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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 @07:24PM (#47042727)

    I'm betting on Europe to win this time!

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:30PM (#47042755)
    The problem is that some nations want to enforce their rules on other nations.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Create a couple of giant hubs in the Atlantic and Pacific, controlled by NOBODY. Let countries that want to hook up to them hook up to them, and then regulate their own internet however they like. But they don't get to govern what other people in other countries say. The very idea is pretty obvious, unworkable, globalist-statist nonsense.
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:42PM (#47042793) Journal

      But they don't get to govern what other people in other countries say. The very idea is pretty obvious, unworkable, globalist-statist nonsense.

      Who says this governs what other people in other countries say?

      The original court decision was twofold
      1. You have no right to be forgotten by the Newspaper that published the story
      2. You have a right to be forgotten by search engines.

      This only applies in the EU and only applies to companies incorporated in the EU.
      Google is welcome to shut down its various European subsidiaries (including the ones in Ireland and the Netherlands that they use to shelter income).
      There's a precedent for this, if you can recall when Google China was shut down and redirected to Google's Hong Kong page.

      • by BitterOak (537666) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:55PM (#47042885)

        The original court decision was twofold 1. You have no right to be forgotten by the Newspaper that published the story 2. You have a right to be forgotten by search engines.

        This only applies in the EU and only applies to companies incorporated in the EU.

        There are two problems here. First, why should search engines not enjoy the same free speech rights as newspapers? Second, what defines an Internet service as a "search engine" or a "newspaper"? Suppose I run on online newspaper that has a search function, allowing users to search past articles about any topic? Am I now a search engine? Suppose my newspaper becomes so popular it becomes the de facto place where people go to search for news stories? Do different rules apply then? Or does this ruling simply apply to sites that link to content on other sites rather than it's own original content? Now, do online newspapers lose the ability to link to other source material in their articles? The line between newspapers and search engines may become fuzzy, if it isn't already. Do you see the problem?

        • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:52PM (#47043121) Journal

          First, why should search engines not enjoy the same free speech rights as newspapers?

          You're asking the wrong question.
          If we can agree that internet search engines are not newspapers,
          then the burden falls upon search engines to explain why they should receive the special status granted to newspapers.

          Second, what defines an Internet service as a "search engine" or a "newspaper"? Suppose I run on online newspaper that has a search function, allowing users to search past articles about any topic? Am I now a search engine?

          You are not an internet search engine.
          The court distinguishes between (1) a newspaper with a searchable index and (2) a website that indexes other websites on the internet.

          Suppose my newspaper becomes so popular it becomes the de facto place where people go to search for news stories? Do different rules apply then?

          Still not an internet search engine.

          Or does this ruling simply apply to sites that link to content on other sites rather than it's own original content?

          The decision is dense, but readable [europa.eu].
          If you want the highlights, just skip to the conclusion

          TLDR: this ruling simply applies to sites that link to content on other sites rather than it's own original content
          Still TLDR: With all kinds of legal parsing to determine who is processing the data and whether they are under European jurisdiction.

          Now, do online newspapers lose the ability to link to other source material in their articles?

          No, they don't. Because they are not internet search engines.

          The line between newspapers and search engines may become fuzzy, if it isn't already. Do you see the problem?

          The line is not fuzzy and I do not see "the problem."
          The only problem I see is that this is horribly inconvenient for Google and every other search engine.
          But, according to the court, the inconvenience to Google's business model does not outweigh citizens rights under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

          As the data subject may, in the light of his fundamental rights under Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter, request that the information in question no longer be made available to the general public on account of its inclusion in such a list of results, those rights override, as a rule, not only the economic interest of the operator of the search engine but also the interest of the general public in having access to that information upon a search relating to the data subject's name.

          However, that would not be the case if it appeared, for particular reasons, such as the role played by the data subject in public life, that the interference with his fundamental rights is justified by the preponderant interest of the general public in having, on account of its inclusion in the list of results, access to the information in question.

          Don't try to make this more complicated than it is.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by BitterOak (537666)

            First, why should search engines not enjoy the same free speech rights as newspapers?

            You're asking the wrong question. If we can agree that internet search engines are not newspapers, then the burden falls upon search engines to explain why they should receive the special status granted to newspapers.

            What "special status" granted to newspapers? Is this a European thing? In America, everyone has the same free speech rights that newspapers do. Newspapers aren't special.

            TLDR: this ruling simply applies to sites that link to content on other sites rather than it's own original content .

            Now, do online newspapers lose the ability to link to other source material in their articles?

            No, they don't. Because they are not internet search engines.

            Your last two comments contradict each other. You say it's a search engine if it links to offsite content, but then in the next answer you say newspapers are allowed to link to offsite content without being classed as a search engine.

            • by jhol13 (1087781)

              Newspapers have editors who can be kept responsible for the content in the newspaper, search engines do not.
              Then EU does have "government", "police", "judicial system" and "newspapers" as separate entities unaffectable by others (government cannot directly control police, judicial system or newspapers, neither can police control any of the other entities, and so on).

            • Newspapers don't get special consideration, but the court made it clear that purely factual publishing is not covered by this ruling. Such publishing is, in general, protected. Of course it must follow the law, so for example in the UK suspects accused of a crime cannot be named if they are under 18, and in Germany they can't refer to spent criminal convictions. The key point is that articles are written by people, who are responsible for complying with the law, and report factual information.

              Google doesn't publish, it gathers and aggregates data about people. It essentially creates a profile of someone based on publicly available information. It does this automatically, and thus far not in accordance with various EU laws. The court is saying that it must come into compliance, like all publishers must do already.

          • by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday May 19, 2014 @09:27PM (#47043265)

            It's not only newspapers that get to keep the info, but any non-search web site apparently. So you can't even divide it based on journalism. What is it about "internet search engine" that is special compared to "online legal database", "hall of records", or "almanac of 1972"? It's like censoring only the card catalog in a library.

            • When the recording industry went after sites that pointed to (but didn't themselves host) pirated material, we shook our heads in amazement. How could pointing to something be illegal? Wouldn't the thing itself be illegal but saying "illegal thing is over here" just be informative?

              Now the EU is actually going one worse. Apparently, having the article online is fine. No problem. Perfectly legal. However, a search engine saying "there's that legal thing over there" is illegal - in some vague circumstanc

              • Not at all vauge, if you read the summary of the judgement.

                Like all conflicting rights, it is a balance - when does your right to privacy outweigh freedom of information.

                Its asinine to pretend there are absolute rights. they dont exist - even in the US you have no right to certain speech

                • Its asinine to pretend there are absolute rights. they dont exist - even in the US you have no right to certain speech

                  Even if you did pretend there are absolute rights, you'd have to figure out what happens when absolute rights collide.

                • Its asinine to pretend there are absolute rights. they dont exist - even in the US you have no right to certain speech

                  Other than libel and slander (both of which require, among other things, that your statements are FALSE), I can't actually think of "certain speech" we're not allowed.

                  So, enlighten me, if you please, as to what truthful speech we are forbidden here.

            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              It's more like censoring credit reference agencies, private investigators and others who collect information about people from multiple historical sources.

              Newspapers are generally published, read and discarded. This can create some odd instances. For example a child could be named in a newspaper one day, but is then charged with a crime and cannot be named the day after. Someone could go back to old editions and find their name, but in reality few people bother and such details quickly slip from people's mi

        • by bitt3n (941736)
          Given that anyone can sign up for a VPN for $35 a year and use the US google (which presumably isn't governed by EU law), I'd say the biggest problem is that this law is completely unenforceable.
        • by NapalmV (1934294)
          The question here is the lifespan of he "news", not how you classify their support (paper vs. internet, search vs. non-search etc). Traditionally this lifespan was limited to a few days while the said newspaper was on the stands. After that, access to those news was becoming cumbersome, i.e. like in having to go to the library and manually scroll through miles of archived microfiche. This 2 tiers system (news stands vs. microfiche) was ensuring that, while the information was still retained, you were practi
        • There are two problems here. First, why should search engines not enjoy the same free speech rights as newspapers?

          You're asking the wrong question.

          First - why should search engines be exempt from the data control regulations that other people who compile databases of personal information are obliged to follow?

          The court has ruled that what Google is doing is _legal_. That is huge! Everybody else has to get a licence from the data controller, has to provide all the information they hold on a person in a readi

      • by dnavid (2842431)

        The original court decision was twofold 1. You have no right to be forgotten by the Newspaper that published the story 2. You have a right to be forgotten by search engines.

        This only applies in the EU and only applies to companies incorporated in the EU. Google is welcome to shut down its various European subsidiaries (including the ones in Ireland and the Netherlands that they use to shelter income).

        It will be interesting to see how this ruling actually gets implemented by member states of the EU. It appears to be highly problematic for various reasons. First, because the ruling while comporting with EU law appears inconsistent with how the internet actually works. Taken to its logical conclusion it states that it could be legal in the EU for someone to publish information that can theoretically be accessed by the general public, but illegal for anyone else to point out that fact. The ruling also s

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Taken to its logical conclusion it states that it could be legal in the EU for someone to publish information that can theoretically be accessed by the general public, but illegal for anyone else to point out that fact.

          No, the ruling clearly states that isn't the case. Maybe we need a new RTFR tag.

      • The original court decision was twofold
        1. You have no right to be forgotten by the Newspaper that published the story
        2. You have a right to be forgotten by search engines.

        This only applies in the EU and only applies to companies incorporated in the EU.

        How are those two things not exactly the same?

        A fact is a fact. If a newspaper reports a fact and a Google search returns articles which state that same fact, how is there a difference? Why can Goolge be forced to remove reference to a fact, but not the newsp

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          Why can Google be forced to remove reference to a fact, but not the newspaper.

          From the Court Opinion [europa.eu]
          Why Google:

          As the data subject may, in the light of his fundamental rights under Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter, request that the information in question no longer be made available to the general public on account of its inclusion in such a list of results, those rights override, as a rule, not only the economic interest of the operator of the search engine but also the interest of the general public in having access to that information upon a search relating to the data subjectâ(TM)s name.

          Why not the newspaper:

          16 By decision of 30 July 2010, the AEPD rejected the complaint in so far as it related to La Vanguardia, taking the view that the publication by it of the information in question was legally justified as it took place upon order of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and was intended to give maximum publicity to the auction in order to secure as many bidders as possible.

          The AEPD = Spanish Data Protection Agency
          Whether this means that a newspaper can be forced to remove content that is not published "upon order of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs," ... I don't know.
          I can't seem to dig up the Audiencia Nacional (Spain's National High Court) decision/referral.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          "Forgotten" means "not remembered" or "not available for instant recall". It does not mean being erased from history.

          That is the key difference between a newspaper archive and Google. One requires you to go to a specific web site and search only that site's archives. Since there are many newspapers you might have to go to several sites if the person was not prominent. The information is there, but largely forgotten and requires considerable effort to retrieve.

          Google makes it extremely easy to find that info

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        I can see each of those decisions individually can make sense in some contexts or viewpoints. However when put together they clash with each other and it doesn't make sense. All that you get with them together is that casual searches on your name won't bring up the embarrassing information, but background searches by your employer or doctor or potential date will find it. You're not being forgotten, merely obfuscated.

    • The problem is that some nations want to enforce their rules on other nations.

      I think it's fair to say all nations would like to enforce their rules on other nations.

      I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Create a couple of giant hubs in the Atlantic and Pacific, controlled by NOBODY. Let countries that want to hook up to them hook up to them, and then regulate their own internet however they like. But they don't get to govern what other people in other countries say. The very idea is pretty obvious, unworkable, globalist-statist nonsense.

      How do you administer these neutral giant hubs that you imagine will operate free of influence?

      • How do you administer these neutral giant hubs that you imagine will operate free of influence?

        Why would they need "administration"?

        If what you meant was upkeep or maintenance, an international consortium should do the trick. They would also have to allow inspection (but not interference) by any participating country at any time.

        But other than that, why does it need "administration"? It's not rocket science. It's just a hub. They're dirt simple in principle.

        And if other countries want to build hubs other than the "public" hubs, that's their business too.

        • First of all, how do you power the servers on the hubs? Where is the electricity coming from?

          Secondly, where is the data connection to the hub coming from?

          Lastly, who is administering the servers? Is it someone living in the US, UK, etc who remotes in? Or someone who lives on the "hub island"? If the latter, how do you get food and other essentials to the hub?

          Now assume that some websites this hub is hosting makes the US and some other big countries angry. I'll even grant some leeway and assume that ra

    • by sphealey (2855)

      Great! When the pirates show up [1] and the "island in nowhere" owners call for help from the US Navy, Royal Navy, Spanish Navy... I'm sure there will be prompt response.

      In any case, how are you going to get qualified people to live in the middle of the ocean? Oh, they're going to live in Brooklyn and telecommute? I see a tiny flaw in your "stateless Internet" plan...

      sPh

      [1] I had a site in a reasonably advanced developing nation where all EDP equipment was twice cleaned out at gunpoint by marauders, alo

    • by beelsebob (529313) on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:21PM (#47043011)

      The problem is, what you're saying here is actually "enforcing your rules on other nations". You want the rule to be "I'm free to do whatever I want", which is basically the American ruleset. You are trying to enforce that on Europe, where the rule is "no, actually, that hurts someone else, you can't do it".

      • The problem is, what you're saying here is actually "enforcing your rules on other nations". You want the rule to be "I'm free to do whatever I want", which is basically the American ruleset. You are trying to enforce that on Europe, where the rule is "no, actually, that hurts someone else, you can't do it".

        This is just plain nonsense.

        I'm saying: create a hub where Europe and America can connect. America is in control of its branch of the hub. Europe is in charge of its branch of the hub. Neither is controlling the other.

        If Europe wants to access anything on the American branch, that's fine, but then they're on American territory and must operate under American rules. Similarly, if an American visits European internet (and is allowed to do so), that American must follow European rules.

        What's the big d

        • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday May 19, 2014 @09:20PM (#47043227)

          There is a certain stunning irony in someone on the US side of this particular debate complaining about nations wanting to enforce their own laws in other nations.

          For one thing, that doesn't appear to be what the ruling actually says.

          That aside, someone from the United States is arguing against enforcing local laws abroad? Seriously?!

          I say let's go with your idea. It sounds great. You can have your free speech on your part of the wild west Internet, and we can have our privacy protection in our part of the grown up, normal laws do actually apply here Internet. Also, maybe we can go back to having reasonable IP laws. And perhaps we might even keep the tax revenues from sales by Internet companies in our countries. With a bit of luck, we might even develop more home grown tech industry that way, too.

          • But you're outside the whole context of this discussion thread. It wasn't about what the ruling said, it was about what OP said.

            At least get your context straight, please.

            I happen to agree with you that it would be rather a joke for the U.S. government, say, to complain about someone else trying to tell them what to do. (Note, however, I am not my government.)

            BUT... that simply isn't what this was about. I was proposing SEPARATE networks so each country can govern as it sees fit. No interference wi
        • by epyT-R (613989)

          The big deal is that it encourages extradition abuse. Americans would be subject to EU law if they access a host outside of their borders and european citizens would be subject to american extradition. So now both groups of people are subject to laws written by systems they have no say in. Wonderful. It's bad enough that western governments are willing to bilaterally work around laws which limit their actions on their home soil. This would make it worse. 'Cross-site-scripted' tyranny like this is one

        • I believe the problem here is that Google wants to have a presence in Europe (including offices for business and tax purposes). Otherwise they would have already ignored the EU.
    • by Tom (822) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @02:53AM (#47044389) Homepage Journal

      The problem is that some nations want to enforce their rules on other nations.

      Like, say, the USA?

      It's funny how americans complain about everyone elses imperialism, and are completely blind to the many ways in which they aggressively export their own values.

      and then regulate their own internet

      There is no such thing as "their own Internet". That's like saying "their own atmosphere". Newsflash: Bits and air molecules don't give a fuck about political borders.

    • by pla (258480)
      The problem is that some nations want to enforce their rules on other nations.

      Damned straight. Every single country on this pathetic mudball has the "right" to enforce their own laws on their own domestic network. Want to connect that network with your neighbors? Then shut the fuck up about what your neighbor does that you don't happen to like. Once you decide to play, you have exactly one "right" left - Take your ball and go home.

      Unfortunately, Google (by virtue of having a corporate presence jus
  • if anyone cares about your worthless narcissistic ass, they would have been just as interested in the pre-Internet age. The fact that there is now an on-line encyclopedia really doesn't change anything. The media was quite free to 'slander' you in the past. They just would have done it in print or on TV. Either of those mediums can be propagated worldwide.

    Also, anything involving you being incarcerated is not an issue of "privacy". It's a matter of public record and needs to be open and available for public

    • Also, anything involving you being incarcerated is not an issue of "privacy". It's a matter of public record and needs to be open and available for public audit.

      Although I've never been incarcerated and it's highly unlikely that I ever will be, I don't think a criminal record should be a permanent millstone around anyone's neck. If you've done your time and are no longer a threat to anyone or anything, it should need a court order to turn up criminal records. Time done, move on. Anything else is vengeance, not justice.

    • really, "anything" invllving your incarceration? No, what should be available are the court records. Not the sensationalist just-this-side-of-libel newspaper versions of truth, heavily editoriliased to give their message prominence and sell more papers. That helps noone rehabilitate - which is the purpose of the verious acts here. After a time your crime is officially forgotten (there, but not relevant - like expired points on a driving licence record) and you should be free to move on with your life.

  • by TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:47PM (#47042835)
    There are a large number of things that Europe "gets right".

    Europe doesn't realize that privacy in theory becomes censorship in practice.

    There are a large number of things that the USA "gets right".

    The USA doesn't realize an *unregulated* free market without *PROPER* government supervision means all companies merge into one company and then do really shitty things.

    Which form of stupid to do you prefer: ___________ >>--- fill in your choice.

    (This is my view of what happens, in Europe ultimately there ends up being a Ministry of Censorship that results in websites warning about cookies and the plutocracy having more rights, while in the USA evil corporations end up being immune to government because they contribute $$$ to our broken political system.)
    • Oh they damn well do realize it, and the governments at least consider that working as intended.

    • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday May 19, 2014 @09:29PM (#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.

      • "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."

        The two aren't related in the slightest.

        You might believe that "corporations" have "rights" --- but I sure as hell don't.

        I also don't believe Lex Luthor or Dick Cheney or Kim Jong Korean Dude has the right to purge the internet of facts he finds inc
      • by epyT-R (613989)

        True. That doesn't mean we say "oh well, might as well get comfortable with ever more pervasive surveillance and censorship."

        You can make that case for physical violence involving your fists, but not for much else. Once the law starts covering things like feelings too, you effectively have crazy censorship and monitoring driven by the limits imposed by the most powerful social activists (the mozilla firing, invasive employee background checking, etc). I'll pass on this too. It's really not that hard to p

        • It appears we are in strong agreement.

          I don't think we should ever become comfortable with state surveillance and censorship, just as for example we should never be comfortable with armed people going around with the power to forcibly detain us or worse. These things may be necessary evils without which the law cannot in practice be upheld, but they are evils all the same.

          Such powers should therefore be granted by law only to the minimum necessary level to enforce the law itself, and they should be applied

      • by pantaril (1624521)

        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.

        In this particular case people seems to sympathize with the court decision but i wonder if they'd equaly support for example the right for privacy of a politician who would ask google to remove references to articles about his past coruption scandals or other inconvinient facts which are no longer "valid" (because the politician in question was never convicted or because he already served his sentence).

        I see this decision as higly problematic. Even if google removes the references it could be technicaly cha

    • I'd prefer the European system. It has the better chance to get changed.

    • by NapalmV (1934294)
      Looks like the difference between censorship of ideas or scientific theories/facts and practicing restraint in publishing personal data is too subtle for you.
    • by pjt33 (739471)

      US federal law has a concept of personal privacy too. Just look at HIPAA. So unless you see that as part of a slippery slope into censorship, your position needs a bit more exposition of where that slippery slope starts.

  • If google had no assets in Europe, it could shoot Europe the big finger, because of the SPEECH Act [gpo.gov]. But because google does have assets in Europe, it will have to comply or move its assets out of Europe.

    Google is too subject to international pressure. It is time for those interested in truth to move to a search engine that has no assets in Europe.

    What about Duck Duck Go, does it have assets in Europe? What about other search engines?

    • If google had no assets in Europe, it could shoot Europe the big finger,

      Even without assets, they would risk any ad revenue coming from Europe. If there is a fine to be paid and no assets to recover, they can just contact everyone owing money to Google (like every advertiser) and tell them to make the payments to the EU instead of Google.

  • TTIP (Score:5, Funny)

    by manu0601 (2221348) on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:40PM (#47043071)

    Don't worry, the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [wikipedia.org] will fix that divergence by removing any European specific thing from Europe.

    • In other words, we will have shitty meat, shitty gen-manipulated corn, shitty clothing, shitty living standards and shitty jobs.

      But we will have the right to freely express our dissatisfaction with them.

  • Two powers are trying to take control over the internet and neither is worthy of it.

    The US overstepped its authority in wire tapping everything. The NSA needs to have reasonable limits placed upon it.

    And Europe has no right to dictate what people say on the internet. This starts out with limiting pornography and hate speech... and then very quickly it becomes about shutting down political rivals or ideas you simply disagree with...

    Both deserve to lose.

  • by jandersen (462034) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:41AM (#47044031)

    Yes, it is coming up the the European elections over here, and this 'story' should be seen on that background: as a self-serving piece of propaganda from one of the wing-nuts.

    ...bitterness on the EU side at U.S. influence online.

    Meh? I suspect most of us are not so much bitter at all as simply plain, old tired of American self-importance. The fact is that American influence is on the decline and has been for many years; any bitterness is probably on the American side. The Chinese are taking over as the great influencers of cultural and intetllectual expression, but these things always shift; it is only a few decades ago that it was Italy, UK, France or Germany.

    Europeans who have been told that the Internet is basically ungovernable â" and if it does have guiding principles then they come from the land of the free...

    Ask a real American if USA is the 'Land of the Free' any more, if ever it was. The internet is not ungovernable; there are many ways govern, and not all rely on legislation, democracy or use of weapons. The rulers of the internet are not national governments, but big corporations like Google, Facebook etc, who have a near monopoly on the most popular methods to access information. If you control the sources of information, you control people's minds. In Europe we have a very sound scepticism towards the wisdom of letting unelected corporations have that much power.

  • The US vs. Europe?

    Correction: Europe vs Streisand Effect.

    Good luck, dumbassess.

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