I have been giving the subject of freedom of speech some thought today for some strange reason.
In my book, freedom of speech means just that – speech is free, subject to certain conditions. I am free to express my thoughts and opinions provided they are just that and not statements of fact. I can however state facts if they are common knowledge and in the public domain.
I can for example say that I think James Reilly is an absolute cunt and that I wouldn't let my grandkids near him, because that is my opinion. If I said that I had proof and stated categorically that he was a kiddie fiddler, that would be libel so I don't say it. Equally people can [and have done] call me a cunt and I ignore them. If they state as a fact that I'm a kiddie fiddler I will sue them.
This little web site is stuck in a little box of magic tricks somewhere in Dublin, or maybe Carlow [I’m not sure which] but I do know it is somewhere in Ireland. As such it is subject to the laws of Ireland, Europe [*spit*] and International law. It is not subject to the laws of Great Britain or the U. S. of A. My terms of service state just that. I abide by those laws in that I don't load up porn, pirated shit or any of the lovely stuff to be found on the Dark Web. Anything else is fair game.
So I write an opinion piece on Elton John and David Furnish, not commenting on their shenanigans and threesomes but on their attempt to cover up the lurid details to "protect their children". I heard about their latest escapades entirely from the infamous injunction, and found the details on International sites that are outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales. As such, that information is common knowledge and British [excluding Scotland] injunctions don't apply.
But then the Web Sheriff rides into town demanding I cease and desist and not only remove all mention of Elton John and David Furnish, but that I delete all files containing their names, including all cached files both at home and on the server. Who the fuck do they think they are? And how far do their threats extend? Are they going to complain because I have mentioned the [redacted] names yet again? Am I forbidden to ever mention Elton John for the next hundred years? If that applies to every mention of his name then they are in for a bit of overtime, as according to Google, his name appears in 149,000,000 results. It ain't going to play well with his public persona either.
I did a little research on the Web Cowboys, and the best explanation I came across was in Encyclopedia Dramatica. So this self appointed guardian of the Interweb proclaims itself to be the "Internet Protector to the Stars" and is going to police the Interweb and harass anyone they are paid to not like? They must spend their time just Googling the Interwebs just looking for people to harass?
They seem to be quite well known for their blanket bomb approach. They are demanding that Google removes links right around the world, despite the injunction only applying to England and Wales. Solely because of their efforts to hide the story, they are keeping the story running. I have no interest whatsoever in Elton John or David Furnish. As far as I am concerned they are just two people who got up to a bit of naughty, and my attitude is so fucking what! But because of the Web Cowboys the story will roll and roll, and it is all because of those threats.
So the Web Cowboys can fuck off into the sunset. I have no time for threats, intimidation or bullying.
I'm siding with the Indians.