Freedom of speech is [still] a peacetime luxury
Excerpt from George Dvorsky about this time, last year (Feb, 2006):
[T]hat the Homeland Security Department considers bloggers a potential threat really shouldn't come as a complete surprise; the military would likely shut down threatening and subversive blogs during times of war or civil unrest.
It's during such episodes that control of information flow becomes tactically paramount -- so much so that nations often regress to de facto authoritarianism and even totalitarianism. As a result, the state has the power to claim a monopoly on the memesphere, including extreme censorship and propaganda campaigns.
Freedom of speech is a peacetime luxury.
At the same time, however, I have to think that the real impact bloggers could conceivably have is over-stated. I don't think memes work in such a pervasive way, particularly not today in the age of diversified media. If blogs could actually cause people to riot, for example, it's not because the blogs are telling them to do so, but because there's a genuine reason for doing so.
But as the Cyberstorm exercise shows, the revolution will not be televised, nor will it posted on a blog.
Written on January 14, 2007