As China’s economic power grows, they are testing the limits of what they can do with their power by attacking the Internet search engine company Google. China has a long history of totalitarian control of their people so having a free and open Internet is a threat to them.
The Internet has become an important source of information for us. Yes, there is a lot of junk on it so the consumer must beware but it has emerged as an alternative to the traditional media sources that so easily becomes tainted by government propaganda. So it is not surprising that the Internet has become a target of totalitarian regimes.
There is no guarantee that the Internet will remain free and open. As more people become dependant on it for information, the more potential there is for government to “regulate” it. We have already seen the Internet used to help Islamic terrorists recruit. All it would take is to link such activity to a major terrorist event and governments would take action to control “hate speech” on it. Such control is certain to extend to other areas.
Scripture tells us that a worldwide government is coming. Since the Internet facilitates worldwide communications, it will eventually be used to control people worldwide. So as we get closer to the Tribulation, we can expect to see more cases of governments gaining more control over the Internet. But until the Rapture of the church, I’d expect the Internet to mostly remain free due to the Holy Spirit’s ministry of restraining evil… “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7, NKJ).
Until the Antichrist takes over the Internet, most of the world will benefit from it as an important balance to the mainstream media. Indeed, the emergence of the Internet is a significant sign of the times… “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4).