Obama Sarkozy and G8 leaders focus on internet not government over spending and debt, Reason found in George Orwell's 1984

Obama Sarkozy and G8 leaders focus on internet not government over spending and debt, Reason found in George Orwell’s 1984

“the Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.”…George Orwell, “1984”

“As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any partiucular number of the Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in it’s stead. This process of continuation alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs–to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to be correct; nor was any item of news, or expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to be on record.”…George Orwell, “1984″

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed
–if all records told the same tale–then the lie passed into
history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the
Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present
controls the past.”…George Orwell, “1984″

Why have Obama, Sarkozy and the G8 leaders focused on the internet? The answer is simple and can be found in the quotes from “1984” above. If you are not fixing problems and are indeed making them worse, you must rectify the information reaching the public.

From the Christian Science Monitor May 25, 2011.

“President Obama will join other G8 leaders today at the posh, French seaside resort of Deauville. On the agenda: proposed global regulations for the Internet, post-tsunami Japan, and military escapades in North Africa. Bizarrely absent from the top priorities listed by hosting head of state Nicolas Sarkozy is the most urgent issue of all: the need to rein in massive government over-spending and debt.
One needn’t travel to France to get a clear view of this problem. Here in the US, for example, federal revenues will top $2 trillion this year, but federal spending will approach double that amount. Such reckless spending has set the stage for a battle royal between Democrats and Republicans over raising the national-debt ceiling.”

“Mr. Sarkozy and the rest of the European leaders at the G8 have some explaining to do: If they won’t offer a plan to right the world economy, they should at least engage in an honest evaluation of the policies that have led so many countries to the brink of financial ruin.

Unfortunately, their attention will be elsewhere. Internet regulation, for one thing. Sarkozy calls it a “moral imperative” needed to “correct the excesses and abuses that arise from the total absence of rules.”

Certainly, improving information infrastructure, technology, and access is integral to the development of modern economies. But letting governments control or even censor information is counterproductive.

Unfortunately, Sarkozy’s G8 proposal toes the statist line. He wants governments to intervene in cyberspace markets with intrusive regulation and taxes that could limit consumer choices and seriously distort both pricing and investment decisions.

A micromanaging G8 also could threaten press freedom. New media Internet outlets can be invaluable in exposing political corruption and guarding against bribery, extortion, nepotism, cronyism, patronage, embezzlement, and graft. Yet disturbing acts of censorship, attacks on press freedom, and denials of Internet service are on the rise. The World Bank reports that bloggers in Burma, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Tunisia, China, Turkmenistan, and Egypt are harassed and sometimes imprisoned.

Scarcity of information resources and government censorship of the Internet work against people in developing nations who thirst for economic freedom, growth, and prosperity. But even that’s too big a problem for today’s G8 to address.”

“Today’s G8 leaders face a more subtle enemy – themselves. They need to wage war on out-of-control spending before a series of massive sovereign debt defaults detonate their economies. Yet few seem to have the stomach – or the spine – for the task.”

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From the Salt Lake Tribune six hours ago.

“Egged on by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the leaders of the Group of 8 nations announced Friday that the Internet was too important for governments to leave ungoverned. Cyberspace needs a legal framework that promotes human rights, the rule of law, privacy, security and the protection of intellectual property, they declared, and they pledged to work on one.

Good luck with that.

The declaration reflects the wrongheaded wish of many foreign leaders to tame the Net, particularly freewheeling Web-based businesses and online speech. Evolving technologies and online services have disrupted not just established industries but governments’ ability to bring transgressors to heel. Rather than letting the public, entrepreneurs and the courts respond to problems as they arise, these officials want to impose their own brand of discipline. As Sarkozy put it, lawmakers and regulators should wield more control over the Internet because “governments are the only legitimate representatives of the will of the people in our democracies.”

What that “will” is, however, depends on which people you ask.”

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