We previously discussed the rapid drop of the United States in the protection of the free press. Now, the respected Reporters Without Borders has produced a separate report on Internet freedoms. In yet another dubious distinction for President Obama, the United States is now listed with such “Enemies of the Internet” as Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. This is our first time on the infamous list — a true accomplishment for an Administration that has been denounced for its wholesale attacks on privacy and other core civil liberties.
The Administration (and its Senate allies like Sen. Dianne Feinstein) spent little time in setting itself against the open Internet forum and has sought a variety limitations and sanctions for Internet speech. Our mass surveillance programs features prominently in our inclusion of this list. The National Security Agency has worked furiously to break down walls on the Internet while the Justice Department has pursued various individuals for web posting.
There will come a day when Democrats will seek again to speak in favor of core values of free speech, free press, privacy, and the like. When that day comes, there will be a chorus of howls from civil libertarians who have watched in astonishment as the Democratic Party enabled these assaults on freedom either actively or by acquiescence. The trading away of the power of principle for the power of personality will, in my view, be judged harshly in history. Obama will leave office in a few years and what he will leave a much larger security system, more extensive surveillance, and a mountain of hypocrisy for his supporters to climb in his wake.
I am not sure how the Administration will celebrate its latest distinction, but the First Lady is currently traveling at great public expense in China. That would seem a perfect place to celebrate since the White House told reporters that they would not answer any questions. However, the First Lady (despite announcements that she would avoid discussion of human rights) did call for respect for freedom of speech and other rights.