Pointing to the latest terror attack to hit the United Kingdom, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May (shown) again called for "international agreements" to regulate and censor the Internet under the guise of battling “extremism.” Under the proposed plot, international agreements would be used to regulate speech in cyberspace with a goal of stopping “ideologies” that authorities do not agree with from having a “safe space” online. The scheme also seeks to conscript private companies and foreign powers into the government assault against freedom of speech and freedom of religion. But critics have expressed alarm over the Orwellian implications of allowing the government to decide what can and cannot be said.
As is typical when politicians are working to restrict freedom and expand government power, the plot to clamp down on free speech online was marketed as a tool to keep people safe. At first, it would reportedly be used primarily to target certain violent Islamic teachings and “extremism.” But just as has occurred with assaults on other freedoms around the world, the schemes will undoubtedly expand. And already, top British political leaders have revealed that they want the dictator-dominated United Nations to wage a global war against even “non-violent extremism.” That would include a crackdown on unapproved conspiracy theories, End Times prophecies, biblical views on sexuality and marriage, and much more, top U.K. officials have said.
Speaking after the London Bridge attack that left seven dead and some 50 wounded over the weekend, an attack that followed the recent suicide bombing in Manchester, May blamed free speech, ideology, online freedom, and a lack of government regulation for the atrocities. “We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed,” May said Sunday, without elaborating on the ideology but demanding more war abroad and an end to “safe spaces” for extremism online. “Yet that is precisely what the Internet and the big companies that provide Internet-based services provide.”
Like May's predecessor from the same Conservative Party, former Prime Minister David Cameron, May outlined a vision suggesting she wants the war against unapproved ideologies and speech to be global in scope. “We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning,” she said in a speech following the Islamist terrorist attack, one of several to hit Europe in recent months. “We need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.” Ironically, many brutal dictatorships, including the mass-murdering regime ruling Communist China, have made similar statements in recent years amid the push for global Internet regulation.
Beyond the Internet, May also called for “robust” efforts aimed at “stamping out” so-called “extremism,” not just online and in foreign nations, but across the British government and even across “society.” Already, homeschooling families and Christian churches have been caught up in the U.K. government's “extremism” crusade, with churches and Sunday schools forced to register with authorities to prevent “radicalization.” School teachers have been conscripted, too, with authorities demanding that children with a negative view of homosexuality, for example, be reported to police and social services for “extremism.”
May also hinted at what sounded like a plan for government-mandated integration of fast-growing Muslim communities in Britain with the natives. “The whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism, and we need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities, but as one truly United Kingdom,” the prime minister said, noting that her agenda would require “some difficult and often embarrassing conversations.” In other parts of Europe, private property is already being commandeered to house Muslim migrants.
Of course, even before the latest terror attacks, May and other top British politicians were pushing the exact same agenda. Most recently, the ruling Conservative (Tory) Party released a manifesto calling for an Orwellian censorship regime to control speech and ideology online. “Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet,” the bizarre manifesto explains. “We disagree.” Under the plan, the United Kingdom would become “the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet,” presumably usurping that dubious honor from the mass-murdering regime in Beijing and its so-called “Great Firewall of China.”
Despite the focus on Islamism and jihad for the purpose of marketing the totalitarian plan, the Tory manifesto makes clear that the war on speech and online freedom will be much broader than simply targeting Islam. “We will put a responsibility on industry not to direct users — even unintentionally — to hate speech, pornography, or other sources of harm,” the Conservative Party explained, without admitting that in Britain and across much of the European Union, speaking out against homosexuality or Islam, for example, is a criminal offense under totalitarian “hate speech” laws.
As this magazine has documented extensively, the status of free-speech rights in the U.K. and all over Europe is already abysmal. In Britain, quoting former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's negative views on Islam has resulted in arrest — even of a political leader. Quoting the Bible on homosexuality, too, has landed people in jail. And in Sweden, “justice” authorities decided that the Bible itself — the foundation of Western civilization — runs afoul of draconian “hate speech” laws for its condemnation of homosexual activity as a sin. The list of prohibited speech is constantly expanding.
Instead of displaying hate speech or “other sources of harm” — an undefined term that is ripe for abuse — tech companies such as search engines and social media would be forced under the Tory scheme to help promote government propaganda in the form of “counter-extremist narratives,” the manifesto explains. To fund it all, the government would impose a new tax on Internet companies, the burden of which would of course be shared by Internet users. The money raised would then be used to fund government propaganda that would “support awareness and preventative activity to counter internet harms,” according to the manifesto.
It would hardly be the first time propaganda has been used to change minds. U.K. authorities have already been caught using “behavioral science,” government-run social-media trolls, and online propaganda to manipulate public opinion and destroy the reputation of critics at home and abroad. The scheming, run by the “Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group” (JTRIG), used propaganda and its legions of online trolls to promote “obedience” and “conformity,” official documents revealed. And even that was not enough, with the out-of-control bureaucrats seeking still more “behavioral science support” to further enhance their “capabilities” for manipulating public opinion.
Even the news media — much of which is already controlled and funded by government — will be affected under the Tory plot to crush online free speech. According to the manifesto, the Conservative Party intends to use government to “take steps to protect the reliability and objectivity of information that is essential to our democracy.” In what sounded like a bid to gin up support from the press for the totalitarian vision, the Tory plan would seek ways to coerce online companies and social media platforms to ensure that establishment media outlets are able to earn enough money via ad revenues. So far, though, independent media outlets have reacted to the plot with horror, with one prominent outlet saying May was plotting to “shut down the Internet as we know it.”
The widely reported Tory manifesto demanding government control of the Internet follows the recent entry into effect of the Investigatory Powers Act drastically expanding authorities' snooping powers under the guise of fighting terror. Under the highly controversial U.K. scheme, the government is allowed to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to hand over their customers' browsing history to authorities. The scheme also allows authorities to break into people's online communication services such as WhatsApp so the government can spy on the content of private messages. And back doors into programs and hardware are being demanded to facilitate the mass surveillance.
Of course, the agenda for a global jihad on free speech and even “non-violent extremism” is nothing new. As The New American reported in 2014, then-U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron told the UN and its largely autocratic member regimes that a global war on Internet freedom was needed to combat extremism and ideologies, even if they were not violent. As examples of the sort of thought crimes that should not be tolerated, Cameron pointed to unapproved conspiracy theories about terrorist attacks as well as religious prophecies about the end of the world.
“We must be clear: to defeat the ideology of extremism we need to deal with all forms of extremism — not just violent extremism,” he explained, acknowledging that the machinations would not be entirely “compatible” with free speech and intellectual inquiry. “For governments, there are some obvious ways we can do this.... We shouldn’t stand by and just allow any form of non-violent extremism. And we need the strongest possible international focus on tackling this ideology — which is why here at the United Nations, the United Kingdom is calling for a new Special Representative on extremism.”
With a broad coalition of strongmen and mass-murdering dictatorships spending years demanding UN regulation of the Internet, the UN and the Obama administration were more than happy to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, in October of 2015, the UN and Obama unveiled a global plot to wage war on unapproved “ideologies.” Among the ideologies in the UN's crosshairs, the dictator-dominated global outfit said, were “anti-Muslim bigotry,” as well as opposition to immigration. The UN plot calls for a combination of censorship and government-funded propaganda.
Domestically, Obama unleashed “intervention teams” to tackle ideologies he did not think should be tolerated. The Obama FBI even conscripted school teachers into the war on extremism, urging them to report children as “extremists” if they disagreed with homosexuality or Islam. And before that, multiple Obama bureaucracies disgorged bizarre propaganda reports painting conservatives, libertarians, patriots, veterans, pro-life activists, nationalists, and others as “extremists” and even potential terrorists. U.S. troops were even subjected to an indoctrination course labeling Catholics, evangelical Christians, and Orthodox Jews as “religious extremists” and equating them with terror groups such as Hamas and al Qaeda.
In the EU, the lawless superstate's fledgling “law enforcement” agency Europol already unveiled its plot to censor the Internet under the guise of stopping “extremism.” Globalist-controlled U.S. tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and others eagerly joined in the censorship mania, promising to work with the EU to remove content that the unelected, unaccountable superstate deems unacceptable. “The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech,” claimed Vera Jourová, the EU “Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.”
At the global level, the UN International Telecommunications Union (ITU) — currently led by a Chinese Communist who claimed censorship is in the eye of the beholder — is being groomed to become a global Internet regulator. And now, with Obama's giveaway of key Internet architecture, it will be much easier for the global censorship movement — backed by dictators, communists, socialists, progressives, Islamists, globalists, and the establishment — to make progress on creating an international regime to control the World Wide Web and the content that appears on it. Global taxes have been proposed, too.
British voters are now being told that a vote for the Conservative Party in the upcoming election is a vote for breaking free from the oppressive and unpopular European Union — something voters already voted for when they approved the referendum last year for a British exit from the EU, known as “Brexit.” However, now, the party is also hitching withdrawal from the EU to its manifesto and the plot to crush online freedom. In other words, if voters vote for Tories to get out of the EU, as expected, authorities will exploit that as a public mandate in support of Internet censorship and will move ahead with their anti-free speech jihad.
That totalitarian-minded politicians would blame free speech and online freedom for terrorism is hardly surprising — before that, they blamed gun rights and succeeded in disarming the British population. More credible analysts, though, have blamed the ongoing tsunami of terrorist attacks on everything from Islamic teachings from the Koran to the influx of millions of Muslim migrants and the “blowback” resulting from U.S. and U.K. government bombings and regime-change operations across the Middle East and North Africa. Much of the terrorist threat has actually been deliberately fostered by governments around the world.
One thing, at least, is certain. As America's founders are said to have warned, giving up liberty under the guise of security will result in having neither liberty nor security. And so, giving up more rights — in this case, free speech, online freedom, and free expression — will not stop terrorism. Instead, it will further empower government and will undoubtedly be followed by further government attacks on fundamental human rights. The British people must stand firm for their liberty by refusing to be bullied or terrorized by either Islamist terrorists or totalitarian politicians. Americans, too, must hold the line.
Photo of Prime Minister May speaking in front of 10 Downing Street, June 4, 2017: AP Images