intergovernmental institutions of informational suppression
welcome to the G7 rapid response mechanism, a deeply ugly and dangerous idea to erect international truth ministries
after the frustrating fusillades of faux-facts and stentorian suppression that have come to characterize the last two years of government policy throughout the west, everyone has been learning lessons, and make no mistake, the governments are learning them too.
this is why when i see someone as deeply dishonest as justin trudeau who so famously pushed all manner of societal subjugation and pseudoscientific pablum as gospel while so lividly and dishonestly framing his critics as racists, sexists, and science deniers, well i get a little suspicious.
these are not people whose judgement, honesty, or honor i trust.
and this looks well worthy of deep suspicion.
it’s the classic power grab for the next fight: find some deeply unpopular foe or issue, and claim we must all give up rights and reason and prepare for war against them because of their all encompassing, unsympathetic badness.
the actual cause is ancillary and irrelevant. it just needs to be something repugnant to the overton window such that no one will defend it and that trying to defend your rights becomes being “pro child rapist” or “putin who is worse than hitler” or whatever.
you just want the power usurped and the systems in place so you can use it later for other purposes, generally against your own people, because, by then, it’s too late.
the patriot act that used fear of terrorism post 9/11 to grab the emergency power that made much of the covidian “emergencies” possible.
it was put in place because “who could oppose opposing suicide bombers?”
but it never went away.
and then one day, it got pointed at you.
russia makes a wonderful foil for such a set piece.
all this sounds like an honorable call to war against a reprehensible foe (though, to the discerning observer, even that is far from clear in this jingoistic hall of mirrors masquerading as foreign policy).
but read the text to come with a more far reaching and cynical eye: what else will they use this for?
read it and consider “what would they have done with this power over the last 2 years had they had it, and how are they planning to use it “the next time” they seek to impose upon us?”
what lesson did they learn and what obstacle to success in the next contest do they wish to see removed?
because then and only then can you see the real game.
no power granted to leviathan is only used once and even if you trust this guy, what about the next one and the one after that? eventually, the politician you hate most will be in power and will wield these prerogatives.
so perhaps we should demand a more stringent look on just what they want, especially as this is going to be a transnational system that is NOT accountable to or even necessarily visible to you or much of anyone.
and that is certainly by design.
and the people putting it in place are liars, frauds, and tyrants.
OTTAWA—Whether it’s flat-out denials about Russian attacks on Ukraine, doctored images on social media, or false claims that footage of suffering Ukrainians actually depicts crisis actors, Russia’s disinformation campaign is well underway.
And during a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted to do something about it.
“We all have a responsibility to deal in facts, and to fight the flood of disinformation and manipulation,” he said.
i mean, wow. this is just precious from the prime prevaricator of the provinces. certain adages about pots, kettles, and chromatic accusations come to mind.
Trudeau’s answer to combating Russia’s information is to renew an initiative known as the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM). He committed to spending $13.4 million over five years to expand the RRM. That’s on stop of a separate $3-million-pledge through a different program that will help Ukrainians build “resilience” to disinformation, Global Affairs Canada told the Star.
But what exactly the RRM does is not clear, with experts cautioning that the initiative is “shrouded” in secrecy.
The RRM was introduced four years ago, during the 2018 G7 Summit hosted by Canada in Charlevoix, Que.
It was launched as a three-year pilot to co-ordinate efforts between G7 nations to identify, block and respond to threats targeting G7 democracies.
Those threats include state-sponsored disinformation, attacks on electoral processes and anything that might undermine Canada’s sovereignty and security.
Canada now fully leads the initiative, through a special unit within Global Affairs that analyzes threat patterns and trends.
RRM Canada mostly conducts research by analyzing social media “with a particular interest in understanding the disinformation landscape.” It was also involved in working to block outside interference in the 2019 federal election.
so, let’s just be very clear here: this is the G7 working to analyze social media for “disinformation” and to “ensure security.”
it this making anyone feel safer? because this whole “it wuz da russians!” schtick has seen so many implausible permutations that there is just no way this is passing a red face test. this is pretext. it’s probably outright disinformation in its own right and partisan politicking. best i can tell, 90% of the info coming out of ukraine on both sides is fiction. but they seem interested on only one side of the fable foisting.
i wonder why?
but one thing is clear: they learned quite a lot over the last 2 years and now they want to put those lessons into praxis.
“We will continue to use the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism for joint assessment and collective action, including ramping up our collective engagement with media, tech platforms and civil society to tackle Russia’s unprecedented information war,” read a statement from Downing Street.
this is not subtle. it’s not meant to be. this is the overt thumb and soon to be whole forearm on the scale of social media, transnationally, “cuz, the russians!”
can any be sufficiently credulous to believe that it will stop there? (or even that this is the real aim)
they act like no one knows what the tools here are, but it’s plainly obvious. this is about taking control of the new media ecosystem.
any system that can “combat misinformation” can run disinformation and censorship campaigns of its own.
it only requires a suitable frightening hobgoblin to justify imposition and demand acquiescence.
the federal department would not provide specific details on how it planned to use the initiative to handle the onslaught of false information.
“In the current context of Russia’s unprecedented information war targeting Ukraine, G7 RRM members are ramping up engagement with social media platforms and civil society, as effective solutions will require a multi-stakeholder approach,” its statement read.
trust us, we’re the G7! would we lie to you? in concerted fashion? for years?
this is the setup for “next time” a next time in which they do not want to see opposition get organized on social media. they saw how well it worked and they want it short circuited. this is how you do that. you make it “national security” and start dragging in the patriot act. they damn near got away with branding parents demanding accountability from school boards as terrorists.
if they have any say in it, next time, they will.
“Its effectiveness to me is unknown with regards to protecting our democracy and G7 democracies,” said Marcus Kolga, a top disinformation expert with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
“It strikes me as a bit of a black hole of information.”
and this is exactly how it will remain. you’ll never hear about this. it’ll be on no direct budget and in no direct chain of command to folks you elected. it transfers power to an organization outside of national democracy (and republics) where it can be wielded in secret and without accountability.
this agency has been around for 4 years. had you ever even heard of it before? i hadn’t. yet suddenly it surges to life, championed by a PM who had to flee and hide from his own people because his tall tales of their white supremacist ways fell apart and their loud message of wanting the simple human liberties he took from them back were resonating? this is not about putin, it’s about power and how to grab and keep it.
this is about placing media manipulation in the hands of G7 groups that are not accountable to parliaments and congresses.
it is deeply, inextricably dangerous.
to paraphrase justin:
this is shaping up to be the fight of the coming decade.
governments have always and will always seek control of the infosphere as the commanding heights from which to dominate the demos, shape opinion, and oppose opposition.
social media has dramatically changed that playing field and states are adapting at speed.
their interventions will become ever more potent and ever less accountable.
a public square that they run, shape, and hold hostage through regulation and dispensation will never belong to the public.
freedom cannot lie in permission will always reside in self sufficiency.
the only true agora must be owned by no one, run by no one, and accountable to no one save each stakeholder themselves.
the technology to do this, to generate peer to peer swarm sourced distributed DNS internet systems encrypted end to end and running outside the limits or even notions of nation states is coming.
it will blend commerce, communication, community, and value of all sorts into the seamless substrate of a free civilization.
it will render censorship anachronistic.
it will nurture human flourishing in a fashion never before seen and change the relationship between we the people and those who would seek to rule us so fundamentally that it will make us once and for all citizens, not subjects.
the serfdom of living in a world where the state controls and regulates commerce and information will end.
this will be the great work of our time, our path to the future, and our legacy for it.
many old systems are failing.
what we put in their place is up to us.
you’ve seen what they are planning.
let’s do better.