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Censorship Government Your Rights Online

Report Warns That Censorship Will Not Stop Terrorism 101

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the shill-instruction-guide dept.
concealment writes "The report evaluates the challenge of curbing online radicalization from the perspective of supply and demand. It concludes that efforts to shut down websites that could serve as incubators for would-be terrorists — going after the supply — will ultimately be self-defeating, and that 'filtering of Internet content is impractical in a free and open society.' 'Approaches aimed at restricting freedom of speech and removing content from the Internet are not only the least desirable strategies, they are also the least effective,' writes Peter Neumann, founding director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College London and the author of the report."
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Report Warns That Censorship Will Not Stop Terrorism

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  • One Word (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lionchild (581331) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:17PM (#42193231) Journal

    Duh!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Mod International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College London +1 for "No Shit, Sherlock".

    • I would be inclined to agree. If the article had some sort of hard data supporting the conclusion(which I believe is correct), it might be more useful, but stating the obvious without further evidence to repudiate the current strategies seems like a bit of a waste of time.

  • Not rocket science (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:19PM (#42193265)

    I can't imagine why anybody would trust or accept the rationale given to them by somebody who threatens them with physical force. But somehow government is different. Right.

    I don't care if you're a congressman or a common thief. If your relationship with me is defined by physical force (or threat thereof), then common sense tells me that I cannot trust you. With that said, it should be blindingly obvious that censorship isn't about stopping terrorism. It's about profit, whether direct or indirect, same as 99% of everything government does.

  • The real worry is offline radicalization.

    • by Quakeulf (2650167)
      Of course, but this is much harder to do anything about so all they can do is let it slide and hope for the best.
  • Censorship doesn't stop much of anything--it only stops people from talking about things where you can see them. In terms of totalitarian utilitarianism, a police surveillance state is much more effective than blunt force marshal law.
  • FTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:24PM (#42193341) Homepage Journal

    Instead, policymakers should focus their attention on the demand side of the radicalization issue, Neumann argues, with the government spearheading outreach initiatives that would bring together schools, community groups and businesses to advance awareness and media literacy and offer a competing narrative to that presented by sites that traffic in radical propaganda.

    There's no way this would work in the U.S. It sounds like socialism. It also incorporates zero bombs. A bill to attempt such a thing would be regarded by the right wing of this country as an encroachment on freedom far worse than censorship(of people they disagree with).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Instead, policymakers should focus their attention on the demand side of the radicalization issue, Neumann argues, with the government spearheading outreach initiatives that would bring together schools, community groups and businesses to advance awareness and media literacy and offer a competing narrative to that presented by sites that traffic in radical propaganda.

      And this is exactly why it won't work in the US. Imagine if suddenly all the US voters became aware of how to spot propaganda, it's the politicians', aka the "radical propagandas'" worst nightmare.

    • by Ltap (1572175)
      Also, seriously, it's implying that stopping radicalism is a good thing (which it is, from the perspective of elites who want to maintain power, I suppose).
    • by khallow (566160)

      Instead, policymakers should focus their attention on the demand side of the radicalization issue, Neumann argues, with the government spearheading outreach initiatives that would bring together schools, community groups and businesses to advance awareness and media literacy and offer a competing narrative to that presented by sites that traffic in radical propaganda.

      There's no way this would work in the U.S. It sounds like socialism. It also incorporates zero bombs. A bill to attempt such a thing would be regarded by the right wing of this country as an encroachment on freedom far worse than censorship(of people they disagree with).

      Why would this work at all? A first move in radicalization is to cut off the target from rival propaganda. Second, who really thinks the problem here is that people aren't indoctrinated enough? The real problem is societies that breed lots of terrorists and pretty nasty ideologies. That's not going to be cured by some feelgood on the internets.

      It also depends on Hollywood and other US media centers, the people who profit the most from currently portraying the US as the bad guys. You'll just have some Hol

      • Actually, I'd like to point out that Hollywood gets huge amounts of freebies from the US military for portraying the US as the good guys.

        I cannot actually think of an example from the past decade where the U.S. was portrayed as evil in a movie.

        • by khallow (566160)

          I cannot actually think of an example from the past decade where the U.S. was portrayed as evil in a movie.

          The Hunger Games is a pretty obvious one in the top 10 list for 2012. A common ploy is to denigrate US society and culture (see, for example, "The Help" a 2011 movie). Even when a movie doesn't focus on this aspect, you can get driveby insults (eg, a brief, shallow cameo by the stereotypical "ugly American" tourist, narcissistic yuppie, or an ignorant soccer mom).

          • by Anonymous Coward

            The Hunger Games is a pretty obvious one in the top 10 list for 2012

            Hunger Games takes place in a fictional nation of Panem, which just happened to be located in North America. It's not obvious at all. You might as well say it's a shot at Canada (Blame Canada! Blame Canada!)

            A common ploy is to denigrate US society and culture (see, for example, "The Help" a 2011 movie).

            "The Help" depicted a young AMERICAN white woman fighting for justice for her fellow AMERICAN women (the maids).

            I say that movie is praising US society and culture, in how strong individuals (the protagonists) prevail, correcting the wrongs of America's own past and leading America to a better more hopef

            • by khallow (566160)

              Hunger Games takes place in a fictional nation of Panem, which just happened to be located in North America. It's not obvious at all. You might as well say it's a shot at Canada (Blame Canada! Blame Canada!)

              So you're not going to be serious about this? I answered your question with a high profile movie in the past ten years. This thread is done as far as I'm concerned.

              • That wasn't their question. It was mine. Thanks for not even looking at usernames.

              • by hazah (807503)
                Something is up with your reading comprehension. The comment is serious, and it addressed your concern. Unless you do not actually understand literary devices you're just being a dick about it.
    • by grenadeh (2734161)
      Yea that's not socialism in the slightest bit, that's business as usual for America - bringing together schools and community groups and businesses to advance awareness and literacy, etc. At least that's how it used to be. And I hate to break it to you, the Left has been the major culprit in the history of this country, especially in the past 12 years, when it comes to censorship and constitution and bill of rights-raping/ass-wiping. What Bush started, the administrations since have made exponentially wors
  • I call this report as terrorist reports since it would suggest to take more lenient approach against it :D
  • Sounds a lot like the war on drugs to me. But terrorists demand that we be afraid, so let's give them what they want.
  • by Korruptionen (2647747) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:41PM (#42193549) Journal
    Does anyone else feel like "Captain Hindsight" was just here??
  • Here's my deeply researched article I wrote that upstages this one:
    Censorship won't stop a damn thing. It won't stop anything copyrighted, illegal, dangerous, or terrorism-related. It will just be used to control people and enforce IP-holders' business models to make them more money (in their opinion).
    The End
    Citations:
    Common sense, reality, and past experience with internet stuff
  • If anything, censorship will only harden the resolve of terrorists and will only further fuel their personal justifications for enaging in the act.
    • by jerep (794296)

      In this case I would call "terrorists" freedom fighters and "free people" terrorists.

  • lol (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:50PM (#42193675)

    Their first mistake was in thinking that the censorship was designed to stop terrorism. Terrorism is an excuse, like WMDs... the real goal is control.

    • by grenadeh (2734161)
      Absolutely correct.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cold fjord (826450)

      The United States will recall a million pounds of ground beef if a half dozen people are killed by tained meat, and you can't figure out they just might, might, want to prevent this [realclearpolitics.com] from happening again? I'll meet the moderators that gave you that +5 half way - you do have a rare insight, but I wouldn't give it a +1.

      BTW - is the tainted meat recall about control too?

      • by reboot246 (623534)
        A million pounds of ground beef may sound like a lot to you, but it's just a drop in the bucket.

        U.S beef production is between 25 and 30 BILLION pounds a year.
        • I assume you'll let me know when they recall the entire year's production of ground beef from all domestic producers as well as all imports?

          Would you concede that recalling even a trifling million pounds from a single producer might have an adverse impact on their profitability let alone their ability to stay in business?

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @12:58PM (#42193785)

    I have this nasty habbit of watching the behavior of other people, and am very interested in how stereotypes develop, how they relate to group demographics, and how they also fail to describe individual people.

    I have had the great (mis)fortune of being able to observe "important" people in many niches, and levels of "importance", and have come up with some general rules of thumb concerning their behaviors. These are stereotypes, of course, and should not be seen as gospel, or as describing individuals.

    That said, the stereotypical "important person" (I keep using that phrase, because it covers a large demographic ranging from senior managment to politicians, to police officers.) Is actually very insecure about their position. They have worked very hard to get into their "important" position, and are terrified of being displaced, either through their superiors replacing them with a better employee, or through discovery of their being a crook.

    This insecurity makes this stereotypical person very paranoid, and prone to establishing elaborate plans and collusions to prevent the possibility of competition for their position. It also makes them very susceptible to "terror", and they react very agitatedly and aggressively toward any 'percievied' threat.

    A good example of this comes from a friend of mine who works with/near city government of his small town. Shortly after the sept 11 tradecenter attack, this small city government (under 100,000 residents) "increased security", was actively looking for terrorists, and had a major panic attack when a passing pedestrian left a backpack in the lobby while sad pedestrian used the public bathroom. (For real, they thought he was a bomber.) The recognition that they were simply not that important to attract the attention of organized terror agencies simply didn't kick in even once.

    Due to this hysterical paranoia, they seek any and all means to "feel safe", which means they have absolutely no mental barriers against locking innocent people into padded rooms for discussing "scary" topics, or even just discussing the shortcomings of our stereotypical "important" people.

    We can see manifestations of this in the US government, where serious discussions of enacting "indefinate detention" without a trial, or oversight "for national security" took place not all that long ago, and was narrowly struck down.

    Being told that the measures that make them feel the most secure, are demonstrably the worst measures they could ever attempt when wanting to actually BE secure, will usually make them confrontational, and increasingly paranoid. They have an uncanny tendency to have a superiority complex, that prevents them from accepting professional advice, if that advice goes against what they believe. They view such offers of policy advice as attacks against their credibility and viability as leaders, and not as the healthy, helpful professional advice that it is. In order to get them to enact outside advice of this nature, they have to be duped into thinking it was their idea first.

    That has not occured with this study. This study directly contradicts the currently held practices of important world leaders in dealing with people discussing "dangerous and scary" things, and will be viewed with derision, and outright contempt, (and more than a healthy dose of fear.)

    It will be mocked and ridiculed behind closed doors, completely ignored in public commentary and the press (unless the press brings it up, then expect diversionary tactics), and burried. The researchers themselves might even experience difficulties getting more grant money, though the cockblock will be subtle.

    In short, don't expect this study to bring enlightenment in our leaders.

  • by jerep (794296)

    Did we really need a study to figure that out?

    How fucking retarded are we as a species?

    • by hazah (807503)
      Are you seriously asking? After 2 world wars? After the roazy theatre thereafter? Look, we still say to ourselves that killing is sometimes an option, obviously we've not actually moved anywhere in our plight. So as a species, we are exactly as retarded as we were for the past 10,000 years or so. Learning nothing.
  • Aren't censorship and terrorism orthogonal?

  • You need a brit to tell you this? Of course it won't. The revolution will not be censored. You can try all you want, it will only embolden them and us. And make no mistake, readers, "terrorists" is a transparent bullshit term used by an establishment stuck in 2001 who thinks we are too stupid and afraid to see reality anymore. This is and has and will continue to be used against normal, law-abiding Americans and other citizens of "free" western societies to keep us in line. Don't let it.
  • Good God, someone was *paid* to do a study to figure this out? Oh, by the way, sex education doesn't reduce masturbation or pre-marital sex either. And ads from the RIAA don't stop music piracy. In other news, nobody trust banks, politicians or other forms of mafia.

    • by hazah (807503)
      Well, sex education isn't meant to stop masturbation nor pre-marital sex, so it failing on both counts is expected. You're failing it for not attaining the goals it was not meant for?
  • by DriveDog (822962) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:33PM (#42194253)
    Aside from the free speech issues, what it does is chase off a few noncommitted types and drive the serious ones deeper underground where they're harder to find. Good policing and intelligence work involves staking out the site and watching who comes and goes and what they do. Pushing them off onto Freenet or somewhere eliminates that opportunity for observation. Worried about exposing impressionable persons to such rhetoric? Then provide alternatives, built by someone who really cares and understands how to reach them. What happened in the Cold War? Communist Bloc radio wasn't jammed. Instead, the West transmitted their viewpoints (VOA, RFE, etc).
  • If a censored Internet is anathema to a free and open society, the Security Organs are implementing the solution already: eliminate free and open society. After all, if you've done nothing wrong...
  • Those who don't know that "Terrizm" is just an excuse to justify censorship, please raise your hands. Governments are thrilled that they've found this convenient boogyman to scare people with and demand conformity.

  • *Report* *Warns* That *Censorship* Will Not Stop *Terrorism* - (Bullshit) Bingo!

  • Filtering of Internet content is impractical in a free and open society.
    Therefore, we should first get rid of this free and open society.

    I don't remember exactly where and when this decision was made, but most national governments are already in full-swing implementation mode.

  • ... and the report was quickly suppressed as a threat to national security.
  • by Paracelcus (151056) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @04:12PM (#42196195) Journal

    "Terrorism" a tactic, NOT a thing you can fight a "war" against!

    "Terrorism" with the exception of 911 is just background noise, it's been going on for hundreds of years, everywhere!

    The government of these USoA's have joyously pounced on "Terrorism" as an excuse to radically seize/expand more power and destroy even more of the Constitution in the process! Wasn't it Bush that said "It's terrible to let a disaster go to waste" or something along those lines?

    Everytime you drop a bomb, fire a missile, shoot a .50 and miss your intended target, and. You blow up some farmers hooch, kill a bus full of school kids, kill the village "holy man". The skinny farmer who in burying little bloody rags of meat that used to be his family, becomes a man filled with a kind of hate that very few of my fellow Americans (thankfully) can understand, and the only thing that can stop him is a bullet, he cannot be frightened, bribed or reasoned with, that errant bomb has created a "Terrorist"!

  • Look, this thing people do where if you don't win it all then you're a loser entirely misses the point. I'd rather slow terrorism than not bother with it. And committing to the tactic of "censorship" does NOT preclude me from pursuing other strategies, so why would anyone even bother arguing against it? People's lives are a lot more important to me than whether you think some principality has wasted money and infringed on a terrorists' right to have a website.

  • Going after the supply works people. Just look at the hugely successful 40 year old War on Drugs.

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