May 30, 2011

Amazing. We're winning a "soft war" and we don't even know we're fighting it...

In Censorship Move, Iran Plans Its Own, Private Internet - WSJ.com:

Iran is taking steps toward an aggressive new form of censorship: a so-called national Internet that could, in effect, disconnect Iranian cyberspace from the rest of the world....

...The unusual initiative appears part of a broader effort to confront what the regime now considers a major threat: an online invasion of Western ideas, culture and influence, primarily originating from the U.S. In recent speeches, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top officials have called this emerging conflict the "soft war."...

...Few think that Iran could completely cut its links to the wider Internet. But it could move toward a dual-Internet structure used in a few other countries with repressive regimes.

Myanmar said last October that public Internet connections would run through a separate system controlled and monitored by a new government company, accessing theoretically just Myanmar content. It's introducing alternatives to popular websites including an email service, called Ymail, as a replacement for Google Inc.'s Gmail.

Cuba, too, has what amounts to two Internets--one that connects to the outside world for tourists and government officials, and the other a closed and monitored network, with limited access, for public use. North Korea is taking its first tentative steps into cyberspace with a similar dual network, though with far fewer people on a much more rudimentary system....

Nothing says "loser" like trying to keep information out. Here's a couple of tips, amigos. If you are trying to preserve something, it's dead. Like the French language. Things have to sell themselves. You have to have something desirable to offer in the marketplace of ideas.

I sympathize keenly with the losers. (The old cultures, I mean. Not to tinpot tyrants in places like Cuba.) I'm kind of a loser myself, since the art and ideas and culture I love and somewhat dwell in has been swept away by newer tides. [Link, link, link]. But I'm also "reality-based," and have no illusions about telling the tide not to roll over me...

Posted by John Weidner at May 30, 2011 7:52 AM
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