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Facebook, Reddit and Google consider turning themselves off

If you travel around the world, then there are few things that make you feel the spirit of freedom quite as much as attempting to access web sites and finding a friendly message from the local government instead. In a variety of languages, these messages explain that you couldn’t possibly have wanted THAT site and wouldn’t you prefer another, nice, place to visit? KitGuru breaks out the wireless internet modems.

We’ve made the point before that, with regular crime (let’s take drugs as the example), then the mule (carrier) gets smashed up and locked away in almost every case. With the internet, no one is suggesting that the carriers be put in prison for allowing ‘dodgy’ material across their fibre-optic/copper network.

That said, copyright is a big issue and the American entertainment industry wants a huge clampdown, not only on users – but also the companies that provide the means for that entertainment to be distributed.

The US government is about to begin considering legislation proposals that, if successful, would make the USA a lot more like Iran, Dubai and China when it comes to internet access. Oh, and let’s not forget North Korea. Nice.

The happy-chappy leading the charge is (surprise, surprise) a republican called Lamar Smith. While spraying the air with extracts of rose petals and handing out lollypops to strangers, Commandant Smith wants internet providers to block access to foreign websites which post copyrighted content. For added chuckles (cos he really IS a happy chappy), he also wants to bar American advertisers from placing products on those sites AND the payment processing companies from refusing transactions from those sites. Stick a red suit on Commandant Smith and we can call him Insanity Clause.

The immediate impact is obvious. If successful, people around the world would get Facebook, Google and Reddit pages that worked fine, while Americans would be ringing ISP support services because – instead of the content they expected – they have Commendant Smith’s happy face smiling at them, while suggesting they try something more wholesome.

Smithy boy claims that he is on this crusade to make sure “…profits go to American innovators, not criminals…”.

Or was he talking about oilfields? Not sure on that one.

Sources close to the biggest brands in this arena, claim that if this bill looks like it will go ahead, then Google, Facebook and Reddit are considering turning themselves off for up to 24 hours – to show the American Public what Smiling Smith’s future could look like.

Who would have thought that in an election year, the US of A would vote for fascist-dictatorship-style governance.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith is a republican chappy from Texas. Looks familiar, no?

KitGuru says: If the Americans go this way and lock the web down, then it will create HUGE opportunities for sites across the globe. The web was designed by the American military to operate no matter what mad/bad/idiotic attack was launched at it. Perhaps they made it too well. As an after-thought, we wonder how this bill will be received by Anonymous?

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