Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Censorship vs Free Will

Partial Freedom is an oxymoron - but that's just want some people would like the internet to be: "Partially Free". I am greatly disturbed by the censorship of the 'net that has been taking place in China, and is now in beginning in Germany. This censorship in Germany is being done under the guise of making the internet safe for children. In China the Government just admits that it wants to control the information being distributed to their citizens. While China's attitude is disturbing, at least their admonition is refreshing.

This subject took me back some years as I recalled the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I remember the first time I read the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace penned by the poet John Perry Barlow. Its inspiring words, shown in part below, brought tears to my eyes:

"Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather. ..."

"We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth. ..."

"We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity. ..."

"We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before."

---John Perry Barlow

Noble thoughts expressed over a sometimes ignoble medium. But the truth is that Cyberspace is no more evil than the world in which we live, although the anonymity of the internet allows that which resides in the hearts of men to surface freely. But we can not be afraid! Where freedom reigns the truth can always be found. Censorship does not eradicate evil. Wrongdoing is only further obfuscated by censorship.

Yes, there are nasty, and evil places on the internet. There are also places of goodness, justice and truth. I'm not willing to allow any Government to decide for me which is which. In China, for instance, some Christian Web Sites have been banned.

Our Lord gave us Free Will. I'm not willing to let any Government take that away from me.

I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.

I will speak of your statutes before kings
and will not be put to shame,

--Psalm 119:45-46

Makeup your own mind about Cyberspace! Here is some software that can help: