Censorship Bullshit

The whole world is currently discussing the problem that journalists reporting from the Olympic Games only have access to a subset of the whole internet: The chinese government is censoring internet traffic and reporters don't have access to a lot of pages with political content, for example sites about human rights or about tibet.

The media appears to be shocked and angry about this. Basically they write that this is evil. Bad chinese government! Internet censorship is bad! And evil!

But what those journalists and media don't mention is that it's not different in the countries from where they are. Political internet censorship is common even here in western Europe. For example: ever tried to access a Nazi website from Austria or Germany? Although I don't have any sympathy for Nazis, it's still simple political censorship. It is also still pretty common for western governments to try to take down even foreign websites with so-called copyright infringing, pornographic, violent, war-mongering, racist, fascist or anti-semitic content. A bit understandable from the viewpoint of our culture, but freedom of speech certainly looks different. The today published EU Global Online Freedom Act where the European Union plans to restrict trade with internet censoring countries seems like a bad joke seen from this angle.

The only real difference to the great firewall of China is that we are censoring OTHER types of websites. [And that China is doing this a bit more effectively ;)] If you want free, uncensored internet, how about starting to make it work in our own country first?

fourteen comments, already:

Indeed. And our world is far from being perfect. But what do you think is worse: Blocking a nazi website or blocking a website about human rights?
wITTus - 04 08 08 - 19:35

Nazi pages are censored in germany? Wow.
flo - 04 08 08 - 20:08

I’m in the USA and never seen a web site I couldn’t go to.
beinghuman - 04 08 08 - 22:20

“For example: ever tried to access a Nazi website from Austria or Germany? Although I don’t have any sympathy for Nazis, it’s still simple political censorship.”

I highly doubt that. What are your sources?
Matthias - 04 08 08 - 23:51

wiTTus: Blocking a nazi website is just as bad as blocking a website about the “human rights”. IMO the freedom of speech is either unlimited or it’s not a freedom at all. But i’m just an evil child-eating nazi, so perhaps my opinion doesn’t matter. If anyone has any questions about my comment, please feel free to send me a mail. :)
marXXus () - 05 08 08 - 00:37

@matthias: just do a goole search on ‘censorship germany’, you’ll find a lot of examples.
niko - 05 08 08 - 17:57

Matthias - 05 08 08 - 19:44

Uh, it swallowed my comment… test?
Matthias - 05 08 08 - 19:45

How about asking some jews about the right of nazis to express their opinion.
rip - 05 08 08 - 21:21

@Matthias: shut up.
trunks14 - 06 08 08 - 02:27

matthias, for example this is an article right from today :) http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschlan..
niko - 06 08 08 - 12:10

beinghuman, that’s because it’s only European countries that can do that with hate groups. The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitutional freedom of speech protections apply to hate groups as well. If it’s politics, it’s allowed.
NoisyPerlin - 06 08 08 - 12:48

Well.. Good… @ NoisyPerlin
beinghuman - 07 08 08 - 14:45

this german article has the same object: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/28/284..
pascal - 08 08 08 - 08:04

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