With all the WikiLeaks hullabaloo going on, Harry reminds us why we should keep the government away from the internet.
Yesterday, while Christmas shopping, I saw a magazine stand selling back issues of different magazines. I instantly got intrigued with the May 2010 issue of Entreprenuer Philippines Magazine.
The cover says that almost 30,000 Filipino entrepreneurs are using the website Multiply as a venue for their businesses. This shows how the entrepreneurial spirit of the Filipino can flourish without the requirements, fees, permits, regulations, restrictions, and other red tapes of government. I have heard of people go to Hong Kong or Singapore, buy quality goods, come back here to sell them on their website—no need for tariffs or for Customs bureaucrats to meddle with the voluntary exchange among individuals.
Of course, you are not limited to Multiply alone. There's Facebook, Twitter, Ebay and other social media where you can advertise and allow your business to grow for free. If you want, you can even buy your own domain and have your own personal venue for your business—with minimal costs, you can make your business automatically global and accessible. No need for a mayor's permit. No need for BIR license.
A long time ago, you needed to be hired by a big magazine or newspaper company if you wanted your work to be read by others. Today, if you want to have your own channel on TV, you'd need millions in capital plus you will need a license from congress and go through other bureaucracies and red tapes. But not on the internet.
The internet is where people can publish themselves. You can start your own magazine, have your own TV show, become a fiction writer or a journalist, exhibit your art or talents, share your works and ideas with others from almost any part of the world. You can even shamelessly advertise your food blog that you have not updated for a while now, if you wanted. And it is all working brilliantly without the intervention of government.
Would you really prefer to be like China? Where their citizens are not allowed to have Twitter or YouTube or other social media accounts? And everything on their cyberspace is regulated by government?
The internet resonates our freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and opportunities for free enterprise. It is a celebration of both personal and economic freedoms. Start a business, exchange goods and ideas, watch pornography, make your own pornography. To each his own.
China and other restrictive countries have taken away this free medium of communication and information on grounds of supposed "safety" or "national security". And this is what's been happening with the whole WikiLeaks issue. Bureaucrats from all over the world are now pushing for control over our internet. This translates to more government, more bureaucracies, more restrictions and regulations, censorship, and invasion of privacy.
Keep the government away from the internet!