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Government Prepares Internet Speech Crackdown Following Paris Attacks

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Western governments to coordinate attack on free speech

Paris (AFP) – Interior ministers from a range of nations gathered in Paris Sunday said it was “essential” for Internet companies to cooperate in tackling terrorism.

“We forcefully noted the need for greater cooperation with Internet companies to guarantee the reporting and removal of illegal content, particularly content that makes apologies for terrorism or promotes violence or hate,” said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve


“We forcefully noted the need for greater cooperation with Internet companies to guarantee the reporting and removal of illegal content, particularly content that makes apologies for terrorism or promotes violence or hate,” said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

US and EU bureaucrats gathered at the French interior ministry to formulate a response to the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups, many supported, trained and financed by the Gulf emirates, Turkey, western intelligence and the U.S. military.

The meeting in France will be followed by a “security summit” to be held in Washington next month.

“We will bring together all of our allies to discuss ways in which we can counteract this violent extremism that exists around the world,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Paris attack will be used to impose new and more draconian legislation over free speech and the right to communicate without interference by the state.

“France’s police state apparatus is one of the continent’s toughest. Article 13 of its 2014-19 defense appropriation legislation permits monitoring, collecting and maintaining Internet user data,” writes Stephen Lendman.

The legislation requires ISPs and web sites to provide government with information on users’ activities and authorizes surveillance by the state.

Britain, often cited as the incubator for police state activity in the West, leads the way.

In 2005 it imposed the Prevention of Terrorism Act which did away with long standing legal protections. The legislation permits arbitrary house arrest, prohibitions against free association, and bans on electronic communication.

In September, the British Home Secretary Theresa May criticized Parliament the “torpedoing” of a so-called snooper’s charter communications data bill that would outlaw speech the state considers “poisonous hatred.” May specifically cited the Islamic State when she argued in favor of the the legislation.

In addition to addressing the purported threat of Islamic speech, the law would also confront “all forms of extremism‚ including neo-Nazism,” according to The Guardian, and focus on the “culture of bullying and intimidation” in British schools.


Terrorist sleeper cells are in the U.S.

Feds will use them to justify police state

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A key senator said Sunday she believes there are terrorist sleeper cells in the U.S. that could carry out attacks similar to the ones in France that left 17 people dead last week.

Sen Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, did not comment on specific threats against America but said other attacks are possible.

“I think there are sleeper cells not only in France but certainly in other countries and, yes, in our own,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “This calls for vigilance. … Hopefully, we can be even more active in terms of doing those things which enable us to find terrorists, see who they’re communicating with and to track that.”

Ms. Feinstein’s words come the same day a new Rasmussen poll shows that 65 percent of Americans believe terrorist attacks similar to those seen in France last week are likely to happen over the next 12 months.

But administration officials say there is no information on specific plots or sleeper cells.

“I don’t think that we have any information that would indicate, certainly with regard to the homeland, that there is any ongoing threat or any threat that was activated by what we see so tragically here in France,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said on ABC’s “This Week” program on Sunday. “With regard to sleeper cells here in France, that is an investigation that’s ongoing and being conducted by our French allies.”

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White House to hold global security summit Feb 18: U.S. official

(Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will invite allies to a Feb. 18 security summit in Washington to try and prevent violent extremism, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Sunday after meeting his European counterparts in Paris.

The gathering of justice and interior chiefs came as France mourned 17 victims of Islamist gunmen this week in the worst assault on its homeland security in decades.

“We will bring together all of our allies to discuss ways in which we can counteract this violent extremism that exists around the world,” Holder told reporters.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after the meeting that European interior ministers had agreed to boost cooperation in an effort to thwart further jihadist attacks.

“We all agree that we need to put in place better control on certain passengers, on the basis of objective criteria and with respect for fundamental liberties and without disrupting cross-border travel,” he said.

He said Europe needed urgent progress in establishing a European Passenger Name Record database, which would facilitate the exchange of data about passengers between member states.

“We are convinced of the need for such a tool, to follow those who travel to terrorist operating theaters or who return from there,” he said, adding that this database would also be useful in the fight against other serious crimes.

Cazeneuve said the Internet needs to remain a space for free expression, but that Europe should fight against abusive use of the web to spread hate speech, anti-Semitic messages and the recruiting vulnerable young people for violence.

“We need to work more closely with Internet companies to guarantee the reporting and if possible removal of all content that amounts to an apology of terrorism or calls for violence and hatred,” he said.

Cazeneuve said EU interior and justice ministers planned to meet soon to discuss further action. A European source said the meeting could take place next week in Brussels.

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus, Yves Clarisse and Geert De Clercq; writing by Geert De Clercq; editing by Mark John and Anna Willard)

 

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