How can so many things be going wrong in America at the same time? Only one cause-effect dynamic is as universal, and time and technology are coincident. That cause-effect is the 1990’s internet “unaccountability” policy and its outcomes.
It causes worsening because approved anarchy online empowers bad actors with impunity. It’s widespread because everyone uses the internet for everything, everywhere, for life, work and play. It’s lasting, given that five administrations, 13 Congresses and 17 Supreme Court justices have neglected to protect people from online harms and crimes since 1996.
America’s approved anarchy online has worsened the national outcomes of all six purposes of the U.S. Constitution: “… form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty …”
America has become less united, just, peaceful, secure, flourishing and blessed since the 1996 U.S. internet unaccountability policy imposition without the consent of the governed.
Less united. Social media increasingly polarizes Americans. From 2000 to 2020, Republican and Democratic partisanship has skyrocketed 160 percent, according to Pew Research.
Less just. There is no justice online because there are no rule-of-law rights or access to justice online. Approved anarchy online regresses America to primitivism, where people and minors are defenseless prey for predators. Cybercrime is out of control. Only 0.3 percent are prosecuted.
Less peaceful. Social media facilitated an unpeaceful transfer of power in America. Algorithms promote “anger” five times more than “likes.” Social media fame has incited a 300 percent increase in U.S. mass shootings from 33 from 1982 to 2002 to 100 from 2002 to 2022, according to Statista.
Less Secure: Most Americans are victims of cyberattacks, cyberbullying or cybercrime. Surrendering sovereignty online aids and abets our adversaries — China, Russia and cyber criminals — with impunity. China has hacked and stolen many of America’s most valuable secrets. Russia disrupts America with impunity via ransomware, cybercrime and interference.
Less Flourishing: Offline, a person is a living human being with humanity and rights; online, a person is a non-living thing, a product or data without humanity or rights. Social media is causing teen depression and suicides. Last year, 100,000 Americans were killed by fentanyl poisoning because 97 percent of pharmacies online are illegal. From 2000 to 2020, U.S. gross domestic product’s average annual growth rate halved compared to 1960 to 2000. The 1996 communications law to promote competition over monopoly has perversely promoted much more monopolization.
Less Blessed: There is no liberty, equality or justice in anarchy. Internet unaccountability policy rejects the Golden Rule of “treat others as you want to be treated” that most religions and ethical traditions believe in some form. It has been replaced with a Rotten Rule of “do what you want to others.” This approved amorality demoralizes. From 2000 to 2020, U.S. adult church membership fell 33 percent, from 70 percent from 1940 to 2000 to 47 percent in 2020, according to Gallup.
Knowing the cause of America’s chaos is knowing the cure for America’s chaos. The solution is restoring constitutional authority over the internet in U.S. policy. That means: Same rules and rights offline and online. Equal protection under the law. Illegal offline, illegal online.
If you don’t want America to continue widespread worsening but to get broadly better, please help Restore Us Institute help you, your loved ones and everyone by signing our petition to protect people online by restoring constitutional authority over unchecked technology.