Peter Myers: What protection for freedom to investigate?
Which genocides & holocausts is it criminal to scrutinise, and which not?
Do courts decide History?
This law seems targeted at 'Holocaust Sceptics'; yet those who deny or
minimise the death toll of Lenin & Trotsky are, it seems, unaffected.

Europeans Outlaw Net Hate Speech

By Julia Scheeres,1367,56294,00.html

02:00 AM Nov. 09, 2002 PT

The Council of Europe has adopted a measure that would criminalize
Internet hate speech, including hyperlinks to pages that contain
offensive content.

The provision, which was passed by the council's decision-making body
(the Committee of Ministers), updates the European Convention on
Cybercrime. ===

{2-line URL follows: copy & paste to browser, then delete character
between the 2 lines. Alternatively, access it via the URL above}


Committee of Ministers session - Strasbourg, 6 - 7 November 2002

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The Council of Europe fights against racism and xenophobia on the

Strasbourg, 07.11.2002 - The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers
today adopted the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime.
The Protocol requires States to criminalise the dissemination of racist
and xenophobic material through computer systems, as well as racist and
xenophobic-motivated threat and insult including the denial, gross
minimisation, approval or justification of genocide or crimes against
humanity, particularly those that occurred during the period 1940-45. It
also defines the notion of this category of material and establishes the
extent to which its dissemination violates the rights of others and
criminalises certain conduct accordingly.

The scope of this Protocol is twofold :  - to harmonise substantive
criminal law in the fight against racism and xenophobia on the Internet,
- to improve international co-operation in this area, while respecting
the right to freedom of expression enshrined, more than 50 years ago, in
the European Convention on Human Rights.

All the offences recognised by the Protocol must be committed
"intentionally" for criminal liability to apply. For example, under this
provision a service-provider will not be held criminally liable for
having served as a conduit for, or having hosted, a website or newsroom
containing such material, unless the intentional nature of the
dissemination of racist and xenophobic material can be established under
domestic law in each given case.

Global threats and challenges needing global responses, the negotiation
process of this Protocol, as for the Convention on Cybercime, also
involved Council of Europe non-member States: the USA, Canada, Japan,
Mexico and South Africa - the Protocol is also open to signature by

The Committee of Ministers decided to open the Additional Protocol for
signature on the occasion of the next Parliamentary Assembly session
(27-31 January 2003).

Further information on the Council of Europe's fight against cybercrime
can be found in our special file.

Press Contact Council of Europe Spokesperson and Press Division Tel. +33
3 88 41 25 60  - Fax. +33 3 88 41 39 11 E-mail:

Peter Myers
21 Blair St
Watson ACT 2602
ph +61 2 6247 5187

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