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The US Vs. Europe: Freedom of Expression Vs. Privacy 278

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dang-freedom-hating-europeans dept.
First time accepted submitter GoddersUK (1262110) writes "Rory Cellan-Jones writes about the recent European Court judgement on the right to be forgotten in terms of US/EU cultural differences (and perhaps a bit of bitterness on the EU side at U.S. influence online): 'He tells me... ..."In the past if you were in Germany you were never worried that some encyclopedia website based in the United States was going to name you as a murderer after you got out of jail because that was inconceivable. Today that can happen, so the cultural gap that was always there about the regulation of speech is becoming more visible."... Europeans who have been told that the Internet is basically ungovernable — and if it does have guiding principles then they come from the land of the free — are expressing some satisfaction that court has refused to believe that.' And, certainly, it seems, here in the UK, that even MEPs keen on the principle don't really know how this ruling will work in practice or what the wider consequences will be. Video here."
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The US Vs. Europe: Freedom of Expression Vs. Privacy

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  • US vs Europe, again? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:24PM (#47042727)

    I'm betting on Europe to win this time!

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Monday May 19, 2014 @09:55PM (#47043131)
    There were a few "Megacorps", even then. Like the East India company. And just like today, the megacorps of the day got special treatment from their respective governments.

    That's one of the things we fought a war to get away from.
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday May 19, 2014 @10:29PM (#47043275)

    As far as I'm aware, there is literally no country in the world that actually has 100% free speech protection in law. Certainly the US does not: there are numerous things that you are not free to express without penalty. You can shout about your theoretical First Amendment protections as much as you want, but you can still be sued for infringing copyright, you can still be arrested for threatening to kill someone, etc.

    Equating privacy protection with censorship misses the point. There's an old saying that your right to swing your fist ends at the bridge of my nose. It's not strictly true from a modern legal perspective, but the point that you need to balance many rights and freedoms for everyone is just as valid as it ever was. There will always be a tension between freedom of expression and right to privacy, and using inflammatory language like "censorship" to describe anything but an absolutely one-sided position isn't going to achieve anything constructive.

    In fact, it's rather ironic that in one paragraph you attack the idea of protecting privacy as a form of censorship, yet in the very next paragraph you argue for government supervision and market regulation so that companies are not free to act as they wish.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:05AM (#47043929)

    No modern corporation even comes close.

    I beg to differ, as do tens of thousands of South Americans that were slaughtered by Dole goons. That is just one of the few we know about, so there are plenty just as bad and probably worse today.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:09AM (#47043939)

    It's a cultural thing. Even Churchill knew that:

    “In England, everything is permitted, except that which is forbidden.
    In Germany, everything is forbidden, except that which is permitted.
    In France, everything is permitted even that which is forbidden.
    In the USSR, everything is forbidden, even that which is permitted.”

  • by rvw (755107) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @03:32AM (#47044309)

    And in the Netherlands everything is permitted, especially what is forbidden.

    In the Netherlands, everything is regulated, especially what cannot be permitted.

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