... I'm going to run the photo of the old Scorpions album Virgin Killer [h/t From the Barrel of a Gun] that got Wikipedia censored by the European Union's Internet Watch Foundation.
Here's JD at Disloyal Opposition:
If you're British and having a bit of trouble accessing Wikipedia today, you can thank the censors for your research roadblocks. The Internet Watch Foundation, a regulatory organization that calls itself "an independent self-regulatory body, funded by the EU and the wider online industry," added a Wikipedia page to its almost universally used (in the UK) "notice and take-down" service, essentially putting the page on the forbidden list for British Internet users. That's all the more reason to get acquainted with technologies specifically designed to defeat censorship.
The forbidden Wikipedia article is devoted to the Virgin Killer album by the German heavy metal band, The Scorpions. The naked prepubescent girl on the cover was controversial in 1976, when the album was originally released, and sufficiently more so now that an image of the cover is enough to get an entire country cut off from access to an encyclopedia article.
According to the IWF:A Wikipedia web page, was reported through the IWF’s online reporting mechanism in December 2008. As with all child sexual abuse reports received by our Hotline analysts, the image was assessed according to the UK Sentencing Guidelines Council (page 109). The content was considered to be a potentially illegal indecent image of a child under the age of 18, but hosted outside the UK. The IWF does not issue takedown notices to ISPs or hosting companies outside the UK, but we did advise one of our partner Hotlines abroad and our law enforcement partner agency of our assessment. The specific URL (individual webpage) was then added to the list provided to ISPs and other companies in the online sector to protect their customers from inadvertent exposure to a potentially illegal indecent image of a child.
Savor that last line. The IWF doesn't even assert that the image in question is in fact illegal, only that it needed to be censored to protect their customers from inadvertent exposure to the potentially illegal indecent image...
Put that together with the story I posted yesterday, where an Australian judge found a man guilty of possession of child pornography because he had Simpsons cartoon images of Bart and Lisa on his home computer, and we've come a major step closer to the full-scale introduction of thought crimes in the industrialized, socialized world.
Here's the problem that only Libertarians seem to see: the only entity in any nation powerful enough to enforce censorhip of images or ideas is the State. The concept of censorship for any reason short of direct danger to a specific individual or legitimate national security concerns (and we need to have a looooong discussion of what qualifies there) is, or should be, always problematic. The default position should always be freedom of information, with the burden of proof (set to a very high standard with due process protections) must be placed on the governmental organization proposing the censorship.
The protection of freedom of expression is one of the strongest limitations that must be placed on the power of the State.
Here's the part that really blows my mind: you've been able to buy that particular Scorpions album in Great Britain since 1976, but now you apparently cannot look at it online.