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Several developments that are coming to the fore indicate a noticeable advance towards a government regulated, taxed and controlled system that spells doomsday for the Internet as we know it.
The first steps in a move to charge for every e mail sent have already been taken. Under the pretext of eliminating spam, Bill Gates and other industry chieftains have proposed Internet users buy credit stamps which denote how many e mails they will be able to send. This of course is the death knell for political newsletters and mailing lists.
The New York Times reports that "America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The senders must promise to contact only people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely."
The end game is a system similar to China, whereby no websites even mildly critical of the government will be authorized.
The Pentagon admitted that they would engage in psychological warfare and cyber attacks on 'enemy' Internet websites in an attempt to shut them down. The fact that the NSA surveillance program spied on 5,000 Americans tells us that the enemy is the alternative media and that it will be targeted for elimination. Court cases are pending after the Bush administration demanded the Google search terms of American citizens.
The first wave will simply attempt to price people out of using the conventional Internet and force people over to Internet 2, a state regulated hub where permission will need to be obtained directly from an FCC or government bureau to set up a website.
The original Internet will then be turned into a mass surveillance database and marketing tool. The Nation magazine reported last week, "Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency. According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets--corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers--would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out."
We see a move to demonize the Internet and tar its reputation. AOL is running ads equating Internet users with terrorists. In the next few years we may see a staged Internet shutdown which is blamed on cyber terrorists.
For the aspiring dictator, the Internet is a dangerous tool that has been seized by the enemy. We have come a long way since 1969, when the ARPANET was created solely for US government use. The Internet is freedom's best friend and the bane of control freaks. Its eradication is one of the short term goals of those that seek to centralize power and subjugate the world under a global surveillance panopticon prison.