EU Parliament Warns The US To Stop Censoring The Internet

from the don't-censor-the-internet dept

What a world we live in... when foreign countries are speaking out publicly against American censorship. For a country whose identity has been built around its strong support of the First Amendment and free speech rights, to reach the level where others are condemning our own failings on free speech is really sad. The EU Parliament has adopted, "by a large majority," a statement warning the US to refrain "from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names" due to the "need to protect the integrity of the global internet and freedom of communications." This resolution highlights both the practices prescribed in SOPA/PIPA... but also the actions of Homeland Security and ICE in seizing domain names. At what point is the federal government going to realize that these practices are completely undermining any claim the US has to a moral high ground against internet censorship elsewhere?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:02am

    At what point is the federal government going to realize that these practices are completely undermining any claim the US has to a moral high ground against internet censorship elsewhere?


    If you have nuclear weapons, you don't need a moral high ground.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:12am

    And what moral high ground do they stand on? The UK and Denmark are actively performing the same activities.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      Exactly!

      What a wonderful world where every government is trying to make the others look bad while they hide their own nefarious actions.

      This behavior can't last forever - humans aren't known to bend over and just take it for an extended length of time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ben (profile), 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:38am

      Re:

      The UK? Hardly. The only example we have is BT being ordered in a court of law to block access. In a court. Of Law.

      See the difference?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:45am

        Re: Re:

        Yes by abusing a filter intended for child porn. Some country you got there.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Ben (profile), 17 Nov 2011 @ 12:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Still went through a court.

          And if I recall correctly it was your content industry which forced it through

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 12:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            WHOA NOW... "your content industry" ?

            Last I checked, these content industries you speak of are multi-national. People in the U.K. are buying their goods and supporting them just the same.

            Don't pretend that just because Hollywood exists in the United States that the companies going after consumers are also solely based in the U.S.

            This is a worldwide problem - not something you can solely blame on the U.S.... Now granted, the U.S. government has certainly catered to lobbyists and is being used as a lever to manipulate the governments of other nations - I'll grant you that, but the governments in these other nations are still accountable to their constituents to produce proper laws.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 1:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Now granted, the U.S. government has certainly catered to lobbyists and is being used as a lever to manipulate the governments of other nations - I'll grant you that"

              They've gone as far as actually blackmailing other countries into passing legislation that suits American industries.
              Oh, and before you ask for a citation, check Wikileaks.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          The eejit (profile), 17 Nov 2011 @ 12:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          AS a Brit, I can tell you that we are, indeed, no-where near as bad as SOPA and EPARASITES. Yes, we have tons of OTHER issues (such as Call-Me-Dave being in power and Nick Clegg still munching on Call-Me-Dave's shit) but I can say with certainty that we are nowhere near US levels of Stupid.

          Yet.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Planespotter (profile), 17 Nov 2011 @ 1:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Doesn't matter, as a BT Broadband customer I can safely say that the filter doesn't work.. I pop passed Newzbin2 every day just to prove it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Butcherer79 (profile), 17 Nov 2011 @ 1:38pm

      Re:

      Citation s'il vous plaît?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Nick, 30 Nov 2011 @ 2:11pm

      Re: 'Moral High Ground'

      What are you talking about 'moral high-ground'? Who cares. So long as nations are watching each others actions carefully, to preserve the freedoms of the internet and more. It's not about having a moral high ground at all. Defending America in their disgusting act of censorship isn't going to do any good, and the same goes for the UK etc. WHEN the time comes to warn them too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:13am

    what makes you think that the current crop of overlords in place and about to be in place care about anything but who pays them the most?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:19am

    The EU is famous for creating such strict privacy policies that it is almost impossible to operate a website within their rules.

    The UK, Denmark, Germany, and many others actively pursue blocking of websites.

    Many EU countries are safe havens for pirate sites, and permit many things which are not legally acceptable in the US.

    I don't think they have a lot of high ground to stand on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      The EU is famous for creating such strict privacy policies that it is almost impossible to operate a website within their rules.

      Many EU countries are safe havens for pirate sites, and permit many things which are not legally acceptable in the US.

      Ummm...which is it? If it's damn near impossible to run a website in the EU, than how are there so many of these so called pirate sites?

      The UK, Denmark, Germany, and many others actively pursue blocking of websites.

      Basically your saying that since three other countries that do not hold the Constitution as the highest law in the land do it, so we should too. Sad.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:46am

        Re: Re:

        Gwiz, it is difficult to run a website within their rules, but not impossible to run a website.

        Not sure if I mis-phrased it, but sorry if that is all you took from my post.

        "Basically your saying that since three other countries that do not hold the Constitution as the highest law in the land do it, so we should too. Sad."

        Actually, I think they all hold their respective constitutions highly - I also think they understand that the internet presents new challenges, and creates difficult legal situations, where people can get away with things online that the law does not allow in the real world.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Someantimalwareguy (profile), 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      The largest problem with the EU is the fact that it is about as cohesive as the original 13 colonies under the Articles of Confederation. This can lead to some dissonance between the "federal" and "sovereign states" level where the individual states have too much power and render any federal control illusory at best.

      So what you tend to get is idealism in Brussels and pragmatism in Berlin, Paris, etc. It is more often the case that pragmatism wins out and the edicts from Brussels get a "that's nice, thanks for your opinion son" pat on the head while they go on about governing their territories.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anon, 18 Nov 2011 @ 2:34am

      Re:

      yea sorry, i live in england and our websites are not censored. don't know where you got this from but no, there is no website censoring here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    tom, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:31am

    my SNP MEP

    signed that! well done struan

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Simon, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:35am

    Wikileaks

    Oh really? EU is dishing on the US but is on board with screwing Julian Assange who'll most likely end up in a US prison. Classic hypocrisy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:36am

    SOPA is going to make sites do what they should have been doing all along - police themselves. There should have been ways for users to report illegal content all along - something akin to your "report" button should exist on every site that allows user comments or user content submissions.

    Just as the community can police the contents of Wikipedia, I have no doubt that the community of users can police other sites. Remove the pirated content or be shut down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      hothmonster, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:42am

      Re:

      Woot police the unpolicable! Think of all the new jobs, hell Google alone will need to hire a few millions staffers to watch the 40 hours worth of video they receive every minute.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      Right after we clean this here internet up maybe we can finally get around to winning the war on drugs and wiping out terrorism.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 12:23pm

      Re:

      i still dont get why other people should police the "property" of other people , i mean i i want to really police my house i go and with my own money contract an alarm system, with a car i go to any place where again with may own money intall the alarm so why the artist or should i say the content owner want every other person to pay for what they should be doing

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thomas Jefferson, 17 Nov 2011 @ 4:22pm

      liberty

      "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."

      SOPA does more than let the internet police itself, it grants Federal agencies and even private business the ability to censor sites at their whim. It won't even stop pirated content because it simply removes the DNS record for the site, this is easy to circumvent for anyone who still wants to pirate. Your logic is flawed, this will simply make it harder for small sites to get off the ground by making so much red tape to cut through, it essentially does to the internet what corporate monopolies over broadband infrastructure have done to small time ISP's. Granting more power to the Feds is never really the answer...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      David Evans (profile), 18 Nov 2011 @ 3:55pm

      Re:

      Sorry. Wikipedia also has 'previous version' pages and 'revert' controls, because people report, hijack and delete perfectly acceptable material *all the time*.

      Also doesn't change the fact that copyright is unverifiable outside a courtroom.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:41am

    Hey at least Italy is out of the fight for a while as they have bigger fish to fry at the moment. Berlusconi was looking to be the next digital Mussolini.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    hothmonster, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:41am

    Well since the EU is a collection of nations that profits heavily from infringement of US property of course they would say this. I mean have you seen France? Its like 1988 over there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:43am

    The EU is a bunch of fascists too, though.

    NO gov't is EVER any good except when kept firmly caged -- and that mainly means limiting The Rich too, who are always in control of gov'ts. Now and then the People revolt and pull down The Rich; those are the ONLY periods in human history that are ever free. But people never learn, so we're doomed to these cycles of letting The Rich do as they please until they begin to destroy the system itself. In the interim, The Rich foment wars -- how many is the US in right now? -- and in the patriotic fervor, complete their control over the People with an internal army. -- Anyone with sense saw this coming by September 12, 2001. So why are you people surprised? An empire that literally steals countries isn't going to allow you free speech.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:56am

      Re: The EU is a bunch of fascists too, though.

      Are you off your meds again? Apparently one of your other personalities are in control at the moment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thomas Jefferson, 17 Nov 2011 @ 4:24pm

      Re: The EU is a bunch of fascists too, though.

      Agree with out_of_the_blue..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dick Atwater, 21 Nov 2011 @ 8:55pm

      Re: The EU is a bunch of fascists too, though.

      Very well put. And remember there are many folks in the EU who enjoy a greater measure of privacy protection and somewhat more effective social contracts than what we have left on the US side of the Atlantic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Psyga Sanichigo (profile), 17 Nov 2011 @ 12:30pm

    About Goddamn time!

    Seriously, I was on a thread and someone asked when EU Parliament was gonna pop by and bitchsmack these idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Overcast (profile), 17 Nov 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Kettle - meet pot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2011 @ 3:53am

      Re:

      Indeed. We're still laughing off Obama for lecturing us about how we deal with our financial crisis. You just can't make this up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    pelouze (profile), 18 Nov 2011 @ 12:53am

    Dealing with websites that primarily exist to profit from others creations isn't censorship (which is SOPA's aim).

    If a real world business openly traded in stolen goods on the high street, you'd want it shut down. Even moreso if some of the goods they sold for profit were yours. You'd be effing livid if it were continuously ignored or giant loopholes allowed them to continue while you lost money.

    Piracy of digital goods is no different, regardless of the weak arguments of pirates.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Marcel de Jong (profile), 18 Nov 2011 @ 5:14am

      Re:

      Repeat after me:
      Copyright infringement is not theft.

      One is a civil matter, the other is a criminal matter.

      Don't conflate the two.

      And there are no sites that solely exist to profit from other's creations. (nope, not even the Pirate Bay, as there is also loads of stuff on there, that's legal, such as albums uploaded by bands themselves, and Linux torrents, and archive.org files)

      Besides, as long as a website offers the general public to upload their own works, chances are illegally acquired copyrighted material could show up there. Youtube could be taken off the net with SOPA, that's a clear violation of freedom of speech, as a lot of people use the Youtube platform to showcase their own works. To vent their own opinions.

      Also, how do you distinguish the illegally uploaded copyrighted material from the legally uploaded copyrighted material? Anyone can call themselves "Universal_Music", who is to say that they are the real one?

      These are all issues and hooks hanging on this badly written law, that have severe real world implications and problems.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Elisabeth Nilsson, 18 Nov 2011 @ 1:36am

    Swedish ccTLD .SE criticise the proposal

    Our head of security writes about the proposal on .SE's blog:

    https://www.iis.se/en/blogg/protester-mot-stop-online-piracy-act

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wig, 18 Nov 2011 @ 2:15am

    Funny how a lot of comments are of the type "yeah, but they do it too", but none are of the type "that's not true!"

    Probably because it is so blatantly obvious to everybody that SOPA and the likes are, in fact, censorship...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2011 @ 6:23am

      Re:

      Nope, illegal speech (such as operating a pirate site) isn't protected by the first amendment in the US, and therefore cannot be "censored" - it's illegal and not protected.

      Further, the courts have already ruled that some protected speech may be harmed when illegal speech is dealt with,and that is disappointing but acceptable. The courts did not want protected speech to be used as a "human shield" for illegal activities.

      So no, it's not censorship, not matter how many times Mike repeats it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wig, 18 Nov 2011 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re:

        No that's not the issue. The issue is that SOPA opens the floodgates for censorship. And the domain seizures by ICE and Homeland Security are censorship.

        If you allow anyone, private party or federal agency, to block and put out of business an entire site without any adversary hearing (or, for that matter, any procedure in court) solely on the basis of an accusation, you have de facto created a way to censor anything on the internet.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 19 Nov 2011 @ 6:07pm

        Re: Re:

        Nope, illegal speech (such as operating a pirate site) isn't protected by the first amendment in the US, and therefore cannot be "censored" - it's illegal and not protected.

        By that definition, China doesn't do any censorship either.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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