Posted - 2009.04.22 12:42:00 - [32
I can't imagine this ever going through. The west likes to lambast China for the draconian censorship and the 'bamboo curtain' it has on the internet. To do it themselves would deprive them of one of their favourite weapons: free speech.
That said, in every age, there is a disquiet amongst those in authority with whatever medium allows people free and open expression, for fear that it will get out of their control. The printing press was once vilified, because it enabled the printed word to reach the common man, allowing them to become literate, and therefore more likely to throw of the yoke of serfdom.
In this corporate age, similar principles do exist. Freedom of expression allows for diversity, and a diverse population is always a little harder to control. Every time a politician says something, they endear themselves to some, and alienate others (which is why they always have that peculiar method of trying to appease everyone all the time by using the most uncommitted speech possible). Also, corporations and business in general don't really like diversity (despite everything they advertise). Diversity is difficult to market to, requiring multiple (and more expensive) approaches, whereas a homogenous population that all think the same way are very easy to market to. "Yes, we all watch X-Factor. Oh, there's an X-Factor product? Yes, we will all buy it."
The fight for freedom of expression is constant, and never ends, because society never stands still. It is our responsibility to ensure that this continues by questioning every decision and generally making life difficult for those who would be our masters.
Should this lunacy ever get passed (which I seriously doubt), then it becomes our duty to refuse to comply with the law. If enough people resist, how can they enforce it? The law is there as a common framework for society to live together, not as a tool for control. Therefore laws saying "thou shalt not kill" make perfect sense, whereas laws that say "don't look at that, because it may disturb you, or disagree with what we say" are just farcical. And when laws don't make sense, civil disobedience is required.
Government is here to represent us, and business is here to produce what we need. They are not here to tell us how to behave and what to buy. We decide that.