I think we need a new category called, “Someone Stupid Said”:
EC wants to suppress internet bomb-making guides
Eurocrats, terrorists vie for techno-dunce supremacy
By Lewis Page
The European Commission (EC) has announced plans to frustrate terrorism by suppressing online guides on bomb-making.
“It should simply not be possible to leave people free to instruct other people on the internet on how to make a bomb – that has nothing to do with freedom of expression,” EC vice president Franco Frattini said yesterday.
Mr Frattini is “responsible for Freedom, Security and Justice.”
When asked how the EC planned to suppress web bomb manufacture instructions hosted outside EU borders, it appeared that officials planned to act at the level of ISPs in Europe.
The Times quoted a commission spokesman as saying: “You always need a provider here that gives you access to websites. They can decide technically which websites to allow. Otherwise, how would China block internet sites? There are no technological obstacles, only legal ones.”
According to the Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent, “internet service providers would face charges if they failed to block websites with bomb-making instructions”.
Mr Frattini and his EC subordinates appeared to have no plans for dealing with bomb instructions sent via email, browsed over encrypted relays such as Tor, sent by post, or physically transported. Nor did his plan offer any serious chance of websites being blocked at hundreds of ISPs in time to prevent full details being obtained by anyone who wanted them. Nor did it take account of the speed with which controversial information can be – and usually is – mirrored.
If the UK papers’ reports are correct, Frattini and his advisors are fantastically ignorant of internet realities. The timing of the announcements seemed to respond with recent comically inept terror attempts in London and Glasgow. Given that those involved had clearly failed to do any internet research whatsoever before mounting their addled and ineffectual campaign, Mr Frattini’s outburst yesterday wasn’t just ignorant, but irrelevant too.
Anyone with even very basic net savvy is going to be able to get bomb-making instructions despite the laws Mr Frattini tries to push through this autumn. Even total web dolts with contacts outside the EU will be able to get information forwarded to them. A dunce’s cap, please, for Frattini and the EC Freedom, Security and Justice apparat. Off to the corner with them.
And one of the best, most concise, comments on this subject that I have ever read, attached to that story:
Diffuse the bomber not the bomb
Posted Wednesday 4th July 2007 14:48 GMT
If you remove the injustice that’s used for recruiting the terrorists, then you remove the problem. The evil masterminds can plot all they like, but if they have no foot soldiers willing to blow themselves up, they have no attack vector.
On the other hand, if you leave the injustice in place, and these evil masterminds *can* recruit their foot soldiers, then what stops them simply sending an email with bomb making instructions?
So this can’t work.
I also think some of the existing measures are very counter productive. For example creating laws on ‘incitement’, simply suppressed the words used to express anger. But that anger didn’t go away, so likely became channeled in actions instead. It tackled the symptoms not the cause and in doing so made things worse by marginalizing and fanaticizing people who, otherwise would simply be angry.
Imagine if Cory Doctorow was not allowed to rant about copyright, DRM and the RIAA. He’s you’re classic fanatical type, without free speech, he’d be making bombs instead of speeches and blowing stuff up. Instead of an ‘activist’ he’d be a ‘terrorist’ instead. Same personality different rule set.
I’m not keen on the EU getting filtering rights to the net, since it wouldn’t work and would simply give them an ‘in to expand into all areas. How’s 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 suppression going?
Frattini and the majority of people in politics are indeed fantastically ignorant of how the internet works; in fact they are Computer Illiterates.
Not only are they computer illiterates, they are not even intelligent or experienced in problem solving enough to find the correct people to advise them on how the world really works, and instead, point to China as a model of how to make things ‘they way they ought to be’.
In case anyone is in any doubt, China is the model that Frattini and his sort admire. It is ‘China on the Danube’ that they want to create in the EU, and this little Freudian slip pretty much makes that clear, on top of all the other insane nonsense that he is plotting, like the air passenger info database.
Interesting that these Fascist ideas are coming an Italian….hmmmmmmm!