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United Kingdom Crime Your Rights Online

UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime 391

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-not-pass-go dept.
An anonymous reader points out that UK authorities have warned that sharing the video of the James Foley murder could lead to prosecution under anti-terror laws. Scotland Yard has warned internet users they could be arrested under terrorism legislation if they viewed or shared the video of James Foley's murder, as Twitter and YouTube attempted to remove all trace of the footage from the web. Twitter suspended dozens of accounts that published the graphic footage while YouTube tried to remove several copies of the video, which was first uploaded on Tuesday night. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted: "We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you." The unprecedented social media clampdown came as the Metropolitan police warned that even viewing the video could constitute a criminal offence in the UK. The force said in a statement: "The MPS counter-terrorism command (SO15) is investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley. We would like to remind the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist material within the UK may constitute an offence under terrorism legislation."
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

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  • Jurisdiction 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TitusC3v5 (608284) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:07AM (#47726733) Homepage
    Good luck with that.
  • Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:10AM (#47726749)

    even viewing the video could constitute a criminal offence in the UK

  • Suppression (Score:5, Insightful)

    by philip.paradis (2580427) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:17AM (#47726785)

    Things happen. Sometimes very nasty things happen. Attempts at suppression of information related to nasty things will inevitably fail, and such attempts will only serve to cast those advocating for suppression in a nasty light themselves. "Authorities" might find their time better spent pursuing criminals instead of engaging in an odd attempt to force the populace to bury its head in the sand on threat of imprisonment. The information itself isn't the problem; direct harm caused against human beings is.

    TLDR: Scotland Yard can go fuck itself, and I think this is a great time to make a personal project of facilitating the spread of this information as widely as possible. Thank goodness I've got a great deal of resources available to assist in that endeavor. Cheers, mates.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:18AM (#47726789)
    Anytime someone prohibits you from viewing, listening or reading something it is thought crime, and policing thought is barbaric and unjustifiable violence against individuals.
  • by ThorGod (456163) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:20AM (#47726797) Journal

    Why would anyone actually want to watch it?

  • And thus: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zanadou (1043400) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:20AM (#47726805)
    And thus, the natural extension of "possession of child pornography" laws begins.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:42AM (#47726891)

    Might makes right: if someone with more power than you says you can't do something, then you cannot do it. There are no noble and high principles that can stand up to reality. It sucks, but that's the way it is. Get over it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:52AM (#47726929)

    And it's been parroted sans critical thought ever since. Unless you think that we should all be free to randomly assault one another, you are trading the freedom to assault for the security from assault. Society has decided that your freedom to disseminate terrorist propaganda is not worth the lives of the extra hostages terrorists would take if they knew their propaganda would be successful.

    If you don't like that, you can either A: Petition your government to change its value calculus that led to this decision. B: Convince other people that your value calculus is more just than the current one and have them vote for you. C: Move to another country that more closely matches your values.

    Notice how there is no: "D: Quote a founding father who didn't have the balls to commit to his ideals when it came to slavery and pretend that'll change anything"

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:53AM (#47726937)

    The video should be published. James Foley knew the decisions he was making put him in danger. He walked in with his eyes open, having decided that his photographs could tell the story of average people caught up in the evil going on around them...and that they were worth the risk.

    The only thing worse than the murderous pieces of excrement who killed him are the fascist bastards in bespoke suits who want to use his death as an excuse to turn our freedom-loving countries into the same kind of totalitarian state ISIS is trying to create.

    Fuck them. They're as bad as the terrorists.

    We need to decide: is our freedom worth the price of a few successful terrorist attacks, or should we simply open the door wide to Big Brother, and invite him in for a permanent visit.

  • by geogob (569250) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:54AM (#47726939)

    If you believe jurisdiction questions are more important to the officials in the UK than in USA, you should go back and review some history lessons. Actually, the only people who care less about international law and jurisdiction than the those in the USA, are those in the UK.

  • Poor quote. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:58AM (#47726951)

    This has absolutely nothing to do with security and everything to do with a thought crime. The mere thought that looking at something could be considered illegal is wrong.

    The fact that this is about terror and anti-terror is neither here nor there. Remember we are talking about a country which has made it illegal to watch contented acts between two adults (See ban on possession of videos depicting extreme pornographic acts)

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:00AM (#47726955)

    So tell me why seeing something with my eyes should be illegal?

    Tell me again who have I harmed, who have I affected, in what way was the public at large affected? Everything that is happening is happening in your own mind. That by definition is a thought crime, which incidentally also is a true victimless crime.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:03AM (#47726973)

    I have a more important question:
    Why should it be illegal that I do?

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:04AM (#47726977)

    There is no written law because writing laws about watching the video, is a crime.

    The Police Press Officer couldn't explain that because explaining that writing laws about watching the video is a crime, is a crime.

    Please don't mod this up, as modding up a post commenting the fact that explaining that writing laws about watching the video is a crime, is a crime.

    (Yes I did miss one "is a crime" a the end of that sentence, but, yep, you guessed it, not missing the last "is a crime", is a crime, is a c... hmmm...)

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:12AM (#47727013) Homepage Journal


    Anytime someone prohibits you from viewing, listening or reading something it is thought crime, and policing thought is barbaric and unjustifiable violence against individuals.

    They need to police your thoughts so you can have freedom.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:43AM (#47727293)

    Making it should be illegal. Viewing it arguably does no additional harm (if you presume that anyone who would view it it willingly is already irreversibly fucked up, and people who aren't fucked up are appropriately digusted).

    Viewing it is illegal in my jurisdiction. Which paradoxically makes it impossible to report if you stumble upon it in a place where you didn't expect (or want) to find it, because if you do so you're now confessing to a crime. This arguably means that kiddy porn remains available for longer than it otherwise would.

    It should certainly be illegal to make it. And illegal to knowingly distribute it. And illegal to pay for it (directly - paying for a service that happens to unintentionally host kiddy porn shouldn't count, paying for a service devoted to kiddy porn should). But making it illegal to view or possess means that if you accidentally stumble upon it, you both viewed it, and because your computer cached it, possessed it, which means that people are far less likely to report it for fear of incriminating themselves.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:43AM (#47727295)

    As long as England remains a democratic country, that is ...

    I think that depends strongly on the definition of democracy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:51AM (#47727335)

    You mean that nasty organisation - which though it is thoroughly unpleasant is far better than Islam because it has never even threatened to kill someone, let alone murdering thousands, kidnapping thousands of women as sex slaves and chopping off journalist's heads?

    Yeah. No true Christian would do anything like that, except for the Army of God, IRA, the NLFT (who forcibly convert people, as well as using rape as a means of intimidation), Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati (who was gunned down on behalf of Christians using World Vision as cover), NSCN, one of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland factions carried out ethnic cleansing leaving 900 people dead and 100,000 refugees, Maronite Christian militias in Lebanon targeting Muslims and Palestinian refugees ("People who committed the acts of murder that I saw that day were wearing crucifixions and were calling themselves Christians."), the Iron Guard, the Lncieri, National-Christian Defense League, the KKK, the Lord's Resistance Army, and so forth.

    No, Christians are the true Religion of Peace.

    Except that they are no better.

  • by Ardeaem (625311) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:57AM (#47727369)
    The idea it would be illegal to view a video of the death of a journalist -- whose very reason for being there was to inform people about events just like this -- is an insult to Foley's entire career, and to brave journalists everywhere.
  • by pla (258480) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:33AM (#47727541) Journal
    Funny thing about banning something like this - It creates an audience that didn't previously exist.

    I had zero interest in this whole situation, but now that some repressive backwater dipshits have banned it? Into the collection it goes!

    'Course, I live in the US, not the UK, and we consider that sort of footage "Primetime TV", but the principle still stands. You ban it, I will find a copy.

    / No, that doesn't apply to CP, Mr. Hansen, move along ya old perv.
  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:57AM (#47727643)

    So do you actually work for the police, or do you just suck them off for free?

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:36AM (#47727819) Journal
    1. It's not him silly, it's "the people of the UK", who are you to claim immunity from the democratic will of society, where does this immunity end?
    2. Your overreacting to something the head cop said "could" be considered illegal. I think if you dig a bit deeper than the click bait headline you'll find his real message was more along the lines of - "Yes we all know it's shocking, but please stop reacting as intended by those who perpetrated this act". There's also a cultural difference in the way the UK justice system operates, as a general rule UK public prosecutors are nowhere near as eager to be associated with frivolous convictions and "plea bargaining" as their US counterparts seem to be. UK society in general is less tolerant of "anti-social behaviour", it's their idea of "keeping the peace" and it works rather well for "the people of the UK".

    I don't give a damn. My portion of society isn't affected by those threats, and thus those who might consider attempting to threaten me under inapplicable jurisdictions are welcome to go fuck themselves. Apparently, you're invited to the latter party. Would you care for some lube?

    Yeah right, you tell 'em how it is internet tough guy, lol.

    Disclaimer, not the AC, who btw has as much right to his privacy as the Foley family does to theirs.

  • by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:44AM (#47727865) Homepage

    We've never had freedom of expression in the UK. Or Freedom of Speech. Or Government by the consent of the people.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:2, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:53AM (#47727909) Homepage Journal

    Making it should be illegal. Viewing it arguably does no additional harm

    The best arguement made against that is that if you are a "supporting audience/consumer" of the "product", you are a part of the demand, which encourages the supply. Making viewing something like CP illegal doesn't proactively prevent the harm that has already occurred in the course of its production, but does give the perps less incentive to do it again, or others to get into the business.

    In other words, people tend to stop performing when they don't have an audience. (some are in it for the benjamines, but others are simply content to have an audience) Law enforcement applying the above reasoning however definitely demonstrates that other means are proving insufficient or powerless to stop the original offense. Makes you consider alternate motives for the law, as though it was enacted due to the general frustration of law enforcement. Being unable to adequately stop the crime head-on, they're taking to trying to suffocate it out from the other end. Maybe a defensive strategy taken up by the politicians and police chiefs to deflect the criticisms of the public that is frustrated that their police are unable to stem the crime. "LOOK, we're doing *everything* we can!" (including arresting YOU because you're encouraging them!)

    CP and terrorism are pretty different animals, but in the end, more viewers does encourage them. They'll both keep doing it even with no audience, but it's easy to show that a growing audience does encourage them. Specifically, terrorism has little point when there's no audience to terrorize.

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Friday August 22, 2014 @11:02AM (#47729443) Journal

    Might makes right: if someone with more power than you says you can't do something, then you cannot do it. There are no noble and high principles that can stand up to reality. It sucks, but that's the way it is. Get over it.

    Fuck off idiot AC. If you read your constitution you'll find most western constitutions are founded on the basis of freedom of the individual. If you haven't got the brains and balls to stand-up for your own rights then stop suggesting people shouldn't stand up for theirs as it puts you somewhere between a traitor and a coward, oh wait...

    As for why anyone with the freedom to watch such a thing would want to put themselves through it, I can't say, but you have the freedom to be sickened if you want to. Personally, no thanks. Everytime the police say something like this the tewworwist win a little more, because the police are too stupid to see that saying that is exactly what the terrorists want. More so when sheeple, like you, beleive it.

    People, if you want to stand up to terrorism then stand up for your rights, vigorously. Extremist islamism hate the very idea that we can take a picture of mohammed and wipes our steaming fresh feaces off our sweaty ass cracks with the image. They video these executions and use our freedoms to manipulate our moronic politicians, police and kilitary into wiping *their* ass with *our* freedom and moron cowards like you just wave them on because you lack the imagination or intelligence to do anything else.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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