Facebook and Google may be using copyright scanners to suppress ‘extremist’ speech

by T.C. Sottek, The Verge

The systems that automatically enforce copyright laws on the internet may be expanding to block unfavorable speech. Reuters reports that Facebook, Google, and other companies are exploring automated removal of extremist content, and could be repurposing copyright takedown methods to identify and suppress it. It’s unclear where the lines have been drawn, but the systems are likely targeted at radical messages on social networks from enemies of European powers and the United States. Leaders in the US and Europe have increasingly decried radical extremism on the internet and have attempted to enlist internet companies in the fight. Many of those companies have been receptive to the idea. But their definitions of extremism, and how automated systems are being used, is still a secret; neither Facebook or Google would confirm these efforts to Reuters, which relied on two anonymous sources who are “familiar with the process.”

So far, major internet companies have relied on their users to flag illegal or restricted content. Earlier this year, Facebook said its users flag more than one million items for review every day. Twitter has been busy playing whack-a-mole against ISIS-related accounts at a furious pace, suspending 125,000 accounts as of February. And Google said it received over 75 million DMCA takedown requests in just one month in 2016. There’s also precedent for using automated systems to flag other kinds of illegal content; several major internet companies, including Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, and Google, use automated systems to identify the transmission of child pornography.

But upgrading automated systems for the suppression of extremist content would be a step with potentially serious and unknown consequences, since existing systems that take down content for suspected copyright and other violations deal with huge volumes of information and are routinely abused to suppress legal speech. Additionally, suppression of extremist speech may contain a lot more grey area than clearly-defined illegal content, like pirated media and child pornography.

The secret identification and and automated blocking of extremist speech would raise new, serious questions about the cooperation of private corporations with censorious governmental interests. Governments and private individuals have already attempted in recent years to hold internet companies and service providers liable for the actions of third-parties with varying degrees of success; the EU’s right to be forgotten rule now requires companies like Google to comply with individuals who want to scrub search results that point to their sensitive personal information. That rule has already been abused to try to suppress journalism.

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Congress, Like the Sneaky Pedo Uncle of the Family, Slips CISA (CISPA) Into Law in the Dead of the Night

by Scott Creighton

the time has come — indeed, it is long overdue — for the wisdom, ingenuity and resources of American business to be marshalled against those who would destroy it. Lewis Powell memo, 1971

We gotta get Bill Gates to shut down the internet, for the CHILDREN!” Donald Trump

CISA (CISPA) is now the law of the land.

Your sneaky uncles in congress snuck into your bedroom the other night and planted their fascist seed into the futures of your children. Then sneakier ObamaGod took his turn, signed it into law and ran away into the night zipping up his pants to go party with his Big Business friends in Hawaii.

Yeah, it’s a nasty metaphor, but an even nastier reality.

Big Business has been pushing for CISPA for years. Back in early 2013, they killed Aaron Swartz to make sure he wouldn’t be around to lead the charge against it like he did the first time the public will killed the fascist wet dream of theirs. That’s because CISPA (now CISA) hands over complete control of your internet, email and phone information (“internet of everything“, remember) and everything else really,  to Big Business allowing them to do with it as they see fit and leaving you with absolutely no recourse whatsoever.

In all, with the aligned companies that make up the various Roundtables and alliances, there are 800 corporations that support the passage of CISPA…

April 15th, 2013… right before this whole thing kicked off and Glenn Greenwald was contacted by Edward Snowden, 200 senior IBM executives hit D.C. like a plague of locusts to push them to pass the new CISPA bill.

The message we’re going to give [lawmakers] is going to be a very simple, clear message: support the passage of CISPA,” he later added. The Hill

Scott Creighton, June 2013

If you think it was a bad idea to allow a handful of NSA techies access to your metadata, CISA provides all your data to a hundred thousand faceless corporate ladder climbers to do with as they see fit just so long as they have a “good faith belief” that you might be up to no good.

How’s that for “CHANGE”?

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Obama’s War on the Internet: The Ministry of Truth

by Philip Giraldi, Capaign for Liberty

The Ministry of Truth was how George Orwell described the mechanism used by government to control information in his seminal novel 1984. A recent trip to Europe has convinced me that the governments of the world have been rocked by the power of the internet and are seeking to gain control of it so that they will have a virtual monopoly on information that the public is able to access. In Italy, Germany, and Britain the anonymous internet that most Americans are still familiar with is slowly being modified. If one goes into an internet café it is now legally required in most countries in the European Union to present a government issued form of identification.

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