London Has Become Cairo (2)

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN10 - David Cameron, Le...Image via Wikipedia
Wall Street Journal: Repressing the Internet, Western-Style: As the British police, armed with the latest facial-recognition technology, go through the footage captured by their numerous closed-circuit TV cameras and study chat transcripts and geolocation data, they are likely to identify many of the culprits. ..... Authoritarian states are monitoring these developments closely. .... They hope for at least partial vindication of their own repressive policies. ..... Prime Minister David Cameron said that the government should consider blocking access to social media for people who plot violence or disorder. ...... After the recent massacre in Norway, many European politicians voiced their concern that anonymous anti-immigrant comments on the Web were inciting extremism. They are now debating ways to limit online anonymity. ....... acts of terror briefly deprive us of the ability to think straight. We are also distracted by the universal tendency to imagine technology as a liberating force; it keeps us from noticing that governments already have more power than is healthy. ...... After violent riots in 2009, Chinese officials had no qualms about cutting off the Xinjiang region's Internet access for 10 months. ...... In their concern to stop not just mob violence but commercial crimes like piracy and file-sharing, Western politicians have proposed new tools for examining Web traffic and changes in the basic architecture of the Internet to simplify surveillance. ..... Should America and Europe abandon any pretense of even wanting to promote democracy abroad? Or should they try to figure out how to increase the resilience of their political institutions in the face of the Internet?
I have never believed in political violence. I don't today. But I do believe in mass action. I don't believe in rioting. But then I don't see the London riots as simply a law and order problem.

The economic roadmap that the Conservative government in Britain has in place as the solution to the recession is precisely the wrong move to make. This is a time for massive rethink on the part of governments and also massive spending to make up for lost private expenditures. Britain is going the wrong way.

If America were to go down that cut the spending route, the recession would deepen, and there would be riots in America.

What is happening in London is less a failure of the British police to control mobs and more the failure of the Conservative government. It is primarily a policy level failure.

There is a need for a massive rethink of the nation state also in long established democracies. Instead of protesting Wikileaks (Learning The Wrong Lessons From Wikileaks) government departments and agencies should be embracing social media like tech startups.

The Internet And The Emperors

There should be talk of one gigabit per second kind of internet access for all and the resultant universal lifelong education. The goal should be universal health care. The goal ought be a Global Marshall Plan.

When it is time to think big, Cameron has thought small. And he has problems on his hands. Tea Party, take note.

London Riots: Debate
The Stimulus Bill Was Messed Up
Three Million Jobs
Global New Deal Needed
London Has Become Cairo
A Second Stimulus Bill Needed
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