You ever heard of the "SDN list?" Me neither, until I stumbled upon an article at the Cuba blog about it. The SDN list (Specially Designated Nationals) is basically the "US version of Iran and China's state censorship machine."
Initially created with good intent to inform the world (and US entities, persons) of Terrorists, Rogue regimes and other wrongdoers. It slowly converted into a censorship list to block free speech on the Internet. You see, by adding a website to the list the U.S authorities could then evoke a closure order on the registrar where the domain is registered.
This, the article claims, is how the US government could possibly shut down Wikileaks.
I am still skeptical that the US government or any government could effectively stop organizations like Wikileaks entirely, but it's not for a lack of trying.
Senator Joe Lieberman has been one of the most ardent supporters of an "Internet kill switch (like China!!!!!)" and has bullied retailers like Amazon to try to starve or wound Wikileaks' access to leak information. Here is the crooked, warmongering Senator in his words advocating censoring the web:
And here is our Vice Emperor Joe Biden calling Julian Assange a "high-tech" terrorist.
Other members of the Imperial Court in DC and the Beltway media have also called for Julian Assange's capture, to be tried for treason, and even his execution.
Weaved into these calls for Julian Assange to be tortured in one of the US's many, many gulags are the calls for "net neutrality" that many in DC are supporting. Net neutrality? Who could be against that? Our government is simply just looking out for the safety and interest of all, and should be applauded for serving the public interest in this way.
But they're in good company, as the AP reports:
Chavez defends plan for Internet regulations
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez defended plans for a law that would impose broadcast-type regulations on the Internet, saying Sunday that his government should protect citizens against online crimes.
Chavez's congressional allies are considering extending the "Social Responsibility Law" for broadcast media to the Internet, banning messages that "disrespect public authorities," "incite or promote hatred" or crimes, or are aimed at creating "anxiety" in the population.
Government opponents and press freedom groups have been critical of the plan, saying it is one of several measures being considered that could restrict freedoms in Venezuela.
Ah, yes. The United States of Venezuela. It has a nice to ring to it, doesn't it?
UPDATE: The Chinese and the Saudi governments are calling on the U.N. to establish a world government body to "police" the Internet. There is some resistance at least, but it's good to know the US is on the side of these wonderful bastions of freedom and openness. (Via Antiwar.com)