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(Fwd) News: French ISPs aren't forced to ban hate sites

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Sat, 10 Nov 2001 20:28:13 -0500
Send reply to:  	Law & Policy of Computer Communications
From:           	Seth Finkelstein <sethf@MIT.EDU>
Subject:        	News: French ISPs aren't forced to ban hate sites

[This is a different case originating in France, though some of the
people involved are the same as those in the Yahoo case]


"In the Front14.org case, French judge Jean-Jacques Gomez ruled that
he did not have the legal ability to force French ISPs to block access
to that site, but recommended that ISPs use their judgment and perhaps
voluntarily block access."  ...

"In Strasbourg, meanwhile, the assembly has called for a protocol to
the Cybercrime Convention that would outlaw racist Web sites and "hate
speech" on the Internet, and presumably would tackle ISPs that host
such speech.

"The assembly considers racism not as an opinion but as a crime," the
group said. " ... Adequate legal instruments to combat racism already
exist in some Council of Europe member states. However, on the
Internet, it may be difficult to combat racism, because of the nature
of communication and the legal obstacles to the implementation of
provisions against 'hate speech.'" ...

"The council noted, however, that it "can hardly ask the United States
to go back on established (constitutional) principle. So we cannot ask
them to subscribe to a general law punishing hate speech on the
Internet. Recent cases have shown that it is better to persuade
service providers to cooperate."

[Personal note: Once more, observe that the issue of controlling
information is far deeper than the US emotional hot-button of minors'
access to sexual material]

[The decision is at http://www.chez.com/aipj/ordonnance30oct2001.htm
plaintiff web site is http://www.chez.com/aipj/  These are in French
though, and don't translate well via automatic tools]

Seth Finkelstein  Consulting Programmer  sethf@sethf.com 
http://sethf.com/anticensorware/bess/loophole.php BESS vs Google:

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