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Censorship

ISP Fined $5000 For Hate Content 594

Posted by Zonk
from the slippery-slope dept.
eRondeau writes "In a precedent-setting ruling, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has fined a hosting company for carrying 'objectionable content'. The material in question was White Supremacist postings. From the article: 'The ruling sends a very strong message that Internet servers, if they are aware there is hate content and don't take timely action to remove it, can be held liable,' said the Ottawa lawyer who filed the complaint in February 2002. The individual posters were fined thousands as well."
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ISP Fined $5000 For Hate Content

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  • Wait a sec... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sedyn (880034) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:25PM (#14899706)
    As a Canadian, I'm pissed that this has happened. Why? Because let's take this to its logical conclusion, if a patron of a restruant, a university student, or even someone on a bus, says something out of line and the owner of a "public" place does not object, then they might be penalized for it.

    What does this lead to? Censorship by citizens, censorship by the government is bad enough, but this could lead to a disaster.

    Frankly, the ISP shouldn't have to do anything unless ordered to. And, if in doubt, they should have contacted the authorities (I don't know if they did or not).

    Now I don't feel like hosting any form of forum in Canada, becuase I don't want to be held responsible for what some random fuckwad says.

    FTA:
      "The ruling shows Canadians have no tolerance for hate," Maillet said.

    I have little tolerance for censhorship as well. I pray that they challenge this ruling with the Supreme Court (assuming it hasn't already happened, which I doubt). Because I doubt this "Human Rights Tribunal" is thinking about the consequences of this ruling in a greater context.
    • Re:Wait a sec... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval@nOspam.gmail.com> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:31PM (#14899737) Journal
      It would make it rediculously easy to shut down a forum you have a problem with. Just flood the forum with trash constantly.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        You must be new here?
      • by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:49PM (#14899835)
        Slashdot's still here, ain't it?
      • What you say assumes that the group of people responsible for taking action against this type of content are frivolous, strangers to common sense, and do not take their grave task seriously.
      • Re:Wait a sec... (Score:5, Informative)

        by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @07:53PM (#14900149)
        It would make it rediculously easy to shut down a forum you have a problem with. Just flood the forum with trash constantly.

        As usual, noone reads the original article. The ISP in question was owned by one of the supremacists fined. It changes the whole perspective on things.

        • Summaries (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nurb432 (527695)
          That fact should be part of the summary. The whole point of a summary is so you dont have to go read the entire story.

          But, regardless of who owns what, one should have a right to speak out. ( yes, i know its not legal up there, but that doesnt make it any less wrong to restrict speech )
          • Re:Summaries (Score:5, Informative)

            by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @12:39AM (#14901024)
            But, regardless of who owns what, one should have a right to speak out. ( yes, i know its not legal up there, but that doesnt make it any less wrong to restrict speech )

            This is indeed a different discussion. I was merely objecting to the inflamatory and misleading Slashdot summary. The impression which Slashdot "editors" wanted to create was that it was some "random, innocent bystander ISP" which was being held accountable for something on one of the million of its websites, i.e. "Panic now! Anthing anyone posts on your hosting servers will get you in Jail! Run! Scream!". In fact, it is the people responsible for the site (who happened to be the owners of the ISP) who are being held accountable.

        • Re:Wait a sec... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Arker (91948) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @12:01AM (#14900924) Homepage

          The ISP in question was owned by one of the supremacists fined. It changes the whole perspective on things.

          Umm no it doesn't.


          What are you saying, that folks only have a right to speak as long as they don't own an ISP? Huh?

          • Re:Wait a sec... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @12:35AM (#14901010)
            Umm no it doesn't.

            Under the Canadian law it does.

            What are you saying, that folks only have a right to speak as long as they don't own an ISP? Huh?

            Again, it changes the message from "some random ISP is being held accountable for some random user's website" to "the people who operated the website are held accountible", under existing Canadian law.

            If the law is "just" is a completely different discussion.

    • Re:Wait a sec... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by incom (570967)
      Little surprise upon reading the article that the complainant was Richard Warman, this guy has a colorful history. He is well connected and has an axe to grind.
    • Re:Wait a sec... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bitt3n (941736)
      silencing minority viewpoints with which you do not agree: now there's an agenda many hate speakers will support.
      • Re:Wait a sec... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Zeinfeld (263942) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @09:57PM (#14900588) Homepage
        I have chased net.NAZIs, not so much for their content as the spam. Back in the early 90s, before Canter and Segal found the net they were blasting holocaust denial into every newsgroup they could find.

        After a short while I decided that it was pretty counter productive. The nazis wanted to be booted off Usenet so they could whine 'censorship'. Thats why Irving went to Austria, he wanted to be made a martyr, at least up to the point he went to prison when I think he got buyers remorse.

        I did a piece on this on my blog [blogspot.com] if folk are interested in the origins of all this. The punchline being that censoring the net.nazis is like feeding trolls.

        The modern holocaust denial movement only got started after the Canadians went after Zundel and Irving brought out 'hitler's war'. Most of the 'documents' that have circulated since were produced (i.e. fabricated) for that trial.

        I don't think that any but the rawest, most naive recruits beleive a word of the holocaust denial crap, they love Hitler precisely because they know it is all true. The whole point in promoting it is to get censored.

    • by Yaztromo (655250) <yaztromoNO@SPAMmac.com> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @09:18PM (#14900457) Homepage Journal

      Look, I understand where your concerns are coming from, but in this case you're going off the deep end, because the fact of the matter is, the /. summary is wrong.

      See http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pag ename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971 358637177&c=Article&cid=1142031016503 [thestar.com]. In this case, the person who owns the web hosting service was generating the hate content. In addition, it wasn't the web hosting service which was fined -- it was the owner who was generating and posting the hate content onto his own service.

      In other words, you're safe to run an online forum in Canada. If some ass-hat posts something in an attempt to incite hatred towards a group, you're not liable. If, however, you post that hate incitement, you are liable, regardless of the fact that you happen to own the web hosting service you're using.

      Clearer? Good.

      Yaz.

  • by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@gmail. c o m> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:25PM (#14899708) Homepage Journal
    How robust is the freedom of expression in Canada? I know that such a right in Europe is more of a matter of legislative tradition than constitutional law.*

    *For example, constitutional law in the UK is based on the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Parliamentary acts, none of which guarantee freedom of speech to the citizens
    • by sedyn (880034) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:30PM (#14899731)
      Freedom of expression is covered through the Charter of Rights and Freedoms [wikipedia.org].

      The only thing that is really censored is hate speech (including Holcaust denial).

      • From the Charter (Score:3, Insightful)

        by einhverfr (238914)
        The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

        In other words, these rights are defined narrowly so as to allow arbitrary restrictions to the extent that they are justified in a free and democratic society.

        Which leads to a number of intersting questions:

        1) Can the legislature forbid, say, blasphemy or degrading another religion? What abou
      • Many of the prosecutions for "hate speech" would not be considered that way by the majority, it's a deceptive newspeak label designed to stiffle criticism. Just like the "patriot act". That the one example you would give is holocaust denial shows you are yourself a deceptive and dishonest individual.
      • by Baseball_Fan (959550) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:58PM (#14899885)
        The only thing that is really censored is hate speech (including Holcaust denial).

        How is arguing a position the same as hate speech? If someone believes the Holcaust never happened, why can't they make that argument, show their facts, and show their logic.

        What is better of the following 2 choices?

        • 1: Make it illegal to speak some idea. The idea will go underground, where nobody will dispute it. Groups will form, the idea will survive.
        • 2: All speech is protected. The idea will be spoken openly. People who disagree will come in mass numbers and disprove the idea.

        What is next? Will the people who wrote The Bell Curve go to jail for expressing ideas that most people disagree with? Will Rush Limbaugh be sentanced to prision for saying he thinks a black QB is given more chances to succeed than a white one?

        There is a HUGE difference between expressing an idea and motivating other people to violence. There is a difference between writing "Black people unfairly steal admissions seats at the University of Michigan Law School" on the internet, and going to the University of Michigan and giving a speech in front of a mob to incite them to violence.

        What will happen, if we let those with $$ decide what is true and false, is that anything they disagree with will become off-limits for debate.

        • of hateful ideas.

          The Nazis themselves were censored in 1925-1927, and yet during this time, their membership doubled. Clearly this censorship does nothing except remove "dangerous ideas" from the public forum and into private conversations where the public is denied a right of rebuttal.

          As I understand it, holocaust denial is not a crime in the UK, nor is chanting outside the Danish Embassy "Denmark, USA, 7/7 on it's way" (though there is a movement in the UK to criminalize the latter if Blair gets his way). Yet it is in Canada? Why? What rational purpose can this serve? And how can one create a situation out of a law like that which can afford equal protection to all as required by the Constitutional Act?
          • What rational purpose can this serve?

            It is a feel-good nonsense put in there by politicians who were afraid to look "politically incorrect" and/or suffer the wrath of various vocal Jewish organizations. The main purpose of the law is to give raison d'etre to various self-appointed "protectors" of various minorities and religious groups.

            This is one of those things which sets up Liberal Democracies like Canada for criticism from various advocates of personal liberties, with whom, in this case, I must sadly a

      • From the Soviet Constitution of 1936:

        Article 12. Supreme power in the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic is exercised by the All-Russia Congress of Soviets, and in the intervals between Congresses by the All-Russia Central Executive Committee.

        Article 13. In order to ensure genuine freedom of conscience for the working people, the church is separated from the State, and the school from the church: and freedom of religious and anti-religious propaganda is recognized for all citizens.

        Article 14. In order to ensure genuine freedom of expression for the working people, the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic abolishes the dependence of the press on capital, and places at the disposal of the working class and the poor peasantry all the technical and material requisites for the publication of newspapers, pamphlets, books and all other printed matter, and guarantees their unhindered circulation throughout the country.

        Article 15. In order to ensure genuine freedom of assembly for the working people, the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, recognizing the right of citizens of the Soviet Republic freely to hold assemblies, meetings, processions, etc., places at the disposal of the working class and the poor peasantry all buildings suitable for the holding of public gatherings, complete with furnishing, lighting and heating.
      • by theLOUDroom (556455) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @09:14PM (#14900443)
        The only thing that is really censored is hate speech (including Holcaust denial).

        First off, one man's "hate speech" might be another man's social commentary. This is particularly true in the case of unflattering statistics about certain ethnic groups.

        Second, the level of freedom of speech in a given society has to be measured by the ability to say the most unpopular things you can think of. Societies don't censor people's ability to say "I like flowers."

        Third, it is important to let people with stupid ideas actually proclaim them in public so that they might be corrected in their errors. Let both sides have their say and let the free market of ideas decide.

        Fourth, by banning "hate speech" you are putting in place the mechanism for yet another holocaust. Part of the reason Hilter was so successful in his campaign was his ability to suppress information. All one has to do is redefine "hate speech" to mean "anything dangerous to those currently in power. Now they can censor their opponents as hateful "anti-canadians".

    • Read here,
      Clicky [religioustolerance.org]

      It basically follows the British example.
  • Flamebait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kermitthefrog917 (903403) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:26PM (#14899709)
    So does this mean that some of the flamebait that appears on slashdot can have legal consequences?

    Slashdot has a policy of not filtering its comments, they leave it up to the moderators to sort it out. But even though most off-color/hate comments are modded down, they still appear if you browse at -1. Any thoughts?

    • The holocaust was the result of incredibly bad living conditions in Europe as a result of the war. Everything else was just blowing it out of proportion.

      There, now CmdrTaco will spend the rest of his life in a prison in Ontario. Seriously.
    • Re:Flamebait (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ocelotbob (173602)
      Nope. Slashdot is in the US, which doesn't have the draconian anti-speech laws that Canada does.
    • So does this mean that some of the flamebait that appears on slashdot can have legal consequences?

      Does Slashdot have significant ties to Canada? Here in the United States, we're protected by, of all things, the Communications Decency Act.

    • Last i heard Slashdot was in the US. So this wouldnt directly apply to them.
  • by conner_bw (120497) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:26PM (#14899710) Homepage Journal
    -1 Troll just isn't enough to stop from offending me on several different levels and barely constitutes "removing" - with this precedent and Jack Thompson on our side, we'll be heroes!

  • whos the boss? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zxnos (813588) <zxnoss@gmail.com> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:28PM (#14899719)
    honesty, who gets to define 'hate speech'? and do we really want to define such a thing? what happens when the definition broadens? and it will...

    a few years back colorado made not wearing your seatbelt a secondary offense, you couldnt get pulled over for it. they recently passed a law to allow officers to pull a person over for not wearing a seatbelt. i know slippery slope is a logical fallacy, but it happens...

    • The courts "define" everything. The law defines nothing. If the court wants to decide that up means down in a particular interpretation, it can. Which is why the higher courts exist. But in the case of some issues, the definition never gets solidified and reversals of interpretation of intent happen all the time.

      Keep your eye on "abortion". It's up in the air again.
    • The judge and/or the government. They get to decide. Not you. Not I.
  • Common carrier (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Harmonious Botch (921977) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:30PM (#14899733) Homepage Journal
    ISPs in the US should still be protected by common carrier status. What this does is simply drive business from Canadian ISPs to US ( and elsewhere ) ISPs.
    • I don't think that common carrier status would apply here because the people fined were hosting the content rather than allowing it to pass through their network.

      Anyway people have to realize that there are limits to freedom of speech and there is a good reason for that. As another poster pointed out, you won't get fined for having a racist conversation in public, but I bet that you would attract the attention of law enforcement pretty quickly if you did so with large groups of people. If you want to take t

    • Re:Common carrier (Score:5, Interesting)

      by yuna49 (905461) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @07:24PM (#14900017)
      US ISP's are not treated as common carriers nor do they want to be. It's true that some legislation exempts US ISPs from responsibility for the content on their servers, but those are specific exemptions granted in particular cases.

      If ISPs were common carriers, the current controversy over a "tiered" Internet structure would be moot. Common carriers, by definition, cannot discriminate based on the content of the information being transmitted. Giving priority to particular types of data, or data sent by particular providers (e.g., Google), would be clearly illegal in a common carrier regime.

      Congress and the FCC distinguish between "telecommunications" services, which are usually covered by common carrier regulation, and "information" services which are not. These issues were generally resolved in the late 1990's in the context of payments by common carriers to the universal service fund which helps cover the cost of delivering telecom services to rural and other underserved areas. ISPs didn't want to make these payments (even if they were providing VOIP) and were successful in getting Congress to treat them as "information services." http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/News_Rel eases/1998/nrcc8031.html [fcc.gov]

      Perhaps you were thinking about the section of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that exempted ISPs if the material they hosted infringed copyrights
      http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/u sc_sec_17_00000512----000-.html [cornell.edu].
      There's nothing in this provision that applies common carrier regulation to ISPs.

      My understanding of the current state of ISP regulation is that, as private entities, they can refuse to host anything they dislike. However, unlike Canada, if the Federal government were to require the removal of content it found distasteful, the government would lose on First Amendment grounds. (I don't know whether this applies to state governments, though I'd guess that it does.)

  • timely? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by m4c north (816240)
    'The ruling sends a very strong message that Internet servers, if they are aware there is hate content and don't take timely action to remove it, can be held liable,' said the Ottawa lawyer who filed the complaint in February 2002. [emphasis mine]

    Four years is timely? Maybe for a rock with a lichen problem....

  • Rights... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BeatlesForum.com (545967) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:31PM (#14899739)
    You don't have a right NOT to be offended. People need to get over themselves and the government needs to keep its hands out of where it doesn't belong.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is this the so-called "Western freedom" we hear so much about? You're free to say or write whatever you want, as long as it doesn't fall under some completely subjective definition of "hate"? Doesn't sound like freedom to me in any way.

    There is a common kindergarten playground saying we should keep in mind: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

    Western nations need to remember that free expression does not cause harm. Things may be said that one does not agree with; but that i
    • grow up (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Scrameustache (459504) *
      There is a common kindergarten playground saying we should keep in mind: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

      Kindergarden denial is fine for kindergarden, but I remember clearly the first time I made a girl cry (in elementary school) with an innocent comment. I didn't mean to, but I hurt her feelings.

      I can take an insult, and I can take a punch. That doesn't mean that words can't hurt, nor that punches can't.
  • by kibbled_bits (808617) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:32PM (#14899743) Homepage
    Around the world freedom of speech, though and expression is under attack. People must respect the opinions & expressions of others even when it's WRONG. I could care less what White Supremists think, but I'd rather know who the crazies are rather then having them bottle it up inside. Take Germany for example, still there is Nazi sympathizers even though it's illegal to deny the holocost, etc.

    Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's a FACT, or it's RIGHT. More times than not, it means the opposite.
  • by aussie_a (778472) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:33PM (#14899756) Journal
    Wow, I never knew Canada was so totalitarian when it came to freedom of speech. Guess if you don't tow the liberal line your wallet suffers the consequences, even though there is no reasonable expectation that your actions will cause physical harm to anyone (and if there was such a reasonable expectation, then the laws need to be a lot stronger then a mere fine).
  • Official Website (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sean0michael (923458) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:36PM (#14899775)
    here is the home page [chrt-tcdp.gc.ca] of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (in English. Also available in French). It looks like they deal exclusively with discrimination cases as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

    I can understand discrimination, but is free speech discrimination? Does having a website calling for hate and attacks against Jews, Blacks, and Muslims, count as discrimination? I'm not sure it does. I'm all for Human Rights. But I'm not for censorship--especially when the government might find ME to be the one discriminating.

    • I find the Canadian government to be discriminating. How much will they get fined? Nothing? Oh that's right. You can only discriminate the groups they've singled out. Damn special interest groups.

      (I blame the legislators who created this mess, not the people it's designed to protect ;)).
  • FreeSpeech rules? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:39PM (#14899786) Homepage Journal
    Are canadians guaranteed that right like we are ( sort of ) down here in the USA? if not, while it sux bad, it would be well within the legal right to penalize the ISP.
  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:39PM (#14899790)
    Freedom of expression is intended to protect things that offend somebody, whether it be a government or other people. If it's uncontroversial, it's in no need of defense. Canadians should be asking themselves if they're OK with having their right to express themselves in offensive terms squashed whenever some pressure group or governmental entity doesn't like it.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:41PM (#14899800) Homepage
    I'm a little surprised by this. If I were a lawmaker, I would never make "hate speech" illegal. There will always be things people hate and that changes with time. Besides, everyone else is still free to "hate the haters" anyway. It's just an area that government shouldn't be involved in.
  • ISP shafted? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:42PM (#14899803)
    You could say that the ISP got shafted in this one and was fined for things beyond its control, but if you actually RTFA, you will find out that one of the persons charged personally for posting hate messages is also the owner of the ISP.

    I don't think this case is a precendent-setting as the original post makes out.
  • The problem with limiting right to speak is that any hate goes underground, where it can't be monitored.

    Another problem is that who does the limiting and who sets the limits is always political, and always somewhat arbitrary.
  • Hosted on archive.org [tinyurl.com]...

    (Used tinyurl cause /. ate the link)
  • I can't wait for ISP's to be charged for posessing child porn on their usenet servers and network caches. Maybe then people would understand how stupid these laws are.
  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @06:59PM (#14899893)
    This is ridiculous. People have a fundamental right to hold and express their opinions, and no government has the authority, or even the capability say otherwise.
  • by leereyno (32197) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @07:01PM (#14899901) Homepage Journal
    I think that the ruling sends a very strong message that in Canada freedom of speech is not nearly as important as making sure that no one's feelings get hurt.

    Why is protecting the rights of idiot white surpremacists important? Because they are the canary in the coal mine. When the rights of the unpopular are abridged, everyone's rights are in danger.

    Univeral freedom of speech helps ensure the health of society. When unpleasant ideas and beliefs are expressed, it acts as a sort of innoculation against them. When these ideas are oppressed and only shared in secret, they tend to grow like a cancer beneath the surface of society, unknown and unchecked.

    When universal freedom of speech is attacked and undermined, it sets the stage for further abuses. Just look at China. Is that what the people of Canada want for their children and grandchildren? Which is worse, living in a totalitarian regime, or living in a free society where you are sometimes subjected to ideas you do not agree with and find offensive?

    The only effective means of thought control is information control, but don't take my word for it. Here's a quote from someone whose mastery of propaganda and its uses is unquestioned:

    "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
    -- Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

    Abridging the rights of the unpopular is the first dangerous step towards the kind of world Goebbels lived in. Not only that but it serves no useful purpose even in the short run. Making neo-nazi's be quiet doesn't make them go away. All it does is ensure that their activities and efforts at recruitment are that much more difficult to detect.

    You would think that people would know better, but then 50% of the population is of below average intelligence.

    • by Von Rex (114907) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @09:57PM (#14900586)
      Nice speech. Would have been better if you'd had any idea of what you're talking about.

      Here's the Canadian Criminal code [justice.gc.ca]. Search on "Hate Propaganda". Here's the relevant parts.

      318. Every one who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

      319. Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or an offence punishable on summary conviction.

      Seems pretty clear and reasonable so far. We can't advocate the extermination of any identifiable segment of our population, and we can't incite hatred against a group if, in the authorities judgement, it is likely to cause a "breach of peace". In other words, it recognizes that speech that incites violence does not deserve the same protections as speech that doesn't. Further, the law explictly states a number of defenses against this law. Use any of these and you can incite all the hatred you want.

      (a) if the statements communicated were true;

      (b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;

      (c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or

      (d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.

      This, to you, warrants a warning to us poor Canadians to avoid a future where our grandchildren are as free as they would be in Red China?

      It's particularly rich coming from an American. Right now you guys are far closer to totalitarianism than Canada will ever be in a hundred thousand lifetimes. You've got the Homeland Gestapo interrogating people due to their choice of T-shirts or library books. You've got a president and attourney general who equate questions and dissent with giving "aid and comfort" to terorrists. You have a labour system where, for voicing your true opinion to your boss, you can lose your children's health coverage.

      I think you've got much greater problems to take care of at home before you concern yourself much with us poor Canadians. Don't worry about us, we're living a lot more freely than you.
  • This is the very thing it was created for..
  • by deacon (40533) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @07:02PM (#14899911) Journal
    A student at the school handed in an eight-page Arabic-language essay illustrated with a burning Star of David and a machine gun. In one passage, he wrote: "Without thinking, Ahmed took his M-16 machine gun and threw the bombs and he showered the Jews, this resulted in the killing of the soldiers." The teacher to whom the paper was submitted it returned it with the comment, "God bless you, your efforts are good."

    After the incident was publicized, the Ontario Ministry of Education was investigated and two teachers were suspended.

    Canadian Islamic groups are now protesting the inequity of the Ministry's actions. They are demanding that the Ministry investigate hate speech at Jewish schools. And as an example of what they are concerned about, the Canadian Islamic Congress issued a press release on Friday calling for the investigation of a Kingston-area Hebrew school. The reason? A nine-year-old student at the school published a letter in the Kingston newspaper, the Whig-Standard, charging that Palestinians wished "to push the Israelis into the sea." According to the Islamic Congress, the views expressed in the child's letter are views "damaging to healthy relationships among many Canadians in our multicultural and pluralist society." Maybe you remember that famous jibe of Anatole France's about the law with majestic impartiality forbidding both the rich and poor to sleep under bridges? In the same way, the Canadian Islamic Congress seems to believe that healthy multiculturalism should treat exactly equally an Islamic school that encourages young Muslims to fantasize about murdering Jews - and a Jewish school that teaches its students to object to being murdered.

    Therein lies the danger. As Jefferson so aptly wrote centuries ago, the best cure for such speech is more free speech and the clear light of day. To involve the government in such matters can only result in direct government involvement in private political debate. In Canada, if the government objects to what one says, one is simply declared illegal. One must shut up or face the full sanction of the law. No doubt this would please our liberal friends to no end, having thoroughly lost every public policy debate since around 1979. We understand that freedom of speech is painful to liberals. We know what you're going through, having had to live through the era when you controlled the public debate and no dissenting voices to liberal orthodoxy were allowed into the hallowed halls of CBS News or the New York Times.

    linky:

    http://newsisyphus.blogspot.com/2005/04/canada-and -hate-speech-codes.html [blogspot.com]

    You can be sure that only white racists will be prosecuted. Islamic hate will be tolerated, and no fines will be assesed on Canadian web sites that advocate the killing of infidels.

    • Wha-?

      I always thought it was the conservatives who hate Free Speech.

      It's the conservatives who want women to cover up, who can't stand for a stray boob on TV, who want to force people to pledge allegience to the flag.

      It's conservatives who get in a tissy, whenever somebody burns a flag.

      Or did you turn a blind eye to your own side's weakness?

      There's people for and against Free Speech, on both sides!

      Go convert your own people to the ideals of a Liberal Democracy.
    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @09:52PM (#14900574)
      After the incident was publicized, the Ontario Ministry of Education was investigated and two teachers were suspended.

      That is a very misleading statement. Very much indicative of your entire posts's dittohead spin. There was one teacher suspended and the teacher was suspended before the investigation in other words, the school's administration was doing its job - not promoting "islamic hate" as you claim.

      Here's the press blurb [newswire.ca] the government issued that summarized the investigation.

      It took me less time to debunk your post with google than it took you to write it in the first place. Next time, could you at least try to do a little background research before parroting the limbaugh "orthodoxy?"
    • You gave an example of the Canadian government taking action against a Muslim school that advocated violence. This is the only action of the Canadian government that you cited. From this, you conclude that the Canadian government will only prosecute white people under hate laws and they will refuse to prosecute Muslims.

      Two questions: Are you on crack? Did you share it with the people who modded you to +5?

    • How was the Hebrew girl wrong? What part of saying that certian palastinian groups want to "push Israel into the sea" was not based in fact. I've heard that exact line repeated for 20 years now. That statement is fact. Denying that certian political leaders in other countries have declared enemies is just like denying the holocost.
  • by PingXao (153057) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @07:02PM (#14899913)
    I agree with the thinking behind hate crime laws: people who are nasty curs should be smacked down hard. The problem I have is these laws elevate certain people over others. A crime against a person of religion X is worse than a crime against a person of religion Y. A crime against an immigrant from Mexico is worse than a crime against your American neighbor.

    This is just wrong. Like the money laundering laws. They were meant with good intent but are now fraught with loopholes and gotchas and they hurt more innocent people than they ever help.

    The problem with all this is where do you draw the line? These laws become tools to advance a prosecutor's career, rather than deterring or punishing crimes. These are the laws they hit you with when they need to "make an example" out of you.
  • So, does "hate speech" include when some evangelical preacher decides to start bashing homosexuals and Muslims and calls for their destruction?

    With so called Christians making claims like "Gays 'Responsible' For New Orleans Devastation Group Claims", and calling out for assassinations of leaders, why not label this as hate propaganda.

    Supremecy is supremecy whether it is based off of race or religion. Better get to work Canada, you've got a lot of supression to do. Begrüßen Sie Kanada
  • cough cough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @07:10PM (#14899947) Homepage
    I suggest you all read this [justice.gc.ca]. (hint: bookmarking the CCC makes having legal discussions a bit more sensible :-) )

    Hate speech in Canada is only when it incites people to commit violence against the said group being hated.

    It's legal in canada to say "I hate all $GROUP" as long as you don't say "kill $GROUP".

    Tom
    • Re:cough cough (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shepd (155729)

      Section 319, Public incitement of hatred:

      (2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

      (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

      (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

      I actually logged in to post that, that's how completely stupid your post was. It was stupid enough for me to break a year of no slashdot commenting to prove to others you're j

  • Canada (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AngryWookiee (724702) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @07:14PM (#14899969)

    I am a Canadian and personally think that white supremists or any other group that has a general hate for people because of relgion, skin color, etc. are scum of the earth. However, I do not think that the ISP should be held responsible for what these people did. This would be equivilent of somebody posting racist remarks on slashdot and having the owners of slashdot held liable for this.

    In general though I think that Canadian laws go to far in outlawing hate speach. Could hate speach not be considred a freedom of expression? Where is the line drawn on what is considred hate speach and what is considred freedom of speech? Could the same laws that outlaw hate speech be somehowe turned against us and used against people's freedom of speech?

  • Freedom of Speach (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Millenniumman (924859) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @07:14PM (#14899972)
    Racism is wrong, and it would be very bad for the government to support it in any way, but this is an inhibition of free speech. Now, stopping someone from expressing racist thoughts may not be all that bad in and of itself, but neither is unwarranted wiretaps of terrorists. If the government can prevent "hate" speech, it can prevent anything being said that is contrary to its values.
  • by 2901 (676028) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @07:23PM (#14900015) Homepage Journal

    The article talks about advocating attacks

    In the ruling, ex-Londoner James Scott Richardson was fined $1,000 for several Internet postings, including one calling for attacks on Jewish and Muslim agencies, temples and residences.
    so it looks as though the bad guys could have been taken down for conspiring to commit criminal damage or incitement to arson, or some other offence grounded in planning or attempting a straightforward criminal, physical act.

    Then the article goes on to quote the Human Rights Act

    The Human Rights Act prohibits the communication of messages over the Internet likely to expose people to hatred or contempt based on religion or race.

    So a moral panic about incitement has been leveraged to pass a law that gives the authorities wide powers to tell people to shut the fuck up or else, and all in the name of human rights.

  • by drwho (4190) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @08:09PM (#14900224) Homepage Journal
    Typical European-style censorship. Every time I read about something like this, or of David Irving being jailed in Austria, I find myself happy I live in the US where I can say rude things about people if I want to.

    But the US doesn't have freedom of expression, either. It's illegal for people to wear KKK garb in Virginia, and I think that's wrong. There's also the problem of the prudish attitude towards sexuality in the US.
  • by Yaztromo (655250) <yaztromoNO@SPAMmac.com> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @09:14PM (#14900442) Homepage Journal

    Whoa -- can everyone slow down for a second and take a look at the facts?

    From http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pag ename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971 358637177&c=Article&cid=1142031016503 [thestar.com]:

    In a landmark decision, the tribunal ordered the men, one of whom ran the web-hosting service that carried the websites, to cease their hatemongering, levied penalties totalling $13,000 and awarded the complainant $5,000. It is believed to be the first time a Canadian Internet web-hosting service has been found liable for hate messages.

    In essence, the /. summary is not telling the whole story. This isn't a case of some corporate ISP where some customer happened to be running a hate site getting fined. In this case the ISP owner was providing the content, and not just hosting it.

    Additionally, it wasn;t the ISP that was fined -- it was the people who created the illegal content, one of whom happens to own the web service provider in question.

    You can't just start an ISP in order to avoid hate speech laws. The /. summary is highly misleading in this case, so please get off your high-horses and take a look at the facts before starting yet another rant, okay?

    Yaz.

  • Canada Not! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:20PM (#14900670)
    After hearing so many times how Canada is oh so much better than its big neighbor to the south, on this day it least those voices need to shut up about it. Canada clearly does not have Freedom of Speech. Only Freedom of Politically Correct, Multicultural, Sensitive Speech -- whatever that is.

    For the first time in Canada, an Internet service provider has been found guilty and fined for hosting websites that spread hate messages against blacks, Jews and Muslims.

    I'll believe these enforcers of intolerance might even have some claim to fairness after they go after the hate speech on some of the Muslim websites with equal vigor. Yes there's white hate speech, which most of us simply avoid because it's not our cup of tea, but by no means in this world is that the only hate speech easy to locate on the Internet.

    I'm waiting...

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