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phone carriers as "fact checkers"
banning "covid misinformation" on SMS as the thin end of a much more dangerous wedge
much is being made of this new biden admin foray into covid censorship and outright attacks on any with differing opinions.
leaving aside the irony thick enough to stand a spoon in of the selfsame people who have done nothing but fearmonger for 18 months and that are currently pushing the extremely mild delta variant as some sort of existential threat (perhaps from death in a hyperbole singularity?) accusing others of spreading fear, i’d like to focus on the new censorship push:
“The White House has decided to hit back harder on misinformation and scare tactics after Republican lawmakers and conservative activists pledged to fight the administration’s stated plans to go “door-to-door” to increase vaccination rates. The pushback will include directly calling out social media platforms and conservative news shows that promote such tactics.
Biden allied groups, including the Democratic National Committee, are also planning to engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages. The goal is to ensure that people who may have difficulty getting a vaccination because of issues like transportation see those barriers lessened or removed entirely.”
this is an outlandish abuse of bully pulpit, a likely abrogation of the first amendment, and a wild intrusion into private speech and private company conduct. calling it “voluntary” while sinisterly eyeing the off switch to a carrier’s spectrum or access to future bandwidth so that “it was not government action” is akin to claiming that your mugging victim gave you her wallet by choice.
this is not government, it’s gangsterism.
and from the gang that pushes “internet neutrality” we can add “rank hypocrisy” to the charge sheet.
but it also seems a bit odd.
ostensibly, limiting SMS to stop data spread in 2021 is like banning fax machines to stop ecommerce. it’s ridiculous and seems to make no sense.
but it does. it makes the worst kind of sense.
this is just a pretext, it’s not the main event.
it’s the harbinger of something far scarier to come:
carrier and device level censorship.
this is the trial balloon, the backwater soft launch to overcome initial hesitance and make it look like such censorship has always been the norm and is not some jarring new intrusion.
this was a hot topic at the recently concluded cyber polygon event hosted by the aspiring james bond villains at the WEF. a friend who boiled it down for me passed this along:
“Cyber polygon is still going. Current speaker is doing his best to equate hate speech and "misinformation" and "fake" news to cyber attacks, ransomware, and computer viruses calling it “information misuse.”
"Prevention of Violence, physical or virtual". So the Censorship agenda is going to continue to be bundled to the cyber security agenda.”
we’re dealing with people who cannot win the argument in open debate. they’re losing and they know it. they have lied about risks and lied about lying. they seek to silence opponents and are so divorced from reality that they see nothing wrong with sending missionaries to your house to hector you and check on you as though there was anyone in america who was unaware of vaccines at this point.
it’s just one more shot at monopolizing your attention by having only one set of talking points presented. then they wonder why no one trusts them.
but this is just the thin end of a far more dangerous wedge.
the endgame here is something altogether more pernicious and extensive. they seek to normalize the idea of carriers and social media platforms being co-opted into service to governmental propaganda. this renders them a literal arm of the party. it’s a basic facet of fascist and totalitarians structures: you monopolize and media and messaging and then pound your views into the collective consciousness through endless repetition of the big lie.
but even this is not working. the lies are too obvious and modern media is simply too polyglot. every time you whack the mole, 2 more pop up somewhere else because people demand it. people want truth. driving it from one forum simply leads to its manifestation in another.
this is why the game they are about to run is shifting to carriers and soon to devices.
this is why it becomes vital to see this plan for what it is before it goes live and gets sold to us as the defense against hobgoblins imminently to be conjured.
they’re going to try to scare you, shut down your rational mind, and then get you to not only accede to but beg for the curtailment of your speech and liberty just like they did with lockdowns and masks and school closures.
and it’s going to work on you and on society, just like last time, unless you see it coming and refuse to be afraid.
unless you see the trick for the shabby parcel of lies to frighten you into giving up your rights that it is, it’s going to fool you.
so let’s play penn and teller and lay out how this one works: (or, at least, how i would do it if i were determined to go “black hat.” consider it as techo-fascism 401, the advanced class in the hypothetical tyranny by being a sneaky boots.)
several fears need to be brought into conjunction:
fear of covid, which despite such herculean attempts at panic pushing and scariants is seriously on the wane
fear of “antivaxxers” and their threat to you, normalcy, and safety. they will be equated with domestic terrorism.
domestic terrorists rooted in false and false flag ops around “white supremacists” and reichstag fire level misrepresentation of events like jan 6th
foreign terrorists trying to infiltrate our grids, crash our utilities, and steal our data.
and viral and ransomware threats to your computers and phones.
this last one is the lynchpin. even with carrier level interdiction, you cannot stop telegram, signal, and 20 other encrypted systems. it’s too easy for social media to shift that way as well. this is not an approach with enough reach or access to the plaintext of messages. it’s too easy to adapt around.
full spectrum censorship requires device level systems that can see the content as you read it and block it (or report it from) there. this means you need to have it on your computer or on your phone.
so one must then ask: how do you get people to install such a thing?
you either scare them into wanting it with threats of being hacked (possibly driven by hacking them) or, if as seems likely people will not comply, you declare it a national security threat and mandate adoption as a form of informational hygiene. this is the terrifying scenario.
we saw some hints of it last year with google and apple pushing non-optional “updates” to phones that enabled covid tracking.
it‘s clear this gang will do what it’s told.
the concentration of power in this industry makes such a task trivially easy. if you get google, apple, and microsoft all onside (possibly with threats of anti-trust, possibly with promises of enforced oligopoly to keep anyone from challenging them) what percentage of the public’s internet devices have you captured? 95%? 99%?
all it takes is for 3 companies, all of whom push non-optional updates to your devices regularly, to agree to push this one and the game is over.
if you really need to, you push the carriers and ISP’s to only accept “secure” connecting protocols and voila, you mop up the rest. now no one can launch a competing “free” platform. the market cannot adapt because you’ve broken it near completely.
they key is to add a layer of “security” and monitoring onto every device to allow it to connect to the internet.
this makes security into a trojan horse for regime of inescapable device level censorship. anything you can read, it can.
it will start as “protection from hackers and making our vital internet systems attack resistant. this will seem completely reasonable and like a safety feature. it’s intended to.
but then, like watching “burning down minneapolis” became “vital to public health as a manifestation of social justice” and “protesting for freedom” became “subversion of the nation and terrorism” you’ll start to see the add ons.
disease and wrongthink and foreign and domestic terror will be used to expand this system. opposing CO2 regulations will be treated like ecoterrorism and asking cost benefit questions about policy will be treated like anti-social behavior. not wanting a vax passport will be treated like a WMD.
the pattern for the misrepresentation and gaslighting is well established.
“We are steadfastly committed to keeping politics out of the effort to get every American vaccinated so that we can save lives and help our economy further recover,” White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz said. “When we see deliberate efforts to spread misinformation, we view that as an impediment to the country's public health and will not shy away from calling that out.”
thus endeth the thought experiment. i’m sure it sounds like conspiracy theory. heck, maybe it is. maybe i’m just connecting pictures on a corkboard with red yarn because the tinfoil is cutting of the blood supply to my head.
honestly, i hope so.
but ask yourself: how many of the crazy things that have happened in the last 18 months you would have called lunatic ramblings 2 years ago?
perhaps more interesting, ask yourself: had we not pushed back early, how many more conspiracies might now be real?
would the US currently have vax passports to go out, to work, and to play if such instant and intense opposition had not arisen?
so, perhaps rather than thinking of this as the addled internet feline pizza nightmares it may well be, rather think of it as a lesson in how to survive a bear attack.
very likely you’ll never need this information.
we all hope not to need such information.
but sometimes, the bear is just not going to give you a choice in the matter and it is FAR better to have this knowledge and not need it than to need it and not have it.
this is not a predator you want to let sneak up on you.