Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

CENSORSHIP, SURVEILLANCE & MISINFORMATION

Almost all organized societies did make concerted efforts to establish institutions that were deemed essential to the smooth functioning of societies. Understanding and cherishing the shared values incorporated in the various institutions used to signify upright citizenship. Amongst these values, the rule of law, freedom of expression, basic human rights, etc. stand out! Unfortunately, as societies became more hierarchical and regimented, as is the case today, certain inalienable rights of individuals were visibly devalued. The integrity system gradually gave way to superficial concerns that prioritized the protection of entrenched powers more than anything. The ‘deep state’ of the industrially advanced countries is a living proof of this generalized societal degradation!
Freedom of expression is one of those societal values that is being eroded in our hyper technical modernity. The modern informatics that flourished around the 1990s started out by empowering the typical global sheeple (human mass). As technical complexity increased and consolidation within the sector accelerated, the big corporation came to dominate the creation and distribution of information. Today only six corporations in the US account for over 90% of broadcasting! The states themselves have become enthusiastic collaborators in these undemocratic undertakings. See the articles next column, on page 28 & 41. To be sure, the traditional media outlets (print media, cables, etc.) have been losing their turf to the new informatics. In fact, many of them have completely collapsed. Some of the significant ones were bought out by the new tech giants, with the explicit support of the states. Amazon, Google, etc., are now, amongst other things, the new media giants! The extensive reach these tech giants have developed has become a threat to global democracy. As a result, the positive and empowering aspect of the new informatics are being lost swiftly. For instance, the US government has already paved the way for the big tech companies to regulate the flow of Internet traffic, as they wish, thereby undermining the traditionally democratic nature of the Internet!
Surveillance has always been the hallmark of new informatics. In its latest version, the gadgets of surveillance range from the modest mobile phones to lap tops/desktops all the way to the big mainframe computers used by institutions. The Internet itself is comprised of worldwide networks to facilitate espionages. Thanks to people like Edward Snowden, the global sheeple is now aware of the various manipulative technics employed by the global power that be (TPTB). The ‘totalitarian’ nature of our modern existence is no more in dispute! Even in the states of the periphery, surveillance has become one of the main functions of the state. Controlling the masses remains one of the objectives of modern states, poor or rich!
Outright censorship is also one of the objectives of modern states. The ‘deep state’ is fully collaborating with the new tech firms, in this particular regard. Thanks to people like Manning and Assange, the world has started to get real and valid information about the workings of the ‘deep state.’ Wikileaks has revealed plenty about the evil projects of the powerful states. Information that has been suppressed for years is now coming to light. False flags that were used as excuses to start wars; assassinations of activists/freedom fighters/peaceful revolutionaries, etc. that were hidden from the public eyes are being revealed by the peaceful warriors of Wikileaks and their likes. Obviously, the ‘deep state’ is out to get those who are at the forefront of these exposures. Assange and Snowden are already criminalized and condemned by TPTB because they dared to tell the truth. Many others have not been so lucky!
When misinformation becomes one of the main objectives of entrenched interests, the global sheeple has to start fighting back. To this end, the need for comprehensive community media becomes paramount. If truth be told, the future of private media is very bleak. To start with, these outlets depend on their sponsors for their commercial survival/revenues. Moreover, promoters, by and large, are not very much into telling the truth, rather they are interested in what sells. Usually it is ‘make believe’ that sells, not necessarily the truth. That is why we have been advocating community media for years. Fully funded by taxpayers, but independently run by elected citizenry and unaffiliated with entrenched interests, is what should be the future of information communication. The sheeple need to have access to the whole truth and not only to those preached by the state and the paid-media!
“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.” -Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 1807. Good Day!