The internet is being split into the free internet and the autocratic internet as Hong Kong Broadband Network admits it blocked HKChronicles website under national security law – the first time it has used its powers under the security law to block access to online content, bypassing the city’s courts.
One of the Chinese Communist Party’s declared objectives is to prevent the flow of information from free and democratic into China – and to create an internet which it alone controls. The autocratic internet will be heavily censored and tightly controlled. The autocratic internet will be used for surveillance and the creation of a servile State.
The Chinese Communist Party can send no clearer message about the nature of Communism – and the contested and conflicting values of free societies – than the suppression of knowledge and information and the censorship of news and alternative points of view.
Democratic countries – and those aspiring to be democratic and more open societies – need to understand that unless they stand together, and marshall their resources, knowledge, and capacity, this is what the future will hold. The closing of the net in Hong Kong is a foretaste of the closing of the net on free speech and liberties we too readily take for granted.