Censorship

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The organised suppression of information, increasingly being resorted to by large hierarchical organisations such as the nation states intent on preserving public credulity in their official narratives, many of which are at ever greater variance with reality.

Official Narrative

US President John F. Kennedy elegantly articulated the official narrative of the time when he stated "The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings."

An official (albeit contentious, and still openly debated) addendum to this narrative suggests that nation states are justified in using increasing censorship to protect their citizens against terrorists. Since the launching of the "war on terror" the concept of "national security" is being ever more widely used to prevent both the publishing of information by individuals and the withholding of information gathered at public expense by government bodies.

Problems

In the time of the cold war, the censorship of information by the governments east of the iron curtain was widely understood. Censorship in Western nations was more subtle. Often, a public system of censorship existed, but was rarely used. Since 1912, for example, UK has operated a system of censorship called the D Notice system to muzzle the commercially-controlled media. While officially optional, this is nevertheless fairly effective in practice allows the government to censor material. Australia started a similar system in 1952. This has provided a first line of cover for more extensive, clandestine, systems of censorship - such as the CIA's Operation Mockingbird, active since the 1950's.

The internet in general has proved a problems for old censorship models. Its non hierarchical nature, together with the fact that information flows so freely, have presented an unsurmountable challenge to those seeking to censor information. Wikileaks, for example, has published material which governments have tried to censor with D Notices.

Freedom of speech

Full article: Freedom of speech
Left (legal), a Charlie Hebdo cover of July 2013, released after Egyptian protestors were killed after the military coup.
Right (illegal "defense of terrorism") posted on the net after the Charlie Hebdo shooting.[1]

There is a fundamental contradiction between freedom of speech and censorship. If people should be free to express whatever ideas they wish, then others should not be free to censor them. The commercially-controlled media has failed to face up to this. In January 2015, less that a week after freedom of speech was celebrated in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, dozens of people were arrested in an act of mass censorship by the French government.[1]

Internet Censorship

Full article: Internet/Censorship

Concern about mass surveillance by intelligence agencies such as the NSA will undoubtedly encourage some people to self-censor what they post online, an effort which is supplemented by many nation states that have sought to explicitly curtail free self-expression on the internet.

While the commercially-controlled media emphasises the internet censorship carried out by China, censorship is perhaps just as common in Western "democracies" and in the US and the UK it is rampant - Scotland Yard reported in 2014 that they were removing thousands of posts a week.[2] Commercially-controlled media regularly remove comments which breech "guidelines" - such as seriously questioning the official narratives that big media seeks to promulgate.

T.V. Censorship

Some UK T.V. series were broadcast but have been subject to attempts to suppress them ever since. Central TV's archive of Roger Cook's investigative documentary series, The Cook Report, was destroyed in a fire at a warehouse run by 'secure storage' firm Iron Mountain.[3]

Image Censorship

Banned from public display in the outdoor advertising market

In 2013, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester chose the iconic 2005 anti-war collage Photo-Op (right) for a poster campaign to promote a new exhibition about modern art and war. However, two of the UK's biggest advertising companies (who together controlled about 60% of the UK outdoor advertising market in 2011) refused to carry the image. CBS Outdoor, one of companies, told the BBC that the poster was refused after consultation with the Committee of Advertising Practice, which advises firms on whether ads may breach its code of conduct, which forbids adverts likely to cause "serious or widespread offence", while it told the authors that they could not use images involving explosions on public transport. [4]

Photography restrictions

Several government facilities are subject to permanent photography bans (such as, for example, passport control). In US, a temporary "order of protection" was used to jail a peaceful protester, Mary Anne Grady Flores, for a year after she photographed an anti-drone protest outside a military base near her home.

See Also

 

Examples

     Page name     TypeDateAuthor(s)Subject(s)Description
9-11/CensorshipA range of tactics have been employed to try to stifle dissent about 9/11, from ad hominem attacks to assassination. As of 2016, censorship is ongoing.
BBC/Censorship
DA-NoticeAn official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security, a system of censorship in use in the UK.
Surveillance and censorship program
Andrew Vallance
WikiLeaks D NoticeD Notice26 November 2010Andrew VallanceWikileaks
File:WikiLeaks-Australian-suppression-order.pdflegal document19 June 2014High Court of AustraliaAustralia
Corruption
National security
Australian Supreme Court secret super-injunction preventing the publication of information about a corruption case involving 17 named individuals including senior Malaysian, Indonesian, Vietnamese politicians and Reserve Bank of Australia directors
Wikipedia/ProtectionWikipedia protects sensitive pages, to prevent anonymous edits which are deemed unwanted. Such protection is an indication that a page may be of deep political relevance.
 

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
File:2014DIN03-024.pdflegal documentSeptember 2014Directorate of Defence CommunicationsThe authorisation procedures that all members of the Armed Forces and MOD civilians must follow before making or responding to contact with the media or communicating in public
Britain Bans Press TVarticle22 January 2012Ashfin RattansiThe story of the banning of Press TV from the UK Sky Platform channel 515 that you will not see covered in the commercially controlled media.
Censorship and Freedom of Speechblog post1 October 2008Craig Murray
Jews Boast of Owning Hollywood - But Slam Gentiles Who Say the Same Thingarticle6 July 2014Editorial staffJewish control of Hollywood, Censorship by Google and the taboo on mentioning it by Gentiles
The Move to Muzzle Dieudonné M’Bala M’Balaarticle1 January 2014Diana JohnstoneHow a French Cameroonian Comedian has the Judaic-dominated French establishment so worried they are making embarrassing fools of themselves.
 

Related Quotation

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PageQuoteAuthorDate
Freedom of speech“Being right doesn’t entitle you to censor everyone who is wrong. That’s the central safeguard against tyranny, because even truth would be a tyranny if it didn’t allow opposition. Free speech – real free speech – has to include the right to be wrong, rude, stupid, offensive and a lying jerk. Because once you outlaw any of that – you’ve effectively ended free speech for all of us forever.”'Catte'26 February 2017


References


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