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EU Censorship The Internet

EU Set To Demand Internet Firms Act Faster To Remove Illegal Content (reuters.com) 60

Companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter could face European Union laws forcing them to be more proactive in removing illegal content if they do not do more to police what is available on the Internet. From a report: The European Union executive outlines in draft guidelines reviewed by Reuters how Internet firms should step up efforts with measures such as establishing trusted flaggers and taking voluntary measures to detect and remove illegal content. Proliferating illegal content, whether because it infringes copyright or incites terrorism, has sparked heated debate in Europe between those who want online platforms to do more to tackle it and those who fear it could impinge on free speech. The companies have significantly stepped up efforts to tackle the problem of late, agreeing to an EU code of conduct to remove hate speech within 24 hours and forming a global working group to combine their efforts remove terrorist content from their platforms.
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EU Set To Demand Internet Firms Act Faster To Remove Illegal Content

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, 2017 @03:53PM (#55191063)

    If any country can decide speech is illegal, we're just going to have the lowest common denominator.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Just like NAFTA and lowest common denominators for quality, safety standards, etc.

    • porn and cat videos...
    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2017 @04:01PM (#55191135) Homepage Journal
      Yup...

      Hate speech?

      There is no such thing a "hate speech"...there is only speech.

      And please do not confuse "hate speech" with incitement to violence against a group, they are two different things, and the latter is already illegal (at least in the US).

      But voicing opinions, even if distasteful, should never be illegal and just because you find it in poor taste or against your morals, doesn't make it hate speech or something that should be banned or made illegal.

      You should step back and think what speech you agree with now and is more common that could have been suppressed not that long ago if it had been banned like you are wanting to do now.

      • The law is an ass. "Incitement" is a bullshit pretext to censor. Speech cannot compel action. But forced censorship can, and should, and don't give me the *bomb on an airplane* crap, we're not talking about that. Blame the listener/follower for any action taken, not the speaker. A true advocate understands that the followers are the problem.

        • The law is an ass. "Incitement" is a bullshit pretext to censor. Speech cannot compel action.

          Fortunately the law does not ignore human nature. People are subject to influence.

          Out of interest, how do you view solicitation? Do you think it should be legal to offer money to someone to kill someone else?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is an easy solution to this grant the copyright of terrorist propaganda to some state agency and file mass DMCA takedown notices.

      They will get right on that.

    • Even then, one country can decide all speech from another place is "illegal". Not to mention the religious conflicts. Then, there is the question of what hate speech is. Most people agree that live beheadings are hate speech, but the line can be drawn so far that anything disagreeing with a country's ideology can be considered that.

      Then, there is the fact that this censorship doesn't really do much good. Look at how the Nazi sites went to the dark web, where they now can't be monitored or policed. Driv

      • "then, there is the question of what hate speech is. "

        As the parent pointed out there is NO 'hate speech'. There is unpleasant, disagreeable, contrary speech, but hate speech is the term used to justify censorship.

        And much of the EU would very much like to remove 'hate speech' as 'illegal speech' as soon as possible, to limit the exposure, resistance, and accountability of those who want to decide what is said.

        Pure censorship, mostly, the rest is thinly disguised censorship.

        • This is what I find ironic. The US aside (and this is a debate to itself), Europe is pretty much the "lit city on the hill" when it comes to civilization, where every other nation in the world stands in their shadow when it comes to personal freedoms. Why does Europe want to lose its moral leadership? By demanding censorship, what becomes the difference between France and North Korea, Germany and Iran, or Spain and Daesh controlled territory, except for the degree and brutality of what is censored?

          • This is what I find ironic. The US aside (and this is a debate to itself), Europe is pretty much the "lit city on the hill" when it comes to civilization, where every other nation in the world stands in their shadow when it comes to personal freedoms.

            Seriously? Are you excluding certain European countries from your city on the hill?

            How about these 20th century wars https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

            Or these 21st century wars? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

            Wars are pretty much the ultimate suppression of speech. To the extent that you want to kill the enemy who is saying those mean things. And Europeans are masters of waging war on themselves.

            • I'm equally confused. In Germany it as recently illegal to display or promote Nazi symbolism, wasn't it? The remnants of the Nazi Party were declared unconstitutional. Hardly freedom there, but they are in fact welcome to do so, it's their country.

              France is interesting. This quote:

              "Jean-Arnold de Clermont, president of the French Association of Protestants:
              "I have no time for the idea that we live in a country that represses religious liberties. We continue to enjoy total freedom in setting up religious org

    • And a LOT more things are going to suddenly become "illegal".
    • Facebook allows the option of targetted areas down to 5km radius for advertisers, so they can easily comply with local govt censorship if they want to. You won't even notice.
  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2017 @04:08PM (#55191179) Journal
    ..is to get too many people involved in it.
    47% of the people alive on the planet today have access to the internet -- call it 3.3 billion people.
    I'd say that's more than enough to ruin the Internet, sooner or later. Which is what we're seeing here today.
  • Trusted flagger (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2017 @04:09PM (#55191189)

    What is a trusted flagger? Is there a certification and licensing program in place? How about indemnity insurance should the flagger incorrectly call for a takedown and damage some group or the content hosting company as a result?

    • Trusted flagger is code for the MAFIAA being able to take down anything they want immediately. No requirement for accuracy, no penalty for even the most malicious takedowns- even when falsely confirming on appeal, absolutely no liability for damages, and no ability to challenge a fraudulent appeal rejection for anyone unable to get press coverage. See: YouTube. They want to expand that to more sites and more copyright holders.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Some flags are more equal than others.
      A SJW can always correct on politics and all other issues.
      A nations Communist party.
      Person in a faith or cult.
      A celebrity who does not like a review of their movie or project.
      A bureaucrat.
      Political leadership.
      A brand.
      People who pay for or place ads.
      The security services.
      States that like Ag-gag laws.
      Pharmaceutical companies.
      Any nation with blasphemy or apostasy laws.
      Cartoons or music about a faith can also be flagged.
  • define "illegal" when it pertains to the world wide internet. Once you define what is illegal, then sure let's have a legal process to remove the illegal content. Until then, stay away.
    • Welcome to the global internet!
      Everything is illegal somewhere. Therefore everything is illegal everywhere.
      You have only those rights granted by DUH LAW. Which is to say, you have no rights.
      Everything you say or don't say will be used against you in a kangaroo court of law.
      All speech is hate speech. All speech must be monitored, censored, and cataloged for later retribution.
      You are a pleb, you must obey.
      Money buys speech. But even money can't buy freedom.
      Resistance is futile, the dystopian future is alread

  • Yeah, that'll show 'em.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter could face European Union laws forcing them to be more proactive in removing illegal content

    The problem here is that we have centralized way too much with just a few companies. Those companies now have too much control over what billions of people see and do.

    (Insert neckbeard point here about how their darkweb 0.0000002% of the internet is proof that isn't the case because all you have to do is recompile your network stack and add the --darkweb option at compile time and reinstall a new firmware for your networking hardware).

    The point is: to MOST people, the internet really is Google, Facebook, T

  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Wednesday September 13, 2017 @04:56PM (#55191527) Journal

    Until we can unchain ourselves from the ISP, there is no hope. We need a real P2P internet with multiple routing that can't be shut down. Without it the tyrants will always win.

  • Dear EU.

    We have established some of the demanded "Trusted Flaggers". We chose a random sample of EU citizens, in the spirit of democracy, and we have found a surprising lot of .gov.eu pages obviously violating copyright, inciting hate and fear and generally being illegal or detrimental to the public well being according to the Trusted Flaggers.

    We have of course immediately removed said pages from indexing, just as you ordered. The respective owners may of course appeal it, which we will offer utmost scrutin

  • Whether those who are trying to use force intend to really just limit their actions to illegal content or not, they are trying to introduce these censoring capabilities and the tech itself will not have any idea what content is illegal and what isn't. A computer doesn't know when it's censoring lawfully vs censoring because Scientology Inc figured out how to exploit a bug.

    If a government (and there are many governments, we're not just talking about yours, whichever one that may be) is able to ban pirated pr

  • Why doesn't the EU just censor things themselves?

    China is definitely willing to license the technology.

    That way you don't have to go to 11 search engines to get something banned, you can just ban it yourselves.

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