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European Censorship Proposals

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>   Centura
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>      Copyright &copy 1996 Nando.net
>      Copyright &copy 1996 Reuter Information Service
>   BRUSSELS (Sep 24, 1996 08:06 a.m. EDT) - The European Commission,
>   faced with calls to clamp down on use of the Internet to transmit
>   pornography following a Belgian paedophilia scandal, will take a first
>   step in October towards seeing how it can be done.
>   But Culture Commissioner Marcelino Oreja, who intends to unveil a
>   discussion paper on new media services on October 9, says that the
>   process will be a lengthy one in consultation with all concerned and
>   that at the end of the day a world solution could be needed.

>   "We have to find mechanisms to see first how we can find the author
>   who includes this pornography in the Internet and second how we can
>   encrypt the content of these messages," he said.
>   The call for a European-wide solution to pornography and paedophilia
>   on the Internet is expected to be a central theme for EU justice
>   ministers in Dublin on Thursday and Friday when they discuss ways of
>   fighting the child sex trade.
>   EU culture ministers could also discuss it at their own meeting in the
>   Irish town of Galway on Wednesday.
>   The discovery of four murdered girls in Belgium and a child murder,
>   prostitution and pornography ring has focused the world's attention on
>   the child sex trade and fuelled calls for a clamp down on the
>   Internet, which at the moment is little policed and where anonymity is
>   assured.
>   Oreja said among the options raised in the discussion paper were the
>   possibility of encrypting access so that only those who pay could see
>   the material, or including a special computer chip -- commonly known
>   as a V-chip -- to screen against pornographic content.

	The obvious solution to this is someone in an unregulated country
getting a couple chips or programs for the de-encryption, then making the
images/text/whatever freely available. The major hurdles for this are A.
digital watermarking to see which chip(s) are used then block their
ability to be used (a reason to get more than one chip/program so as to
compare to filter out the watermarking - some techniques for watermarking
will survive this, but most won't) and B. copyright laws in the countries
which do not enforce such provisions.
>   Oreja, aware that Internet servers can simply move to a neighbouring
>   country to get round any restrictions agreed at European level, said
>   problems with satellite television had shown that national and
>   European regulations were not enough.
>   "We know that national regulation is not enough, that European
>   regulation is not enough...We may need to have a world regulation of
>   these matters, but let's go step by step. We do not have a European
>   regulation," he said.

	If they seriously think this will happen, they need to take another
look at the international situation.
>   The idea of a professional code of ethics in which the media would
>   regulate themselves is acknowledgment that European regulation of the
>   Internet could face opposition on freedom of information grounds.
>   "I think everything can not be said. I think that violence can have
>   its limits, I think that pornography can have its limits. I am in
>   favour of that, but it can be that the sector itself prepares a code
>   of ethics," he said.

	That's funny, if I were in favor of any censorship it would be of
government propaganda such as this.... they seem to be calling for violence
on a rather frequent basis.
>   He said such a code could help get round wide differences between EU
>   member countries, who have widely differing laws on what can be
>   considered pornography and eroticism.
>    Copyright &copy 1996 Nando.net