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Ignorance is Strength - Censorship just got VERY real

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Those in favour of global censorship are rejoicing over a recent Supreme Court of British Columbia ruling where the court ruled that it has the power to censor the Internet globally:

Global Deletion Orders? B.C. Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From its Worldwide Index

In the aftermath of the European Court of Justice "right to be forgotten" decision, many asked whether a similar ruling could arise in Canada. While a privacy-related ruling has yet to hit Canada, last week the Supreme Court of British Columbia relied in part on the decision in issuing an unprecedented order requiring Google to remove websites from its global index. The ruling in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack is unusual since its reach extends far beyond Canada. Rather than ordering the company to remove certain links from the search results available through, the order intentionally targets the entire database, requiring the company to ensure that no one, anywhere in the world, can see the search results. Note that this differs from the European right to be forgotten ruling, which is limited to Europe.

The implications are enormous since if a Canadian court has the power to limit access to information for the globe, presumably other courts would as well. While the court does not grapple with this possibility, what happens if a Russian court orders Google to remove gay and lesbian sites from its database? Or if Iran orders it remove Israeli sites from the database? The possibilities are endless since local rules of freedom of expression often differ from country to country. Yet the B.C. court adopts the view that it can issue an order with global effect. Its reasoning is very weak, concluding that:

the injunction would compel Google to take steps in California or the state in which its search engine is controlled, and would not therefore direct that steps be taken around the world. That the effect of the injunction could reach beyond one state is a separate issue.
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More at the link, unless it gets censored. ;)

This sounds like a fantastic argument for Maidsafe, meshnets, and darknets, and going further, Distributed Autonomous Organisations. (I'm very tempted to go on there with an additional concept that would further help foil censorship, but... it would likely upset quite a few people as it is extremely disruptive -- and considering just how disruptive those other concepts are already...)

Erm... How can a province of Canada tell a U.S. company what to do?

What about that thing called jurisdiction? Or that other thing called sovereignty? :huh:

Maybe the principle here is something to the effect that "The quicker we all head back into the Dark Ages, the better", and with British Columbia leading the charge what could go wrong?
Mind you, some people (not me, you understand) might suggest that, for a BC court to make the ruling that it apparently has, they are arguably already in the Dark Ages, but I couldn't possibly comment.

Erm... How can a province of Canada tell a U.S. company what to do?

What about that thing called jurisdiction? Or that other thing called sovereignty? :huh:
-Deozaan (June 18, 2014, 12:30 AM)
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The problem is that virtually every government is looking to clamp down hard on the Internet right now. So any situation where somebody else gets to play the 'bad guy' while the mutual beneficiaries all stand around wringing their hands moaning "But there's nothing we can do!" is a double win for them.

Laws are laws. And treaties are treaties. But the heavyweight nations (China, Russia, USA) have no problem saying "screw that" when they disagree with something. Bullies only play by the rules when it suits them to do so. And 'situational ethics' are the rule these days.

The only way BC (who is not even a minor player on the world stage) will ever see a decision it made apply to the US is if the US chooses to be bound by it. Q: Which rules does an 800-lb gorilla play by? A: The ones it wants to.

That's what I mean. BC can make laws about California all they want. But they don't have the authority/power to enforce those laws in California. The only way those laws would make a difference is if Google/California/USA chose to follow them.


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