My personal opinion is that illegal content (CP, inciting violence) should be moderated quickly, where failure to act has big consequences. What I don't like about the proposal is that it is enforced by governments, and not some judiciary body. I hope the council and parliament will amend the proposal in such a way this is reflected in a final law.
When you say "quickly", do you also mean "within the hour"? If so, what about a small webhost that gets abused?
I think the shortest period that's considered quick enough and would at least make somewhat sense is "before something manages to spread widely", but that's still murky and still has many problematic practical concerns.
I doubt we really have a need to act on these issues in the first place and that was explicitly not the goal of those who initiated this proposal. You just need to take a look at who proposed it.
So the question about illegal content is completely misplaced.
Kind of "[X] No and don't ask again", democracy version.
Having thought of it, the main problem here it's no longer "Political party versus political party" when speaking about law making, but "Parliament versus public". For some reason they have shared agenda instead of competing on it. They all unanimously want to sell us to copyright holders and secret services so bad, it's only our stupid resistance is what's holding them. Hence, proposal adjustments tricks.
They want to pass a few laws that are very bad. They create a horrible proposal and they amend it so that it becomes just very bad, and they've achieved what they wanted, with other politicians feeling good about themselves because they didn't give in into the opposition's horrible requests.
I use the same tactic with my stepdaughter: she wants ice cream for dinner, I want pasta. I propose broccoli, we agree on pasta (like I wanted).
I think people are seeing a general trend of internet laws and bashing their creators. One could argue that this stage of the process is where bashing should occur. When it did with other ridiculous legislation, on both sides of the Atlantic, nobody excused the institutions making the suggestions. To many, myself included, this trend has to stop and sadly there isn't enough bashing to curb it, especially as there are so many cheering it on.
E.g., in most EU countries with relevant laws, 'illegal content' in public spaces may be removed (with your being arrested) by the police. Then the courts are involved.
Same here, it seems. Courts would be involved, and not only re. penalties: " Effective judicial remedies will also be provided by national authorities and platforms and content providers will have the right to challenge a removal order."
(from: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-area-o... )
Don't even need laws or national security letters. Just keep inviting the CEO's of leading social media platforms to congressional hearings and demand they do more to fight "terrorist propaganda and child pornography", for a more current context "Russian election interference".
Then these platform holders will kickstart a whole content-moderation industry on the other side of the planet, all properly outsourced so nobody could claim they are censoring themselves.
The result is a surface web that has been sanitized for years already, but with barely anybody noticing or caring.
In a system like that the notorious "Vietnamese Napalm girl" gets deleted because it's childporn. A painting depicting a nude Donald Trump with a small penis? Deleted, that's pornography. A US soldier intimidating a tied and gagged prisoner with a dog in Abu Ghraib? That's a known torture method by Al-Qaeda, deleted.
Note: I made none of these last examples up, they all happened like that and very likely keep happening on a daily basis .
That's why I think it's dangerous to throw the term "illegal content on the Internet" around as haphazardly as many people often tend to do.
The bigger question is: Who asked for this?
What do you mean by this? How is this relevant?
You're right that the term is a bit nebulous, but this isn't a new problem. E.g. criminal law already treats terrorism differently in many countries. As is often the case in law, courts would have to figure what should be considered terrorism. Courts in your country could decide differently than in mine, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view.
Sorry, those were intended as two different examples.
You can't, though. You can call for violence, and that is already against the law. The conflation of words with violence is dangerous.
That's mostly what he was talking about, though. The differences between freedom of speech in the US and in the EU are minimal, mostly just the result of different legal traditions and the US paying more superficial lip service to freedom of speech.
Put up some ISIS propaganda on the web and in your front yard, though, and you'll be arrested in the US very quickly. Do the same with classical 3rd Reich Nazi propaganda, and they'll be more lenient in the US.
Speech is prohibited in most EU countries mostly for direct, intentional, and credible calls for violence, especially if they actually result in actual violence.
In more restrictive countries like Germany, direct calls for acting against the constitution as well as overt intentional discrimination against whole groups of people are also restricted but generally dealt with in a more lenient way. The hurdles are high, except for the clear-cut cases like showing Nazi symbols and Holocaust denial, because in these cases the judge doesn't have to deliberate a lot about the intentions of the delinquents and whether they support the German constitution or not. It's much harder to prosecute less clear cases. (But e.g. symbols of certain rocker gangs and the gangs themselves have been successfully prohibited in the past.)
>The conflation of words with violence is dangerous.
That's a bit of a strawman. Of course, ordering and encouraging a crime can be punished, not just actually committing the crime, or else almost every mob and gang related crime boss would remain free forever. There is no significant difference in that respect between US and EU.
I personally believe that membership in a group should never be reason for punishment, and there was an extensive debate about this in the 70s when Germany introduced such "guilty by association" laws in an attempt to fight terrorism by (mostly) the RAF.
In a comment a few levels up, the user said s/he's free to speak as long as it doesn't incite violence or discriminate. Inciting violence is illegal in all western countries I'm aware of.
When questioned about it, the user gave the response I quoted from. S/he either didn't address why discriminatory speech shouldn't be free, or is equivocating it with calls to violence (in that s/he believes it leads directly to violence).
I can't speak for the user, but I have seen numerous examples of people who justify banning "discriminatory speech" (or "hate speech") as equivalently calling for violence. And these same people often have a very low bar for what qualifies as "discriminatory" (e.g. "I disagree with what this person is saying").
Nobody's questioning whether or not direct calls to violence should be illegal, but my point is that we should be very clear that other kinds of speech (even if abhorrent or reprehensible) cannot be hand-waved away as being in the same category.
Absolutely not. A lot of the law is written by the bourgeois elite who don't want the staus quo they benefit enormously from to be shaken up. Change is done outside of the law and the majority populace if decided necessary has every right to break those laws in the circumstance that those bourgeois elite will not help them out or give them the change they want.
Like asking for a permit for a protest after your government & police force has been oppressing you for decades or centuries. You don't ask for a permit to protest anything serious.
(I would like an explanation to my GP's comment being flagged other than "I would like this to not be true")
You stated that the EU doesn't have freedom of speech, but your link shows is specifically about Austria and how the ECHR isn't going to overrule it on this case. Pretty much every EU country has some form of free speech, and the ECHR sets a baseline on what's expected from member countries. It seems like Austrian law is running pretty close to that baseline but, as much as I'd personally prefer that case went the other way, supranational institutions need to draw a line between what they can and can't do.
EDIT: It's the total opposite, I apologize. She was convicted for her speech, but the courts found her speech to disrupt the religious peace, and not freedom of opinion. Turns out disrupting religious peace is illegal in Austria, which is a stupid law.
> The European Court of Human Rights has ruled a woman convicted by an Austrian court of calling the Prophet Mohammed a paedophile did not have her freedom of speech rights infringed.
Now, I don't particularly like the Daily Mail, but given that you are expressing the exact opposite of the situation described in the article I would expect some sort of argument. It appears you misunderstood the article's title?
And comparing Brussels to Moscow is the nice one. The not-so-nice ones compare Brussels to Mordor ;).
The European Coal and Steel Community (grandfather of the EU) was created in 1952 to regulate production of these materials, and address the risk of massive re-armament. I'm not convinced how relevant that is after the US detonated the first atomic weapon in 1945.
IMHO, NATO has been the factor in preventing war in Europe during the last 70 years.
In 1993, the EEC was renamed to European Community and merged into the EU.
So there's direct lineage back to post-war times, and without the "baby steps" of creating close ties between significant parts of the economies (steel and coal were kind of a big deal back then) of countries that considered each other arch-foes until then (Germany and France in particular), the later initiatives might have failed, like the attempts to form the European Political Community and the European Defence Community did in the 1950s.
NATO was significantly involved in the most recent European wars (the Yugoslav Wars). Now you could argue they were "peacekeeping" (and of course there were many atrocities that occurred during the Yugoslav Wars) but that's what a certain country claimed about "Operation Iraqi Freedom".
I would contest that NATO prevented any wars in Europe, they definitely were involved in at least one.
However, the main point is that "would even cheer for fascists" includes "would even cheer for people hunting down anyone who they deem in violation of what constitutes their version of free speech", which doesn't seem like a very effective way to fight exactly that.
So if I had instead originally written "I would cheer for terrorists", would have made it more sense? I wrote fascist because it seemed to capture our times better. I could have also written "criminals". It would not made any difference.
A good example of where this may impact us is the Catalan government wanting to split from Spain. Will blogs from these people be deemed of terrorist nature then? So even it is not yet implemented, putting this forward as a proposal is pretty outrageous.
In case you didn't get the memo, here is a primer on how to turn a democracy into a totalitarian system:
1. Invent an external scapegoat ('the enemy')
2. Polarize: Either you're with us or with them. Mediating center positions and compromises belong to 'the enemy'. Argue that you're for the simple, honest-working men and against the elites, who belong to 'the enemy'.
3. As part of point 2, push radical radical positions into the public discourse to erode social control mechanisms. ('Why can't I say X' where X is something despicable, like being a racist, being for for genocide, etc., but dressed into a seemingly legitimate 'arguments' and 'concerns'.)
4. Instil fear of the external enemy and, as much as possible, terror against the internal enemy on the streets. Ideally, there should be bands of people on the streets who mug or kill perceived enemies (e.g. the S.A., Bürgerwehren, death squadrons, etc.).
5. As a result of 3-4, once a certain threshold is reached, public discussion has been radicalized and mediating center positions have been quenched. Voting will become a false dilemma between us and them.
6. Seize power by vote or coup, eradicate the remaining control mechanisms, eradicate free media and put them under state control (in a fight against 'fake media'), eradicate remaining political opponents by abusing the justice system (anti-corruption laws work well).
The idea behind limiting freedom of speech is to prevent 2-3 from reaching a critical threshold that enables 4 & 5.
"Fascists", "racists" and other wonderful terms are the same scapegoats, but used by other ideological movements for their own benefit.
Everything you describe can be attributed to them as well.
What's funny is that they basically give fascists and others power because they use these terms to discredit everyone who opposes them, thus making descent human beings be silent, while the common population slowly
becomes angry and the only support among politicians they could find are before mentioned "fascists" (of which many aren't actually fascists at all, they just see potential benefits of expressing such ideas).
Don't try to rationalize censorship. Don't paternalize common population. If you limit freedom of speech, you don't limit it for dishonest people, they will always find a way to express their position.
Would I open your eyes if I say that Europe just copies the same laws used by authoritarian regimes to suppress opposition? I am not exaggerating. They literally copy Russian and Chinese laws. Do you think their laws say "expressing any critics of the regime is forbidden and is punishable with 3-4 years of jail", etc.? No, they say that "justifying Fascism, terrorism is forbidden". They just label everyone as "Fascist", "terrorist", "radical".
If you do believe that Europe does this with good intentions for people, you are naive.
To reply to the unjustified sentiments in the rest of your post and the ad hominem attack: I didn't justify anything, I tried to lay out the reasons that are given as the motivation of limitations of freedom of speech in existing EU countries.
These reasons are part of a much larger puzzle, and there are many more considerations to take into account - especially legal an procedural ones, but also democratic division of power issues - before a meaningful discussion of a particular measure of limiting freedom of speech could even begin.
Your reply is the typical example of the frequent use of false dichotomies in public discussions of such matters. It's resting on the obviously false dichotomy that either there is no free speech at all or absolute, totally unrestricted freedom of speech otherwise. Implicitly, it is probably also on the fallacious slippery slope argument that if you limit freedom of speech in some specific, highly controlled way (e.g. under direct judicial oversight with high hurdles), then the restrictions will still invariably worsen over time. That's highly doubtful, too, and at least you'd expect an argument for it.
Returning to the particular case: Yes, I do believe that Europe does this with good intentions. It's absolutely stupid to think anyone in the EU Parliament or in the EU commissions has bad intentions in general. There is no reason to attribute bad intentions to everyone who disagrees with you. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. No, I don't think this particular proposition is good in any way whatsoever, pretty much for the in my opinion correct reasons laid out in the mozilla blog.
Sorry if I sound frustrated. But I just think all this anti-free speech is a knee-jerk reaction to the symptoms of the rising far-right, not a well thought-out strategy of preserving liberal democracy.
Do you have any data to backup "rise", because it sure looks like increased media coverage of fringe groups and not any sort of actual rise in these things.
If you want to protect "everyday people", "free speech at all costs" is the way to do it. Otherwise the people in power will decide what speech is allowed and what isn't.
I'm lost for words to describe the stupidity of this
Sure, suppressing freedom of expression is not a good way to suppress freedom of expression - but this is a serious issue.
(Though, as mentioned elsewhere, it's still early in the process, and hopefully the regulation can be altered before it is passed.)
Nothing needs to be done by every means possible. This isn’t worth vaporising cities over, for one example. Or fascism, for another.
Yes you can. They’re called instrumental values and goals.
... such as groups that want to increase surveillance and use fear mongering language, and will make it so you can't legally fight it.
Yeah, that makes total sense. No better way to deal with authoritarians reaching for power than to elect authoritarians into power so they can deal with the wannabe authoritarians in their authoritarian ways.
That is what you said.
I think politicians ought to be scared of their populace, and they are the ones that need to be under constant surveillance. And not vice versa.
I don't accept that this means condoning any action those people might take.
That's because you turned "cheer for fascists" into "granting some leeway to people with less than scrupulous ideals". Even just playing such word games is lending support, and that's even more than condoning something.
I have to admit I'd have difficulty to decide between voting for them (which I'd consider actual support) or accepting laws as described in this post. Thankfully I haven't had to make such a choice, yet.
You instead are talking about how not restricting speech would also allow fascists freedom of speech, which is something else. That makes sense on the top level or attached to other comments, but in this "timeline", the boat has sailed, and "cheering for fascists" in preference to this proposal is what is on the table.
Of course cheering on fascists is unlikely to to lead to more freedom of speech, so in that sense I don't think it's a truly worthwhile course of action.
Keep in mind that during the rise of Hitler, the USA never did the things to Fascists and Nazi's that they did to leftists during the Red Scare & McCarthyism. Having workers rights and socialized health care is a big threat to the ruling class.
The bourgeois elite are very very scared of people like Jeremy Corbyn, but fascists will certainly keep those borgeois safe, rich, and profiting off of war against brown people and homeless people.
>A person who believes that there is a hierarchy of personhood — that some people are more human than others, and some fall below the threshold of being people entirely — and furthermore, that that hierarchy should be institutionalized, is a fascist. A movement composed of such people is a fascist movement. A government managing such a project is a fascist government. (The natural moral logic of such a hierarchy is that violence must be done to the weak by the strong, since they are not human beings at all, but parasites and predators.)
Is this not what the world elite are doing right now? UN Special Rapporteur this week came out with new reports of rampant poverty in USA and UK. What the US & EU allies did to the middle east? Does none of this qualify as fascism?
I think by the time the world wakes up to the fact that they're currently living in at least some form of fascism or close to it, it will be too late.
Edit: Care to comment with reasons why you're downvoting and even flagging? I'm always open to changing my mind.
> Please don't use Hacker News primarily for political or ideological battle. This destroys intellectual curiosity, so we ban accounts that do it.
Having said that, the most pressing problem with authoritasianism and empire building is the EU itself. For the sake of an example, consider this (2011) rant by Guy Verhofstadt, on how member states must give up their sovereignty:
Apologies for the meme format; can't seem to find the original while on the go.