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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Silly Season Censorship

The New York Times yesterday ran an article entitled Details Emerge in British Terror Case.

Interesting, let's have a look. Oh dear, when you click on the link you get a page which says "On advice of legal counsel, this article is unavailable to readers of nytimes.com in Britain. This arises from the requirement in British law that prohibits publication of prejudicial information about the defendants prior to trial."

The NYT explains its reasons here. The line I like is this, from George Freeman, vice president and assistant general counsel of The New York Times Company. "But we’re dealing with a country that, while it doesn’t have a First Amendment, it does have a free press". So free we need to have news censored, right? Go figure.

That hasn't stopped the UK press running stories full of presumptions of the accused people's guilt, however.

We live in a supposedly free society, and we get this silliness thrown at us. The terrorists have won, folks, the battle's over - the neo-fascist backlash is exactly what they want. We can't have that, can we?

Bruce Schneier, as always, has an interesting commentary on the NYT report.

TechDirt dishes the dirt on this story, too.

The Inquirer wryly notes that the "New York Times' no-Brit piece is a failure", but leaves it to the reader to find the article.

If you're in Britain, don't read this Toronto Star story.

If you do read it (naughty children!) you'll see there's nothing new in there.

Scotland Yard, if you don't want the accused's rights to a fair trial compromised, don't blab to the NYT or any other media outlet. Oh wait... Hmmmmm...

Silliness, pure silliness.

Posted by Phil at 9:55 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 10:21 PM
Categories: Comment