Alex Jones website blocked under filter for ‘criminal skills’ content
|Was this website blocked by Internet filters under the dubious auspices of ‘promoting criminal skills’ for posting the controversial ‘Obama as Joker’ image?|
While Internet filters blocking access to Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.com have been in place for sometime in various reported libraries and workplaces, this is the first time an Alex Jones website has been outwardly labeled as ‘criminal.’
How that term could be defined as to apply to one of Jones’ websites run by Alex Jones leads to only a few likely scenarios, all which unscore the same basic threat– that our free speech is under attack, and which is, itself, in the process of being criminalized.
According to Norton, a leading online filtering service, term ‘Criminal’ is classifies:
“Web sites that feature or promote criminal skills, provide instruction for threatening or violating the security of property or the privacy of people, or describe how to avoid complying with legally mandated duties and obligations.”
The use of the term “criminal skills” sounds like a bad interpretation of the Homeland Security report, where those with supposed ‘right-wing’ views have been vilified as potential terrorists, or like the next in line of search filters and social networking sites censoring the controversial “Obama-as-Joker” poster image.
The Department of Homeland Security report on Right-wing extremism even includes thein its list of extremist lexicon.
The site was reported blocked as of August 13, just days after Alex launched the ‘Obama as Joker’ Poster contest. Could panicked controversy over so-called vandalism be the reason the site was restricted under for ‘promoting criminal skills’?
After the posters cropped up overnight on telephone polls, and yes, even mailboxes, complaints were issued and arrests were made with the idea that the posters were somehow ‘offensive’ and thus, somehow ‘not permitted’ or ‘illegal.’ The media labeled the image, and its bearers, ‘racist.’
After a man in Florida who plastered the Joker poster images around his area was questioned for alleged vandalism, the concept of the poster became criminalized.
Only last week, it was reported that social networks like MySpace were caught censoring and removing Obama-Joker images and the general label “sexually explicit/violence.”
It has also been reported that Flikr removed the orginal Obama-Joker artwork, and deleted the account of the political independent created the image, but did not originally use the word “socialist” under Obama’s face.
The pampleteering of prominent founding father Thomas Paine perhaps most succintly embodies the spirit of the pre-Revolutionary war era and the freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment that was enshrined in the Constitution afterwards– and remains a good indicator that the posting of even radical ideas on posters and paper was meant to be protected, not persecuted.
Today, the right to say what we wish, and to make those words known on available mediums– including good old fashioned paper– should most certainly remain intact.