01/12/18 Morning links
Despite the scaremongering, the press is probably safer than its ever been, so says David Harsanyi: “There is no country in Europe that boasts as healthy an environment for press freedom or free speech as the United States — and considering the attitude of elites, it’s doubtful they want that dynamic to change. In Europe, libel laws are frequently used by the rich and powerful to suppress unfavorable coverage. In England, for example, Trump would likely have been able to quash the Wolff book. In Germany, the state demands that private online outlets govern speech that doesn’t comport with their diktats. In France, the government will decide what is real news. The European Commission Code of Conduct features an array of demands for the government to police speech, which includes online “hate speech” — a perpetually flexible and easily abused phrase — among other things. Increasing numbers of Americans, some no doubt worried about Trump fascism, support the implementation of these kinds of laws here.
The press is probably safer from government interference (we can talk about megacorporations instilling speech codes another time) than it was from 2001 to 2016. The internet is freer for everyone, including journalists, because of the administration’s deregulatory efforts. Political discourse is in better hands because of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. And after an eight-year hibernation, the press has rediscovered its purpose as the opposition party.”
Encryption is a roadblock to Surveillance State expansion, so of course its minions at the FBI would dub encryption as “evil”. FBI Director Chris Wray calls encryption an “urgent public safety issue”. He’s correct, in a way, although he’s pushing the notion that encryption itself is a the public safety threat. I can’t imagine anyone, let alone him, believes that tripe. Encryption is one of our only effective shields against the Surveillance State, so it will continue to be maligned by that hatching totalitarian bureaucracy.
More on the encryption frontier:
Consumer Reports: How to use encryption: it’s easy
New Electronics: Pulses of light to encrypt and protect
How did I miss this story yesterday? Police are using 50,000 apps to influence public sentiment
New York Times: We Are What We Read
Matt Drudge was right to label Facebook, Twitter as ‘internet ghettos’: Facebook bans popular author over anti-Obama book