November 12, 2001 11:30 AM PST

Europe hopes to outlaw hate speech online

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Global treaty could transform Web

June 22, 2001
By Wendy McAuliffe

The Council of Europe is pressing ahead with a protocol to criminalize hate speech on the Internet.

After the Cybercrime Convention--the world's first international treaty on cybercrime--was approved Thursday, the Standing Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly voted unanimously to back it with a protocol that defines and outlaws hate speech on computer networks.

Publishing material likely to incite racial hatred is already illegal in the United Kingdom under the Public Order Act 1986, but there is nothing that can be done under U.K. law if the company's servers are located in another country, such as the United States. To date, there have been no successful prosecutions for race hate material appearing on the Net, so there is no case law to suggest what is illegal in the United Kingdom.

"It is difficult to apply the U.K. Public Order Act to online content--there is a lack of clear precedents relating to offline content that we would need to make a judgment about anything being illegal online," said David Kerr, chairman of the Internet Watch Foundation. "There are no consistent laws around the world for overseas content--the U.S. in particular is safeguarded by the First Amendment."

Drafters of the European protocol have been advised to consider ways of preventing "illegal hosting," where servers are located in a country with more lenient laws. Racist organizations, for example, could place their servers in the United States and hide behind the protection of the First Amendment.

Racial hatred has taken a backseat in the political agenda in the past, but the Council of Europe's approval of the Cybercrime Convention--which was drawn up with the participation of non-European countries such as the United States and Canada--signifies a new commitment to cracking down on online racist content. A recent report estimates that at present there are around 4,000 racist Web sites, including 2,500 in the United States.

"The 11 September has shown that hate speech can become an action of horrendous magnitude," said Ivor Tallo from the Estonia Socialist Group, which authored the report. "Therefore, modern technology has to have safeguards, and one of those is to ban hate speech on the Internet."

The European Commission also recently emphasized the need to control racist content online, handing $5.37 million (6 million euros) to an Internet safety project. The funding will form the final part of the Safer Internet Action Plan, originally set up to tackle illegal and racist content on the Internet.

The new money is designated for an awareness campaign promoting the dangers of children using Internet chat rooms. A portion of the money will also be used to set up hotlines across Europe that let people report harmful content encountered on the Internet. For the next couple of months, the EC will be accepting bids for funding from European nongovernmental organizations wishing to promote awareness of safer Internet use.

Staff writer Wendy McAuliffe reported from London.

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I cant believe we actually consider Europe to be part of the "Free World"
Hate speech legislation...Thoughtcrime legislation..whats the difference?

Its so obvious that European governments have completely embraced "IngSoc"

First its hate-speech, then its anti-dissident speech, then its.... Opinion Enforcement.

Once you start with the idea that speech, in any form can be regulated for ANY reason, (ie National security, Racial harmony, unity...etc.), you are basically taking the HUMAN RIGHT of Freedom of Speech, and placing it in less importance to those said goals.

Freedom of Speech doesn't mean anything, if it doesn't mean the freedom to say what someone else finds offensive.

America's First Amendment protects ALL speech. Not just talk of pretty flowers, and the newest dress, and who Jessica Alba is shacking up with..

Here in America, we have a saying "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!"

Unfortunately, in Europe...all Rights are fairgame and it is openly believed that human rights can be taken away by the government. IT is believed that governments are granted to us ( and can just as easily be taken away) by the government!

I have the right to Free Speech, Self Defense, the Fruits of my LABOR, my own beliefs, and opinions.

Im not a racist, and I cant STAND racists...but they have rights too. It is immoral to force ones views on another.

Even europeans recognize that...but for them there are exceptions. While to them, its wrong to "Force" your religion on others...its PERFECTLY ok, to force Secular Humanist/Socialist World-Unity GARBAGE down people's throats...
Posted by Liberator83 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I cant believe we actually consider Europe to be part of the "Free World"
Hate speech legislation...Thoughtcrime legislation..whats the difference?

Its so obvious that European governments have completely embraced "IngSoc"

First its hate-speech, then its anti-dissident speech, then its.... Opinion Enforcement.

Once you start with the idea that speech, in any form can be regulated for ANY reason, (ie National security, Racial harmony, unity...etc.), you are basically taking the HUMAN RIGHT of Freedom of Speech, and placing it in less importance to those said goals.

Freedom of Speech doesn't mean anything, if it doesn't mean the freedom to say what someone else finds offensive.

America's First Amendment protects ALL speech. Not just talk of pretty flowers, and the newest dress, and who Jessica Alba is shacking up with..

Here in America, we have a saying "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!"

Unfortunately, in Europe...all Rights are fairgame and it is openly believed that human rights can be taken away by the government. IT is believed that rightss are granted to us ( and can just as easily be taken away) by the government!

I have the right to Free Speech, Self Defense, the Fruits of my LABOR, my own beliefs, and opinions.

Im not a racist, and I cant STAND racists...but they have rights too. It is immoral to force ones views on another.

Even europeans recognize that...but for them there are exceptions. While to them, its wrong to "Force" your religion on others...its PERFECTLY ok, to force Secular Humanist/Socialist World-Unity GARBAGE down people's throats...
Posted by Liberator83 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sorry about the redundancy, first one had a Typo
Sorry about the redundancy, first one had a Typo
Posted by Liberator83 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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