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Re: Global Alert: GERMAN GOVERNMENT PUSHES BLOCKAGE OF NETHERLANDS WEB SITES
I am writing in reference to the document, Global Alert: GERMAN GOVERNMENT
PUSHES BLOCKAGE OF NETHERLANDS WEB SITES, which is available on the web as
<http://www.xs4all.nl/~felipe/press/global-alert.txt>, with links to
related documents and information at
I think that information about the German government's attacks on the web,
and on revolutionary publications, should be propogated as widely as
possible, and I encourage those who have not seen the 'Global Alert' and
related documents to download and read them. I am very disturbed, however,
by some of the formulations in the 'Alert', and I want to make my
criticisms widely known as well, since I believe that the issues I raise
are very important for defenders of free communication. I understand that
others may disagree about both the correctness and importance of my
criticisms. So be it.
Here are the offending passages and my criticisms:
>The proper response to offensive expression is more and better
>expression, and prosecution of offending criminals, not censorship.
This reference to 'offending criminals' seems to imply that those who
create 'offensive expression' may properly be regarded as 'criminals' and
prosecuted on account of that expression, in case some government has
decided to criminalize such expression.
>As a result of the overly broad censorship measure which targets
>an entire Internet access provider instead of a specific user
This implies that censorship which targets a specific user might be alright!
>Access for All, though it has expressed willingness to assist the Dutch
>police in identifying online criminals abusing the xs4all system ...
This is the most disturbing statement in the document. It apparently
threatens to turn over users of the system to the police if they are (by
whose definition?) 'online criminals abusing the xs4all system'.
>Instead of the futile act of censorship ... the German government
>should have acted through legal channels and asked the authorities in
>the Netherlands to cooperate in determining what legal action, if any,
Is it appropriate to advise the German government how to carry out its
attacks on left media in a less 'futile' manner? Do you want to say that
the German government has a right to ask for assistance from the Dutch
government in carrying out these attacks? Are you sure that the Dutch
government will not, in the not-so-distant future, be willing to help them?
P.S. I am a news broadcaster and commentator with Free Radio Berkeley, a
well-known unlicensed radio station. I will continue to report on this
story until the German government gives up its attempts to suppress Radikal
and other revolutionary publications.