Freedom of Speech...
...subject to government approval.
The UK government asked Google to take down 135 YouTube videos for reasons of national security in the first half of this year, states Google's biannual Transparency Report, released yesterday. The report also shows that the German government asked for videos that included Nazi memorabilia to be removed, and that US police …
"We don't have freedom of speech in the UK, we have a specific list of thing that we can't say."
Where can I find a copy of this list - or is it specifically open ended?
"I for one don't want videos of people being murdered on the web, especially if they are then used to promote jihadists."
Ah, we get to pick and choose? Brilliant.
I for one dont want videos of fluffy kittens on the internet, especially if they are then used to promote a funny use of English.
Who do I speak to so I can get this sorted out?
I'm afraid the list of words we're not allowed to say has to be stored in a safe on the independant micronation of Sealand, since any copies brought onto UK soil would be illegal.
The bearers of the document found guilty will be punished by flogging, having their nipples tweaked and their ears ripped off. The document would be torn up, burned and trodden on. (This part is especially fun when the document is stored digtally, as the 1s and 0s have to then be sorted into 2 seperate piles, each of these being destroyed in corrosive acid and alkaline respectively to ensure they cannot intermingle, and any attempt to merge them will be PH neutral)
"Ah, we get to pick and choose? "
Yep. It's call democracy. You can go live somewhere else if you don't like it.
"Who do I speak to so I can get this sorted out?"
Speak to the rest of us and get popular support, then move onto the political stage to get legislation. That's how it works; that's how it's worked for a long time; I'm surprised that no one mentioned it to you before now.
"Yep. It's call democracy. You can go live somewhere else if you don't like it."
Oh right, I didnt see the bit on the party mandates about what was in the list of approved things which can / cant be said.
Do you have a copy or can you point me to one please? Otherwise how do we know if our vote is going to get the stuff we want on the list? I certainly dont remember anything in the pre-election programmes over what would be included - did I miss it?
When did we have a vote over what constituted jihadist material on the net? I have looked all over the BBC and even Hansard but there is no mention of a public vote, or even a vote amongst ministers.
Or are you just talking crap here?
Oh, grow up will you?
Out of everything that gets posted, UK asked for 333 and the US 757 removals. That's just over 1'000 things across all of Google's services. And they didn't succeed in all of them either. And a lot of them could be the result of a court order.
Not exactly a damning indictment of our ever-diminishing freedom of speech. There's so many other much more meaningful things to be spooked and complain about. (Surveillance anyone?).
Finally Google's services != WWW. I can find and download all of Baghdad sniper's videos quite easily without relying on big G.
We have neither freedom of speech nor democracy in this country - just look at what happened in the 'mother of parliaments' this week.
Every MP that voted to squash the peoples right to a vote should be ashamed, shot for treason and not reelected.
As for freedom of speech look at the latest attempts to justify clamping down on the internet. Look at the BBC and the way it monitors, edits and blocks postings on its website, the way it closes down debates, reduces the amount you can post and the frequency of posts to make sure you can't say anything of value. They aren't the only ones but they are probably the most obviously under direct government control.
Of course the vast majority of the masses are happy if they can watch Coronation street, moan about Eastenders, or complain about some football star and see some 'celebrities' knickers. Unfortunately the uninformed and frankly stupid masses have been given the vote - not because it improves democracy but precisely the opposite, those with power long ago realised that if they want to avoid problems swamp the few thinkers with millions of stupid idiots and brain wash the stupid peasants into thinking that giving their employers the right to sack them at the drop of a hat, taxing them to pay bankers billions in bonuses or making sure you are lined up for a good job when you leave parliament by 'not getting any financial benefit' from allowing a group of multinationals to determine our defence policy is the best way forward.
Just remind me how 100000 people in a voting population the size of the UK should be allowed to dictate that the government's stated policies should be changed, while also calling this democracy?
The guys asking for the Hillsbrough (can't spell) files to be opened, fair enough - This wasn't any stated policy of the government.
... why don't the government just do what everyone else does; just get an account and false flag the videos. Google take the sodding things down instantly without checking if the claims are valid first, and it can be bleedin' ages before you can get the right to have them back up again ... even if the claims made against you are false.
About 90% of the links to videos I get sent have been taken down in Germany by Sony or Warner, because, although they are private videos, somebody put a music track in the background... :-(
As to the German Government requesting takedown of videos with National Socialist Party memorabilia / symbolism, that is a legal requirement. It can only be used in a historical film context, any other use of such National Socialistic symbolism is illegal - as is the sale of such.
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Cultural differences have many forms it seems, even in censorship. We still have freedom of speach, just absolutely no rights to be listerned too.
Still it is nice too know that the requests are not 100% accepted, somewhat reasuring and also unerving at the same time as could only lead to china selling there firewall to other countries as there form of appeal to the rejections.
This leads me to the question, who censors google who censor goverments who censor you and me!
Need a court order??? You must be joking! Censorship is endemic in our society. There is an enormous number of censors and precious little protection against them. What they censor is largely driven by lowest common denominator prejudice rather than evidence. http://www.bn.org.uk/pages/pages.asp?page_ID=525
Since the BBC has been mentioned I must point out that it self censors to the point of dishonesty.
For example, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/1444780.stm. No indication that the bottom of the picture has been cropped. There are exceptions but censorship of this sort is quite common and it is never admitted to.
The page http://www.bn.org.uk/pages/pages.asp?page_ID=525 gives information on body censorship. The BBC is mentioned many times as well as having a section of its own.
In terms of a transparency report: great. How can it be anything other than a good thing, that Google gives us this?
In response to those talking about freedom of speech, it's pretty pathetic to mention.
As an example, take the "Collateral Murder" video on YouTube; it's still there. A very significant video that shows US military 'doing things they shouldn't' in Iraq. On that evidence alone, I put it to you that we either have free speech, or Google don't bow down to government pressure easily. Either way, it's pretty good as far as I can tell.
Google will of course remove its servers from the territory of the offending countries and move their operations to small islands located off the coast. After all, Google would never agree to censorship or filtering of content, no matter what entity, political or commercial, was attempting to impose it....
What worries me is that the UK is high on the removal requests. Historically the UK promotes it's self as having freedom of speech (I'm never sure about freedom of expression) and often points to other countries that have restrictive regimes, censorship and other terrible obstacles to "democracy'. But some of these countries don't have a high "please take down rate" .
Google releases the Report under it's "transparency" banner. Lets expand transparency and report the detail of the specific requests so we can learn what our government does not want us to see. If that offends a Court Order then don't list those sites covered by Court Order. Certainly if Google did not take the site down then I see no reason for us not to be told which sites were requested. That way we can start to understand what we are being shielded from.
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