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Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

Crackdown On Internet 'Hate' in Canada 51

Posted by timothy
from the more-laws-are-surely-the-answer dept.
Baldrson writes "CanWest is reporting that 'The federal government is preparing to introduce a sweeping round of legislation that would combat the "explosion" of hate sites on the Internet.' A priority of this legislation is more international enforcement under the Council of Europe's protocol on hate speech. The hate-speech legislation is tied to a bill to reduce trafficing in women and children."
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Crackdown On Internet 'Hate' in Canada

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  • Interesting to see how the /. community receives this. If you can't say even unpopular things, then you have no freedom of speech. This will also eventually be used to persecute religious speach.

    this is doubleplusungood.

    BC
    • In fact, most probably will be used to protect religious speech, and ban criticism.
      • In fact, most probably will be used to protect religious speech, and ban criticism.

        Here goes my karma; I know I'll get modded down for saying this.

        "Hate speech" laws have already been used in Canada to persecute religious speech. Churches have been threatened to stop preaching that homosexuality is a sin, because "that's hate speech." Basically, anything that the ruling party doesn't like you to say becomes hate speech. A man was fined $1500 CDN (what's that, 35 cents US?) for expressing a similar opi

        • Well, I guess you are right. However, the bad thing is to limit the free speech, not on which side are the stablished religions in this.
          • Yes, I agree with you that limits of free speech (except for the pathological "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre" cases) are a bad thing. What I disagree with you about is that this law wil lbe used to protect religious speech. I submit that, based on recent cases in Canada, it most certainly will be used to oppress religious groups who speak out against "politically corrrect" beliefs.

            It's one thing to say "homosexuality is wrong, and we should execute the sodomites! Let's all go home, grab our guns, an

            • I wasn't aware of that (and I try to stay informed about the current anti-and-pro-gay debate going on in my country).

              Can you provide specific references? I'd love to read more about this church that was fined for preaching against homosexuality.

              Did the crown actually bring charges against the church, or was it just someone who disagreed with the chuch yelling "I'm gonna sue!"?
        • Churches have been threatened to stop preaching that homosexuality is a sin, because "that's hate speech."

          Bullshit. This claim has been made repeatedly by people with an axe to grind. No church has ever been threatened or charged by any legal authority for the above.

          Cite a major media source or fuck off.

          The $1500 was for an advertisement, not for a letter to the editor, and was not endorsed by any church.
          • The $1500 was for an advertisement, not for a letter to the editor, and was not endorsed by any church.

            It's important to admit when you're wrong. I made a mistake, and you are correct; it was a paid advertisement that got the guy fined. So "Freedom of Speech" only matters when you express a popular viewpoint? That's not freedom at all.

            Cite a major media source or fuck off.

            "A British Anglican bishop, for instance, who suggested that homosexuals seek psychological counseling was the target of a polic [zenit.org]

            • I'm not gay. I'm very much in favour of C-250.

              And you couldn't even find one Canadian example to support your point.

              Frankly, I think it'd be good for tha law to punish churches who preach hate against gays. Hasn't happened yet, but I hold out hope that it will. Society advances. It always does. Progress is inevitable, and Bronze Age morality will go the way of the dodo.

              Freedom of speech isn't absolute anywhere. To say that if a freedom isn't absolute that it isn't freedom is a red herring.
    • I would say let them post them...so that everyone can point and laugh and ridicule...but this IS in Canada, so I don't know if they have a right to free speech up there that we (for the most part, as long as no one hears you on the airwaves and you say a "dirty word") here in the USA have.

      Which brings up a point...you can say anything you want on the airwaves...really, you can say you hate someone, you can say you hate a certain group of people even (listen to talk radio sometimes and see what I mean)...bu
  • by Zangief (461457) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @10:17AM (#10513262) Homepage Journal
    Why this "hate-speech" is tied with slave traffic?

    I think the politicians are just trying to make the two problems like one, so they can pass a law to cut on free-speech, because, you know, nobody can support slave trade...

    I get that impression from RTFA...maybe I shouldn't read before giving my opinion.
  • Humans are way too manipulative to have all kinds of hate mongering online. Just look at all that "Hate the French!" on American TV. It's just so easy to make you hate someone (think Golstein) so that you don't see what is wrong with the war.

    It pissed me right off when I saw CNN and FoxNews cover the story of about 12 people pouring French wine down the gutter but not covering the millions of people pouring through the streets in support of the French view of not invading for stupid reasons.

    I'm glad h

    • It pissed me right off when I saw CNN and FoxNews cover the story of about 12 people pouring French wine down the gutter but not covering the millions of people pouring through the streets in support of the French view of not invading for stupid reasons.

      That's very good, and all, but I fail to see how such legislation would prevent CNN and Fox to present only one side of the story.
    • Well, I don't know about "millions", but certainly I've seen CNN cover anti-war demonstrations, and I suspect you have too (unless those demonstrators were marching past your window, I'm thinking somebody had coverage or you wouldn't have known about them.)

      Actually, I still think the wine-dumping and yes, the renaming of French fries and toast, were entirely appropriate. These were peaceful actions of civilized people who disagreed with other civilized people and chose a symbolic response. No Frenchmen wer

      • I saw the protests on Canadian and British news. Sure CNN had a segment on it but it didn't take nearly as much time as the dozen people emptying wine bottles in the gutter. Why shoudl 12 people take up as much time as that when millions were in the street?

        "Actually, I still think the wine-dumping and yes, the renaming of French fries and toast, were entirely appropriate."

        My question to you is why? France told you it was wrong to invade because a) Saddam was not a threat, b) there were no WMDs (excep

        • If you believe that France told you not to invade for any reason other than It would hurt them financially [usatoday.com] Then you are a fool. And possibly a troll.

          IF you believe the book is closed on the existance of WMDs you are un-informed

          ANd if you believe there were no links between the Baathists and Al Qaeda you need to read the 9/11 report.
        • I think you're missing my point. I didn't dump any wine, and I enjoyed my burgers with French fries. Aside from the occasional teasing comment, I have nothing but respect for France.

          My point is that people will disagree, and that when they do so, their responses can range from dumping wine bottles to, well, flying airplanes into office buildings. I prefer the former, and I think it should be encouraged. If you disagree with me on this, please burn me in effigy.

    • Humans are way too manipulative to have all kinds of hate mongering online.

      Yes, because we're far too stupid to think for ourselves. Don't you think that it's best to let everyone say what they want and then decide for themselves what is proper? Or do you think we should have a government agency which filters everything to insure that people come to the "correct" conclusions.
  • So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GypC (7592) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @10:31AM (#10513382) Homepage Journal

    ...speech is free only as long as it is politically correct in Canada.

    Some freedom.

    You have to take the good with the bad, otherwise you are not free.

    • The Internet isn't public, so it's not too terrible.
    • speech is free only as long as it is politically correct in Canada.

      Speech has always been free in Canada, so long as it does no harm. As soon as your speech is directed at a particular group (based on, Race, Religion, Sexual orientation or Physical Handicaps as defined in the 1980 constitution) then it becomes hate.

      Example: "The holocaust of German Jews was a hoax" will get you deported, because it is hatred based against a religious group. By Saying "People who believe that Ballistic Missle Defence is

      • "The holocaust of German Jews was a hoax" will get you deported, because it is hatred based against a religious group.

        No, it isn't. To begin with, Jews are not a religious group either under Jewish law or from the Nazi perspective, but that isn't my main point. It is probably true that most people who claim that the holocaust of German Jews was a hoax are Nazi apologists, but there is nothing intrinsically hateful about the statement or the belief. Someone who had no animosity toward Jews could hold thi

    • You're exactly right. And the censorship goes all ways.

      The problem is that Canadians are too nice. They want to be ultra-neutral, so they tend to want to prohibit anti-anything. Saying something bad about anyone, even a terrorist, is frowned upon.

      Human trafficking obviously should be prohibited. I don't know what its connection to "hate speech" is.

    • Your right to swing your fist ends where my face is. Does this mean that you don't have freedom of travel?

      There is no absolute right to free speech anywhere on this planet, including in the US. Can you yell "fire" in a crowded theatre? No? Do you have laws against incitement to riot in the US? Yes? Then you're not free, either.

      Hate speech is speech which has incites hatred or promotes genocide. Hate speech is, in essence, a form of incitement to riot; no actual assault is required to occur for the charge
      • Hahaha, I dont know if America was the best example to use. Countries like North Korea, America, and China still have quite a way to go in these regards.
        Why not use Holland or New Zealand as an example instead? I know in New Zealand speech is free.
        • Speech is free in New Zealand? Then what about David Irving being barred from speaking there just in the last month? The shutting down of anti-APEC protestors in 2000? The Broadcasting Act of 1989? New Zealand is by no means a free speech zone.

          Nor is The Netherlands, where hate speech is just as illegal as it is in Canada, under Article 137 of their Criminal Code.
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @10:32AM (#10513395) Homepage
    This will just get the people who would like to start a hate site even more upset and more liable to hate the person/group in question... then they get some offshore hosting and you still have the hate sites.

    Heck, if you were a Nazi and thought that the Jews had an evil conspiracy to control the banks and the government, this kind of legislation wouldn't exactly make you change your mind.

    • One Canadian site, Nizkor [nizkor.org], documents (and refutes) the claims of holocaust deniers. In documenting the claims, they might fall afoul of the act (I've not read it yet), even though that is the exact opposite of their intent.
  • There several ways people could look at the idea of hate speech on the internet I have located a write up done by Brooke Stewart that makes some very good points. Your can read Brooke's write up at

    http://gsulaw.gsu.edu/lawand/papers/su01/stewart/

    What is your take on his ideas? Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did

  • Maybe they should start here... http://boston.craigslist.org/rnr/
  • In an era when any pissed off group cries "Hate Speech!" when someone says something they don't like, Canada is creating a serious freedom of speech situation.
    • Don't you think that's the point? They're starting with hate speech, then they'll progress to unpopular speech, and then they'll go after anyone who says something which is against the will of the government. Ultimately, they'll create a society where speech is totally free, as long as they agree with what everyone else says.
    • Canada is creating a serious freedom of speech situation.

      Canadian law doesn't provide you with an unfettered right to free speech. It provides you with a law that says "as long as you're not inciting violence and hatred, you're protected, but if you do suggest those things, you're screwed."

      The specific definition can be found here [justice.gc.ca]

      It tries to strike a balance between saying you have a right to say what you want and others having the right to not have you say "kill all the Cats/Blondes/Tall People/Peopl

  • Slow down... (Score:3, Informative)

    by alexo (9335) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @11:35AM (#10514004) Journal

    The operative words here are "preparing to introduce". So far it is a declaration of intent by the minister, no such legislation has been introduced yet (as you can find out on the Canadian Parliament [parl.gc.ca] site.) Don't panic just yet.

    Meanwhile, you can check the existing legislation on "Hate propaganda".
    There is a good article [parl.gc.ca] explaining the issues, an overview [ic.gc.ca] of the applicable law, the relevant statutes and regulations [justice.gc.ca] of the criminal code and a recent amendment [justice.gc.ca].

    Also see the Internet Content-Related Liability Study [ic.gc.ca] on the applicability of the existing legislation to the internet.

    • The earlier in the process the easier it is to have an influence on the legislative language resulting from it. Its obvious, for example, that this legislation should be separate from the human trafficing legislation regardless of the merits of either.

      Secondly, the article you claim offers a "good" explanation of the issues doesn't cover some of the central issues about such legislation. One of the more obvious issues is what principle is used to select which "identifiable groups" are protected and whic


      • > The earlier in the process the easier it is to have an influence on the legislative language resulting from it.

        We should at least wait until we have better information sources than a newspaper article. The bill text will be nice.

        > Its obvious, for example, that this legislation should be separate from the human trafficing legislation regardless of the merits of either.

        I agree, in principle, that "riders" are abhorrible but in this specific case I would wait for hard facts before going off ha
  • Someone who commits a hateful violent act is expressing hateful violent thoughts in a very bad way. Someone who writes about hateful violent thoughts is expressing them in a much better way. Why in the WORLD would you want to forbid people from doing the right thing?

    People have bad thoughts. People have bad ideas. No law can change that. Allowing people to express their bad thoughts to other people is called "venting" for a reason. When people can't vent and explode, things get ugly. We don't want t

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