Phew: EU Court Of Justice Says Right To Be Forgotten Is Not A Global Censorship Tool (Just An EU One)

from the dodged-a-bullet dept

Over the past few years, an important legal battle has been playing out concerning the jurisdictional reach of the EU's terrible "right to be forgotten" laws. France decided that Google needed to not just block such content within the EU, but globally. In response, Google pointed out that French regulators shouldn't be able to censor the global internet. The question made it to the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) last year, and the ruling has finally come down saying that Google was right after all. The right to be forgotten may exist in the EU, but that does not mean it can be applied globally.

For once, the CJEU actually seemed to recognize that the RTBF and freedom of expression are often in conflict -- and that different countries may want to set the "balance" (if you can call it that) between the two in different places:

... the balance between the right to privacy and the protection of personal data, on the one hand, and the freedom of information of internet users, on the other, is likely to vary significantly around the world.

Indeed, the ruling notes that data protection is not an "absolute right."

The processing of personal data should be designed to serve mankind. The right to the protection of personal data is not an absolute right; it must be considered in relation to its function in society and be balanced against other fundamental rights, in accordance with the principle of proportionality.

Of course, I have a bit of trouble with the idea of things that are considered fundamental rights -- such as freedom of expression -- being "balanced" against things that are not fundamental rights, like "protection of personal data." It seems like the fundamental right should always win out in such circumstances. In the US, for the most part, we've decided that the 1st Amendment doesn't have a "balancing" test.

Still, it's good to see the CJEU at least put some limits on the right to be forgotten and the ability of it to be used elsewhere against perfectly legal, truthful speech. It still sucks for people in the EU, but at least they can't fully export their censorship.

Filed Under: censorship, cjeu, cnil, eu, france, free speech, global censorship, jurisdiction, right to be forgotten, rtbf
Companies: cnil, google


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 9:44am

    And that’s another victory for anti-censorship advocates. Here’s hoping for more.

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      identicon
      Killer Gravy-Covered Fries, 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:44am

      Re: Not A Global Censorship Tool (Just An EU One)

      Did you miss the title? Or just aping Masnick sort of claiming total victory in the text?

      As I noted below: the title, which Masnick wrote, not me, says IS a LOSS in the EU. -- I don't see how couldn't be. BUT he's sort of happy will be a miscellany of exceptions for Google and every other search engine to check.

      And his only real objection is some vague good if the links are kept up, instead of accepting a court decision.

      So like Masnick, you seem confused.

      But now you can un-confuse by ad hom at me, though it won't help at all, so enjoy.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:07am

    the CJEU is totally biased. it wants to protect the rich and the famous and allows those in that category to go to any and every length to achieve privacy but then allows the total opposite when it's ordinary people involved. they have to give up whatever they have on those in the first group, where they got that info (and pics if included) and what they intended doing with it! talk about double standards! but then, that is the way of the EU anyway!

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  • identicon
    Sharur, 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:25am

    1st Amendment and Balancing

    Unfortunately, your assertion that the 1st Amendment is not subject to "balancing" tests is not true at all.

    In the US, the 1st Amendment is subject to balancing tests all of the time (though thankfully it does seem to have a default presumption in its favor that must be overcome). There are all sorts of speech limitations in place, so long as the government shows it has a) an overwhelming legitimate government interest, b) the restriction is as minimal a form as possible to serve said interest and c) there exists no lessor alternative available.

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    • icon
      Igualmente69 (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:46am

      Re: 1st Amendment and Balancing

      You are wrong, and Mike is correct. Certain categories of expression are not considered protected by the First Amendment such as libel or child porn, and those can be restricted. And general laws which incidentally burden speech are allowed, but not laws which specifically target speech. There is no balancing test. The Supreme Court has rejected such a claim every time it has come up in a case.

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      • identicon
        Sok Puppette, 24 Sep 2019 @ 11:28am

        Re: Re: 1st Amendment and Balancing

        ... and those excluded categories are total asspulls, based on the feeling that SOME things are just too far beyond the pale... that those things are so bad that they, um, outbalance the fundamental right.

        The First Amendment does not say "except for libel", "except for child porn", or "except for all the other stuff that's magically not protected". Those exceptions are created by balancing the "fundamental" FA right against other rights which may or may not be equally "fundamental".

        There's no reason you couldn't use the same logic you use to get a libel exception to get an "irrelevant negative information" exception along the lines of the RTBF. There's simply no principled distinction being made.

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      • identicon
        Sok Puppette, 24 Sep 2019 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re: 1st Amendment and Balancing

        It's not any less bullshit when Ken White says it than it is when you say it.

        And he is purely flat out full of shit when he says the US Supreme Court has never approved a content-based restriction. The child porn restriction, for example, is 100 percent content-based. It is officially justified by negative impact on those depicted... even though, ya know, by your own criteria isn't any "fundamental right" not to be traumatized that way.

        It's very much like the RTBF, actually, in kind if not in degree. The US Supremen Court justifies the restriction on child porn, at the root, in terms a right to have the depicted abuse forgotten.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re: 1st Amendment and Balancing

          Oh, and by the way, I doubt that that justification was the biggest part of the reason for the child porn laws. The reason was partly that, but at least as much that legislators didn't want the material out there inspiring pedophilic ideas, and probably more than that that people were just plain outraged by the content and demanded that Something Be Done. It's just that those reasons were harder to square with previous decisions.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 12:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: 1st Amendment and Balancing

          Where did you get your law degree?

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  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:35am

    I predict

    This will turn Right To Be Forgotten requests into Streisand Effect requests.

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    identicon
    Killer Gravy-Covered Fries, 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:37am

    Where's the Googler's victory? You're entirely against "RTBF"!

    As make clear in title.

    Since requires a list for exception-making across EU and applies to every corporation, not even challenged, seems like near complete LOSS.

    Now, I've never been hot on this topic, but sheerly practical questions:

    1) GOOGLE will have to comply throughout the large and varied EU and if misses a few places is liable. How is that better than total ban, in which would have one list to look through, not qualified by country?

    2) What if some other country DOES impose world-wide RTBF?

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:41am

      I've never been hot on this topic

      Then let’s talk about one you are hot on: How can you decry corporate censorship and support copyright law without any cognitive dissonance?

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        identicon
        Killer Gravy-Covered Fries, 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:49am

        Re: Where's the Googler's victory? You were entirely against "RT

        Then let’s talk about one you are hot on: How can you decry corporate censorship and support copyright law without any cognitive dissonance?

        OKAY. But FIRST you state what corporate censorship you mean, which doesn't include what you and Masnick adocate -- take the link above, believe you endorse there Masnick's view that "literal Nazis" -- in YOUR opinion -- shouldn't be allowed on any visible platform.

        SO as usual, it's YOU who are for censorship as enforced by corporations which you foolishly think have your own notions at heart, but which are heartless mechanisms, mere legal fictions.

        Where copyright is in the body of the Constitution because an individual right of profiting from creations that needs proteced from thieves, by which the public good IS obtained.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:55am

          Not an answer to my question. How can you say you’re against corporate censorship but still support copyright law, which allows corporations to legally censor the speech and expression others?

          And I don’t think corporations have my best interests at heart. They’d sooner rip out my spine and literally have my back than figuratively have my back in some way. That you think I believe otherwise is a grave misunderstanding at best, willful ignorance at worst.

          Oh, and two more things:

          1. Corporations have the absolute right to choose what speech will and will not be hosted on the platforms they own. The same goes for people who, say, set up a Mastodon instance or an imageboard. Feel free to cite the law, statute, or “common law” court ruling that says otherwise.

          2. The Constitution of the United States only gives Congress the power to establish and define copyright law. It does not, on its own, establish copyright law or its parameters.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 11:05am

            Re:

            Sorry Mr. Stone, but it looks like you miss understood what he said.
            What he actually said (rendered in American English) was:

            Behold! My Cognitive Dissonance!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 6:00pm

          Re: Re:

          How's that Malibu Media defense fund coming along, bro?

          You fuck over any dead grandmas today with your copyright?

          Didn't you say you wanted all the lawyers dead? Would that include the ones that enforce your copyright?

          What a fucking moron.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Sep 2019 @ 6:50am

          Re: Re: Where's the Googler's victory? You were entirely against

          "Where copyright is in the body of the Constitution because an individual right of profiting from creations that needs proteced from thieves, by which the public good IS obtained."

          False. Article 8 is quite clear that congress is empowered to extend copyright for the reason of "science and the arts". No one has a constitutional right to profit from creations. end of story.

          But you knew that, Baghdad Bob, because we've been telling you this and linking to the text in question for MANY years now, and yet you keep pushing easily disprovable outright lies as your core argument.

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

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      identicon
      Killer Gravy-Covered Fries, 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:45am

      Re: Where's the Googler's victory? You're entirely against "

      Somewhat other topic, but YOU raise it, remarking:

      Of course, I have a bit of trouble with the idea of things that are considered fundamental rights -- such as freedom of expression --

      Unless for "literal Nazis" -- in your opinion -- then you're FOR corporations not just "de-listing" but "de-platforming":

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190618/18023542427/senator-hawley-pr oposes-law-to-force-internet-companies-to-beg-ftc-permission-to-host-content.shtml#c425

      (continuing above) being "balanced" against things that are not fundamental rights, like "protection of personal data."

      So you have no problem with license plate readers, the Amazon Ring, and every other gadget SPYING on us full time, completely collated by GOOGLE mainly, and available to gov'ts for small fee.

      You're not consistently for free speech or freedom from corporate surveillance and control. What use are you, then?

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:49am

        Please cite the law, statute, or “common law” court ruling that says Twitter, Facebook, or any other privately-owned platform — on- or offline — must host speech that the platform’s owners do not want to host.

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

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          identicon
          Killer Gravy-Covered Fries, 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:51am

          Re: The US Constitution is for We The People's good...

          NOT to give a legal basis for corporations to control us.

          De facto, ALL speech on teh internets is through corporations.

          Your notion then allows full Nazi-level corporate control.

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:56am

            Question: If I set up a Mastodon instance that I then open to the public, what law, statute, or “common law” court ruling says I must — with no exceptions — host any speech considered legal under U.S. law, including White supremacist propaganda?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 1:23pm

              Re:

              Since when is law " with no exceptions."

              Judges know it is wrong to steal, but there are exceptions. Try catching pedos by running a website for a few months distributing child porn...

              Business' can refuse to do business with anyone for any reason, with the exception of protected classes.

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          • icon
            Gary (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 11:12am

            Re: Re: The US Constitution is for We The People

            We the People don't like Copyright, therefore it has no basis under Cabbage Law!

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

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 12:52pm

            Re: Re: The US Constitution is for blue balls to shit on

            The voices will go away if you stop lying bro.

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

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 1:34pm

            Re: Re: The US Constitution is for We The People's good...

            Nope. Some people (not just corporations) have their own personal websites and email addresses with all the requisite data stored on their own private servers. Not all online speech is on a corporate-owned platform.

            Also, again, we’re only arguing against government control over speech—whether to remove or coerce speech. That simply doesn’t apply to corporate-owned platforms. Based on specific on-point court rulings in the U.S. and the plain language of the U.S. Constitution and CDA §230, the Right to Free Speech as required by the First Amendment and applied to the states and local governments via the Fourteenth Amendment does not restrict, mandate, or regulate privately-owned online platforms’ moderating decisions and are not liable for user-submitted content or the moderation of such.

            You have not answered the question, which asked for a legal citation for your assertion.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: All you have to do is stop lying

        Stop deflecting and answer the question bro.

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  • identicon
    Sok Puppette, 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:42am

    things that are not fundamental rights, like "protection of personal data."

    While I tend to be sympathetic, who exactly appointed you to decide which rights were fundamental?

    In the US, for the most part, we've decided that the 1st Amendment doesn't have a "balancing" test.

    Oh, really? What happens to me if I "express" some corporation's trade secrets? What happens to some corporation if it "expresses" something misleading in commercial advertising, using the same sort of innuendo that's allowed in political speech? Where's the government's fundamental right to have classified information.

    US FA law is full of balancing tests, just like all US constitutional law. The balance may be more strongly tilted than in other places, but it's still there.

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

    • icon
      Igualmente69 (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:50am

      Re:

      Once again, you are wrong, and Mike is correct. Certain categories of expression are not considered protected by the First Amendment such as libel or child porn, and those can be restricted. And general laws which incidentally burden speech are allowed, but not laws which specifically target speech. Your trade secret claim is a perfect example of this. There is no balancing test. The Supreme Court has rejected such a claim every time it has come up in a case.

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

      • identicon
        Sok Puppette, 24 Sep 2019 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re:

        Once again, the very creation of those exceptional categories represents a weighing, dare I even say a balancing, of the FA and its guarantees against other concerns.

        It doesn't matter if a court doesn't use the word "balance". It doesn't matter if the outcome of the balancing test is a bright line test for lower courts to use. In the end you're still balancing, and trying to deny it is sophistry.

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        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What you fail to understand is that another fundamental human right comes into play, the right to be secure in your person. The creation of child pornography inflicts well-documented lasting harms on the child. This has lead to a balancing of the fundamental right of expression of the pornographer with the fundamental right right of security of the Person. Posession is a different barrel of fish, and doesn't impact a discussion of the first amendment.

          Mike might call it a different name, but I would expect that if pressed Mike would agree that a "balancing" is occuring due to a conflict of fundamental rights, as opposed to balancing a fundamental right against a non fundamental one.

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          • identicon
            Sok Puppette, 24 Sep 2019 @ 12:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I don't know if it matters to you, but you've abandoned any claims to textualism and are now down in the "I know a fundamental right when I see it" swamp. The US Constitution contains no general right at all to be secure in your person. The phrase appears in the Fourth Amendment, but the scope there is limited to search and seizure, which is not at issue.

            So apparently you're saying there are other sources of fundamental rights, outside of the text of the document itself, that should have weight in US constitutional law. OK, cool. What are those sources, and how do I know whether I've found such a fundamental right? Maybe the right to be free from the dissemination of irrelevant negative information is one of them. If it's not, why isn't it?

            You're not allowed to do any balancing in your answer. Bright lines and black-and-white categories only.

            Also, the child porn restrictions do in fact apply to mere possession, as well as applying to distribution that doesn't involve producing it to begin with. In fact, the main point of adopting the laws was really to get at distribution, and indeed also at possession. Creation involves child molestation anyway, and that was already illegal, therefore less pressing.

            In the US, the right to possession of protected media is treated as part of the right of free speech. Maybe that's odd, but that really is universal in US law; having and reading it is considered part of the same right as writing or saying it. And, possession aside, distribution sure as hell qualifies as part of the expressive side.

            So we have a content-based restriction on expression that has nothing to do with the act production (or of how the production is done, for that matter).

            And any part of the harm that's unique to the porn part, as opposed to the molestation part, is clearly a harm arising solely from that expressive act. That continuing harm does not involve security of the person. It may indeed be emotionally damaging to know that pictures of your past molestation are being distributed, but the damage does not arise from any current, ongoing violation of your actual person.

            Which, if we don't allow ourselves to look at matters of degree and do "balancing", is really very much like the RTBF case, with the ongoing distribution of irrelevant, damaging information being treated as harmful to the subject.

            You are going to have a HELL of a time finding a hard-edged, balancing-free distinction between those.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 12:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The creation of child pornography inflicts well-documented lasting harms on the child.

            Not in cases where the child took the pictures themselves. The prosecution of that certainly creates lasting harm, but courts have upheld the criminality of it anyway.

            as opposed to balancing a fundamental right against a non fundamental one.

            The other fundamental right in this story is privacy.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2019 @ 10:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Is there a legal definition and a lay person definition that are not at all alike, being used interchangeably here?

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    • icon
      Gary (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      who exactly appointed you to decide which rights were fundamental?

      So which rights are fundamental?

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        identicon
        Sok Puppette, 24 Sep 2019 @ 1:22pm

        Re: Re:

        It' a stupid question.

        If you really try to set up and follow a system of rules that divides all rights, or really all of anything else, into exactly two possible categories of "fundamental" and "not fundamental", with everything solidly on its own side of the line and nothing "not fundamental" allowed to infringe in any way on anything "fundamental", with absolutely no balancing allowed between the categories (and no real guidance on how to do balancing within either category), then you will come up with stupid nonsensical outcomes that cause massive misery.

        Especially if you try to do it in any document worded vaguely enough to survive a political process. The US Constitution, for example, is horribly vague in most places, and most of the places where it doesn't leave wiggle room are poorly thought out.

        It's attractive to try to make absolute distinctions, because you feel like maybe you can make a hard law to prevent some obnoxious abuse of power, but if you really try to do it, with no wiggle room at all, it won't work. Especially not if you try to have a lot of absolutes, or if you're arbitrary about which things you make absolute.

        Assholes will still find a way to be assholes, and sometimes they will be able to recruit your rules to their side.

        That doesn't mean you shouldn't have clear rules. It means that you have to understand that the approach has limits.

        I say this, by the way, as a person who doesn't think the US is absolute enough about a lot of kinds of free speech, and who would be very unlikely to support any RTBF rule anywhere in the world.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 30 Sep 2019 @ 6:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Did "flag this comment" get changed to "abusive/trolling/spam/I disagree with it" while I wasn't looking? What is wrong with you people flagging this stuff?

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

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 1 Oct 2019 @ 1:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Someone who calls themself “Sok Puppette” can’t really complain when someone assumes they’re trolling and flags their comment.

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

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 1 Oct 2019 @ 1:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Perhaps not, but I am still disappointed in the TechDirt audience. We should be able to do better than flagging comments based on the name of the commenter.

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

              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 1 Oct 2019 @ 2:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I agree, and I’ve said the same myself. I am curious about why that username was chosen, but I assumed it was for parody. If that’s true, it’s not much of a parody.

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

                • identicon
                  Sok Puppette, 11 Oct 2019 @ 11:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I use the name only for commenting on places like this. I have a couple of aliases, although I don't use more than one on the same site. You won't find any of them on my birth certificate. Isn't that technically what a sock puppet is?

                  I use the name to make it clear to the reader that I'm not associating the comments with my "real world" identity.

                  Amusingly enough, one news site decided it didn't like the name because it looked obviously fake, and made me choose one that looked like a "real name". The one I chose wasn't, of course, my actual "real name". I can't imagine what they think they're accomplishing with that nonsense.

                  By the way, although I take strong stances and try to shake up assumptions, I do not write comments that I don't believe, nor do I write comments just to upset people.

                  I really don't understand what pissed people off about that one, since I would think pretty much everybody would agree with it if they thought for 15 seconds. But maybe it touched some taboo or another. My first guess would be the part about the US Constitution being poorly written.

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

                  • identicon
                    Sok Puppette, 11 Oct 2019 @ 11:35am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I need to correct that slightly. That news site just turned off the name and I got a message saying "your screen name has been rejected; choose a new one" or something nonspecific like that. I only inferred that they wanted something that looked like a "real name".

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

                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 11 Oct 2019 @ 2:59pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I have a couple of aliases, although I don't use more than one on the same site. You won't find any of them on my birth certificate. Isn't that technically what a sock puppet is?

                    No, that's just an alias. A sock puppet is used for nefarious purposes.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_(Internet)

                    I really don't understand what pissed people off about that one

                    I assume tribalism. People who identify with the TechDirt tribe saw someone disagreeing with a tribe member, and attacked.

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

  • icon
    A-Sbeve-Or-Two (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 11:23am

    Authenticated but Not Correctly Translated? We’ll See.

    Noting how many non-English countries are in the European Union, it wouldn’t surprise me if the statement was altered in translation. That happened before with Italy, when the infamous Copyright Directive was brought to the hands of Italy back in May, but a single botched translation would’ve led to wide-scale censorship.
    It’s not impossible for this new statement to accidentally be mistranslated, causing confusion.
    Here’s a good idea, European Lawmakers: don’t rush the translation process this time.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 12:06pm

      Re: Authenticated but Not Correctly Translated? We’ll See.

      Stop using Google translate..
      Or is that Bing??

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 12:17pm

        Re: Re: Authenticated but Not Correctly Translated? We’ll

        There was a story where the State Dept(?) sent an official communication to a European country (where most speak fluent English) and used a web translator that make a mess of things.
        I forget the details and got no googlefu.

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        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 12:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: Authenticated but Not Correctly Translated? We&rsquo

          I always apologize when I find a need to use Google Translate. But it is better than nothing.

          Then, if it was the state department, they have plenty of actual translators, that actually do a good job, so that assertion doesn't make any sense.

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          • identicon
            bob, 24 Sep 2019 @ 1:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Authenticated but Not Correctly Translated? We&r

            I could only see senior leadership not using the people to translate because of 2 situations

            1, they were sending something controversial and didnt want to risk a leak by others in the government. (Yet they assume using google translate is secure for some reason.)

            2, they didn't want to wait to have it translated by an expert and thought they were saving time/money by using google translate. (Again they are assuming google translate was good enough for the job.)

            Now has this happened, I have no idea. but knowing the Trump dumpster fire of an administration it isn't outside the realm of possibilities.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 11:43am

    Fundamental rights

    Of course, I have a bit of trouble with the idea of things that are considered fundamental rights -- such as freedom of expression -- being "balanced" against things that are not fundamental rights, like "protection of personal data."

    Way to omit the part of that phrase that does mention a fundamental right (and you quoted it earlier): the court wrote that freedom of speech was being balanced with "the right to privacy and the protection of personal data", implying that it viewed "protection of personal data" as a way to protect the fundamental right of privacy. See UDHR #12: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the ​protection of the law against such interference or attacks." (and its European equivalent)

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

  • icon
    keithzg (profile), 24 Sep 2019 @ 4:01pm

    Matter of philosophy and legal conception

    Of course, I have a bit of trouble with the idea of things that are considered fundamental rights -- such as freedom of expression -- being "balanced" against things that are not fundamental rights, like "protection of personal data."

    Well sure; and I would broadly agree with you. But the EU court's conception does have "protection of personal data" as a fundamental right. So they aren't balancing fundamental rights against unfundamental ones, at least in their conception. The U.S., for better or worse, has a very different philosophical/legal tradition on this.

    So really the idea you're (perhaps quite rightly) objecting to isn't balancing fundamental rights against non-fundamental ones, but rather that "protection of personal data" is being put into the category of fundamental rights by the EU legal system(s).

    Sorry to nitpick! But these are very important and potentially nuanced debates to have, and it doesn't help if different sides talk past eachother.

    Cheers :)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 9:05pm

      Re: Matter of philosophy and legal conception

      The U.S., for better or worse, has a very different philosophical/legal tradition on this.

      Even US courts have recognized privacy as a fundamental right—but apparently by choosing random constitutional amendments and then coming up with justifications. Eg: in Roe v. Wade, they said it was the 14th amendment (equal protection); in Griswold v. Connecticut, a combination of 1 (freedom of association), 5 (self-incrimination), 9 (non-enumeration)

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


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