The War of on Terror continues with a new grave threat – people writing things on the internet. The government is now trying to find ways to counter “online radicalization to violence” a phrase so broad it could mean practically anything.
From the White House.
The American public increasingly relies on the Internet for socializing, business transactions, gathering information, entertainment, and creating and sharing content. The rapid growth of the Internet has brought opportunities but also risks, and the Federal Government is committed to empowering members of the public to protect themselves against the full range of online threats, including online radicalization to violence.
Shorter: the internet is gaining in power and we have not figured out a way to dominate it yet, this scares us.
The White House website lists a flurry of groups from ever morphing “Al Qaeda” to “sovereign citizens” to [insert worst thing we can think of here]. These various and assorted people could, possibly, maybe write something that could, possibly, maybe make someone, somewhere, under some set of circumstances, become violent. How can you know anything unless you know everything?
But don’t worry according to the White House Fact Sheet the government will be “collaborating with industry” to help deal with the menace of free speech on the internet.
Collaborating with Industry: The Federal Government will collaborate with industry to explore how we might counter online violent extremism while protecting lawful Internet use and the civil liberties and privacy of individual users. Many companies have developed voluntary measures to promote Internet safety (such as fraud warnings, identity protection, and Internet safety tips), and we look forward to hearing their views about how we might apply similar measures to counter online radicalization to violence.
Big Government and Big Business working together, all to help us. This marriage of state and corporate power to regulate the internet sounds great doesn’t it? If only there was a name for such a system. In any case, allowing the government to work with industry to develop “countermeasures” to “radical” speech is a great way to protect all our freedom. What could go wrong?