1st Amendment Under Attack
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Dateline May 15, 2021
Neither sanctions nor tariffs aimed at the Soviet Union have eased the alleged Internet attacks leveled at the fabric of American society. In a prompt and short news briefing a congressional press associate told reporters, “we have no other choice but to monitor Internet activity from Russia and associated states operating websites dedicated to posting fake and malicious stories about American leaders and issues in America. Those stories will be blocked.”
Past reports on the Bill in question cited Russian interference with the 2016 presidential elections as the main reason to limit Internet activity originating from Russia and its supporting states. In 2016 both parties accused one another of collaborating with the Kremlin to sway the election. The fact that the 2016 presidential election was the closest race in American history fueled speculation and accusations. Although no concrete evidence was made public over the 3 year investigation, the public is still fascinated by shreds of hearsay and sensationalized stories.
In its own news briefing White House press agents promised the American public, “this censorship is a necessary evil and will be restricted to a small group of individuals that have been massing misleading stories about congressional candidates as well as candidates in the 2020 presidential election. Technology has become so sophisticated, altered media of every type is believed to have played a major role in election results in the majority of states.”
In answer to this new law the Kremlin released this response.
“After all these years we finally see the United States show their real motives an intents. The US demanded the removal of the Berlin wall, the break of of the Soviet Union, and other measures to break down the people’s republic. Over all those years the United States has been demanding more freedom for the Soviet people. Now we see how serious the United States is about their freedom of speech. Forcing censorship upon the Soviet Union is only the beginning. It won’t take long for the United States allies to follow suit and introduce their own form of censorship. The Kremlin vows to preserve the rights of all Soviet citizens. The Kremlin will never change nor alter any of the rights the Union has worked to create and preserve.”
In a White House Tweet the American public was assured, “No American rights have been nor ever will be in jeopardy.” We are waiting for additional information to be released.
An undisclosed source told reporters. “Plans are in action to monitor and block additional sources of communication between USSR and America.” When asked if that included cell phones, no response was given. When asked if entire websites or individual stories would be blocked, no response was offered. When asked to define, “additional states,” no response was given.
This of course is a fictional story. But could it happen? Where is the evidence Russia attempted to sway the 2016 presidential election? We know fake news agencies and so called, “reliable news sources,” tried their damnedest to sway the elections. Fake news agencies raked in millions of dollars while paying between $5000 to $10,000 for some of the most bizarre stories ever written. Fake news stories became easy money for the few lucky enough to sell a story to one of those agencies. Agency may be a stretch for some of those organizations. Many fake news agencies have small staffs. Many are one man bands. They are located all over the world. People jump on a money making bandwagon whenever they can.
Congress is addressing the situation at this time. Major social networks have vowed to eliminate fake news stories. Some may term their actions censorship. And it is. But there is no law penalizing any company for editing, rejecting, or otherwise restricting stories. That includes context on Internet sites. For the most part American businesses are still allowed to monitor and restrict forms of communication. As long as they do not discriminate against protected classes.
Fake news sites mimic well known news sites to such a degree, it is difficult to tell what site you are actually on. Here is a lost of fake news sites and the Websites they mimic.
New technology allows ad services to target certain groups. (Source) What does this mean to the average voter? As of October 2017, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrat, 24% identified as Republican, and 42% as Independent.(Source) Even though the majority of voters in the US are independent, ads will focus on what party a computer program thinks they want you to see. What does this mean for American voters? If the software is biased, independent voters will be fed stories about one party and not the other. In the Cyber world that means, the other party doesn’t exist, or doesn’t stand a chance in the election. Can ads determine who will be president, and what party will control Congress? The answer is yes if the American public continues to rely on the Internet for information.
Hitler was known for setting up fake attacks and events to start wars and limit the rights of ethnic groups he did not agree with. Even political partners cannot be trusted as Hitler proved in one of his political moves.
On July 13, Hitler gave a speech announcing the 74 “justified murders”: “If anyone reproaches me and asks why I did not resort to the regular courts of justice, then all I can say is this: In this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people, and thereby I became the supreme judge of the German people” (Source).
By he proclaiming himself the supreme judge of Germany, he placed himself above law, making his word law. And, by aiding Hitler in the raid, the German army aligned themselves with Hitler.
Hitler, as we well know, did not stop here. Six days after the fire and his Reichstag Fire Decree, was a general election to dissolve the Reichstag. Even with a secret meeting at Hermann Göring’s residence with 20-25 industrialists, Hitler was unable to gain absolute majority in parliament. However, on March 15, he and his cabinet began to draw up new plans to rid him of this dependency. These plans would ultimately become the Enabling Act. Simply put, the Enabling Act made Hitler dictator over Germany. It also gave him power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. The full text to the Enabling Act, as well as Hitler’s speech prior to passing said act, can be found by clicking the underlined Enabling Act above.
The next day (February 28), “Hitler declared a state of emergency and issued the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and the State” (Blankman, Conspiracy 31). This decree would suspend all major civil liberties. This included: “Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed” (Source).
What is being done to control the spread of fake news and targeted political ads? The FCC is adding new rules to curve targeted political ads.
New technology allows advertisers to not only target audiences, but to custom tailor ads for individuals based on taste, habits, life style, location, and other data collected through computers and smart phones. Take for instance. Your smart phone occasionally registers in a fast food restaurant at 5:30 PM. New technology would allow ad companies to raise advertising rates by bidding off ad space in time segments. Fast food restaurants would fall over one another to capture your business. Automobiles now communicating with the Internet would tell ad companies when your oil needs changing, when a trouble light appears, and when maintenance is require. This opens the door to premium ad targeting on an individual level.