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The Great Firewall of Europe 191

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yeah-that'll-happen dept.
Glyn Moody writes "The Presidency of the EU's Law Enforcement Working Party wants to create [PDF] 'a single secure European cyberspace with a certain "virtual Schengen border" and "virtual access points" whereby the Internet Service Providers (ISP) would block illicit contents on the basis of the EU "black-list."' Leaving aside the fact that this won't work for lots of reasons, how seriously can you take anyone talking about 'cyberspace' in 2011?"
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The Great Firewall of Europe

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  • by thisissilly (676875) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:00AM (#35961888)
    You take them seriously when they are in a position of power. With a title like "Presidency of the EU's Law Enforcement Working Party", you better damn well take him seriously, or in the end you are not the one who is going to be laughing.
  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:01AM (#35961896)

    This is the kind of story I would expect coming from the US president's office, not the EU president's office. Hopefully this kind of censorship will die, like it died in Australia.

    Free, liberated adults should be able to view any site (or book or pamphlet) they desire - without restriction. No government official may overrule that basic natural right of expression.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:30AM (#35962168)

    This was the plan all along with the union, and illustrates the danger when power is consolidated and centralized into the hands of the few.

    With many small instances of political power, the elite at the top of each pyramid are limited in what they can do, because their pyramids are limited in height (e.g. revenue, and therefore power). With one large instance of political power, the elite are sitting atop a much larger pyramid. The potential for destruction and injustice is much higher -- proportional to the height of their pyramid.

    Why must government be limited in what they can do? (And I cringe that I actually have to explain this.) Because history shows that government is the most dangerous, most destructive force that has ever existed. It shows that the people who desire power work for themselves, not the people they hold power over. It also shows that where destructive power exists, destructive power will be employed -- to the benefit of the empowered, not the powerless.

    The absolute worst thing that could happen in the history of humanity is a single "world" government coming to power -- the tallest, richest, most powerful pyramid that could ever exist. They would be capable of destruction and injustice on a level we can't even imagine.

  • by Magada (741361) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:30AM (#35962174) Journal

    The "people" are not going to do anything. Yes, we are well into the regulation phase that follows the colonization of any frontier.

    Think of it as the not-so-wild turn of the century West.

    Will the liberty decrease? Surely. Will crime decrease? Yes, most certainly, especially the violent kind (outright theft etc). Will there be a lot more commerce, more money being made and lots more poverty? Hell yea.

    It's a great time to be a black hat hacker. You thought the lawless nineties were good? Just you wait, 'cause the golden years of the Internet Mafia are still ahead, boys! There'll be prohibitions and trade barriers enough for everyone to get rich! Movies, music, software, even (or rather, especially) raw data storage and secure communications channels.

    'course, there'll be a few european comissioners and europol bigwigs to grease up but then... when was that not true?

  • by moronoxyd (1000371) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:43AM (#35962302)

    This was the plan all along with the union, and illustrates the danger when power is consolidated and centralized into the hands of the few.

    Well, I've seen quite a few good things that cam from the EU parlament, that couldn't have been done in the same timeframe by all the individual parlaments.

    With many small instances of political power, the elite at the top of each pyramid are limited in what they can do, because their pyramids are limited in height (e.g. revenue, and therefore power).

    Considering that certain companies have a revenue that surpasses man smaller and medium sized countries and that influence people in almost all countries in the world, I tend to disagree.

    On a national level, governments regularily give in the those companies, but on a supernational level (read: EU) they can and do stand up.

    The notion that the market will regulate itself is outdated. Companies consolidated to much power and money in the hands of too few people.
    In many fields the conumer can not exercise his supposed power anymore and NEEDS support by watchdogs and governments.

    The absolut worst thing that could happen is not giving the government enough power to keep multinational companies atleast somewhat in check.

  • by schnikies79 (788746) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:46AM (#35962328)

    We have moved to more ridiculous terms like "cloud" and "web 2.0".

  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw.yahoo@com> on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:47AM (#35962336) Journal

    Will the liberty decrease? Surely. Will crime decrease? Yes, most certainly, especially the violent kind (outright theft etc).

    Actually, crime will necessarily increase, as there will be more laws to be broken in the first place. Also, history has shown pretty consistently that the more government restricts people's choices in life, the more violent they become. It's a sad fact that no one seems to have learned yet.

    Cue the people who don't understand the crucial difference between anarchy and minarchy to come in and state that Somalia is a "libertarian paradise".

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:52AM (#35962384)

    I hope your post is intended as a joke, because the GOP is one of the biggest supporters of an internet crackdown in the U.S. Who do you think has been screaming loudest about banning sites like WikiLeaks? And net neutrality is specifically designed to PROTECT a free internet. Without it, the handful of broadband ISP's in this country will be free to set up not only a national firewall and blacklist, but individual paywalls as well.

    Not that the Dems are much better, mind you. But if you really think the GOP is going to protect a free internet, you are a truly deluded individual. The only chance for maintaining a free internet would be the rise of a third party, and that's almost an impossibility in the U.S.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @10:31AM (#35962742) Homepage

    The EU, for all its many faults, provides some big benefits that nobody sees.

    The biggest one in my book is that the major countries in Europe no longer try to blow each other to smithereens. This could have happened without the EU, but historically speaking economic crisis led fairly directly to warfare in Europe, as desperate countries tried to capture by force the resources they needed to survive while other countries tried to take advantage of the perceived weakness of the countries in crisis. That in my book means that the EU did a better job of preserving peace than the League of Nations or the UN.

    The next on the list would probably be that by using EU membership as a motivator, it's pushed the former Eastern Bloc countries that could very easily have turned into Putin-style regimes to become proper democracies. Read the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to get an idea of the political importance of EU membership, and then consider what Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Belarus, etc could easily have become without it.

    It's definitely not the best possible way of governing, but it's doing much better than most everything else that's been tried. And its relative success is a big part of why some African governments have been pushing for similar sorts of organizations among their nations.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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