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Ireland May Be Next To Censor the Internet 155

Posted by kdawson
from the sure-and-it's-a-good-man's-weakness dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to the Irish Times, the government of Ireland — the country that recently made blasphemy a criminal offense — has had extensive talks regarding the censorship of the Internet. Details are a little sketchy, as the documents requested under the Freedom of Information request were denied; however, '...the ongoing high level of discussion on the subject is indicated in the detailed description of each refused item in the list of materials returned by the [Department of Justice].' Ireland seems to be following the well-trodden path blazed by the Land Down Under, justifying censorship with 'won't somebody think of the children!' (and the copyright holders)."
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Ireland May Be Next To Censor the Internet

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:37AM (#31870972)

    I'm confused... i could have sworn that women got regular ferries, or more commonly flew. (not many abortion clinics in holyhead)

    Also... none of the Taoiseachs were openly corrupt, just secretly corrupt like every other head of state.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:53AM (#31871152)

    That was a number of years ago. That time period was called the Celtic Tiger (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_Tiger). It was a short-lived period of economic growth. But like osullish said, the arse is falling out of everything! :-)

  • by bigdaisy (30400) on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:07AM (#31871344)

    for the sake of appearances or to placate foreign interests

    The blasphemy law was passed because the constitution prohibits blasphemy and requires that laws be passed to enforce that prohibition. Nothing had been done about this for decades and nobody cared. The government suddenly decided that someone might take a case against them for failure to legislate for blasphemy, so we got this law that was described as being a trivial law to tie up a few constitutional loose ends and sure the fine is only E100,000! Of course, the proper solution would have been to change the constitution, but...well...down with that sort of thing!

  • by raddan (519638) * on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:23AM (#31871580)
    Sadly, the idea that Ireland's boom was a result of cutting business tax is a myth, and was covered extensively in this On Point broadcast [onpointradio.org]. The real reason for Ireland's boom was easy credit, the same as everywhere else. Only their bubble was bigger-- partly because the Irish people had never before known a time of wealth, and also partly because Ireland became an attractive place to do business (comparatively low-wage, English-speaking labor)-- a property that disappeared around the same time as the crisis as emigration decreased and wages began to rise. What is true, though, is that the deep cutting of business tax had a detrimental effect on the ability of the government to actually do anything about the crisis-- they simply did not have the funds available to lessen its severity like we were able to in the U.S.

    I have many friends who were affected deeply by this. The family of a good friend of mine was nearly employed in its entirety by Dell's Limerick plant. Dell left for cheaper labor in Poland, around the same time that the financial crisis hit. Nearly all of these folks, who, for the first time in generations, could afford to live in their own houses, and own their own cars, went bankrupt overnight. You can debate the wisdom of putting yourself in debt when your fate is tied to a fickle corporation, but the fact is that Dell was fully aware that this would be the result. Dell can kiss my ass if they think I'll ever buy or recommend their hardware again.
  • Re:Asinine... (Score:4, Informative)

    by koiransuklaa (1502579) on Friday April 16, 2010 @09:43AM (#31871862)

    Your post stands generally speaking but referring to "the truthful historical record" with regards to Muhammad is a bit weird. Historical records from the pre-Islamic period are rare and quite unreliable: they mostly give us insight on what was considered a somewhat plausible story at the time. Records from the islamic time are better (although still fairly few) but as Muhammad was such a hot topic, their reliability is quite suspect as well.

  • by Protoslo (752870) on Friday April 16, 2010 @11:02AM (#31872898)
    Cutting corporate income tax may not have fueled purely domestic growth, but surely you wont't deny that countless tech companies (e.g. Microsoft) from the U.S. and elsewhere used Ireland as a tax shelter for their IP profits. Even if that didn't bring (many) more jobs to Ireland, it surely helped national tax revenues, at least while the companies were still posting quarterly profits that could be taxed. How can you claim that raising the corporate income tax would have alleviated the crisis? It can be 100%, but if no one is making a profit it won't bring in a dime (and all those tax-shelter subsidiaries would leave immediately).

    This strikes me as a totally separate issue than Dell, etc. closing factories. Ireland was never the place for cheap labor, though I think a number of small tech companies--too small to become multinational for tax purposes--did site there in preference to other areas of similar or greater labor cost, like the UK, because of the tax law.

    The ability of the United States to lessen the domestic crisis and avoid total financial/credit market meltdown (by ~$2T bailout of the financial sector, between TARP and the Fed) has nothing whatsoever to do with corporate income tax receipts. The Treasury Dept.'s estimate for this year's U.S. corporate income tax receipts is only $156 billion! Compare that to $935 Billion (estimated) from individual income tax (not including payroll taxes). The U.S. can bail and bail just because it has a massive GDP and thus much more credit than Ireland. Perhaps you could make the argument that Ireland depended too much on corporate income tax (which plunges during recessions as individual tax does not) for filling out the budget.

    If you do a little research, you see that in 2009 [finance.gov.ie], total tax receipts were €34.4 billion, with €3.74 billion (~10.9%) from corporate tax. In 2007 [finance.gov.ie], receipts were over €47.2 billion, with €6.39 billion (~13.5%) from corporate tax. The recession took a chunk of corporate receipts to be sure, but the revenue problems are a lot deeper than that. And despite everything, 2009 Irish corporate tax receipts were 13.9% of income tax and VAT receipts combined, while in the U.S. in 2009 corporate tax receipts were 15% of income tax receipts alone, only 7.8% of individual income tax combined with payroll tax (Social Security & Medicare). I think that is actually a pretty strong argument in favor of low corporate tax rates, at least in the current competitive multinational environment (certainly for Ireland, which has a much smaller GDP and thus can benefit more, percentage-wise, from tax competition).

    You'd have to have raised the "corporation tax" by 350% (to over 55%) just to make the total tax receipts of 2009 equal to 2007, but of course that would have triggered a massive corporate exodus, the revenue wouldn't have equalized anyway, and there would be higher unemployment as well.

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