U.S. House of Representatives approved CISPA two days ago. The bill effectively allows federal agencies to access the databases of online companies and services without requiring any warrants. A documentary film ‘War for the Web’ aims to highlight this and other efforts made by the government to effectively control the internet on its own terms.
The problem with the cyber world is that most users still seem unaware of how closely similar it is to the real world. Both require freedom of speech, freedom of expression and similar other liberties to function in a good enough manner. And while the U.S. government actively cites constitution every now and then, it is trying to curb all sorts of freedom in the cyber world.
‘War for the Web’ aims not only to show how bills like CISPA and SOPA are going to inflict a huge damage on the internet, it also intends to give the viewers the broader perspective. According to the film’s director, Cameron Brueckner, “People talk about security, people talk about privacy, they talk about regional duopolies like they’re independent issues. What is particularly striking is that these issues aren’t really independent issues…. They’re all interconnected.”
The documentary film will also features an interview from Aaron Swartz, the renowned internet activist who recently committed suicide due to the U.S. government’s prosecutorial overreach. Swartz’s interview for the documentary is the last extensive interview he gave before his death.
In this interview, Swartz goes on to cite that it is the greed of official authorities to find and exploit security loopholes that we should be worried about, not the teenage hackers in the basements. According to him, “I think the government should be finding these vulnerabilities and helping to fix them. But they’re doing the opposite of that. They’re finding the vulnerabilities and keeping them secret so they can abuse them. So if we do care about cybersecurity, what we need to do is focus the debate not on these kids in a basement who aren’t doing any damage — but on the powerful people, the people paying lots of money to find these security holes who then are doing damage and refusing to fix them.”
At a time when the House of Representatives, and possibly Senate too, are playing directly into the hands of major corporations, this documentary film is critically important. The authorities seem adamant on acquiring the powers which would let them monitor virtually every aspect of the internet. If there was a cyber-world version of Orwell’s ‘1984’, this would be it.
You can gather the details on the documentary, which is due to be released next year, from the official website. The team behind it is currently in the process of raising funds via an Indiegogo campaign.