See our EU plans for internet censorship archive for details of our correspondence with the European Commission on this controversial topic of censorship which would also apply to the press and media as well as to the "internet". Any laws which are broad enough to catch all the variants of the "internet" must also catch all forms of traditional publishing and broadcasting or any other form of disseminating information as well, which will have a chilling effect on free speech.
Even the updated Answers to our original 17 Questions which we asked when Franco Frattini, egged on by the then UK Home Secretary John "not fit for purpose" Reid, first started talking about his plans in public last year, reveal a high level of ignorance about the practicalities, effectiveness and costs of any such scheme.
There seems to be a willingness to institute repressive "ends justifies the means" policies on millions of innocent European Union citizens, without any mechanisms for curtailing the inevitable excesses of bureaucrats, or for compensation to individuals and businesses when the army of censors cock things up.
Together the European Commissions closely allied plans to further criminalise "inciting, aiding or abetting terrorist offences", these proposals will only help terrorists to gather new recruits and to further their aims to destroy our relatively free society, without actually hindering real terrorists or criminals.
Web search for bomb recipes should be blocked: EU
Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:16PM EDT
By Ingrid Melander
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Internet searches for bomb-making instructions should be blocked across the European Union, the bloc's top security official said on Monday.
Internet providers should also prevent access to any site giving instructions on how to make a bomb, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said in an interview.
"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," Frattini told Reuters.
Given how quickly and easily "illegal" data can be mirrored, shifted or disguised on the internet, especially in countries outside of the legal jurisdiction of the European Union (i.e. most of the world) what evidence is there that crudely banning searches or websites etc. is a superior and more effective counter-terrorism strategy than covert surveillance and intelligence gathering aimed at the fanatics and criminals ?
Once the infrastructure of legal and technical censorship mechanisms are in place, what is there to prevent them being stealthily extended via the usual "function creep" so beloved of large faceless bureaucracies ?
The EU executive is to make this proposal to member states early in November as part of a raft of anti-terrorism proposals.
These include the screening of private data of passengers flying into the 27-nation bloc and the creation of an early warning system to alert police forces to thefts of explosives.
Asked whether a plan to block searches for bomb instructions or for the word 'terrorism' on Web search engines could infringe on the rights to expression and information, Frattini said in the phone interview:
"Frankly speaking, instructing people to make a bomb has nothing to do with the freedom of expression, or the freedom of informing people.
"The right balance, in my view, is to give priority to the protection of absolute rights and, first of all, right to life."
Frattini said there would be no bar on opinion, analysis or historical information but operational instructions useful to terrorists should be blocked.
He said European legislation would spell out the principles of blocking access to bomb instructions. The details would be worked out by each EU country.
Disconnecting a Web site immediately was currently possible only in a minority of EU states including Italy, Frattini said.
"The level of the threat (in the EU) remains very high," Frattini said. "That's why I am making appeals and appeals for stronger and closer cooperation."
(additional reporting by David Brunnstrom)
Is there a mechanism for having this dangerous European Commission Vice President removed from office ?