Patricia De Lille wants censorship of blogs

Patricia De Lille has done what too many politicians do when faced with something a little out of their control, she has called for the government to clamp down. Specifically she has called for censorship of blogs and the Web, generally, because she is concerned about the ability of just about anyone to post potentially defamatory comments on the Web. She has also called for a clampdown on the popular messaging service, Mxit, using the time tested “child porn/stalking formula”. According to IOL De Lille has asked the National Intelligence to track down the identity of a person who made defamatory comments about Simon Grindrod, a fellow Independent Democrats member:

“Another worrying development in cyberspace is the abuse of blogging, which allows anonymous individuals to post defamatory comments about anyone they choose, without the legal consequences they would face in other more reputable print and electronic media,” said De Lille in a statement.

This outburst says a lot about De Lille’s “democratic credentials” and her grasp on this whole blog thing. Sure anyone can create a blog and post comments about anyone but to use that as a reason to censor blogs and what is published on the Web is a bit of a stretch. De Lille is proving to be something of a hypocrite, clinging to her democratic ideals when it suits her and ignoring them when it doesn’t suit her. Here is an interesting quote from the SouthAfrica.info site:

“When my opponents attack me, I don’t go crying in a corner like a little sissy and say, ‘Oh you know they’ve attacked me, I’m a woman.’ I just wait for the next opportunity and return the punch. That’s how I behave in Parliament and obviously, not everybody likes it,” says Patricia de Lille, the firebrand former Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) MP, in a new biography written by journalist Charlene Smith.

De Lille is no sissy, that’s for sure. Two years of death threats for publicly questioning state corruption in the controversial R43-billion arms deal have not stilled her quest for justice, political accountability, and human rights.

It seems her quest for respect for human rights doesn’t apply when she doesn’t like how those rights are expressed. There are those silly and most inconvenient fundamental rights in our Bill of Rights that tend to get in the way of this sort of thing, specifically the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion, belief and opinion. Now these rights are not absolute so they are hardly permission to do and say whatever you want but short of hate speech and similar abuses of these rights, each South African has the right to express his or her opinions and creativity. I haven’t seen the comments about Grindrod, but he certainly seems to attract attention so it isn’t surprising that a blogger would take him on. If the comments were that bad, I see no reason why Grindrod couldn’t lay charges with the South African Police Services and have them ascertain the blogger’s true identity and take action against him/her. Instead, De Lille takes this opportunity to call for a blatant violation of our collective rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Perhaps the party should be called the “Independent Democrats When We Want To Be”.

As for the Mxit complaint, De Lille has complained that children are being stalked and attacked using the popular messaging service and wants the government to clamp down on that too. Rather than looking for creative ways not to stifle innovation, she pushes the child abuse and pornography button in a move that looks a lot like George W Bush’s efforts to keep the American population in line with his “if you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists” line. This is a move intended to stir support for her efforts to not just clamp on the exercise of our constitutional rights but also innovative technologies like Mxit, all most likely due to a poor understanding of the technologies she complains about. Don’t get my wrong, pedophiles do use services like Mxit to bait young children but this is really something that parents need to educate their children about. Just like our parents used to teach us not to accept sweets from strangers or even talk to people we didn’t know, so should parents teach their kids not to give out sensitive information on the Mxit network or on the Web. This is not a reason to shut the services down. Instead, De Lille should be pushing for better education about these risks. As for the very real danger posed by these pedophiles, we have a body to deal with that. We call it the South African Police Service.

Never mind slanderous bloggers and tech savvy pedophiles, Patricia De Lille represents a far greater threat to our democracy and our fundamental rights. If she gets her way here we are heading right back to 1984.

Update: Jonathan, Angus, Rafiq and Dave Duarte have both chimed in already. Cry havoc and let loose the blogs of war?

Update 2: Vincent has just pitched in with his usually detailed and grounded analysis.


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Paul
Enthusiast, marketing strategist, writer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad. Allergic to stupid

  1. …the woman is a total idiot…she makes me ashamed to be a south african in the new south africa…

  2. …the woman is a total idiot…she makes me ashamed to be a south african in the new south africa…

  3. …the woman is a total idiot…she makes me ashamed to be a south african in the new south africa…

  4. …the woman is a total idiot…she makes me ashamed to be a south african in the new south africa…

  5. …the woman is a total idiot…she makes me ashamed to be a south african in the new south africa…

  6. Damnit, when are you people going learn to stop making up bullshit.

    De Lille did not call on the government to censor blogs. She called on the government to regulate blogs, and cited specifically the problem in holding a blog poster accountable for defamation. There is a world of difference, and it does not help when people with loud mouths try to fit what was said to match their purposes.

    Freedom of expression is not absolute. Time and again democratic nations have found in their highest courts that anonymous speech is not protected, and freedom of speech is balanced against limitation of hate speech and defamation.

    To PROTECT freedom of speech you have to ensure that the speakers can be held accountable for what they say. If you fail to do this then the only alternative is to apply censorship to prevent restricted forms of speech.

    So accept that there IS a problem, and the government IS going to do something about it, and no amount of bitching about the status quo is going to stop them.

    Then instead of turning De Lille’s statement into a straw-man and trying to shoot it down, get onto your political representatives and tell them that regulation needs to reduce anonymity so that existing laws can be policed, not impose censorship that will restrict our rights and be impossible to enforce.

    Heck, get onto the ID site and tell that to De Lille. I already have.

  7. Damnit, when are you people going learn to stop making up bullshit.

    De Lille did not call on the government to censor blogs. She called on the government to regulate blogs, and cited specifically the problem in holding a blog poster accountable for defamation. There is a world of difference, and it does not help when people with loud mouths try to fit what was said to match their purposes.

    Freedom of expression is not absolute. Time and again democratic nations have found in their highest courts that anonymous speech is not protected, and freedom of speech is balanced against limitation of hate speech and defamation.

    To PROTECT freedom of speech you have to ensure that the speakers can be held accountable for what they say. If you fail to do this then the only alternative is to apply censorship to prevent restricted forms of speech.

    So accept that there IS a problem, and the government IS going to do something about it, and no amount of bitching about the status quo is going to stop them.

    Then instead of turning De Lille’s statement into a straw-man and trying to shoot it down, get onto your political representatives and tell them that regulation needs to reduce anonymity so that existing laws can be policed, not impose censorship that will restrict our rights and be impossible to enforce.

    Heck, get onto the ID site and tell that to De Lille. I already have.

  8. Damnit, when are you people going learn to stop making up bullshit.

    De Lille did not call on the government to censor blogs. She called on the government to regulate blogs, and cited specifically the problem in holding a blog poster accountable for defamation. There is a world of difference, and it does not help when people with loud mouths try to fit what was said to match their purposes.

    Freedom of expression is not absolute. Time and again democratic nations have found in their highest courts that anonymous speech is not protected, and freedom of speech is balanced against limitation of hate speech and defamation.

    To PROTECT freedom of speech you have to ensure that the speakers can be held accountable for what they say. If you fail to do this then the only alternative is to apply censorship to prevent restricted forms of speech.

    So accept that there IS a problem, and the government IS going to do something about it, and no amount of bitching about the status quo is going to stop them.

    Then instead of turning De Lille’s statement into a straw-man and trying to shoot it down, get onto your political representatives and tell them that regulation needs to reduce anonymity so that existing laws can be policed, not impose censorship that will restrict our rights and be impossible to enforce.

    Heck, get onto the ID site and tell that to De Lille. I already have.

  9. Damnit, when are you people going learn to stop making up bullshit.

    De Lille did not call on the government to censor blogs. She called on the government to regulate blogs, and cited specifically the problem in holding a blog poster accountable for defamation. There is a world of difference, and it does not help when people with loud mouths try to fit what was said to match their purposes.

    Freedom of expression is not absolute. Time and again democratic nations have found in their highest courts that anonymous speech is not protected, and freedom of speech is balanced against limitation of hate speech and defamation.

    To PROTECT freedom of speech you have to ensure that the speakers can be held accountable for what they say. If you fail to do this then the only alternative is to apply censorship to prevent restricted forms of speech.

    So accept that there IS a problem, and the government IS going to do something about it, and no amount of bitching about the status quo is going to stop them.

    Then instead of turning De Lille's statement into a straw-man and trying to shoot it down, get onto your political representatives and tell them that regulation needs to reduce anonymity so that existing laws can be policed, not impose censorship that will restrict our rights and be impossible to enforce.

    Heck, get onto the ID site and tell that to De Lille. I already have.

  10. surely politicians with aspirations for leadership positions have more important things to worry about than anonymous comments from strangers?

  11. surely politicians with aspirations for leadership positions have more important things to worry about than anonymous comments from strangers?

  12. surely politicians with aspirations for leadership positions have more important things to worry about than anonymous comments from strangers?

  13. surely politicians with aspirations for leadership positions have more important things to worry about than anonymous comments from strangers?

  14. I say theres always smoke where theres fire. Patricia de Lille is only reacting to this because it impacts on her blue-eyed boy! He chose to be in the public eye – so he should be able to handle critism.

  15. I say theres always smoke where theres fire. Patricia de Lille is only reacting to this because it impacts on her blue-eyed boy! He chose to be in the public eye – so he should be able to handle critism.

  16. I say theres always smoke where theres fire. Patricia de Lille is only reacting to this because it impacts on her blue-eyed boy! He chose to be in the public eye – so he should be able to handle critism.

  17. I say theres always smoke where theres fire. Patricia de Lille is only reacting to this because it impacts on her blue-eyed boy! He chose to be in the public eye – so he should be able to handle critism.

  18. Twylite: Time and again democratic nations have come down against anonymity in their highest courts? Really? What’s this then?

    “Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Great works of literature have frequently been produced by authors writing under assumed names. Despite readers’ curiosity and the public’s interest in identifying the creator of a work of art, an author generally is free to decide whether or not to disclose her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one’s privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be, at least in the field of literary endeavor, the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author’s decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.

    U.S. Supreme Court, McIntyre v. Ohio (1995).”

    Or this: “In 1960, the court in Talley v. California, (362 U.S. 60) struck down a Los Angeles city ordinance that made it a crime to distribute anonymous pamphlets.” (‘the “identification requirement would tend to restrict freedom to distribute information and thereby freedom of expression.”‘)

  19. Twylite: Time and again democratic nations have come down against anonymity in their highest courts? Really? What’s this then?

    “Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Great works of literature have frequently been produced by authors writing under assumed names. Despite readers’ curiosity and the public’s interest in identifying the creator of a work of art, an author generally is free to decide whether or not to disclose her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one’s privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be, at least in the field of literary endeavor, the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author’s decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.

    U.S. Supreme Court, McIntyre v. Ohio (1995).”

    Or this: “In 1960, the court in Talley v. California, (362 U.S. 60) struck down a Los Angeles city ordinance that made it a crime to distribute anonymous pamphlets.” (‘the “identification requirement would tend to restrict freedom to distribute information and thereby freedom of expression.”‘)

  20. Twylite: Time and again democratic nations have come down against anonymity in their highest courts? Really? What’s this then?

    “Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Great works of literature have frequently been produced by authors writing under assumed names. Despite readers’ curiosity and the public’s interest in identifying the creator of a work of art, an author generally is free to decide whether or not to disclose her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one’s privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be, at least in the field of literary endeavor, the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author’s decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.

    U.S. Supreme Court, McIntyre v. Ohio (1995).”

    Or this: “In 1960, the court in Talley v. California, (362 U.S. 60) struck down a Los Angeles city ordinance that made it a crime to distribute anonymous pamphlets.” (‘the “identification requirement would tend to restrict freedom to distribute information and thereby freedom of expression.”‘)

  21. Twylite: Time and again democratic nations have come down against anonymity in their highest courts? Really? What's this then?

    “Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Great works of literature have frequently been produced by authors writing under assumed names. Despite readers' curiosity and the public's interest in identifying the creator of a work of art, an author generally is free to decide whether or not to disclose her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one's privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be, at least in the field of literary endeavor, the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author's decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.

    U.S. Supreme Court, McIntyre v. Ohio (1995).”

    Or this: “In 1960, the court in Talley v. California, (362 U.S. 60) struck down a Los Angeles city ordinance that made it a crime to distribute anonymous pamphlets.” ('the “identification requirement would tend to restrict freedom to distribute information and thereby freedom of expression.”')

  22. Please follow the link to the hypocrit’s press release

    http://www.id.org.za/newsroom/press-releases/de-lille-2013-2018i-am-a-living-example-of-fighting-for-freedom-of-speech2019/
    It’s unbelievable! The hypocracy of it is just too much… She LOST the case…. and was ordered to pay the costs!!!
    http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=303869&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/

    And for context:
    “SM, who is in her 40s, said she set herself on fire after a friend confronted her about her name and HIV status
    being published in the biography of Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille.”
    “”My life has been totally ruined. It is no longer worth living. I lost my boyfriend,
    I lost my home, I lost my furniture. There is nothing more to live for.”
    http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1691996,00.html

    So Simon’s feelings are hurt and she ruined someone’s life. Which is worse?

    It’s a serious concern that the first tool in the toolkit which she reaches for is not the current law, but rather new legislation to censor and control..!

    It’s also quite sad that Patricia, the chancellor of the DIT (Durban Institute of Technology), asks in her press release if there isn’t a way for the anonymity could be stripped from the internet. She obviously has no idea of how the internet works and doesn’t. And no one at the institute has bothered to inform her either.

    If you read the ID press release is factually incorrect! Are these not the lies we should be guarding against?

  23. Please follow the link to the hypocrit’s press release

    http://www.id.org.za/newsroom/press-releases/de-lille-2013-2018i-am-a-living-example-of-fighting-for-freedom-of-speech2019/
    It’s unbelievable! The hypocracy of it is just too much… She LOST the case…. and was ordered to pay the costs!!!
    http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=303869&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/

    And for context:
    “SM, who is in her 40s, said she set herself on fire after a friend confronted her about her name and HIV status
    being published in the biography of Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille.”
    “”My life has been totally ruined. It is no longer worth living. I lost my boyfriend,
    I lost my home, I lost my furniture. There is nothing more to live for.”
    http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1691996,00.html

    So Simon’s feelings are hurt and she ruined someone’s life. Which is worse?

    It’s a serious concern that the first tool in the toolkit which she reaches for is not the current law, but rather new legislation to censor and control..!

    It’s also quite sad that Patricia, the chancellor of the DIT (Durban Institute of Technology), asks in her press release if there isn’t a way for the anonymity could be stripped from the internet. She obviously has no idea of how the internet works and doesn’t. And no one at the institute has bothered to inform her either.

    If you read the ID press release is factually incorrect! Are these not the lies we should be guarding against?

  24. Please follow the link to the hypocrit’s press release

    http://www.id.org.za/newsroom/press-releases/de-lille-2013-2018i-am-a-living-example-of-fighting-for-freedom-of-speech2019/
    It’s unbelievable! The hypocracy of it is just too much… She LOST the case…. and was ordered to pay the costs!!!
    http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=303869&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/

    And for context:
    “SM, who is in her 40s, said she set herself on fire after a friend confronted her about her name and HIV status
    being published in the biography of Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille.”
    “”My life has been totally ruined. It is no longer worth living. I lost my boyfriend,
    I lost my home, I lost my furniture. There is nothing more to live for.”
    http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1691996,00.html

    So Simon’s feelings are hurt and she ruined someone’s life. Which is worse?

    It’s a serious concern that the first tool in the toolkit which she reaches for is not the current law, but rather new legislation to censor and control..!

    It’s also quite sad that Patricia, the chancellor of the DIT (Durban Institute of Technology), asks in her press release if there isn’t a way for the anonymity could be stripped from the internet. She obviously has no idea of how the internet works and doesn’t. And no one at the institute has bothered to inform her either.

    If you read the ID press release is factually incorrect! Are these not the lies we should be guarding against?

  25. Please follow the link to the hypocrit's press release

    http://www.id.org.za/newsroom/press-releases/de
    It's unbelievable! The hypocracy of it is just too much… She LOST the case…. and was ordered to pay the costs!!!
    http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=303869&...

    And for context:
    “SM, who is in her 40s, said she set herself on fire after a friend confronted her about her name and HIV status
    being published in the biography of Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille.”
    “”My life has been totally ruined. It is no longer worth living. I lost my boyfriend,
    I lost my home, I lost my furniture. There is nothing more to live for.”
    http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/

    So Simon's feelings are hurt and she ruined someone's life. Which is worse?

    It's a serious concern that the first tool in the toolkit which she reaches for is not the current law, but rather new legislation to censor and control..!

    It's also quite sad that Patricia, the chancellor of the DIT (Durban Institute of Technology), asks in her press release if there isn't a way for the anonymity could be stripped from the internet. She obviously has no idea of how the internet works and doesn't. And no one at the institute has bothered to inform her either.

    If you read the ID press release is factually incorrect! Are these not the lies we should be guarding against?

  26. The guy behind the SA Male Prostitute blog can be found by googling “Juan Uys”

    He is known for making up lies and have a very troubled past.

    He lives on the publicity and you should decide if you want to keep iving him what he want

  27. The guy behind the SA Male Prostitute blog can be found by googling “Juan Uys”

    He is known for making up lies and have a very troubled past.

    He lives on the publicity and you should decide if you want to keep iving him what he want

  28. The guy behind the SA Male Prostitute blog can be found by googling “Juan Uys”

    He is known for making up lies and have a very troubled past.

    He lives on the publicity and you should decide if you want to keep iving him what he want

  29. The guy behind the SA Male Prostitute blog can be found by googling “Juan Uys”

    He is known for making up lies and have a very troubled past.

    He lives on the publicity and you should decide if you want to keep iving him what he want

What do you think?

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