Demolishing Free Speech?

If you think freedom of speech has gone down the tubes, you haven’t seen the half of it yet. September 19, 2023, the U.K. passed a new law to “regulate” (read, censor) online content. The so-called Online Safety Bill has been described as “one of the most far-reaching attempts by Western democracy to regulate online speech.

Interestingly, the bill has been in the works for the last five years, again proving that online censorship is not something that sprang up in response to COVID. Governments have been steadily moving in this direction for a long time.

As reported by The New York Times, the bill forces online platforms to “proactively screen for objectionable material and to judge whether it is illegal, rather than requiring them to act only after being alerted to illicit content.”

Of course, we now know that flagging material for removal is how the U.S. government has illegally circumvented constitutional free speech rights for the past few years.

September 8, 2023, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld part of the lower court’s injunction, banning the White House, surgeon general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI from influencing social media companies to remove “disinformation.”

Unfortunately, the appellate court also reversed, vacated and modified other parts of the original injunction, leaving the door wide open for certain federal agencies to continue their censorship activities.

CISA partnered with the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), later renamed the Virality Project, which openly admitted that the partnership was set up to outsource censorship that the government could not do due to “lack of legal authorization.”

Chances are, other Western countries have been using similar kinds of censorship schemes up to this point.

If a similar law makes its way to the U.S., it will effectively constitute an end run around the Constitution, because the Constitution does not allow the government to outsource freedom of speech restrictions, which is basically what the Online Safety Bill does.

What we’re unfortunately seeing today is a synchronized push for more radical censorship, upheld by law, and while it’s currently focused on the EU, Britain and Canada, we can be sure that it’s coming to the U.S. as well.

It would be here already were it not for our Constitution, which is slowing things down. Still, the noose is tightening with each passing day, as the U.S. government is working overtime to figure out how to circumvent the highest law of the land.

There are no easy answers to this problem. One basic suggestion, however, would be to withdraw support from censorship-based platforms like YouTube, and support free speech platforms like Rumble instead.


Written by

Ziad K. Abdelnour, Wall Street financier, trader and author is President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a private family office that backs accomplished operating executives in growing their businesses both organically and through acquisitions and trades physical commodities – mostly oil derivatives – throughout the world.