Every effort must be made to combat this serious infringement on the basic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of press.
The U.S. government, and the information technology companies which collaborate with it, is moving fully into the camp of governments which relentlessly utilize the internet to collect users online data, monitor their activities, and control what they can see and do.
First, there was – and is – the NSA, National Security Agency of the U.S., which collects the emails, phone records, social media data, and more from millions of U.S. citizens and the people of the world. Software companies like Google cooperated silently by providing NSA access to its users until Edward Snowden made this odious system public.
Now Google, at the behest of its friends in Washington, is actively censoring – essentially blocking access to – any websites which seek to warn American workers of the ongoing effort to further attack their incomes, social services, and life conditions by the U.S. central government, and which seek to warn against the impending warfare between U.S.-led Nato and other forces against countries like Iran, Russia, and China, which have in no way threatened the U.S. state or its people.
Under its new so-called anti-fake-news program, Google algorithms have in the past few months moved socialist, anti-war, and progressive websites from previously prominent positions in Google searches to positions up to 50 search result pages from the first page, essentially removing them from the search results any searcher will see. CounterPunch, World Socialist Website, Democracy Now, American Civil liberties Union, Wikileaks are just a few of the websites which have experienced severe reductions in their returns from Google searches. World Socialist Website, to cite just one example, has experienced a 67% drop in its returns from Google since the new policy was announced.
This conversion of Google into a Censorship engine is not a trivial development. Google searches are currently a primary means by which workers and other members of the public seek information about their lives and their world. Every effort must be made to combat this serious infringement on the basic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of press.
World Socialist Website, the hardest hit victim of this e-censorship, is attempting to mobilize public opinion, and other effected websites, in a broad campaign against Google censorship. More information on the censorship, including detailed numbers can be found in articles here.
It is imperative that working class people struggle for truly democratic use of the internet, beginning with total freedom to view a wide range of topics, not just those which Google – and Washington – think Americans and the world should be able to see.
Eric Sommer is an international journalist. More articles by