Politicians: the disconnect between what they say and what they do…
“However,” writes Maira Sutton of the EFF, “it was also disappointingly clear how much of [a] disconnect there is between what these state leaders practice, and what they preach.”
It is, sadly, the leaders of the free world (ie, our leaders) that behave in the hypocritical manner highlighted by the EFF. Maira was commenting on the Freedom Online Conference in the Hague, hosted by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uri Rosenthal.
Two of the state leaders present were the EU’s Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Kroes has repeatedly voiced her support for net neutrality, but on 7 December she said in Brussels: “Meanwhile, I have been clear that, as concerns net neutrality, a commitment to an open internet should not kill off the opportunity for innovative business models and service offers.” This is a contradiction: net neutrality and innovative business models and service offers are incompatible. This particular example explains both the cause and effect of political hypocrisy. What politicians say is aimed at the voters; what they do is designed for business. So the EU’s Digital Agenda will pretend and claim support for net neutrality, but will deliver the opposite for business. The art of politics is reconciling the irreconcilable.
The EFF sees similar in the words and actions of Hilary Clinton. In the Hague, Clinton complained about repressive regimes. “They aim to impose a system, cemented in a global code, that expands control over Internet resources, institutions and content and centralizes that control in the hands of the government…”
But, says the EFF:
While she continued to assail oppressive regimes of Syria, Iran, and China for human rights violations and stifling press freedom, she ignores the way the U.S. has and continues to take shamelessly draconian measures in trying to suppress the revelations published by WikiLeaks…
Clinton has not yet recognized the devastation the SOPA and PIPA bills would cause to the State Department’s own Internet Freedom Initiative in the name of upholding copyright. If these bills aren’t part of a system that “expands control over Internet resources, institutions and content, and centralizes that control in the hands of the government,” who knows what is.
iFreedom Conference: State Leaders on the Future of Free Expression Online
We should not be surprised. The contradiction (pleasing both the voter and business) shows in one particular definition from Robert Kahn:
FBI: an organization which rose to power under a cross-dressing nance who tapped phones, blackmailed members of Congress, arranged the murder of black leaders, hated Jews and liberals, suggested to Martin Luther King Jr. that he kill himself, violated state and federal laws and the Constitution, and defends our civil liberties.
From the New Devil’s Dictionary