I suspect that in the coming years we will see increasing movements to censor the Internet. In fact, in Europe it is already happening. The fact is that the Internet is simply to free for the powers that be to allow it to exist in its current state. Before the Internet, the elites could safely manage what people knew by controlling the bottleneck of newspapers, magazines and television. Now that the Internet is here, people and organizations can say whatever they want, and people can be informed about what they want. Revelations of corruption and abuse of power are being brought to light. Politically incorrect things are being set. People are learning about what is really going on, and they are starting to demand change. Our leaders and power brokers prefer the population to be well managed and ignorant, and Internet goes that metrically opposed to that. So, I believe that we will see increasing efforts in the future to censor the Internet, inevitably under the excuse of combating terrorism, criminality, copyright violations, and things that are “offensive” (politically incorrect).
Already, even without the Internet, true freedom of speech does not exist in Europe. There are all kinds of laws that can lead to fines, and even imprisonment, for saying things that are politically incorrect, like questioning the details of the Holocaust, or saying anything negative about homosexuals, or immigrants, or Muslims… It’s only half a step from that to applying the same rules to the Internet. I heard just a few days ago about ideas to get rid of anonymity on the Internet. Anonymity on the Internet is important because it allows people to express unpopular ideas without the fear of reprisal. This is the same principle that is enshrined in the secret ballot. People are protected from having their vote revealed, so there can be no reprisals from leaders or pressure from them. That is one of the reasons why Venezuela is not a real democracy. Everyone’s vote in Venezuela is published on the Internet, along with their name, address and other personal information. And, investigations have revealed that, in fact, those who voted against Hugo Chavez have been discriminated against.
In the next few years we will have to be ever vigilant against repeated efforts by those in power to restrict and censor the Internet.