Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Thought crimes and stopping the blogs

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So we now enter into the realms of thought crime or pre-crime as the 2002 film Minority Report calls it. I'm all for prosecuting criminals, but there seems to be something wrong about sending people to prison for a bad thought. I'm sure most of you have all had bad thoughts about someone at some stage in your life, maybe even wanted to kill them, for brief second. You may even have said it to them in a middle of a row or even typed something out on the Internet.

Does that mean you're going to do it, probably not, we all issue threats in life, some in the heat of the moment we may mean, but for most of us that is all it is, a few words, nothing more. For the UK, that maybe changing, now our thoughts or words, may make us criminals. We recently had the case of Mrs.Roberts who found out that her husband was using to chat rooms to communicate with schoolgirls or so he thought, until he found out that his wife was posing as one and shopped him to the police. Now I don't for one minute condone what Mr.Roberts was doing, dirty old men trying to chat up young girls is not right but he didn't actually do anything other than communicate with his wife (albeit not knowing it was his wife). I wish next time some
chav kids were hanging around my car threatening to damage it, I could call plod out and he'd arrest them for thought crimes instead of telling me that there is nothing they can do until they actually do cause damage.

It's a slippery slope when we go down this route, where do you draw the line on when you can be done for thinking about a crime and when not? Last week week (12th Nov) we had more thought crime legislation introduced.

Coroners and Justice Bill 2008-09
http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2008-09/coronersandjustice.html

• Extends the law proscribing possession of child pornography to
include NON-PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES.

(excerpt from the draft Bill) -
(7) References to an image of 'a person' include references to an
image of an IMAGINARY person.
(8) References to an image of 'a child' include references to an
image of an IMAGINARY child.

Penalties (extract) -
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding 3 YEARS or a fine, or both.

This new law - that of criminalising people for committing imaginary
offences against imaginary children - comes on top of previous new
laws outlawing 'extreme pornography'.

You might just be struggling to get your head around exactly what that is. Well (think: Japanese comics), check Manga Comics Wiki

There are I think a few South Park episodes which will need to be
pulled? Think Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset episode with Paris
Hilton... Or the various anal probe episodes including the episode
entitled "The Death of Eric Cartman"

On top of all that, UK MPs are wanting to regulate blogs, because they don't like us reporting uncensored what they're up to. It just shows you how out of touch that MPs are if they think that you can regulate blogs, many of which are located overseas and out of reach of UK jurisdiction.

Baroness Buscombe, the new chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, has ambitions for her organisation that go beyond the traditional newspaper companies.

"She wants to examine the possibility that the PCC's role should be extended to cover the blogosphere, which is becoming an increasing source of breaking news and boasts some of the media's highest-profile commentators, such as the political bloggers Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes. Do readers of such sites, and people mentioned on them, deserve the same rights of redress that the PCC offers in respect of newspapers and their sites?"

"Some of the bloggers are now creating their own ecosystems which are quite sophisticated," Baroness Buscombe told me. "Is the reader of those blogs assuming that it's news, and is [the blogosphere] the new newspapers? It's a very interesting area and quite challenging."

Yes Baroness, they work because you can't poke your nose in, so go find yourself something else to do.

Original article

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