by Susanne Posel
June 4, 2012
At the World Wide Web (WWW2012) conference in
Lyon, Neelie Kroes (who is now attending
the Bilderberg Group
conference in Chantilly, Virginia), vice-president of the European
spoke about the UK’s “responsibility” and their digital agenda.
Kroes claims that,
“with a truly open, universal platform, we
can deliver choice and competition; innovation and opportunity; freedom
and democratic accountability.”
She spoke extensively about copyright material
and licensing systems and that these controls,
“guarantee that Europeans miss out on great
content, they discourage business innovation, and they fail to serve the
creative people in whose name they were established.”
Yet, Viviane Reding, the European
Commission’s vice-president stated that:
“People give out their data often
without thinking about it. They have no idea that it will be sold to
Reding’s current project is called the
Protection Directive, of 1995, which focuses on maintain a business
ecosystem friendly to foreign investments. Mining for personal data from
internet users can be very lucrative to foreign investors and corporations.
personal data online becomes “commercial property” the lines are
obviously being blurred; and therefore loop holes can be used to manipulate
Hillary Clinton, also an attendee at Bilderberg Group conferences,
spoke to the inaugural meeting of the Open Government Partnership in
Brasilia where she proclaimed that nation’s individuality rests in its
ability to be an open society.
Clinton described closed societies as resistant to,
“change, ideas, cultures and beliefs that
are different from theirs will quickly find that in an internet world
they will be left behind.”
“We believe those governments that hide from public view and dismiss
ideas of openness and the aspirations of their people for greater
freedom will find it increasingly difficult to create a secure society,”
She called recent events in Africa “remarkable”,
and only now that they have been infiltrated by the UN land grabs, private
corporate interests, Obama’s pledge to assist corporation’s use of
agricultural lands on the continent, they have the potential to be a more
Open Government Partnership has 55 members; all of which have published
“national action plan[s]” on how they will make their governments more
transparent and strengthen democracy.
“If ideas just remain theoretical, they are
not much use to anyone,” she said.
“But we now have tools that previous
advocates of open information could not even dream of. We are releasing
enormous quantities of public data, making complex budgets available
online, and connecting leaders with citizens, as we have seen in this
past year of the Arab awakening.”
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google has recently
said that he believes the biggest
threat to internet freedom is,
“a combination of governments increasingly
trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the
entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise
of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which
tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.”
Brin’s concerns are the censorship that
countries like China, Saudi Arabia and Iran implement to alter their
internet for their citizens.
“There’s a lot to be lost,” Brin said.
Ricken Patel, co-founder of Avaaz, the 14
million member online activist network that has provided communication
equipment and training to Syrian activists, echoed Brin’s warning:
“We’ve seen a massive attack on the freedom
of the web. Governments are realizing the power of this medium to
organize people and they are trying to clamp down across the world, not
just in places like China and North Korea; we’re seeing bills in the
United States, in Italy, all across the world.”
Iran has announced that it will introduce a
sealed “national internet” in just a few months.
They hope to protect themselves from further
cyber-attacks from countries like the US and Israel. The US and China have
been engaged in a covert battle in which coordinated
cyber-attacks are the
weapon of choice.
The Pentagon and US State Department, along with their Chinese counterparts
have played “war games” while uncovering state-sponsored espionage and
massive theft of sensitive information.
The war games have been organized through
the CSIS and a Beijing think-tank,
the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
Curiously, during the first exercise, both China and the US described what
they would do if they were attacked by a sophisticated computer virus, such
as Stuxnet, which disabled centrifuges in Iran’s nuclear program.
In the second, they detailed their reaction if the attack was known to have
been launched from the other side.
The US and the UK have increased pressure on China. Both governments see
China as chiefly responsible for the theft of billions of dollars of plans
and intellectual property from defense manufacturers, government
departments, and private companies at the heart of America’s national
A spokesperson for the US State Department stated:
“The United States is committed to engaging
countries to build a global environment in which all states recognize
and adhere to norms of acceptable behavior in cyberspace.”