Thursday, 21 March 2013

Tell 'em to Blog Off.

If you think blogs like this are of any benefit to society and should be free from state censorship implemented through the threat of certain bankruptcy please read on:

Stolen from Guido Fawkes, I urge everyone with a blog to reprint and share, and everyone who reads a blog to sign the petition.

"A free and open world increasingly depends on a free and open internet. The internet empowers everyone — anyone can blog, create, learn, and share.

It is controlled by no one — no single organisation, individual, or government. It connects the world.

Today, more than two billion people are online — about a third of the planet.

Hacked Off supporter Max Mosley told parliament he wants the government “to cut off the wires” to websites he thinks should be censored. Millionaire celebrities like Hugh Grant want to regulate free speech on the internet.

They want laws to force dissident refusenik bloggers to risk paying exemplary fines if they refuse to submit to the regulator.

The Hacked Off-drafted press control Royal Charter aims to regulate any blog which carried news-related material aimed at readers in the United Kingdom.

Tell Max Mosley we will not be cut off, tell Hugh Grant we will not be regulated, we will not be fined.

Keep the world wide web open and free." Sign the petition here

6 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Simon Densley (Consv Activist) said...

Done. BTW Did anyone else notice that the 'Liberal' Democrats came down strongly on the 'State Censorship' side while the true libertarians fighting for free speech were the Conservatives?

DT said...

There were many sides to the debate, at one level there was the freedom of Mudrock and his ilk to do what they liked against the freedom of public individuals to have a private life. Many think that the Conservatives were on the side of Mudrock, but the entire situation can not be reduced to such a simplistic basis.

One thing is for certain, the abuses of press freedom by News International have caused the Royal Chareter and any reduction in press freedom.

And to WP Blogger, the Charter specifically excludes one man band organisation such as this esteemed blog from its remit, however if News International suceed in getting out of dead wood publishing into Internet news broadcasting and make it pay, then they will be controlled.

Simon Densley (Consv Activist) said...

Yes I agree there are many sides to every story but people forget that the phone hacking was already illegal. It didn't require a law change, merely that the law be enforced.

Whatever happens there will always be someone who isn't happy about it, however I worry about the bigger picture: Once the state has any power over the press, if by extending it slightly they can avoid a major scandal would they not do so? This only has to happen a few times before there is little press freedom at all. It might be an overused expression but 'thin end of the wedge' is perhaps appropriate here.

As I understand it, the exclusions of the charter are partially based on number of contrubitors and whether someone is editing those contributions. So if this blog were to edit and published stories recived from others, might that be enough for it to be subject to the charter?

DT said...

I completly agree that there are risks with the Royal Charter, but the status quo cannot be allowed to remain, though the issue of phone hacking and bribery of the police could have been dealt with by the current law and is being dealt with, the invasion of indivuals privacy to sell papers has never been dealt with by the press council. Defame an individual on the front page and and apologise in one paragraph on page 26, that was no punishment. Only the very rich could risk the lottery of using libel laws. Look at Gorden Kaye's treatment by the NOW for example, or the whispered leverage that News International used against John Major after they found of his affair. Or the treatment of the Mcanns by a number of tabloids.

Though the loss of Press Freedom is something to worry about, the ever increasing lack of control of the press was also something to worry about.

Hopefully the Lords, will build a robust framework that being ensconced in a Charter will mean it is protected.

Censorship free zone said...

So DT, in short, you are committed to change - but just haven't got the first clue as to what that change should be. And anyway, you're equally as concerned by the impact of change as that of no change. In conclusion, you're pinning your hopes on more agile minds in the House of Lords.

Thanks for submitting the case for those seeking a dumbing down of the the internet. I wonder which local issues appearing on the WP blog you think local people should never have known about? The mosque, perhaps?

DT said...

I'm afraid the internet has been considerably dumbed down since I first used it over 30 years ago, it was called ARPANET then. In those days you need to understand the RS232 protocol and be able to read and understand the RFC's in order to use it. In short you had to be a geek.

Each year the technical knowledge needed to use the internet goes down and it becomes dumber, but that I consider to be a useful advance, though as the knowledge level of the ISPs slide I have had to pull back and manage my own services such as email and FTP as they no longer have the skills to support it properly.

I personally do know what the change should be, we should have privacy laws similar to those in France, where you can't publish information about someones private actions unless you have compelling reasons, and never if they are a minor.

So no stories about Gordon Brown's children, obtained by deception of the hospital. Ryan Giggs wouldn't have needed a super injunction. Kiss and tell stories would be a thing of the past.

Also I would make libel in the press or broadcasting, a criminal offence not a civil offence, with the editor being ultimately responsible. So a few BBC editors would be jailed.

I would also return the status of a common carrier to ISPs and grant the same rights to discussion fora.

But I would bet the tabloid press would hate my changes more than those proposed by Lord Leverson.

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