Thursday, October 18, 2007

 

Totalitarian Plan of the Day

I do intend to carry out a clear exploring exercise with the private sector ... on how it is possible to use technology to prevent people from using or searching dangerous words like bomb, kill, genocide or terrorism —Franco Frattini, Justice and Security Commissioner of the European Union, as quoted by Ingrid Melander in "Web search for bomb recipes should be blocked: EU"

Frattini is the EU's counterpart to our own Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security. By way of timing Frattini made this statement on September 10, the day before "[r]epresentatives of the Internet industry [were] meeting the EU on ... the sixth anniversary of al Qaeda's September 11 attacks on the United States, at a European Security Research and Innovation Forum."

The reporter notes that—

The Internet has taken on huge importance for militant groups, enabling them to share know-how and spread propaganda to a mass audience, as well as to link cell members.

And in an earlier age, so did the printing press. Does anyone remember the "pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, liberal and intellectual" Tom Paine?

When asked if blocking searches for certain words "could infringe on the rights to expression and information," Frattini replied first with a non sequitur

Frankly speaking, instructing people to make a bomb has nothing to do with the freedom of expression, or the freedom of informing people.

And then with an absurdity—

The right balance, in my view, is to give priority to the protection of absolute rights and, first of all, right to life.

If the priority of the EU member states or the US were the "right to life" for the living (or for the unborn, for that matter), they would be acting a great deal differently in regard to war, genocide, poverty, healthcare and the environment.

Sgr. Frattini hopes to present his plan "to member states early in November as part of a raft of anti-terrorism proposals."

[Note to readers: Since I've used some of the words that Sgr. Frattini would ban from searches, I suggest you bookmark this page—or better, save it to your hard drive—as you may not be able to find it later.]

Related posts
This is serious: Indymedia servers busted (10/8/04)
The Indymedia seizure and the media (10/12/04)
Samizdat and other matters (9/30/05)
Plane spotting (3/13/06)
U.S. government "blocks" a website (7/10/06)
Update on "U.S. blocks a website" (7/13/06)
Bill Moyers: "The Net at Risk" (10/19/06)

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