UPDATED: Robert Smith comment at Facebook:
“WHAT? Dictators $10 billion, Democracy lovers $25 million, hypocrisy priceless.”
Phi Beta Iota: It is actually much worse than that. Our estimate of the cost of US being best pals with 42 of 44 dictators is closer to 500 billion, and that is a very conservative estimate. The cost is roughly divided between US taxpayer money being given away for the wrong reasons, and the “true cost” to the world–and ultimately to the USA–of an unethical, uninformed, unstrategic foreign policy that is in no way, shape, or form focused on creating a prosperous world at peace. Not to be naive, we realize that we have a government Of, By, and For the Banks and their Corporations. That is what needs to change, non-violently, on the basis of Internet Freedom and Freedom through the Internet. In passing, we are not amused when people steal our ideas and offer to help the US Government do for $3 million what we are doing for free. Three Internet Freedom URLs with links below the line.
WIRED February 15, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed on Tuesday to invest $25 million for developers to build tools that will let online dissidents get around “thugs, hackers and censors.” It’s her attempt at giving teeth to the so-called “Internet Freedom Agenda” that she unveiled last year.
Phi Beta Iota: A Department of State spokesperson, responding to a cascade of critical commentary from Twitter, was quick to point out that she was not referring to any US “thugs, hackers, and censors,” and that she did indeed know that hackers are good guys, it was an inadvertent slip. This is pathetic, particularly when compared to the triple lunacy of defense acquisition, secret intelligence, and DARPA's purified idiocy on steroids. For 1% of all that we can give every person on the planet OpenBTS and OpenMoko. For 30% of what we spend on war we can give every person on the planet a small dry warm shelter, clean water, free energy, and a natural diet. If and when Clinton recalls Ambassador Mark Palmer to execute his vision for eliminating all 44 dictators (42 of them “best pals” of the US Government), we will consider taking her seriously. In the meantime, she is nothing more than dancing gerbil entertaining the ignorant.
Here is a comment from one of our contributors:
Some tools already exist. There is a game to train dissidents to avoid exposing themselves before the moment, and there is a rolling staganography service that allows posting messages inside of images posted to any accepting site, with the code and image URL dropped to a third place. Certainly we need the Internet work-arounds for every country, including the USA, which is hypocritical in the extreme.
Clinton means well, but she is both hypocritical and so far removed from reality that she will be long retired and counting her ill-earned gold certificates before anything happens. Like Open Government, this is a publicity stunt and a fraud by omission. Apart from the fact that the US Government is broke, printing and borrowing its way toward a catastrophic collapse (with another huge real estate collapse coming this spring and summer), the way Washington works is the money will go to small businesses that are fronts for Booz Allen, SAIC, the usual beltway bandits. They know nothing of innovative programming, their model is butts in seats pretending to do work and vice presidents hand-holding and contributing to political hacks.
Government is not the answer. Government is, at best, a speed bump on the path to a free world that empowers each person with both access and dignity.