Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald recently issued a chilling warning that government censorship of the internet and free speech is no longer limited to nations with despotic, authoritarian governments, but is now infiltrating western democracies.
In his article entitled New Law Sought by Brazil’s Lula to Ban and Punish “Fake News and Disinformation” Threatens the Free Internet Everywhere, published on his Locals Community, he writes:
“A major escalation in official online censorship regimes is progressing rapidly in Brazil, with implications for everyone in the democratic world. Under Brazil’s new government headed by President Lula da Silva, the country is poised to become the first in the democratic world to implement a law censoring and banning “fake news and disinformation” online, and then punishing those deemed guilty of authoring and spreading it. Such laws already exist throughout the non-democratic world, adopted years ago by the planet’s most tyrannical regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.
If one wishes to be generous with the phrase “the democratic world” and include Malaysia and Singapore – at best hybrid “democracies” – then one could argue that a couple other “democratic” governments have already seized the power to decree Absolute Truth and then ban any deviation from it. But absent unexpected opposition, Brazil will soon become the first country unambiguously included in the democratic world to outlaw “fake news” and vest government officials with the power to banish it and punish its authors. “
Now, in case you’re wondering why you should care what’s going on in Brazil, consider the following:
Brazil is the largest country in South America, by size the fifth-largest country in the world, and the sixth most populous nation on the planet.
Also, in 2021 Brazil’s gross domestic product was 1.608 trillion USD, making it one of the world’s largest economies.
Brazil is also the fourth-largest democracy in the world.
So needless to say, the fact that authoritarian-style censorship regimes are infiltrating Brazil says a lot about the threat to the entire west; it’s now right on our doorstep!
“If you’re not Brazilian doesn’t mean that you should ignore the reporting we did on Brazil’s crises of censorship, the regime of censorship, because all of this is global; one country sees how dangerous the internet is to authority, and then they all copy one another and their tactics for trying to control the internet, to try to limit and criminalize free speech on it because nothing is more dangerous than free speech, and it is always the case whenever there’s a technology that emerges that empowers the citizenry to stand up to power centers and the establishment, by definition power centers and the establishment look for ways to take back that power, and the way they’re using now, is to try and allow you to be prosecuted for expressing views deemed too dangerous for the internet.”
The new laws being passed in Brazil will likely affect the rest of the west, even here in the US, so it’s paramount that this disturbing news be spread far and wide, in the hope that people, once informed, will rise up and stop the tyranny, before it’s too late.
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