November 07, 2008

Internet Foils Belgian Court's Attempt at Censorship

Greetings. Wikileaks is vividly demonstrating why I keep repeating the phrase "You can't effectively censor the Internet."

It seems that a Belgian satirical magazine just published a "sex satire" story involving the country's chief of police. Rather tasteless? Yeah, it seems so. But hardly earth-shattering.

Still, it was enough to trigger the Belgian legal system's ordering that all copies of the magazine be recalled from stores, presumably to try block distribution of the satire and its associated images.

The result is predictable to anyone who grasps the power of the Internet. Wikileaks has placed the materials in dispute online, where they will now garner far more attention -- and on a global scale -- than they ever would have if the Belgian authorities' censorship attempt hadn't been initiated.

By now the story and photos have been replicated on the Web around the planet, way beyond Belgium.

It's notable in this case that the original source materials didn't start on the Net. But the Internet's power to foil censorship can -- as this example makes clear -- easily extend beyond the Net back to conventional media that can easily be brought online with a simple scanner or video capture card.

Will the champions of censorship ever learn this basic yet awesome truth?


Posted by Lauren at November 7, 2008 02:00 PM | Permalink
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