Self-censorship – coming to a laptop near you

by Graham Vanbergen, from truepublica.org.uk


In our article “Britain Moves From Democracy to Authoritarian State in Pernicious Veil of Secrecy”, written back in September, we described how in little more than a decade the state has gone from an open society with, mainly democratic principles, to one that is starting to resemble an authoritarian state.
This is demonstrated no better than by a sinister mass surveillance programme instigated, developed and kept secret by the state, only to be revealed by the leaks of a whistleblower years later.
As a concerned, conscientious or just inquisitive citizen you may, quite rightly, ask why is it happening? and for whose benefit? But actually nowadays, you might not ask at all.
The word panopticon sounds sinister as well as actually being so. It describes a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow all (pan-) inmates of an institution to be observed (-opticon) by a single watchman without the inmates being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that all inmates must act as though they are watched at all times, effectively controlling their own behaviour constantly. It appears that Bentham’s design is being adopted as a government playbook for future civil rights and liberties.
A study by the University of Oxford (Oxford Internet Institute); Citizen Lab (University of Toronto); Harvard University (Berkman Center for Internet & Society); and Dalhousie University (Schulich School of Law) demonstrated some interesting results on the modern day design being imposed upon by our ‘elected’ watchmen. The study provides evidence of the “chilling effects” of Wikipedia users associated with online government surveillance.

Using an interdisciplinary research design, the study tests the hypothesis, based on chilling effects theory, that traffic to privacy-sensitive Wikipedia articles reduced after the mass surveillance revelations. The Article finds not only a statistically significant immediate decline in traffic for these Wikipedia articles after June 2013, but also a change in the overall secular trend in the view count traffic, suggesting not only immediate but also long-term chilling effects resulting from the NSA/PRISM online surveillance revelations. These, and other results from the case study, offer compelling evidence for chilling effects associated with online surveillance.

The study, written by Jon Penney, goes further in the summary by saying that:

important insights about how we should understand such chilling effects and their scope, including how they interact with other dramatic or significant events (like war and conflict) and their broader implications for privacy, U.S. constitutional litigation, and the health of democratic society. This study is among the first to demonstrate — using either Wikipedia data or web traffic data more generally — how government surveillance and similar actions may impact online activities, including access to information and knowledge online.

In other words, like the panopticon, when we know we are being watched, in this case seeking out knowledge, attempting to understand why governments do what they do and trying to get answers on the difficult things that affect us, we are already starting to self-censor. In an attempt to avoid being suspicious, we are actively choosing not to visit particular websites out of fear.
Think about that for a moment. We are choosing not to visit a website out of fear of our own government.
The study deduces that “a 20 percent decline in page views on Wikipedia articles related to terrorism, including those that mentioned ‘al Qaeda,’ ‘car bomb’ or ‘Taliban.’” This is a clear indication that people are self-censoring, that they are afraid to find out about the effects of government decisions that not only stifles free speech but the most basic principles of any democracy no matter how young or old it may be.
As if further evidence was necessary this from The Guardian:

A postgraduate student of counter-terrorism was falsely accused of being a terrorist after an official at Staffordshire University had spotted him reading a textbook entitled Terrorism Studies in the college library.”

The unfortunate involved here was Mohammed Umar Farooq, who enrolled in the terrorism, crime and global security master’s programme, who told the Guardian that he was questioned about homosexuality, Islamic State (Isis) and al-Qaida by an official of the university. Farooq also said he had been “looking over his shoulder” ever since, and so unsettled by the incident that he chose not to return to the course. Farooq was worried he would end up on a Police watch list. After a three month investigation, Farroq was exonerated and an apology was made by the university.
The same happened to another student who was arrested under the Terrorism Act and kept in custody for six days and eventually awarded £20,000 compensation by the police after three years of investigation. Rizwaan Sabir, 22, who was studying for a master’s at Nottingham University, was arrested after downloading a terrorist manual for his research on al Qaeda.
UK advocacy group Cage confirmed that they have received dozens and dozens of such cases just like that of Farooq and Sabir.
This is the result of the British government’s new anti-radicalisation policy – one that is constructing the architecture of societal paranoia, starting in academia. This is also confirmed by Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, which represents more than 120,000 academics and lecturers at universities and colleges across the UK. Back in September last year she said that the government plans on radicalisation were “baffling and fostered mistrust between lecturers and students.”
Then we have the BBC who reported that the British Library has declined to store a large collection of Taliban-related documents because of concerns regarding terrorism laws:

The collection, related to the Afghan Taliban, includes official newspapers, maps and radio broadcasts. Academics have criticised the decision saying it would be a valuable resource to understand the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan. The library said it feared it could be in breach of counter-terrorism laws. It said it had been legally advised not to make the material accessible.”

Alex Strick van Linschoten, an author and researcher who helped spearhead the project said:

There’s no recipes for making bombs or anything like that. These are documents that would help people understand history, whether it’s Afghans trying to learn about their recent past, or outsiders wanting to understand the movement.”

Linschten went further to say:

…there is a climate of fear among academics who study this kind of material because UK law is very loose.”

America’s ‘Domestic Surveillance Directorate‘ – a website run by the NSA – makes the worryingly Orwellian statement: “Your Data: If You Have Nothing to Hide, You Have Nothing to Fear” (literally, it does say that) that should make most of us even more suspicious of their intentions.
Back in Britain, it’s more subtle. From GCHQ:

We are very aware of the responsibility that comes with the nature of our work, and in addition to our legal accountability we also take the ethical considerations surrounding our mission seriously.”

That didn’t stop them breaking laws, domestically and internationally, on an industrial scale. Once challenged, the government simply went ahead and changed the law – so it wasn’t being broken.
In the end, persecution of whistleblowers like Snowden, Assange and Manning gives out a huge message to the citizens of so-called modern democracies. So does the release of data from the Panama Papers, the Swiss Leaks, Lux Leaks and TTIP leaks.
Bentham’s ‘panopticon is a useful tool used by government’s all over the world, Britain and America included, to change the behaviour of the masses. It does so as Bentham designed, to instil despair and anxiety in order that those in power continue their reign of anarchy across the world. Be it a corporate takeover of sovereign nations such as TTIP, CETA and TTP or en-masse taxation crimes to name just a couple, whilst everyone else bows their heads, eyes to the floor for fear of being caught looking up.


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Eurasia News Online
Eurasia News Online
Jun 2, 2016 2:24 AM

Reblogged this on Eurasia News Online.

Jun 1, 2016 4:15 PM

Reblogged this on Worldtruth.

Mihangel apYrs
Mihangel apYrs
May 31, 2016 9:23 PM

I think it is important for the record to note that Bentham was a reformer, and that the gaol design to to significantly IMPROVE the lot of prisoners by housing them humanely.
For the rest, it stands moderately well – we all think twice about certain searches

Tesla Valve
Tesla Valve
May 31, 2016 10:57 AM

Despite repeatedly declining attempts by Microsoft to update Window 7 to Windows 10,
on my laptop, the software has been installed against my wishes. Some people claim Windows 10 contains spy software. According to ‘Private Eye’, Google Chrome contains spy software, but the user has to give permission to switch it on (“so that’s all right, then”, as they put it.) Windows 10 supports a small number of reputable search engines, to protect you from phishing etc. – including Google Chrome. This legal, is it? I’m sure they can arrange for it to be so, if not.
“he was questioned about homosexuality, Islamic State and Al-Qaeda”
Sounds like MI5 looking for fresh recruits/patsies.
I found this article dangerously subversive (is this okay Mr. Gates, sir? Lurve Monsanto BTW.)

Mihangel apYrs
Mihangel apYrs
May 31, 2016 9:16 PM
Reply to  Tesla Valve

try Ubuntu – it’s freeware, and supports a lot of applications

joe Staten
joe Staten
Jun 4, 2016 11:18 AM
Reply to  Tesla Valve

You can roll back to Windows 7 within 30 days of the change. Apparently Microsoft changed the interface on the W10 popup so that clicking in the “x” signals acceptance of the update. Not technically “forcing” you to update, but certainly conning you into doing so.
Big question is – why does Microsoft, the greediest corp on the planet that never gave away a free OS before, now suddenly want so bad for us all to update to W10

May 31, 2016 10:36 AM

You should know this by now.
I apologise the length, again, hehe sorry.
Its an massive span in this.
Decades of propaganda, deacdes of whorespondents druling on the tube, prestitutes have lied about everything for eons, since Guttenbergs days, when propaganda gott its rebirth in mass scale.
Decades of sites as TV channels pimping war propaganda, historys faked so hard its bearhtaking to watch, and so on, perseptions builded for decades about f…. everything.
Even food, shuggar and fat, some years ago, they claimed it was suicide to eat 6 eggs within an day because that colestrole would kill you instantly, yea, and the sience was as snow is, an thing of the past, and sicence was and stil is, hehe ,seltled.
As one ex. of self censur ship and this one is so bloddy logicaly and so detucativly f….. obvious its scary, vaccines.
This ladys and gentlemen is not medical science or health care, its an simple scam, made so bigg the meer thought about it been an totally scam scares people, even thoe their “science” is utter nonsense. Even when some of it is admitted its dead silent about it. The scare propaganda against anyone that questions Vaccines is massive, but the other side is self censure ship because of it, the onslaoght of the “thruthers” that backs the “science” behind the scam, and Vaccine debate is an magificent ex. on just how this works in real time, but I am mosutly banned everywhere, because I know their driwell, and have no respect what so ever for this freaks and criminal complyancing to the scam.
Did this lines make you jump, Il bett it did, but I know its The truth.
Its like the money scam, fractional banking, the scam of scams, follow me, huh.
The list is long.
Whats then self censur ship, when everytime one is writing this, there is an pack of people that have the right “belife”, and thinking, aka well educated, that uses their coments to hammer people that asks.
And they often use the “science” to selte it, in the comentary feilds, and other tricks as well, but the best is Guilt by association, nice one, as anti-semetism morphes into other anti-tems of everything incl been anti-scentific, because you dont buy their “science/explanations”.
Thrue years this have eradicated people from asking or questioning, and to the present where its not even alowed to print nor been officiale, as the AGW cargo cultistas aka the CarboNazis have highjacked the envirioment cases, and guided it into an dead end.
An massive scam and an even more massive economic specualtive bobble, wurth billions. and an black hole whom have sucked billions into it to do reaeatch, yea, halleluja and they accuse me for having economic indisiers to do it.
Havent seen an f… nickle.
The God delution, and delutions of God, from people so stupid it hurts, with arguments so backwardly ignorant and totally deprived of knowledge, that Im amazed anyone can belive this crapp.
Atheists uses ISIS as an profe of how evil God is.
Christ how f… convinient, huh.
The Dawkins dlution is more precise, an culturall marxist and an rotten ignorant, whom is been pimped an an “smart” ugh…. man.
Well, they have the same perspetion as people beliving this reality is an ilution, well, dunka, my head into the table confrims this reality isnt an ilution, and consiousness dont exists, well, they know nothing about everything, infact the ignorance is mind boggeling wast.
I can help them to change everything they think they know, absoluttely everything you think is real, whatever you belive you see right infront of you, even the table I just banged my head into, everything can change in an hart beat into something totally different.
I have challanged them for years, but no, they just resort to druling something about Ilutions, of course, to have an ilution in the first place you need an entety to be huh, ilutioned.
Its ALL IN THE MIND, perspetion is everything.
But then again, they “belive” we are an pack of meat, and our mind is just neurons that are farting, and consiousness is nonsese.
Reallity, people, is complex, interwoven and there is nothing called nothing, that one dont exists.
You cant gett something out of nothing Atheists and other drulers, the hunderd monkeys theory is beliving in magic, I dontbelive in magic at all, but I belive in human consiousness as the ultimate power, aka divine.
The ignorance out there is what scares me, and now its been all encompasing, pimped for decades.
I consider my selfs as more of an wall crusher than anything else, I hate walls.
Because I know what it is, but it took me 20 years of efforts to make it thrue, personal and to the universe we perive as “our reality”.
WE are living, eating, shitting and humping. light.

Tesla Valve
Tesla Valve
May 31, 2016 1:52 PM
Reply to  mikael

I think the ‘spiritual’ beliefs of the cabal are important, though it makes me sound insane to talk of such things (I’m really past caring about that.) I think light is illusion, so they worship the light as the sun, as lucifer (the light bearer) and various syncretic variations. Hence, also, colour revolutions and team red/team blue “democracy.”
Note that the two investigators who gained access to Bohemia Grove (Alex Jones and ‘Guardian’ contributor Jon Ronson) are thought by many to be gate-keepers/controlled opposition. Surely B.G., where world leaders meet, would be one of the most secure places in the world, like the Pentagon (LOL.) There are many Christian ‘truthers’ out there, and it worries me that the cabal play up to their satanist/illuminati reputation, not just to induce fear, but as part of the Hegelian dialectic. ‘Truthers’ tend to explain all the in-your-face occultism as Theosophical ‘externalisation of the heirarchy’ and that they intend to promote some form of luciferianism from within the New Age movement. They’re probably right about that (the UN has a New Age agenda as well as an ‘antithesis’ secular humanist agenda), but they also seem to have control of much of Christianity through the Jesuits, Queen Elizabeth II and (I was a bit surprised by this one) the Reverend Moon. Perhaps Nietzsche was right, Christianity is a slave religion, and by promoting Satanism they drive truth seekers to Christianity/Islam. A devout Christian (or Muslim) would willing lay down their lives for their ‘good’ god, to avoid hell-fire.
One of the problems with trying to understand their beliefs, is that they admit (Albert Pike) to hiding their knowledge from the lower ranks, using layer upon layer of initiation and disinformation. What chance do non-initiates have? Because the ‘G’ of freemasonry stands for (not exclusively) ‘Gnosticism’, many Christians believe Gnosticism is inherently evil, but I’m not so sure. Perhaps Gnostics were merely aware of the nature of the control system, and some chose to serve it, while others chose to oppose it. There are a million different thought experiments and rabbit holes to wander off down. If reality is a lie, perhaps it is best to focus attention on consciousness – the blank screen onto which reality is projected (c.f. Plato’s cave.)
Personally, I find the ideas of Douglas E Harding interesting. Harding, like Aleister Crowley, was born into the strict Plymouth Brotherhood, and chose to reject their teachings (and bravely, his own family) to discover his own beliefs. His world view is a form of extreme subjectivism, not unlike a first-person shooter game. You might find it interesting. Talking of first-person shooters, you might find the current ‘Call of Duty’ iteration, ‘Black Ops III’ of interest (for less positive reasons.) It is full to the brim with transhumanism, transgenderism, the hive mind, satanic ritual and ‘sacred geometry.’ The ‘loading…’ logo is the trinity within a hypercube. Nearly all the weapon camos are constructed from hexagons. Many of the costumes for the characters emphasise the ‘third eye.’ All in an enjoyably violent setting. Hmm… a bit suspicious 🙂

May 31, 2016 5:00 AM

Makes you wonder of the Snowden thingy wasn’t a big psy-op, doesn’t it?

Tesla Valve
Tesla Valve
May 31, 2016 11:51 AM
Reply to  jag37777

Robert Anton Wilson, who wrote fiction and non-fiction about the deep state and secret societies, used to say that there was no such thing as ‘ex’ CIA. ie. that intelligence whistle-blowers were just following another script. He was a member of the O.T.O. ,so you have to take his statements with a pinch of salt, too. You can’t dismiss everything they say either, because they mix lies with truth, according to… Edward Snowden.
There are quite a few of these ex intelligence/military types in the alternative media, such as ‘Dr’ John Coleman, Bill Cooper (deceased) and Brian Gerrish. Approach with caution. Bradley Manning and David Shayler are both now transexuals. Many ‘truthers’ see ‘The Matrix’ as some sort of revelation (or at least use the ‘Clubbed to Death’ music on their youtube vids) The Wachowski brothers are now sisters. It really isn’t just a ‘trend.’
The Information Age is just the Dark Ages in disguise.

May 31, 2016 10:43 PM
Reply to  Tesla Valve

There’s an awful lot of holes in Snowden’s story.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jun 1, 2016 5:47 PM
Reply to  jag37777

One thing I don’t understand: if Snowden really is a CIA psy-op, then why are the Russians are giving him asylum?

Jun 2, 2016 3:11 AM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

I don’t know.

May 31, 2016 12:14 AM

Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

May 30, 2016 7:48 PM

Please note that the Domestic Surveillance Directorate declaring ‘If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear’ is in fact a parody site and not run by NSA at all. This does not make NSA, GCHQ, Prism, and the rest any less detestable. NSA’s real tagline is ‘What we’re doing to secure the future’, which is bad enough!
See Forbes article about this (Aug 29, 2013).

Dave Hansell
Dave Hansell
May 30, 2016 3:54 PM

On the subject of accessing material in the British Library it is not simply limited to the quoted example.
Trying to access the work of Norman Finklestein also gets the censorship treatment. See here:

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
May 30, 2016 11:36 PM
Reply to  Dave Hansell

I guess authors taking on ‘controversial’ and ‘publically inappropriate’ subject matter will just have to get clever about their book titles. Now I’m not making any claim to being at all clever, but maybe a guy like Norman, I mean Finkelstein and not Pilon, taking on “how in fact British holocaust mongers and Israel hacks filter out the truth,” could title a book like that with something innocuous like, “How Historians Sometimes Get It Wrong: a Short History of Certain Vested Interests.” Anyway, f***k Bentham, the panopticon, and the surveillance states (I self-censored there for the sake of people easily offended by cusswords. I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m easily intimidated, especially by the fucktards who run our global asylum).

May 30, 2016 3:31 PM

Reblogged this on EU: Ramshackle Empire.