Al Jazeera English recently did a very well done episode on its Fault Lines program about attempts by Hollywood and the US government to control the internet. It’s about 24 minutes long and includes interviews with a bunch of people who were involved in protecting the internet discussing what happened. The first half is about the SOPA/PIPA fight, and how it was basically about Hollywood trying to hold back the internet:
Halfway through, it shifts to talk about the various cybersecurity bills and attempts to crackdown on Anonymous. Basically, it’s about the government completely overreacting to what they believe are “threats” to the internet. Towards the end it also talks about how the government can and does abuse its powers, highlighting the case of Thomas Drake. It’s a great video with some fantastic interviews, though it could do without the overly dramatic music. Still, it’s good to see more people connecting the dots, and recognizing that much of what we’re seeing these days is really just an attempt to “control” a platform that has been so successful because it was so wide open. Many of us believe that it needs to stay that way to remain a powerful tool for speech and for progress.