Over the three years at my University, I have seen a shift in attitudes that can be attributed to the downfall of the Internet with this new SOPA/PIPA/ACTA laws. it’s odd but Society reflects it well, so here goes.
My first year saw very Politically active groups. Protests were frequent and they had a purpose. Some more blurred than others, but there was at least a force to be reckoned with. I was involved but soon withdrew as splits emerged in how we would go around achieving our objectives. Both in real life and online. I kept ToTSE secret for the most part as it was my little “Fight Club” where I’d go to vent. With the General Elections and the voting in of David Cameron and Nick Clegg as a Coalition, there was Political furor everywhere and people were pleading with me to vote Liberal Democrats.
However, if a candidate does not suit me, then I won’t vote. Instead drawing a penis on the ballot paper. At this point I was aware of individuals like Ron Paul and my Libertarian upbringing was beginning to emerge. Students soon became complacent and things lost momentum. Facebook was popular, and as a Student, you tended to get your updates of events via these Social Networking sites. People were careful about what they shared and it seemed rather comfortable. Like an awkward family member than you can just about stomach.
Second year passed almost the same. Much more blurred as the drugs were more frequent and I was in a relationship as well as working for the University. However people were less concerned or active in fighting for what they believed in. Hedonism was the “in” thing and I looked around to see people rightly so enjoying themselves, but if an issue arose, nobody would take any action. They tended to roll over and either accept it or ask somebody else to help them out.
Needless to say, it was a busy year.
Now I am almost at the end of my Third and final year. Self-affirmation and belief in Liberty have gone out the window. Technology has become totally integrated into peoples lives – Tweets, Facebook and other Social Networks where you can share all and everything are just another part of the Human body. Privacy means nothing and so when I met my TUtor last week who uses the TOR network I was relieved. It was like an island of sanity in an ocean of carelessness. The first person I met who knew about it in real life, and from an Academic standpoint, almost a saviour.
As the days go by, not only for myself but for the SOPA/PIPA/ACTA legislation, I look around and see nobody taking any notice. Once again, they roll over and accept it as the inevitable future of the one last beacon of hope – the Internet.
Although the Internet was built primarily (in my eyes) to share information, it now seems to be for sharing information and entrapment. The amount of personal details people are willing to put into the public domain genuinely puts chills down my spine. A few good examples are the phone number or Blackberry Messenger groups on Facebook which, if you like, can easily be searched via Google and shared within slightly more black to grey-hat circles.
In a way I find it comforting that, although I’m not amazingly computer literate, but at least security-conscious, that I won’t accept this. The acts may, and probably will be passed, but I know I can rely on my knowledge to help cover my arse when most others will fall foul of them. Even for the most simple of violations.
Looking forward to a world of work, as we are now going through what the University has termed “Employability Week” things look grim as most Graduates expect to get a high-flying job after 3 years of being fed bullshit about how they will be the next future CEO or whatnot.
You can’t get there without understanding the world, and although my upbringing was varied in the safety net sense of the word, my exposure to sites like ToTSE, and that includes all of the original .com domain users, has placed me in better stead. I can only hope we grow bigger and can spread the word of safety online, allowing people to preserve their liberty, because from my island, it seems the waters are rising.
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. There is and always will be a way round the laws. Not every Nation will abide and so those who choose not to will profit hugely from Server rentals and traffic of what will soon be deemed “illegal” by the Acts being discussed, revised and passed by the powers that be.
In the words of Macka B – who are the Terrorists, who are the Heroes? The Soviet Union was once depicted on a propaganda poster as being an octopus with tentacles in its Satellite States, which now seems to be the way the European Union and USA are going – but of course, it’s all under the guise of “freedom” and “Democracy”.
You can polish a turd, but it’s still a turd.
If you are reading this and got this far, I cannot urge you enough to join our Community and get learning. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Stay safe, Brothers.