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United Kingdom Censorship Government The Internet Your Rights Online

British Police Censor the Global Internet 228

Posted by timothy
from the sun-never-sets-on-the-british-censor dept.
judgecorp writes "A branch of the City of London police seems to be censoring suspected pirates worldwide, using threats. The Police Intellectual Proerty Crime Unit (PIPCU), acts on tip-offs from copyright owners to attempt to close down websites accused of piracy. the process involves cease-and-desist letters, followed by pressure on advertisers not to fund the site, and finally PIPCU uses threats to the domain registrar (not the ISP), all without any sort of court order."
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British Police Censor the Global Internet

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  • by benjfowler (239527) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @11:58AM (#45651005)

    Fun fact: the City of London (as opposed to Greater London and its boroughs outside the square mile) is a dictatorship with a mayor annually appointed by the businesses that operate in the City of London.

    Smacks of fascism? Yes. They pride themselves as "business friendly", and never met a plutocrat they didn't like. The City of London police is basically a militia for the rich and powerful. They are also in cahoots with Scientology -- some senior officers are Scientologists, and the City of London Police have been known to do their dirty work for them, as previously reported on Slashdot.

  • Re:No... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @12:06PM (#45651079)

    You're the only with no facts. The City of London is not the same as London. The Mayor of the City of London is not the Mayor of London.

  • UK (Score:5, Informative)

    by gramty (1344605) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @12:07PM (#45651103)
    Civil rights have been under attack in Britain for a long time. Since Thatcher, continued enthusiastically by Blair/Brown and now Cameron's government we have seen a massive assault on traditional freedoms and protections. Judicial oversight, Freedom of speech, free assembly/protest, presumption of innocence, freedom from mass surveillance have all come under massive attack by various bills over the last 20 years. This is has been met with hardly a reaction from the general public, most people don't seem to think it affects them and this has emboldened governments and institutions to act in a more and more authoritarian manner, working under the strong belief that they are doing what the public want for their own good. I fear by the time people start to react, we will be so far down the road; it will take something close to a revolution to change. We are not big on revolutions on Britain.
  • Re:No... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dominux (731134) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @12:17PM (#45651189) Homepage

    the City of London is a square mile business district, the Lord Mayor is the head of the City of London Corporation, and is Fiona Woolf at the moment. Boris is the Mayor of London - that is Greater London, and what Americans think of as London, not the City of London Corporation. It is actually the Livery Companies (like the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists) that elect the Lord Mayor. It is weirder than you think.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @12:19PM (#45651207)

    It's a ceremonial position and its entire purpose since its creation has been to promote businesses in the City of London. The Mayor has no political authority whatsoever.

  • by barlevg (2111272) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @12:21PM (#45651239)

    IIRC the British monarchy brings in more revenue than it costs. Those most critical of the monarchy put the annual cost of maintaining it at 400 million GBP (more conservative figures peg that as much lower), but the royal family generates 500 million GBP / year in tourism revenue. I'm sure one can poke holes in this argument, but based on these two figures alone, it sounds like the monarchy is worth it.

    Citation [theatlantic.com]

  • Re:No... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlueLightning (442320) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @12:40PM (#45651435) Homepage Journal

    If you want it all summarised (very) nicely, checkout these videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrObZ_HZZUc [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1ROpIKZe-c [youtube.com]

  • by xaxa (988988) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @12:58PM (#45651655)

    IIRC the British monarchy brings in more revenue than it costs. Those most critical of the monarchy put the annual cost of maintaining it at 400 million GBP (more conservative figures peg that as much lower), but the royal family generates 500 million GBP / year in tourism revenue. I'm sure one can poke holes in this argument, but based on these two figures alone, it sounds like the monarchy is worth it.

    Citation [theatlantic.com]

    The Royal Family certainly doesn't generate £500M/year. The top place given following the reference on your link is the Tower of London, which no longer has anything to do with the Royal Family, except they "own" it.

    Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle would bring in much more money if the Queen would fuck off. They could be permanently opened as museums.

    http://republic.org.uk/What%20we%20want/In%20depth/Royal%20finances/index.php [republic.org.uk]

  • Re:Actually no (Score:5, Informative)

    by jonbryce (703250) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @01:25PM (#45652049) Homepage

    Boris Johnson, Mayor of the Greater London Authority is in charge of the Metropolitan Police. He is elected by the people who live in the Greater London Area, a region of England with a population of around 8 million people comprising two cities, London and Westminster, and 31 boroughs such as Camden, Southwark, Croydon and so on.

    Fiona Woolf is Lord Mayor of the City of London. The smallest city in England with a population of around 10,000 people. She is in charge of the City of London Police, and is elected by the businesses that are based in the City of London.

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @01:40PM (#45652277)

    Can you explain why this paleolithic institution is allowed to survive? Are the British people daft?

    For the same reason /. keeps recycling old news. This tempest in a teapot has already been beaten to death here, months ago I think. At least the original date of the blog from easyDNS is dated back in September.

    The summary is: the City of London police cover a small area in London, dealing often with IP and financial issues. They asked a DNS provider to look over their AUP concerning a certain website to see if action was appropriate. They asked the DNS provider, if they thought an AUP issue merited action, to please do certain things that would protect the ability to bring the matter to justice in a court (freeze DNS records to prove ownership, etc.) They left the decision up to the DNS provider. They then dared to ask the DNS provider to respond either way.

    This is, of course, on /., an attempt at censoring the global internet. Just as I've attempted to censor the global internet by reporting spam factories to their DNS hosts/ISP to deal with.

    Must be a slow news day.

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