STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
The Struggle to Control the Internet
By Anthony Wile - March 25, 2011

U.S. will fund BBC World Service to combat censorship … The BBC World Service will receive funds from the U.S. State Department to combat the blocking of TV and Internet in countries with state censorship. According to The Guardian: In what the BBC said is the first deal of its kind, an agreement is expected to be signed later this month that will see US State Department money – understood to be a low six-figure sum – given to the World Service to invest in developing anti-jamming technology and software. The funding is also expected to be used to educate people in countries with state censorship in how to circumnavigate the blocking of Internet and TV services. – Politico

Dominant Social Theme: Let's spend what we need in order to keep the Internet free. If we can get the money from government and tax-payers so much the better. This is important stuff!

Free-Market Analysis: Two recent news stories regarding government funding of the Internet have caught the attention of the blogosphere recently. The first has to do with a grant that the US is giving to the BBC (see above article excerpt) and the second involves a plea made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (pictured above left) for more funds to combat the success of overseas news services.

Watch Video: Clinton Asks For Cash as US 'Losing World Info War'

While on the surface both stories have to do with strengthening the freedom of the Internet and supporting an expansive flow of unbiased information, the reality is likely, and unfortunately, diametrically opposed to what it is being said. These two stories, taken together, mark yet another milestone in the determination of the Anglo-American elites to REDUCE (not expand) the reach of the Internet and to push back against the influence of the blogosphere and the alternative news that it provides.

One sees these unmistakable trends in many ways. There is for instance the desperation with which the Anglosphere's mainstream media is attacking yet again the alternative news media via pay walls and proprietary news-distribution formats. USA Today just announced yet another reconfiguration of one of America's largest newspapers. Once a success story, USA Today has lost considerable circulation and revenues.

The USA Today brain trust has decided to focus on two strategic avenues to combat loss of profitability and readership. First, the newspapers editors will concentrate on making the newspaper more ad-friendly (as if it weren't already) and second, editorial offerings will be reshaped to become either more engaging (puzzles, brain-teasers, etc.) or more hard-hitting and newsworthy. Commented one observer (a paraphrase), "They're throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks."

USA Today is also doing something that Rupert Murdoch has poineered with his new publication, "The Daily," which is to create proprietary distribution mechanisms using such electronic facilities such as Apple's iPhone. The advantage for Murdoch and other disseminators of mainstream news is that proprietary platforms allow them to leverage the one advantage that mainstream news services still possesses over the alternative media, which is access to significant capital – in other words, their media properties benefit considerably from the central-bank fiat-money spigot that spews forth money-from-nothing for the "chosen few."

Murdoch is distributing The Daily (at this point) mainly through Apple platforms. Other mainstream publishers such as The New York Times are attempting to create some level of exclusivity by placing their publications behind so-called pay walls. Certain articles are still available for free but others cannot be seen without providing either significant personal information, a fee or both. Murdoch has done this as well with such publications as The Wall Street Journal and claims some success. (Not many others do, to date.)

The trouble with all these "solutions" is that they are still not grappling with the single, significant problem that the mainstream Western media is facing, which is that mainstream publications are seen increasingly as providing unreliable information tailored to the promotion of one-world dominant social themes. Mainstream media's support for Western power structures and business-as-usual is in direct contrast with the alternative news media that tends to report on a variety of aspects of the Anglo-American power structure with more openness, honesty and truth.

The main difference between the blogosphere and the mainstream media is that the blogosphere directly confronts the phenomenon of the Anglo-American power elite and its attempts to create one-world government without ever admitting that it is doing so. The emphasis on Western and even world control by a small monetary elite differentiates the alternative media from the mainstream, which is under control of money power itself. In essence, money power and the media elites are one in the same. The second differentiation between alternative and mainstream media has to do specifically with reporting on events and power structures that encourage and support the emergence of a so-called New World Order.

Whether it is central banking, endless serial wars or domestic authoritarianism, wiretapping and other methodologies of power elite control, the blogosphere is apt to report on these emergent societal pathologies with a good deal more vigor and frankness than the mainstream media. In fact, as stated above, a general perception of users of alternative media is probably that mainstream news media is controlled by the very powers-that-be that are attempting to create world governance through trusts, holding companies and other quasi-anonymous instrumentalities.

Mainstream reporting is thus not in a position to report honestly; that's not what they are about. They are similar in nature to the Federal Reserve, which states one of their pirmary objectives to be controlling inflation when if fact THEY CREATE IT. Mainstream Media uses lots of catchy, warm and fuzzy adjectives to proclaim their publications as trusted sources, in fact, such proclamations do nothing to advance credibility. None of this dishonesty mattered pre-Internet as there were no other sources of information. But post Internet, the blogosphere's alternative reporting has had an increasingly devastating effect on exposing the lack of credibility of the mainstream media.

In addition to trying to create exclusivity (mind control) for its publications, the mainstream media and Anglosphere are trying to create "firewalls" that will separate the blogosphere from mainstream news. Western powers-that-be are attempting to do this by creating a two-tier Internet that will eventually feature high-tech video and text distribution for mainstream publications and low-tech, inefficient distribution for non-mainstream efforts. The trouble with this strategy is that technology itself is evolving so rapidly that it is undercutting such efforts. Most alternative news media tends to focus on text offerings anyway and most users of such information are interested in content rather than "bells and whistles" so it is questionable as to whether enhanced presentations of uncoupled content will make a difference.

A third way that the powers-that-be are attacking the blogosphere is through copyright. The elites have seemingly launched a concerted attack against the blogosphere's many news aggregators, hoping to intimidate them by setting legal precedents that make it unfeasible for such alternative news services to offer so much as even simple links to various mainstream Internet news sites, videos, etc.

Unfortunately for those who are enthusiastically pursuing this angle of attack, the well-accepted and age-old concept of "fair-use" ultimately militates against such exclusivity. There will always be legal "carve outs" for those who wish to present minimal amounts of information to consumers of Internet information (including the mainstream media itself!); this approach would seem to be something of a non-starter.

Finally, and most recently, the power elite seems to have opened up a fourth front against the distribution of alternative news and information. This is where recent funding developments referred to above come into play. What seems to be going on – and the first efforts have just been made – is that the powers-that-be have decided to try to leverage government funding mechanisms to further enhance the advantages that mainstream media enjoys over the blogosphere.

As this trend evolves, one could logically foresee that grants and other sorts of funding will be provided to the mainstream news media for purposes of combating media-initiated "terrorism" and enhancing the readership news experience with credible (mainstream) analysis that provides an "acceptable" interpretation of news and information.

Within this context, then, the announcement that the U.S. will fund the BBC World Service to combat censorship can be seen as one of the very first moves in a significant additional attack on the credibility and resources of alternative news reporting. The moves SOUND logical of course. Politico informs us that the BBC was chosen for the US government grant because it is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 32 languages. Yet even the BBC, we learn, has experienced jamming and interference in such countries as Iran, China, Egypt and Libya. The funding for this "propaganda-driven putsch" will be formally announced on May 3, which is International Press Day, and is intended to help facilitate the BBC's efforts at developing early-warning software "for satellite signal interference and Web censorship" – whatever that means.

Almost in tandem with this announcement (just a few weeks earlier) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made news by announcing at a Congressional briefing that as the headlines put it, the West (and particularly America) was "Losing The Infowar." According to the alternative news site Infowars.com (which carried a fairly lucid assessment of Ms. Clinton's gambit) the Secretary's "tacit admission during a U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities committee that the US was losing out to Russia Today and Al Jazeera had to do with the abandonment by corporate media of "real news."

"We are in an information war and we are losing that war," warned Clinton, in a bid, Infowars noted, that was intended "to rustle up more money to fund propaganda to compete with foreign news media." In singling out such stations as Russia Today, Clinton identified a news source that not only competes with mainstream Western news but which regularly provides a platform "to alternative media sources such as Alex Jones, Max Keiser, Wayne Madsen, Paul Craig Roberts and Webster Tarpley." For Infowars, Clinton's statements were a tacit admission of "how frightened the establishment is" of alternative news and information.

Infowars noted that Russia Today regularly touches on topics that the controlled Western news media will not mention. Forbidden subjects include "9/11 truth, the Bilderberg Group meetings, as well as globalist involvement in hijacking the wave of revolutions currently sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa. While the US media remains obsessed with polarizing left-right talking head nonsense, the likes of Al Jazeera, China's CCTV and Russia Today are ‘winning' and attracting more viewers because they concentrate on reporting ‘real news,' according to Clinton."

Clinton continued: "Our private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans," referring to such shows as Baywatch and to sports programming such as wrestling. Having created the necessary context, Clinton then "railed against Republican efforts to cut the State Department budget in half, as well as using Twitter and other social media to spread US military-industrial complex propaganda via twitter feeds in Arabic and Farsi."

What it all comes down to is funding, of course. Clinton was making the argument that government news sources if funded properly could provide the kind of persuasive information that would combat the "alternative" news and information that people the world over find increasingly credible and persuasive. What she did not choose to mention is that there is already a plethora of such government-funded channels available via the US government including PBS, Voice of America, etc. It is actually rather doubtful that additional government-based news and information channels, no matter how well funded, can address the fundamental issue, which is that the Western news media is simply not perceived as credible by an increasing audience of news and information consumers the world over.

After Thoughts

In this article we have reviewed numerous gambits that the powers-that-be are attempting to utilize to undercut the alternative news and information provided by the Internet and its blogosphere. While the blogosphere is often ridiculed by the mainstream media as consisting of young people in pajamas providing ill-researched information via badly designed websites from "basements," the reality is that the information itself is what is important, not the infrastructure or the profitability of the source. We can see from the efforts that the mainstream media and its elite backers are making, that almost every kind of gambit will be launched to enhance the perceived credibility and usability of mainstream news and information with the exception of the one that would actually work: Tell the truth.

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