Tag Archives: Government

Do recent blog shutdowns portend problems for free speech and cloud computing?

Per this item at CO2 Insanity we have two blogs that were alleged to have been shut down recently by some secret government action that no one can talk about under penalty of prosecution, or perhaps just being thrown in jail.  Who really knows what the government can get away with the Patriot Act in place?

There are various suspicions floating around the internet that this might be an act of suppression under the guise of a false flag. Having over 70,000 blogs shut down in an instant makes me wonder. We also have other people wondering if it’s due to child pornography, RIAA violations (people sharing illegal music and movies), copyright violations, software violations, the mafia, men from Mars, you name it.

iPBFree was also shut down just before Blogetery, possibly for any of the aforementioned reasons.  There’s even one rumor I found that claims they merely went bankrupt.  Who knows? Like Blogetery, no one’s talking about it, which again raises suspicions.

Regardless, people have lost entire websites if they didn’t back up regularly, or some of their website(s) if they backed up prior to this event, but had some of their data on the server that had not been backed up yet. Losing a blog isn’t going to kill anybody, but it’s still someone’s labor of love and why should they lose it because of something someone else did? That’s not the United States I was born in.  That could be likened to arresting me and locking me up because the neighbor down the street shot his wife.

In any event I would think that whoever shut them down could let people know why in very basic terms without jeopardizing any investigations or prosecutions, but we seem to only get silence.  The more silence the more suspicious I become that it’s perhaps some way to abort dissension.

To get to cloud computing, I’m no computer geek, but I liken hosting a website or blog on a host server somewhere out in cyberspace, to be very similar to what’s going on with cloud computing. All your data is floating around on someone’s server that’s someplace else, and beyond your physical control. There some big companies spending huge money on cloud computing, being touted as the wave of the future.  What’s going to happen to could computing if the government can shut down servers at will with no questions asked and no answers offered? Think anyone is going to get very excited about using it? I don’t.

Many are already cloud computing, even if they don’t realize it.  If you have a web-based e-mail account on Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, etc., you already are on the cloud.  It’s your personal e-mail, but it’s on a server that is not your property and you have no control over what happens to it.  Like the people who used Blogetery or iPBFree, you could awaken one morning and find your e-mail is inaccessible because the government didn’t like what was in someone else’s e-mail account and confiscated the whole server and since your e-mail account was on that server, it’s now gone and you will never see it again.

Another example is that if you have documents at Google Documents, for example, you’re really cloud computing.  What if you kept all of your business documents there and the government found an Al Qaeda website on that server and confiscated the entire server from Google and your business documents were all on their “cloud.” You would be in real hot water, that’s what. I’d assume Google would have backups, but what if those servers were taken along with the main one because it had the same stuff on it?  Then what are you going to do? Call Ghost Busters?

Same with Photobucket, Picassa and other websites that host photographs.  Want all your treasured family photos to disappear in an instant because the government pulled the plug because someone else’s account had child porn on it? I think not, but based on what’s going on I have to question if this could indeed happen some day.

This is something new, interesting and very scary to me, as it should be to you.  Realistically, you can’t keep your blog, documents or family photos on someone else’s server because that’s now in danger.  The precedent has been set, at least one time, and perhaps two times.  The Chinese aren’t shy about doing things like this either. When they decide they’ve had enough noise from the dissident community, they start pulling plugs. Something I’d expect there, but I don’t expect would happen here in the United States of America.

There’s also, per the article on CO2 Insanity, a move afoot in the European Union to make one a criminal if one dares to be skeptical about global warming.  I guess they never heard of free speech over there, and I’m wondering if free speech in the US is going to be a dead horse in the near future? Or, perhaps it already is and we don’t realize it?  Imagine a law being passed that it was a felony to talk bad about the president and if you did you’d be arrested and your computer data confiscated? Probably won’t happen, but it’s one possibility, based upon the one thing leads to another theory.  Think of your blog as the proverbial frog in a frying pan that, when the heat is turned up slowly, doesn’t realize he’s being cooked until it’s too late.  They take away a freedom here and a freedom there, and pretty soon you wake up and some Hugo Chavez wannabe is your president and all you get on radio, TV and the internet 24 x 7 is government approved news and propaganda.  Can’t happen?  Ask people in China, Myanmar, Venezuela and Cuba.

You can also look at the mainstream media (MSM) and see trends there, too.  Seems that the liberal left-wing newspapers, magazines and websites can publish all the left-leaning, pro-global warming articles they like and no one complains. They also seem to completely ignore a lot of things because the don’t go with the liberal agenda.

Places like MSNBC and CNN seem to have a penchant for all things left and blast or ignore anything more than a few degrees right of center.  As an example I often wonder if Chris Matthews is in love with Obama? You can also listen to the “wonderful” rants of Keith Olbermann or Rachael Maddow and see what I mean.  Don’t take my word for it, if you haven’t watched either of them you’re missing what I consider to be excellent comedy.  I do think Keith would be better if he foamed at the mouth once in a while, it would be a nice touch.

If you’re like Fox TV, and have a contrary view of things with some right-leaning commentators, then the left will regularly slam you. You can say the same thing about talk radio, which is also becoming a favorite whipping-boy of the left. They complain constantly about radio personalities who aren’t left-leaning.  Frankly I think they’d be extremely happy if they could silence them.  It works for Hugo Chavez, why not them?  I think they’re envious of old Hugo’s special powers as El Presidente’.

Another example is Sarah Palin.  Like her or not she often gets attacked by the left, who I’m sure would love to block her Twitter account. Let her put a couple of notes on her palm during a speech and the left comes unglued, while it matters to them not that Obama doesn’t appear to be able to say anything without a teleprompter in front of him.  I sometimes wonder if he has one in front of him at the dinner table.  However, one gaff from George W. Bush and the left media would rant about it for days on end. Don’t even get me started on Joe “What foot am I putting in my mouth today?” Biden.

These are all examples of how if you’re on the left you’re always right, but if you’re on the right you’re always wrong, or ignored. Is this going to have some chilling effects in the future? Will all right leaning blogs get terminated and all left-wing blogs get free hosting from the government? I don’t know. I’m hoping the recent server shutdowns are legitimate, time will tell.

I’m now watching WordPress. If they pull the plug on that, then I’m going to feel about 99% certain that there is something going on here that’s very clear.

I hope we don’t have some Insane Minds running around pulling plugs on servers just because they don’t like the general content.

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Filed under Cloud Com;puting, Crime, Insane Minds, Internet, Punishment