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A Comparative Study of Internet Censorship

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the maybe-it's-the-third-world-maybe-it's-your-first-time-around dept.

Censorship 195

An anonymous reader suggests we visit the home of the watchdog group Global Integrity for a breakdown of online censorship: "Using data from the Global Integrity Index, we put a US court's recent order to block access to anti-corruption site Wikileaks.org into context. In summary: This is unheard of in the West, and has only been seen in a handful of the most repressive regimes. Good thing it doesn't work very well... The whole event seems to encapsulate the constant criticism of governance in the United States: that the government has been captured by corporate interests, and that the world-leading rule of law and technocratic mechanisms in place can be hijacked to serve as tools for narrow, wealthy interests."

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195 comments

Alternate Access to Wikileaks (5, Informative)

anthonys_junk (1110393) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484706)

WikiLeaks is available at it's IP address: http://88.80.13.160/ [88.80.13.160] also a mirror site: http://wikileaks.be/ [wikileaks.be] For the docs at the centre of the controversy, you can get them at http://cryptome.org/wikileaks-bjb.htm [cryptome.org]

Re:Alternate Access to Wikileaks (4, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485044)

I cannot believe how many articles there are, like on Boston.com [boston.com] that report the judge ordered the website shutdown:

Website ordered closed over documents dispute
A federal judge has set off a free speech tempest after shutting down a US website ... Dynadot agreed to shut down the site and bar Wikileaks from transferring the domain name to another host.

When will people learn how the Internet actually works?

Re:Alternate Access to Wikileaks (2, Insightful)

Raphael (18701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485682)

A federal judge has set off a free speech tempest after shutting down a US website ... Dynadot agreed to shut down the site and bar Wikileaks from transferring the domain name to another host.
When will people learn how the Internet actually works?

They do understand how the Internet actually works. The issue is that Wikileaks has servers in several countries. Countries that have laws protecting freedom of speech and legal procedures that prevent or slow down attempts at censorship.

The bank knew that trying to shut down or block all these servers would be very difficult, so they went for the weakest point: the domain name, which is controlled by the US company. As this case shows, it seems to be easier to restrict free speech in the US than in other countries (e.g., European countries like Sweden, which hosts the server with the IP address 88.80.13.160).

Of course, blocking the domain name will not make the information disappear: several links using IP addresses of the servers are already circulating, as well as alternate domain names hosted outside the US (e.g., wikileaks.be). But this is certainly good enough as a first step: this instantly breaks all direct links to wikileaks.org until these links are updated, and it makes it much harder for the average Internet user to access the site. The average user does not know how to work around these issues by finding out the IP addresses of the servers, finding mirrors or using alternate DNS providers. While the domain name is blocked, the bank can try to get the servers and mirrors shut down, a process that takes much longer than simply blocking the domain name.

The outcome will depend very much on how the press and other media talks about this case. If the reports about this censorship are published in the mainstream press during the next days and generate a lot of public discussion that lasts for several weeks, then it will be a net loss for the bank (the Streisand effect). On the other hand, if there are a few articles about this but no real discussion after a few days, then it will be a win for the bank because nobody will really pay attention to what is happening and the domain name will remain blocked. I hope that their cost/benefit analysis for this case was wrong and that the media will talk a lot about this. We will see...

Re:Alternate Access to Wikileaks (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22487360)

You raise a good point. All this demonstrates is that Dynadot and other registrars hold too much power, and no restraint from exercising that power (i.e. they can pull the plug on a website's domain name whenever they feel like it).

Perhaps the Bill of Rights needs be extended, not just to Federal and State governments, but also corporations to guarantee free speech of corporate employees and customers. If the Bill of Rights (or similar document) were extended to corporations, Dynadot would not be able to pull anybody's domain name, cause then it would be violating constitutional law (the publisher's right to free press/speech), and Dynadot could be punished for criminal acts.

Oh, and before you discuss "corporation rights".
Corporations are not people.
Corporations are not entitled to rights like "free speech".
Anymore than a rock or stone is entitled to human rights.

Only entities with souls (i.e. human beings) are "endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights". A corporation does not have a soul; it has no endowment of rights.

Re:Alternate Access to Wikileaks (1)

$random_var (919061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486288)

When will people learn how the Internet actually works?

Hopefully no time soon... otherwise judges like this will make it even harder to circumvent their ridiculous orders.

More alternative links. Excerpts from the story. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486504)

More alternative links, besides www.wikileaks.be [wikileaks.be]:
www.wikileaks.ws [wikileaks.ws]
www.wikileaks.cx [wikileaks.cx]

WikiLeaks information about the story at the Sunshine Press copy of WikiLeaks: Cayman Tax Avoidance [sunshinepress.org].

The way WikiLeaks recommends to find stories about the censorship: Google News [google.com].

Excellent article: Wikileaks' Leaked Documents Blocked But Unbowed [informationweek.com]. I got all the above information from that article.

Quotes from the Cryptome.org story [cryptome.org] mentioned in the parent comment:

"The website WikiLeaks.org has been taken off line in many parts of the world. "

"Several factors have taken the site off line including DDoS attacks, which was followed by a fire which took out the main servers hosting the site in Sweden..."

Wikileaks previously published hundreds of documents obtained from a whistleblower of the Swiss Bank, "purportedly showing offshore tax evasion and money laundering by extremely wealthy and in some cases, politically sensitive, clients from the US, Europe, China and Peru."

Silly (4, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484736)

This is a silly article. That court order was one minor judge, and he backed off it almost the second he let the words slip from his mouth. Further, the rulings of one low level judge does make law. If there was actual precedence set by having this work up the chain of courts, you might have an argument. Until that time, this is just one crappy judge who can have everything he says promptly overturned by the many layers of judges higher than him.

If you want to look at real censorship in the west, turn your eyes outside of the US. The US has no censorship laws around hate speech and almost no libel laws. Almost anything short of conspiracy to commit a crime is a-okay in the US. You can safely write or speak that you think the Holocaust is a hoax, that all the should die, and that is a whore who fucks pigs and goats. None of the above will get you in trouble with US law. All of the above would get you in trouble in more than one European nation. I am not saying that extremely weak libel laws and a lack of hate speech laws is a good thing, just that it decidedly tips the US over on the "free speech" spectrum farther than the vast majority of other nations out there.

There are a lot of complaints you can level against the US like starting wars, kidnapping and torturing people, extra judicial prisons, warrantless wiretaping, etc. That said, free speech is one places where the US is about as liberal as one can possibly be and takes it to extremes that few other nations do.

Correction (2, Informative)

Shihar (153932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484754)

*This is a silly article. That court order was one minor judge, and he backed off it almost the second he let the words slip from his mouth. Further, the rulings of one low level judge does NOT make law.

The issue is a culture of corruption, not 1 judge. (4, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486328)

Shihar, I agree with what you said. However, it seems to me that people, including you, don't deal with abuse very well.

Note that the grandparent comment to this one, which is your extremely sensible observations, is moderated 0, Flamebait, and the parent comment, which is a minor and obvious correction you wrote, is +3, Informative. That's crazy.

The "one minor judge" has succeeded in stopping most access to the WikiLeaks site, except for technically knowledgeable people. That shows the mood of the U.S. government. There is no cry from the U.S. government to restore free speech.

The problem is not just "one minor judge". It is an entire governmental culture of corruption. See this thread in another Slashdot story (which includes comments I wrote): The U.S. government is too corrupt to investigate corruption. [slashdot.org] That comment is moderated "60% Insightful, 40% Flamebait" as I write this. Perhaps 60% of the readers understand the issues, and 40% want to avoid thinking about abusive situations.

In actuality, the U.S. Constitution says that Congress can make no law against free speech. It doesn't say that the U.S. government cannot allow misleading speech, or do other things to prevent free expression. The governmental guarantee is much weaker than most people realize. The power of the rich who want corruption is much stronger than most people realize.

Re:The issue is a culture of corruption, not 1 jud (2, Insightful)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486960)

Yes, part of the problems of the US people is that they can't stand critics and intellectuals, it's their own fault that they are in such a mess.

Re:Silly (2, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484756)

This is a silly article. That court order was one minor judge, and he backed off it almost the second he let the words slip from his mouth.
Huh? Whois on wikileaks.org still shows the domain as "inactive", so, even if he backed off, the effects of his judgment are still in place.

Re:Silly (2, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484792)

The judge later amended the court order to state that the bank documents need to be removed and took out calling for the domain to be taken. The domain is still down, but the site is still exist with its IP and is mirrored just about everywhere. The larger point is that one silly little low level court judge made a really dumb order that is going to stand for about 30 seconds before he gets smacked around by a bigger judge with a bigger beating stick. Further, this type of action is pocket change compared to hate sites and libel cases that are common in Europe. The US has problems, weak free speech laws are not one of them.

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485736)

Actually, it is one of them, but as long as you're going to stick your head in the sand and claim that you're the biggest, best, freest, most badass or whatever else you might come up with, you're not going to solve that particular problem - or any problem you're facing really.

Re:Silly (2, Insightful)

red star hardkore (1242136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485784)

Instead of just implying that you have more freedom of speech in the US than in Europe, can you actually prove that? I live within the EU, and I can say whatever I want to who ever I want. Not only can I deny the holocaust happened (which by the way I am not, I have been to Dachau) but I can say what I want, when I want, without fear of the law. In the US, if you are a communist or a muslim, you are immediately treated with suspicion. In America, are Muslim preachers allowed to preach in public? Are communist organisations allowed?

Re:Silly (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485920)

In America, are Muslim preachers allowed to preach in public? Are communist organisations allowed?

Yes and yes. Go back under your bridge little troll.

Re:Silly (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484762)

That said, free speech is one places where the US is about as liberal as one can possibly be and takes it to extremes that few other nations do.
Just don't say the name of one of the acts of the vagina monologues on television.

Re:Silly (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484770)

To be fair, just because other "Western Countries" have laws like that already doesn't make it any better when the US government does it. If other western countries all jump off a cliff does that mean the US government should jump off the white house roof?

Re:Silly (2, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484922)

If other western countries all jump off a cliff does that mean the US government should jump off the white house roof?

If all the other Western nations are jumping off a cliff, you'd think that would be a clue, hmmm, maybe there's a reason why they're jumping off that cliff.
But noooo, we have to be different and jump off the White House.

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22484788)

You can safely write or speak that you think the Holocaust is a hoax, that all the should die...

OMG!1!!! THE ZIONISTS ARE CENSORING SLASHDOT!!11!!

A couple of corrections... (5, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484876)

First, a "lowly" court judge in the United States CAN "make" law. If his/her decision is accepted as precedent (as it MUST, unless reason is later demonstrated to overturn it), then even a municipal judge can "change law". Further, it does not even have to be a judge. A jury can change law, and that decision too would have to be overturned by a higher court in order for that change to be invalidated. [http://www.fija.org/]

Second, the US *does* have laws regarding "hate speech" and other "hate crimes". They might typically be state laws rather than federal, but that does not negate the fact that they exist in much if not most of the United States. Having said that, I will add that I personally believe "hate crime" to be among the most ridiculous legal concepts so far devised by man.

Third, the United States has very strong libel laws. The difference is that unlike in many nations, libel must generally be proven before it can be punished. Also, libel against "public figures" is much harder to prove... but that is by design, and for very good reason. (In many other places, speech against politicians or other "public figures" is punished much more harshly than speech against other citizens. But that does not mean that libel laws do not exist in the US. They do... they are just fairer than most.)

And finally, the fact that it is worse elsewhere does NOT mean that it is good here. That is like saying to one man in line, "Look, you only got a broken finger! The next guy in line has a broken leg!"... and then using that to justify breaking fingers. Sorry, but it is not a valid argument.

Re:A couple of corrections... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485094)

Short version: juries don't decide law, it's way too early in the case to say "zOMG COURT IS IN THE CORPORATIONS' POCKETSES".

Long version:

IANAL (though I am a law student), but : Juries can only decide issues of fact, while judges rule on issues of law (though judges can do it all themselves in some situations). Judges essentially tell juries "if you find fact X is true, then you must find the plaintiff guilty (or liable for damages, etc), but if you find that fact Y is true, you must find the plaintiff innocent."

Though I haven't seen the opinion, the court's order was likely to be a temporary* injunction to safeguard Bank Julius Bayer's reputation until more information comes to light. Once the case is litigated as far as it will go, then you can talk about what laws that court may or may not have decided. Even if the court ever makes a ruling (i.e. there is no settlement), it can be overruled by a higher state court, depending on the standard of review for the applicable law.

If the appellate court can only decide whether the lower court abused its discretion, then it's more difficult to overrule. Someone who is familiar with California law can answer whether that is or isn't the standard. If it can review the whole case "de novo" (as if it was the first court to hear it), then it can overrule more easily.

*Yes, it does say "permanent", but there's no way a court can grant that kind of injunction in a preliminary hearing and then just leave it at that. If it tried, that would probably be an abuse of discretion. There is more litigation to follow.

Re:A couple of corrections... (1, Insightful)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485104)

I have no problem with most of what you said...but...

Second, the US *does* have laws regarding "hate speech" and other "hate crimes". They might typically be state laws rather than federal, but that does not negate the fact that they exist in much if not most of the United States.
If by "hate speech laws", you mean US laws prohibiting certain subjects in speech, I'd like to see a list. I'm having a mighty hard time finding any. Are there, in fact, any laws (still standing) at any level in the US saying that you are not allowed to disparage thus-and-such-a group, or deny the Holocaust, or something along those lines?

Or are you talking about adjuncts to harassment and that kind of thing?

Having said that, I will add that I personally believe "hate crime" to be among the most ridiculous legal concepts so far devised by man.
Punishing one crime differently from another based on intent is ridiculous?

So I should assume you are against the different levels of murder and manslaughter? That you advocate that any wrongful death should be punished exactly as any other? That John Wayne Gacy should have received exactly the same punishment as an elderly man who screwed up in his car and ran down the same number of people at a farmer's market?

Re:A couple of corrections... (3, Interesting)

twizmer (1206952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485150)

So I should assume you are against the different levels of murder and manslaughter? That you advocate that any wrongful death should be punished exactly as any other?

This is really a straw man. The difference between degrees of murder and manslaughter is the level of intent: did you plan ahead of time to kill him, decide to kill him on the spot, or not even mean to kill him at all, etc. That distinction is quite different from asking "why did you intend to kill him?" The difference between intentionally and unintentionally causing death is not the same as intentionally killing someone because he was an [epithet] or because he slept with your wife or whatever.

Re:A couple of corrections... (2, Interesting)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485574)

The difference between degrees of murder and manslaughter is the level of intent: did you plan ahead of time to kill him, decide to kill him on the spot, or not even mean to kill him at all, etc. That distinction is quite different from asking "why did you intend to kill him?"
And likewise, the difference between beating the hell out of a guy because he bumped into you in a bar is vastly different from beating the hell out of a guy because he bumped into you in a bar and we got to show them damn _____s they got to learn their place. One is an attack; the other is an attack intended to intimidate everyone like him.

Re:A couple of corrections... (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485276)

No, to your first point I will answer that we have laws that provide for harsher punishment for certain crimes (including slander, libel, etc.) *IF* they were committed for certain reasons, such as race and so on. That is commonly referred to as a "hate crime", even though the actual crime is a "normal" crime. The distinction (as pointed out by the other reply) is the motivation behind the crime.

To your second point, I will answer: THAT is why it is ridiculous. If someone shoots you, does it really matter to you (or society, for that matter) WHY it was done? As far as punishment is concerned, that is. Historically, in order to find someone guilty it was sufficient to show motivation... it was not important what that motivation was. It is already a capital crime. Why should you, as a minority (hypothetically speaking of course) be able to punish your attacker more than I, a member of the majority? Are you worth more to society than I? Who says so?

ISN'T THAT RACISM??? (You need not answer. Of course it is.)

By their essential nature, "hate crime" laws are hypocritical and discriminatory. Those reasons alone are sufficient to remove them from the books, just like the other hypocritical and discriminatory laws that favor the "common folk" over minorities. You don't fight racism with more racism, no matter which direction it is pointed. You fight racism by getting rid of it, in whatever form it assumes.

Your final comparison I will just ignore. It has no bearing on the discussion at all. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and just presume that you simply misunderstood what I was trying to say.

Re:A couple of corrections... (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485670)

THAT is why it is ridiculous. If someone shoots you, does it really matter to you (or society, for that matter) WHY it was done?
Why, yes, it does.

Why should you, as a minority (hypothetically speaking of course) be able to punish your attacker more than I, a member of the majority? Are you worth more to society than I? Who says so?
The value of one group of people vs. another doesn't enter into the question. It's the intimidating and/or chilling and/or provocative effects on the target group. Depending on the response, the attacking group may be further emboldened against the attacked group, leading to more violence and de facto oppression, or the attacked group may mount reprisals against the attacking group, leading to more violence and de facto states of feud. This is how (some) genocides and civil wars start.

ISN'T THAT RACISM??? (You need not answer. Of course it is.)
What it is is a diversionary straw man.

By their essential nature, "hate crime" laws are hypocritical and discriminatory. Those reasons alone are sufficient to remove them from the books, just like the other hypocritical and discriminatory laws that favor the "common folk" over minorities.
As far as I know, the hate crime laws don't say "blacks are protected but not whites". Or whatever X vs. Y you want. Neither are there reverse cases (any more).

Your final comparison I will just ignore. It has no bearing on the discussion at all. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and just presume that you simply misunderstood what I was trying to say.
You can ignore whatever you want; those with inconsistent views often do, in order to preserve them.

The fact is, however, that it does have a direct bearing on the discussion in that it represents another case of the exact same phenomenon -- the state of mind of the perpetrator determining, in part, the nature of the crime.

Whatever benefit of the doubt you wish to confer on me, the condescension remains unappreciated.

Re:A couple of corrections... (2, Insightful)

garutnivore (970623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486480)

To your second point, I will answer: THAT is why it is ridiculous. If someone shoots you, does it really matter to you (or society, for that matter) WHY it was done? As far as punishment is concerned, that is. Historically, in order to find someone guilty it was sufficient to show motivation... it was not important what that motivation was. It is already a capital crime. Why should you, as a minority (hypothetically speaking of course) be able to punish your attacker more than I, a member of the majority? Are you worth more to society than I? Who says so?

The criminal justice system is not about the victim punishing the criminal but about society containing the threat posed by a criminal. There is a punitive aspect to that and also a corrective aspect (i.e. ideally the criminal should change his anti-social behavior) but containing the threat is first and foremost. I do see a difference between Joe beating Bob because Bob insulted him and Joe beating Bob because Bob is black. In the latter case you have a significant proportion of the population which because of genetics which they do not control are likely targets of Joe's violence. In the first case violence erupts because someone insulted Joe. The trigger "insulting Joe" is highly contingent on circumstances. That is, there is no individual in society for which "insulting Joe" is true all the time. In the second case violence erupts because there was a black guy around to beat on. The trigger "being black" is not contingent. There are several individuals in society for which "being black" is true all the time. I do think that if Joe happily beats black people, he's more of a threat to society than if he just happens to beat someone (no matter what their race is). I hold this true whatever races are involved in the scenario: white, black; black, white; white, white; black, black. (Yep, you can totally hate on your own race.) Other non-contingent conditions could also be considered like if someone beats other people because they are: male, fat, have blond hair, handicapped, homeless, etc. (Some of these are contingent in the long term but not in the short term. It is possible to stop insulting someone if they threaten you but you can't suddenly stop being fat or homeless.)

Re:A couple of corrections... (2)

twizmer (1206952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485116)

Decisions of a court are only precedent in the formal sense in courts below that which made the ruling. One might of course cite a favorable ruling in legal arguments, but it is not binding on other courts.

The US does have hate speech laws, but they are very limited in scope by the application of the First Amendment. See for example R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul where SCOTUS overturned a hate speech law because it amounted to viewpoint discrimination. The classes of speech which can be constitutionally restricted remain quite small.

Similarly, US libel laws are restricted in any number of ways. Truth is always an absolute defense. Strict culpability is no allowed (some level of mens rea must be proven).

Re:A couple of corrections... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485370)

Decisions of the court establish precedent, which can be cited in court at any level. What I was saying was that at least theoretically, the principle of stare decisis should hold UNLESS there is reason to contradict that precedent at a higher level. I.e., while the higher courts are not bound, if they are aware of a past decision that bears on a current case, and they disagree, they are bound by principle, ethics, and tradition to show why that decision should not hold. That is the way they are supposed to work.

Usually, those lower court rulings will sooner or later trickle up and be tested at a higher level. So minor courts can, in fact, establish law, and strongly influence it even when "make" is too big a word.

Re:Silly (3, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484968)

The US has no censorship laws
Just try to say something against the brain fuckery known as The Church Of Scientology - see how long before their lawyers bend you over a couch...

Re:Silly (3, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485218)

The US has no censorship laws
Just try to say something against the brain fuckery known as The Church Of Scientology - see how long before their lawyers bend you over a couch...
Brain fuckery may be an excellent term for it - but in this case, although the Co$ may harass you for being truthful if it's inconvenient, it's not illegal to say that, in your opinion, they are all a bunch of rodent wankers.

Just because the police don't come and get you for calling your daddy a loser, doesn't mean that your momma won't.

Oh, and the Co$ is one SCARY bunch. Anonymous marches on March 15...

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485540)

You just did? ;-p

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485250)

RTFA, my friend - the author agrees with you:

It is extremely unlikely that this decision will stand up in an appeals court, but the larger point is that there is no reason this case should even be fought. Wikileaks should not need a legal team to explain to the courts that the First Amendment requires freedom of speech.

Re:Silly (4, Informative)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485402)

Rubbish. The US has less freedom of speech than most European countries. Don't just take my word for it though:

http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=24025

The fact you think you are freer just makes it even more disturbing.

Re:Silly (3, Interesting)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485560)

Many sources such as the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index seem to be showing a trend of decreasing freedom in the USA over the last few years. I'm guessing that trend started somewhere in 2000-2001.

People tend to lag behind reality with the image they have of themselves.

The USA is still a very free country, generally a pretty nice place to be. It would however, appear to no longer be a leader in freedom, liberty or human rights.

Re:Silly (0, Flamebait)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485846)

Really ? Then why don't you try attracting attention to the statistical correlation between rape cases and muslim population in European cities. The correlation is real (and perfectly calculateable, and as you know this implies that either rapes make someone muslim, or that muslims rape (a lot) more than othres).

Let's see, why don't we, whether or not slashdot (where the "champions of freedom" rule) not burying this post, shall we ?

Mob mentality, which is being pushed like hell in all european countries, is the opposite of freedom. And it's gaining. "Human rights" are killing freedom of expression, and freedom of religion in all european countries. We just like to lie about it.

Same with other figures, like unemployment for example, it's at least triple or quadruple that of the US, depending on the country. But if you just look at the numbers, you'd say they're about equal. This is because we lie (most of the active population that doesn't work is, for various reasons, not counted).

Re:Silly (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486182)

Lack of popular support for your racist agenda does not imply government censorship, neither in Europe nor on Slashdot. Why is stirring hatred against a religious and ethnic minority the most important freedom for you? It would severely limit theirs.

Re:Silly (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486318)

You really don't understand this. Obviously an ideology must be free, for it's members to be free (anywhere). You cannot be a free dictator, for example (except if you really are the one dictator amongst millions of non-free people). You cannot be a free communist. You cannot be a free muslim (since allah -literally- states that all muslims are slaves (e.g. quran 9:111, or just look up what a muslim's purpose of life is)).

This is not my agenda, nor hatred, it is a simple fact.

If it is not according to you, please explain why a country like Saudi Arabia, where this "minority" has as complete a freedom as they could possibly have anywhere, is a completely non-free country. Also in the west, the more muslims live in an area, the less free it is considered by both the muslims themselves and the (sometimes former) original inhabitants. This is not a coincidence.

Asking "why aren't muslims free", is like asking "why isn't red blue". In short the problem is in the definition. Someone who believes he is a slave is necessarily unfree. A free person is necessarily a non-muslim (doesn't believe in allah's statement that he is a slave), and a muslim is necessarily not free. There isn't any policy, there is nothing that can be done, to change this (except of course, changing islam itself).

In case you wish to argue the stupid point "sure he says that, but he also says ...", please keep in mind that this is just the very beginning of allah's demands on muslims. And obviously people who ignore allah's demands are not muslims, by definition.

The difference between moderate muslims and "extremist" muslims is not that they think all infidels should be killed, but the manner in which this is to happen (a cruel, continuous global war versus creating denial and replacing original people followed by civil war). Kosovo, including the 1992 war is "mooderate" islam. Iran, 1972 and the 20-or-so years before is extremist islam.

Re:Silly (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486374)

There's not much logic to your ramblings, but just consider that the "freedom" you hold in such a high regard demands submission to it in the exact same manner as a Muslim's Allah. In other words, it's not actually freedom.

Re:Silly (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486254)

Mob mentality, which is being pushed like hell in all european countries, is the opposite of freedom. And it's gaining.

Have to agree about that, though it may be gaining, it is not picking up momentum yet (that when you really should get worried). And you do see more and more people reacting to the "mob mentality".

Same with other figures, like unemployment for example, it's at least triple or quadruple that of the US, depending on the country.

Depends on your country (Belgium I guess???), but several countries do seem to have their own interpretation of numbers and statistics. Just look how to they calculate inflation. For computers and such, the use the inverse of Moore's Law for the relative weight. They've seemed to have missed out on increased system requirement of modern software.

Re:Silly (3, Insightful)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486296)

The correlation is real (and perfectly calculateable, and as you know this implies that either rapes make someone muslim, or that muslims rape (a lot) more than othres).

Leaving aside your appalling spelling, your 'either or' logic is impeccably wrong.

European cities with high Muslim populations also have high unemployment, especially amongst Muslim youths. Unemployed, feckless youths tend to gravitate towards gang behaviour, whether they are Muslim or any other type of flying spaghetti monster worshipper.

It's the gang behaviour that leads to the increase in rapes, not the religion.

Now I do have issues with the way that some cultures treat women - Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Saudi Arabia..., but that is a cultural matter and has nothing to do with the religion - it's more a case of ignorant goat herders not knowing how to behave in a modern civilised setting.

Bet you'd get upset if I posted a similar comment about Jews - I'm sure statistics exist from the 19th century that highlight the increase in crimes in the East End of London and the prevalence of Jewish loan sharks, murdurers, baby eaters, etc.

Re:Silly (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485428)

and that is a whore who fucks pigs and goats
Look, nothing has been proven about this and I will keep on fighting all allegations aiming to paint me black!!
*pauses*
Oh, right, you were just giving an example.
*sulks off*

Re:Silly (1)

VON-MAN (621853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485606)

If you want to look at real censorship in the west, turn your eyes outside of the US.
And if that doesn't help, you can always look outside the west. Makes you feel even better.

You're wrong... it *is* a good ting (3, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485642)

"I am not saying that [...] a lack of hate speech laws is a good thing"

Oh, I would say that.

"Hate Speech" is not defined. It simply means speech that is offensive to someone. Almost by definition, this type of law runs counter to the idea and ideals of free speech. It can easily be abused by political enemies, by a government that doesn't want criticism, or by one group to silence another.

Re:You're wrong... it *is* a good ting (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22487100)

It doesn't mean offensive, it means designed to incite hatred towards a segment of the population based on an arbitrary distinction. Inciting hatred is much different from just insulting someone.

Re:Silly (1)

bratwiz (635601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486452)


That's because its painfully obvious that the only speech that matters is that of whomever is the "authority". For example, the Bushit administration and the Repugnicant party go out of their way to coral and herd political dissent off-camera and out-of-the-way. They do this under the banner of "protecting the president" or some other bullshit. Of course any moron with even a single neuron can quickly grasp that the fastest way to actually not protect the president would be to carry an "I love Bushit" banner. Then you get to be front and center and can more easily accomplish whatever your objective is. When he's heckled at speeches, rallies and whatnot, he just stares into the camera, gives that goofy fucking grin, whilst whomever it was is carried-out bodily by big men with guns, and says "I just love free speech." and the crowd has to do their obligatory chuckle. Dissent of those in-power in this country is quickly and easily turned aside with a witticism after which they turn right back around and continue fucking us over. And people in this country keep electing these douche-bags over and over for the stupidest of reasons. Repugnicant, Demoflat-- what difference does it actually make when anybody who actually tries to combat and take on the system is brushed aside while the rest line up like pigs at the trough? Don't misunderstand, I'm not advocating simply rolling over and expiring-- its important to continue to fight and challenge these practices. But its a lot like watching a strong, well-financed, well-practiced and well-seasoned football team take on and beat the holy crap out of a weaker, junior rival. Even when the junior team has heart and tenacity, the stronger team still tends to win out if only because of their greater familiarity and practice of the game. So the junior team wins a game or two, or makes a good play-- what difference does that generally tend to make in the long run? And the well-entrenched stronger team knows it. Its not because their position is superior or their motives more pure, its because they are more practiced at the techniques of corruption, political backstabbing and general dirty-tricks. They know what to say and when to say it to laughingly dismiss the typical dissenter-- and if that doesn't work, they bury them in lawyers, call in cops with tear gas and riot gear, or claim "national security" and make them "disappear". That's why speech is free in America. What was once a healthy and important commentary and call to action is now laugh-fodder for savvy political players. Why not let the rabble say what's on their mind? Its extremely rare that any particular one can actually roust up the rest long enough to do any harm. And giving them the "right" makes them feel better about themselves and their illusory ability to "challenge government". Each of them think-- "Yup, this freedom of speech thing is a pretty good idea. I know that I can challenge my government any time and they would listen-- if I wanted to... Ooops, I'm about to miss American Idol!" In truth the issues that bind us are generally far greater than the issues that divide us. The problem is that in our modern world it is ever increasingly difficult to pull enough of us together to matter. So why would Bushit care if someone heckles him with God's own truth? He'll laugh it off, nobody else can (public ally, on-the-spot and in-the-moment) refute him, so the whole thing is diffused and not worthy of further action. The REAL channels of communication are all but locked-away from the average citizen. Sure you can write a letter to the editor, or get your "15-minutes of fame"-- but unless you're just incredibly lucky AND have a camera presence to back it up (ie. you can naturally get ratings so can sell toothpaste and tampons) that's your shot. Everybody who's in the game longer than that very quickly wises up to the reality that there is only so much you can ACTUALLY SAY in a REAL communication channel-- only so far you can push it-- before the dirty-tricks committee comes gunning for you to take you out one way or the other. I'm sure these beliefs will earn me a center chair at the tin-foil hat convention. But I believe that America, like so many other western nations, are controlled by people in the shadows who don't care about Demoflats or Repugnicants. If that's what the people want to believe in and that's what will make their little selves happy-- give 'em red or blue-- what matters is that the puppet put forth plays ball well enough to not upset the applecart-- the rampant rape and pillaging of this country and other similar societies. There are so many issues that are completely irrelevant to corporate America that as long as whatever the people want don't get in the way of marketing, are tolerated-- and even encouraged: "Let's all buy GREEN products! Its better for the planet!" or "Buy Ethos Water" because the name "Ethos" sounds vaguely noble and the idea of helping someone far away get water feels great while shelling out $5 bucks each for lattes and cappuccinos. But if you try to peel back the curtain and expose them in the cold light of day-- watch out.

"World leading"? (-1, Troll)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484744)

Not for a long time now. Barely tolerably backwards and getting worse is more the perception in Europe. Why do US people believe their country is a leader in everything, when cold, hard numbers eminently suggest otherwise? Mass-hypnosis?

Re:"World leading"? (1)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484806)

Why do US people believe their country is a leader in everything, when cold, hard numbers eminently suggest otherwise?
You have cold, hard numbers regarding the "rule of law and technocratic mechanisms in place"? Numbers which are capable of eminently [reference.com] suggesting things? I would love to see those. Personally, I can't even figure out what that's saying.

Re:"World leading"? (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484818)

Because they are? Hell, I'm Canadian, I love my country, and even I have to admit that the USA does an immense number of things extremely well. Technology, for one - there is a reason that the majority of the world's tech R&D occurs in the USA, or is funded by the USA. The Americans have a strong history of "stealing" the best and brightest from all the countries of the world, and making them work for Uncle Sam. With promises of a better quality of life, freedom from persecution, and a culture where performance is rewarded, the US *is* the world leader in these things.

Of course, that is all changing somewhat suddenly now. Recent administrations have sabotaged scientific research funding for religious and partisan purposes, skilled immigrants are now the target of hatred, instead of being welcomed with open arms. Millions of Muslims are being socially ostracized and targeted for doing absolutely nothing except being non-Christian.

Don't get me wrong, America still does a lot right. But if you guys want to maintain your position as the grand superpower of the world, you need to seriously turn some of that shit around. It's already going to take DECADES to fix your foreign policy disaster, your economic fuckups, and restore scientific and technological integrity to your academia... so get started.

Oh, and more to the point, the USA *is* still among the best in freedom of speech. You know, they're the country where displaying Confederate flags is legal, KKK rallies are legal... whereas in, say, Germany, displaying any sort of Nazi symbolism is a good way to get hauled off to jail. This isn't a value judgment, just an observation that one land is clearly more free than the other, for better or for worse.

Re:"World leading"? (3, Insightful)

coaxial (28297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484964)

Oh, and more to the point, the USA *is* still among the best in freedom of speech. You know, they're the country where displaying Confederate flags is legal, KKK rallies are legal... whereas in, say, Germany, displaying any sort of Nazi symbolism is a good way to get hauled off to jail. This isn't a value judgment, just an observation that one land is clearly more free than the other, for better or for worse.
Or as the saying goes, "Freedom of Speech means nothing, if only the people you agree with are free to speak." Or as I like to put it, "It's everyone's inalienable right, to make sure that everyone knows just how stupid you are."

Re:"World leading"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485578)

That's a really bad example of suppression of free speech. The Strafgesetzbuch [wikipedia.org] allows Nazi symbolism and songs to be used in educational settings and in an anti-Nazi context, and Germany had very good reasons for wanting to stop hatred like the Third Reich gaining a foothold again.

Re:"World leading"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485728)

Is it because the Germans have a natural hatred of minorities and a love of gas chambers?

Re:"World leading"? (5, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485096)

whereas in, say, Germany, displaying any sort of Nazi symbolism is a good way to get hauled off to jail.
Actually, it's a good way to get a lawsuit against you, with all the proper proceedings of a fair trial but that's beside the point. The point is that those laws were set up by the allied occupation forces after WW2. They're not really a german idea, though we've found them useful and decided to keep them. But saying the US is the champion of free speech and then using a contrast where it was them who caused that contrast to exist in the first place is a little cheap.

Re:"World leading"? (1)

sanctimonius hypocrt (235536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486618)

"But saying the US is the champion of free speech and then using a contrast where it was them who caused that contrast to exist in the first place..."

Look back further, to the events leading to the allied occupation of Germany, to see who caused what.

Re:"World leading"? (3, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484824)

Why do US people believe their country is a leader in everything, when cold, hard numbers eminently suggest otherwise? Mass-hypnosis?

Because, obviously, the US is leader in free [CENSORED]. Concerning news and political discourse, I think if you compare our [CENSORED] to the [CENSORED] of any other [CENSORED], you will find that our [CENSORED] is head and shoulders above that of any other [CENSORED]. Admittedly, certain alarmist elements, such as the [CENSORED] and those of the [CENSORED] party may lead you to believe that our government engages in [CENSORED] but the reality is that intellectual debate and news reporting in this country are [CENSORED], [CENSORED], and most important of all [CENSORED]. Really, all of this concern is just alarmism. We have nothing to fear except [CENSORED].

Insular American Media (4, Interesting)

jnelson4765 (845296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484834)

Propaganda, ignorance, and no mass media reporting on how the rest of the world thinks. That's why the movie Sicko was such a huge shock to the American people - the vast majority of Americans have been fed nothing but negative propaganda about socialized medicine (circa 1950's anticommunist, with updated graphs), but never see any of the positive aspects, like not going bankrupt after breaking your leg.

I'm quite sure the Romans said the same thing until the day the Goths sacked Rome...

Re:Insular American Media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485960)

That's why the movie Sicko was such a huge shock to the American people

You're so deluded, it's pathetic. Did you ever stop to ask yourself that if Michael Moore really found the rest of the world so much better, why did he decide to come back?

Re:Insular American Media (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486948)

Using Michael Moore - and Cuba - is a VERY bad example. Moore is nothing but a leftist (notice my non-use of the term liberal or left-wing here) propogandist.

Re:"World leading"? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22484844)

Not for a long time now. Barely tolerably backwards and getting worse is more the perception in Europe. Why do US people believe their country is a leader in everything, when cold, hard numbers eminently suggest otherwise? Mass-hypnosis?
Thank you for the non-specific, totally clichéd criticism of my country. Europe is the one continent that we haven't fucked over (in fact we have saved your asses from implosion twice,) and yet you seem to hate us the most. If you want to go onto the list of continents to be fucked over, let us know.

Re:"World leading"? (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485604)

If you want to go onto the list of continents to be fucked over, let us know.
This is why the USA gets compared to a playground bully.
Reading that line its not hard to believe or understand where the parent quote comes from:

Barely tolerably backwards and getting worse is more the perception in Europe.
I'm just hoping you where aiming at humorously proving that point and are just a bit too subtle... but I fear not.

Re:"World leading"? (5, Insightful)

halycon404 (1101109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484940)

God I hate this debate. Are we as a nation arrogant. Probably, yes. Are we as individuals, arrogant. Nope. Most of us have long ago learned we've lost our edge in several areas, if we ever had an edge to begin with in those areas is still under debate. But if we aren't world leading... why is so much of the world bound and determined to follow our lead? Iraq? Guess who Europe followed there. Afganastan. Guess who Europe followed there, again. Patent laws? Well, the rest of the world seems hell bent on adopting American versions there of. Copyright? Same thing. If you want us to stop thinking we are world leaders, simply stop following. Its that simple. Our research base may not be what it was, our education system may be in the crapper, and our manufacturing may as not well exist. But if the rest of the world keeps following us into our doom... Then like as not, we are world leading. You got a couple choices, China and India have the potential to be, hell, for that matter Russia still has the potential to be.. But you keep choosing America. Its your own damn fault.

Re:"World leading"? (3, Interesting)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485472)

Patent laws? Well, the rest of the world seems hell bent on adopting American versions there of. Copyright? Same thing. If you want us to stop thinking we are world leaders, simply stop following. [...] you keep choosing America. Its your own damn fault.
Er.. you think the people of those other countries are rising up and demanding to follow us into granting more power to copyright and patent holders?

You don't think, maybe, American corporations are pushing those countries down the same path they've already pushed the US down?

Re:"World leading"? (1)

XavidX (1117783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485808)

Think of a country as a system. Or even perhaps the whole world. Who is running the system. The Government??? perhaps. Large Corporations?? perhaps. Or maybe it is many things. Maybe the system is so complex that it runs itself and is out of control.

I believe that what is fucking everything up for everyone is greedy individuals, greedy governments, and greedy corporations and everybody else who just does not care about the average Joe. If the average public opinion mattered, things may be a bit different.

Re:"World leading"? (1)

halycon404 (1101109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486016)

I understand the world isn't mostly black and white, that the vast majority is gray. At some level of removal though, it doesn't matter why a person, or a country, does something. They either did something, or they didn't do something. They made a choice, for either good or bad, and for whatever reasons given; the choice was still made. It doesn't matter why you did it, doesn't matter what internal and external pressures were involved, doesn't matter if most of the people involved really wanted it. It only matters that you did it... or in this case... Are doing it.

Nifty peace of American History. When Congress voted to go into WWII, every sitting member of the house voted for the war.. except one. Its probably the most famous congressional vote ever made. Fist fights broke out over this vote, letters got sent in anger to the representative. It didn't matter why she did it, only that she voted against fighting the people who bombed Pearl Harbor, and sunk the Lusitania. Personally, I think it was one of the more noble votes ever cast in the history of the US political system. She voted against it because by her beliefs, no country should ever decide unanimously to send its sons to die in a war. But no one cared about why at the time, only that it was done.

Re:"World leading"? (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486140)

At some level of removal though, it doesn't matter why a person, or a country, does something. They either did something, or they didn't do something. They made a choice, for either good or bad, and for whatever reasons given; the choice was still made. It doesn't matter why you did it, doesn't matter what internal and external pressures were involved, doesn't matter if most of the people involved really wanted it.
And at some other level of removal, there's no person, no country, no reason or logic - just a bunch of atoms bouncing around the universe. But that's not a very useful way to think about human ethics either, is it?

Re:"World leading"? (1)

halycon404 (1101109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486494)

Ethics change, which was the point of the second paragraph. Ethically, that vote cast by Jeanette Rankin.. was wrong according to the vast majority of Americans. It ended her political career, and almost started a riot on the Congressional steps. 60 years later though, its considered one of the most ethically important things ever done by a member of Congress. It is vitally important to be able to look at something from a step in removal; to say an action was either taken, or not taken, for whatever reason were given or not given. To remove yourself from the controversy of the times, and the long view of history. Its only then that you are able to decide for yourself, if something is right, or wrong.

Everyone here, is one form or another of geek. Science geek, math geek, computer geek, what have you. What is the first thing we do when given a problem? We study the problem. We don't look for answers, we don't make judgement calls on if the problem is solvable, we don't even try to solve it. We want all the data we can get on the problem itself, before we start trying to figure out how to solve or fix the problem.

Same thing.

Re:"World leading"? (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486834)

It is vitally important to be able to look at something from a step in removal; to say an action was either taken, or not taken, for whatever reason were given or not given. To remove yourself from the controversy of the times, and the long view of history. Its only then that you are able to decide for yourself, if something is right, or wrong.
Luckily, our legal system doesn't take that view. If you're pressured into signing a contract under duress, the courts don't wait around for the detached historians of the future to decide whether it should be enforced or not: they conclude, just from the fact that you were pressured, that you can't be held responsible for this "choice" because you didn't really have a choice.

Re:"World leading"? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22487042)

Iraq? Guess who Europe followed there.
Hmmm, they followed France for the most part IIRC ?

Re:"World leading"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22487412)

I think it is fair to say that if America didn't impose its will on others, there would be very few nations following America as you say.

Once again... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484766)

The courts demonstrate their inability to understand the Internet as well as other technical matters. It no wonder that CSI is popular? I'm certain that lawyers are watching it to find out how crime scene science works.

Seriously, the court had to have some understanding that what they ruled on was TOTALLY ineffectual, right? If they did not know, then perhaps they should be encouraged to recuse themselves from future cases involving anything to do with the Internet, computers, or ... well, anything.

Yes, IANAL and I know that the judge is not supposed to interpret the law as much as they are supposed to apply the law to the facts presented. This indicates a lack of effort on the part of the defense, but I'm not believing that for a second, especially in view of not so distant past rulings in favor of the **AA.

The sad facts here are that the 'establishment' view the Internet in vastly different ways than do the common people and the people who ARE in the know.

Sounds like this should be something brought up at every chance when a judge in your locale wants to be (re)elected?

Perhaps Anonymous can speak loudly on such issues?

pendulum (4, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484774)

it's time to recontextualize and essentially reboot our understanding of privacy, freedom, information, free speech, and similar civil rights

in other words, Americans as a whole need to learn what the internet does, and take a fresh look at how our freedoms are being shit on by the US government. we must demand the same digital freedoms and privacy protection that we have in non-digital media and more.

looking through this wikileaks story and a previous story about FOIA documents that show torture devices the government has been developing motivates me to seek a true change.

the American people must claim their rights or they will be taken

Re; recontextualize and essentially reboot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22484990)

Try again, this time in English.

The Writing Has Been On The Wall (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484778)

for quite a while now. Years. But most people didn't listen: "I'm confortable in my job for X Corporation. Nothing seems wrong to me!"

Wake up, people!

There is really not much else to say.

Re:The Writing Has Been On The Wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22486172)

"I'm confortable in my job for X Corporation. Nothing seems wrong to me!"
That's because having money (and the benefits it brings) can give you the impression you have certain freedoms. Except if you need money to be free, you aren't free.

Re:The Writing Has Been On The Wall (1)

skeftomai (1057866) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486472)

Come on man, we all know the government was instituted by god...it's wrong to speak out against the government!

hai (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22484786)

i can has federal reserve?

Nonsense (5, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484832)

"The whole event seems to encapsulate the constant criticism of governance in the United States: that the government has been captured by corporate interests, and that the world-leading rule of law and technocratic mechanisms in place can be hijacked to serve as tools for narrow, wealthy interests."

People always spout this kind of nonsense when they're trying to argue for more government controls. The government is corruptible. The problem is not that the people in charge are corrupt, this can/will/has be/been true for any entity with any kind of authority that has ever existed, does currently exist , or ever will exist. If you don't want a corrupt government, you're out of luck. The best you can do is to give the government as little authority as possible.

In the US, anyone can sue anyone for anything. This is the best possible arrangement of affairs, but it invariably means that you will end up with rulings like this one. If you read up on the case, you will see that the bank is claming that their ex-CEO is trying to use the website to influence the outcome of a separate legal case. So whose right would be more important, the right of the ex-CEO to leak confidential documents, of the right of the bank to have a fair court case in Sweden? People like to make these things seem cut and dry, but they're not.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22484894)

If you don't want a corrupt government, you're out of luck. The best you can do is to give the government as little authority as possible.
There is a book about how the Republicans used corruption to sell government downsizing as part of their party platform. They worked tirelessly through the 1980's and 90's to portray government corruption as an entirely inexorable outcome, and then they played the shrinking government card.

Our government was designed to be the most transparent and least corruptible government that has ever existed. I don't want to get all patriotic on you, but there was some genius at play when our Constitution was written. I know that there are layers of law and bureaucracy that exist on top of the Constitution, but those are all heavily scrutinized as they are written and established to prevent corruption. Have some faith in your country.

Oh, and I think the book is called What's the matter with Kansas.

Re:Nonsense (2, Insightful)

yndrd1984 (730475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485446)

Are you saying "Republicans used corruption to sell government downsizing as part of their party platform, therefore it must be wrong?" How would you respond to "Democrats used people with health problems to sell government-run healthcare as part of their platform", with the implication that that was an argument against it?

Our government was designed to be the most transparent and least corruptible government that has ever existed.
Do you really think that the way the Constitution is currently interpreted really reflects the thoughts of those geniuses?

Re:Nonsense (2, Insightful)

halycon404 (1101109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486210)

Our Constitution isn't interpreted. Its forgotten and ignored. Which is a completely different thing. The Constitution for the United States of America is exactly four hand-written pages long. It is one of, if not the, shortest overall governing set of laws in the entire world. For the most part its fairly simple and straight forward to understand. And it gets lost in the absolute avalanche of laws which fall below it. No one quotes Constitutional passages from the house or senate when trying to get a bill passed. They simply don't mention it, and hope everyone else forgets those absolutely tiny four pages as well. In the overall grand scheme of things, four pages is a relatively easy thing to let slip from your mind.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22486132)

In the US, anyone can sue anyone for anything. This is the best possible arrangement of affairs,
Contrary to this statement, I have seen the US way of suing anyone for anything leading to mistrust and fear rather than actually solving problems.

Compensation? (3, Interesting)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484890)

When the wikileaks.org url is put back online, could they seek compensation for the lost time that they suffered as a result of that ruling?

Or could I short [wikipedia.org] some stock in a company, sue them for hosting sensitive/"evil" information, and then buy the stock back when the domain gets turned into a blank page? (Use any online company here, something like child-porn on flickr would be an easy target)

Reaction (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484912)

This is not going well for Bank Julius Baer.

Press reaction is very favorable to Wikileaks. The New York Times even published the IP address of Wikileaks. [88.80.13.160] There's favorable coverage in The Associated Press, the British press, the Australian press, etc. Since it's on the AP feed, it's going to be in papers across the US tomorrow. Not much TV coverage yet.

Bank Julius Baer is trying to take their US business public. [juliusbaer.com] Their proposed billion dollar IPO [sec.gov] could be derailed by these disclosures.

they're asking for it (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484924)

You know, the more that a group of people that's deemed "evil" by the public opinion pushes to hide something that's deemed "good," the more people jump onboard and push harder to defy them. It's like a political Streisand effect. If a court tries to remove a website from the internet, it doesn't just attract attention, it pisses more people off than it would have normally. And that of course makes more people fight to defend it. There are going to be so many mirrors for that sight it's not even funny. Heck, they can e-mail me their database and page structure and I'll put it on my site cuz this whole situation is the typical court ordered bullshit :-P

why do you hate america? (0, Redundant)

TheRealZeus (1172755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22484974)

lol but seriously this isnt about nationalism. this is about anti-nationalism, if you disagree with the courts people tell you to "leave the country"

Seems everyone is misinterpreting the two orders (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22484976)

Posted anonymously for legal analysis. The following is my opinion and my opinion only.

Every lay discussion of the orders in this case have gotten it wrong about what happened. The judge did not have second thoughts about granting the injunction. There are two orders, and they are directed at separate parties, even though they are part of the same case.

The first order [wikileaks.cx] is the settlement with the registrar. The registrar Dynadot settled with Bank Julius Bear to dismiss any claims BJB may have against it, in return for the permanent injunction that you see there. Dynadot agreed to do, among other things, lock the domain, disable it, preserve all DNS data, and produce all information it has about who registered the hostname and who had access to it.

This permanent injunction, between BJB and Dynadot, is not binding on Wikileaks, because Wikileaks was not a party to it. I think this is the big story here. Essentially Dynadot rolled over and settled with BJB without letting Wikileaks participate in the process or have any say whatsoever. Depending on the terms of its registration agreement, Wikileaks could very well file a complaint against Dynadot for unjustly terminating its service. Be wary of your registrars and internet service providers, because if this stands, they can agree to terminate your service without your involvement.

The second order [discourse.net] is a temporary restraining order against Wikileaks, prohibiting them from publishing the documents at issue. They are listed at the end of the order. Unfortunately for BJB, due to the the way Wikileaks is architected, the operators of Wikileaks do not host the documents themselves, nor can they order their removal. Is Wikileaks concerned about any legal consequences? [wikileaks.cx] The answer is no. "We design the software, and promote its human rights agenda, but the servers are run by anonymous volunteers." That's why those who run the company have nothing to do in response to the injunction and why the documents are still online. Wikileak's response is due tomorrow Feburary 20th at noon, and the hearing will be on Friday February 29th at 9:00am at 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, California 94102 [google.com] at the US Courthouse, so be sure to show up!

Re:Seems everyone is misinterpreting the two order (1)

Eric in SF (1030856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485252)

I thought this was common knowledge among nerds - your registrar could yank your domain for any reason. Standard boilerplate agreement between big company and small potatoes consumer.

No, the terms are specified in the contract. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485392)

There is a still a contractual relationship, and the contract would be unenforceable if the registrar could truly yank the domain for any arbitrary reason. See this comment. [slashdot.org]

Re:No, the terms are specified in the contract. (1)

Eric in SF (1030856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485536)

I see the point being made about the fact that Dynadot made this agreement voluntarily rather than being ordered, but my point was more to the distrust of courts around the world. I am not aware of any country where registrars operate that give the registrar the legal right to disobey a court order. And the reality of today's world is that the party with the most money/power/influence usually prevails in court, at least until there have been a few appellate review rounds, regardless of whether that party is really in the right. Anyone making a controversial stand that is opposed by government or big business better have a fallback plan B, C, D, etc. to cover what happened today.

I'm waiting for a US court to order ISPs to filter content entering the USA at the packet level - that'll be fun fireworks to watch. I believe this scenario was mentioned if Sealand ever took off as a haven for offshore internet gambling.

Dynadot's Service Agreement (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22485318)

Peachy [dynadot.com]. Again, my opinion, and my opinion only.

2. DISPUTE RESOLUTION.

You agree to be bound by Dynadot's dispute resolution policy that is incorporated herein by reference, and that is located on our web site at http://www.dynadot.com/icann_dispute.html [dynadot.com]. You agree that Dynadot, in its sole discretion and at no liability to You for any resulting loss or damage, may modify our dispute resolution policy at any time, without notice. Revised dispute resolution policies will be posted on our web site and are effective immediately. You agree that, by maintaining any service through Dynadot, after modifications to our dispute resolution policy have become effective, You have agreed to these modifications. You agree to periodically review our web site to make Yourself aware of any such revisions or changes. You agree that, if You do not agree to any modification, You may terminate this Agreement without refund or credit to You of any fees paid by You to Dynadot.

For the adjudication of any disputes brought by a third party against You concerning or arising from Your use of a domain name registered with Dynadot or Your use of our services, You (but not Dynadot) agree to submit to subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, and venue of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and the courts of Your domicile. You agree that in the event a dispute arises with any third party, You will indemnify, defend, and hold Dynadot harmless pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement. You agree that, if Dynadot is notified that a complaint has been filed with a judicial or administrative body regarding Your use of our services, You will not make any changes to Your account or services without our prior approval, and that Dynadot may take whatever action it deems necessary, in its sole discretion, regarding modification, assignment and/or control of the service or account as necessary to comply with the actions or requirements of the judicial or administrative body. You understand and agree that Dynadot will comply, if so obligated, with all court orders, domestic or international, directed against You and/or the domain name registration.


Things are not looking good for Dynadot. I can't see anything that would enable Dynadot to enter into arbitrary settlements affecting a registrant's rights without their input or participation. They don't seem to be covered because the injunction is solely between BJB and Dynadot, not Wikileaks or their domain name. Dynadot was not compelled to enter into this agreement (i.e., entering into the settlement was not "necessary to comply" with any court action); it appears to have been entirely voluntary.

Grim future (2, Insightful)

thatblackguy (1132805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22485378)

Kazakhstan....rather than block sites, it slows them down, frustrating the users of political content into looking elsewhere.
A practical example of why we need net neutrality and what happens without it.

The court order that muzzled Wikileaks.org (covered here) was prompted not by the government but by a bank registered in the Cayman Islands.
That just adds insult to injury. As if the local corporations weren't enough, other companies can mess with your freedom of speech. I also like how they quote it's still available from the link http://88.80.13.160/ [88.80.13.160] or the other http://www.wikileaks.be/ [wikileaks.be]

Knowing fondness for defense of free speech (2, Interesting)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22486436)

Knowing fondness for defense of free speech of Western media one would think that all the material at Wikileaks would be immediately copied on the front pages of all major Scandinavian newspapers. Anybody had any links to those newspapers?
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