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Yahoo, Mein Kampf, and Child Pornography

By Anne Marie in News
Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:51:38 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

In a bold announcement today, Yahoo has backtracked on its previous much criticized (and until now, vehemently legally defended) policy of permitting Nazi memorabilia to be bought and sold on yahoo auction sites. Henceforth, all articles of Nazi memorabilia as well as memorabilia pertaining to or glorifying the Klu Klux Clan and other hate organizations will be banned outright, monitored by human and software enforcers. The move caps a tumultuous year for Yahoo's beleaguered auction arm, coming on the heels of May's French ruling (upheld in November) mandating such a ban, as well as a raid of Yahoo's Tokyo headquarters in an ongoing child pornography probe. Yahoo's move averts the need for complicated software tracking solutions to monitor customers' geographic positions when visiting yahoo's auction sites.


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Poll
Should Yahoo ban Nazi auctions?
o Yes. 15%
o Hell no! 61%
o Better to stick with eBay. 10%
o Talk to the hand, 'cause the face just don't understand. 12%

Votes: 85
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Yahoo, Mein Kampf, and Child Pornography | 99 comments (89 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
I am not a Nazi but... (3.75 / 8) (#3)
by k5er on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:11:50 AM EST

just as one is free to believe and follow any religion and to purchase any memoribilia of that religion, one should also be able to follow the ideals and beliefs of the Nazi organization. As long as no personal harm is caused upon someone. However I am speaking from a democracy where people are allowed to own what ever they want(Except drugs, and that is in a heavy debate, but another topic for another day), believe what they want, and say what ever they want .Nazi, KKK, or any other racial segregation organization has the right to say, buy and do as they please, as long as no harm is caused to other individuals. This ban by the French is not a good thing. I understand they don't want to promote this stuff, most people don't, but it isn't illegal, nor should it be. If you are gonna ban Nazi stuff, why not ban stuff that has to do with the allies from the world wars... I guess that stuff is okay? Just because you don't agree with something, doesn't make it right or wrong, just a different opinion.
Long live k5, down with CNN.
How do you do that? (4.00 / 5) (#7)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:52:01 AM EST

Just for the record, how would one go about "following the ideals and beliefs of the Nazi organisation" without causing harm to anyone?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
It's easy. (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by Holloway on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:20:22 AM EST

ho ho.

The point is that you're guilty only of your actions - not your beliefs.

You're innocent until proven guilty.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

Well... (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by k5er on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 05:24:21 AM EST

Maybe I hate jews and wish they all died and think the Nazi ideals are good, but I don't go around killing Jews cause I'll get thrown in jail. Maybe to a lesser degree I just want segregation (For the record I don't want any of this shit). Many Nazi's exist today, they have just gone underground. However, none of this matters, the point is it is not illegal, nor should be. Nazi memoribilia also has historical value, if nothing else, and there should be no restrictions buying or selling it.
Long live k5, down with CNN.
[ Parent ]
Errr, actually.... (3.00 / 1) (#76)
by Parity on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 10:51:57 AM EST

In France, Germany, and some other countries, it -is- illegal to call yourself a Nazi, to espouse Nazi ideals, or to own Nazi paraphenalia... That's the whole point.

Parity Even


[ Parent ]
I'm personally opposed to genocide. (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by marlowe on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:07:50 PM EST

I would never personally wipe out an entire race. But I wouldn't want to force my private personal morality on any...

Wait a minute.


-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
The concept of "Hate Organisations" is s (3.37 / 8) (#4)
by Holloway on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:12:01 AM EST

As the topic says, I find the "hate organisation" label offensive. It's politically correct nonsense that pretends to be outside and above the accusers own opinion. It's still just that, and company or country laws to get those vile "hate organisations" are silly chilly billy.

White power organisations, or black power, are no different to the concept of anyones beliefs. Nazi memorabilia has many historical uses. It's not even really Nazi many times, it's German history that's being used in museums worldwide. Similarly KKK history and such has been shown for years in black history museums. It's a useful exhibit.

I wonder if they would allow memorabilia from Ireland's centuries of constant religious battles, eh?

(disclaimer: white power/black power/nazi are silly bastards. But this type of thing is just outlawing the trading of unpopular beliefs)


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

is it really just opinion? (3.83 / 6) (#6)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:49:58 AM EST

It's politically correct nonsense that pretends to be outside and above the accusers own opinion.

Are you sure? It seems pretty difficult to come up with an argument which would support the proposition that the Nazi Party was not a hate organisation.

Is it really just someone's "opinion" that the Nazis were bad?

It certainly isn't just "opinion" that the Nazis killed six million Jews and a further six million homosexuals, gypsies, Slavs and others.

So are you really trying to tell us that the systematic massacre of twelve million human beings may or may not be a bad thing, and that all there is, is "opinion"?

Strangely enough, you seem to be fairly sure of the fact that censoring unpopular beliefs is bad. You don't seem to regard that as "opinion".

From these premises, a strict logical interpretation of your post would imply that you are more sure that Yahoo is wrong to remove Nazi memorabilia from its Internet auctions, than that Hitler was wrong to order the massacre of twelve million people.

Are you sure?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Yes, i'm sure. (4.50 / 2) (#11)
by Holloway on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:16:21 AM EST

Whether something is bad or good is entirely a human opinion. Yes, i'm absolutely positively sure.

Some think it's a good thing that millions of jews were killed - I think these people are idiots. I agree with the majority that the Nazi party was a bad thing.

However i'm talking about the laws that take away freedom under the "hate organisation" label - when it's just an opinion (a very popular one none the less) that these groups are "hateful".

"Hate organisation" qualifies the right to believe and go about your life in the way you see fit. Which means being able to sell your german history paintings or KKK postcards - just like any posession (as I said, there are uses most people would agree with in museums and recording history). Yes, I would defend this freedom to believe and go about life no matter the person.

I certainly don't believe in allowing people the freedom to go about their lives... oh... but not in these ways... you can't have these beliefs.

I don't just mean the legal right, but companies restricting people's freedom to go about their life with their beliefs.

Selling my grandfather's helmet doesn't make me a bad person.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

Here, try this one on for size: (4.25 / 4) (#15)
by cp on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:32:17 AM EST

The problem with banning Nazi memorabilia lies not in the definition of Naziism, per se, but in the ambiguous definition of "memorabilia", specifically "memorabilia that glorifies". The same artifact may goad some on to commit violence or may stand as a testiment to Nazi horrors, depending on the viewer. Preserving one aspect of history over another remains an arbitrary decision.

Honestly, if you're going to butt heads with streetlawyer like that, you'll have to try a bit harder. :-)

[ Parent ]
pretending things don't exist (4.60 / 5) (#12)
by _peter on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:17:59 AM EST

The blackholing of Germany's past is a serious problem.

A friend of mine had an exchange student from Germany stay with his family once. She had no idea at all what Germany's role in World War II was. Oh, she'd passed all her history classes, but there was a stigma against mentioning the Nazi era, and that had found its way into the curriculum.

Nazi memoribilia -- as Holloway pointed out and as you conveniently ignore -- has lots of legitimate uses. Trying to wipe out a painful past does not help to avoid repetitions of it.

ps -- great exercise in dialectic. Try stuffing the strawman with some flaming swastikas next time.

[ Parent ]

my experience is completely different (5.00 / 2) (#16)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:32:31 AM EST

Without wanting to belittle your second-hand anecdote, I have a number of German friends, some of whom have children, and none of them are in the remotest bit ignorant about what happened between 1934 and 1945. There certainly is not a "stigma against mentioning the Nazi era" in Germany; if anything, they harp on about it far too much, which is what has given them bloody awful novelists like Gunter Grass. Nor is it illegal in Germany to discuss the Nazi era, or to make wartime films like Das Boot, which protray the crew of a U-Boat in a faovurable light.

What is forbidden is the public display of certain emblems, the public use of the Nazi Party salute, and the public making of various false statements about the 1939-45 war. It is also illegal in Germany to deal in Nazi regalia; this does not mean that there are no Nazi regalia in museums. Your accusation that the Germans are in some way trying to cover up the past is very unfair; it might be better directed at the Japanese. What the Germans are trying to achieve is the marginalisation and elimination of certain cultural tokens which a) are highly offensive to numerous living people to whom Germany owes a great debt, and b) are rallying points for groups known to be anti-social in Germany. The "legitimate uses" of Nazi memorabilia are served perfectly well; do you really think that Yahoo auctions are needed to ensure that the Holocaust is not forgotten in Germany?

Your accusation of a strawman argument is equally poorly thought out. The original poster was, in the space of a few paragraphs, stating baldly a strongly relativist position (that it was a matter of opinion whether the Nazis were a hate group) and then stating that it was bad to censor unpopular points of view, without stating that this was also only an opinion. The only way that these two positions could be consistent with each other would be if the poster was more sure about censoring the Nazis than aobut the Nazis themselves. And since the original poster has now replied in the affirmative to my hypothetical question, you look pretty silly for calling it a strawman.

Oh yes, and you might want to try looking up the word "dialectic" if you're going to be throwing it around in conversations.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Sorry good sir. (2.00 / 1) (#21)
by Holloway on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 05:10:36 AM EST

The original poster was, in the space of a few paragraphs, stating baldly a strongly relativist position (that it was a matter of opinion whether the Nazis were a hate group) and then stating that it was bad to censor unpopular points of view,

Nope, I didn't say that. I did say that qualifying a person's freedom of beliefs (and rights to go about life) over what beliefs they are is wrong. Yep, that's an opinion, and do you disagree?

...without stating that this was also only an opinion. The only way that these two positions could be consistent with each other would be if the poster was more sure about censoring the Nazis than aobut the Nazis themselves..

Urgh... you're making rather bold statements there Mr StreetLawyer. The positions are consistant with each other as the specific instance of beliefs are irrelevant to their freedom. The Nazis don't even come into it.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

the question still stands (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 05:24:13 AM EST

(loading up on >/i< tags; I didn't realise Scoop had this bug).

Well, thanks for clarifying that your belief that it was wrong to censor was only an opinion. But I'm still interested in my original question about the relative strength of your two beliefs. Which of the two are you more sure about; that the Nazis were wrong to kill twelve million people, or that it is wrong to ban the Nazis? I think it's an interesting question, and pretty vital to a full understanding of your post.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Ho-hum. (3.50 / 2) (#25)
by Holloway on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:33:14 AM EST

I feel that to quantify and compare the millions of awful deaths at the hands of the Nazis to the damage done by people who consider other's opinions less not worthy of freedom would do a disservice to both.

It reeks of faddy political correctness and short-sighted laws. Five hundred years ago people burned for saying the world was round but today they wouldn't - it's not about who's right and who's wrong (killing Jews is definitely wrong) - it's about tolerating alternative views so long as they tolerate you. Tolerating means letting them go about life and sell and buy things.

What qualifies? The definition of "hate organisation" is a flimsy one at best. Anti-abortionists? What about PETA? This yahoo law says nothing glorifying hate organisations -- so we're allowed "PETA SUCKS GOATS" but not "PETA LOVES GOATS" on `Yahoo!`?

Bah.

People should be able to think whatever they want and go about the basics of life (buy/sell) so long as it doesn't infringe on others rights to do the same.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

thanks for sharing (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 07:06:48 AM EST

I feel that to quantify and compare the millions of awful deaths at the hands of the Nazis to the damage done by people who consider other's opinions less not worthy of freedom would do a disservice to both.

Thanks for sharing your feelings. Here's one in return; I feel that weaselling out of a hard corner by giving a pompous, self-righteous and windy refusal to clarify your position is the action of a coward.

It reeks of faddy political correctness and short-sighted laws.

"Faddy political correctness" is not, whatever you think, a substitute for an actual argument. There is nothing "faddy" about wishing to prevent genocides; the wish is one of those fashions that never seems to go out of style. And for someone whose policy is to ignore neo-Nazi organisations until they actually kill someone to accuse anyone else of being "short-sighted" is rich. What do you mean, short-sighted? Are you expecting some future cultural or scientific genius to arise from teh Nazi party?

Five hundred years ago people burned for saying the world was round but today they wouldn't - it's not about who's right and who's wrong

Yes it is. And again with the Galileo comparisons. Think about your damn analogy. In five hundred years time, we're not going to suddenly discover that the Nazis were right all along and the Jews really should be eradicated. There are damn few enough things which we genuinely, definitely know to be true without you trying to claim that "massacring 12 million innocent people is wrong" isn't one of them.

(killing Jews is definitely wrong)

Nuh uh. You don't get to help yourself to phrases like "definitely wrong" in order to establish what a straight up fella you are, unless you're prepared to stand behind them. If killing Jews is wrong, then inciting others to kill Jews is wrong. Believing that it's right to kill Jews, is wrong.

- it's about tolerating alternative views so long as they tolerate you.

The view that entire groups of people should be systematically wiped out isn't just "an alternative view". Liking anchovy soup is an alternative view. Advocating OpenBSD is an alternative view. Wanting to have sex with goats is an alternative view. Wanting to extinguish the life of twelve million human beings, is actually just a little bit to the north of "an alternative view".

Tolerating means letting them go about life and sell and buy things.

Some classes of individual, like rabid dogs, drunk drivers and serial paedophiles, are not entitled to the benefit of the doubt. There is no moral requirement to tolerate Nazis.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Wonderful. (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by Holloway on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 07:34:30 AM EST

Oh, titter.

A hard corner? I'm trying to weasel my way out of what? Oh, the off-thread question you brought up about whether one thing was worse than another. Righto - I feel the squeeze!

And again with the Galileo comparisons. Think about your damn analogy. In five hundred years time, we're not going to suddenly discover that the Nazis were right all along and the Jews really should be eradicated.

Maybe - perhaps the population of earth will become very racist and fucked-up over the next 500 years. Then another 500 years later they decide the Nazi's were good and bad. Then another 500 years later it's good again.

As I wrote in the last few words of that sentence (do read it), holding popular opinions shouldn't sway [what I believe are] some basic rights to belive what you want.

I don't like Nazis. Racism and sexism is a Bad Thing. I'm glad I live in a society that allows people to think what they want though. People should not be judged by their deviant thoughts - innocent till proven guilty of actions.

There are damn few enough things which we genuinely, definitely know to be true without you trying to claim that "massacring 12 million innocent people is wrong" isn't one of them.

I'd like to know where I said this. Please help me.

The view that entire groups of people should be systematically wiped out isn't just "an alternative view". Liking anchovy soup is an alternative view. Advocating OpenBSD is an alternative view. Wanting to have sex with goats is an alternative view. Wanting to extinguish the life of twelve million human beings, is actually just a little bit to the north of "an alternative view".

Actually it's the very definition of an alternative view.

If you're not going to try to respond to what I've said there must be other places to vent, surely.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

Please excuse my pedantry, but (2.50 / 2) (#48)
by error 404 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:39:47 PM EST

nobody was burned at the stake 500 years ago for saying the world is round. Those who care what shape the world is have had a pretty good idea that it is round in at least one plane (some serious scholars 2500 years ago thought it might be a cylinder) as far back as there are records. The idea that the world was ever thought to be flat by serious philosopers or scientists is not supported by the historical record.

500 years ago, to the great discredit of my faith, people were burned at the stake for challenging the idea that the round earth is the center of the universe.

It is an insult to those who died for truth to misrepresent the truth for which they died.

We now return you to your Anti-Nazi VS free expression flame war already in progress.

..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
Sure they did. (3.00 / 2) (#61)
by Holloway on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:52:10 PM EST

The idea that the world was ever thought to be flat by serious philosopers or scientists is not supported by the historical record.

Interesting. No serious philosophers or scientists may have thought the world was flat (only the serious ones?) but the church did. There were many instances of killings to get the heretics. I'll go read my shoddy history books and try to get some examples of violence (watch this space).

ps. The round earth. Wasn't it about 300AD and there were experiments done with shadows off towers miles apart?


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

Scientists In The Dark Ages (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by Matrix on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:56:30 PM EST

It was the Greeks who first discovered that the world was round, and that was well before the Roman Empire, never mind the Catholic Church. And Rome (the Church) did indeed do bad things to people suspected of "heretical beliefs". Gallileo's (sp?) house arrest was one example (he was too public to kill off), and there are numerous others. Protestants and nationalists were considered especially dangerous.


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Nah (2.00 / 1) (#70)
by camadas on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:05:33 PM EST

Nobody wat too public too kill those days.

[ Parent ]
Round Earth recorded about 500BC (4.00 / 2) (#66)
by error 404 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 05:58:30 PM EST

And it may have been known earlier, just not written down.

There were sanctions (including burning at the stake) for science-based heresies, but the round Earth wasn't heresy.

There is some evidence that the non-geocentric theories were particularly heretical because of some people using them as political metaphors. One view is that Bruno more or less legitimately* got himself torched for political action aimed at bringing the Church down a notch or two, and Gallileo got in trouble because Bruno was using his theory as a model of his proposed new order.

  • I don't mean that it was OK. I mean that Bruno was a political mystic, and politics, particularly with mystical overtones, was a very, very rough game at the time. There is a view that his embrace of the heliocentric theory was based on mysticism and politics, not science. In other words, he wasn't just searching for truth and getting stomped on by a Church out to control every facet of life, he was operating within the Church's territory and deliberately challenging the Church on more than celestial mechanics. And it may be that, without Bruno's use of the theory, the Church might have simply ignored Gallileo's writings as just another example of the amazing advances of science. Regardless, the Church was absolutely immoral in both cases. But the persecution of Gallileo was more complicated than some of the stories suggest. The Church cared less about science (and was more interested in the economic advantages science was bringing) than the simple version suggests. Still wrong, but in other ways.

..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
hate as a crime (3.00 / 1) (#68)
by _peter on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:35:17 PM EST

Dialectic has several meanings; I did in fact check with Merriam-Webster prior to posting. As far as the different personal experiences, my account is kind of stale -- perhaps things have changed for the better. Or maybe this was just endemic to a particular region.

Moving on: my personal problem with the label ``hate groups'' -- which may have colored my interpretation of Holloway's post (I was on the edge of sleep) -- is it makes thought into crime. Same reason I oppose ``hate crime'' laws. Prosecute the criminal for the deed, not the emotion. Law shouldn't try to reach into our heads.

But, for the sake of argument, accept that hate alone is sufficient cause for police action. Aren't we all in trouble for (at one point) hating our parents? Didn't you feel hate once for that guy who stole your girlfriend? Is the NAACP criminal for inciting hatred of G. W. Bush? Man, I sure hate those New Orleans Saints. My grandfather always used to talk about hating those damned jews.

It's ridiculous. That's the point. ``Hate Crime'' really isn't about hating, it's about committing the sin of hating the wrong group. Which is where the political correctness complaint comes from.

Prosecute neo-nazi leaders for inciting crime, conspiracy, even brainwashing: I don't much care. But making their symbols illegal is criminalizing simple objects, which I don't believe in. It's ineffective, and it can't be enforced without a State significantly stronger than I prefer.

[ Parent ]

What is a hate organisation? (4.00 / 5) (#20)
by gcmillwood on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:57:25 AM EST

How do you define a hate organisation? I find that I cannot without referring to my own personal opinion.

Nazi party - hate organisation (hates jews).
KKK - hate organisation (hates non-whites).
Animal Liberation Front (ALF) - hate organisation (hates non vegetarians, etc).
(some) anti-abortion groups - hate organisations (hate doctors who perform abortions).
Democratic party - hate organisation (hates republicans).

Is this list accurate? For me, no it isn't, but some people might agree with it.

Where do you draw the line between a hate organisation, which should be banned, and an extreme but allowable organisation, which should not? Unless there is a non-subjective definition, which every country in the world can agree on, then 'banning hate organisations' can be used as an excuse to ban virtually anything.

[ Parent ]
not the only kind of definition (3.75 / 4) (#22)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 05:19:10 AM EST

For a start, it is not your personal opinion that the Nazi Party which was led by Adolf Hitler hated Jews. It's a historical fact.

Second, you seem to be exaggerating the difficulty of creating a definition on which a workable law can be created. One might, for example, define the Nazi Party as a paradigm of a hate organisation and make the test "sufficient resemblance" to them, as judged by a reasonable man. Reaonsable man tests are really quite common in laws, because life is more complicated than most simple definitions, and there is not yet a shortage of reasonable people to make judgements.

I think that the shortcomings in your list reflect its hasty preparation rather than any deep conceptual impossibility. I don't think that a jury of twelve people given sufficient time to think would have any real difficulty in distinguishing between the animosity between Republicans and Democrats, and that between the Ku Klux Klan and black people (strangely, the Klan appears to have given up on active hatred of Catholics). The ALF is not a hate group with respect to carniovres, but might legitimately be considered to be one with respect to biologists. I don't think that there is a problem of deciding which groups do or do not pose a genuine danger. The potential for abuse is obvious; but it has to be set against the dangers of doing nothing, which, in the current German climate of resurgent neo-Nazism, might be considered to be really quite significant.

In any case, the matter at issue is not the concept of "hate organisations", but that of the Nazi Party and its memorabilia. All the German laws (I don't know about the American ones) are very tightly drafted to refer to the organisation which was led by Adolf Hitler and which controlled the German State between 1934 and 1945.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Hum-ho. (2.00 / 1) (#26)
by Holloway on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:41:22 AM EST

You're awfully patronising there. What facts led you to decide the list was in "hasty preparation"? -- and what makes you think you're being kind by taking that view on things?


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

Hasty preparation (5.00 / 2) (#33)
by gcmillwood on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 07:48:56 AM EST

He might have no facts to go on, (the time stamps give me over an hour to have prepared it), but in this case, streetlawyer is correct. I wrote that post in five minutes, and it shows.

Whether or not there are shortcomings in the list is completely irrelevant though - the point is that any group of people could be defined as a hate organisation by somone.

[ Parent ]
there's nothing wrong with hasty posting (none / 0) (#36)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:06:49 AM EST

and your point was clear; I just disagreed with it. I'm not sure that any group could be sincerely identifed as a hate group by sane people acting in good faith. I'm normally in favour of arguments like yours in genuinely difficult cases, like determining what constitutes pornography, or blasphemy, but I think the case of identifying who's a Nazi and who isn't is more straightforward.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
thoughtcrimes (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by enterfornone on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:43:39 AM EST

The Nazis aren't bad because they hate Jews, they are bad because they killed Jews. There is a big difference. No groups should be banned because they pose a potential danger.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
No; both are bad (4.50 / 2) (#28)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:53:03 AM EST

No groups should be banned because they pose a potential danger.

I would think that posing a potential danger is a very good reason for banning something. When I get behind the wheel of my car blind drunk and take off at 70mph past the local nunnery, the police will stop me because I'm a potential nun-killer, not because I've killed any nuns. If I gang up with my mates and march White Hart Lane singing "We are the Tottenham-Haters" at the top of my voice, I'm going to end up in the cells because the police would rather prevent an obvious ruck from kicking off than sweep up the debris. And if I hang around collecting Nazi memorabilia and organising gangs of uniformed thugs, I don't think that the rest of society is under an obligation to wait around and leave me alone on the off-chance that I intend to leave it at that.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Reasonable man tests (3.00 / 1) (#34)
by gcmillwood on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 07:59:29 AM EST

While I realise that the hypothetical 'reasonable man' is used in many laws throughout the world, as laws/policies become more global in their juristiction the 'reasonable man' becomes more and more fictional.

What is reasonable in Australia might not be in Iraq. I suspect (though I have not proof) that this problem already exists, on a smaller scale, in the states (a reasonable Texan may well not agree withg a reasonable Californian).

[ Parent ]
well, I don't necessarily have a problem with that (4.00 / 2) (#35)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:04:46 AM EST

You're right; in which case, let there be different laws in Iraq from Australia. I have no better information than you about cultural homogeneity in the USA, but I think that a lot of laws are determined at the state level. But if Germany decides to ban Nazi memorabilia (and it's pretty reasonable that they might want to do that), then I do think that anyone wanting to offer their service to Germans needs to take account of that, and that Yahoo's reactions to the Germans were poor.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
But the net is global (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by gcmillwood on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:21:41 AM EST

But if <country> decides to ban <foo>, then I do think that anyone wanting to offer their service to <people from country> needs to take account of that.

To take an example from the original write up - France bans the sale of Nazi memorablia. Yahoo took account of this and would not allow auctions of these items on their French site. Yahoo are then taken to court because French people chose to visit a non-French Yahoo site. The court ruled against Yahoo, and now the French law is effectively enforced worldwide.

How is this not a global law?

Different laws in different countries will only work on the net as long as they are only enforced against services based within those countries.

[ Parent ]
I don't buy it (4.75 / 4) (#38)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:41:03 AM EST

Reading the translation of the judgement (which, IMO, was about the worst translation from French I've ever read, btw), it seems clear that Yahoo were trying it on. They refused to; disallow requests from French IP addresses, to remove the link from yahoo.fr which basically read "this material is illegal in France, but you can 'research' it on yahoo.com", to put up a banner informing users that material was available which was illegal under French law, or to disallow requests from users who had reached the Nazi auctions via a path through yahoo.fr. The court could have mentioned, but didn't, that Yahoo could easily have taken the step of requiring a credit card number for Nazi materials, as many adult sites do -- card numbers are country coded, and it's surprisingly difficult to get a foreign one.

All of these are precautions which they quite definitely could take technically, but they thought they'd rather try it on, get a summary dismissal from a US court and blind the world with "the net is global" rhetoric.

It's not a global law because the court was only trying to stop yahoo from taking actions which, in the opinion of the court, constituted offering the material in France (the link from yahoo.fr to yahoo.com was particularly blatant). The court was entitled to require that Yahoo took reasonable (that word again) precautions -- you can bet your life that if it was in some way against Yahoo's interests to have those French clicks, a way would be found. Yahoo decided that they didn't want to meet half-way, and got their ass kicked as a result.

But the technical measures can be circumvented? Yes, and that's the whole point. If someone French deliberately goes through an anonymizer, avoids a yahoo.fr path and ticks a box saying "I am aware that this material is illegal in France", then they've consciously made the choice to commit a criminal offence in France, and can be prosecuted for it. If Yahoo makes it easy to get from yahoo.fr to yahoo.com auctions, then it's providing French Nazis with a defence against their possession of regalia ("I didn't realise, your honour, I just clicked around on the net"). If it's knowingly making it easier for French Nazis to circumvent the laws against French Nazis, then it's committing an offence in France. It doesn't need to be "based in France" any more than Exxon would need to be based in France to be liable for clearing up any oil their tankers spill on the French coast.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Good argument (none / 0) (#47)
by gcmillwood on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:36:13 PM EST

I won't argue against all your points, as most of them have merit. However...

There are reasons Yahoo could have against each of the technical 'solutions' suggested. e.g. Not everyone has a credit card; adding yet another tick box that is not relevant to anyone not in France makes the site less user-friendly; not all users who use yahoo.fr necessarilly reside in France.

I don't believe that "I didn't realise it was illegal" has ever been an acceptable legal defence.

In spite of these arguments, it does appear that Yahoo were paying only lip service to French law, and probably deserved to lose. Whether the law is just is another matter entirely and is not a matter I really want to get into. (For the record I am for free speech, but against Naziism).

If, hypothetically, yahoo was based solely in the US, would this whole mess have occurred? Do you think that the French organisation which brought the legal action would still have attempted to stop these auctions?

[ Parent ]
this is a reply to CodeWright too. (none / 0) (#52)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:09:48 PM EST

I don't believe that "I didn't realise it was illegal" has ever been an acceptable legal defence.

Absolutely right; but with qualifications. Not all Nazi memorabilia is illegal in France; there is quite a lot of case law (albeit that the Board of Deputies of French Jews is always trying to push the envelope) establishing which items are and are not "banalising the Holocaust", which is the test. A common defence among French (actually German, which is the literature I know better) Nazis is to claim that they believed that they were purchasing permitted items and did not intend to banalise the Holocaust (or the German equivalent offence, which perversely, I forget). So anything that the prosecution can do to establish a criminal intent is valuable. I'm getting far deeper into this matter than I should, and as you can tell, I don't really understand the subtlties, but that's the principle at work.

On the substantive issue: "If, hypothetically, yahoo was based solely in the US, would this whole mess have occurred? Do you think that the French organisation which brought the legal action would still have attempted to stop these auctions?", I've written a post on Slashdot setting out some of the issues. Basically, it revolves round the concept of "offering a service into" a jurisdiction. If you want to do business overseas, then you play by the rules of overseas. That's a settled principle. If you just happen to be providing a service (a television broadcast, for example), which some overseas residents can pick up but which is illegal overseas, then you may not be committing an offence so long as you are not actually trying to sell it to them. The people in the foreign country who use your service are committing an offence, but as long as you don't either profit from them, or aid and abet them in consuming your service, you may be deemed to not be offering that service into the overseas country. It's usually relevant for tax purposes rather than regulations.

If yahoo was a purely domestic US operation that never promoted itself to the French and didn't offer a French language service, then it would have been OK; though it would have been well advised to make the occasional show of good faith just in case.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

jurisdictional legality (none / 0) (#57)
by CodeWright on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:28:39 PM EST

although your first paragraph is rife for the type of nitpicking attack you like to inflict, i'll let it slide, because there isn't anything substantive to address.

you say:

If you want to do business overseas, then you play by the rules of overseas.

given that legality issues for business in civilized countries are generally resolved through contract and tort law, technically speaking, you do business to make money, and do a cost-benefit / opportunity-cost analysis to determine the relative cost of entering a particular market. for international business, the grey edges of legality are a fine and long utilized "space" in which to make a profit.

in yahoo's case, this means that regulatory arbitrage is a very real part of doing business. if they think that they can continue to do-business-as-usual by hiding under Uncle Sam's legal shield, it is perfectly valid to do so.

to put it even more plainly, there is nothing "wrong" with yahoo, an american company, flaunting a french law if they think that they can get away with it.

this even applies when one jurisdiction has passed judgement against an organization -- of course, it risks the loss of all parts of the business unit that fall under that foreign jurisdiction, in a lien pending resolution of the judgement.

unless the foreign jurisdiction can bring the matter to court in the home jurisdiction of the offending party (where home jurisdiction roughly translates to the jurisdiction inside which the majority of the capital assets of the organization reside), there is little risk, especially when you don't need a bricks-and-mortar establishment to interface with the client, as in yahoo's case.



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A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
I can see you've been watching Perry Mason (none / 0) (#58)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:33:50 PM EST

That was the whole damn point of the court case. read a few links, why don't you. Yahoo crumbled because they were nervous about whether the American court would grant them a summary judgement or not. Fines in overseas jurisdictions are typically enforceable in domestic courts.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
I can see you got your degree from Agatha Christie (none / 0) (#59)
by CodeWright on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:08:20 PM EST

I read a few links, and even some of the fancy words in the html documents referenced by the links.

of course yahoo crumbled -- contemporary senior corporate management today is notoriously spineless...

but that's not my point of contention.

originally, yahoo DID remove all Nazi memorabilia from their French website (yahoo.fr), but retained it on their yahoo.com American website -- it was the existance of said artifacts, still accessible just as easily from France, that had the French authorities' knickers in a knot.

this legal battle is just one of many currently in the courts and yet to come which continue to erode local legal autonomy. in other words, not satisfied with blocking yahoo in france, france aggressively pursued yahoo in the US. of course, yahoo folded early, but if the case had gone to court, a ruling in the French favor would effectively provide a precedent for imposing the full entirety of any foreign censhorship laws on the populace of another jurisdiction.

in the broader sense, this means that the constituenceis of the western democracies will find themselves at the mercy of oppressive foreign regimes by virtue of the globalization (homogenization) of law.

surely, this violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the charter of most of these western democracies.

finally, you say:

Fines in overseas jurisdictions are typically enforceable in domestic courts.

...which is only true in certain bilateral situations -- for the most part, regulatory arbitrage is alive and well -- just reference recent legal wrangling between Luxembourg and Germany regarding banking secrecy as an example.



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
legal homogeneity (3.00 / 1) (#49)
by CodeWright on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:46:43 PM EST

if different localities are to be permitted the ability to adhere to different standards and draft their own policy, then the decisions of one jurisdiction should have no effect on another.

if that were not true, then it would be impossible to have local law; only global law would be permissible.

as long as we are working under the assumption of local law being both permissible and desirable, then Yahoo should be well within their rights to seek a favorable ruling in their home jurisdiction and ignore other jurisdictions

in other words, france can choose to block yahoo within its own jurisdiction, but is powerless to force yahoo to do anything it doesn't want to do (because of legal jurisdiction)



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
"fact" (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by CodeWright on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:33:43 PM EST

Not that I have any personal doubts about Hitler's mental deficiency or anti-Semitic rhetoric, but will you please define "historical fact" in your use so that any further discussion can be made in that context -- because, before any of the rest of your argument can be addressed, it is necessary to accept your assumption on the meaning of "historical fact" -- a loaded term is a trap in a discussion.



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
sorry, no (none / 0) (#80)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 03:34:07 AM EST

before any of the rest of your argument can be addressed, it is necessary to accept your assumption on the meaning of "historical fact"

Since I have no interest in pursuing this issue with you specifically, I do not propose to get into a long discussion of the philosophy of history. "Historical fact" is not a loaded term, and if you have no personal doubts about the matter, then your request is both pompous and pointless.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

so sorry, yes (none / 0) (#82)
by CodeWright on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 10:31:00 AM EST

to begin with, in addressing streetlawyer's statement:

...Since I have no interest in pursuing this issue with you specifically...
...i paraphrase from streetlawyer's diary entry on trhurler:
first things first .... I see that everybody's favourite chap, streetlawyer, didn't take long to cry uncle. Well, they sure don't make blowhards like they used to, but I think he's kind of missed the point. I'm not bird-dogging him in order to annoy him, or to get responses from him -- that would be trolling, and I don't do that on this site. I'm following him around for a couple of reasons; mostly because it amuses me, also because it's important that mindless leftwing crap shouldn't go unchallenged. And also, to give some comfort to well-meaning people who receive blowhardish Blairgrams, so that they know that there's an even bigger, badder, asshole out there on their side. Anyway, no truce and the onslaught continues (actually, it's a crusade, but same difference).

and now to address some of the points raised by streetlawyer:

even history recited an hour later will be described differently by different witnesses of the event -- and the further removed in time an event occurs, the less likey that "objective fact" can be established as to the events that occurred. hence, as the years pile up, the light of veracity on any historical event dims.

hence, in any discussion where the difference of opinion rests in very finely differentiated points, acceptance of the other party's usage of a term as a "given", can set one up for a future logic trap, requiring a retraction, and subsequent weakening of any valid points made in reference thereto.

although i have no personal doubts about the matter of history mentioned, i disagree strongly with the term "historical fact" and would refuse to engage in a discussion where the declaration of a historical event was expected to be accepted without question, as if the invoker was possessed of some sort of divine 'a priori' knowledge.

finally, i am once again amused by your typical attempt to make your final point by discrediting your opponent through character assassination

...then your request is both pompous and pointless...
here's two more words of equal worth: your dismissal is petty and unfounded



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
ball in your court (none / 0) (#84)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 11:07:24 AM EST

I am not ignoring you; I'm merely observing that in this particular case, you're arguing in bad faith. There are any number of substantive issues in my post, and I'll happily discuss them with you or any other would-be metatroll. But your question is silly. We would need to know our epistemological positions on the subject of history if we were discussing history. If we disagreed on the historical facts, it might be relevant to know what we would count as evidence, or a standard of proof.

However, we in fact do not disagree about the history. We agree that the Nazis did hate the Jews. I'm not going to bother discussing the epistemological status of this proposition, because it's not important to any point I want to make.

You really have four options now:

  1. Object to something I said on substantial grounds.
  2. Convince me that the question of what is or is not a historical fact is relevant to the question of whether the Nazis were a hate group.
  3. Convince me that the question of what is or is not a historical fact is relevant to some other important issue relevant to my post
  4. Give up
Your life, your choice. What I'm not prepared to do is go into lengthy debates on semi-detached topics in response to a request from someone of whose good faith I am not absolutely certain (that's you). This is my personal way of dealing with trolls; I'm happy to conduct a debate with a smirking Devil's Advocate, for the intellectual exercise. That's how I got this good :). But I don't care to have, as I see it, my time wasted.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
preparing the riposte (none / 0) (#87)
by CodeWright on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 12:15:19 PM EST

you said:

We would need to know our epistemological positions on the subject of history if we were discussing history. If we disagreed on the historical facts, it might be relevant to know what we would count as evidence, or a standard of proof.
...which was precisely what i was hoping to establish as an understanding for both this particular discussion and any future crossing of swords -- please note that, while i do intend to address a particular point with the post you made, i hope to provide a ready foil (pun intended) for your future postings here at kuro5hin, and thus desired to lay a referential (hyperlink citable) groundwork for future discussion


for the record (so you can cite this too -- a presumption, i know):

i am happy for a mutual acknowledgement to accept the necessity of establishing an epistemological common ground for any future historical assertions

from amongst the four options you list, it was always my intent to pursue the third, namely:

3.Convince me that the question of what is or is not a historical fact is relevant to some other important issue relevant to my post

i do want to take this opportunity to assure you that my posts are in good faith, even if i sometimes appear to adopt a mocking, sarcastic, or insulting tone -- i assume that this is understandable, since i note that you quite frequently do the same.

in fact, the reason that i have, on a few occassions, parodied some of your own comments is that it was my hope to introduce and dismiss all of the typical ad hominem arguments and subtle snide character jabs up front so that future debates would not have to be unduly weighted down with needless assaults and defenses of character -- there is quite enough to address in an issue itself, what with the implication of inconsistent logic or insufficiently supportive citations, that i hope we can forego such trivial jabs (aside from the occasional good natured jibe -- not to say that a good natured jibe can't be scathing or profane, but it hardly constitutes a sound argument in-and-of-itself)

finally, to address the post which started this minor thread...

i believe that i have already registered and you have recognized the only complaint i had with your first point, namely:

For a start, it is not your personal opinion that the Nazi Party which was led by Adolf Hitler hated Jews. It's a historical fact.

i have no argument with your second point regarding the requirement to establish workable law and the "reasonable man" test

the point i take issue with is this one:

I think that the shortcomings in your list reflect its hasty preparation rather than any deep conceptual impossibility. I don't think that a jury of twelve people given sufficient time to think would have any real difficulty in distinguishing between the animosity between Republicans and Democrats, and that between the Ku Klux Klan and black people
...and it is also in that context that your first point set off alarms (which reason, i believe, will become self-evident).

my issue with this is directly tied to the matter of jurisdiction that i raised in another thread... to whit, i argue that in a given ethnic/cultural/regional locality, a jury of twelve people, given sufficient time to think, would not have any real difficulty in distinguishing between "normal" animosity and a "hate group"

however.....

i would argue that from one country to another, or a region, or a metropolitan area, or a neighborhood, it is self-apparent that what is reasonable in one place is unreasonable in another.

if you accept that point, then it should be clear that, across jurisdictional borders, the standards of one community are invalid (as standards) when enforced upon another

in France, censorship of free speach might be a reasonable activity -- the United States of America is founded (and continues to support) the freedom of speech (but prosecution of action)

so, while discrimination and segregation on the basis of speech might be enshrined in law and custom in France, it is not (yet) in the USA, thus invalidating that argument as a justification of the action against yahoo (or taken by yahoo for that matter -- but yahoo is, of course, free to be as discriminate as it desires in its own private actions)



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
OK (none / 0) (#88)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 01:29:21 PM EST

you may assume that in this and all relevantly similar cases, my standard of proof of the truth of any proposition, historical or otherwise, is a juridical one; what would be acceptable in a court of law with jurisdiction.

The rest of your post suggests that your argument is actually based on a misunderstanding of the case.

if you accept that point, then it should be clear that, across jurisdictional borders, the standards of one community are invalid (as standards) when enforced upon another

This, unfortunately, isn't going to do as a theory of interjurisdictionary jurisprudence. Cases exactly like the Yahoo one show that communities do not have the tidy boundaries which one would need to make this work. The argument goes both ways; if in America you have a right to free speech, in France, you have a right to not have the Holocaust trivialised. If you insist on Yahoo's rights, you are imposing American standards on France.

Or to take another example, and perhaps to forestall an obvious objection to this point, consider a Chinese music piracy site. American law would demand that the free speech of Chinese people be curtailed in order to protect the right of American companies to control their copyrighted product. And the opinion that free speech is a more important right is itself a community standard.

Since Yahoo was offering a service into France, the relevant community standards were those of *France*, not the USA. Yahoo wanted to have its cake and eat it -- to continue to offer the services of Yahoo.com into France (not making any good faith efforts to prevent French citizens accessing the Nazi auctions), but to avoid being judged under French law. The French court was quite prepared to accept that nothing Yahoo could to would be 100% effective; but it also ruled that Yahoo's failure to take even minimal, entirely feasible measures to restrict access meant that it was, illegally, offering its service into the USA. This body of law was mainly developed to deal with broadcast media -- Dutch pornography channels in the main. If the Dutch signal can be picked up in Belgium and unscrambled by Belgians, that's one thing, but if Red Hot TV starts selling decoders in Belgian shops, that's another. One may argue that Yahoo fell on the other side of the dividing line, but the case is not unreasonable in and of itself.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

placeholder (none / 0) (#91)
by CodeWright on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 06:10:02 PM EST

just wanted to let you know that i will be answering the points you raised in this response as well as the reference to your post on slashdot, but i won't have enough time tonight (going out on the town).

i hope to have something up tomorrow. have a good weekend.



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
this is also a placeholder (none / 0) (#98)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 10, 2001 at 09:07:43 AM EST

put here in order to keep this thread on my comments page a bit longer.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
appreciate the gesture... (none / 0) (#99)
by CodeWright on Thu Jan 11, 2001 at 01:10:53 PM EST

i appreciate the gesture.

alas, after reading your comment and the referenced /. comment at the end of last week, i attempted to research relevant rulings in international law pertaining to "offering service".

although it seemed that the line between broadcast and directed media is blurred with the internet, i felt that there was sufficient difference to warrant different treatment under the law... (more like telephony, less like radio/TV), it appears that case law supporting this position is limited to non-existant.

all that is left for me to do is bemoan the travesty of justice, or embroil myself in a lawsuit with the intent of establishing a precedent.... :)

in other words, i still hold my (admittedly esoteric) position, but find it fundamentally unsupported in contemporary law.



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
blatant self-citations (none / 0) (#89)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 01:38:04 PM EST

R US, on some legal and factual matters relevant to the case.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
POT. KETTLE. BLACK. (3.00 / 2) (#41)
by CodeWright on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:39:51 AM EST

In that context, the Communist Party, whose ideals you take great pains to defend, is just as guilty of being a "hate organization"

To paraphrase, your comments are copied, but with Communists replacing Nazis:

Are you sure? It seems pretty difficult to come up with an argument which would support the proposition that the Communist Party was not a hate organisation.

Is it really just someone's "opinion" that the Communists were bad?

It certainly isn't just "opinion" that the Russian Communists killed twenty million Kulacks and a further three million homosexuals, gypsies, germans and others, not to mention the thirty million Chinese who starved in the Great Cultural Revolution, or the few million here and there killed by other less "successful" Communist regimes.

So are you really trying to tell us that the systematic massacre of fifty to a hundred million human beings may or may not be a bad thing, and that all there is, is "opinion"?

Strangely enough, you seem to be fairly sure of the fact that censoring unpopular beliefs is bad. You don't seem to regard that as "opinion".

From these premises, a strict logical interpretation of your post would imply that you are more sure that Yahoo is right to remove Nazi, but not Communist memorabilia from its Internet auctions, than that Stalin and Mao were wrong to order the massacre of tens of millions of people.

Are you sure?



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
who the hell are you? (3.50 / 2) (#43)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:43:28 AM EST

It's rather scary to be suddenly accosted by someone whose name I don't recognise, and with whom I've never discussed anything, and suddenly and vehemently told what I believe and who I support. And then to look for clues in that person's user info and find posts all about me that I've never read.

In any case, you're wrong. I've written a couple of things defending specific ideas of Karl Marx, who was never a member of the Russian Communist Party and indeed died quite some time before any Communist government existed. To support a philosopher is quite different from supporting a political party; not all Nietschzians are Nazis, for example. Nor are all Christians members of the Catholic Church. But I suspect you know this and are just making a rather poor debating point. For which effort, do please go and fuck yourself - no matter how often you throw that red-baiting strawman about, it's never going to fly.

And furthermore your implied charge of hypocrisy is silly -- I'm quite clearly not sure that censoring unpopular beliefs is always bad; for example, I'm not sure that it isn't OK to censor Nazis.

Oh, and furthermore, your "fifty to a hundred million" figure is much higher even than the one quoted in the "Black Book of Communism". Robert Conquest, who nobody could call anything other than a hardcore anti-Communist, quotes a much lower figure. Please take the trouble to look up the numbers. For that matter, take the trouble to look up the meaning of the phrase "logical implication".

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Oooooh, scary. (1.00 / 1) (#45)
by CodeWright on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:24:08 PM EST

Piffle, you bushwack people all the time. For a self-avowed digital highwayman and troll, you seem a bit taken aback.

Please note, I said:

In that context, the Communist Party, whose ideals you take great pains to defend, is just as guilty of being a "hate organization"

I am fully aware that not all Marxists are Communists, and I wasn't saying that you, necessarily, would have approved Nazi censorship, but not Communist censhorship (even if I glibly implied it).

Your explicit charge of silliness is hypocritical, especially if one reads your diary and polls.

Finally, since Anne Marie is a troll, and you are a meta-troll, I thought it might be fun to bait you while you are baiting people that Anne Marie baited.



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
whatever. (1.50 / 4) (#50)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:55:11 PM EST

and there is nothing particularly amazing about 355/113. It's just one term in an incredibly well-known series.

I rather doubt you've done anything glib in your life.

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Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

glibness or the theoretical lack thereof (1.33 / 3) (#53)
by CodeWright on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:13:31 PM EST

not only is there nothing particularly amazing about 355/113, it is also incredibly inane and not a very good approximation to boot.

in fact, as a sig, it is uninspiring, flaccid, feeble, lacking merit, and generally annoying.

precisely the reason i use it.

since glibness doesn't take a great deal of skill, and has been known to be exhibited even by low grade morons, it would seem that you have attempted to hurl an insult, a slur, a calumny defamation.

of course, i am utterly amazed at your incredible abilities of perception -- mere moments ago, you wondered who the hell i was and, now, you have already marshalled near omniscient powers of analysis in the formulation of your estimate as to my probable ability to perform glib acts, or approximations thereof.

HUZZAH!

i raise my cup to you sir!

a finer character assassination could not have been performed.

well not at an hour's notice.

assuming that only minimal time was spent.

and that ad hominem attacks coupled with strawmen constituted a good assassination.

but, barring those minor quibbles, a bang-up job!



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
whatever (1.37 / 8) (#54)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:18:30 PM EST

apparently some sort of text is required here.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#81)
by exotherm on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 04:01:12 AM EST

not to mention the thirty million Chinese who starved in the Great Cultural Revolution

Either you're using second-hand information or trying to be a bit revisionist, but according to this page, those thirty million died from famine, possibly induced from piss-poor planning. Oh, there's no doubt Mao is a monster, but to distort the facts which proves he is will only suggest these facts are flawed.
Those who can are driven mad by those who can't.
[ Parent ]

Streetlawyer used to have good arguments... (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by Sheepdot on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:21:55 PM EST

Wow.. I could have sworn from street lawyer's previous arguments that he was a tad bit more educated than this.

Are you sure? It seems pretty difficult to come up with an argument which would support the proposition that the Nazi Party was not a hate organisation.

Depends on how you define hate. People today still can't figure out why Hitler was anti-Semite. The biggest and most widely accepted argument (by people that actually study history) is that he was soley after power and used strong anti-Semite feelings of the time to gain that power. I suggest checking out all the information on this page if you've ever wondered what the textbooks and teachers screwed up on. You also have to remember that for a good deal of time, the Nazi party was a political party and not a killing machine. I do not share the beliefs of any national-socialist, in case any of you folks are quick to call people Nazis.

Now, why label them as a "hate" party and ban collectors from selling the stuff? I guess it is because the government of France must want people to forget about what happened with the Nazi's. Either that, or they think that the Nazi party is somehow profiting off of people selling items they own.

I think it goes without saying that the government of France is fucked up beyond all recognition. Did you know they passed a law requiring a minimum salary? Not all that bad, but when companies started hiring less people to do more work because of it, the government of France then passed a maximum work week law preventing citizens from working over 40 hours a week.

Is it really just someone's "opinion" that the Nazis were bad?

The Nazi's were a political party that were lead by a man who was a criminal and had many under him that were criminals.

It certainly isn't just "opinion" that the Nazis killed six million Jews and a further six million homosexuals, gypsies, Slavs and others.

The man in charge authorized the killings without the consent of the "party". In fact, the "party" was basically defined as the man. The Holocaust *did* happen. I don't think I or the author of the post you are replying to is arguing that.

So are you really trying to tell us that the systematic massacre of twelve million human beings may or may not be a bad thing, and that all there is, is "opinion"?

He was talking about labeling organizations "hate groups" like the labeler is someone that is above them and more intelligent. I don't think he wanted to argue opinion vs. fact.

Strangely enough, you seem to be fairly sure of the fact that censoring unpopular beliefs is bad. You don't seem to regard that as "opinion".

Streetlawyer! You are pulling that out of your ass and you know it. You seem to abide by not letting other people make assertions, so quit making ones of your own.

From these premises, a strict logical interpretation of your post would imply that you are more sure that Yahoo is wrong to remove Nazi memorabilia from its Internet auctions, than that Hitler was wrong to order the massacre of twelve million people.

Wow, way to fuck up logic. He never gauged "assuredness" in his post. You are also assuming that it has to be one of two ways:

1. Hitler was wrong in killing 6 million Jews and so we must ban all auctions of Nazi party memoribilia.

2. Hitler was not wrong in killing 6 million Jews and so we must allow all auctions of Nazi party memoribilia.

Sorry man, there is a 3rd option:

3. Hitler was wrong in killing 6 million Jews and that has no bearing on auctioning Nazi party memoribilia.

Am I promoting hate if I'm a WWII collector?


[ Parent ]

I don't agree; I never did and still do (none / 0) (#73)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:48:42 AM EST

.You also have to remember that for a good deal of time, the Nazi party was a political party and not a killing machine

But an explicitly anti-Semitic political party. Anti-Semitism is a fundamental tenet of Nazism; it's part of what sets it apart from other forms of socialism. If hatred is part of the platform of a group, it's a hate group. That's why I said what I said. The question of why the Nazis were anti-Semitic is secondary to the fact that they were. The "instrumental theory" of Hitler's anti-Semitism as purely a means to gain power is by no means the most widespread among historians, or at least not according to my copy of "The Oxford Reader in Fascism" ed. Roger Griffin, which I've been reading on trains for the last week.

I guess it is because the government of France must want people to forget about what happened with the Nazi's. I guess it is because the government of France must want people to forget about what happened with the Nazi's.

You are wrong. The motivation of the French law is well set out in the court judgement. The actual offence is "banalisation of the Holocaust". The French do not want Nazi memorabilia to be handed around as if they were merely interesting curiosa, or kitsch items. They think that this is highly offensive to the survivors and their descendants, and that the survivors deserve to be protected from this offence. It may be legal to be as offensive as you like in America, but France is not America, and has a right to be so.

I think it goes without saying that the government of France is fucked up beyond all recognition.

Not by the French it doesn't. And it is their opinions which count, on matters regarding France. The economic measures you describe (the working week regulation is 35 hours rather than 40) have not stopped them from enjoying higher labour productivty per hour worked than the USA (source: The Economist), and strong GDP growth over the last four years. They are also pretty big contributors to the capital transfers which make up the counterpart to the US trade deficit, so I wouldn't offend them too much if I were you.

Your contention that Hitler authorised the Final Solution without reference to the party is 180 degrees wrong. Notoriously, there is no "smoking gun" memorandum signed by Hitler himself. All the orders were given through the command chain of the Nazi party, and the entire party was involved in the program itself. The Nuremburg trials sorted out this question, and the book "Hitler's Willing Executioners" pretty much proves that Nuremburg got it right.

He was talking about labeling organizations "hate groups" like the labeler is someone that is above them and more intelligent.

You seem to have a phobia of making comparisons of intelligence, which makes your chosen nickname somewhat puzzling. In any case, the label is correct and easily seen to be so. George W Bush is not more intelligent than me, but if he were to read my output on kuro5hin, I dare say he would be able to recognise that I am a socialist. Calling the Nazis a hate group is not a "label" in any pejorative sense; the label was self-applied, in the original platform of the NSDAP.

And your comments on my argument against relativism are wrong too; particularly, the argument you attribute to me is not the one I made. I pointed out that the original poster appeared to be saying "Nobody has the right to make judgements, and therefore nobody should censor" without noticing that the conclusion was a judgement.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

I appear to be unable to master simple italics (none / 0) (#74)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:49:19 AM EST

damn and blast

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Umm.. you fail to make your case though. (none / 0) (#90)
by Sheepdot on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 03:13:21 PM EST

You still haven't properly explained why it is the responsibility of a company in one country to modify its legal business in that country at the request of another.

And your argument about the French not thinking that their country is messed up fails to impress me. A beaten wife who sticks with her husband because she believes she truly wronged him is looked at as absurb by many. It is perfectly normal for an outsider to look at the situation and say, "boy that marriage is fucked up" and have the folks around him agree. I just don't think the French people know what they've done to themselves.

"Your contention that Hitler authorised the Final Solution without reference to the party is 180 degrees wrong. Notoriously, there is no "smoking gun" memorandum signed by Hitler himself. All the orders were given through the command chain of the Nazi party, and the entire party was involved in the program itself."

Umm.. and where does the command chain of the Nazi party start at? I highly doubt that they started killing on their own accord. I especially doubt it when I look at the kind of person Hitler was, very authoritative. To do something without his seal of approval would have meant death for whoever ordered it.

Still, the whole point of arguing of this stuff is ridiculous when you look at what the request is. Are you saying that the United States has an obligation to ban auctions that another country finds wrong? Or are you saying that Yahoo has an obligation?

I don't think either has an obligation. But I can understand those who would say that Yahoo does. I think I'm just going to have to quit replying to your comments since we are at approximately different ends of the political spectrum.


[ Parent ]
Your arguments are confusing (none / 0) (#93)
by streetlawyer on Mon Jan 08, 2001 at 03:50:14 AM EST

You still haven't properly explained why it is the responsibility of a company in one country to modify its legal business in that country at the request of another.

Yes I have; because they are offering a service into the overseas jurisdiction.

I just don't think the French people know what they've done to themselves.

For someone who thinks that it is inappropriate to enforce the legal codification of social norms between cultures, you seem surprisingly keen on making unqualified moral judgements between cultures.Umm.. and where does the command chain of the Nazi party start at? I highly doubt that they started killing on their own accord. I especially doubt it when I look at the kind of person Hitler was, very authoritative. To do something without his seal of approval would have meant death for whoever ordered it.

Indeed, everyone believes that there "must" be a smoking gun memo, but nobody has found one.

Are you saying that the United States has an obligation to ban auctions that another country finds wrong?

No, but the USA does have an obligation to enforce fines legitimately levied in response to judgements of foreign courts of friendly countries, which is why Yahoo crumbled. Yahoo has the obligation not to offer this service into France; the court set out a number of things it could do to be considered to not be offering the service in France, while maintaining whatever it liked in the USA.

I think I'm just going to have to quit replying to your comments since we are at approximately different ends of the political spectrum.

It's often quite dangerous to stop listening to people simply because they are at the other end of the political spectrum. Not knowing where the ends of the spectrum are tends to warp your perception of the centre.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

I'll keep reading. (none / 0) (#94)
by Sheepdot on Mon Jan 08, 2001 at 08:49:44 PM EST

"It's often quite dangerous to stop listening to people simply because they are at the other end of the political spectrum. Not knowing where the ends of the spectrum are tends to warp your perception of the centre."

I'll listen, but I'm just going to quit arguing, we are convincing each other of nothing and nobody else looks at us arguing and wants to join in to offer outside insight. We are accomplishing nothing. Especially when our conversations continue well after everyone has skipped over the article as a whole.

Just as an example of why we will never agree:

From what I have read of Nazi memos is that they are *very* professional and business-oriented considering the topics they are discussing. One inparticular talked about how "the vehicle would have to hold a load of several hundred pounds with a drain in the center for removal of excess wastes". What this memo described was a killing machine in which Jews (and others no doubt) were loaded into the van to be killed and any body excrements left over would need to exit via a drain built in.

The kind of stuff was sick, but was written so the average viewer wouldn't know what was going on unless they had prior knowledge of what they were doing. I find it hard to believe that a "smoking gun" memo exists showing that Hitler authorized "the killing of Jews".

I guess what my point gets down to is that we are going to take opposite sides on *every* issue of worthwhile debating on this board, so I am announcing I "give up" and will just agree to disagree. We can sit here and keep bringing up more and more stuff to argue our points and eventually it will just get overwhelming, like in the last disagreement we had. I've been through two and I've had enough.

I'll even go so far as to say, "You Win!" to show that I really don't want to spend time on this anymore.


[ Parent ]
Social Tradition (2.33 / 3) (#5)
by Andrew Dvorak on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:18:27 AM EST

I'm from the United States and my background does not permit me to reasonably discuss such actions of the French Government. Given this, I should expect any French citizens who object to such to follow the proper procedures for dealing with this. But I suspect that it is outside the bounds of the French social tradition for actively vocalizing such objections?

I have no problem with the French government's legislation or litigation. This is just new from a side of the looking glass which I am not familar with and thus cannot accurately debate. I'm sure I'm wrong. Would any citizens of France care to comment on my blatently ignorant assumptions?



Appropriate attitude (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by goonie on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:56:25 AM EST

That's it, American ignoramus, you've got the idea. Now, every time a domestic American political issue comes up, take the same tack - admit you don't have a clue, and ask the wise foriegners, who know everything about the US and who have perfect political judgement and technical knowledge, how to solve your problems :)

Seriously, we (if I may be sufficiently presumptuous to speak for the non-US contingent on K5) are not asking Americans to stop expressing opinions on their own and indeed anyone else's country. We'd just like them to keep in mind that K5 is read across the world, and ignoring this is just rude. If you (the American posters) don't, I personally promise you a flood of submissions about the Australia-England cricket series coming up in a few months time. So unless you have have the desire and knowledge to make intelligent comments about whether Stuart MacGill or Shane Warne's googlies will be more effective on English wickets, behave! ;-)

[ Parent ]

Unable (none / 0) (#9)
by Andrew Dvorak on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:02:32 AM EST

I just haven't found many comments by French citizens on the subject. oh well. i suppose you'll suggest next that I was locked in solitary confinement for a couple of years ? ;-)

[ Parent ]
Sorry (none / 0) (#19)
by goonie on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:55:06 AM EST

In the light of some of the discussion wrt Americans on K5 the past little while, I thought you were parodying the "less arrogant attitude" desired by some non-US K5ers by being overly obsequious rather than making a serious comment. Sorry.

WRT actually having somebody from France comment, that would be good, but there doesn't seem to be many around.

[ Parent ]

attitude (none / 0) (#14)
by fender0011 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:28:52 AM EST

While I agree with the initial posters general thought that if it's not in our country we're best not to judge it I think that this is one issue where we do need to get involved, everybody that is.

Imagine if a country decided that they had the power to ban all refrences on the internet to nazis, or bombs, or sex, or drugs. And with this ban they felt that they had the legal right to legaly sue any business, or individual that did not comply with this ban. It's only a short slippery slope until this country decides it has the right to forcibly attack and shut down any company that breaks it's ban.

I don't know why nazi memoribilia could be this big an issue to the french government unless they are concerned about a resurgence of nazi like behavior in it's people. If this is the case I can surely understand, however I'm not sure censorship is the answer.

Just my .02 cents.
------ This sig is under development. If you'd like to be notified when this sig is completed... umm... well too bad, you'll just have to wait.
[ Parent ]
Why imagine? Look at Saudi Arabia. (none / 0) (#30)
by elenchos on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 07:17:46 AM EST

Well, they don't fit precisely the conditions you describe, but they come close. Rather than suing everyone else they have simply decided to have a single national ISP that the government can fully control. That is only possible at present because they are a relatively small country without too many Internet users. As that changes, other tactics become necessary. Now, of course, they may be emboldened to bring lawsuits against sites in other countries that offer material that is illegal inside Saudi borders.

It really worries me to see Yahoo! cave in like this. I usually don't buy into slippery slope arguments, but with legal actions it doesn't take much to have a real effect on things. Just the fear of being sued by someone with a deep pocket has an infuluence far greater than common sense would normally lead you to expect.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Cricket! (none / 0) (#64)
by Robby on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:54:35 PM EST

So unless you have have the desire and knowledge to make intelligent comments about whether Stuart MacGill or Shane Warne's googlies will be more effective on English wickets, behave! ;-)

Oh please, comeon, Stuart MacGill took 7/102 yesterday. He's going to absoloutely murder you guys over there! Shane Warne has been injured, he won't make a comeback anytime soon, i'd say. Yes, he's playing again, but after his long break he needs time to come back to the game.

I look forward to treatring the English cricketers as well as the West Indians :)

That concludes this edition of irrelevent post monthly.

[ Parent ]

Well, my country is sometimes a shame (none / 0) (#69)
by emmanuel.charpentier on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 07:50:48 PM EST

I do consider the whole yahoo thing a complete shame for the country of voltaire ("I may not agree with what you say, but I will do everything I can to make sure you can say it").

In fact, my country is one were everything has been centralised to the absurd, and where the parlement has been writing an incredible amount of laws. Centralisation (which dates back to the kings, probably louis XIV) is associated with the intellectuals and the elite which run everything here. A lot of the politics come from one single high administration school (ENA)!

But to be more precise, I'm afraid that judges, politics, cops, can do almost anything if they have the power and some kind of legitimity to their action. The former president was actually spying on different people (famous ones sometimes) just for fun, and he had an unlegitimate girl without any journalist speaking about it until just before his death (although they all knew about it).

Nonethe less, france is beautifull, women are gorgeous, food is great. Some guys stood up to the corporations and refused to allow software patents in europe. The UN even ranked france second after canada according to different criterias measuring the quality of life!!! (and the weather is probably so much nicer :-)

Ah, there is also a law about "atteinte l'honneur" (you can go to justice if someone injures your honor!!!), eventually we'll catch up, nazi censorship will fade out with memory :-(


BTW, you americans should realise that you are not just the cops of the world, but more probably the emperor with his court of client states playing with the lifes of any designated ennemy (more deads due to you than to terrorists, like with the contras, nicaragua). Read some of the great texts of Noam Chomsky! (MIT linguist professor)

[ Parent ]
Yahoo's Motivations (3.00 / 6) (#40)
by davidduncanscott on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:33:59 AM EST

Has anybody stopped to think that maybe somebody at Yahoo looked around and said, "You know what? I'd rather we didn't make money off this stuff, and I'd rather not do business with people who like swastikas and white hoods"? Last I checked, they have that right.

Not Just Racists (none / 0) (#63)
by Matrix on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:43:26 PM EST

But they're also saying that they don't want to do business with the American history teacher who wants an authentic German uniform to show to his curious class of 10th-graders. (I don't think looking at one of those is likely to make you into a raving, Jew-burning Nazi) Or maybe the aging World War II veteran who has decided that he wants to take a closer look at something of the regime his friends died fighting. (I also somehow doubt that ANY WWII veteran is likely to turn into a Nazi) Although I DO suspect the French government has an interest is Yahoo not doing business with historians researching French-Nazi collaboration.


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Complicated software tracking, my eye. (3.88 / 9) (#42)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:22:16 AM EST

All that's needed is to ask for a credit card number. Anyone wanting to buy things in an auction is almost certainly going to have one, and credit card numbers always contain an issuer country code. In order to bluff the system, French Nazi enthusiasts would have to get hold of a non-French credit card (harder than it sounds), in which case they'd have a hard time pretending that they "just surfed in by accident" when les gendarmes came round to their house.

Not that I really have any great enthusiasm for censoring Nazi relics; it seems rather pointless. But perhaps I'd think differently if my folks had been executed by them. And in any case, if the French want to do it, then Yahoo really ought to either go along with them or stay out of France.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

Not in my Backyard? (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by jeffg on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:02:20 PM EST

And in any case, if the French want to do it, then Yahoo really ought to either go along with them or stay out of France.

And just how would you propose that Yahoo! do that? The issue here isnt't the content on http://www.yahoo.fr/ (which appears to be a RIPE allocation, and might even physically be IN France -- that's a whole other issue).

The issue is the content on http://www.yahoo.com/. France wants Yahoo! to prevent people in France from viewing or purchasing specific items from a site that is not located in France, does not target French visitors, and would seem to be out of France's jurisdiction.

There are about six different cans of worms here, just waiting to be opened. I may do so later.



[ Parent ]
the clue is in the post (4.00 / 2) (#72)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:28:21 AM EST

And just how would you propose that Yahoo! do that?

Well, if you read the first paragraph of my post, you'll see that I suggest that they require a credit card number in order to purchase Nazi memorabilia, and refuse the request if the credit card number has a French issuer country code. Sorry for not making that clearer.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

"Issuer country code" / "I know it (none / 0) (#78)
by jeffg on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 03:02:27 AM EST

Two problems with that.

I am unable to find any information regarding an "issuer country code". Check the specs. Check the details on verifying credit card checksums. You can tell if a card is visa/mastercard/amex/etc, but there appears to be no room for an "issuer country code", and I am unable to locate anything that resembles one. Could you provide me with any information about an "issuer country code" that is embedded in every credit card number? I am genuinely curious.

How is Yahoo! expected to identify the "Nazi" merchandise in the first place?



[ Parent ]
There's a great search engine out there .... (3.00 / 1) (#79)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 03:30:29 AM EST

called google, which I like to use for this sort of thing. I do not know how Yahoo identifies Nazi merchandise, but I know that it is able to, because it was able to remove it from yahoo.fr

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Facts and Fantasy (none / 0) (#83)
by jeffg on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 11:00:47 AM EST

I generally don't expect others to do my research for me when I'm tossing around facts. I'm sorry if you expect me to do your research.

As you likely well know, I am indeed aware of the existance of Google. In fact, I utilized Google and a few other resources prior to posting my previous comment in this thread. As stated therein, I found no indication of an embedded "issuer country code" in all credit card numbers.

This is the reason I posted a comment asking you for information regarding the "code". I would be most interested in facts regarding its existence.

As for the identification of Nazi items on Yahoo!, without a human manually checking every auction item, this is destined for inaccuracies and incomplete enforcement. Evidence similar attempts in the censorware arena. Perhaps in this case Yahoo! or the French authorities consider the wide margin of error with an automated system an acceptable flaw. I do not know.



[ Parent ]
well aren't I good to you. (3.00 / 1) (#85)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 11:12:00 AM EST

I generally don't expect others to do my research for me when I'm tossing around facts.

Commendable. You're lucky to meet someone as good as me, however, because I'll do it anyway (tossing around idle enquiries isn't really so marvellously superior to tossing around facts, btw).

The link I supplied was in fact to a google search which turns up, among other things, various instances of the Mastercard technical FAQ, which makes reference to issuer country codes. I estimate that four clicks (parent-parent-google-FAQ) plus one "Find" command ("issuer country code") will take you to my source.

Perhaps in this case Yahoo! or the French authorities consider the wide margin of error with an automated system an acceptable flaw. I do not know.

Well I do know, and they do. It's in the judgement.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Chips and Clues (none / 0) (#86)
by jeffg on Fri Jan 05, 2001 at 11:58:13 AM EST

The link I supplied was in fact to a google search which turns up, among other things, various instances of the Mastercard technical FAQ, which makes reference to issuer country codes.

[And for reference, here is "the link" referenced in the above: google]

The "Mastercard technical FAQ" you reference is in actuality quite specific to their M/Chip "smart card". There is no specific information as to the location of the "issuer country code".

The Issuer Country Code in the card [...]

The only other mention of a country code I've had the time to locate is in RFC 1898, but that seems to be user-supplied, and not an "issuer country code".

Without any further information to go on, it is impossible to make more than an educated guess as to the presence of an "issuer country code" in the card number, or in the embedded data within the M/Chip.



[ Parent ]
Ku, not Klu. (3.50 / 2) (#62)
by Greyjack on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:20:46 PM EST

Captain nitpicky reporting for duty!

It's properly Ku Klux Klan, actually. Not that I'm the least bit supportive of their organization (beyond my ACLU donations, that is); however, I have an unfortunate anal-retentive streak when it comes to words.

What the morphological differences are between Ku and Klu are, however, I haven't the foggiest. But hey, lord knows we don't want to offend anyone by misspelling the name of their hate group.

--
Here is my philosophy: Everything changes (the word "everything" has just changed as the word "change" has: it now means "no change") --Ron Padgett


Morphology? Dunno. Etymology, coming up... (none / 0) (#92)
by Tau Neutrino on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 11:48:34 AM EST

As I heard it, the name is onomotopoeic: it's supposed to sound like a shotgun being broken open and snapped shut again. Something to strike fear into the hearts, &c.

--
Theater is life, cinema is art, television is furniture.
[ Parent ]
not the way I heard it (none / 0) (#96)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 02:01:41 PM EST

I heard it from "kuklos", Greek for circle.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Go, Captain Nitpicky (none / 0) (#97)
by G Neric on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 10:28:11 PM EST

I rated you up because, Captain Nitpicky, this is the sort of thing up with which I won't put either.

and now that we're spelling it right, I've long dreamed of creating some web entity or protocol called the "Queued Quux LAN" for humor value, but of course fear of being called racist stops me.

[ Parent ]

Why ban? (4.00 / 2) (#71)
by Tatarigami on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:10:47 PM EST

The whole premise behind this discussion is making me uncomfortable. Why does France want to restrict the sale of Nazi memorabilia? Owning a luger or SS uniform isn't going to turn anyone into a neo-Nazi, neither is denying them the chance to own one going to stop them from turning into right-wing fascists if that's what they want to be.

It almost seems like they're trying to sweep a chapter of history under the rug, and those who forget the past are doomed to etc.

I'm not even comfortable with the idea of censoring hate sites. If I want my chance to say what I think, then I have to be willing to support someone else'. And I'd much rather have them out in the open where they can be watched.

"Humans have a saying: keep your friends close and your enemies even closer."
-- Ambassador G'Kar, B5


:o)

The ostrich strategy (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by dabadab on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 09:33:55 AM EST

Yes, it is a fake action on behalf of the French goverment (and I bet Germans would do the same).
Making laws to ban things is easy, suing corporations using these laws is easy too...
Problem is: that really does not stop one becoming a neo-nazi.
And when real need arises to do something (e.g. Austria's new governing coalition that HAS a neo-nazi party in it), they don't really do anything, but try to look angrily until they get bored of that.
--
Real life is overrated.
[ Parent ]
Why are neonazis still around? (none / 0) (#77)
by ContinuousPark on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 04:46:20 PM EST

It seems a good moment to pose a question that's been on my mind for a while. (I've posted this in Abuzz and got some interesting answers too):

Now and then, I read news of some neonazis in Germany beating some immigrant. And I ask myself, after WWII what measures were taken by the German government to ensure that all kind of nazi attitudes vanished? I understand, for instance, that French laws forbid people from trading nazi memorabilia (Yahoo is getting familiar with that concept), and I suppose the same is true in Germany. Or is it not? But what educational, social or legal measures were taken in Germany so that nazism would never appear again?

And, finally, how come those measures have proven ineffective in several instances that have brought shocking news on neonazism? What's been going on there from a sociological and historical point of view?

Because when I read about the French Govt's actions to stop the auctions I think they should also be very concerned that it is in fact French citizens who are bidding and selling nazi memorabilia. So, putting aside any judgement of whether or not the auctions should be allowed or not, if that trade is a concern for the govt. it seems to me that this should include the individuals or groups that are selling or buying in the first place and the reasons that motivate these people to trade should be studied and understood and maybe fought from its origins via education not burdensome (and maybe inaccurate) technical enforcement (as in the software Yahoo has started using to ban the auctions).

It depends... (none / 0) (#95)
by Zenith on Tue Jan 09, 2001 at 01:56:26 PM EST

In the last decade, the power of government have shift to that of media, and in 21st century, Internet will be the next big power player in the world. Why? Simply because news influence people, this is clearly evident in many news publication where the media help the government to do certain coverup.

Getting to the topic, since internet will be a mjor influence on news, it is important for site with such as huge flow of people as yahoo to seriously look at the site.

There is nothing wrong with showing the history and how NAZI works, but its a different story when a site is used to promote such an act. KKK is another example, any organisation that deliberate on putting down certain people, races, cultures should not be on the internet. It's hard to remove all of them, but at least get them off the major site so less people have access to them, especially younger children.

Few years back a kid accidentallyt killed his friend with a home-made bomb learned on the internet, we all know kid are curious, and that curiousity is danagerous if not controlled. Kids are especially vulnerable, they are easily influence by certain propagenda. Thus it really depends on the material on the particular web site, though it's bit overboard to banned all of them if they do have certain historical/educational values.

"Truth is what people conceit, but in reality there is no real truth, just opinions." - Zenith

Yahoo, Mein Kampf, and Child Pornography | 99 comments (89 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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