Is the U.S. talking out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to Internet freedom? Continuing with China’s online counter-offensive, this article from state-run People’s Daily asserts that Pentagon plans for software to allow Defense Department personnel to assume multiple identities online for the purpose of planting pro-U.S. propaganda again demonstrates to the world that America cannot be trusted.
For the People’s Daily, columnist Ren Bing starts out this way:
There’s no doubt that the U.S. is full of double standards, whether in the traditional international community or virtual world online.
On March 17, The Guardian reported that the U.S. military is secretly working with a California company to develop a new type of software that uses false identities to deliver propaganda favorable to the U.S. on the Internet. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter will be the main targets “manipulated” by this new software. Once developed, the software will allow U.S. Defense Department personnel to log on with 10 different identities and produce fake IP addresses that have no connection to the U.S. military and pose as people from around the world and fabricate pro-American commentary.
The United States is hoping for a “cyber war” breakthrough, which isn’t surprising. As the global technology leader, the U.S. has the power to achieve it. What’s so staggering is that the while the American military anticipates manipulating Internet sentiment with “online PR units,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has on various occasions spared no effort advocating “Internet freedom” and attacking the Internet policies of other nations, claiming that “an open Internet fosters long-term peace, progress and prosperity.” It’s no wonder that thousands of netizens on the Huffington Post Web site condemned the American military program as “democratic hypocrisy.”
U.S. Politicians have the audacity to advocate information freedom on the Internet, while its military tries everything possible to manipulate and mislead online conversation. This shows one side of how the U.S. deals with the Internet as a medium. It seems that for some American politicians, when the U.S. uses the phrase “Internet freedom”, this is the logic: the Internet should be “free” as long as it is in accordance with America’s will and its values of “freedom.” If this cannot be arranged and the situation won’t allow it to be “more powerful and prosperous,” then it isn’t “freedom.”
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Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice