The world’s biggest technology companies joined with the European Union to censor the Internet, announcing this week an online “Code of Conduct” that will be used to remove and prosecute “illegal” speech, while promoting government propaganda. Everything from the Christian Bible and the Islamic Koran to criticism of Islam or concerns about uncontrolled immigration could fall under the vague new censorship rules. Alongside the censorship and propaganda, the EU touted “a robust system of enforcement” to effectively apply “criminal sanctions against the individual perpetrators” of illegal speech. Critics, though, are speaking out, warning of the Orwellian implications of having an unelected and unaccountable super-state attempting to overturn centuries of protections for civil liberties that are at the core of Western civilization.
Despite being based in the United States, where the inalienable, God-given right to free speech is protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, all of the big American Internet giants will be participating in the newly announced war against free speech online. Among the participating firms are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (owned by Google), Microsoft, and more. “The IT Companies support the European Commission and EU Member States in the effort to respond to the challenge of ensuring that online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally,” said a statement by the unelected EU Commission, which acts as a legislative and executive branch but is not accountable to citizens or nation states. It promised vigorous censorship, criminal penalties, and lots of government propaganda.
online hate speech to spread virally,” said a statement by the unelected EU Commission, which acts as a legislative and executive branch but is not accountable to citizens or nation states. It promised vigorous censorship, criminal penalties, and lots of government propaganda.
Of course, the EU Big Brother and its Big Business crony partners claim the censorship will only apply to what European governments deem “illegal hate speech,” a concept introduced to the world by the mass-murdering regime ruling the old Soviet Union in its fanatical efforts to silence dissent against communism. But today, the prohibitions are even broader. More than a few EU governments have already shown conclusively that they consider, among other speech, biblical texts, speeches by giants of Western history, and more to be “illegal hate speech.” In the United Kingdom, for example, a politician was arrested for quoting former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s views on Islam. In Germany, critics of Islamic immigration recently had their apartments raided by police for expressing their views on social media. In multiple European countries, Christian pastors have literally been thrown in jail and even convicted of “hate speech” for arguing that homosexuality is a sin. And it’s getting more and more extreme.
In 2003 in Sweden, after the speech code was expanded to criminalize the traditional view of homosexuality, the “Chancellor of Justice” even investigated the Bible. The conclusion of the “investigation” of God’s Word was posted online. It has since been removed from the government’s website — though after this writer first wrote about it. But the official comments did not completely disappear down the “memory hole.” The book The Madhouse by Swedish author Daniel Hammarberg, which first brought the scandal to light outside of Sweden, contains the original text of the chancellor’s ruling.
The “justice” official barely bothered to beat around the bush. “Does the Bible contain agitation against homosexuals? There exist statements in the Bible whose content in themselves are such that the statements, were they to be viewed in isolation, could be considered to include agitation against homosexuals [criminalized hate speech],” the bureaucrat claimed, citing a range of passages from the old and new testaments expressing God’s view of homosexual acts. “It could be considered agitation against homosexuals if the statements were raised today and expressly cited in a derogatory manner against a homosexual lifestyle.” And it has been.
The Bible, in other words, could be considered hate speech under Swedish speech regulations. However, the bureaucrat was kind enough to say that, if God’s Word were to be changed or rewritten, it could be made compliant with Sweden’s perpetually expanding list of criminal speech — if it were done correctly. The wrong changes might justify banning the Bible. “I would like to point out that certain changes in the texts could lead to another position,” the Swedish chancellor of justice noted in the ruling on the Bible, adding that the office was limiting its probe to current official translations of the Bible into Swedish.