Governmental Control in the Electronic Age

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Governmental Control in the Electronic Age In The Handmaids Tale, by Margaret Atwood, the Gileadean regime was only able to rise to power because of its manipulation of electronic communications and commerce media. The Gileadean revolutionaries used instituted government controls on electronic information flow to take over much of the United States. However implausible the Gileadean revolution may seem, there are seeds of similar government control in our society. Some examples include the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which included The Communications Decency Act, and Senate Bill 909, which would regulate encryption. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is an example of government control of electronic communication. This bill, passed by the House and Senate and signed unto law, issues 335 pages of government regulation over the broadcasting, cable TV, and telephone industries, as well as the internet (which shall be addressed separately). This Act was primarily hailed as deregulating the communications industry and many envisioned a drop in the prices of communication services due to competition. This is because the Act allows for multiple telephone, cable TV, and other communication service companies to operate in one region. For example there could be two phone companies in Alfred having a price war, each vying for customers. At the same time, however, the Act also allows for one company to control all communications services in a region. This may be in violation of anti- trust laws however this has not been challenged. An example of this would be one company which controlled all telephone lines, cable TV, broadcasting of information, and internet access in Alfred. This possibility could be expanded. Imagine ... ... middle of paper ... ...ant access to all information flow. It is such an ability that the Gilead authorities used when they caused Offred's pass not to let her gain entry to the library and when they eliminated her access to her bank account. The idea of the Gileadean Revolution may seem implausible, like many modern conspiracy theories. However these Laws are either on the books or being considered in The United States Congress. Could it really happen? Many of the Government controls of electronic media that allowed Gilead to come to power are almost in place. Bibliography "The Center for Democracy and Technology". 8 pp. Internet. http:cdt.org 18 Apr. 1998. "The Secure Public Networks Act". 1 pp. Internet. http://jya.com/s909-rev.htm 18 Apr. 1998. "Hearing on Threats to U.S. National Security". 1 pp. Internet. http://www.fbi.gov/congress/threats/threats.htm 18 Apr. 1998

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