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Censorship Government The Internet United States

Spanish Congress Rejects Internet Censorship Law 229

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-one-expects-the-spanish-opposition dept.
TuringTest writes "A commission of the Spanish Congress has rejected a law that allowed the closure of web sites that provide unauthorized downloads. The government couldn't reach enough support from its allies, not because they opposed the law in principle, but because of the way it was redacted and the lack of negotiation. Recently the Spanish Senate rejected a law on net neutrality. Also the Wikileaks cables disclosed pressure from the USA on the Spanish government to pass a law to reduce Internet sharing of music and media, which is legal in Spain."
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Spanish Congress Rejects Internet Censorship Law

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  • packing my bags ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 23, 2010 @03:46AM (#34649912)

    and moving to spain

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by spxZA (996757)
      How will that prevent the great US and A from censoring what you want? Just because you're in a country that doesn't do any censoring, doesn't mean that other countries' policies won't affect you. Too many double negatives?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hope you don't carry, 'cause in Spain you can only do it to and from a range. Freedoms can be funny things like that - you get one, you lose one.

      • by fantomas (94850) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @06:40AM (#34650464)

        Sometimes two different 'freedoms' may clash. It looks like Spanish people feel that it is better to be free of the fear of huge amounts of guns on their streets than the freedom for the majority of citizens to carry guns on their streets.

        I've lived in Europe for 40 years and never once have I thought "I'd feel safer walking to the shops if I had a gun on me or knowing that lots of these other people walking around on the streets had guns on them".

        • by characterZer0 (138196) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:54AM (#34650828)

          The right to bear arms is to protect yourself from the government, not from the riffraff.

          Regardless of whether it works or not in this day and age, that is the reason for the right.

          • You: Pistol, maybe a rifle, a few hundred hours on the range.
            The Law: SWAT team, flashbangs, CS grenades, door-breaching revolving shotgun, high-powered sniper rifles, professional police with training in simulated urban combat.

            Maybe guns were a good way to resist the government when the second amendment was written, but not now.
            • by bberens (965711)
              Yes, if there's anything our two current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taught us it's that untrained civilians with lower quality technology have no chance whatsoever at mounting a defense against an occupying force.
              • But they are doing it in large enough quantities. Remember that for every one of the allied soldiers killed, many insurgents are killed. It takes a significent numerical advantage, in addition to fighting on familier ground, and still they can't achieve anything more slowing their loss.
              • Yes, you can mount a guerilla resistance. Depending on the enemy, this can work, or it can not.

                At any rate, the cost in civilians is high. Very, very high. One hallmark of guerilla warfare is the lack of fronts. Do you think people would be willing to risk the life and comfort, of them and their loved ones, for freedom?

                If you do, take a look at the last decade and how we celebrated the erosion of our liberties for the facade of protection and think again.

            • that echos my point. the military (controlled by own own government) has bigger toys and no citizen can defend himself against this.

              200 yrs ago it was possible. today its not.

              otoh, 200 yrs ago, I'm not sure that fellow citizen was our biggest fear. today, its more likely that guns will be used by 'bad guys' on the street than by our own government directly against us. police are there to mostly clean up *after* the fact, never to *prevent* crime.

              its easy to argue that guns, now, would be more useful to

            • by nabsltd (1313397)

              The Law: SWAT team, flashbangs, CS grenades, door-breaching revolving shotgun, high-powered sniper rifles, professional police with training in simulated urban combat.

              If it ever gets serious enough where a significant percentage of the population decides to take up arms against the government, then there will be plenty of people building devices that remove most of the advantage the government starts out with.

              Between IEDs, radio jammers, computer viruses, and who knows what else, the authorities would be in tough shape if they had essentially only better hand weapons as their only advantage when outnumbered 100:1

          • by kikito (971480)

            "Regardless of whether it works or not in this day and age, that is the reason for the right"

            Examining a right regardlessly is like commenting a dish tastelessly.

        • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:35AM (#34651018)

          Sometimes two different 'freedoms' may clash.

          Absolutely.

          . It looks like Spanish people feel that it is better to be free of the fear of huge amounts of guns on their streets than the freedom for the majority of citizens to carry guns on their streets.

          See, and this is where you, and perhaps they, lose me. Freedom from fear. People may give up personal freedom (and responsibility) in the hope that they will be safer and less afraid, but I seem to recall a rather famous quote about just that. In truth, there is little scientific support for the theory that strict gun control laws result in greater safety. They might result in less fear, but that's only a function of the public's ignorance.

          I've lived in Europe for 40 years and never once have I thought "I'd feel safer walking to the shops if I had a gun on me or knowing that lots of these other people walking around on the streets had guns on them".

          And for the most part, when it comes to personal protection, there is little scientific support for the theory that having access to more common firearms makes people safer either. Sadly, for being such a major issue, there's really very few well conducted studies on the issue since no one keeps track of how often firearms are used to deter or prevent crime, and very sporadic records on how often violent crimes occur (hint they are constantly reclassified by politicians that control record keeping and who want to seem effective ala, we have 50% fewer homeless and a huge increase in outdoorsmen in our city). The scientific consensus to date is there is no real correlation between gun control laws and violent crime when normalized for other factors, or perhaps a slight increase in violent crime.

          But mostly I just wanted to point out what I see as your misperception. The individual right to carry firearms is a freedom. The right to stop everyone else from carrying them is not a freedom, it's a restriction. No matter how you try to redefine it as a "freedom to not feel fear". You can claim it is a conflict of the freedom to carry firearms and the freedom to continue living, but that is only in perception. One might as well argue free speech is not a freedom, because it conflicts with my fear that word viruses might infect my brain and transform me into a starfish. Rational people have to rely upon actual evidence and there is no evidence to date, that is an actual conflict, only a perceived one in the minds of those who have not actually formed their opinion using a rational methodology. When you wrote that the spanish people "feel" it is better, you were much more precise than perhaps you intended.

          • by theNAM666 (179776)

            Hmm. Did you bother to check gun deaths in Europe vs. gun deaths in the Untied States, before speaking?

            I didn't think so.

            • Hmm. Did you bother to check gun deaths in Europe vs. gun deaths in the Untied States, before speaking? I didn't think so.

              You apparently didn't bother to think much at all. Do take a look at violent crime and murders in Europe and South America, and North America and everywhere else, by country and even legal jurisdiction. Notice a correlation between those numbers and gun control laws? No? Gee neither does anyone else. Sweden, for example has very liberal gun control laws and high rates of ownership, but some of the lowest rates of murder and violent crime in the world. There are, however, many very good correlations with mur

              • by theNAM666 (179776)

                You, sir, are a fucking idiot. A fucking idiot who can spew a lot of academic-sounding verbiage, but a fucking idiot.

                I don't need to have hours of nitpicking discussion about what is and isn't a murder, followed by your ridiculous home break-in axe murderer bullshit scenario, to realize that a situation with guns involved more often escalates to death, than one with knives or sticks and stones, and that gunshot wounds more often, by their nature, create fatal injuries.

                To wit:

                http://www.nationmaste [nationmaster.com]

                • You, sir, are a fucking idiot.

                  You can always tell someone is intelligent and about to make a persuasive logical argument when they start their comment with an emotionally based attack on the person they are responding to.

                  I don't need to have hours of nitpicking discussion about what is and isn't a murder, followed by your ridiculous home break-in axe murderer bullshit scenario

                  If you don't understand the difference between a "bullshit scenario" and an example that demonstrates a flaw in logic, maybe we should just stop the conversation here. You don't seem too interested in "logic" and crazy ideas like that, except as a talking point appeal to imagined authority (ala logic says you're a stup

          • by kikito (971480)

            Dude, the guy carrying a gun around is the one that is afraid.

            And it's not just the Spanish people, it's pretty much the whole developed world. The US is the minority there.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Sometimes two different 'freedoms' may clash. It looks like Spanish people feel that it is better to be free of the fear of huge amounts of guns on their streets than the freedom for the majority of citizens to carry guns on their streets.

          So you prefer the "freedom" of feeling free of fear of guns?

          So would you advocate rounding up all minority people into concentration camps, so that you can have the freedom of feeling free of the fear that one of them may victimize you in a crime?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BenoitRen (998927)

      Good luck getting a job there.

  • by mykos (1627575) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @03:52AM (#34649926)
    ...Is lower the bar for "copyright infringement" or the enforcement thereof.

    It's already happening in the US. [google.com] Homeland Security to fourth amendment: "Fuck you."
    • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @06:04AM (#34650340)

      What has particularly pissed off [eff.org] Spanish internet community is that the copyright laws the US is blackmailing through in Spain (via 301/trade sanctions) go way beyond what has ever been proposed here in the US - i.e. 3 strikes.

      In a move that has only thrown more fuel on the fire, the US ambassador to Spain took an active role in discouraging democratic debate [google.com] about the new laws - agreeing by Spanish request to "influence" elected representatives so that they did not to meet or discuss the new laws with their constituents:

      "[Sebastian] I was particularly concerned that the regional government of Madrid had been organizing meetings with Internet users. (...) He said that would be helpful if the ambassador could encourage regional president [Esperanza Aguirre] to stop.'s Ambassador agreed to raise the issue when meeting with the regional president."

      "Spreading Democracy" in action, anyone.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The world is turning against military expansion of empire so now it is necessary to do it financially. That is all.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @04:00AM (#34649950) Homepage Journal

    to pass a law to reduce Internet sharing of music and media, which is legal in Spain

    see how that filth works ? this is precisely why they are trying to take down wikileaks. because it exposes what filth they are doing.

  • by Sparx139 (1460489) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @04:01AM (#34649954)
    ... then I realized that the reason they rejected it had nothing to do with the fact that this sort of thing is bad =(
    • by Beriaru (954082) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @04:38AM (#34650052)
      The citizen awareness was high because the sharing webpages closed showing the notice of the intent of the government of passing the law as a 'petty topic' so it could approve it without public discussion.

      That raised protest, a DDoS attack to the web pages of ALL politic groups, a flood of emails and calls to the politics, and so on. That incidents produced some notices in national media that raised more the awareness of the public opinion.

      At last, the politic groups was intimidated. The situation in Spain is critical, with a 20% of unemployment and a brutal credit crunch. So a high unpopular law as that could 'spark' some unrest.

  • How can you pass something in to law if it has been redacted and is thus not fully disclosed. You could have something in there like "we'll also need everyone to wear pink on Fridays or face the death penalty". How can we follow a law, let alone pass it if it has been redacted?
  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @04:29AM (#34650028) Journal

    To give you an idea of the authoritarianism of Spain's government, around three weeks ago it issued a State of Alert [bbc.co.uk] because of striking ATCers which came down to, "If you refuse to work, you will be sent to jail." (Conversely, work sets you free.) Note that Spanish ATC was civilian, but an argument was formed that by striking you are denying people freedom of movement. This is probably one of the most Orwellian interpretations of "freedom" Western Europe has seen in recent years, and is the first time quasi-martial law has been enforced in Spain since the fall of Franco.

    This is not the sort of government that is about to sympathise with filesharing arguments. It is, like all authoritarian governments, a stickler for procedure, and that's the only real reason this law didn't pass.

    • by Alioth (221270)

      Authoritarian != fascist. Soviet Russia was authoratarian, but not fascist. Iran has an authoratarian but not fascist government. Spain's current government is not fascist nor beats with a fascist heart, but it is one of the more authoratarian European governments, right up there with the British government.

      • by mcvos (645701)

        Authoritarian != fascist. Soviet Russia was authoratarian, but not fascist.

        Not every aspect of Soviet Russia, perhaps, but Stalinism was an excellent example of fascism. Possibly more fascist than nazism, even.

    • wait - franco is stil dead??

    • by ccguy (1116865)
      Excuse me? The government did exactly what they had to do. They refused to allow a bunch of over paid people, making as much as 900,000 euros *per year* to take the population hostage (again) by closing all airport operations. Had previous administrations addresses this issue properly we wouldn't have reached this critical situation in the first place. I'm very very satisfied that they did what they had to. Airports are a public service that must run at all times, and strikes must be properly notified, s
      • making as much as 900,000 euros *per year*

        Just FYI, that doesn't really say much. I could say that Portuguese business owners make as much as millions per year, yet 99.6% of the businesses are actually very small and their owners don't make 1/100 of that.

      • They refused to allow a bunch of over paid people, making as much as 900,000 euros *per year*

        Irrelevant appeal to emotion.

        to take the population hostage (again)

        Awful redefinition of "hostage". I want an Xbox within half an hour and you're holding me hostage by not flying a helicopter to my garden with it.

        by closing all airport operations.

        No, AENA closed all airport operations because a set of air traffic controllers chose not to work...

        Had previous administrations addresses this issue properly

        ...and other air traffic controllers were not available because you the Spanish voter didn't consider it important enough to negotiate either more reasonable terms for all parties or pre-arrange a fallback.

        I'm very very satisfied that they did what they had to. Airports are a public service that must run at all times, and strikes must be properly notified, services must be working to a minimum rate, and so on.

        Had must must must: all this ob

    • by hibiki_r (649814)

      At the same time, the same government was protecting said ATCers with government contracts, and by letting their union manage the training of ATCers altogether, which meant that there's no such thing as an ATC without a job. This makes sure there's no competition whatsoever, so they can keep going on strike every two years, when their salaries are well over an order of magnitude larger than the median Spanish yearly salary.

      The government had extremely few options at that point.

    • Spanish government beats with a fascist heart.

      But then, which government doesn't these days?

  • today. there has to be a reason, out of the blue.
  • France has passed a law "Loppsi 2" which allows the Interior Minister to ban any web site without any legal process. The Ministry for the Interior sends a blacklist to ISPs which they have to enforce. Though ostensibly to cut down "child porn" and malware sites, there aren't any actual restrictions on what kind of site can be blacklisted and could be used to black out a site such as Wikileaks.

    Phillip.

  • by Damnshock (1293558) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @07:26AM (#34650572) Homepage

    I'll copy+paste myself from Osnews:

    File sharing is not "legal" in Spain. It is something called, in the law world, "alegal" which means something is not regulated nor prohibited. To give a weird example: it is legal to say something because you have the right of free speech but... would it be legal to kill an e.t.? Right now, with the law in hands, that would be "alegal".

    • by Zangief (461457)

      If something is not ilegal, then it's legal. This "alegal" thing is a dangerous concept.

      We can't expect the laws to define absolutely every aspect of the human (or alien!) experience.

    • by ccguy (1116865)
      File sharing IS legal. Let's not invent things.
    • by moortak (1273582)
      No, if it isn't illegal it is legal. It is a pretty binary term.
    • I dunno about your country, but our law is written "in the negative" (I forgot the legalese term for it). I.e. if there's no law for it forbidding it, it's allowed by default.

      Personally, I consider laws that list everything I may do with everything else being in legal limbo or outright forbidden a bit disturbing.

    • The use of the "alegal" adjective sounds like a bunch of crap. An action can only be illegal (i.e., explicitly stated to be against a law) or legal (i.e., the law either authorizes or does not mention). Trying to impose on the people this "alegal" concept is a lame attempt to sell the idea that although an action is perfectly legal, in the eyes of some irrelevant people it should not be considered as such. To put it in other words, it is yet another "piracy" or "dowloading is stealing". It's a loaded wo

  • Clicking on the link in the summary brought me to the google translated version. Here's a fragment of the headache inducing result:

    The arguments put forward by all parliamentary groups except the PSOE, passed from the doubts about the constitutionality of the text, in the case of CC, PP and ERC-IU-ICV, to consider the provision "a Pepe own fudge and Otilio Leak "as said ERC spokesman Joan Ridao, or" the law of the kick to the modem ", as stated by the deputy of ICV Nuria Buenaventura.

    Yeah... most of my email spam makes more sense these days.

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