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Media Censorship United States News

US To Host World Press Freedom Day 614

rekrowyalp writes "From the press release: 'The United States is pleased to announce that it will host UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day event in 2011. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals' right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.' Oh the irony."
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US To Host World Press Freedom Day

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  • WPFD on Facebook (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @02:59PM (#34490730)

    World Press Freedom Day "moved" (deleted and reposted) the original posting on Facebook and with it deleted all of the comments on it claiming: "We have temporarily stopped wall posts simply because the traffic we've received far exceeded what are able to see and respond to right now! We simply had the structure wrong and weren't ready for a wall with that much traffic, and once we have the logistics worked out, we look forward to continuing a robust discussion around press freedom ahead of World Press Freedom Day 2011!"

    The logistics being a situation where they moderate (read: delete) posts,
    regulating speech != free speech, disappointing behavior for an organization who celebrates (and very existence relies on) free speech

    Let them have it here:!/WPFD2011?v=app_2373072738 []
    or join "World Press Freedom Day, what a joke" here:!/pages/World-Press-Freedom-Day-2011-What-a-Joke/164635873577540?v=wall []
    or "Protest World Press Freedom Day-3 May" here:!/pages/Protest-World-Press-Freedom-Day-3-May/128796330513944?v=wall []

  • Re:wikileaks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tdelaney ( 458893 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @03:52PM (#34491670)

    Exactly when did Julian Assange or anyone from WikiLeaks "... tak[e] classified documents from your government offices and reproduc[e] them online"?

    They published documents they were given by someone else (the actual leaker, who is suspected to be Manning) - much like every news organisation has done with the cables as they've been released. Except the news organisations have been picking and choosing for greatest dramatic effect/"reader interest" i.e. publishing the cables that are most likely to have a destablising effect on world politics.

  • by Stoutlimb ( 143245 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @04:15PM (#34491954)

    One factual correction:

    The Canadian who called for the execution of Assange is named Tom Flanagan. He was a top aide to Canada's prime minister Steven Harper many years ago, long before Harper became the prime minister. Currently he works as a political science professor at the University of Calgary. He often gives interviews to news agencies about his opinion, because he usually speaks his mind very freely without needing to think about who he upsets, because he hasn't had any political masters for quite some time. It's like calling a retired former aide to Obama while he was governor a "high ranking USA bureaucrat". No sane politician or bureaucrat in Canada would ever make such statements and still keep their job.

    As a side note, the police now investigating Tom Flanagan for uttering death threats.

  • Re:wikileaks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by b0r0din ( 304712 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @04:19PM (#34492026)

    Needs to be revealed? Totally, where it exists. Deterrent? Hardly.

    You seem to forget the invisible line of power and privilege that protects the elite from being sent to prison. GWB committed known felonies during his presidency. The CEO of Massey Energy negligently murdered a number of his employees. Madoff might have gotten caught, but neither his wife nor sons were convicted, and meanwhile Goldman Sachs is doing some incredibly unethical stuff that may or may not have helped to wreck our economy, and that whole institution gets off scott free for the price of some kabuki theatre in DC. Oh, but hey censure Charlie Rangel if it makes you feel better.

    We have a good deal of press freedom here in the States, but unfortunately the mainstream media reports on the wrong news, everything now has to be yellow journalism (the wars of left vs. right, Fox vs. MSNBC, etc.) and people in our society are way too uneducated to be mad at the real injustices in the world, like the power our plutocratic overlords now wield. I doubt 10% of our nation knows what the Citizens United verdict was, but you know they're damn mad at the world about the fact that they have to pay taxes for art, because let's rag on a few billion and completely sidestep the trillions that is going to pay for blowing up brown people in the middle east.

    Besides, IANAL, but some Internet-distributed leaked classified document probably doesn't hold up in any legal courtroom, so how is anyone going to be punished, exactly? No.

    Deterrents don't exist in this country, because in order to deter someone from doing something illegal, you have to actually convict them. And you can't do that in our society anymore.

  • Re:Irony (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Voulnet ( 1630793 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @04:22PM (#34492074)

    As far as I know, they just "asked" them not to. Voluntarily. Have they prosecuted or arrested anyone for doing so?

    Whether or not somebody has been prosecuted for it is as far as I know unknown as of yet, but a google search will show you many of the news about the military censor of WikiLeaks, amongst which is this [].
    A memo from the US Marines says this:USMC Personnel (Marines/Civilians/Contractors) are hereby cautioned and directed to NOT access the WIKILEAKS website from a personally owned, publically owned or US Government computer system. By willingly accessing the WIKILEAKS website for the purpose of viewing the posted classified material - these actions constitute the unauthorized processing, disclosure, viewing, and downloading of classified information onto an UNAUTHORIZED computer system not approved to store classified information. Meaning they have WILLINGLY committed a SECURITY VIOLATION.
    Obviously committing a security violation as an employee of the US Marines is, well, not a laughing matter.

    Which .com domain have they seized and blocked access to? Sorry if I've missed something here.

    You might find more info here [].

    Yes, governments can, have always, and always will try to control anything and everything and suppress citizen rights. What I am saying is that in the case of Wikileaks, I don't think they have succeeded yet, whereas the statement "censoring websites from the entire world" suggests they have.

    In fact I have, as a non-US citizen living outside of the US, have seen one of the results of this censor when trying to access one of the censored sites, getting a warning page with a FBI DVD-like warning. The problem with censoring the domain name itself is that the website can be hosted outside of the US, and yet they'd have power to censor it.

  • by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @04:33PM (#34492252) Journal []

    He claims he was asked to head wikileaks, but turned them down when he heard their fund-raising plans included pimping out the information to the highest bidder.

  • Re:wikileaks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mab_Mass ( 903149 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:30PM (#34494148) Homepage Journal

    What is driving your assumption that if the US looses influence, totalitarian governments will gain influence? To me, that isn't at all obvious.

    Also, exactly how much corruption should we tolerate in order to keep working towards the greater good? Isn't it possible to oppose the creep of corruption in the more democratic societies while still striving to remove the totalitarian ones?

    Let me also ask you this question - how many people in the world think that a society like, for example, North Korea represents a goal? (And I'm not talking about *other* dictators, I'm talking about the general population.)

    Maybe I have a naive view of the world here, but it seems to me that you're giving corruption a free pass as long as worse places exist, which is a tough pill to swallow.

  • Re:wikileaks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by makomk ( 752139 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:57PM (#34494550) Journal

    Worse still - back when the IRA were active, a lot of their funding and support came from within the US, and the US government didn't really clamp down on it for political reasons. Even now, the US has refused to ratify their latest extradition treaty with the UK for fear it'll allow terrorists to be extradited.

    For those of you in the US who got the expurgated version, the IRA were and are a thoroughly nasty bunch. Truck bombs in shopping malls and hotels, murdering civilians for being the wrong kind of Christian, demanding protection money from businesses "to fund Northern Irish independence" and kneecapping anyone who didn't pay up, that kind of thing. We're only just starting to find the corpses of people kidnapped from their homes on suspicion of snitching or other offences and never heard from again - and these were people who were on the same side as the IRA!

    You may have heard that they gave warnings in advance of their bombs, but that wasn't from the kindness of their hearts. They actually did it to claim credit - if they didn't call in before the bomb detonated with enough information to identify it, some other group could claim responsibility.

    (They also taught al-Qaeda and similar groups a lot of their skills. Apparently, many of the roadside IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan are based on IRA designs that they used against British troops during the Troubles.)

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