Saturday, June 14, 2008

EU scrutinises ‘malicious bloggers’

Cranmer has suspected for some time that he is being ‘monitored’. Whenever he posts on matters relating to the EU, he sometimes receives emails with rebuttal or correction, and, on occasion, these have come directly (and promptly) from report authors or MEPs. One can only conclude that the search engines of Brussels are programmed to detect certain topics or to scrutinise certain bloggers.

So it ought to come as no surprise that a report for the Culture Committee of the European Parliament – ‘On concentration and pluralism in the media in the European Union’ - notes that there is ‘a minority with malicious intentions or hidden agendas’, and that these ‘pose a danger’. Interestingly, the link to the Parliament’s article coving this has already been ‘corrected’, so some of these quotations are no longer visible.

The report, drafted by Estonian Socialist Marianne Mikko, calls for ‘a voluntary code to identify the interests of the authors, clarification of their legal status and an ombudsman to guarantee media freedom’. As Bruno Waterfield observes in The Daily Telegraph: ‘“Hidden agenda” is code here for not trusting people to be able to judge for themselves over arguments put forward by others. It also tends to be the cry from those who are less than sure about being to carry the debate themselves. They think we are stupid and that those who disagree with their world view are malicious and dangerous.’

Ironically, the report warns against the concentration of media in the hands of a few companies and says that the media is vital to safeguarding democracy.

Since when has the EU actually done anything to safeguard democracy?

Ms Mikko said: "The blogosphere has so far been a haven of good intentions and relatively honest dealing. However, with blogs becoming commonplace, less principled people will want to use them."

People who hold opinions contrary to hers, perhaps?

Asked if she considered bloggers to be ‘a threat’, she said, "We do not see the bloggers as a threat. They are in position, however, to considerably pollute cyberspace. We already have too much spam, misinformation and malicious intent in cyberspace." She added, "I think the public is still very trusting towards blogs, it is still seen as sincere. And it should remain sincere. For that we need a quality mark, a disclosure of who is really writing and why."

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, a German Liberal (!) who advised on the report, said: “Bloggers cannot automatically be considered a threat, but imagine pressure groups, professional interests or any other groups using blogs to pass on their message. Blogs are powerful tools, they can represent an advance form of lobbyism, which in turn can be seen as a threat." He continued: "Any blogger representing or expressing more than their personal view should be affected by this report."

God forbid that any pressure group (Greenpeace? UKIP? The Church?) might use blogs to disseminate its message.

Since when has one needed permission from the State to express more than one’s personal view? Are we about to surrender the freedom to blog to the EU’s licensing authorities? Will Euroblogs become the only permitted mechanism for placing information in the public domain? Goebbels would take great pride in this control of information and public opinion, for bloggers who are deemed to incite hatred against the EU will most likely be classified as terrorists, with terrorism now defined succinctly as 'acts which seriously affect the political, economic or social structures of a country or organisation governed by public international law.'

So, the EU is concerned about certain ‘pressure groups’ who may wish to disseminate ‘their message’, and this may be seen as ‘a threat’. And there must be ‘disclosure of who is really writing and why’. And when these criteria are fulfilled, the blogger will be issued with an EU ‘quality mark’ in order that he or she may continue blogging to their heart’s content.

Cranmer can hardly wait to see if his august blog shall be awarded such a mark, which he would be proud to display amongst his other awards and honours, if only as a perpetual reminder of the identity of Caesar - his temporal sovereign, lord and master.


Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Extracts from a recent article:

The Washington DC City Council kindly provides us a perfect example of how "anti-hate" laws do nothing to protect us from bias-instead they write bias into the laws of the land.

The Council passed a symbolic measure condemning hate crimes-after receiving requests from [just] ten individuals and local organizations.

The Council defines hate crimes as "acts of subtle and overt racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and ethnic bigotry."

Please note the categories. You're condemned if you have bias against a particular race (though probably not the white race), against Jewishness, against homosexual preference, or against ethnicity. It's not surprising that one of the instigators of this resolution- Peter Rosenstein-is a homosexual Jew [i.e., Khazar].

-- Harmony Grant, 12th June 2008.


The Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-332, 118 Stat. 1282) was enacted on October 16, 2004. It orders the U.S. State Department to monitor global anti-semitism, reporting annually to the United States Congress.

Yes, we are all being monitored ... but for what ultimate purpose and to protect the interests of whom or what? Could it be because "they" are becoming increasingly scared of us learning something that they have successfully kept hidden for too long?

14 June 2008 at 11:38  
Anonymous Jenny said...

This is nothing less than censorship of the press, a free press supposedly being a sign of a thriving democracy, and a clear indication of a weak government frightened of its opposition. Thatcher made a point of surrounding herself with strong people who weren't afraid to tell her she was wrong, because she wasn't arrogant enough to believe that her own view must be the right one. The EU has got too big for its boots and needs taking down a peg or ten, and if bloggers are the only people able to do this (because the electorate have no say), then how dare they stop us? The powers that be are keen to argue that it's the paedophile's 'human right' to talk about his crimes on-line in a way that glorifies them. But heaven forbid anyone should criticise the EU! As to this argument that it's not a problem now but might be in the future (where have we heard that recently?), someone has an over-active imagination that's for sure. But you don't need any imagination to see the threat that the EU is right now.

I'm not scared of anything a blogger might say about my way of life or beliefs. I don't need to be.

14 June 2008 at 11:51  
Anonymous Terry said...

Canada (re Mark Steyn/Macleans) has already given in - the EU is basically totalitarian in its outlook so we should not be surprised - they hate not being able to control what people say or think.

14 June 2008 at 15:08  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, a German Liberal

Hardly a "liberal". The FDP is a right-wing party with Neo-Liberal economic tendencies.

This individual is a professional student turned Civil Servant turned politician and like so many in Continental Europe has extended university life into pensionable employment via politics.

14 June 2008 at 15:48  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Up yours EU!

14 June 2008 at 17:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could someone remind me how Salami slicing works?

14 June 2008 at 18:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to find a server outside the EU, methinks. And even better if it is outside the Echelon group of countries.

14 June 2008 at 21:25  
Anonymous Geoff said...

How about a rival grassroots blog community-designed logo for sites to display saying that the site WON'T conform to the EU propaganda mark?

Half an hour with Photoshop followed by a viral distribution campaign could attract quite a following!

14 June 2008 at 22:06  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

I dunno Your Grace. I despair of all politicians. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. You can count those of principle with the fingers of one hand.

Madame Mikko wants to control blogs - and shows her true socialist colours. With Google kowtowing to the Chinese and censoring itself to satisfy the Chinese authorities, one can imagine the same thing happening in Europe. And note that there is a threat to withdraw ISP services for illegal downloading of music files. The same process could be arranged to disbar your Grace's communicants from taking note of your Grace's uplifting sermons.

Paranoid? perhaps. But the internet is one of the greatest force for free exchange of views that has occurred in history. Our Lords and Masters will wish to pull the plug for our own good...

By the way, I am not so pleased with the Tories this evening to hear that one of their Welsh MPs Alun Cairns has had to resign as Educashun Spoaksman because he 'inadvertently' referred to Italians as greasy wops.

I will not sully your Grace's ears nor those of your communicants by voicing what I think of this person.

14 June 2008 at 23:08  
Anonymous red despot spotter said...

i too have noticed mointoring , it is interesting that the more you find out about eurotopia , the more it seems to want to want to question your intrusive motives , noe what sort of goverment does that remind you off??

14 June 2008 at 23:31  
Anonymous Sir Thomas Gresham (deceased) said...

In his previous incarnation, Your Grace will no doubt remember having made my acquaintance, as we were near contemporaries.

I have decided to return in ghostly form to join your own blithe spirit in invoking curses on the EU - from my perspective as an economist I specifically wish to rain maledictions on the Eurozone:

"Ordinary Germans have begun to reject euro bank notes with serial numbers from Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal, raising concerns that public support for monetary union may be waning in the eurozone's anchor country.

Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper says bankers have detected a curious pattern where customers are withdrawing cash directly from branches, screening the notes to determine the origin of issue. They ask for paper from the southern states to be exchanged for German notes."

I would suggest that the blogosphere should punish the EU for their impertinance by helping this process along. The rumour should be encouraged that when the Eurozone collapses, the notes will reflect the ability of the issuing countries to honour them. This will result in German-issued notes being stuffed in mattresses, and the rest being handed round as rapidly as pass-the-ticking-parcel at a gathering of Yorkshire Saracens.

I remain Sir, your obedient servant, Sir Thomas Gresham (deceased)

14 June 2008 at 23:41  
Anonymous The recusant said...


What concerns me more than the Tory obsession with not offending anyone unfortunate enough not to be born British is their apparent support of the decimation of the indigenous population of these islands. That cardboard cut-out David Cameron has expressed his full backing of wider access to abortion. In a letter written to SPUC, Cameron regards current proposals for wider access to abortion as "practical and sensible". This effectively leaves those of us unable to reconcile support of the death trade with the current vegetable soup that is the current political landscape without a vote.

15 June 2008 at 15:34  
Anonymous BBC - monopoly of truth said...

The free internet will be closed down after 2012

15 June 2008 at 15:38  
Anonymous Watervole said...

My Lord Cranmer,

I posted about this in November last year. You and your readers may be interested in the Warner article if you haven't already seen it.

17 June 2008 at 19:09  

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