Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us


So USG can subpoena website operators, and gag them for months, forcing them to unmask anonymous commenters.

The European branch has basically ruled the same thing: wreckers in your website must be handed out, or else.

And you better register your website with your real name and address, so they can arrest you easily.

We all know very well what happens when the Cathedral even slightly hints they don't like something. Try finding a Confederate flag with your iPhone.

This can only get worse. Suspicions of wreckers will only increase as the economy declines, and the myriad Gaps stubbornly refuse to shrink.

Long term there's only two choices. You can shut up. Online discussions aren't crucial to one's life. Hey, Big Brother isn't so bad.

Or there's exit. USG is powerful but it's reach isn't complete. I'd propose China, but Chinese internet control means that connections from outside are extremely slow.

I guess there's Russia. How interested is Putin in harboring Western free speech? Any Russians in the audience?


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  • What about exit into technological anonymity? It's true that USG won't like that either -- see Silk Road. But it's several orders of magnitude harder to police. To take down Silk Road they infiltrated the organization with a mole who gained trust. They can't do that for every two-bit website. Controlling cryptography requires a full clampdown on what software you can install on your computer. I don't see that happening.

      • It's not easier, but (1) It's more secure, (2) against all governments, China and Russia included, and (3) certain kinds of international telecommunications are easier to monitor and interdict for various entities.

        The extreme case is Urbit and decentralized cloud computing where everything is virtual and doesn't have a geolocation, being dynamically distributed across the globe.

        • (1) Will Yandex out your comments? (2) Who gives a shit (3) Will Yandex out your comments?

          And we're comparing a piece of cake with some yet to be realized, perhaps impossible technology.

          • Any IT system that can defeat Russian and Chinese censors will easily defeat USG's affirmative action IT departments.

  • I always expected to see freedom die in the United States, but I'm stunned at the speed with which things are progressing...

  • Russian government is quite paranoid about anonymity, too. It can and does go after website owners' and commenters' identities without a court order if it wants to. IIRC there is even a law requiring public wifi providers, like cafes and restaurants, to request and collect users' identities, although compliance is still spotty. Internet providers must install FSB snooping equipment (characteristically, at their own expense) or lose their licence. Etc. Andy one must not forget that the Russian government is not meaningfully reactionary. It might condone a highly-trafficked nrx website while it is useful, but it would exist at the government’s sufferance and subject to political pressure. Also, while I don't remember the legal rules, highly-trafficked russian websites may have to register with the government as mass media operations on pain of closure.

    • Highly trafficked nrx website is an oxymoron. Unless the FSB threshold is 100 pageviews.

      The issue with Russia in particular would be that there's no free and reliable blog service hosted there. And there's probably no good market for starting one.

      We could all learn Chinese and move to Weibo; 150 hanzi go a long way.

  • The USG is stunningly incompetent at IT. There's a lot of Archuleta-type affirmative action hires in the civil service ranks.

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