Select Page

This man is clearly in need of a clue-by-four:

European Union interior ministers debated Monday proposals to sanction or shut down Internet sites spreading “terrorist propaganda” and bomb-making instructions.

EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini told reporters that he had urged the ministers, during informal talks in Lisbon, Portugal, “to make punishable activities of misuse of the Internet.”

“My intention of course is not to limit freedom of expression,” he said.

“My intention is … to introduce sanctions against those who disseminate terrorist propaganda or instruct on websites how to make a bomb. This has nothing to do with freedom of expression.

“If a given website is found instructing people to make a bomb, the only possible result is to disconnect, or to close such a website,” he said.

First, let’s look at a simple Google search, “how to make a bomb”. Over 17 million hits. Ok, so there’s the practical aspect.

But the bigger question is: Where does it start, and where does it stop?

What, are we now going to ban certain “potentially dangerous” books in libraries?

Or do we ultimately go down the path of Thailand, which outright banned YouTube in their country? And let’s not even talk about China.

The Internet is a big fat load of tubes and happiness that shovels out all kinds of useless and useful information. And I know that some people are irresponsible with what information they disseminate.

However, it’s one thing to crack down on terrorist cells that use the net for criminal purposes (which can be done through standard surveillance practices). But it’s another to start coming out with useless restrictions which ultimately will lead to a censored society.

Alex Eckelberry
(Thanks, Richard)