Monday, February 06, 2006

Judges, not coppers, get power to censor websites

The Lords have added sanity to government legislation yet again, this time restricting the powers of the most junior police officers to shut down websites they consider "capable of being understood to promote terrorism":

Lords voted 148 to 147 in favour of attaching an amendment to the controversial Terrorism Bill insisting that a police officer obtains judicial approval before serving notice on the offending internet service provider.

The government reacted with horror: "The amendment would require a constable to second guess whether the court will take the view that an audience is likely to understand the statement as an encouragement." Amazing thing, judicial oversight. (Via SpyBlog)

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