Hitler and Palpatine, what do they both have in common? Is it their fashion sense? Nope. Their favourite Pokemon? Nah. Their mastery of the force? Perhaps. What these guys share in common is their abuse of emergency powers.
When I read about the internet filter thingy and the proposed legislation in America to entrust the President with internet control I felt that democracy, as we know it, is dying and hegemonic police states are taking its place.
Think I’m exaggerating? The Chinese Government censors Google and exploits its citizens’ privacy to weed out political activists. If the Australian Government adopts a censorship program then where will it end? What will it start?
Why should the dominant political party or regime dictate what we can and cannot see or experience online? It is in the ‘national interest’ that we protect minors and vilify paedophiles. Feel free to disagree. I’m not condoning paedophiliac behaviour but I am concerned with how quickly the general public can judge these people and severely limit their freedom. I can appreciate the ‘pre-emptive strike mentality’ being reinforced here where effort is being made to prevent the accused from offending, but having said that maybe the consequences for breaking the law in this manner should be more severe so that the people don’t have to resort to playing wannabe batmen (vigilantes). I would suggest castration but Australia isn’t quite ready … yet.
This is one example of how we allow fear to help rationalise a radical solution to a public issue. Likewise, the mainstream media is emphasising sex crimes as a serious problem (and it is) while there are so many other things going on like the democratic injustice perpetuating in Myanmar/Burma (Google Aung San Suu Kyi before the powers that be hide her life story) and Australia’s pathetic domestic policy in regards to treating asylum seekers and refugees (refer to the UN 1951 charter).
Internet censorship, I think, won’t help at all. It could be argued that those who do use the internet for their own private, and arguably perverted, reasons do so to vent frustration or live vicariously. The internet could be the difference between satisfying a need and leaving the house to gain that need, hurting people in the process.
Also, by trusting the Government to control the flow of information we potentially shut out numerous voices and opinions which are essential for a true democracy to flourish.
Keep Hitler in the past and Palpatine on the big screen; learn from the error of their ways. That doesn’t mean we should perfect their heinousness …