Censorship in the United Kingdom
Not many know that in the UK they have the Official Secrets Act. By that Act, the London government has the power, throughout the UK, to order that certain subjects are absolutely forbidden to be discussed. Currently, the forbidden subject is any discussion of possible foul play in the death of Princess Diana and her intended husband Dodi Fayed.
Further than that, any discussion is forbidden about how the Official Secrets Act exactly works. When there is a subject that an editor, publisher, or station manager believes would be covered by the Official Secrets Act, they must immediately inform the London government. And if the London government issues what they call a "D Notice," then these media outlets throughout the UK are not only forbidden to go forward with any story that they're working on; but also, the D Notice serves as a potential seizure: it authorizes the UK, through their various operatives, to immediately seize and close down any printing plant that is in the process of printing such a story, any radio station, or any radio or TV transmitter. They are immediately seized by the London government, closed down, and the publisher, the editor, and the key personnel (including the writer of the story) are immediately put under arrest.
And the worst part of it is, the rest of the media is not even allowed to mention that these people have been arrested and their publishing and transmitting facilities seized. In other words, it is forbidden to discuss the D Notice and also forbidden to discuss the technical operation of the Official Secrets Act. So, there is censorship regarding the instruments of censorship.— Sherman Skolnick: U.K., French, Journalists Confide: "PRINCESS DIANA WAS ASSASSINATED."
For more on this subject see: The D Notice
Other relevant documents:
The D-notice apparently is used also in Australia.
- "D" Notice Committee, which links to The D Notice System.
- US Journalists operating under a "D-Notice?"
- MoD serves news outlets with D notice over surveillance leaks
"BBC and other media groups issued with D notice to limit publication of information that could 'jeopardise national security'."
Censorship is not only practised by governments and other organizations. Individuals in a position to affect what the public hears also sometimes attempt to suppress free speech. A recent example is the attempt to prevent David Icke from publicly expressing his views in Canada and in the U.K. regarding a conspiracy of reptilian aliens attempting to control the world. Weird, bizarre, yes. True? You decide. But you can do so (in an informed and intelligent manner) only if you are first permitted to hear what he has to say.
September 28, 2000
NEW VENUE FOR CANCELLED BIRMINGHAM EVENT
A new venue has been secured for the all-day talk by David Icke in Birmingham, England. It will now take place on Sunday, October 22nd .
This follows the banning of David Icke by the local council from speaking at the original venue at Stourbridge Town Hall, where, ironically, he has spoken before with no problem. The difference this time, of course, is that a diatribe of abuse sent by Richard Warman of the Canadian "Greens" can make a council pull an event and deny the freedom of the people they are paid to represent from making their own choice.
— from an earlier version of David Icke's website
And, of course, the BBC practices censorship by suppressing or distorting news which is not to the liking of the UK and US governments. A good example is the way the BBC pussyfooted around the American use of white phosphorus (a chemical weapon when used against people) in the attack on Fallujah. For further information see:
The BBC's position is clear; all mention of Israel's illegal occupation, the overwhelming military power of Israel and the destruction it has wrought on the occupied territories is entirely absent.
You've heard how big bad China censors requests for pages on Wikipedia, right? Did you know that the UK does the same?
The U.S., British, Australian, Iranian and Chinese governments (and others) are moving toward a degree of control over the Internet such that they can make "disappear" anything they dislike, and what they dislike most is any information which will reduce their control over the thoughts and actions of the common people.
Increasingly, most of us now get our news, books, music, TV, movies, and communications of every sort electronically. ... Great Britain ... will soon take a significant step toward deciding what a private citizen can see on the web even while at home. Before the end of the year, almost all Internet users there will be "opted-in" to a system designed to filter out pornography. By default, the controls will also block access to "violent material", "extremist and terrorist related content", "anorexia and eating disorder websites", and "suicide related websites". In addition, the new settings will censor sites mentioning alcohol or smoking. The filter will also block "esoteric material", though a UK-based rights group says the government has yet to make clear what that category will include.
Threats to free speech can come from lots of places. But right now, the greatest threat by far in the West to ideals of free expression is coming not from radical Muslims, but from the very Western governments claiming to fight them. The increasingly unhinged, Cheney-sounding governments of the U.K., Australia, France, New Zealand and Canada — joining the U.S. — have a seemingly insatiable desire to curb freedoms in the name of protecting them: prosecuting people for Facebook postings critical of Western militarism or selling “radical” cable channels, imprisoning people for “radical” tweets, banning websites containing ideas they dislike, seeking (and obtaining) new powers of surveillance and detention for those people (usually though not exclusively Muslim citizens) who hold and espouse views deemed by these governments to be “radical.”
We certainly don’t like what one might term “extremist hate preachers” and the ideas they are propagating. ... However, once government becomes the arbiter of what speech is and isn’t legitimate, the door is inevitably thrown wide open to the suppression of all political dissent. ... [We] have absolutely nothing to gain in terms of enhanced security by restricting essential civil liberties. This is simply a government propaganda-induced illusion. We do however have a lot to lose. Once people feel they have to watch what they can say or write, an essential pillar of civilization and progress is severely undermined.
After the Foreign Office comments on Monday, RT said in a statement: "It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media."
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