The police have a *legal right* to arrest somebody breaking into your neighbour's house.
The police *have_not_been* *granted_the_rights* to punish web site owners without court order. Taking down a web site is punishment. The police have not been granted the right to punish, and so while arrest feels like punishment, legally its not punish. The arrest is to take someone to court so that they can then be punished, *if_the_court_decides* they need to be punished. (Its not perfect but its a lot better than one person granted the full power of police, judge and jury because thats a nightmare because with that much power there is a risk someone could behave like a mini-dictator. That is why police and courts are separate).
The police are not there to punish. That is the role of the courts in society. Like it or loath it, thats the way it is for good reason. Police cannot be allowed to be police, judge and jury. Freedom of speech is a right that police cannot take away, if they could they instantly create a Police State that is punishing Thought Crime. That creates the danger that whatever people say, they end up living in fear they could be in danger of punishment.
Neil Hoskins, is that the world you want?. Think very carefully before you answer, as the wrong choice is very dangerous. Freedom of speech is vital. Yes it means suffering the bad as well as the good free speech, but the flip side with no free speech and so just selectively allowed speak creates an utter nightmare. (The reason it creates an utter nightmare is because everyone in politics seeks power over others, (regardless of which party they are in), resulting in this continuous push towards an ever more Authoritarian control. Worse still, Authoritarianism always slides into Totalitarianism when freedom of speech is increasingly repressed as it is now. Only freedom of speech can push back against the people in power to provide a feedback mechanism to limit their excesses).
Therefore, Neil Hoskins, its people like you who are allowing the police to decide who to punish, and so your kind are helping make the Police State worse. A good example of this is the whole Domestic Extremist(tm) concept where the police most definitely are acting like, police, judge and jury. They decide who is a domestic extremist, they then place that *unofficial* title on their records, then every other police officer uses the sight of that label to violate the persons privacy, liberty and freedom. The concept of domestic extremist sounds all well and good until you get arrogant police using it to label and punish people who have done no wrong. People have been locked up for days and then not charged. The courts do not recognize the concept of domestic extremist. Legally it doesn't exist. Yet people are being relentlessly punished by it and freedom of speech is being crushed by it. Some people are getting even afraid to speak their minds for fears of what it could mean to their lives and their jobs. Thats not a happy society to be in. Thats a dangerous slide into Authoritarianism.