BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The world’s current state of affairs is anything but a positive one. With multiple threats like global warming, starvation, and terrorism looming over our heads, it’s inevitable that some of us get paranoid. But when your country’s government is taking advantage of the fear resulting from these very real threats, who can you turn to? In the wake of the attacks in Paris, France is looking to block TOR, ban free Wi-Fi.
Nobody except for the perpetrators can say that what happened in Paris last month is not a tragedy. Hundreds of people lost their lives, and hundreds more will be changed forever by the traumatic event they experienced.
But in response comes one of the greatest abuses of power in France’s recent history, as officials are trying to ban anonymous browsing and free Wi-Fi all over the country. If you don’t find this fact troublesome, note that so far, since the spread of the internet, only countries like Iran, North Korea and China.
The country being in the state of emergency in which it currently is, its officials are granted certain powers, like searching homes without a warrant and banning public protests. Using the same legislation, French authorities are looking to take away some of their compatriots’ rights.
True, the rights that are in talks to be taken away are not really that important, as anonymous browsing and free Wi-Fi are nowhere near Maslow’s pyramid of needs (perhaps near on the top, in the esteem and self-actualization segments), but that’s really not the point.
The point is it sets a precedent. If the citizens allow their government to take away their right to anonymous internet browsing and to free Wi-Fi, why wouldn’t they allow a similar persecution in the future, perhaps in the wake of a similarly tragic, but this time orchestrated event?
Of course, this is a situation taken to the extreme, but it’s not like history is known for being objective. And it’s not like governments aren’t known to take advantage of their citizens.
If the French government is allowed to take away any of their citizen’s rights because of a scare – a very tragic situation, without a doubt, but still a scare – then a precedent will be set, and there would be nothing to stop future administrations from taking away right after right, until they are happy with the way the people are behaving.
And a government, just like a king, is nothing without its people.
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