will come to an end any minute.
There is little doubt that Obama’s US government’s attempted to surveil, discredit and censor WikiLeaks. It has been widely reported, underscored by a 2010 dossier authored by Palantir for government contractors entitled “How to Combat the WikiLeaks Thread.” But what appears to be at play is not only the US government’s attempted destruction of WikiLeaks and its support base, but of independent journalism critical of state-sponsored narratives.
But it’s not just these well-respected, established journalists being targeted, it is truly the independent media, exemplified by Youtubers as well.
As one former member of the intelligence community tells me, “whenever you see a coordinated action/take-down that is outside the natural flow of events or process, you have to stop and ask yourself, what the hell is going on?” “The key question that must be asked, is ‘is there anything that all of these targets have in common?”
When you take a thousand-foot view and look down you will find two commonalities: They criticize, expose and educate the public about the intelligence community and they all support Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks Publisher.
History provides us with lessons when it comes to surveillance and censorship – from China in 443 BC to Rome in 300 AD censorship and surveillance have been used in an attempt to control behavior and society. At the time, such totalitarian tactics were considered noble and essential for maintaining a “moral society,” but in a country founded on the principal of freedom and democracy, is censorship and surveillance really what the people want?
And why the sudden purge?
“If something feels off, it probably is,” the former intelligence officer told me.
The bottom line is that the biggest threat to centralized power is sunlight and open source platforms. Inclusiveness is the threat to the exclusive elite. And as elite narratives get debunked or questioned, the threat to the establishment narrative is jeopardized. Journalists such as Seymour Hersh have long challenged the narrative then and continue to today. (See Hersh’s belief that Russia was not the source for the DNC leak of Clinton emails)
At a time when our individual freedoms to write, say, share and publish are under graver threat than ever before, the time and market is ripe for a new safe platform for communication – something with impenetrable security to ensure the authenticity and privacy as was believed when writing the Constitution. We need an uncensored and encrypted social media -platform that, like Steemit, can monetize your activities, but something with more capabilities, to allow the truth to triumph over the intelligence community.
As we witness the mainstream media turn their backs on WikiLeaks and other journalists who speak truth to power, we should turn to the words of Harvard Law School’s Yochai Benkler. Because once the independent publishers go and are either silenced or prosecuted for spreading information, the mainstream media will likely be next. Benkler is the Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies Faculty and Co-Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
If leaking classified materials to a public media outlet can lead to prosecution for aiding the enemy, then it has to be under a rule that judges can apply evenhandedly to the New York Times or the Guardian no less than to ProPublica, the Daily Beast, or WikiLeaks. No court will welcome a rule where culpability for a capital offense like aiding the enemy depends on the judge’s evaluation of the quality of the editorial practices, good faith, or loyalty of the media organization to which the information was leaked. Nor could a court develop such a rule without severely impinging on the freedom of the press. The implications of Manning’s case go well beyond Wikileaks, to the very heart of accountability journalism in a networked age.
From the New Republic’s The Dangerous Logic of the Bradley Manning Case.
The people are desperate for the next safe platform to communicate and share ideas – a place devoid of censorship and surveillance – a place where the mantra “courage is contagious” can be recognized and heralded. We beleive that FutureNet is that platform where not only social media personalities get to monetize their netowk, but you do too. (FutureNet is 100% encrypted at the moment and has over three million users world wide.
As the big boys such as Facebook and Twitter continue to play games with the public and censor free speech, the people must continue to fight back and unleash tech ingenuity that allows for robust, protected dialogue. It is a fight for our rights protected by the Constitution. Who’s going to step up? Click FutureNet and sign up for free today. David will also be sharing more about FutureNet in the coming weeks”
Special guest contributor