Posted on Oct 9, 2017 by Rick Falkvinge

Reminder: In government training material, “terrorism” includes peacefully disagreeing with administration policy in public

Governments are still using “terrorism” as a scareword to get any insane law passed – like Britain’s digital book-burning law. But with its other hand, those same governments are expanding the definition of terrorism way beyond what the public could possibly imagine: the government’s own training material says that peaceful street protests in disagreement with administration policies are examples of terrorism.




“Terrorism” is still a fnord. If you look up the word “fnord” in a somewhat modern lexicon, you’ll come across an explanation that says it’s a word, any word, that makes people break out in a fearful sweat everytime it’s mentioned on the news and agree to any insane laws. “Communism” filled the same role in the early 1950s in the United States, and it’s an actual studied phenomenon in manipulation of public opinion.

Fnord.

When we hear a fnord, like Terrorism (or Communism), we’re supposed to fill in the blanks with our most fearful images, regardless of what the word actually means. When the British Home Secretary says people will be imprisoned for fifteen years for “repeatedly watching terrorist material”, we’re supposed to interpret that as Middle Eastern jihadists promoting cutting people’s heads off with a dull knife for being too happy, or something equally reprehensible.

And so, the public agrees to insane laws that target “terrorism”, all while the government has a completely different definition of what these laws cover.

It is in these moments that is it crucial to remember that street protests are labeled “low-level terrorism” in actual government training material. Yes, you read that right: the word “terrorism”, according to the government, includes peacefully disagreeing in public with administration policies.

Among the multiple-choice questions included in its Level 1 Antiterrorism Awareness training course, the [Department of Defense] asks the following: “Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorist activity?” To answer correctly, the examinee must select “protests.”

Yes, you’re reading this right: watching training material on how to organize a peaceful street demonstration to make a political point falls completely within the definition of what’s punishable by fifteen years in prison according to the new British law. It may not be enforced that way, but it’s still what the law says when connected to the government’s own training material – and so it can be enforced that way, should it prove expedient.

So next time you hear “terrorism”, remember that it includes the flower-haired woman doing the V sign in the middle of a peaceful petition for redress of grievance.

Privacy remains your own responsibility.

About Rick Falkvinge

Rick is Head of Privacy at Private Internet Access. He is also the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. Additionally, he has a tech entrepreneur background and loves good whisky and fast motorcycles.


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2 Comments

  1. Wayne Brown

    I understand need to protect all of us froms acts of terrorism the problem is today it seems the word terrorism is being used to control the public and eroad our constitutional rights. Taking a knee at ballgames is not an statement against our flag its a representation of its freedoms these acts of taking a knee at ballgames is a response to the misrepresentation or lack their of equal justice for all under the laws of our great nation..the next time we question this freedom gather ten police officers together five whites and five blacks all police officers and ask by a show of hands how many of have been pulled over by the police..it is likely one or more black officers will raises his or her hand.. Need I say more..The next time we should all take a knee in support of our flags freedoms where all man are granted equal constitutional rights of protection under the law..

    2 months ago
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  2. Gayle

    Right. The term “terrorism” means a tactic used to create terror, nothing more.

    2 months ago
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