"TEHRAN, Iran — Government opponents shouted 'Allahu Akbar' and 'Death to the Dictator' from Tehran's rooftops in the pouring rain on the eve of student demonstrations planned for Monday. Authorities choked off Internet access and warned journalists working for foreign media to stick to their offices for the next three days.
The measures were aimed at depriving the opposition of its key means of mobilizing the masses as Iran's clerical rulers keep a tight lid on dissent. Government opponents are seeking, nonetheless, to get large numbers of demonstrators to turn out Monday and show their movement still has momentum."
If the U.S. government assumes any form of regulatory power over the Internet, that power will inevitably grow as all of government's powers over any sphere of society tend to do, when it determines by law that it has a legitimate regulatory role.
And then when it comes our time to protest the machinations of a brutal despot, the government will already have the means to choke off and slow down Internet activism, communication, and organization of resistance.
This is not a crazy conspiracy theory, survivalist propaganda, or militia movement nonsense. We are seeing the very thing I have described above happening in Iran right now. Governments can, and do, and have long history of- suppressing speech.
Why on earth would we Americans want our government to have even the tiniest foothold into control over our Internet?
In the meantime, let me express my deepest sympathies, strongest support, most fervent prayers, and very best wishes for Mousavi's student protests in Iran.
"Death to the Dictator!"