Friday, October 12, 2012

Saudi Arabia: call for international censorship body for the internet

Here we go.  More calls to censor free speech and more calls for cooperation in that censorship.  And this from our supposed ally.  They are trying to turn it around so it reads "Yelling theatre in a crowded fire."

We must not fall for the trap of "peace" for silence. Never.

From The Telegraph October 11 by Christopher Williams

Anti-Islam film prompts Saudi call for net censorship body

In a submission to forthcoming international talks on internet governance, the Gulf state said “there is a crying need for international collaboration to address ‘freedom of expression’ which clearly disregards public order”.
During the controversy over a 14-minute clip posted on YouTube and purportedly a trailer for a feature film called “The Innocence of Muslims”, Google resisted pressure, including from the White House, to remove it.
"This video - which is widely available on the web - is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube," Google said last month.
The Saudi government has now told the World Telecommunications Policy Forum, a UN body, that the incident was “an obvious example” of the need for greater international cooperation to restrict content online.
Any reasonable person would know that this film would foment violence and, indeed, many innocent persons have died and been injured with this film as a root cause,” the Saudi submission said.

Uh, no.  A reasonable person would ask why the reaction of violence and murder over a silly movie, and work to find the root cause of the violence.
The amateurish clip, produced on tiny budget by Nakoula Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Coptic Christian resident in the United States, depicts the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and sexual deviant.

In the uproar surrounding it, there were violent protests in across the Middle East and North Africa, coinciding with an attack by extremists on the American Embassy in Benghazi. The Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three other officials were killed.

Following the attack Google did restrict access to “The Innocence of Muslims” clip in Egypt and Libya on account of “the very difficult situation”, but maintained its refusal to delete it. The governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan meanwhile ordered internet providers to completely cut off access to YouTube.

The Saudi government called for greater international cooperation to censor such material at the source, comparing it to outlawed content such as images of child abuse and malicious software.

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