back to article Spanish govt slammed over bizarre Catalan .cat internet registry cop raid

The Spanish government has come under increasing criticism for raiding the offices of the .cat internet registry in the lead-up to a referendum on Catalans' independence. On Wednesday morning, police entered the registry's headquarters in Barcelona and seized all of its computers. The cops also arrested six members of staff, …

Anonymous Coward

Re: It's not that simple

"The region, in north east Spain, is fiercely autonomous with own language, customs and language"

Could we gift Wales to them? Maybe agree that Gibraltar is ours, Wales is theirs, and we build a substantial wall along Offa's Dyke. And maybe a few minefields, thermally controlled multi-barrelled cannons. Oh, and archers; Everybody knows it's still legal to kill a Welshman with a bow and arrow.

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IT Angle

Re: It's not that simple

Quote:

"Everybody knows it's still legal to kill a Welshman with a bow and arrow."

Only in Chester on a sunday... sorry

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's not that simple

"But to confuse things even more, the "official" form of Valencian which is taught in schools and required in the exams which gain you CV points [...]"

My nephew and family moved to Spain with no previous experience of the language etc except a few holidays there. They put their daughters in the local Spanish school - to sink or swim. In her second year the then 12 year old came top of the class in Valencian.

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Unhappy

Re: "Only in Chester on a sunday... sorry"

Damn!

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Re: It's not that simple

Couldn't we give more territory to Chester though? And probably by Sunday they meant any day when the sun is shining, rather than just one day of the week, which is a silly restriction for a law.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's not that simple

> Could we gift Wales to them? Maybe agree that Gibraltar is ours, Wales is theirs

Catalans are quite OK with Gibraltar being British. In fact, during the war of succession that lead to Catalonia losing its political independence, the Catalans and the Brits fought on the same side (with the latter eventually deserting the former who decided to continue the fight on their own).

I recall the town of Girona's official website used to be http://ajuntament.gi/ (still works, in fact. Now redirects to their .cat domain), with .gi being, of course, Gibraltar's ccTLD. This was done before the launch of .cat when many Catalan businesses and institutions avoided the use of .es like the plague. The fact that it used to be a royal pain to register a .es did not exactly help the centralist cause either.

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Re: It's not that simple

"Could we gift Wales to them? "

Firstly we need Argentina to give them Patagonia back!

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Re: It's not that simple

""Everybody knows it's still legal to kill a Welshman with a bow and arrow."

Only in Chester on a sunday... sorry"

Quote

Unfortunately not. The claim surrounding this one dates back to 1403, and a City Ordinance imposing a curfew on Welshman in Chester that was ironically issued by Henry, Prince of Wales, in response to Welsh uprisings in the city. The decree has since been superseded by boring old murder and manslaughter laws though, so put those longbows away.

http://www.sickchirpse.com/weird-laws/4/

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There is a .cat TLD? How come I'm only finding out about this now? Life could have been so different...

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Miaaaou....

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Miaaaou....

My cats all say that you have a very wierd accent. Mind you, they all speak broad North-Wiltshire[1] so I'm sure that my brothers London cats look down on them..

[1] I'm sure my CatSpeak accent has shifted from my North London days. More broad vowels..

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Anonymous Coward

That logo

... er ... fasces crossed with a sword? I would have thought that sort of iconography would have fallen out of favour by 1975 the latest

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Re: That logo

Concur.

My granddad and half of my granduncles are probably spinning at 10k rpms in their graves - they all fought in the civil war (which by the way from 1937 onwards had a very distinct Castilla i Leon versus Catalonia and Euskadi tint).

This picture does not belong in the 21st century. Same as the crime of sedition.

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Re: That logo

"My granddad and half of my granduncles are probably spinning at 10k rpms in their graves"

Don't think so. That logo belongs to the Guardia Civil, that was created in the XVIII Century and has used it (with style variations) since then, even under the Spanish Republic.

And take in account that the fasces and that crap didn't have the same meaning in the XVIII they do nowadays, as Fascists and Nazis appeared in the XX Century.

On the other hand, they've got lots of other reasons to spin in their graves. Sigh.

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Seeking independence

At least 70 years - I would say they have been seeking independence since the "unification" of Spain in 1492.

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Re: Seeking independence

All you need to know about it is that the cannons on the Spanish fortress in Barcelona do not point at the sea - they were not guarding the city from Arabian pirates, French or British. They are pointed AT the city. Why - exercise to the reader.

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Headmaster

Re: Seeking independence

The unification under the Catholic Monarchs was a personal union. There's no reason for it to have been a trigger for the principality of Catalunya to demand independence from the Crown of Aragón. The trigger which at least some of the independence wings point to is the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), following which the Crown of Aragón was dissolved (its components largely supported the losing side) and a more centralised Spanish Kingdom replaced it. But to say that they've been seeking independence since then would be incorrect: what they sought at the time was the restoration of what nowadays we would call a federal model.

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Re: Seeking independence

They are pointed AT the city

Which way is it the the HMS Bristol guns point again?

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IT Angle

Where's the vital geek question?

Can we enter this for a useless use of cat award?

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Re: Where's the vital geek question?

"Can we enter this for a useless use of cat award?"

Surely more like a Simon Bond cat award?

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Curious Spanish attitude

We know why the Spanish central govt don't want Catalunya and Euskade to be independent - same reasons as the French want to keep Bretagne and the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

But they seem to have totally missed the irony of suggesting that a democratic state wouldn't tolerate this - 'this' being a referendum which allows the demos to decide for themselves what they want to do.

If they think it's a bad idea, try arguing against it (but more effectively than Cameron did with the Brexit referendum).

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Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

Hmm. The "English" haven't got Scotland, the United Kingdom has.

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Re: Curious Spanish attitude

The Constitutional Court says that there has to be a constitutional change to Article 2 (Spain is indivisible) before there can be any independence referendum and that a constitutional change also requires a referendum... a nationwide one.

The king has to convene the constitutional referendum, he can only do that if the president propose that he do it, and that can only happen after a majority vote in parliament.

Because there are the two big nationwide parties in parliament, that's never going to happen. Even if parliament did propose a constituional referendum, it wouldn't pass anyway as people elsewhere in Spain would vote no. They don't particularly like Catalonia, but they don't hate them enough to kick them out either. Or maybe they do hate them a lot and the worst thing to do to them would be to not let them leave. Who knows.

So, whenever this comes to a head, the President always pops up and says an independence referendum is illegal because Article 2.

What I don't quite understand is there was a constitutional change in 2011 during the economic crisis after pressure from the EU which said that Spain must prioritize paying its debts over spending. There was no constitutional referendum about this.

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Headmaster

Re: Curious Spanish attitude

That one's easy. Articles 167 and 168 of the referendum. The official English translation is at http://www.congreso.es/constitucion/ficheros/c78/cons_ingl.pdf , but in short: a handful of articles get special protection by automatically requiring amendments to be approved by referendum. The majority can be amended by a supermajority in parliament, but must be referred to the people if 10% of either house of parliament votes to require that.

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Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

People in Scotland may disagree on that. As UK government is run from London and dominated by English politicians, from the Scottish perspective it's not so much the United Kingdom as 'England et al.'

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Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

"As UK government is run from London and dominated by English politicians, from the Scottish perspective it's not so much the United Kingdom as 'England et al.'"

From an English perspective Scotland is seen as making a lot of decisions in its own Assembly with its own govt. but decisions involving England are made in the UK Parliament.

I'm not convinced that, had the Scottish independence referendum been held on a UK-wide franchise,* it wouldn't have had the same outcome; the English might have voted to have rid themselves of the Scots. However being effectively thrown out wouldn't have sat well with the SNP.

Not setting up an English Assembly along with the Welsh and Scottish ones was a mistake. Arguably we might have had the Brexit nonsense although I suppose we might have had the numpty wing of the Conservative party dominating the English Assembly.

Home rule for Yorkshire, I say - and within its pre-1974 boundaries.

*Quite justifiable on the basis that it affected the UK as a unit.

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Re: Curious Spanish attitude

It's effectively the same attitude as that of the UK - the Scots don't get a referendum without the permission of Westminster.

The difference is that Westminster has said yes, twice, and is being asked to say yes for a third time. So, clearly, the demos don't get to make a final decision whether a referendum is held or not.

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Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

"Hmm. The "English" haven't got Scotland, the United Kingdom has."

The United Kingdom is a Union, so it doesn't have Scotland. Either party is free to leave at any time. Funny how every possible obstacle is put in Scotland's way to leaving by, errr, England.

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Re: Curious Spanish attitude

"The difference is that Westminster has said yes, twice..." [innacurate on several counts]

As with previous referenda in Scotland and Catalonia - the governments of the UK and Spain only granted them at a time when they knew the opinion polls showed that the Central Government was almost certain to win.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Curious Spanish attitude

> a handful of articles get special protection by automatically requiring amendments to be approved by referendum.

In other words, a poison pill against independence.

Btw, fluent Spanish speakers with a sense for the dramatic arts may find this amusing: https://www.facebook.com/joseluis.boullonlechon/videos/513317689019936/

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Re: Curious Spanish attitude

There has never been an independence referendum in Catalonia because Article 2.

There have been referendums held by town councils with no legal standing, a region-wide referendum which was rebadged a consultation after it was declared illegal, and elections where the parties said that if they're elected they'll carry on the independence process.

This is the first one where Catalonia has said it's a referendum on independence, it's going ahead, and they'll declare independence if there is a majority vote for it.

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Re: Curious Spanish attitude

While I don't agree with Rajoy's actions , what you are missing is that in terms of the Spanish constitution, ALL Spaniards should have a democratic say in whether or not Catalunya should be independent. It also seems to be what a fair few Spaniards think. Some of those I have spoken to are Ibicencan catalan speakers who think Catalunya should abide by the rules of the constitution they are currently part of.

Personally, I think both Spain and Catalunya would suffer economically if they separate. I also expect Madrid is concerned about the route to the rest of Europe being controlled by Catalunya.

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Re: Curious Spanish attitude

Should the rest of the UK have voted on Scottish independence or the rest of the EU voted on Brexit?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Curious Spanish attitude

They want to keep hold of Catalunya because the without Catalunya's financial input, the rest of Spain collapses...

Posted anonymously because people have been arrested and brought in for questioning over tweets about this referendum business and I don't want the same happening to me

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Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

You can have your 1974 boundaries if Lancashire can too, except Liverpool. We don't want Liverpool.

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Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

like the voters in scotland voting no?

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Re: Curious Spanish attitude

French want to keep Bretagne and the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

*Some* English..

(And if you are going to use Cymru for Wales, you could have at least used Alba for Scotland.. Kernow bys vikken!)

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Re: Curious Spanish attitude

There was no constitutional referendum about this.

Simple - to paraphrase Yes Minister:

I want a consitutional referendum.

You want to destabalise the democratic basis of our society

They want revolution

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Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

every possible obstacle is put in Scotland's way to leaving by, errr, England.

s/England/The Conservative Party/g *

(Not that the other parties are not keen to maintain the UK, they are just considerably less rabid about it).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

"Hmm. The "English" haven't got Scotland, the United Kingdom has."

But the English are by some distance on top of the United Kingdom pile - se effectively they have!

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"As the online home for Catalans, the .cat registry has been pulled into the struggle – and that may have created a dangerous precedent where an internet registry is targeted and help responsible for the content of websites hosted on one of its domains. "

So wait, last time (recently too!) there was a major debacle about domain name registries (and registrars) pulling domains because of the mistaken belief that they are somehow responsible for the contents, I recall the El Reg articles and commentars eagerly cheering it on...?

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That was a privately owned domain registrar not wanring to having anything to do with propogating hate speech.

.cat is publically owned by the region and is being ordered to drop content because central government doesn't like it.

What would you think if there was Scottish referendum information published under a .scot domain and UK ISPs DNS blocked it under orders from central government via a friendly judge? Then later on of it was republished under other domains like .eu and .com and they were blocked too?

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Scottish one

Dont discount this happening!! But yeah, it is the equivalent of the SNP saying "we are going to do it, we dont care if you agree". And ignoring the central government.

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Wrong. Several TLDs (AL RU AT at least) pulled it at the registry level.

Also, at least two registrars (Google in the case of one domain, Network Solutions in another) did go way above and beyond 'not wanting anything to do with it' by stealing the domains outright instead of just telling them to move. This is, at the very least, just as problematic. And at least in the case of Google there was no basis whatsoever in their ToS for doing it.

If you don't want to do business with someone, you shouldn't voluntarily enter into an agreement to do so in the first place. And if you decide to stop doing business with the person in question, you certainly shouldn't actively prevent him/her/it from doing business with someone else instead. (Plus at the very least refund the cost and possibly pay damages for breaking the contract prematurely, but that's a minor detail in this case.)

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Re: Scottish one

The binding power of independence referendums really depends upon the same thing that underpins all governments: Firepower.

What happens if the result is 'yes?' That looks like it could happen, skimming over the opinion polls. The only way Spain could respond then would be to directly attack political leaders - compile a list of everyone in the Catalan parliament who supported the referendum, arrest them all for sedition. As the police seem to be loyal to Spain rather than Catalonia, there's nothing much anyone in Catalonia could do about it.

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Re: Scottish one

Well, they're already arresting regional politicians for sedition and fining them €12,000 per day.

The local police run by town councils and regional police are loyal to Catalonia, the national police and civil guard are loyal to central government. If the referendum does go ahead, I'm guessing there's going to be lots of videos of what's happening at polling stations floating round social networks.

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Re: Scottish one

I would not be surprised at all if we wake up to a major network “outage” affecting Barcelona the day of the referendum to prevent people from coordinating protests and images of Spanish police violence leaking out before all is done. Hope I’m wrong :/

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Anonymous Coward

> .cat is publically owned by the region

That is only half-accurate. It is a private non-profit funded through the sale of .cat domains. It does however count with the support of a number of public and non-public notable institutions (including Barcelona FC). http://fundacio.cat/en/who-we-are.

> and is being ordered to drop content because central government doesn't like it.

Yup.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scottish one

> Dont discount this happening!! But yeah, it is the equivalent of the SNP saying "we are going to do it, we dont care if you agree". And ignoring the central government.

The Catalans have been asking for a negotiation for the last seven years. In the 2015 Catalan elections their programme included as its main point a negotiated referendum, with a unilateral consultation only as a last resource. The Spanish government refused to even discuss the possibility of discussing a referendum.

Can hardly blame the Catalans for wanting to go ahead whether the Spanish government likes it or not.

I must say, I have been in touch over the last few days with friends and acquaintances in Catalonia. Even the ones that I recall as being fiercely unionist are determined to vote, and to vote for independence. I don't know how representative that is of the whole population, but sending in the police wasn't one of their brightest ideas (or maybe it was, I do not recall them being known for having good ideas).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scottish one

> I would not be surprised at all if we wake up to a major network “outage” affecting Barcelona the day of the referendum

Without letting out too much, in case I am right, the main grassroots organisations supporting independence (the Catalan National Assembly and Òmnium) have already thought of that. There are also contingency plans in case the entire government is captured.

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