France initiates systematic effort to ban “racist” websites

A. Zarkov writes:

It’s no secret that liberals have long dominated the mainstream media, Hollywood, academia and public school education. Pretty much the only way conservatives could get heard were in limited-circulation specialty magazines such as National Review, The Public Interest, and the American Spectator, and in a few newspapers such as the Washington Times, Investors Business Daily, and to a very limited extent the Wall Street Journal. Starting in the 1990s everything changed. AM talk radio and the Internet provided a new and seemingly uncontrollable outlet for conservative ideas. While Talk Radio can be silenced by the FCC, the Internet has so far proved resistant to control and censorship, it has become the Wild West of free speech. Even forbidden topics such as race and intelligence get an airing. Were it not for the Internet, the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) fraud would rein supreme. This state of affairs must be intolerable for liberals, and I’ve been waiting for them to move against it. The wait is over. As one might have expected, the Europeans will lead the charge against Internet free speech. From The Brussels Journal we learn Europe cracks down on bloggers not terrorists.

Paul Belien writes, “Europe is introducing draconian measures to monitor the internet for so-called ‘racism,’ but at the same time the European Parliament has decided to deny America access to servers with international banking data that relate to terrorist organizations.” Of course, racism and xenophobia, that magic combination the liberals use to silence free speech is once again brought into play. Belien goes on, telling us,

Last January, the French Inter-ministerial Committee on Racism and Anti-Semitism met to discuss measures to ban from the Internet those websites deemed by public moralists to be “racist.” The French government is acting in accordance with resolutions of the European Parliament that urge the member states of the European Union to “combat racism and xenophobia.” The French authorities are currently working on “a plan of action at the national and international levels, mobilizing public authorities, Internet operators and special-interest groups” to combat “the expression of racist commentary on the Internet.”

These European shenanigans threaten Americans too because,

The [French government] report acknowledges that information via the Internet is often international, with some French bloggers being hosted in foreign countries, such as the United States. The report notes that “the international dimensions of the Internet and the different laws and cultures on the question of racism are used by some to escape their responsibilities.” Hence, it proposes that the French and American public authorities work out a plan to combat Internet racism. This plan must also “allow for the participation of national and international NGOs involved in the fight against racism on the Internet.” In the fight against “racism,” civil-liberties and privacy concerns are only of secondary importance.

But don’t we have the First Amendment to protect us in the U.S.? We do, but let’s be realistic. The First Amendment does not apply to private parties such as Internet Service Providers (ISP). Your ISP can censor what you have access to, and there’s not much you can do about expect cancel your service, and use dial-up I suppose. If the European censors and their allies in the U.S. can bring enough pressure on ISPs they can accomplish their mission. Look at what happened to Lou Dobbs. The brown supremacist organization La Raza (the race) wanted him off the air and they got their wish, he and CNN have parted ways. I remember a representative from La Raza went on his program and told him to his face they wanted him off the air, and would lobby CNN to get rid of him. Obviously they succeeded. For all his apparent bravado, Dobbs was a little mouse in the face off. I don’t think he could stand up to a woman.

Even more ominous is the legal theory that says a treaty can trump the U.S. Constitution. If Obama can replace Justice Kennedy, this theory, which enjoys some support from legal academia, could take hold and we might find the U.S. a party to an international treaty to eliminate “racism and xenophobia” on the Internet. Then only the U.S. Senate prevent outright legal censorship. Even this might be circumvented by an appropriately crafted executive order. Once Obama gets control of the court almost anything goes.

Look carefully at what’s happening in Europe. It could be our future.

- end of initial entry -

Dale F. writes:

I appreciated A. Zarkov’s heads up on this important topic.

I’m fairly confident that it would be impossible to bully all or even a significant number of American ISPs into accepting the sort of self-censorship he describes. The market pressure for unfettered access is a very strong incentive. (Incidentally, dial-up is just another way of reaching an ISP, so it wouldn’t be any different from, say, cable modem, in that respect. Now if only we could reach the internet using Morse Code, the last ditch communications technology of choice in so many apocalyptic science fiction movies….)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 10, 2010 02:43 PM | Send

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