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Censorship Your Rights Online

UK Government Crowd-Sourcing Censorship 262

angry tapir writes "The UK public can report 'terrorism-related' Web sites to authorities for removal from the Internet under a new program launched by the British government. The program is a way in which the government is seeking to enforce the Terrorism Acts of 2000 and 2006. These laws make it illegal to have or to share information intended to be useful to terrorists, and ban glorifying terrorism or urging people to commit terrorist acts."
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UK Government Crowd-Sourcing Censorship

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  • by thijsh ( 910751 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:07AM (#31020564) Journal
    Scaring large groups of the population by threatening to report them for a terrorism-related fate of certain doom could in itself be considered an act of terrorism... Maybe not by the standards of the 2000 and 2006 laws, but surely by the future 2012 law am I required to proactively report your attempted terrorism on "slashdot.org".
  • by mykos ( 1627575 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:11AM (#31020576)

    Always a horrifying thought, being reported by your neighbors.

        I work with an elderly West German lady. She was telling me that her East German friends had grown a lifetime of distrust for just about everyone. Some East Germans that grew up steeped in this mindset still keep new friends at arm's length, even today.

    Also, the story reminded me of this gem:
    There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/ [whitehouse.gov]

  • by VShael ( 62735 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:14AM (#31020598) Journal

    Tagged this story as "stasi"

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:22AM (#31020626)

    These laws make it illegal to have or to share information intended to be useful to terrorists, and ban glorifying terrorism or urging people to commit terrorist acts.

    I would hazard to guess based on the media reports that Britain's radical Muslim problem is only topped by the Netherlands (where prominent critics of Islam have been routinely murdered or credibly threatened with murder). There was even a survey done of the British Muslim population that said that about 40% of the young Muslims in the country want to live under Sharia.

    The British government is going to have to start rounding up the radical clerics and deporting them. Hell, banish them from the United Kingdom altogether. The problem is, they know they'll inflame a lot of anti-British sentiment if they do that. Then they'll have to either start cracking skulls left and right or start en masse rounding up and deporting the Muslims who go to those mosques, deport them and put a marker on them that permanently marks them as a ne'erdoweller who has no business ever setting foot on British soil again.

    The British National Party is getting support now precisely because the common man in Britain can see what the elites can't: you can't have two nations living inside the same country, especially when one nation is composed of hostile immigrants who won't adapt. The British government has two choices: either solve it now by harshly cutting out any part of the Muslim population that looks even remotely likely it sympathizes with Islamists, or face the prospect that in 20 years as demographics shift, a group like the BNP will stage a coup and take matters into its own hands militarily.

    The political correctness of the British government is not doing genuine moderate Muslims any good because it's creating an environment where the extremists can thrive under "diversity" and the native population can be slowly radicalized against the entire immigrant population starting from the working class up (IIRC, the British working class were the primary support behind the BNP when it recently won a small, but worrisome amount of the vote for the first time).

  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:31AM (#31020666)

    I wonder how many things are removed from the Internet that we simply don't get to hear about...

    Sure, there are high-profile cases in which it backfires and causes the offending material to be spread far and wide, but I'd be willing to bet that that happens in a tiny minority of the cases, and that in the rest, almost no-one not directly involved ever even knows.

  • Sorted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by robably ( 1044462 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:32AM (#31020670) Journal

    These laws make it illegal to have or to share information intended to be useful to terrorists


    ban glorifying terrorism


    or urging people to commit terrorist acts.

    and check. [ntlworld.com]

  • Website Captcha Fail (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LingNoi ( 1066278 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:38AM (#31020694)

    The worse part about this site is that they have recaptcha on it but verify the request in javascript.

    Hence you can stick this request on your spam bot...

    https://reporting.direct.gov.uk/bin/submitter.php?report_type=1&report_url=reporting.direct.gov.uk&report_desc=GeorgeOrwellWasRight [direct.gov.uk]

  • Perspective (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:08AM (#31020812)

    OK, so it's still nigh on impossible to report phishing sites and malware-ridden adverts -- things which DO have a tangible negative impact on people -- to the authorities, but everyone is encouraged to take action against a mythical drummed-up threat which impacts almost nobody in this country?

    Im so fucking sick of this shit. Is it too much effort to protect us from REAL threats?

  • by VShael ( 62735 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:13AM (#31020836) Journal

    I wonder how many things are removed from the Internet that we simply don't get to hear about...

    Good question. There are websites, such as The Memory Hole, which specifically try to maintain records of things which perhaps the powerful controlling interests of mainstream media would like to scrub from history. Like Benazir Bhutto's confirmation that Bin Laden was dead. Or the Pentagon admitting that it targeted civilian water supplies in Iraq. Or Israel claiming to reprimand two top army officers for ordering the Jan. 15 attack on the UN compound in Gaza last year that used white phosphorus shells, but actually not disciplining them at all. That sort of thing, of which there is plenty. Project Censored does a yearly round up of the most important stories ignored by the mainstream media.

    There are the things which disappear because no one gives a crap. (My old Geocities website)

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:14AM (#31020852)

    Yes...yes! Maybe we could make them wear yellow crescents!

    Nice strawman. Do you realize that you just validated the grandparent's point? He talks about deporting immigrants who've expressed hostility towards their host culture, some to the point of committing crimes, even murder, and you come out and call him a nazi. That gives him the option of either giving up - which, in his view, results in his nation getting destroyed - or moving towards more radical methods.

    Congratulations. You've prevented the matter from being discussed in a calm and reasonable manner, thus making sure that anyone concerned has little choice but to radicalize. Well done.

    Could we cut them out by some kind of economic sanctions based on religious belief? Maybe just prevent them from owning businesses and stuff. Or deport them! Do you know if this plan has ever been tried before?

    Yes, I'm pretty sure that hostile immigrants have been deported before. Are these hostile immigrants? Who knows, you cut the discussion short in favour of shouting "Nazi nazi nazi", so now I'll just have to assume the worst or risk my country. Again, congratulations. Pat yourself on the back.

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @09:31AM (#31021350)

    So, who wants to flood this system to the point that it starts impacting everyone and gets removed?
    I'm thinking of something like this:

    Google for terms like "armed resistance" "bomb made from" "nerve gas" "freedom" "oppression" "kill" "opposition" "freedom of speech"

    then some setup where we run through the first few hundred thousand google results, grab the domain names and use some PHP script to serve up bite sized portions that random Slashdoters can copy paste into the form for submitting "terrorist" web pages.
    I'm thinking we could drown the system in noise.

    Or am I supporting the terrorists now?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, 2010 @09:49AM (#31021520)

    Not originally it didn't - ask the Glaswegian Muslim girl that was arrested and imprisoned under the 42 day detention crap for writing a poem. Apparently anything they find threatening counts as well as actual threats.

  • The IWF (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @10:21AM (#31021882) Journal

    Don't give them ideas! ;)

    But yes - there's the Internet Watch Foundation (which also crowd sources its censorship - their website has a big red button for you to report stuff), which censors blocked webpages for about 95% of UK users (a few ISPs have yet to implement it, but the Government wants it to be mandatory for all). Allegedly it's only for "potential" child pr0n, but we know from the Wikipedia-censorship episode just how broadly they interpret that.

    For anything else, it seems the Government is so far preferring to take down the source, and/or criminalise possession of the material.

  • by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @01:02PM (#31023864) Journal

    Google has already been reported for returning results a terrorist would find useful.

  • by mikael ( 484 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @02:06PM (#31024750)

    There was a newspaper article on this topic. Apparently a person can be categorized as being male/female/hermaphrodite in three different categories; genetically, physically and psychologically. Going by those rules, you would end up having
    a cube type diagram with 27 different types (a bit like the nationstates cube for types of country).

  • by Golddess ( 1361003 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @02:41PM (#31025190)
    Except that's not what GP is advocating at all. The site will remain up, but the people reading through everything that's submitted will have enormous amounts of noise to sift through.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!