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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Free Speech--Quickly Becoming An Endangered Right

‘Information warfare’ is a scare term sent to kill free speech


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Lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week heard testimony about the U.S.’s failed efforts to defend democracy against “information warfare” the government alleges is being waged against the nation by countries like Russia.
On Thursday, lawmakers in the Senate hear testimony from cyber-security experts who lamented that the U.S. has failed to keep up with the pace of technology in keeping outside propagandists from leveraging the power of social media to manipulate American opinions.
“Today, cyber and other disinformation-related tools have enabled Russia to achieve operational capabilities unimaginable to its Soviet forbear,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)
Rounds serves as the chair of a brand new Senate subcommittee overseeing Pentagon cyber-security efforts.
The lawmaker added: “Ultimately, we will continue to struggle with cyber-enhanced information operation campaigns until we address the policy and strategy deficiencies that undermine our overall cyber posture.”
That’s a lot of jargon to say basically that the government is very, very interested in deciding what type of information from who should be permitted to reach mass audiences. That, of course, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
But given the great strides the internet has made in making it easier than ever for average people to share ideas and the massive damage it did to establishment efforts to elect Hillary Clinton, government is beginning to work overtime to regain control of the mass narrative. Russia is simply a scapegoat.
“This is a whole new magnitude greater,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)  said. “Our government and our society remain ill-prepared to detect and encounter this powerful new form of information warfare or to deter it through the threat of our own offensive information operations.”