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EU Pushes to Limit Internet Speech

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the bad-step-for-EU dept.

Censorship 1256

minamar writes "CNN is reporting that at an international conference, the EU is urging the US and other nations to ban racist and 'hate' messages from the internet. The US seems to be resisting, but is this another step away from free speech and how could an international group possibly regulate message on the internet anyway?"

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Why is this shocking? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457464)

It's widely accepted that Germany and France can't handle free speech (see: Nazi regalia and the internet), why does this surprise anyone?

Socialism and stifling free speech go hand in hand.

Re:Why is this shocking? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457500)

Marking this as flamebait doesn't remove its validity - the fact of the matter is that neither Germany nor France have good records in free speech.

Re:Why is this shocking? (-1, Redundant)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457616)

There's a huge difference between free speech written on a piece of paper and free speech in everyday life. France may suck with laws, I can still say whatever I want. Of course I can't create my own nazi web site but who would do that anyway? If free speech means nazi propaganda, I don't need it.
OTOH I agree that you open the door to all sorts of stupid laws but the door is already wide open...

Re:Why is this shocking? (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457673)

what nation does have good records on 'free' speech?

like, at least in europe you don't get the whole nation in panic if you show a NIPPLE accidentally in the middle of a very sexually oriented dance act.

can you say that scientologists are total fuckheads in the states then now? because they at least they ARE fuckheads.

Re:Why is this shocking? (4, Insightful)

Squareball (523165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457625)

MOD UP! And to think that I wasted all my mod points yesterday on stupid stuff.

This is what is starting to be pushed for in the US by some groups. They label things "hate speech" and seek to have them outlawed. Also look at 'hate crimes'. Where you aren't punished based on the crime you did but what you were thinking while you did it.

Re:Why is this shocking? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457670)

'Where you aren't punished based on the crime you did but what you were thinking while you did it.'

You mean like (first degree) murder vs. manslaughter?

Re:Why is this shocking? (2, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457644)

Socialism and stifling free speech go hand in hand.

Only if your leaders/educators are really lazy. Otherwise it's simple to engineer the problems with racism and the main cause of racism out of a socialist society to begin with; by eliminating the possibility of ENVY and GREED. It's only if you're already treating your citizens differently based on bogus criteria such as looks, family name, or luck that you need to worry about racism (or any other form of discrimination).

Free Speech (4, Insightful)

Laivincolmo (778355) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457469)

If you don't let people vent their anger on websites that no one will read, then they might go out and use violence to vent that anger.

Re:Free Speech (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457518)

Well, more to the point: if stormfront.org or earthfirst.org didn't exist, it would be rather more difficult to know who the wackos are.

I'm less worried about their ability to recruit using the net, then I am about them being underground.

-jcr

Re:Free Speech (1)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457565)

Well, more to the point: if stormfront.org or earthfirst.org didn't exist, it would be rather more difficult to know who the wackos are.
I'm less worried about their ability to recruit using the net, then I am about them being underground. >
-jcr


That's the same way I feel. Let them post their info on websites and paper, so I can know what they're thinking.
Imagine if "the terrorists" were announcing their plans on a messageboard on killtheus.com.

As a side note, the same thing can be said for christian fundementalists. I love that they have the trinity channel. That way I can keep up with the propaganda.

Re:Free Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457540)

Your argument falls down when you could also say "If you don't let people vent their anger by shooting people violently then they might go out and become spammers"

One doesent necessarily follow the other.

Re:Free Speech (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457636)

However, conversely people with such anger might use websites to recruit people to take part in large acts violence to vent that anger.

It's a double-edged sword. Sometimes we're damned if we do and damned if we don't.

Re:Free Speech (1)

Apage43 (708800) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457637)

I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, and I hate YOU! OMG >_ Sorry guys, I got Slashdot banned from the US.

Re:Free Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457653)

I hope some crazy frog hops into a gigantic bulldozer and topples the Eiffel Tower.

That'll teach 'em.

In Related News... (5, Funny)

DaveKAO (320532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457474)

George W. Bush sends Chirac an email stating- "I hate the French!"

Re:In Related News... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457613)

Chirac has practically sent us loud messages that he doesn't like us either. He was on American soil (to attend a G8 meeting) during the time of President Reagan's fueral, and was invited, but did not attend or send any representative in his place.

That's pretty much the definition of an intentional diplomatic snub...

FUCK NIGGERS!!! FUCK THE FRENCH !!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457475)

and fuck the EU

Freedom is worth it (5, Insightful)

Ridgelift (228977) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457476)

A sticking point was whether the United States, which has championed nearly unfettered free speech, would line up with European countries that have banned racist or anti-Semitic speech in public.

The problem is once you ban racist speech in public, you immediately open the door for more laws that do nothing to actually curtail the problem, but rather limit the rights and freedoms of everyone. Once you do that, it just opens the door for large powerful bodies of people (governments, corporations, SIG's) to pass more laws to limit more rights and freedoms.

Freedom is expensive, but it's something worth fighting and dying for.

Re:Freedom is worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457553)

Yup, this is how it always starts... with something small, and slowly tightning the screws. Should let the regulators get away easily with things that limit freedom. Freedom is a choice that we must all protect at ANY cost, after all no one should have to live the way some one else wants you to live. Having the freedom to express yourself, ensures that we can live despite our difference rather than killing off anyone who dissagrees with us.

Re:Freedom is worth it (3, Insightful)

Zone-MR (631588) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457554)

Freedom is expensive, but it's something worth fighting and dying for.

That sounds extremely noble in writing, but I doubt many people including yourself would actually be willing to die in order to prevent a law such as this one from being passed.

There is a delicate balance between complete apathy and out-of-control fanaticism.

Re:Freedom is worth it (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457584)

Unfortunately, if we take that tact, then we have to be stong enough as a culture to accept the Nick Berg video and any similar video that comes our way in the future... because such videos are being used as propaganda to try to convince us and our allies to give up the fight against anti-freedom terrorists.

I'm not sure if the world has that strong of a stomach sometimes...

Re:Freedom is worth it (2, Insightful)

danimrich (584138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457606)

I am not so sure whether this is true. For example Austria has a law banning anti-Semitic propaganda since a couple of decades, but I have not noticed further steps in this direction.
I do not think that corporations are interested in this kind of laws because they will not help them make money (unlike copyright laws).

The GNAA supports this legislation! (-1, Troll)

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yeah right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457479)

Who are they kidding? Maybe we should limit THEM in their searching and see how they like it?

Join with me now in saying.. (2, Funny)

7Ghent (115876) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457481)

Fuck the EU.

Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457501)

Fuck the EU.

+One Gillion, Insightful (0, Troll)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457550)


God, I wish I had Mod points. By far the most insightful thing I've heard all day.

Re:Join with me now in saying.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457624)

Fuck the EU

Re:Join with me now in saying.. (2, Interesting)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457639)

No, don't fuck the EU.

The EU will, in the near future, probably be something of a United States of Europe; something that can finally kick some ass in getting America's dominance as a hyperpower felled. They're doing some amazing shit, including bitchslapping Microsoft and increasing individual nation's economic strength. They also do a lot to aid health issues and diversity.

I can understand their motives: racism is a horrible thing, be it whites discriminating against blacks or (more rarely) vice versa, but sadly I have to side with the US on this one: freedom of speech for everyone. I hope the EU does a U-turn on this idea, as I really would like to see the USA given a kick up the goatse.

Re:Join with me now in saying.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457679)

Fuck you too.

Alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457643)

Fuck the EU!

saying this for years myself (0, Flamebait)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457662)

but for different reasons. I am against the Federal Govt. of the United States. I am against the UN. I am against the EU. What do all these things have in common? The destruction of soverignty were it belongs -- with people who are going to use it. Personally, I don't give two shits what people in California think. I refuse to accept anything as law that they had anything to do with.
Equally, I don't see how the Germans have any right to go telling the Irish what to do. We've lost too many men getting rid of the British to just sell it out again (i'm a Sinn Fein member, 100% all beef Paddy, blah blah, who cares).
Likewise, what some communist like Kofe Annon thinks means shit to me whether I am in the USA, Ireland, or the Republic of my Asshole. For christ's sake, people, get over it, leave your neighbours alone, and get on with living your life in your own little community and you'll be happier for it. Politics be damned!

Re:Join with me now in saying.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457678)

Fuck France!

(not literally of course, France is something of a dirty dirty whore)

MOD THIS UP!

What Did You Expect? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457484)

This is the EU we're talking about here. For all the enlightened Europeans like to make fun of America, the fact is, the USA is the freest country of them all. We protect speech that even offends or makes others uncomfortable.

In the welfare state of the Europe, the government always wants to be Big Brother. I'm glad to be on the other side of the Atlantic, the land of the Free, the home of the brave.

Re:What Did You Expect? (4, Insightful)

Zone-MR (631588) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457647)

I'm glad to be on the other side of the Atlantic, the land of the Free...

Land of the free? Where large organizations can buy laws such as the DMCA. Where people are arrested for lecturing on cryptography? Where distributing a 7-line perl code can land you in jail?

Re:What Did You Expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457683)

A: You are Trolling
B: Please get out of your parent`s basement and put on a tshirt with the DeCSS code one it.

humor? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457486)

i bet the niggers and jews are up to this.

Racists should have free speech as well. (5, Insightful)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457488)

I know it's unpopular, but it's true.

Free speech applies to everybody, and that includes neo-Nazis and racists. I am in no way supporting neo-Nazis and racists, but they still have the right to disseminate things and the right to free speech no matter how stupid their thinking is.

Censorship of any kind is just the start of a slippery slope.

Re:Racists should have free speech as well. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457524)

Reminds me of some quote i've seen a lot here.
"I don't like what you're saying, but i'll fight for your right to say it"

Re:Racists should have free speech as well. (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457586)

Exactly.

For instance, in the UK the predominant far-right party is the BNP [bnp.org.uk] (good site with background info and just how insane they are here [anl.org.uk] ). I, along with many others, believe them to mostly be racist wankers led by people with convictions for nailbombing and inciting racial hatred-and the government agrees with me. However, the government also does not want to crack down on the BNP and ban it outright, as to do so would be an infringement on freedom of speech.

This is the way it should be done: freedom of speech is a human right, which should not be denied to anyone willy-nilly, be they racist Nazi shits or far left Communist hippies.

Re:Racists should have free speech as well. (5, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457603)

My favorite quote I use allot. "The first amendment wasn't made to protect people who say things you like to hear it was made to protect people who says things you don't want to hear"

Anyone know who said this first?

Re:Racists should have free speech as well. (1)

Collestonpie13 (789170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457640)

hmmmm...marolyn manson? just a guess but yes theres also a ben franklin quote i like that goes if u value your safety and protection more than your freedom u dont deserve freedom.

Re:Racists should have free speech as well. (2, Interesting)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457675)

hmmmm...marolyn manson? (sic)


Sounds like something he'd say.

Damn smart guy is Manson, when off the mic he gets far less credit than he deserves (and "you're all slaves to a god that doesn't exist" is probably one of the most truthful things I've heard :)

Re:Racists should have free speech as well. (1, Insightful)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457604)

Free speech applies to everybody, and that includes neo-Nazis and racists

I agree to a point. As long as they don't infringe on other peoples rights their rights should be upheld. What would you recommend be done with this guy [amazon.com] ?

there should be a line somewhere should there not? Go read the reviews of this book. It's scary shit.

Re:Racists should have free speech as well. (1)

Tristandh (723519) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457632)

I have mixed feelings about this. I believe restricting speech on the internet is nonsense. However! The way I see it, one should ask himself following question:
Is free speech desirable if that free speech limits the freedom of, or has a negative impact on, certain population groups? Especially when it comes to minorities, who should be protected imho. If the 'free speech' of someone implicates encouraging others to commit acts of violence against, say, jews, isn't society as a whole better of if it was made sure this hate-speech reaches as few people as possible?
(It al comes down to stating that one's freedom is limited by the freedom of others)
Blindly defending free speech at any level without even considering the possible consequenses.

Re:Racists should have free speech as well. (2, Insightful)

crossconnects (140996) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457666)

Mod parent up!!

Free speech includes speech i don't like. It is up to the speaker to find an audience at whatever cost he may assume, but the speech itself must be free, whether it's hate speech, political, or even religious.

I don't have to like racism to understand that censoring it is wrong.

What ever happened to... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457491)

What part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." don't they understand?

BECAUSE ITS THE EU, YOU FUCKING IDIOT!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457514)

Goddamn, you slashbots are stupid.

Re:BECAUSE ITS THE EU, YOU FUCKING IDIOT!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457600)

You sure are. did you actually read his post?

... Do they not understand.

I believe he was wondering why the American attitude surprises the EU since our attitude is clearly spelled out in our constitution.

Re:What ever happened to... (5, Funny)

koreth (409849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457527)

What part of "European Union" don't you understand?

Re:What ever happened to... (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457587)

This really demonstrates the "Old World" that is still in them.

Re:What ever happened to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457618)

Hah, whoever marked this as a troll is a moron. He may have had a negative tone to his comment, but he's right.

-- gid

Re:What ever happened to... (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457648)

Um, it applies because the EU wants us to adopt their rules, even though we can't

Re:What ever happened to... (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457657)

But they want the US to apply the law to sites hosted in the US. If the EU asks the US to violate some ignorant Klansman's right to free speech, it's still _the US_ doing it, and still the US violating the constitution.

Personally, I think the people making racist webpages are a waste of bandwidth; fuck 'em, the end. But any time a government is given a new law allowing it to do X or restrict Y, it keeps going. And going, and going.

What's to stop them from next enacting a "no hate speech against elected officials on the 'net" type rule? You know _every_ elected official would love that.

Re: From many laws and legal decisions ... (3, Insightful)

pwarf (610390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457559)

Most judges and congressmen don't get past "Congress shall make."

Re:What ever happened to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457610)

Um, the part which says it is for another fucking country?

What about the GNAA? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457493)

If you aren't allowed to make racist comments on the internet anymore, the GNAA will disappear off /. NOOOOOO

Imperialist Dogma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457511)

Europe tries to get our government to limit our free speech, yet they call us imperialists?

I hate you, Mr. EU minister (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457513)

I think you suck. Everyone who looks like you sucks.

Will you now censor me?

To be sure...'hate speech' sucks. Sucks big, raw, donkey balls. But in the search for freedom of speech, you gotta take the bad with the good.

Effect? (5, Insightful)

Machitis (597087) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457515)

Do they really think they can fix hatred by telling people they shouldn't talk about it on the internet?

Re:Effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457575)

Just the opposite. I hate the EU *even more* now.

Re:Effect? (3, Insightful)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457651)

Their rationale is to stop other people from being subjected to hate and racist speech, in particular "sensitive" persons, such as children and teenagers. Unfortunately, as many other posters have remarked already or will soon remark, that kind of blinders does not make the hatred problem go away magically. And often the gag just plugs the vent, and after the frustration builds up, these people full of hatred go pop. Or rather, they go boom, if I may say so.

And, yes, IAAE (I Actually Am European).

Online hate? (5, Insightful)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457517)

There are signs that online hate is getting worse.

Perhaps the online expression of it. The hate itself was always there and will only be minimized/eradicated with gradual cultural shifts on a global scale that will take centuries, if not millennia.

Yeah because we all know... (4, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457519)


That simply not letting some one say something racist in a public forum will make racism magically go away.

I for one do NOT welcome our thought police overlords

It amazes me how we can revolt against something so much, we push ourselves away from it so strongly, that that we end up meeting it on the other side.

Re:Yeah because we all know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457547)

When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back...

No Fucking Way (1, Troll)

zulux (112259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457522)



Those Gay Nazi half-breed Nigger Europeans will only take my hate speech when they pry my tongue from my cold dead body.

Re:No Fucking Way (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457585)

You from the GNAE?

Re:No Fucking Way (1)

shoma-san (739914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457594)

Too bad we can't cut your tongue out so you can't spread your stupidity.

Congress shall make no law... (5, Insightful)

MammaMia (764083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457523)

abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press... How much simpler could it be?

The internet by its very nature is not, and cannot be, under any government's jurisdiction to control content. Period. Let folks say what they want to say, and you always retain the freedom to read it or ignore it.

I'll take the US model, thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457525)

If there really is censorship in the US, all you folks who call Bush "Chimpy" would get sued for slander and/or libel.

What a waste of money (1)

bl4nk (607569) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457528)

If the speech isn't one place, it will be another. If it's not on the internet, than it will be on the streets. If anything, it will make the extremists that spew these messages to become even MORE extreme. How does this help anything? Free speech is in place to protect the minority from the majority, not the other way around.

No more "hate"? (2, Insightful)

Whatthehellever (93572) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457529)

"Hate" is in the eye of the beholder, it's subjective. What one person calls "Hate", another does not call "Hate."

Start limiting speech now and light your cigar from the flame of the United States Constitution.

Just the thought of censorship makes me cringe. Now you know why I dislike the FCC.

Re:No more "hate"? (2, Insightful)

Whatthehellever (93572) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457671)

The FCC is the only federal government agency that is above constitutional law:

)It's a governmental agency created by congress.
)The FCC censors what we say.
)The FCC is above the law.
)The first amendment says "Congress shall make no laws..." (you know!)

Why hasn't called Shenanigans on the FCC and congress?!?!?!?!?

Balance between conflicting rights... (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457531)

Hate speech has always been a sore issue for Europe for as long as the Internet has been around. Over there, they really don't like anybody throwing hate speech around the way that Nazi Germany did.
Stateside, we just take groups like the KKK and ignore them and shove them out of our way when they try to use their right to free speech to say something we don't really care to hear... hate speech is protected by free speech, but we most definitely slam the cell doors on people who take actions that we define as hate crimes.

But what's sticky about this is that hate speech is often the forerunner to hate actions. Afterall, part of Al Queda's definition is that they hate anybody who doesn't follow their misguided splinter religion (that they claim to be Islam but isn't) and any form of government that isn't an opressive "perfect Islamic state". We should be particularly alarmed about about the spread of anti-American hate speech going on in the world... it's perfectly fine to be critcal of what we do here, but there comes a point where "dislike" crosses the line into "hatred", and it's those who have been brainwashed into thinking that free governments need to be banished from the world that we are fighting against as terrorists. Simply put, if there were less people in the world spreading hate against us, there'd be less terrorists for us to have to defend against.

It's a delicate balance that we need to maintain. Our most powerful individial freedoms are defined in the First Amendment, and we can't afford to waive them away. However, the "Freedom of Speech" has never been truely absolute. Libel and slander are considered civil torts because that use of speech steps on the rights of other people to not have their image torn down by the spread of lies. The classic "yelling 'Fire!' in a theater" example is a case where saying something untrue that puts others in danger can be a criminal act.

I don't see "hate speech", as long as we're able to agree on a tight and fair definition of what makes up that term, as being something worthy of protection... afterall, it's those who spread hate propoganda who are also most likely to be those who are about to take action, and we could count the 9/11 attacks as the largest hate crime of all time.

Excluding intolerancy? (4, Funny)

freeduke (786783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457535)

Those guys are intolerant to intolerancy, so those thoughts should be banned by themselves.

EU Pushes to Limit Internet Speech (-1, Redundant)

PasteEater (590893) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457539)

Yeah? Well FUCK THAT!

Ha! I win.

Websense and SurfControl stock soars (2, Interesting)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457542)

Go look at the websense or surfControl databases, and look at what matches "hate" websites. Ask yourself, are all these websites REALLY about hate? Or are they just unpopular political opinion? Do they advocate violence, or just getting rid of the current administration in the next election? the answers might suprise you.

niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457555)

what, i can't talk about niggers anymore?

fucking mexijews. i say kill these eu bastards.

Who decides? (5, Insightful)

mdvolm (68424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457562)

Who decides what "hate speech" is, these "international experts"? With free speech you have to take the good with the bad. Education is the key here!

Not that these guys have any authority anyway...

US Government not trustworthy (2, Insightful)

shoma-san (739914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457564)

Racists suck because they spread hate. And hate ladies and gentlemen, breeds ignorance. Too bad the US government can't be trusted to censor hate groups...

Re:US Government not trustworthy (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457611)

No, you fight Hate and Ignorance with Truth. Not with censorship.

Normal? (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457567)

Banning disagreeable messages and ideas is about par for the course in Europe, is it not?

Man (3, Insightful)

nate nice (672391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457577)

Does Eurpoe really have that much guilt over its wretched past? It's OK guys, all our fore-fathers have made mistakes. Banning speech, which is only that, speech, is a ridiculas, unthought-out, pointless idea. Let the racists and biggots publicaly make a fool of themselves so we know who not to associate with. If this does go through though, does this mean that Europeons can no longer write about their hatered for Americans or Stupid White Males?

So now /. hates the EU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457578)

But a year ago the US was supposed to subjugate its foreign policy to these very same people?

censorship, again? (5, Insightful)

jokach (462761) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457583)

Like everytime a censorship issue is brought up, the question becomes:

1, Where does the censorship end,
2. who decides what should be censored?
3. What should be the punishment?

We should learn by example, as the article states, that we cannot even regulate shared music online without filing nonsensical lawsuits again John-Does.What are we going to do, file lawsuits against constant violators in other countries?

Yet again... (1, Insightful)

ReTay (164994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457589)

Relax everyone this is just another attempt to draw a line through the little line

Bill of Rights
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

It will never happen in my life time.
Or it might be time to change governments

Not Possible (3, Funny)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457595)

A sticking point was whether the United States, which has championed nearly unfettered free speech, would line up with European countries that have banned racist or anti-Semitic speech in public.

In order to do this, you'd have to repeal the First Amendment. And in order to do that, you'd have to repeal the Second Amendment.

It's just not going to happen, people.

Re:Not Possible (1)

jumpingfred (244629) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457680)

The second ammendment is gone in many states already.

sure, let Free Speech go elsewhere (1, Troll)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457597)

Then, when Free Speech is considered a terrorist act, only terrorists will have Free Speech.

Oh, sh--.

Better out in the open ... (1)

Biomemetic (659256) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457599)

... where we can rebut/ridicule it. It doesn't weaken us to have hate speech on the net, it gives us the possibility of showing how ridiculous their positions are.

I hate this idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457607)

Those pricks!

Great idea! (5, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457612)

Get rid of hate speech. We'll finally stampout those base hateful societal dregs!

Like maybe those "hateful" communists. Or was it the "hateful" capitalists? Let's not forget those "hate-filled" Christians. And, gee, how often do I hear Rush Limbaugh referred to as "hate radio"?

Face it, as much as we might like to think that there is an objective assessment as to what qualifies as hate speech; the truth is that any hate speech laws will eventually be used to protect ideas and prosecute dissenters. These laws are not designed to protect people--the laws on the book already do that. These laws are designed to regulate thought, and it positively ignorant to believe that someday someone will not think that they can "help" society be eliminating that harmful capitalist/communist/whatever branch of thought.

their right! (1)

luvbassonacid (776402) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457614)

dammmit i give up, the EU is right. my fellow americans, come with me, back to the old world, back to europe, were we shall all be slaves to the feable excusses of democracy they have waiting for us, come with me to the great land of endless joy via harsh censureship, and harsher punishments for non compliance. come with me, all of you, you must relinquish your "freedom" for the queens bum! and with it utopia shall be had, with our enlightened salvatation we shall live forever in the land of castles and princesses and legal marijuana if you happen to settle in holland...

1 st Ammendment (3, Informative)

mysterious_mark (577643) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457629)

Apparantly the EU doesn't understand that free speech is written into our constitution, and its not up to 'shrub, the Congress or anyone else to circumvent the constitution. Granted our constitutional rights are under constant attack by the current un-elected regime, but it is up to us as citizens to be ever vigilant. You cannot take away right from one group, without taking away everyones rights. The true test of a free society is how well it tolerates views that are abhorrent to the majority. MM

free speech works. (1)

golgafrincham (774723) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457650)

/. is a fairly good example that free speech is a Good Thing, even in such hughe discussions with thousands of participants. yes, there is for example our beloved gnaa and others, but because they can write what they want, i can also write what i want and i can read things people wrote with a free mind.

the other thing is: the web (the thing you surf on) is all in all a request-response thing. notice? the request is first. by banning 'hate' messages from the web you would achieve nothing. i'm pretty sure they have banning sites in mind (because other things like banning single forum messages is almost impossible). but you have at least to click on 'racistweb.com' to get their rant.

'hate' messages ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457656)

Will "hate Microsoft/SCO" messages count?

Origins of Free Speech.... (0, Troll)

IanDanforth (753892) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457658)

Remember that France never went through our revolutionary war.

At the core of free speech is religeon and sedition. We have to be able to practice both in this country otherwise our revolutionary war was for naught. You can't seperate hate speech from these two concepts because its all about expression. Taking your beliefs and ideas and sharing them with others. No matter what your core belief is, weather it be that God wants you to avoid alchohol, that the Government is hiding aliens, or that all black people are bad, its is all the exact same substance.

Our greatest strength has always been our belief that when you can discuss ideas the best ideas, the most reasonable, will rise to the top and be accepted while those with least merit will fade to the bottom.

France and many other countries never had to go through quite the kind of battle we did and never learned that most important lesson that the truth will out, no matter the level of control imposed upon a people. And censureship of the worst ideas inevitably harms the best ones as well.

-Ian

Well (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457661)

I forecast an increase of off-shore servers where 'hate sites' can be hosted outisde the juristiction of any other nations (I believe that it's called Happyland or somesuch other silly names - it's an old WW2-era anti-air platform at sea to try and catch bombers coming to bomb the mainland UK, someone too it over and procaimed it a free country & now hosts web servers). Presumably we'll see more of these mini-countries appearing.
The problem here is that laws will just be made to make it possible to prosecute the internet-backbone providers for transmitting the information, and it'll still get blocked (or they just won't run a connection to the mini-countries). No-one can directly control the details of what goes on, but they can bring in draconian measures to stop everything, along with some innocent stuff.

Who's to blame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457668)

I bet its all those damn frenchies. I hate those cheese eating moth. . . uh, oh, there's a ring at the door, I better go check it out. . . . .

First, they ban hate speech... (1)

Ramss Morales (13327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457681)

...because everyone knows that it is bad.

Then, they ban skeptics/atheist/agnostic speech, because "everyone" knows that god is real. Speech that says that there are no gods is bad, so it must be banned.

Then, they finally achieve banning everything related to evolution, because it goes against all religious scriptures, specially the bible. If something goes against your religion, it is bad, and speech related to bad things must be banned.

Then...

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