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Censorship Your Rights Online

Google Relists Operation Clambake 491

Posted by timothy
from the squeaky-wheels dept.
DarkZero writes: "After almost every tech site and individual geek banded together to either carry the story about Google's delisting of Operation Clambake or flat-out protest it, Google has apparently relisted Xenu.net. Searches for 'xenu' and 'scientology' list Operation Clambake as the first and fourth results, respectively. The search for "scientology" also lists a story from C|Net about Google delisting Operation Clambake, as well as a protest ad from a Kuro5hin reader (oc3)." Update: 03/22 12:52 GMT by M : We jumped the gun. Google only relisted Xenu.net's homepage (where the copyright claims by Scientology were clearly bogus), not the rest of the pages listed in Scientology's DMCA complaint. Some Google sysadmin is getting aggravated because every 20 minutes, another memo from management is coming down telling him to alter the live database.
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Google Relists Operation Clambake

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2002 @10:46PM (#3205180)
    With any luck this could become the case that shatters the DCMA. If google gets into legal crap for their relisting a site 90% of us never cared about before yesterday, we have to be as willing to whine to our congressmen and senators as we were to whine at google.

    Let the flames begin.

  • Hooray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShaniaTwain (197446) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @10:49PM (#3205194) Homepage
    A success story for the freedom geeks! I couldn't believe the original story when I read it.. I mean do we give people the power to remove any and all criticism from the web (or from the search engines, effectively removing it from the web.) What about the number one search result for "Chevy Avalanche Reviews" [google.ca].. That review [popealien.com] is definately not positive, its downright negative. Should we ban it if it makes Chevrolet unhappy?
  • I made an ad also (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davidu (18) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @10:52PM (#3205204) Homepage Journal
    I put up an ad also.


    Saved for posterity here:

    Phreedom.Net [phreedom.net]

    hehehe

    -davidu
  • by guttentag (313541) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:02PM (#3205252) Journal
    After almost every tech site and individual geek banded together to...
    1. You don't know of enough tech sites to claim that "almost every tech site" banded together on something. No one does.
    2. You don't know enough individual geeks to say that "almost every ... individual geek" banded together on something. No one does.
    So right off the bat you're lying to us and it looks like you're just trying to hype up an issue we wouldn't care about otherwise. In this case, I think this is an important topic, but I nearly skipped over it after reading your FUD intro.

    If you want someone to read a story, give them the facts and let them decide for themselves whether or not it's important.

  • Re:Frightening (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PsionicMan (74653) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:05PM (#3205265) Homepage
    Any religion can, and does, wield massive power.

    Scientology's power is really not that odd, considering its size and money. Scientology isn't as powerful as the Roman Catholic Church, of course, but then again, the Scientologists have never been able to pull off massive crusades or inquisitions.

    It's all relative.
  • by tcc (140386) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:11PM (#3205291) Homepage Journal
    Scientology probably will wake up one day and notice that bad press isn't too good. Come to think of it, they know that in one way, that's why they are going against these sites in the first place, now if they realize that their actions are actually generating way more awareness in a week than the site alone would do in a year, if they have minimal judgment, they'll do the math and stop being high-tech bullies.

    I have no clue about scientology, but interrestingly, I hear only negative thing about them on the net, I've yet to see scientology and a positive claim, that's kinda scary, if they want a positive image, it's not by going after every bitcher that they will do good, Good is done by DOING good things, but I guess we all know that....

  • by nebbian (564148) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:12PM (#3205295) Homepage Journal
    I'm pretty amazed that someone so clever as L. Ron Hubbard would allow something like this to happen. I mean come on, what happened to the "softly softly catchee monkey" approach?

    Surely someone who can create such a system (that controls that many people at once by making them feel elite while unashamedly robbing them blind) would be smart enough to realise that censoring anti-scientology sites just makes them more credible? Or perhaps as the clambake site suggests, he's starting to believe his own propaganda?

    For me at least, I would have dismissed the clambake site as another crackpot venting steam, were it not apparently censored. Now I'm taking clambake a bit more seriously :-)
  • Another success (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AnotherBrian (319405) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:18PM (#3205329) Homepage
    for Operation Foot Bullet.
    (http://www.xenu.net/archive/footbullet/)

    <Nelson Munts>HA-Ha</Nelson Munts>
  • by reemul (1554) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:26PM (#3205345)
    The Scientologists don't mention it much, but y'know that L. Ron Hubbard is dead, right? Not much chance of him allowing or not allowing anything at the present moment. If he had any ability to exert influence from beyond the grave, do you think he'd have allowed Travolta to turn one of his novels into one of the worst cinematic turds of all time? Nope, just cultists and con-men running the show there now, with one group having gotten out of the habit of actually thinking stuff through, and the other starting to believe their own scam.

    I'm glad Google has come around and done the right thing, but I'm disappointed that they ever gave in to the wack jobs in the first place.

    Question: if the secret teachings of the Scientologists are actually ancient knowledge handed down by superior beings, wouldn't the copyright period have already expired? If the works *are* copyrightable, doesn't that indicate that the documents are a new creation authored in the last 75 years? Hmmm....
  • Re:Why read /. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by (outer-limits) (309835) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:39PM (#3205399)
    I can't really tell the difference between Scientology and Christianity, ( Or many other religions, when I come to think of it). The Spanish Inquisition puts Scientology to shame, for example. Now there was a real force in silencing critics. Christianity has is based on ridiculous stories and myths, many of which have been appropriated from other sources. In the first few pages of the bible, there are two completely different creation myths.

    Despite the fact that the USA constitution was based on the enlightened notion that church and state should be separate, the christians have been desperately clawing their way back to their position of privelige ever since. I am looking forward to the day that coins say 'In god we don't trust'. The times that civilisation have advanced the most have been marked by times when religiosity has been kept under control. The dark ages of christianity and islam have been marked by strong domination by fundamentalism.

    There can be no more bizarre sight than that of football teams praying to god at half time. How does god decide who he should favour, those who such up the best, the team that takes the least drugs, the number of fornicators in the team, the amount of time they spend praying, how hard they shut their eyes and furrow their brows? Perhaps all these factors and more, which are conveniently put into a formula. Then how does he help, maybe he trips up someone up, helps the ball defy gravity? In between his more serious jobs of trying to fight crime in the US and solve the Northern Ireland problem. (He's taking his time their, don't you think?)

  • by khym (117618) <matt@nightreal3.14ms.com minus pi> on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:39PM (#3205400)
    Nope, they'll never wake up. Hubbard himself made a rule about this: Never Defend, Always Attack [xs4all.nl]; Scientologists do what Hubbard says. Scientology does things that generate bad press so often that their oposition has developed a name for it: foot bullet [xenu.net]. The Scientologists keep shooting themselves in the foot over and over and over, and they can't stop, because Hubbard himself told them to do it.
  • Go Google! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by danny (2658) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:44PM (#3205420) Homepage
    I could understand if Google drops stuff from their cache that could get them into trouble, but they really have to stand up to the right to link - if necessary that should be fought right up to the US Supreme Court (as the 2600/DeCSS case may).

    Danny.

  • Re:Frightening (Score:3, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:54PM (#3205455)
    The COS is NOT a church, it is a pyramid scheme!!
  • Re:Frightening (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jon Howard (247978) <howard.jonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 21, 2002 @11:58PM (#3205470) Journal

    The COS is NOT a church, it is a pyramid scheme!!

    And what, praytell, is the Catholic Church? How many big ornate temples funded by guilt-induced contributions does it take to qualify?

  • Re:Why read /. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 22, 2002 @12:21AM (#3205547)
    for one thing, hubbard, the founder of scientology, can be quoted as saying "the best way to get rich is to start a religion" or words to that effect. in order to be a successful little scientologist, you need to invest vast amounts of money (like every dime that you own) into the "church." this is not required in christianity, or any other religion, when i come to think of it. as far as $cientology is concerned, its all about the benjamins.
  • by Moonshadow (84117) on Friday March 22, 2002 @12:24AM (#3205562) Homepage
    If it's channeling millions into Google's hands, and out of the COS's, then why not?

    Sure, they get some advertising. Like anyone with half a brain isn't going to laugh them off anyway.
  • by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Friday March 22, 2002 @02:18AM (#3205893) Homepage Journal

    ... you are just wasting the money of the people you want to support in destroying religion.

    It's funny that you say that, considering that my having purchased an ad derived from my religious convictions as a Christian.

  • Re:Why read /. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Friday March 22, 2002 @02:45AM (#3205961) Homepage Journal

    I can't really tell the difference between Scientology and Christianity

    I ordinarily wouldn't respond to a post so wildly divergent from topic, but I consider the insightful mod you received as my personal go ahead on the part of /. moderators to engage you in this discussion.

    The question between us is, what do I understand that you do not, what are you capable of understanding, and what are you willing to understand. The very question betrays an incredible ignorance with regard to religious matters whose sheer scope defies response. The only way I could compare it would be to hold modern atheists responsible for the Stalinist purges or Pol Pot's killing fields because they were atheist regimes. One given to applying blame for evil in the context of stereotype might well make such accusations.

    This brings us to the matter of what I think you are capable of understanding. Since I believe the condition to which I referred above is a matter of decision on your part rather than reason, I think you could understand much if you chose to acknowledge that others have as much right as you to decide what is important to them.

    As for what you are willing to understand, I fear that you, like all bigots, have chosen not to understand for fear of facing what that understanding might mean. I certainly invite you to human fellowship and tolerance, but I don't expect it.

  • by villoks (27306) on Friday March 22, 2002 @02:58AM (#3205994) Homepage Journal
    I was there, too.

    With all do respect, you are giving far too negative picture about the meeting. First of all they were very sincere that they didn't handle this in a best possible manner, but in the future they'll try to improve their processes. Their lawyer did first what lawyers normally do in this kind of situations and played on the safe side - he has to worry about the shareholders interest etc. He later noticed that most of CO$'s demands were actually based on trademark-violations, not copyright and based on that Google had an opportunity to restore Xenu.net. The fact that they actually did this on their own is something that we really be happy with. This kind of behaviour is anything but typical in today's corporate world.

    And about the ranks, at least to me the message was clear, Google tries to write as good as possible algorithms as possible, which don't require human intervention to filter spamming etc.

    V.

  • Re:Frightening (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cedric C. Girouard (21203) <cedricgirouard+slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday March 22, 2002 @03:03AM (#3206012)
    The COS is NOT a church, it is a pyramid scheme!! And what, praytell, is the Catholic Church? How many big ornate temples funded by guilt-induced contributions does it take to qualify?


    I usually stay out of religious issues, but this one was too nice to pass...

    Be it roman catholic, orthodox, islam or budhism, they do not REQUIRE you to sink large amount of money into their coffers. As far as I can understand, $cientology requires money from it's sheeps^H^H^H^H^H^Hfollowers in order to attend, and progress in the so called "religion".
    Furthermore, they're a religion only in the US if I'm correct, being rated anywhere from cult to scam everywhere else in the world. Plus, no amount of money will get you higher up in roman catholic religion. Even if you invest billions you'll never become pope.

    Makes me sad for all those who got swindled into becoming $cientologists... Exploitation of human misery at its best. I cannot believe that all their members have joined willingly without being somewhat brainwashed...

  • by misterplow (135845) on Friday March 22, 2002 @03:31AM (#3206044)
    Google takes the first amendment very seriously. We are also obligated to follow the laws of the land.

    The first amendment IS one of the "laws of the land", you idiot.

    If anything, the Constitution (of the USA) is THE law of the land, while all others are merely appendages to it.

    What is really bothersome about the above comment is that (if I can read this into it correctly) people don't look at the constitution as law. Instead, the DMCA, etc. are the laws, and the Constitution is some sort of 'idealistic good try'.

    That's not the case, people (of the US)!

  • by seanellis (302682) on Friday March 22, 2002 @04:39AM (#3206169) Homepage Journal
    Once again, the Cult of Greed and Power's attempts to silence the critics have blown up in its face.

    Before, when you searched for "scientology" on Google, you got an unobtrusive link to a critical website at about link #4.

    Now, you get a news story about the cult's attempted censorship, adverts which direct you to www.xenu.net, and a couple of new sites listed which, up until yesterday, had never heard of scientology but now know all about its attempts to silence criticism and its heavy handed use of the law courts to harass.

    Scientologists have obviously been told to spread the message. They are succeeding. Fortunately, the message they are spreading is that scientology is litigious, money grabbing, and above all incompetent.
  • Re:Frightening (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dclydew (14163) <dclydew@gmail.com> on Friday March 22, 2002 @11:38AM (#3207305)
    Well, in actuality, Catholics, just like many christian religons, do require money from their sheep^H^H^H^H^Hmembers. It's called a tithe. 10% of gross (not net).

    And if you think that money can't buy the papal seat... do some research in history. The big phallic hat has been bought more than once. It's been picked up by powerful families who paid off others to get where they needed to be (see Borgias)... it's been outright bought several times.

    All religons are the same... it's only the number of people who agree with it that gives legitimacy to one over the other.

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