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Senator Wants 'Terrorist' Label On Blogs 370

Posted by Soulskill
from the droopy-dog-on-the-hunt dept.
itwbennett writes "Terrorist suspect Jose Pimentel had a blog on Google-owned Blogger. And so it follows that Senator Joe Lieberman sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page taking him to task because 'Blogger's Content Policy does not expressly ban terrorist content.' Lieberman also pointed out that YouTube does ban terrorist content and added that 'Google's inconsistent standards are adversely affecting our ability to counter violent Islamist extremism online.'"
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Senator Wants 'Terrorist' Label On Blogs

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  • Yea... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:27PM (#38167352)

    So if we ban public content that indicates terrorism and force them to hide it better from the government, how would that be better at countering terrorism? At least if it's public everyone can see it and so can the government, which would enable them to do something about it, rather than being unprepared.

  • Hey, guess what! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:29PM (#38167360) Journal
    I've heard that the Content Policy of the United States Constitution also fails to expressly ban terrorist content...

    Those 'founding fathers' must have been a bunch of rag-heads or something.
    • Re:Hey, guess what! (Score:5, Informative)

      by IICV (652597) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:35PM (#38167450)

      In fact, the official content policy of the United States [wikipedia.org] expressly allows things that could be considered terroristic, or even things that advocate Islamist extremism.

    • by truthsearch (249536) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:36PM (#38167464) Homepage Journal

      American revolutionaries are considered heroes today. But they were looked at as terrorists by the British at the time. It's a shame our representatives today have little knowledge or understanding of history.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Maybe they have better understanding than you give them credit for...

      • Re:Hey, guess what! (Score:4, Informative)

        by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:43PM (#38167580)

        American revolutionaries are considered heroes today. But they were looked at as terrorists by the British at the time. It's a shame our representatives today have little knowledge or understanding of history.

        I don't think American Revolutionaries fit the traditionally, pre-9/11-label-everything-as-terrorism definition of terrorism. AFAIK, the American Revolutionaries made no attempt to induce mortal fear (i.e., terror) into the general British population.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:49PM (#38167668)

          Mel Gibson put the fear in those fuckers. I saw the documentary. They called him The Ghost.

        • Re:Hey, guess what! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by truthsearch (249536) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:53PM (#38167728) Homepage Journal

          Not true. Subversives did things like blow up shipping docks to intimidate British merchants and military. Bombings and such were relatively rare because they were so hard to successfully carry out at the time, but they certainly did happen. Americans also spread propaganda in London and other cities to try to change public opinion (while I don't consider this terrorism, it falls under what we label as "terrorism" today).

          • Re:Hey, guess what! (Score:5, Informative)

            by MagikSlinger (259969) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:01PM (#38167830) Homepage Journal
            They also terrorized [ashevillelist.com] Loyalists [wikipedia.org], which is why most of them fled to Canada [wikipedia.org].
          • But does warfare against industrial sites count as terrorism, where the primary intent is to damage that site's abilities rather than instill fear of death in the general population, really count as terrorism?

            • But does warfare against industrial sites count as terrorism, where the primary intent is to damage that site's abilities rather than instill fear of death in the general population, really count as terrorism?

              If the answer to your question is no, then 9/11 was not a terrorist attack.

              Oh, and the answer to your question is no. Attacking infrastructure is not terrorism.

              • Re:Hey, guess what! (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Ash Vince (602485) * on Friday November 25, 2011 @05:04PM (#38169012) Journal

                But does warfare against industrial sites count as terrorism, where the primary intent is to damage that site's abilities rather than instill fear of death in the general population, really count as terrorism?

                If the answer to your question is no, then 9/11 was not a terrorist attack.

                Oh, and the answer to your question is no. Attacking infrastructure is not terrorism.

                Maybe if you can just take out infrastructure without hurting or endangering anyone you have a point. As soon as you do either of these things though you stray so far away from acceptable behaviour that causing terror is a pretty good definition.

                By the way, I do also take this to the conclusion that police officers tear gassing peaceful protesters are also guilty of state sponsored and sanctioned terrorism. I would like to see them in the dock too, I would just give them a lesser sentence than someone who actually committed murder.

              • Oh, and the answer to your question is no. Attacking infrastructure is not terrorism.

                I'd have to agree with you.

                terrorism would have put fear 'out there' first, probably with some ultimatum. "convert all of the US to islam in the next 24 hours or we attack". THAT will terrorize the nation.

                but attacking, then saying 'this is because we hate you guys' not really terrorism. they didn't hold us in terror. they simply just hit us.

                does hitting an enemy qualify as terrorism?

                most of us know this term is over-us

            • by truthsearch (249536) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:13PM (#38167964) Homepage Journal

              Well of course not. The definition of terrorism is to instill fear in the general population. Bombing a British military supply depot would not be terrorism. But bombing public docks and scaring loyalists was most certainly meant to intimidate the public.

              • by bentcd (690786)

                Wikipedia has, among other things, this to say about the attack on the USS Cole:
                "President Bill Clinton declared, "If, as it now appears, this was an act of terrorism, it was a despicable and cowardly act. We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable". Some critics have pointed out that, under U.S. law, an attack against a military target does not meet the legal definition of terrorism[32] (see: 22 USC para 2656f(d)(2))."

                So you are right in what you say, and political leaders tend to hate

                • by jedidiah (1196)

                  A politician lied, imagine that?

                  That's the problem here. We allow terms to be used with such impugnity that they become pretty much meaningless. It's not limited to politics of course. Advertisers love to do the same thing to language.

          • by joshuac (53492) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:30PM (#38168160) Journal

            blow up shipping docks to intimidate British merchants and military.

            Sounds more like good guerrilla warfare than terrorism to me. If the supply lines of your much larger enemy have a chokepoint (as it was during the Revolutionary War; the enemy depended on naval transport for everything) that's exactly what you want to target, mainly for the material and personnel effect (the latter assuming most of the people working in the shipyard accepting British transport were on the side of the enemy). Psychological effects at most are a tertiary bonus, if you were lucky...blowing up a dock in the Revolutionary War would be a really inefficient way to instill enough fear in the public of Great Britain to change public support of a war.

            Modern examples of the difference:
            Terrorism: Flying jetliners into buildings in a way sure to get good media coverage and keeping the threat of the possibility of it happening again ambiguous.
            Guerrilla tactics: Attacking supply lines of your enemy in Afghanistan, rather then wasting your personnel in a head-on attacks against a much stronger enemy.

            Guerrilla warfare != Terrorism

      • They know their history perfectly well they get a statement for their bank accounts every month.

      • I'm pretty sure they understand history well. But I guess they found out that they're in the boots of the Brits.

        Or was that in the boots of Louis XVI?

    • by superwiz (655733)
      He didn't ask for it to be banned. He asked for it to be labeled. Oh, and he didn't introduce a law. He asked Google to exercise its free speech in order to provide a public service.
      • by Bucky24 (1943328)
        Well honestly when a Senator asks for something, it's not "oh hey and would you mind doing this?", its "oh hey you should do this or else we'll force through a law forcing you to do it anyway".
  • Yo Joe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:30PM (#38167376) Homepage

    Dear Honorable Senator Lieberman:

    May I interest you in an important Historical Document [wikipedia.org] that, I might add, you were supposed to have read and understood when you were sworn into the Senate?

    Reading comprehension is important for everyone.

    • Re:Yo Joe (Score:5, Funny)

      by xs650 (741277) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:35PM (#38167454)
      The Senator from Israel doesn't recognize the US Constitution.
    • Re:Yo Joe (Score:5, Insightful)

      by truthsearch (249536) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:38PM (#38167506) Homepage Journal

      He read and understood it. He's not an idiot, he just doesn't give a shit.

      • Re:Yo Joe (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:44PM (#38167592)

        He read and understood it. He's not an idiot, he just doesn't give a shit.

        Well, if that's the case ... then he's clearly a terrorist.

        Upholding and defending the principles of the US constitution is part of the job description, isn't it?

        So, if he's against the Constitution, he's against America, and therefore a terrorist. He should be publicly flogged, and then hanged until dead.

        Of course, I'm not seriously advocating violence towards him ... but I find it appalling that lawmakers have been stomping over enshrined rights to keep up this farce of Homeland Security ... hell, even the term dredges up images of Nazi's and their Fatherland.

        • No no no.. it's not the Fatherland, it's "Papa Joe's".

        • We can't wait for all this laws & courts bullshit, grab the terr'ist and throw him in Gitmo, and torture him to find out who he's working for!

        • Agreed. Unfortunately there are no consequences for contradicting their sworn oath. At best they could be impeached by an ethics committee, but their coworkers wouldn't do that. They could be voted out of office but citizens are more concerned about the immediate threats to their pocket books and security. Plus anyone moral and intelligent enough to run against them doesn't want to deal with the BS.

    • by Surt (22457)

      I don't see the relevance to a corporation's content policy? Do you suggest that the congress can't use its influence to encourage voluntary compliance with the movie rating system either?

    • Hey, hey, hey... that wasn't meant that way! Back when that paper was written, they didn't expect anything like the internet to happen where everyone and not just a select few could make their voices heard.

  • Whenever I think they can't get any more stupid, one of them goes and proves me wrong.
    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Whenever I think they can't get any more stupid, one of them goes and proves me wrong.

      The sad thing is, that limits of stupidity are meant to be exceeded.

      Force always attracts men of low morality.Albert Einstein

      He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
      He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.Albert Einstein

      Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.Albert Einstein

      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.Albert Einstein

      • Re:Politicians (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:13PM (#38167966)

        Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.Albert Einstein

        This is actually not correct, as there is one thing that is worse and much more dangerous: Passing laws that have no support in the general population. You can NOT uphold laws against the will of your subjects. A law that has no support will be ignored at best. Subverted at worst.

        It's also not so much the bad law that's dangerous. What makes it so dangerous is that people start to question upholding the rest of the legal code as well. If I ignore this law, why not that one, too?

        Once you made someone a criminal, he's prone to ignore other laws because, hey, why bother whether I go to jail? For reference, see the 1930s and prohibition.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:31PM (#38167382)

    Illegal content isn't allowed on Blogger.com at present.

    Terrorism is illegal at present.

    Therefore nothing new to see here, just move along and stop wasting our time.

    Maybe Senators could focus on something important, like the economy and trillions in debt instead.

    • "illegal content" is the issue.

      YouTube operates under "TV-Like" rules to proactively keep from being censored. Blogger is about speech. There is plenty of grey between an extreme opinion and illegal speech.

      If speech is illegal we have this process with the laws and courts.... Google will happily pull blogs ... With the proper warrants.

      Barring that process, shut up and track who posts subversive blogs... Hint: the bad guys aren't the ones running their mouths off publically. Those guys won't ever get on an a

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:14PM (#38167980)

      Think before you speak! Do you REALLY want Lieberman to focus on something that's actually important?

      For god's sake, THINK before you say things like that!

  • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@gmail . c om> on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:31PM (#38167384)

    'Google's inconsistent standards are adversely affecting our ability to counter violent Islamist extremism online.'"

    Well Mr. Lieberman, you're quite the one to talk about inconsistent standards. And I'm sure censorship is most definitely the best way to fight terrorism online. It always works, right? Right?

    US Government: Fighting the symptoms, and not the causes. To get one vote at a time.

    • by spidercoz (947220)

      US Government: Fighting the symptoms, and not the causes. To get one vote at a time.

      Of course, otherwise they might actually solve a problem or two, and we can't have that...

    • I went over to the Sargent, said, "Sargent, you got a lot a damn gall to ask me if I've rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I'm sittin' here on the bench, I mean I'm sittin here on the Group W bench 'cause you want to know if I'm moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein' a litterbug."

      He looked at me and said, "Kid, we don't like your kind, and we're gonna send you fingerprints off to Washington."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:31PM (#38167386)

    Who is trying to terrify us here? Why, Joe Lieberman and his ilk, of course. What is the biggest terrorist organization in the US? The Department of Homeland Security, who wastes no opportunity to further terrify the populace (terror alert! new scanners! we are at risk! etc.)

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday November 25, 2011 @07:25PM (#38170634)

      very true.

      I don't fly much anymore, but I'm far more terrified of my own government and its paid thugs (blue and other colors) than I am of ANY islamic scary-beard-guy.

      my chances of having a problem with mr scary-arab-beard-guy are nearly zero. my chances of having a problem with 'one of my own americans' is probably higher than 50% (pick a unit of time, probably will still hold true).

      face it, our own people terrorize us far more than foreigners do.

  • by Macgyver7017 (629825) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:32PM (#38167390)
    Suddenly we should ban certain content? How is google supposed to know what is protected speech and what is illegal? Why should they ban anything other than outright illegal content which they don't need policy to remove?
  • by mozumder (178398) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:32PM (#38167394)

    Should google label anything from the US government as terroristic?

    These days, no one can really tell who's the good guys, with random bizarre wars and occupations so on.

    "These Palestinians looks like they have some pretty good land we Jews can take.. Let's take it with US government funding!"

    • by schwit1 (797399)

      If the RIAA/MPAA has their way anyone not paying a use fee every time a tune or movie is played would be labeled a terrorist.

      I would also argue that the feds are terrorists for what they did to Gibson guitar.

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:32PM (#38167406)

    Or is this yet another case of "one law for us, another for anyone who doesn't agree with us or fit our agenda-du-jour"?

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:33PM (#38167412) Homepage Journal

    ... but unfortunately that doesn't stop individual Sith [icanhascheezburger.com] Senators from trying to use their influence to curb free speech.

    Ironically, some of his speeches on Iran would probably have to be censored if he had his way. I guess YouTube already won't host his Beach Boys parody, BOMB-BOMB-BOMB BOMB-BOMB-IRAN.

  • Senator Lieberman's wet dream is to be at the head of a state with the power to edict fatwas in order to protect and push his dogmas, just like those ruling Iran.
  • Tattoo "TERRORIST" across their foreheads too.
    Put neon lights on their homes.
    Force them to put "I am a TERRORIST" at the start of every sentence they speak.

    US Govamnent's inconsistent standards are adversely affecting our ability to counter violent Islamist extremism in real life.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Tattoo "TERRORIST" across their foreheads too.

      That's a bit much, don't you think? Perhaps instead we should just make them wear some sort of symbol on their clothes. A nice yellow star, or a pink square, perhaps?

      Put neon lights on their homes.

      A nice big red cross on the door.

  • by spidercoz (947220) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:36PM (#38167472) Journal
    Just shut the fuck up
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:37PM (#38167492)

    It's guys like Lieberman that drag American into the whole Middle-east religious wars, due to his fundamentalist support for Israel.

    I propose that whenever Google reports search results pertaining to Lieberman, they're required to mark-up him as being a root-cause of America's terrorism problem.

  • "Google's inconsistent standards are adversely affecting our ability to counter violent Islamist extremism online." They're not inconsistent standards. By default, Google just index bloody everything. Mr. Liebermann says he wants to counter terrorism but continues to define that as violent Islamist extremism. Apparently other forms of violent extremism (KKK) are tolerable. Who's being inconsistent here? Also, free speech yada yada yada. Now, I don't have to agree with a viewpoint to defend people's right
  • What we need here is a law that politicians can be arrested for egregious stupidity. Oh, it would be a bit chaotic for the first few days, having to replace 99.5% of them, but I'm thinking we could substitute with labrador retrievers without any noticeable drop in efficiency.
  • You track them.
    How do you track them?
    You lure them our into the open.
    How do you get them in the open?
    You lull them into a false sense of complacency.

    If you prevent this content, it still it exists, it just moves underground. The serious terrorists are already encrypting and doing steganography, its about catching casual idiots like this guy.

    So senator joe is no tactician. Allow this content, and monitor it for the lone yahoos. Basic strategy joe

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:43PM (#38167574)
    I'm starting to think that we need to make our elected representatives take the same test we force immigrants to take to become US citizens.
    • by spidercoz (947220)
      That would be hilarious. I'd bet money not a one of them would pass. Imagine the news blowup on that.
    • by hazah (807503) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:02PM (#38167848)
      This will only highlight the absurdity that is that test. I have yet to see any form of loyalty built up by making individuals feel inferior. The test itself is pointless. The ignorance displayed by those who are born here is staggering. On average, Immigrants that pass the test tend to display more knowledge about the nation and its history than those born into it. This is stupid as it diminishes opportunities for those who can contribute to the system, and increases opportunities for individuals who leach off of it. Just like "no child left behind". It's a great sound bite, until you comprehend the consequences.
  • Senator Joe Lieberman is not running for re-election.
  • counter violent Islamist extremism online

    This, of course, means nothing. One cannot counter any sort of extremism on-line, Islamic or otherwise. The whole premise stinks of naivety-sm. Alas, this is really why we wont see a solution to the problem. Those responsible view the world through children's eyes.

  • by Mononoke (88668) on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:55PM (#38167758) Homepage Journal

    Google's inconsistent standards are adversely affecting our ability to counter violent Islamist extremism online.

    So their standards are not affecting your ability to counter violent Jewish, Christian, or other religious extremism online?

  • ... according to google is

    terrorism/terrizm/
    Noun:
    The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

    *The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.*

    how many governments does that definition cover?

    how many politicians?

    as someone who was born, (mostly) grew up in, and currently lives in, a country where the term "terrorism/terrorist" is used in SO many contexts - .lk for those who want to know (not .us like many would think) - the word "terrorism" is more accurately

  • Seriously he is just the dealer at the Three Card Monte game the government(executive+legislative) is playing with the citizen's brain...
    On the red card we will fix the economy, but look at this nice "therorist" card...
    Not only do we not care, but anything we would do would just be to solve this issue we have:

    See people to find things like "bootleg blockbuster video" use various search engines...
    Now we would like to know exactly what was searched and found, with google or any other search engine..
    So if we c

  • by 3seas (184403) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:01PM (#38167824) Journal

    This is the same fool who thought Julian Assange should be tried for Treason and still claims to have no clue as to what the Occupy Wall Street protest is about. Andf for those who want to play a fool, Its about getting corporate out of government. So say something and expose your ignorance and while you are at it, tell us, did you vote for Joe?

    I suspect he was one of the people in congress that participated in insider trading and has himself committed treason against the united states numerous times, as it is an age old trick to claim of another what you yourself are guilty of, in effort to hide your own guilt.

    Clearly he persist with proving he is not qualified to be in Government unless that position is as a sanitation worker.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Friday November 25, 2011 @03:26PM (#38168132)
    ... Senator Deputy Dawg, I mean Joe Lieberman, sent a letter to ventriloquist Jeff Dunham about the puppet Achmed the Dead Terrorist [wikipedia.org] who constantly threatens audience members with shouts of "Silence! I kill you!" Lieberman is concerned that comedy may be "adversely affecting our ability to counter violent Islamist extremism online." The senator believes that Achmed's past appearance on Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special, where he sung a song called "Jingle Bombs," was morally unacceptable and contrary to the Christmas spirit.

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team

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