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Students Downloading Jihadist Material Acquitted

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the it's-ok-to-look dept.

The Internet 318

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Five UK students who were charged under the UK's 2000 Terrorism Act for possession of jihadist materials were acquitted after the jury found that, while they had downloaded the materials, there was no evidence that they were planning any sort of crime. The Lord Chief Justice was quoted as saying, 'Difficult questions of interpretation have been raised in this case by the attempt by the prosecution to use [this law] for a purpose for which it was not intended.'"

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318 comments

Free speech in the UK? (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416060)

Well at least it's good to see that it's not a complete mudslide..

Re:Free speech in the UK? (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416706)

The British courts also ruled that a schizophrenic that thought himself the reincarnation of King Arthur saner than the Conservative Home Office. The courts tend to be less political and a lot saner than the politicos. The House of Lords was another organiztion that opposed such nonsense, which is why the Conservatives gutted it and Labour disembowled what was left. It's hard to buy out a group that need no money and own most of the land. It's hard to get them to be entirely sane, but so long as they're educated, it's a useful group to have as a transient mechanism until society has matured and that group's function is to bring society into maturation. The problem society has to face is that it isn't maturing. If it was, it wouldn't be repeating history. Athens and Wu went bankrupt from wars and got invaded in turn. Alexander the Great and Ghengis Khan found their delusions of power run out through their fingers in their later years, and their deaths caused catastrophic collapses of what could meaningfully be called epic proportions. The systems are probably fine, but a car is fine... if you've the maturity to drive one.

Mirror? (4, Funny)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416072)

Where's a mirror? I'd like to read ....

hang on, someone's at the door.

Re:Mirror? (5, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416138)

the government can't catch you as long as you use a foreign-based prox-- brb door

Re:Mirror? (3, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416550)

Of course, the real place these documents should be available, is Freenet [freenetproject.org]. I haven't yet checked to see if they're available, though, so I can't give you a link.

Re:Mirror? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416198)

Why should this be a joke? It is a legitimate question. I studied islamofascism in college because we HAVE to know our enemy.

It is not enough to say they believe in virgins as better sex than experienced women. It is not enough to say they screw camels, but goats, too!

Seriously, we have to read and know what they say. We have to know their weaknesses. Don't just say, throw them goats. Everyone knows you have to give them a flag to burn, too or they won't get hard. Viagra doesn't even work over there. Its too hot.

Link???

Break the mirror, already! (1)

jdickey (1035778) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417378)

Yes, read and know what they say - NOT what those who would manipulate us would have us believe they say. The fact that you claim to have "studied" "Islamofascism" speaks eloquently to that basic fact. The more people who put their moral blinkers on and check their brains with the ADL (or the Home Office), the closer we will be to the (well-deserved) fall of our own "civilisation".

How novel (5, Insightful)

AP2k (991160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416080)

A judiciary.... adhereing to the spirit of the law. Brilliant!

Yeah, but that just means more totalitarian action (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416556)

Expect requests for terror websites to redirect to 2girls1cup in 3... 2...

Re:How novel (3, Funny)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416696)

For once the crazies lost a case!

Re:How novel (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417382)

Not for long. Josef Vissarionovich Brown and Lavretnij Pavlovich Straw will be amending the legislation shortly and the Congress of People's Deputies will vote for it in the next session based on suggestions of the Central Committee.

This more or less describes the current situation in the Union of Soviet British Republics.

I got my MP on the similar case when a man was disallowed basic chemistry refresher course for thoughtcrime and he got as far as the Home Office. At that point Lavrentij Pavlovich Straw henchmen told him to f*** off. And there is bugger all he can do and because the man is on a control order there is nothing the courts can do either.

Re:How novel (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416992)

Good thing they don't allow these freedom-hating activist judges in America.

(...and a preemptive nod to the sarcasm-hating mods out there, sigh)

- RG>

Well, they are just students, after all. (5, Insightful)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416112)

It might seem like flamebait to say this, but people in their student years are always trying different things out. It's hard for older people to take them seriously sometimes, but that's how its always been.

I remember those days, far back in the distance. As a young campus radical, I remember the way the older, more seasoned off-campus radicals would look at us, with our newfound enthusiasm, and willingness to embrace any new idea. No slogan, no campaign is too outlandish when you're young and inexperienced.

Grumpy older people need to give those younger than themselves some slack. Hell, if the world took every angry-young-man at face value, we'd ALL be in jail.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (0, Flamebait)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416188)

It's hard for older people to take them not seriously. They've seen too many real terrorists and serious threats to give some kids messing around any slack.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (3, Insightful)

Repton (60818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416248)

Really? How many real terrorists have you seen?

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (5, Funny)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416378)

I saw Bush and Cheney on youtube once. So that makes two for me.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (2)

Marful (861873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416412)

They've != I've

Typing in "age of suicide bombers" into google will explain to you pretty quickly the age range of suicide bombers.

So I believe the person whom you were responding too was making a valid observation.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417186)

> Typing in "age of suicide bombers" into ...

The point of the reply (which you missed) was that you should rather have typed in "frequency of suicide bombing".

And of all of those not so frequent suicide bombings, exactly one attack has had significant economic impact, and that was 9/11. The efficient way to have prevented 9/11's economic impact would have been to have had locked cockpit doors, not to fantasize that it is possible (and desirable) to make the world into a police state where no one has access to "jihadist materials" (the fantasy being the lack of access, of course).

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (5, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416646)

This is the UK. I have three letters for you, and they don't stand for Individual Retirement Account.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (5, Insightful)

riggah (957124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416864)

Seriously?

Isn't "terrorist" the new "communist?" It's the new boogey-man word designed to scare everyone into complacency while we cower in our homes and allow things like warrantless wire-tapping to occur.

But I'm getting off topic. America was founded by "terrorists." As was any country who's government was established by any revolution, civil war, or coup; they were all started by a few "terrorists" (with few exceptions, I suppose).

Islamofascists are the new Communists (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417106)

Isn't "terrorist" the new "communist?"

No, "violent Islamist" is the new Communist. You were listing apples and chicken wings — Communism is an ideology/aim, terrorism is just a method — there were plenty of Communist terrorists too. Just as Communism in the 20th century, Islamism (not the faith, but the way of life and the society) is realizing, that it is losing to the Western civilization. It can not offer the followers neither the freedoms, nor the economic benefits offered by the competitors. It can not afford an open military conflict either. Terrorism is, pretty much, to fight for those, who must fight.

We will defeat them just as we defeated the "Red Army Faction" [wikipedia.org], the "Shining Path" [wikipedia.org] (Sendero Luminoso) and other Communist terrorists. It will take time — FARC [wikipedia.org] is still alive and kicking, for example, but we'll get there...

America was founded by "terrorists."

Nope, that's not true. "Terrorism" is not just a dirty word — it refers to a very specific tactics to achieve ideological/political goals: violence targeting civilians. America's founders did not do that...

Re:Islamofascists are the new Communists (5, Insightful)

riggah (957124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417224)

My point is about the way the word is used. The word "communist" was used to induce fear and justify a war economy just the way the word "terrorist" is being used now to justify a war machine and domestic surveillance.

History is written by the victorious; I'm sure similar words were used to describe the founding fathers as they threw tea into a harbor. You're absolutely correct in your definition of both words, but I was simply stating that "terrorist" is the new catch-word that has America rolling over and giving away its civil liberties in the the name of security.

Re:Islamofascists are the new Communists (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417370)

I don't know if it was the word as much as it was historical actions of political entities who claimed to have been communists. Even if we forget all about germany for the sake of godwin's law, we have Russia rolling in to some countries and pretty much making the same posturing threats as what started WW2. Then when you take all forms of democracy out of the picture and watch Stalin's death machine, look to Vietnam and the subsequent killing fields there, North Korea wanting to invade south korea, and all, there was quite a bit to be scared of even knowing that the forms of communism wasn't true communism.

I mean claiming it is a word without meaning is sort of like saying Fuck or bastard are arbitrary words that people all the sudden decided was bad to say on day. There is a history amongst it that gave the bad, scary, and evil stigma to it.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417140)

Ah, I believe this is very historically false. Revolution, civil war, and coup are not all necessarily acts of terrorism. Certainly, in the case of the American revolution, it was an open war. It was, if I may use the two terms in the same sentence, a somewhat honorable war in this: the US (not exactly the "US" at that time) declared that they were independent of Britain; Britain sent military force to subdue their "colonies," and the "US" fought back. That's very different from various peoples usually adhering to a certain religious idea (radical Islam, for example) simply trying to create fear and destruction because they oppose what another country stands for.

"Terrorist" is the new "Nazi." Except even the Nazis at least somewhat openly declared war, and were associated with a nation. The problem with modern-day terrorists is that they come from an ideological view without officially being tied to a country; if all these terrorists that blow up various western civilizations (yes, they have it out for western civilization and non-Muslims, not just the US or Britain) were really officially the Iran National Army, I doubt Iran would last very long. However, whether or not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is unofficially or secretly helping terrorists is a lot harder to figure out.

I'll give an analogy. Imagine that suddenly, a sect of Christianity began to strike blow up various sites that it deemed were havens for atheists (e.g., liberal "atheist" universities, or something). There'd be a huge outcry against that. However, it's hard to take military action to stop it, because the "Christians" would not be associated with a specific country.

Another example. Let's say that a variety of Americans began bombing all sorts Eastern civilizations, various places. Terrorism, basically, but this time Western going for the East. That'd be a big deal, and it'd be hard to fight against.

There's the problem. How do you stop independent (seemingly, at any rate, it's hard to tell) citizens from acts of terrorism? In the case of Islamic terrorists, should we go after countries that apparently knowingly harbor/support them? Reverse the tables; if American citizens were randomly blowing up Islamic sites, would you support forcing the US to do something about it?

Frankly, I think there's a big double standard. It's one thing for a country to declare war and officially fight; it's another to try to maintain an official peace while letting its citizens (without much apparent concern for it, if not actually supporting the activity) commit acts of terrorism from a purely ideological and religious standpoint.

One last note... I'm not sure communism is a "boogey-man" word. Tell some Korean or Vietnamese people that communism is really just a boogey-man. You might find the ones that actually know what communism is, stands for, and does of a differing opinion than, say, Americans who really know nothing about suppression, persecution, etc.

IMO, no matter how bad you think ANY US president was, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't particularly have wanted to be a citizen under Mao Tse Tung, Stalin, or Hussein. We even still have the freedom to criticize presidents. Without getting killed.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (5, Insightful)

riggah (957124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417386)

First off, my point was that both words are simply being used to induce fear; "terrorist" to justify the stripping of civil liberties in the interest of "security", and "communist" as a rationale for nuclear proliferation and a huge military-industrial complex. Both are "boogey-man" words in the sense that they are being used to induce fear and complacency in the American public. I wasn't commenting on the technical, idealogical, or philosophical meaning of either; I was commenting on their use as propaganda in the US to sway public opinion.

Second, if you want to get technical, before the USA became the USA it was a group of British colonies. A few men within those colonies took up arms and committed acts that could be loosely defined as terrorism before the movement became a revolution and the colonies declared independence. The British would've called them terrorists at the time, not revolutionaries. Again, propaganda is far removed from fact.

Your points are all valid and I agree with you, but I think you misconstrued the point I was making (or I wasn't very clear about it). Well... I agree with you for the most part, but I will say that someone like Stalin used Communism as an excuse for Totalitarianism; Communism was ruined as soon as Humans got involved.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (3, Informative)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417298)

America was founded by "terrorists."
No, America was founded by "rebels". There's a huge difference. Those "rebels" did not use terror to achieve political aims. They used military force, by raising an army in the field, building our own seagoing attack vessels (pretty much was useless, read some history for some amusing / interesting tales), and enlisting the help of foreign nationals (the French).

Americans were criticized for unsportsmanlike conduct, such as specific targeting of officers by sharpshooters. But it's a complete myth that we fought the British mostly by small skirmishes. The simple fact was, it was a large standing army, fought in traditional fashion, that eventually defeated the British (with the help of a Naval blockade). George Washington led this army from the front lines, and it's a miracle he was never even touched by a bullet or cannon fire.

I know that America-bashing is all the rage these days, but to casually equate the folks who founded the US with modern terrorism is such a ridiculous notion, I really don't even know where to begin except to recommend you educate yourself. Yes, it's foolish to believe that the founding fathers were somehow infallible, or not without faults, but all in all, they were a remarkable group of people who are worth learning about with an open mind.

I've got no qualms about making sure hard-won liberties are not easily surrendered, but leave our "rebel" ancestors out of this.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (1)

riggah (957124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417414)

Don't accuse me of America-bashing, please. I was speaking in terms of the words as tools of propaganda. I'm glad you're patriotic and so am I, but a rebel can surely be called a terrorist by those whom they're rebelling against.

Student or not... (5, Insightful)

Etherwalk (681268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416270)

If I go to a white supremacist web site, that doesn't necessarily mean I endorse their views. Even if I download their materials it doesn't--maybe I just find it disgusting and want to show it to someone who won't believe it's as bad as it is. Maybe I want to study it and figure out something about the psychology of the people involved. The same thing applies to terrorism, and... well, pretty much anything a student reads, or any person reads. *Reading* should not be a crime, with the possible exception of some classified/secret documents... whose classification is beyond the scope of this paragraph. =)

Re:Student or not... (2, Insightful)

lionheart1327 (841404) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416530)

Exactly. I'm Jewish and I've gone to sites to read Mein Kampf and The Turner Diaries.
That doesn't make me a white-supremacist, just someone who thinks its important to understand your enemies.

Re:Student or not... (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417366)

That's an argument some politicians in the UK either cannot or refuse to understand. I listened to an interview ages ago on BBC Radio 4, can't remember who was being interviewed, but one person was putting forward the idea that we should try to understand why people feel the need to become suicide bombers (post 9/11 btw).

The other person (a Tory politician I think), argued against this by saying that these people were completely irrational, that they could not be understood because their activities were just so abhorrent (or something along those lines).

So obviously he was throwing the 'know your enemy' mantra right out the window, in an effort to avoid appearing to be justifying their actions. He failed to see the distinction between 'understanding' and 'justifying'.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416330)

Hell, if the world took every angry-young-man at face value, we'd ALL be in jail.
If you really get to know anyone who works as a prosecutor or in law enforcement, you'll soon find out that they want as many people (err, males) as possible to be in jail. That is just how they think. The problem is when they are provided with arbitrary authority to act out on their impulse to imprison or dominate everyone else. Soccer mom politics of paranoid fear have provided law enforcement the authority to arrest and detain anyone who appears to actually have a pair of testicles. In the U.S., being a young radical is so far beyond the pale of what is socially acceptable that it has essentially ended. Absolute political stagnation and a decay of our greatness has been the inevitable result.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (0, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416478)

Young campus radicals like your former self formed the Weather Underground, SLA, RAF, and other terrorist groups. These actually did shoot people, rob banks, and blow up buildings. And these were in the tame days of the 70s, when you had to give people bomb instructions by hand, or photocopy.

Reading jihadist materials from the internet is one of the ways that ordinary people become radicals. I'm sure your "information wants to be free" types will be out here defending it, but let's be honest, your average Muhammad isn't going to build his own bomb so he can ride the subway without reading instructions on how to do so. Racist skinheads also use online materials to self-radicalize, and I bet that nobody here would be against coming down hard on them.

Examples of people making the jump from online materials to radical Islam are the two leading members of the cell responsible for the July 7, 2005, London bombings -- Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shahzad Tanweer. Both had life-changing experiences through their exposure to online materials, though by 2001 the men had left the Tablighi mosque they had been attending in the British city of Beeston, because they found it to be too apolitical. They apparently were frustrated by the mosque's elders, who forbid the discussion of politics in the mosque.

After Khan and Tanweer left the Tablighi mosque, they began attending the smaller Iqra Learning Center bookstore in Beeston, where they reportedly were exposed to frequent political discussions about places such as Iraq, Kashmir and Chechnya. The store's proprietors reportedly even produced jihad videos depicting crimes by the West against the Muslim world. Exposed to this environment, the two men eventually became radicalized to the point of traveling to Pakistan to attend a terrorist training camp and then returning to the United Kingdom to plan and execute a suicide attack that resulted in the death of them both.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416926)

...Reading jihadist materials from the internet is one of the ways that ordinary people become radicals...

Your arguments are not very well thought out. Perhaps a review of causality, particularily the areas of necessary causes and sufficient causes would help.

Those who seek to control/decide what we can and cannot read, what we can and cannot be taught, what we can and cannot know, and what we can and cannot think are the real terrorists. Those are the people that we should be very afraid of and we should fight endlessly against them to preserve our freedom to think for ourselves.

Some would seek to control the information that people can know about. That breeds fear (of the unknown) and thus reinforces the need to strip more rights and freedoms in the name of security. America is already caught in this feed-back loop.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (3, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416948)

Reading jihadist materials from the internet is one of the ways that ordinary people become radicals.

"Jihadist" and "internet" are irrelevant. Reading stuff, from Common Sense to Mein Kampf to Letter from Birmingham Jail, is one of the ways that people become radicals - whether radical haters, or radical workers for justice.

Racist skinheads also use online materials to self-radicalize, and I bet that nobody here would be against coming down hard on them.

If "coming down hard" means using the violence of government censorship in a futile attempt to prevent other violence, I'd be against it.

They apparently were frustrated by the mosque's elders, who forbid the discussion of politics in the mosque.

Let's see here: certain discussions are forbidden. People therefore have them underground, in a context of ignorance. Violence results. Your example argues for frank and open discussion, not for censorship.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416974)

Yes information can be life changing, but let us leave it up the person exposed to that information make the decision to break the law. Not let the law the decide what information can be disseminated.

Mark the parent up, it's right on the money (1)

mackermacker (250587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416496)

Students are rebellions, and although we are all curious well into life and most likely forever, we all have probably done things in college we would no longer consider with careers, family, children, etc. Something like this sets a scary president. For instance, I am no longer interested in googling search terms such as (at the time, it was yahoo):

- Bet Middler from behind
- Bet Middler Anal
- Bet Middler, Flute, #2 pencil
- Bet Middler, pot, cyanide
- Bet Middler, Beta, Used, spycam, whipcream
- Bet Middler, difference, satan (no search results)

Basically, it's just kids who are curious. I am curious how everyone in the world knows how to make bombs but me, yet I don't plan to do it anytime soon. I am also curious about this big black hole in those intertubes called 'goatse', yet I', old enough where I will not pursue further study.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (5, Insightful)

dindi (78034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416504)

I agree 100% .... never used a blue/red/black/whatever color phreaking box, still owned the manual because I was interested (would never have worked in Europe anyways). Never was a social democrat, still downloaded Mein Kampf to own it, read it, understand a different point of view. Also owned the terrorists' handbook to obtain interesting information. Do I want to blow stuff up? Well. maybe coke cans in myh backyard, but definetely not US soldiers or the president. Still as a learning person I THINK knowing how to make a bomb, how to shoot a rifle or how to pick a lock might come handy. Hey could even save my life.

Would I download jihadist material? Well, maybe it would not come too much handy, but it is definitely interesting. Hey it could even save your (or others lives).

This is censorship. Wrong censorship. People download stuff available to download. Whatever it is. Video, text file, program ...... just see more of this world. They should explain it why it is wrong, not forbid to see an other point of view at all.

just my 2c .....

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (4, Informative)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416824)

If you had actually read Mein Kampf you would have discovered Hitler wasn't a social democrat but a national socialist.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417232)

"Never was a social democrat, still downloaded Mein Kampf to own it, read it, understand a different point of view."

I really hope this was a typo...

Otherwise, your level of historical understanding is frighteningly bad.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (1)

smurgy (1126401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416648)

Quite. I will always remember one student friend denouncing another as a fascist for daring to make the radical remark that if he had a wife and family he would deem it appropriate to pursue a career in order to provide for them.

Said friend now fights to bring about socialist utopia by selling computers at a major retailer. Vive la revolution!

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416676)

It's hard for older people to take them seriously sometimes, but that's how its always been.
No. The older have themselves been younger.

The problem is that it is impossible for the older to know when the kids take the stuff (too) seriously. Kids, OTOH, do not "trust" the elders, and this has always been the same.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417484)

Kids, OTOH, do not "trust" the elders,

And when it comes to things like government, they *shouldn't* trust the elders because the watchers need to be watched. Not to mention the fact that many politicians are not acting in the best interest of the people which they are supposed to serve even if they aren't being downright hostile to their constituents.

Blindly trusting and following a government, among other things, leads to the erosion of rights - slowly over a period of decades, and it seems that the realization that this is what has been happening both in the US and the UK is starting to dawn on mainstream society. Whether or not the populace will try to change that is yet to be seen.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (1, Flamebait)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416786)

You seem rather naive about Jihad. It's not some silly ideological bandwagon for teenagers, it's holy war against infidels. Jihadists kill people, or at least try to. Many Muslim youths have left their homes in the West to join the global Jihad.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417026)

Flamebait.

Great. The leftist thugs of Slashdot are still persecuting me in full force.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (2)

martinX (672498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417076)

Simply downloading and reading is not a crime. I've read Mein Kampf and I'm not a Nazi, I've read the bomb-maker's guide and I don't blow shit up, I saw LOTR and I'm not going on a silly quest. The cops need to look for more than this for a crime.

Re:Well, they are just students, after all. (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417194)

saw LOTR and I'm not going on a silly quest.
Next your going to tell me Beren's quest to wrest a Silmarill from the crown of Morgoth was silly. I take offense sir, it was the efforts of many, not the least of which Frodo. That have allowed us to have this discourse without being persecuted by the dark ones minions!

Information Wants... (2, Insightful)

tshetter (854143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416122)

Information wants to be Free. You cant stop people from knowing. You cant stop people from teaching.

Re:Information Wants... (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416304)

Mao did a pretty good job by killing and locking everyone up. If you kill everyone with the information, no one wants to free it.

Re:Information Wants... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416772)

You cant stop people from knowing. You cant stop people from teaching.


Chairman Mao [wikipedia.org] disagrees.

I have the solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416152)

Let's just shoot them! That'd teach them to download in a democratic state!

YOU DON'T DO THAT!

duh! (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416202)

Don't you think it's compeltely reasonable and possible that someone would download that sort of thing to see what terrorists think and what they're planning? I'm not saying they did that necessarily but someone could so that's a stupid law.

HA HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416206)

Jihad sucks!

What a sec...

Better solution (4, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416230)

If you don't want your students to read something, have one of their professors assign it as homework and mention that there will be no grade or quiz.

Better yet, say there *will* be a quiz and then symlink "Jihadist Pamphlet Cliffnotes" to "Partial Differential Equations Vol. I, II, and III" in the google results.

Incendiary Device (4, Funny)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416242)

I read instructions on how to operate an incendiary device.
I hope they don't arrest me for potentially committing future arson.
I believe the instructions said "close cover strike match".

Re:Incendiary Device (1)

JazzyMusicMan (1012801) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416388)

Your post reminds me of Minority Report...if this case turns out to be a rarity in our post-9/11 world, I wouldn't doubt that you could be punished for crimes they think you will commit.

Re:Incendiary Device (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416406)

Now I wish I hadn't posted -- I would have used my mod points to correct the unfair "offtopic" mod. The question in my mind would be: insightful or funny.

Re:Incendiary Device (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417442)

I read instructions on how to operate an incendiary device.
You mean like the "Reply to this" link on slashdot?

Soon To Be Illegal In The USA Too.. (3, Interesting)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416446)

""Though Saffran says he finds these First Amendment issues "dubious," in a letter to Internet executives he argues that no one has a constitutional right to use private property to facilitate terrorism.
"You have the right," he writes, "and ... the moral obligation to stop them from doing so.""

We have a "moral" obligation to stop our great discoveries in history from being propagated to the masses because some might use it incorrectly(note, this is not yelling fire in a packed theatre)? Please keep in mind, 4 grad students built the bomb (in design) to specifications that current atomic scientist said would actually chain react and detonate, using books that were publically available, but they're scared of information that might enable one to make dynamite? If someone is smart enough and motivated enought to make dynamite, they could do far, far, worse without explosives imo.

link please... (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416762)

Where can I get some background or read more about this?

Re:link please... (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416844)

The first statement is made online, just quote in google here [csmonitor.com]. I found it while looking up a law I remember a while back that makes looking up bomb material in the US illegal, though I couldn't find actual articles on it (I still believe this is illegal according to fed law, but cannot find a source). The grad comment was discovered after reading a book on the history of the bomb in a library, talking about how difficult it is to make the models that allow the bomb to chain react. The grad students did it in around 4 years if I remember correctly. (design only, would need actual fissible material to make the real thing, like isotopes of plutonium/uranium).

Re:link please... (3, Informative)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416886)

OK, found relavent material...

"By contrast, 18 U.S.C. 231(a)(1) -- like the proposed Feinstein Amendment -- arguably could be characterized as a prohibition on certain forms of speech. Section 231(a)(1) provides that: Whoever teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm or explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that the same will be unlawfully employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder which may in any way or degree obstruct, delay, or adversely affect commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce or the conduct or performance of any federally protected function . . . [s]hall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/bombmakinginfo.html#IVA [usdoj.gov] "

link here [usdoj.gov] May just be violation of 1st...

Re:link please... (3, Informative)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417124)

Actually that law doesn't say what you say it does. Note knowing or having reason to know or intending that the same will be unlawfully employed. It's not saying you can't teach someone how to make a bomb, it's not saying you can't learn to make a bomb. It's saying that it's not ok to teach someone who you know is going to use that bomb how to make a bomb.

The reason to know is a bit wishy washy, but it's probably just a catch all for situations where you have a guy who goes into a room full of plans to blow something up claiming he didn't know that's what they were going to do with the bomb.

Personally I think this law is probably pretty much unecessary, as IMO, knowingly providing someone the means to commit an illegal act in this fashion should be covered under "conspiracy to commit _______" offense tree.

It's not illegal to sell a man a gun, but if someone asks you to sell him a gun so he can murder his wife you're treading on dangerous ground if you do it, and five years and a fine is probably pretty lenient.

Re:link please... (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417218)

"or having reason to know", pretty much covers any public dissemination of the information, because any "reasonable" person would expect that, over the course of a million hits, at least one will be for a purpose that interferes with interstate commerce, or the other provisions of the statute... Violation of 1st still, and I know the law said what I thought it said, thanks though.

Re:link please... (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417280)

This is why an article prepared by the United States Department of Justice would include a sentence saying "arguably could be characterized as a prohibition on certain forms of speech".

This is the sentence that sways the arguement in my favor, imo.

Re:link please... (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417374)

P.S., These laws are made by lawyers! So you have to know when they say "reason to know", they are alluding to the "reasonable person" which is the average person, and the average person knows that if enough people views their content, at least one of them will be viewing for unlawful purposes. This lead to the USDOJ comment on how said law may be in violation of the 1st, because the DOJ is seperate from congress, and knows the law as opposed to congress.

Re:Soon To Be Illegal In The USA Too.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416916)

Soon to be illegal? Have we all forgotten José Padilla?

US citizen, charged with aiding terrorism, shipped off to Gitmo for three years with no trial, and finally sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Why?

Because he "provided material support to terrorism" - in other words, converted to Islam and visited Iraq.

Actually they were... (4, Interesting)

matria (157464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416580)

This whole thing came up because one of the students left home to join the others; they were intending to go fight in some unspecified foreign country. The student's parents called the police to report him missing when he sneaked out. Investigating his disappearance uncovered the material. But then I read the article yesterday.

Re:Actually they were... (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416704)

Going to fight in a foreign country isn't a crime either... unless the UK has jurisdiction in said foreign country.

Re:Actually they were... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417406)

If your fighting ends up killing someone under the jurisdiction of the UK, it is illegal. At least that is the way it works in the US.

Somehow I doubt the UK would let one of their citizens or military members be murdered by another citizen and not care because it happened in some place they didn't control.

Excuses, excuses... (2, Informative)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416600)

I'm very sad to see so many people here making excuses for these young men's jihadist tendencies. Equating the perps extremist religious motives with the Western notion of youthful experimentation or benign curiosity is insulting to everyone, even the jihadis.

These guys were caught because one of them wrote a "bye, I'm going to fight for Allah" note to his parents. He promised to engage in conventional warfare (as opposed to domestic terrorism). He quoted two passages from the Koran to support his position:

Surah al-baqarah 2:216: Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not.

And:

Surah at-tawbah 9:29 Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

The letter is here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/13_02_08_rajaletter1.pdf [bbc.co.uk]

I hope all of you defenders of freedom get that.

Re:Excuses, excuses... (5, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416656)

These guys were caught because one of them wrote a "bye, I'm going to fight for Allah" note to his parents. He promised to engage in conventional warfare (as opposed to domestic terrorism).

Well, not to support religious nutters of any persuasion, but if he had written "I'm off to fight for Christ, but only in conventional warfare somewhere Christians are being oppressed and killed" would anybody even bat an eyelid? Even less so: if they'd said they were going to Israel to fight for the preservation of the Jewish homeland?

Probably the best solution would be to put anyone espousing religious ideas into a mental hospital until they get better.

TWW

Re:Excuses, excuses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417294)

Amen

Re:Excuses, excuses... (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417430)

Yea, they would care. Especially is they were going to join a side that was hostile to the homeland (the UK).

And 60 years ago, they would have been prosecuted for going to Israel too.

Don't look at this as people going to "work or war" for god, look at it as people going to join the enemy side of a force at war with you.

Re:Excuses, excuses... (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417470)

Well, not to support religious nutters of any persuasion, but if he had written "I'm off to fight for Christ, but only in conventional warfare somewhere Christians are being oppressed and killed" would anybody even bat an eyelid?
Well, yes.
Christians aren't trying to militarily solve the issue of religious oppression. The only thing close is the Karin rebels that defend and resupply Karin villagers in Burma. Even then, the conflict is ethnic in nature, not religious. Oppression certainly happens on religious grounds (ie oppression by Islamic/Atheistic governments) but I've never heard of Christians taking up arms and flying to China to fight against the government.

Even less so: if they'd said they were going to Israel to fight for the preservation of the Jewish homeland?
Closer - still an ethnic dispute (since Israel proclaims itself to be a secular state, albeit apartheidist), but with strong religious tones.

Probably the best solution would be to put anyone espousing religious ideas into a mental hospital until they get better.
Are you proposing to put yourself in a mental hospital? Because if what you really meant was "Probably the best solution would be to put anyone espousing religious ideas that disagree with mine into a mental hospital until they get better" then there is philosophically no difference between your statement and the people you are criticising. I'm of the view that freedom of religion (as guaranteed by the UN Convention on Human Rights) means also accepting that others will have a view that differs from my own. Perhaps you should do the same.

 

Re:Excuses, excuses... (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416714)

Then arrest him for things that he stated (in writing) he was planning to do, not for what he had on his bookshelf.

Re:Excuses, excuses... (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417154)

So, if you have a gun(or look up explosives, see my other post where telling how to make a gun is illegal in the usa), and "believe" in materials that say murder is acceptable for the ends that God has in mind, and state the same, you're guilty (means and conspiracy)? Doesn't this reflect the views of say, 30 PERCENT of the US population (that believe in God and will kill at his command, even if he or she hears it in the wild and it says kill their own son)?

I confess (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416630)

I smashed into a building in Flight Simulator(tm). Please, go easy on the water-boarding, I'm allergic to water.

Shoot Them Now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416668)

Why wait for them to kill someone?

Frosted Butts (5, Funny)

TurinPT (1226568) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416670)

Bottle Bomb

Ingredients:

* 20 oz soda bottle (empty and dry on the inside)
* black powder (the more fine the better)
* steady burning long wick (at least 15 seconds delay) Instructions:

o Poke a small hole in the cap of the soda bottle.
o Pour a small amount of black powder into the bottle (just enough to cover the bottom with a thin layer, but totally covered, no empty spots on the bottom).
o Insert wick into the cap about halfway and put a bend in the wick.
Note: Be careful not to break the wick or it will shorten it causing possibly disastrous results.
o Screw the cap on the bottle tightly and set somewhere so that it is standing up.
o Light the fuse and get back about 30 feet. Watch the bottle to light up orange. The second after this happens the bottle blows up.

How it works:
The fuse drops onto the layer of black powder in the bottom of the bottle after it burns through the hole. The wick ignites the powder causing it to burn. This builds up pressure inside the bottle causing it to explode.
I have seen these fly up to 25 feet. You can try experimenting with different size bottles or, try a glass bottle with a metal cap if you have steel balls!!! Note- I'm not sure it has enough pressure to blow a glass bottle apart. It may just act like a rocket engine and flare.


There. Now were all criminals.

Re:Frosted Butts (0, Flamebait)

dr.g (158917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22416968)

For the improvement of mankind, please sub the following in those instructions:

Bottle Bomb

Ingredients:

* 20 oz soda bottle (empty and dry on the inside)
* black powder (the more fine the better)
* steady burning short wick (no more than 2 seconds delay)

Thank yew.

Re:Frosted Butts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22417216)

Why did you do that?
Bush just vetoed the bill that would punish torture... arrehn, sorry, harsh interrogations. So, now, torture... arrehn, sorry again, harsh interrogations are not a crime, and as Bush said they are even totally lawful.

The US Senate just approved a bill that protects all the Phone Cos. and ISPs that steal our private info, arrehn, sorry once more, cooperate with the law enforcement agencies, on spying on American citizens lives without need of a search warrant, ohmyGawd, sorry, I must've said, on intercept enemy communications that can threat the well being of American people.

My cavities are still hurting from my last cavity search, and now we are all down to DEEP cavities searching thanks to your bottle bomb!

Let's see ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416694)

Possession of images of people who have been killed doesn't get you punished for being a murderer. Check.
Possession of pamphlets of jihadist material doesn't get you punished for being a terrorist. Check.
Possession of images of nude children does get you punished for being a pedophile. Um ... check?

While not endorsing anything, I'd just like to point out that some bogeymen are bigger than the others, and it feels kind of relieving that even after all the fearmongering the 'terrorist' one is still not the champion when it comes to trumping rationality.

What the? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22416960)

What was the jihadist material? The Koran? Hadiths?

Like I'm going to read the article.

Re:What the? (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417356)

What was the jihadist material? The Koran?
I know your being an ass, and this article is talking about the Brits. But we ain't that far from them, or vice versa. And for the record the copy of the Qur'an I read was from the Boise State School library (that'd be Idaho). Good read, not much different from any other mainstream religious text I've read. I recommend it to any other agnostic that seeks to have a broad and well informed discussion with there peers.

In other news (0, Offtopic)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417258)

Defendent Akbar Butt was glad some common sense saved his saved his rear and is glad to put the episode behind him. In recent weeks, Akbar Butt's life has hit rock bottom. But, to quote Akbar Butt, he "is glad the Justice System was not sitting on the job on this one". In comment, Akbar the Great [wikipedia.org] said that Akbar Butt better watch his ass in the future.

Re:In other news (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417478)

Well, Akbar is just lucky he went to trial in the UK and not in Afghanistan where you can be killed instead of just imprisoned for similar stuff.

Jihadists Material (1)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417388)

Whats the difference between watching a bunch of Asians kill people or American Soldiers. Maybe If I started watching American soldiers kill people I might become an "American Terrorist" right? Wrong because most people are morons and can see that the only difference is the nationality/side on which these people are on.
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