We are at the beginning of an age where the internet is becoming a battlefield.

The Dead Weather
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We are at the beginning of an age where the internet is becoming a battlefield.

www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/375428/february-24-2011/corporate-hacker-tries-to-take-down-wikileaks
Corporate Hacker Tries to Take Down WikiLeaks - The Colbert Report

The above brings to light the power of the Internet and technology in our age while making light of the situation.

 

  • It is obvious that the Internet has reached a point where it is more powerful than any weapon we could of ever dreamed of. Governments lead by brutal dictators are in the process of being replaced with democracy, five to be exact. We have the Internet and transparency within to thank for this.




http://www.bnet.com/blog/technology-business/so-why-does-the-air-force-want-hundreds-of-fake-online-identities-on-social-media-update/8728
"So, Why Does the Air Force Want Hundreds of Fake Online Identities on Social Media?"
 

  • The government has come to realize this to be true. Please read the above article for more information. I have reason to believe that the CIA are the ones behind wikileaks as well as Anonymous, but this is not relevant.


It is not the air force nor the CIA that I am afraid of using this in the wrong way here, I have full trust in how they will use this as their motivations are only militarily motivated and I do not think Obama would use this domestically one way or the other.

However, we do not know how the next president will choose to use these tools. Once we elect someone in power who understands this and will choose to use it for bad we could see some problems at home; However again this is not what I am worried about. What I am currently worried about is how private entities specially corporations and lobbyists will choose to use this tool once they catch full wind of it.

  • Please allow me to paint a picture for you, imagine that people are being paid to pretend to be people just like you who will push their motivations on the Internet. Small enough communities could easily be overrun and ran in to the ground with these tools. Big enough communities could easily be swayed one way or another. You could find that there could easily be a play-book of the most useful tools to combat atheism. Suddenly you may not find your self arguing with one redneck religious nut, but instead 5 people with PHD's who in reality are actually just the same person. Influencing online polls by the millions to show that Atheists are even more dwindling. All it would take is say 10,000 very anti-atheist personalities on facebook constantly spreading hate against freedom of religion over a long enough period of time and you will find your self living in a country that is much worse off. The people with the money will use these tools however they like.

You may find these ramblings to be unrealistic, however all that I am asking from you is that you maintain a more vigilant train of thought and always investigate. Be prepared for what can happen and make sure those behind it are the ones held responsible no matter how much money/power they have to fight you.

 


Thunderios
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I have never been much of a

I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist (is that the proper term?).
I don't think the government will have more influence on peoples lives if they make accounts on the internet and hire people to infiltrate social groups than they have now, with the media, advertisement, etc.
And, yeah, the government does influence our choices quite a bit. Most presidents aren't elected because they are the best, like citizens could decide on such matters. Presidents are elected because they're more sexy than the other potential presidents. I think that you have to steer the people a little, or they'll make foolish choices anyway.
So, although I think people should have freedom and therefore a democracy, I think it isn't the most efficient system, and the government should be able to steer the people.


Beyond Saving
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 I agree that the Internet

 I agree that the Internet is one of the most powerful tools and will become even more so in the future. It provides quick spread of information and propaganda. In case you didn't notice, one of the largest reasons Obama won the primary was his skillful use of the Internet, both as a fundraising tool and advertising tool. If he had been reliant on television and radio ads we would probably be talking about President Clinton.

 

The Internet also makes it far more difficult for abusive government powers to maintain control. These powers usually rely on state controlled news media to spread propaganda. Free speech is devastating to dictators.

 

Now as far as your fears of the internet being used by dictators or in your example to promote a theist message I am skeptical. Yes, anyone with money can use the internet however they like....and anyone without money can as well. The beauty of the internet is that in most modern countries it is virtually free. So while some kind of massive effort to push a particular message might gain a little traction, it is nothing compared to what a government could do 20 years ago by simply airing tv ads on a handful of stations. No matter how much money they spent, the opposition is still there voicing a counter argument. The only way such an effort would have success, would be if they somehow silenced the opposition through spam, cyber attacks or a government kill switch (which has been proposed by very powerful people in our government). Probably the easiest way to abuse the internet is to use it to start false rumors, however, it is equally easy for someone to verify the facts behind such rumors if they are motivated to know the truth.

 

Those in power have been trying to find ways to silence the internet. I have heard suggestions of new campaign finance laws so that candidates would be responsible for anyone advertising for them on the internet. The kill switch that I mentioned earlier. Equal time requirements so that any website with a political message has to have a link to a site with contrary views, and a variety of other BS. As long as we oppose those types of oppression on the internet, it will remain a positive force for our freedoms and democratic government in general.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X