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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is the Government Really Creating a Tool of Liberation?

by Jeffrey Tucker, Mises Blog

A very strange story in the NYT: U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors

The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy "shadow" Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.
Now, this is rather interesting since the U.S. government is the number one threat to the internet outside the great firewall of China. It is daily confiscating servers and shutting down domains and otherwise pushing for every kind of invasive monitoring one can imagine. And why? For the same reason that governments in Egypt and Libya shut down their networks during the uprisings.

Has the U.S. government suddenly changed from being a proponent of control to become a proponent of libertarian? No, of course not. The article goes on to detail how this new technology will be used. In every instance, it turns out to be about supporting the U.S. foreign policy priorities in places like Afghanistan. In other words, this is a tool to undermine people who disagree with the U.S. government. The rhetorical chutzpah is amazing here.

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