Tories Will Have The Power ‘To Censor The Internet’ To Silence Opposition To Imperialist War!

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THE TORY government is attempting to assume the absolute power to censor the internet as part of its new Online Safety Bill – a move that has been condemned even by the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

The Online Safety Bill has been promoted by the Tories as empowering the government regulator Ofcom with new powers to make social media and tech giants more accountable for their on-line content.

But the cross party committee of MPs has warned that, in its current form, the bill will give the Tory Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries the power to directly intervene in any Ofcom decision about what to block or permit to appear online.

Julian Knight, the chair of the committee, said: ‘A free media depends on ensuring the regulator is free from the threat of day-to-day interference from the executive.’

Under this bill Dorries, and any Culture Secretary following, will have the absolute power to instruct Ofcom to order the removal of any online content that the Tories disapprove of, with the threat of virtually unlimited fines and imprisonment for any tech company manager not complying with Tory censorship diktats.

The MPs are up in arms over the fact that all this will be done without any recourse or debate in Parliament over what is to be banned.

While the bill has been pushed as a measure to secure online safety for children and vulnerable adults, an amendment introduced by the Tories makes clear that the real target is to censor what it calls ‘state-backed disinformation’.

This amendment will force social media platforms to actively seek out and remove ‘disinformation from foreign state actors which aims to harm the UK’.

It will make ‘foreign interference’ a designated priority offence, and force the removal of any content from individuals or groups that the Tories accuse of acting on behalf of a foreign state and which ‘is designed to influence or disrupt democratic or legal processes’.

It also requires online platforms to actively stop the spread of information gained by hackers designed to ‘undermine democratic institutions’.

Tory security minister Damian Hinds said: ‘Online information operations are now a core part of state threats activity. The aim can variously be to spread untruths, confuse, undermine confidence in democracy, or sow division in society.’

All this talk of foreign state actors is a complete blind – this bill is squarely aimed at silencing any opposition to the entire policy of the Tories and the ruling class to wage war to weaken Russia and force the working class to pay the full price of the operation.

Boris Johnson has made it abundantly clear that poverty, starvation and economic recession is the price capitalism is demanding from workers and their families to finance its wars to re-order the world for the bankers and bosses.

Any person or organisation that refuses to accept this and speaks out and organises opposition is to be denounced as a foreign agent undermining ‘confidence in democracy.’

Johnson and the Tories have shown themselves more than able to undermine ‘democracy’ with their lies and criminality. They now want to make sure none of this gets revealed to the people through a complete dictatorship over news, and criminalising anyone or any organisation that raises opposition to the Tories’ war on two fronts – war in Ukraine and war on the working class at home.

The bill is a mark of the desperation of this weak, collapsing Tory government, which is clinging onto power in the face of a massive revolutionary surge amongst workers determined not to be crushed by the huge cost of living crisis that has been accelerated by the imperialist war to weaken Russia.

The reality of this crisis for millions of workers cannot be censored out of existence by Dorries and the Tories. The time is ripe for the working class to demand that the TUC stop sitting on the sidelines just watching while the Tories implode and while the ruling class prepare to replace Johnson with dictatorial rule.

The TUC must immediately call a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers government and socialism.

This is the only way forward.