back to article Commissioner pours scorn on internet freedom law

New EU laws to protect freedom on the internet and force ISPs to stand up to authoritarian regimes are "unnecessary" and proposed penalties are "heavy", EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding told the European Parliament this week. "We should not put European companies in an invidious position where their choice appears to be …

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Black Helicopters

blatanty contradicts uk's stance

given current uk law of what we can and can't say

(encitement of racial/religious hatred, extreme porn laws)

and various governments current and future plans to controll what we can and can't access

(great firewall of china, IWF wikipedia debacle, waki jakis view of teh interwebs, oz/NZ net filtering)

it would appear "free speech" actually means "freedom to agree with us, the ones who make the laws"

Regardless of the motives for such laws,one can kind of see why the rest of the world sometimes looks on at our flag saluting/waving with at best healthy skeptecism(sp) but mostly outright ammusement.

The very concept that we are "free" (in the traditional sense) is a joke

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Anonymous Coward

Germany, UK, Australia, Thailand

Erm, the big threats are nearer to home.

UK is so sensitive about *.* everyone self censors (el Reg included).

Germany is so sensitive about Holocaust denial that it censors critical calls to prosecute Olmert for war crimes.

So called civilised countries are anything but:

Australian censors any site, that at any time, has been in the opinion of any censor, contain any thing, that might be considered underage nudity.

Thailand censors any criticism of their King, which is used as an excuse by the army to suppress dissent.

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Black Helicopters

um...

[rant]

1. 'anti-censorship software' wouldnt that simply be illegally hacking the firewall of a sovereign state? garry mckinnon will be glad to hear thats not an offence and he can get cracking on snooping round nasas pcs for more alien evidence

2. the 'merkin idea of a free internet is to lock up anyone who competes with theyre corporations online (online betting/casinos anyone?) just how 'free' is that exactly?

i say screw em all and just use darknets

i for one have a problem with my BRITISH isp and BRITISH companies i use online being forced to hand over my private details to a foreign power or be arrested if they set foot on 'merkin soil which these days seems to include 99% of the world in their opinion - not that i have anything to hide - its simply none of theyre damned business, theyre do as i say not as i do attitude pisses me off.

[/rant]

dammit now i aint gonna enjoy my weekend

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Silver badge
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"the peaceful expression of political, religious or dissenting views"

ie "Anything we agree with. Everything else is illegal."

Obviously taking a lesson from Wacky Jacqui et al...

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@james

'2. the 'merkin idea of a free internet is to lock up anyone who competes with theyre corporations online (online betting/casinos anyone?) just how 'free' is that exactly?"

To the best of my knowledge the 'merkins don't have ANY online betting or casinos; in fact, most states don't even have casinos (Though more than a few have their lotteries which are purely state-run gambling) and many have on-track horse betting.

It's a miserable hodge=podge or rules/regulations and luncay becuase the federal government and 50 states all have their own say on the matter and the blue-noses of the last administration were particularly adept at twisting the law to attempt punishment on those running corporations outside the US.

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Flame

Reding is yet another fascist

"Europe should promote freedom of speech as the basis of the internet."

Yeah, right. We (meaning of course the people, not the commission) can't have any of that, says Commissioner Viviane Reding.

In different bs-words, of course, but the idea is very clear: "You, the citizen, may not have free speech, anywhere". Fascist scumbag.

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@anonymous coward

several states do in fact license online casinos and many more license online poker - god help you if you run an online anything in another country though, take your kids to disneyland and theyll go home with pics of you being banged up on some rico based charge

just take a look:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/21/antigua_wto_bet/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/03/23/lock_down_gambling_sites_go/

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As I recall

The law over here bans ALL transfer of assets to ALL online for-cash gambling operations. It WAS targeted at foreign operations, considering that such things have been illegal over here since before then.

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Will the US GOFA this, anyway?

I have a feeling that even if this is passed in the US, it will be heavily cut down or selectively applied. As we have seen, US corporations make good money in some of these countries, and attempts to curtail or complicate such things tend to meet with resistance. Also, the US often has extremely good relations with oppressive and authoritarian governments - the only thing it can't get on with is "communism" (i.e. limits on private ownership, permitting trade unions, etc.) or trade protectionism that disadvantages the US. Anything that gets in their way, in other words. Friendly governments get their support - in whatever they want to do - usually for a price.

Historically, the US has regularly condemned human rights abuses in Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam and so forth, but were rather less vocal about the human rights abuses in Iran under the Shah, Chile under Pinochet, Nicaragua under Somoza, or Guatemala under the United Fruit Company. Come to that, Saddam Hussein escaped official criticism while he was a bulwark against radical Islam, and Manuel Noriega was only called to account when he stopped obeying orders.

Skimming through the wording of the legislation, it looks like there will be substantial wriggle room, not to mention the almighty blind eye. It just doesn't seem likely that the US will force its large, successful corporations to risk profit-damaging censure in any foreign country, let alone force them to aid criticism of friendly nations in the face of such censure.

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Bronze badge

Obvious Solution

Make the entire problem moot. Dismiss the Chinese government from office, liberate Tibet and Uighuristan (Sinkiang province).

After all, if Germany had been invaded promptly after the Kristallnacht, World War II and the Holocaust could have been avoided. We should stop tolerating nonsense from foreign dictators.

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Anonymous Coward

BioTube is misinformed

BioTube wrote "The law over here bans ALL transfer of assets to ALL online for-cash gambling operations. It WAS targeted at foreign operations, considering that such things have been illegal over here since before then."

Assuming he's talking about the USA he's wrong. Inter-state gambling has always been illegal, but several states have intra-state online gambling. In other words the authorities have no problem with online gambling per se. The targeting of foreign gambling sites is simple protectionism.

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