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Jonathan ROBIN

(22 September / London)

Freedom in Peril - WikiLeaks Snowden Prism Update after Rudyard Kipling l'Envoi and Olga Katzin Freedom in Peril


WikiLeaks and Snowden have shown fears justified
although twelve years sped swiftly since first these stanzas tried
anticipating dangers: Prismatic N.S.A.
highlights concerns emphatic, spy agencies at play.

Chinese hacked the U.N. U.S. hacked them in turn,
since Bush en-Cheneyed White House - thank God they won't return,
but projects put in place then crush civil liberties,
Obama's let the side down expanding info seize.

We live Science Fiction, Minority Report,
little leeway granted 'gainst government onslaught,
any excuse lies openly, from terrorists to porn,
prejustified to seek inside tried citizens forlorn.

Thirty five years for Manning, thrice that for Barrett Brown,
democracy unmanning, Government going to town,
top down manipulation vicious and manifold
more than Macarthy pogroms, all liberty's on hold.

When last Home Page is indexed, content filtered, untried,
web's oldest critic muzzled, youngest webmaster tried,
we'll pass to peaceful era, consensus I.C.T.,
vain dissension silenced by silent majority.

When last blog link’s dismounted from Google China Inc.,
with will to think’s discounted on online skating rink,
all must conform to pattern on WiFi think link screen -
what trace will future filter of joys that might have been?

We'll heed soothing spokesmen comment on ICANN news,
too few dare doubt or question, fewer express true views.
Only good shall be favored, only hackers shall fall,
last shreds of opposition need never be threaded at all.

AOL Time Warner with Murdoch Fox unite,
NN-Universal will bark replace with bite
World Wide Web turns spider, sub-consciousness cocoons,
what independent rider will star in free cartoons?

Baby bells in orbit rejoin A.T.&T.
cable tame enabled to frame posterity,
information distortion follows Murphy’s law,
sensor networks nimble to settle biased score.

When Internet's extended, new protocols deployed,
when chips disease have [m]ended, when weak and unemployed
seek in life-long education an answer to their ills
we'll be traced from birth to cremation, from cradle to codicils.

When peer to peer is stifled by music industry,
when copyright has rifled favorite Mpeg3
public domain restricted, when 4G is in place,
all that remains is guzzled by Prism just in case!

Privacy is compromised by scare of terror tract,
security, trite catchword, twists fiction into fact,
contacts are by contract logged on secret list,
what can act as buffer restraining iron fist?

Technologies emergent, ending now in ‘O’,
nano, bio convergent,3D video,
Radio Frequency ID spliced to CCTV
who remain beside me, and you who once felt free?

With search engines perfected sorting to distort,
subjective power directed to trace each packet thought,
Quality of Service secure from End to End,
then who'll believe in 'Glocal'? who will the poor defend?

When VoIP advances, though very cheap or free,
what will be our chances as criminality
cyber or more may threaten our purse, or, worse, our sleep,
there'll be no sheep Tibetan free from hack, phish, or peep.

When DoD and SAIC have trussed what we entrust
politics Messaic steer IPv6 robust,
much electoral voting decided in advance
what will be left to quoting, what will be left to Chance?

When sensor networks subtle extend from land to land,
satellite surveillance may then get out of hand,
robust pervasive networks will influence each thought
all will know they’re caught in web that free will has sold short.

When cash transaction mandates by SWIFT are sent Stateside,
passport chip's embedded though none know what’s inside
change acceleration spurring digital divide
Habeus Corpus put aside by Revolution’s Guide,
what will become of freedom when our identity
within some stolen laptop is scanned unknown [s]he,
when ‘F.B. Eye’ looks outside, and ‘See Eye A’ locks in,
what could occur when matrix whir eliminates all sin?

V.P.N. by China through bot-nets are controlled,
as Dalai Lama discovered when staffers were enrolled
by M.I.I. informants reading between the lines,
disinformation spreading - enough to chill all spines.

When point to point relations to ubiquity
migrate throughout the nations networks then may be
to say the least pervasive as “1984”,
or, even more, invasive ‘O Brave New World’ in store.

Publicity may praise us, avatars may blame,
Parliament still sitting, Rump to Commission tame,
where freedom's light dims, falters, to whim of commissar,
who’ll care once fair we’d dare wish far upon a falling star?

Submitted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

(22 July 2001 revised 11 August 2005 updated and expanded 2 September 2013)

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