Government Internet Intervention And Shutdowns On The Rise
An alarming number of governments have been using their clout to manipulate outcomes in elections and to prevent backlashes from their mistakes by taking significant control of the narrative on social media channels, private and public websites and the tabloids.
In the past 5 years more than 768 websites were taken offline before, during and after elections with more than 70 shutdowns from 21 countries so far this year alone.
Felicia Anthonio a campaigner from Access Now said:
“Since we began tracking government-initiated internet shutdowns, their use has proliferated at a truly alarming pace,”
“As governments across the globe learn this authoritarian tactic from each other, it has moved from the fringes to become a common method many authorities use to stifle opposition, quash free speech and muzzle expression.”
Though the actions have been condemned by the likes of the G7 and the UN High Commission for Human Rights and Special Rapporteurs, combating the problem is extremely difficult as it comes from the highest level.
Weaning Off Others Technology
Russia has a history of doing it themselves, primitively and not only succeeding but exceeding expectations. Take Vostok watches for example, back in late 1940 the Russian government approached Hans Wilsdorf the founder of Rolex to make their military watches, however the price they were quoted was so high they decided it would be more cost effective to build their own factory and make their own watches instead. The watches they made used slightly different methods using more basic tools to the standard manufacture, essentially simplifying construction which in turn actually made them more robust, water and shock resistant than their counterparts, proving that though more primitive and rough around the edges in comparison to the Rolex of the time, they were in fact a better overall product.
Now decades on Russia is doing the same thing again but with technology, though there is much criticism about Russia’s creation of a similar internet environment as that of China’s where citizens are only able to view government owned/state backed websites, social media platforms… and virtually nothing from elsewhere on the world wide web, they are also like they did with Vostok using primitive means to rebuild and build their technologies so that they are no longer reliant on the rest of the world for much of their manufacturing and products.
Sadly though it does seem that they are slowly following in China’s government model footsteps.
China’s New 1 Hour Gaming Time Limit Is Not Necessarily A Bad Idea
Though it certainly another means to controlling the people, the latest law passed by the Chinese government is not necessarily a bad one, I know many parents (and the odd married adult) who would only be too pleased for this law to be passed in their country too, that being a time limit for online gamers under the age of 18. The idea is to get young children to read, socialise and exercise more often.
The move came after research and concerns from the impact of excessive gaming on young children provided evidence that online gaming is having a negative impact on their lifestyles, many had become addicted to gaming, reclusive and many struggled socially outside the home.
The new laws which are by no means lax will allow children under the age of 18 to play on Fridays, weekends and during holidays for 1 hour only between 8pm and 9pm.