Among other major concerns, leaked documents about the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP) pseudo-free trade regime between the Obama administration and the European Union revealed a brazen assault on self-government. As knowledge of the contents of the TTIP scheme is becoming known, opposition to it on both sides of the Atlantic is spreading like wildfire. Some officials in Europe are using the remaining vestiges of self-governance to fight back against the Big Business and Big Government attacks on the rights of their constituents — by trying to “opt out” of the scheme entirely.
Under the guise of battling the Islamic State and jihadists on the Internet, the European Union’s self-styled “police” force, dubbed “Europol,” is launching a new bureaucracy to supposedly combat “online propaganda” and “extremism” with censorship. The so-called EU “Internet Referral Unit” (IRU) will be charged with monitoring the World Wide Web, taking down and flagging “extremist” material, providing information and analysis to EU member governments, and looking forward to the future. While details of the unit remain hazy, critics are expressing concerns — both about the EU usurpation of the awesome power to unilaterally censor the Internet, and the constantly changing definition of “extremism” to cover increasingly broad swaths of the population.
According to recently published official documents, a scandal-plagued U.K. government snooping unit bombastically styling itself the “Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group” (JTRIG) has been using “behavioral science,” social-media trolls, and online propaganda to manipulate public opinion and destroy critics at home and abroad.