Re: [OPE-L] Net Consequences and Praxis

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sun Feb 26 2006 - 12:36:33 EST

> I'm not so sure.  If 99% of internet stuff is commercially driven, still
> people have considerable control over what they look at and very
> considerable control over what interests them.  One can pursue ones own
> interests pretty damn effectively, it seems to me, and I've haven't seen
> change in this respect over the years.  Take 9-11: what stops you or me
> from going to whatever interests us in this topic so important to the U.S.
> government?  Do you expect restrictions?

Hi Paul Z,

Like TV, it's true that you have some degree of choice -- you can turn
the station (although, I guess, that's kind of an archaic formulation: 'use
the remote' would be more contemporary).  And, it's true, that you
have more choice on the Web in the sense that there are far more
web sites than  TV channels (even including all of the cable stations).
But, the amount of commercial sites has skyrocketed in recent years,
their importance for corporations has blasted off,  and commercialism
has insinuated itself into many alternative forums.  E.g. if OPE-L was
a yahoo group, then there would be advertising alongside and
pasted to every post.

You write that you can pursue your interests pretty damn feely.  To same
extent that's true -- what you can't do often is pursue your interests
without being confronted by advertising.  E.g. let's say you're interested
in baseball: the overwhelming amount of sites which concern baseball are
either commercial sites and/or have commercial advertising.  So,
businesses _insinuate themselves_ into your interests even when not

Do I expect restrictions on your access to sites?  I think the greater
immediate danger is the monitoring of sites you go to.  This is done
by corporations (c.f. Microsoft; spyware) and -- I believe -- states.
Don't you think the National Security Agency (NSA) monitors who
goes to what sites?

Let me give you an example:  A good friend of mine is on the coordinating
committee of Al-Awda so I checked-out some of their web sites the
other day.  Al-Awda (The Right to Return) has been classified by some
right-wingers/ Zionists  as "terrorist" (which, of course, is ridiculous).
Given the current political context, I have every expectation that:
a) it was recorded that I visited Al-Awda sites (which might be viewed
by the NSA as a highly suspicious activity worthy of a terrorist
b) by mentioning "Al Awda" in _this post_ I think it is quite possible
that someone at the NSA using a search engine will end up reading
this post [To NSA reader: F--- yourself!].
Do you think my expectations are unreasonable?

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon Feb 27 2006 - 00:00:03 EST