Collaboration

Internet censorship becomes an explosive topic


Internet censorship. I've addressed this topic before, but recent news stirs the controversial pot once again. See the story by Ars Technica: "EU considers ban on using Internet to distribute bomb-making instructions."

Here's the lowdown:

EU security commissioner Franco Frattini outlined a new set of anti-terror proposals, including plans for a Europol explosives database, airplane passenger list databases, and legislation that would criminalize publication of bomb-making instructions on the Internet.

Few details are available to provide insight into the specifics of the proposed program, but it will clearly involve criminalizing dissemination of some information that could potentially be used for terrorist activity.

My initial reaction was that this plan wasn't bad at all. I mean, who wants to read another news headline about teenagers who blew apart their teachers and classmates because they were disturbed and had easy access to destructive information on the Internet? Not me.

However, the news article points out that innocent sites could be jeapardized:

If legislation banning publication of bomb-making instructions is too broad and doesn't include appropriate exceptions, it could theoretically put chemistry sites at risk. We have seen in the past that Internet censorship laws — even ones that stem from good intentions — often have unanticipated negative consequences.

For more information, check out this article by Reuters: "Experts doubt plan to block bomb recipes on Web."

What are your thoughts? Let's hear your best argument for and/or against the removal of bomb-making instructions from the Net.

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About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

117 comments
asoke40
asoke40

My VPN account prevent their blocks. Government control is sometimes understandable response, but I'm not sure if it's practical. There are more sites popping up all the time that offer them, here are a couple: http://www.strongvpn.com - unlimited transfer $15 a month http://www.sh3lls.net - unlimited transfer $28.99 $15 a month is a bummer, but there are other benefits to having a VPN

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I know a fellow who works as a bomb disposal expert, and he says we should just leave the instructions up there, as they'll cleanse the gene pool. He admits he hasn't yet read every set that's up there, but those he has read have serious faults in them. Most assume an existing level of knowledge that's usually not evident with amateur bomb makers, and exact following of the instructions as given, are more likely to end up with a dead bomb maker, than a usable bomb. Mind you, the only ones I've seen him looking at, have all been designs for fairly complex bombs - so I don't know how accurate his claims are in relation to simple bombs. Personally, I doubt there's much point in this one way or another. I never went out of my way to learn anything abut explosives (beyond the need to be well away from them), yet by the mid 1970s, I knew five ways to make home made bombs, including fertiliser bombs. And the closest I've come to blowing something up, as with shop bought fireworks.

lisa.moore
lisa.moore

We didn't build bombs and kill each other before the Internet? *LUCKY*

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

You DON'T combine equal parts of unleaded gas and bleach because it could be highly explosive! Should that be censored?

Absolutely
Absolutely

If they collaborate with IT pros they'll learn that the right way to find bombmakers is to encourage public posting of bomb recipes and follow leads to visitors of those sites. Censorship won't reduce explosions in the long term, but it might help somebody get votes in the upcoming months.

Jaqui
Jaqui

Censorship of something like the internet is almost impossible. They have banned child porn from the internet, yet it's still out there. The banned content just gets moved around, so censoring it doesn't work, without complete control over what is being displayed by the government. [ China vis a vis google earlier this year is an example ]

jdclyde
jdclyde

There is not a valid reason to have instructions on how to make a bomb, as in most CIVILIZED nations it is illegal to assemble an explosive device. While there are mirror sites, even making it not as freely available is a good thing. How many kids have lost a hand because it would be cool to make a bomb? I know as a kid I sure would have tried it. Make things go boom.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

The EU wants to ban bomb-making instructions from the Internet. Of course, Internet censorship is a pretty sticky topic. Let's hear your best argument for and/or against the removal of bomb-making instructions from the Net.

JCitizen
JCitizen

But most of them are bogus and just result in compounds that make good fertilizer and that is about it. I know because long before the internet I used to run across the same papers as a young man and couldn't resist a test of such tomfoolery; just to find out they didn't work. I notice most of the crap out on the web is a carbon copy of the same data. I had better luck making things work from pure imagination and NO instructions.

JCitizen
JCitizen

as related to my other posts.

tomhirtler
tomhirtler

But either way, I don?t put much faith in it since their main goal appears to be getting reelected not solving problems.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I also agree with your assessment. It just seems ridiculous for anyone to expect a free country to give up our rights for absolutely no gain in safety. In my mind ANY safety actually. It just isn't worth living a life without freedom to me.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Here is the stupid part about such legislation. It isn't actually illegal to make explosives; it is more illegal to store them premixed or assembled; and to sell them without a license. If you had the ingredients to make a bomb and the plans to make a terrorist type bomb then yes, there would be a case that you might be a terrorist - but if you had the ingredients and the material to pack what amounts to a firecracker albeit a big one and a membership to a pyrotechnical association. Then you might just be a redneck! HA!(my deferences to Jeff Foxworthy) :p Then there is no case in most US States for prosecution. Just ask any pyrotechnician that does just that or a hobby. Most of them have licensed storage containers for class B explosives at least also! All BATF approved! And yes firecrackers do have some highexplosive in their ingredients(although very little) Now if your going to outlaw the plans to make firecrackers but their is no law against actually blowing off a firecracker in a county/state where it is legal, how does it make sense to outlaw legal hobby information? Under the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution this in itself is prohibited to the states. Yes I said hobby; and it has been for many thousands of enthusiasts for hundreds of years. I and our associations will fight this in the courts and legislatures to the bitter end. Phooey on the wimpy Europeans - who said they were really free anyway!

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

many civilized countries still have farms where the farmers need to use explosives to remove large tree stumps, large boulders, and even large rabbit burrows. For many decades, one way of doing this was the old fertilizer bomb with a plug of gelignite and a detonator, made up into one or two pound packs with 60 second fuses - place where required, light, and back off, fast. about 80 seconds later, the stump is out of the ground, the boulder is in sizes you can move, and the rabbits have to dig their way out before they die - few make it. Much of the information on how to make simple bombs is already in the history books and science books, has been for ages. But if you really want good info on how to make more complex bombs, get hold of a good military manual, the special forces ones are very good for that. re kids with damage from making bombs, kids have been doing that to themselves with fireworks and other gear for centuries. One could ague it helps to cleanse the gene pool, but I won't. the smart kids no NOT to play with things that go bang like that.

dogknees
dogknees

So, we would ban all sites containing information on any chemistry that could create any kind of explosive. This would of course have to include safety measures to be used when handling sodium and it's friends. Any references to the physics of nuclear fission or fusion. This would include all discussion of nuclear reactors in any detail. Any references to combustion processes that might be used to create fuel-air bombs. So no information about the details of internal combustion engines. We would have to ban all scientific papers that refer to these topics. Any engineering technology in these areas. Even high-school level texts often have enough information to enable someone to build explosives. It's not only unworkable, it's ridiculous.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

[i]In the best interests of the general population[/i] Who determines it, and what if "they" determine that banning some other information is "in the best interests of the general population"?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Thought doing that and blowing stuff up was part of growing up. Don't need the damn internet, an encyclopedia will do it.

Digicruiser
Digicruiser

Yes it could work, but I still hazard to guess how many in the whole world have copies of bomb making intructions at home. Banning won't help but Education to not use them is another thing. We just had the Director of Prosecution talking on the radio in South Australia, about shutting down Gun clubs because someone in Adelaide used a gun to bring down someone and the weapon maybe be an illegal / unregistered weapon. Yes shut down the Gun clubs they say but it won't stop the black market supplying weapons - it's the same stupid mentality thinking let's ban everything and hopefully something won't happen again. The bomb or no bomb, the kiddie generation will still remember a thing or two from their chemistry lessons, it is not a far stretch either for them to use such information for evil if they are so inclined, therefore other methods are available - where does it stop???

end-war
end-war

Well, if government bans bomb making instructions from the internet, they will hit the libraries next, and than teachers will be banned from teaching it. What will happen next is we won't have anyone who knows how to make a bomb, and who is going to be able to make the ones we use in wars? Oh, I forgot, the terrorists want Americans vulnerable so that we won't be able to defend ourselves and our friends.

as901
as901

Censorship of bomb making instructions would not work. We would also need to ban chemistry books, ban chemistry classes and remove every chemistry book from our libraries. The only thing censorship really does is weaken the Bill of Rights and make a first step into freedom's oblivion.

ronloida
ronloida

Who would need to know how to cunstruct a bomb if it were not for malicious purposes? I suppose that some would consider this topic as freedom of speach. Such topics should be banned along with all the spammers and sexual orientated sites. Also, how would you enjoy arriving home to discover that your ten-year-old has destroyed part of your home because he/she has read bomb-making instructions on the internet?

mac
mac

Give me a break. Banning bomb making instructions on the Internet will not make any difference. If someone wants to make a bomb, then they will find a way. This idea is just another lame attempt by government to "band aide" problems rather than seeking solutions to core social problems. Government however, is intellectually incapable of overcoming their own shortcomings, less solving complex social and economic issues. Therefore, we will continue to have bomb makers, terrorist, etc. and whether instructions are posted on the Internet is irrelevant. What is relevant is that government should support freedom and not limit it.

aidplus
aidplus

As a kid I had the freedom to build fireworks using saltpetre, flowers of sulphur and charcoal. Ooops the makings of gunpowder. The problem is the chemicals to make these things are readily available, and if the inforamtion is hidden how are you going to trace back some one who is determined to kill others. its much the same as knives. You cant stop idealistic fruitcakes, who come from all corners of society, even chemists and politicians.

Displaced IT Tech
Displaced IT Tech

First of all, let's remember that censorship is essentially a restriction of freedoms. One definition lists it as "Censorship is defined as the removal and/or withholding of information from the public by a controlling group or body." "Censorship is closely related to the concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. When overused, it is often associated with human rights abuse, dictatorship, and repression." Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Freedoms don't die with a bang. They die with a whisper, over a long period of time so slowly that you don't realize that you are losing them. For these reasons alone, I would say no. Does that mean that I want people to sit in their living rooms and learn how to blow innocent people up? No. The next idea that I would like to pose is who would censor this? The Internet is a global entity that overlays every border on the planet. I don't know of anyone who has the authority or the ability to do that. I think it would be far better to track the people who visit this Websites and use that information to hunt and prosecute the abusers, not those who use this tool as it is intended for beneficial purposes.

donaldcoe
donaldcoe

I really see that I am old school baby boomer generation, when we as a people had all our innocence. When the best protection scenario for an A bomb attack was to hide under the desk with your butt as high in the air as possible. It was a dumb idea then and it is a bigger dumb idea NOW. I address my comments to all whom seem to lack the God?s given legacy to GOOD Commonsense, to say nothing. In today?s world we the people of the world are all somebody?s target in one way or the other. So I taken immediate offense when I see Chemistry 101, Neon Samurai, NI3 articles by a bunch of brain dead in life transients for submitting this garbage. I say let someone build one and put it under or on someone you care about and you will feel as I do. Just for speaking these words starting with ?B? or using the phrase of this chemical is a favorite too? I would lock your sorry As? up and melt the keys. TechRepublic you outta be ashamed to host a forum that brings the roaches out of their hiding places. I am an IT professional but see NO logic in this forum that pertains to Internet Censorship. Today you can find everything on the internet from very good and very bad, having fought for civil liberties all my life on foreign and domestic shores there is a difference of what is news worthy and what is not.

Digicruiser
Digicruiser

Anyway, let's just say the NET is censored right now. Let them tell me how they are going to stop ENCRYPTED (not obviously titled) files from being downloaded from a source. One message on a forum to spread the word in a non-direct worded way, and thousands will download the document - by the time the censors got hold of it, a few radical groups have it already printed or sent via telecommunications (encrypted too if ya want) elsewhere in the world. Maybe it's blowfish encrypted, maybe the document is embedded in a picture - sure they sometimes do monitor these things, but is the US etc good enough to monitor all of the 6 billion people on this planet? Get real guys - They can do away with obvious sources but how many kids out there have a few copies of how to make fireworks / field bombs and so on already on their hard-drives and distribute via USB keys and Pocket PCs etc? Oh BTW - hello Echelon!!!! I just wanna say: bomb bomb destruct bomb bomb bomb... Bye now

foringmar
foringmar

"Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

eddietib
eddietib

Nice idea but it did not work. Nor will this...there were bombs before the internet...to implement such a ban would require "censorship" in some form or other, which would open the door to interference from just about every "establishment" in existence.

Jim_MacLachlan
Jim_MacLachlan

Comparisons to child porn & gambling are probably good ones. Does the entire world agree with each other on what defines either one? Is 18 the legal definition of an adult around the world? Why is a state lottery any different than a game of Black Jack? What's wrong with me gambling through a server in Liberia? What exactly is a 'Bomb-making instruction'? Somehow I doubt that is as easy of a definition as most assume. How are they going to do the blocking? Web site blocking software is imperfect at best. For every rule I make, I find I have to write exceptions in. Or will they use people to back check? A whole new boatload of bureaucrats & red tape to plow through if your business website gets on the hit list. As for comparing it to gun control, that's scary. Control of guns in the US is so poorly done that the more laws, the more illegal guns & associated violence. So in trying to cut down on bomb making sites, they might just weed out the crappy ones, leaving the very best - or worst. I'm sure they'll find they need to look through my email, just in case I send bomb making instructions to my mother. That would make sense. All in the name of keeping me safer, of course. No thanks. I'd prefer to leave the Internet the anarchist mess that it is & be responsible for my own & family's safety. I have kids who grew up with Internet access. It's caused problems & they did look up how to build bombs, porn & a whole slew of things I'd rather they stayed away from. Being a parent means dealing with it. Somehow they managed to reach adulthood, marry & move out without becoming too scarred.

erikj
erikj

I think censoship is the goverments main tool to control the people. I think its good in some ways and bad in other ways but either way it takes away the freedom of speech/ expression from the people. It's not about bomb making, for if this was the case we should see a whole lot people making and using they everywhere. But what we seen and heard from the media are bombs that are used were known how to make before the internet's time. So I see that since the internet is becoming even more populated with people that they are missing out of a away to control the people. So they come up with this ridculose idea that trerorist/ bomb makers are getting their information on how to make a bomb online. I would hope that we the people wake up and pay attention to how our governments want to control us. May freedom ring to everybody for the internet is possisibly our last place for freedom of spech.

weck
weck

Create a blacklist/censorship list and let it up to institutions or individuals to impliment it. When do we start burning books?

mbrello
mbrello

I certainly can understand the reasoning behind the concept. However, where does it stop; where does the line get drawn? We are becoming prisoner to our fears of the "what if..." factor. When has a person's rights become violated? Innocent until proven guilty is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Any of the terrorist cells are going to have someone within their "organiation" (for lack of better term - I still haven't had my coffee) who is going to know how to make bombs ... does Chemical Ali come to mind? Do you stop teaching chemistry in high school and college because kids might grow up to be terrorists? Do you remove information on pharmaceuticals from the Web which warn against taking more than prescribed amounts of a prescribed drug due to listed side effects because someone might access and use that information to poison someone or to prepare a suicide cocktail for theirself? Finally, as others have noted in previous posts, attempts at censoring other content on the Internet (e.g., Child Porn) have failed because the perpetrators find ways around it. I think that would prove to be so here as well. While the intent of the ban proposal is good, I believe the shockwave effect it could have on other issues is too negative to risk. Again, where does the line get drawn?

zoso967
zoso967

Censorship is NEVER the answer. The internet is not the only place bomb making instructions can be found. Besides, the cat's already out of the bag. By the censoring logic, you'd have to censor books, magazines, encyclopedia's etc as well AND assasinate everyone who currently knows how to make a bomb to prevent word of mouth bomb making knowledge.

T-Cally
T-Cally

Why should you sensor my driving, is your argument public safety? UNFORTUNATELY I'm willing to take my chances with an unsafe driver over a unsafe bomb maker.

frank
frank

Coming 'of age' in late 50s, I and my fellow 'science geeks' built and launched rockets using a variety of home-brewed explosives. All we had for info was the library, magazines, science text books, word-of-mouth, and our own inventiveness. All that will still be around...

Odipides
Odipides

At a second hand bookshop the other day I noticed three books which were jam packed full of bomb making techniques etc; I'll omit the titles in case I get Guatanamoed. So, in the spirit of 'world peace' I assume the EU intends to ban second hand bookshops too. (and chemistry degrees too presumably)

bikingbill
bikingbill

A student was convicted in Scotland earlier this month for 'terrorist' activities. Part of the evidence against him was the presence on his computer of "bomb-making manuals" downloaded from the internet. So there is little point in the EU legislating on this issue as the Courts have already decided that accessing such information is indicative of guilt in a criminal trial.

dm
dm

As always logic does not prevail. If we censor child porn or bomb making what's next? They'll take all our rights away !!!!! Well both of those are bad and they should be banned. Anyone who disagrees should have their child kidnapped into a porn ring and the rest of their family blown up on a bus. Although they'll be unhappy they'll be politcally correct.

ChrisEvans
ChrisEvans

I am so sick and tired of all the pc claptrap that goes around what you can say, what you can do and more often what you cant. Someone needs to exercise some common sense here. If someone has a legitimate reason for making bombs (and these are few and far between) they will already know how and wont be so unprofessional as to need to look it up on the net. Everyone else is doing something which is probably illegal and definitely lethal and it should be stopped! Yes there were killings before the internet ..doesnt mean we should assist the death toll to rise now.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Hell, you don't need the internet for bomb making, just take a chemistry course at your local community college. It's not hard to figure out what will make something unstable and blow up. Hell, how many of us made bleach bombs as kids?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

It's all over P2P US Army training manuals, loads of them. Any twit can make a bomb, especially if you are not too bothered about going up with it. You can't put the genie back in the bottle.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

Australia already censors bomb making materials on the internet I hear. I think just nuclear bomb-making info but may be all bombmaking info. probably a good idea. free speech doesn't include telling someone you are going to kill them. and this is somewhat analogous - how to kill them.

Jaqui
Jaqui

I was pointing out that it takes a level of censorship that would cost any democratic government their position. The internet [ global village ] has done wonders to make it so no country's citizens are strangers that can be demonized [ like the terrorists responsible for 9-11 were ] to generate support for a world war. That same global village has effectively killed censorship. when you can get the local news from anywhere in the world from those right there, how can any government censor anything from you? I actually posted a blog entry a while back on the social impact of F.L.O.S.S. [ Free / Libre Open Source Software ] where I point out exactly this. http://jaqui-greenlees.net/blog/2007/05/18/impact-of-open-source-software/

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

their politicians usually cost about 50,000 euros each to buy, and you can buy as many as you want on any issue before them. The USA politicians cost about US$1,000,000 each to buy, at the same quantities too.

jdclyde
jdclyde

it is the smart and creative ones that learn how to make them, while the dumb ones sit around and listen to rap.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

You can still buy a crate of M80s for about five bucks in most states, yes?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

A certified nut case unlawfully obtains military grade weapons and goes crazy shooting people. What is the reaction from the political realm - Ban almost every civilian grade weapon in sight, and make it damn difficult for anyone to own anything bigger or more dangerous than a butter knife (except their two tonne killing machine with a v8 motor), regardless of their actual need to have and use a civilian grade rifle in their livelihood. The next thing they'll wonder about is "Why can't anyone signing up for the military hit the broad side of a football stadium with anything short of a preprogrammed intelligent rocket?"

tomhirtler
tomhirtler

Well after I counted his fingers, toes, etc and made sure everyone was going to live. I'd be pissed off! In other words about the same as if he was doing chemistry unattended or lighting matches with a magnifying glass. Deadly Ernest is correct it's not the information or where you got it that's the problem it's how you use it. So with that in mind I ask how long are we going to put up with unacceptable behavior? I?m hoping that we can all agree that attempting to hurt another person is unacceptable behavior.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

When I was in my 20s I helped make a dozen bombs, all used to remove large stumps and heavy rocks on a farm. I used to know a fellow who was taught how to make some very complex bombs when he was only 14, but then, at the time, he was living in France and it was 1941. he hasn't needed that skill since WW2 - how would they have managed if no one knew how to make bombs then? the problems is not the tool, but the people using it.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I had to reread it once to be sure. So, you'd lock me up for having been a stupid teen-ager once? The post didn't even explain how to build such a novelty. Heck, it was done in a time long before the internet with information as easily obtained before everyone had internet access. I saw a person hit by a car once so now all cars should be banned and anyone that makes mention of the devil's horseless carage shall be locked in jail for all time. Now, I wouldn't try and downplay your personal experiences with excelerants as you hint at some pretty heavy things to whitness. Come on though, you have to rationally see the difference between an explosive meant to harm others and smoke effect novelty item.

Inkling
Inkling

being as close minded as you are. I salute you for your service. I've done my share of service on foreign shores as well. I cannot, however, condone your belief that Neon Samurai's civil rights should stop where you deem appropriate.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

you don't practice what you preach do you? There is no logic to censorship, never has been. It's an emotional reaction not a reasoned one.

JCitizen
JCitizen

because we didn't discuss free speech exactly to your liking? From you post I can't tell if your for civil liberties or Nazi Storm Troopers? So far the only discussion I see here is good clean fun and the topic of the abhorrent idea of internet censorship. And how "non commonsense" such a ridiculous idea would be! I call this using and practicing our rights; which should be a commandment in my book.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I still want everyone to have the same rights I do; because the claim for divine endowment would be hypocritical otherwise. One of my main arguments is why drop one right for so little gain? Even if the US government could outlaw internet information the teeny tiny gain would never out weight the huge loss of principle freedom of speech. My fellow Americans sometimes forget that this is probably the single most important factor in our ability to avoid total disaster like so many totalitarian governments throughout history. Just because our history is short does not mean there are not many historic events that point to that fact.

tomhirtler
tomhirtler

I remember an old Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk made crude gun powder. In Terminator they made a pipe bomb. How many old war movies show someone putting gasoline into a glass bottle and stuffing a gasoline soaked rag into the neck? The genie is out of the bottle and will never be put back. To get a lesson in the realities of banning something from the Internet look into all the problems the US Government is having with its attempts to get rid of Internet gambling. Anyway in a free society information is allowed to flow regardless of "need". As was pointed out the terrorists already have all the information so that just leave my grandma, my pastor, and the little boy down the road. I?m confident that this information is safe with both pastor and granny. I?m equally confident that the kid down the road will figure it out in time. This is just another ?knee jerk? reaction that will not protect anyone, while stealing freedom from everyone. I think Benjamin Franklin had something to say on that topic.

timhundy
timhundy

When you say "Censorship is NEVER the answer" are you suggesting that you are in favour of legalizing the distribution of child porn on the Internet? Also, as far as I'm aware, the EU doesn't plan to assassinate everyone who knows how to make a bomb. That's clearly a ridiculous idea - it might be quite effective but think of the cost of training all those assassins!

JCitizen
JCitizen

With no books,manuals, or knowledgable direction; I and my rowdy grade school associates used to build gasoline rockets and bombs that were of attrocious power; and I'm sure we would have been shipped off to juvenile hall if anyone would have known. Living in the sparse desert was at least advantageous to not hurting anyone(but ourselves). And we never wanted to hurt anyone; lucky we didn't.

the.tumbleweed
the.tumbleweed

Of course 10 years ago I had found recipes on the net for making small bottle rockets. They were small innocuous, and kept my kids hands busy. Thanks to previous efforts to BAN such topics from the net, I can't seem to find anything of the sort, without an involved seach, of which produces bored children before any decent results. It was bottle rockets, folks. C'mom !!!

timhundy
timhundy

I don't think the EU was planning to ban the whole Internet (in the spirit of 'world peace' or otherwise). Banning bomb making instructions from the Internet may not be effective at stopping anyone making a bomb if they really want to, just like banning ownership of guns won't prevent anyone committing murder but suggesting that banning bomb making instructions is equivalent to banning chemistry is on the same lines as saying banning guns would also imply the need to ban cutlery (Hey, kids, knives kill people too)

JCitizen
JCitizen

One of the best ways of trapping these weirdos that like kids has been by using the internet; done on TV every week! Law enforcement and Homeland Security have the best honeypot out there for trapping terrorists and perverts and that is the internet. If they ban it from the net[as if they actually could] how are they going to use their best weapon to catch and convict the perpetrators. Computers and their print outs have sealed the conviction of many a pervert and terrorist; AND provided valuable data to lead authorities to bigger fish. Besides Ted Kazinski didn't need a manual to figure out how to build some of the most dangerous trip devices and bombs ever seen by the FBI; made out of scrap wood, bailing wire, and rubber bands (basic junk). He took the hit or miss approach until he had highly successfull results. All without any knowledge of sophisticated chemical formula. Just smokeless powder and the anger and determination to keep going. He purposely avoided using anything high tech out of his derangement of anything modern. Yet drove the FBI and states authorities crazy for years. Why give up free speech for so little protection? I realize you can't yell FIRE in a crowded theater; but banning survival manuals on how to build fires, isn't going to solve anything.

Inkling
Inkling

that you are too lazy to vote. The thought of someone as plainly stupid as you influencing who runs this country makes me really sad. Deadly Ernest made a valid rebuttal to your babbling. I think he's giving you far too much credit. I don't think that you (a) care what anyone else has to say or (b) have the intelligence to comprehend it. You are welcome to feel idignant at my reply. When you do though, do yourself a favor and re-read what you posted: [i]Anyone who disagrees should have their child kidnapped into a porn ring and the rest of their family blown up on a bus.[/i] Re-read that and have the decency to be ashamed of yourself. It's entirely possible that you aren't an idiot...but you seem to be trying hard to convince us otherwise.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

on what a bomb is, on what a child is, and on what porn is? Do you ban all information on anything explosive - so there goes all the history info on how gunpowder is made. Better come and collect my old text books and encyclopedias while you're at it. Oh, and watch out for the Molatov cocktails, going to ban all petrol and cars while you're at it. that'll stop them. Different countries have different definitions of what a child is, as do different eras. Some people declare 15 years olds as children today, yet it wasn't that long ago that 15 year olds were married with their own kids. Some countries the age of consent is 18, while others have it as 13, which is right. the courts have been fighting over what porn is for centuries. Some people regard basic nudity as pornographic, others say it has to be the sex act. The quickest way to ensure something spreads and grows, is to ban it. Don't like kids making home made bombs, then educate the parents to supervise their internet usage.

fatsavage
fatsavage

Does the punishment you propose really fit the Crime. Was this punishment selected as a moral equivelent to an expression of free speach? Judge not ye be not judged.

Tom_geraghty
Tom_geraghty

and has nothing to to do with what is illegal and what isn't. The crux of the matter is that you cannot ban material from the internet and expect it to disappear. Not only is blanket censorship morally repugnant, but it's generally unworkable.

links
links

I do not disagree that people should not have access to such dangerous knowledge but what I do disagree with you about is that once you allow them to regulate and control and censor stuff, its just a beginning and eventually you'll lose what few rights you have left. How long before they decide games are the root of all evil and ban them as well...No what we need is a method to limit the spread of dangerous data instead of censorship. After all the internet is the only free space left for people to visit and do whatever they want... Can't seem much to be excited about here...Had it been the other wau around I'ld have been surprised and shocked...This however seemd like a routine takeover in the gaming industry. AIT2 tape

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Any idiot with a basic understanding of chemisty can do it.

Odipides
Odipides

Nitrogen Tri-iodide is a favourite too. Very stable while wet, extremely unstable when it dries out. Dead easy to make and makes an excellent fuse. Also very good for smearing (a bit) under chair legs so the chair 'explodes' when someone sits on it (well makes a large and surprising bang anyway)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Hand the pen to your friend, watch them push the button on the back then see the look when smoke comes out the end instead of an inc tip. Ok, I wouldn't advicate anyone trying this these days. There are far too many highschool kids that didn't get lucky playing with such things and the required level of public paranoia these days could make it go very badly otherwise.

ag691234
ag691234

I agree with you. I also would like to add one thing: internet is not a local newspaper. If EU bans europeans from posting something on their sites hosted in Europe, then same posting will be made in other countries. There is already an example: US for all practical reasons bans gambling websites, with the result that clueless legislators would not anticipate, but anyone who understands the internet had anticipated. US residents gamble online, but it is not American companies who profit from them, but overseas operators who run from various locations all over planet EARTH. In short, the issue is not even about free speach (which I am a proponent of), the bigger issue is that it is not practical to ban anything on the Internet. Which brings another point: perhaps this is the case of politicians doing what they do best: wasting everyone's time so they can look good in the eyes of the millions of clueless voters who do not understand the topic before them.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I remember reading in a reputable science magazine just a few years ago about a program the government was experimenting with called "baseball nukes" or something like that. All you needed was heavy water and moldable explosive or explosive that can emulate the "Monroe effect" and a precision machined glass sphere the size of a softball to hold the water. You could do it now with powerfull precision lasers but that is pretty much beyond Joe Shmoe's capability. And it gets prohibitively large then. So much for needing fissile material; it's not on the grocery list. Now the catch was that the explosive had to burn at x miles a second; which does not sound all that impossible to me as many chemical reactions come close to the speed of light. I believe x equals something around 1550 mps, but I can't remember the specifics. It all seemed doable for a chemistry wiz. The goverment claims it shut the program down. Right, uh-huh, can't say I blame them. I don't remember the blast radius of one of these but I think it was at least 800 meters; and of course we are talking near fission here, so that kind of power is not surprising either. Neutron and other radiation was low if I remember correctly.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Look at many of the USA civil rights that are NOT given anything but lip service today, and imagine how the USA founding fathers would react to that. The USA Constitution specifically forbids the state from intervening in church matters or forcing a particular church on the population - the USA founding fathers did that specifically because they remembered the horrors that occurred in the UK and europe because of state aligned churches - the purges of protestants by the catholics and the purges of catholics by the protestants - but they were nearly all God fearing people, and NEVER intended for the state to ever use that part of the constitution to deny the church a place in the community or for it to be used as a way of supporting anti religious agendas. But, hey, they don't let the current crop of politicians from seeing things that way. A lot of personal liberties are encroached by stealth, one little bit at a time, and that's what's happening with a lot of this censorship crap, and similar socialism by stealth power grabs by the politicians in every country.

Jaqui
Jaqui

it's getting the fissionables that is hard. Which is why I'm planning on using fusion warheads ]:) much simpler to get hydrogen }:) the knowledge that nukes are possible and the basic principals behind an explosive reaction are fairly common. the skill to design or build may be less common but there are a lot of people who could build a nuke in their basement if they wanted. heck, in one 7 minute conversation I designed a fusion reactor, including saftey shutdown features. I'm no nuclear physicist either.

JCitizen
JCitizen

You don't even have to go to the bill of rights to see that our government can not issue such a prohibition; it is covered under the commerce clause. Now; of course if some atomic scientist decided to give out highly detailed information about how to shortcut your way to a mini-nuke I would lay bets that the government would ignore the Constitution and take action immediately and let the courts decide where the chips fall later.

Jaqui
Jaqui

As i mentioned in the burma shuts down the internet thread, with only 4 backbones at most service BC, there are only 4 points to cover or cut off to control what gets in. it is technically possible, my comments were on the political part, that would destroy whatever free world government tried it. :)

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

1. The political issue of getting away with it, (which I WON'T touch on) and 2. The technical issue. Technically, it can be done if you wish to expend enough resources in the project. The USSR proved that. Set up enough technical hardware at the border control points. Simply deny any data transfer that isn't readable as it enters the country by cable or satellite. Just a bigger version of a good AV gateway set up. This would be extremely expensive and time consuming, but technically possible.

Jaqui
Jaqui

the US, Canada, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, sweden, Denmark..... it can't happen in, the government doesn't have the absolute authority that the Chinese government has. the "free press" killed that possibility. and when TR is told to not allow members because they are from X country by the US government, what do you think CNet will say to them?

jdclyde
jdclyde

Ask the Chinese that.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Lot cheaper and more effective; never mine NRA membership which counts over 5 million strong. Special Interests? I got your special interest right there; in the individual's rights and freedoms listed in the Constitution. A lot of people probably don't know that the right(actually practically a commandment) to display fireworks is documented before the bill of rights in the first Articles! I'm a strict constructionist and always will be. Why let terrorism ruin our God given rights; isn't that what they are actually trying to do? And - uh; Deadly Earnest - you must be right! They aren't free - expensive more like it! ;)

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

realise the designs are dangerous and take the time to sit down and work out one that'll work and is safe for them. The dumb ones take the internet design and blow themselves up.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

set in WWII. Molotiov was a familiar name from history lessons.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Don't get me going on the soapbox topic of car fatalities; almost as many people die in cars every year as the US lost in Vietnam in 10 years. Yet we let total IDIOTS drive 3000 pound monsters 80mph+, and have road rage and do they get them off the road? NOOOOOooo! They act like the right to drive was in the Constitution and it is only a privelege! But crazy car drivers don't affect those in power; freedom of speech, press, the right to bear arms; THAT puts power in the hands of the people. Power mad politicians are only glad to use the latest fad excuse for relieving us of the "burden" of having these rights. Yeah er right! Power brokers will forever be chipping away at this; but I will never be deterred. As far as unibomber being pre-internet this fact was one of the reasons I appose regulations as they wouldn't have made a difference in his or any terrorist's case. He didn't need and didn't use "plans"; in fact he was against all things modern and technical in nature, of course he was full of it and crazy! Go figure!

JCitizen
JCitizen

for leaving the poor frogs alone. Me being the stupid hyper kid I was, still regret the one time I violated that personal prohibition. And your right, I still can't resist sampling some ladyfingers on 4th of July! It seems the quality goes up each year! One area the Chinese are doing right!

JCitizen
JCitizen

Maybe some forms of class C are illegal in your state but the APA site says display fireworks ARE legal in your state; you just have to comply with the law. It is not that a thing is illegal, it is that proceedure has to be met to be legal. I'd bet if a person from Michigan went down to the local State Police office; was over the age of 18 had a good record; and applied for the permit; you would probably get it. Operator regs are even less restrictive in Michigan so that is another angle to look into. Any state that has display permits like this always have a vibrant wholesale network to acquire legal class B fireworks; and that always includes louden boomer shplagen! (fake german for firecrackers - big firecrackers) I encourage you to practice your rights; the more that happens, the easier it gets with the authorities; especially if good PR practices are held to account. Join your local APA chapter if you or anyone you know is interested. http://www.americanpyro.com/State%20Laws%20(main)/PDFStates/michigan.pdf If authorities don't comply in your local county check the next one over; it inevitably leads to permission. I have gained permission in locales that otherwise have a total ban class C fireworks! The APA can help you with the PR issues such as insurance, ect.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

it was about the Spanish Civil War. I also saw the same in some old WW2 news film footage. It's also in a number of films made between 1920 and 2000. I proved it worked by playing with some fuel from the old lawn mower, poured it out of the can into a bottle. But I took the precaution of sitting it in a depression in the garden, with a hose nearby and a loooong cloth wick.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

www.molotovcocktail.au ? No. Basic electronics and basic chemistry with a little bit of mechanical engineering... Every piece of it available in the public domain, for someone with a positive IQ and the desire to blow sh*t up. Those with a negative IQ and desire are dealt with by evolution.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

thousands get killed each year by ACCIDENT - now if you were feeling really suicidal, imagine what you could do INTENTIONALLY. Anyway, the unibomber was before the internet.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

put aside a few cases of bottled beer - drink during the invasion, keep empties, and refill with petrol from your stored petrol cans, rip old shirt into strips, soak in petrol, stick in bottle, light with match, and toss. You're now a member of the Molatov cocktail community, offer drinks to all the invaders you can find.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Ah, my young and stupid days. I never harmed a frog but there where quite a few families of Apples morning the loss of a loved fruit.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Well, any places I know of in Canada anyhow. You can get fireworks at select times of year if your over the age limit but "firecrackers" are out.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

The ones available at retail used to be slightly louder than a damp squib. There are lot of very powerful ones mainly ffrom the far east easily available though. I know loads of ways to make a bomb, and I did have a wee dabble making holes in waste land when I was a kid. Course if you invade us next, I might have to brush up my techniques. :D

jdclyde
jdclyde

They don't let us have ANY of the cool toys... :(

JCitizen
JCitizen

I have never been in a class B wholesale/retail warehouse that does not sell the equivalent of the M80. Most sell stuff better than the M80! They are usually referred to as salutes; but I have seen a lot of 1x1/2" firecrackers that will give an M80 a run for your money. And they come in packs just like they did 40 years ago that look just like regular firecracker packs (brand names too). The only difference is they are so big there is only one row and the fuses are loops instead of single strings(so they can be fuse trained). And "bottle rockets" with 1" X 5' sticks with motors that are 1x1/4" in diameter and 12" long! This ain't kid stuff - you can't go down to the kid stand to buy the adult stuff! (edited)I've checked the APA site and display fireworks are legal in Michigan but you won't get them down at the class C stand. If you were at a class B wholesaler; they should have pointed you in the right direction to become an operator, and if they only got mortar projectiles I would find another wholesaler.

JCitizen
JCitizen

some of them require a license to display them which is publicly available. So without the license to dislay most retailers won't sell class B fireworks like M-80s unless you have the license to blow them off. Sure you don't see em down at the stands; but that doesn't mean they aren't legally sold to private individuals who are in the know and protective of their rights. Plus it is not illegal to make them in almost any state; good luck shooting them off though(noise and display ordinances), and don't store them without a license. I believe this is still not a requirement in Texas or Wyoming.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Have to take a joy ride down to Ohio or places of the like to get anything. And even then, you can't get a REAL m80 anymore that I have found, even WITH the places that sell firecrackers and mortars A brick of firecrackers runs between 20 and 30 USD I believe.

the.tumbleweed
the.tumbleweed

Most places have made M-80s illegal. good luck finding them readily available, let alone in a crate, or for $5

JCitizen
JCitizen

With the miserable statistics sited in the Vietnam war; its no wonder they went to smart bombs! We are getting too "civilized" to have the skills inherent for marksmanship and woodcraft. When I was in Texas my Japanese and Aussie friends were agape at some of the ordinance we had in our possession; I think they found it incredulous that they were actually legal. I wouldn't have blamed them for going to the authorities. But especially in Texas they would have laughed them out of the police station. None the less; my English friend who decided to move to America recently; hit every target we presented to him - no matter how bad the recoil - and he hadn't fired a shot in his life! Maybe we American's have been watching too much TV and playing computer games. Anyway! It seems more logical to regulate the offenders of society instead of a tool of offense. Look at the insurgents in Iraq - they can do more damage with homemade bombs made of household items that would be impossible to regulate. I'd bet they didn't need any internet "plans" to do their dirty work. An Iranian sponsor more likely.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

The amount of explosive charge in most modern hand grenades will do little more than stun you if set off in an average living room with you in it. However, with that same charge wrapped up in the hand grenade casing, it's likely to kill you and anyone else in the room. the problem isn't the explosives, it's how it's used, and banning all instructions on how to make any explosives won't stop bombs or bomb makers. the people who make the pyrotechnic charges for the big aerial displays are trained, qualified, and experienced experts - and they aren't making charges to damage things, yet (around the world) a few manage to seriously harm themselves each year, when a charge goes off at the wrong time and blows up when they're too close. As someone else said, the problem isn't about censoring information, it's about fixing deep rooted issues in the society that results in people going postal and bomb making.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

raises spectre of child porn. Go to www.fortunesareus.co.uk I forsee a promising career in politics or legislation for you. You can find out how to make a bomb in the fiction section of your community library ffs.

timhundy
timhundy

What I'm suggesting is that the banning of the flick-knives is, in a way, like banning the Internet publishing of bomb making instructions - and banning all dangerous objects is, in a way, like banning Chemistry. With that analogy in mind, the original post was implying that there's no point banning flick-knives unless you ban every dangerous object, because if you want to inflict harm, you can. I was commenting that if that's the best argument Odipides has available for not banning flick-knives, it's a bit weak. Like you say, legislators will invariably get it wrong, but I think the ban on flick knives was a good thing - it was the toughening up that went too far. Hence, the ban on publishing bomb making instructions may be a good thing (I'm not sure) but banning Chemistry is plain daft and should not be used as an argument for not banning bomb making.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Learning basic chemistry will teach you how to make a bomb. I picked it up from a history book, more still from sci-fi...

tomhirtler
tomhirtler

So do baseball bats, automobiles, and if I really wanted to the pencil in my pocket; none of which anyone is suggesting be banned. I see you are in the UK where I understand gun ownership is strictly controlled. Here in the US when someone wants to ban something it?s normally ?for the safety of children? or some other worthy cause. The problem is the ban never has the stated result. It seems that the bad guys don?t care if they break one law or two when they try to kill me. On the other hand the bad guys go looking for easier prey when they are convinced that attacking me is going to cost them more than it?s worth. So I think I?ll just keep my knife in my pocket, the baseball bat in my car and the pencil on my desk until I need them. I leave it up to you to decide if breaking into my home will get you shot!

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

the average legislator has about as much common sense as a dead owl, and they never learn how to write anything in a simple way. here in NSW Aust, we've had laws for decades that made it a crime to wander around with things like a flick knife and similar instruments used by gang members to cut each other up. Our brilliant legislators thought those laws needed toughening up, so they revised them. No one is allowed to carry any cutting instruments, unless they have a licence for it. Now, when a casual chef goes to work, he has to make sure his special weapons licence is valid, or he can't take his own tools of the trade with him. Boy scouts had to give up carrying knives. Ambulance crews and doctors need a special licence to carry scalpels. Handymen can't legally carry a retractable blade tool unless they have a licence for it. Mind you, these tough laws haven't reduced the number of gang related knife attacks - the raw numbers are actually down, but the numbers of attacks with guns is up by a higher figure. And hand guns have been harder to get all along. It's very likely the legislators will write the laws to widely, that anything that even hints at an explosive device will be banned, and that will include chemical text books and web sites, and many other things like history and general science sites. think gunpowder, rocket fuel, molatov cocktails.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

pointed out that we have some major discrepancies going on around the world and you need to define who defines what first. Regarding the moving off into discussions on child porn, I simply pointed out that the definition of what a child is has varied by location and era. Some law makers are calling 13 years olds and 15 year olds children; yet we have lots of old records etc that show people getting married between 13 and 16, and having families of their own. Historically, most societies saw 14 year olds as adults, doing and adult's job and getting an adult's wage. The 17th century military had a position of 'Boy' who served in military units and ran errands, they were 8 to 10 years of age. Which is the correct way to do things, the historic method which said you're an adult when physically matured to breed; or the modern method that says you're not an adult until you've reached your maximum development growth, several years after reaching the point at which you can breed. Some societies accept the older trends and ages as correct, some accept the newer trend as correct. Darned if I know which is. Back during the Vietnam era, we had 18 year olds being called up to serve in the military and kill people, yet they weren't legally old enough to vote or drink alcohol. makes real sense don't it. In the middle east, we have some groups arming ten year olds and sending them out to kill people, and they see no problems with that. Yet let a USA soldier shot a ten year old who's shooting at him, and watch the media abuse him - they'll abuse the soldier defending himself, not the people who gave the kid weapons and sent him out to kill people. And you want to set up one set of laws and moral code and say that's the perfect one - All I say is "Prove it with solid facts and evidence." No one has properly defined the reasons for various laws in this regards, someone chose an age at random and passed a law, then screamed when someone else violated that law. Censorship is all arbitrary judgments on what you can and can't read,or see, and that leads to arbitrary judgments on what you can or can't do. What's the first thing Adolph Hitler did when he gained power - Censorship, and what did Stalin do when he gained power - Censorship. What broke the power of the European monarchies all those years ago - easy transfer of knowledge, allowed people to learn and break the existing censorship systems.

dm
dm

13 years old? Ok, I see that anything goes for you and that we are officially in that era. Anything goes or your ACLU card gets taken away. You're right....everybody should be able to do anything. Laws? what laws? Morals? Whose morals, so here we are: anything goes, or it doesn't make sense. Why can't I have a 13 year old? No line in the sand for anything. Nice.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

as it means all the politicians will immediately be banned, as they have to be the stupidest parents in existence.

corey
corey

Just an FYI: You are taking the quote "Judge not ye be not judged" out of context, like many people. Jesus never said not to judge, only that whatever standard you use to judge something/someone then that same standard you used will be applied to you. For example, if I smoked weed, and I told someone else that they were wrong for smoking weed, that is what he was warning about. Practice what you preach. The quote paraphrased is, "Judge not, lest you be judged by the same measure.".

Tom_geraghty
Tom_geraghty

It really does seem to be the case that every single generation thinks that society has crumbled into practical anarchy during their lifetime. "When i was young..." etc etc. You know, it was only a couple of generations ago that the entire world was at war with each other and millions of people were dying in trenches. I'd say we've evolved a bit since then.

dm
dm

I'm sorry. I grew up in the "leave it to beaver" age. Now every third word on tv is fk or sht. (almost bleeped out) I never never worried about getting shot in college (now my daughter is in college)I watched the towers burn to the grown on 9/11. Are there no boundries? Isn't that anarchy, didn't we evolve at all as a society? It can't be anything goes and yet that what everyone proposes however you want to describe it that's the bottom line. Anything goes.

Absolutely
Absolutely

"How long before they decide games are the root of all evil and ban them as well?" I also hate people who pretend to believe that "[fill in blank with taboo-of-the-day] is the root of all evil". The root of all evil is the [b]choice[/b] to do evil, which means infringing on the rights of other(s). Information is not "good" nor "evil", it is just information, and morally neutral. The use of information, not information itself, is what is good or evil. Censoring bomb-making recipes found on the Internet might be effective, depending on the competence of the parties implementing it. In other words, I have my doubts that they'll do anything but make their own investigations more difficult, but here's hoping for the best.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Sulfur, Sodium, Chlorine, Nitric Acid, These are a few of my favorite things....

JCitizen
JCitizen

those were the days. Stupid? Well yes! What hyperactive kid isn't?

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Stupid and CERTAINLY would get me arrested today, but... back then.... it was a more innocent time.

JCitizen
JCitizen

and built jado jets outta match heads and lighter fluid(worked very well); and one of the biggest craters I left in the ground was out of an unsuccessfull attempt to launch a totally homemade rocket. Was I an idiot; well yes; but damn I had fun!

JCitizen
JCitizen

for sure! Every year we Americans say how important education is and it seems the quality of education just keeps dropping. I don't know how a truely free people can stay that way very long with less and less quality of learning going on like this.