Summary: The shame of Western society is intolerance towards particular ideas and their elimination by censorship without due process
Turkey is the latest country to mess with the Internet, passing a law that, according to GigaOM, enables authorities to block content at the URL level. When will countries learn that limiting the Internet is a horrible idea?
In 2012, French blogger, activist, and businessman Olivier Laurelli sat down at his computer. It automatically connected to his VPN on boot (he owns a small security services company, called Toonux, which was providing a connection via a Panamanian IP address) and began surfing the Web.
Laurelli, who goes by the alias “Bluetouff” in most circles (including on Ars Technica), is something of a presence among the French tech-savvy community. Besides managing Toonux, he also co-founded the French-language activist news site Reflets.info, which describes itself as a “community project to connect journalists and computer networking specialists.” As such, Laurelli initiated a Google search on other subjects, but what he stumbled on was perhaps more interesting: a link that led to 7.7 Gb of internal documents from the French National Agency for Food Safety, Environment, and Labor (the acronym is ANSES in French).
Plans to expand the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) – a UK-based Hotline to report the most serious cases of child abuse on the Internet – have been severely criticised in a report by the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken (now Lord) MacDonald. His recently-released report states that there are serious risks to free speech rights when a privately-funded body is given Internet take-down powers.