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Removal of a Blogspot Blog  (View post)

Travis Harris [PersonRank 10]

Monday, October 30, 2006
16 years ago4,339 views

Wow... this site was not ordered to be removed because it was hateful, or because it was selling illegal goods... no... it was ordered to be removed because it speaks out to save a life! Since some medical professionals think that this is not a life worth saving they are going to silence that life's parents from being able to rally support?

Wow.... just wow...

Google, couldn't you have given the blog a little notice, and let them link to their new site? Wasn't there some way you could technically comply and still not crush their efforts?

Kris [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

Looks like Google is linking to the new site...

/pd [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

yes, but google has to comply with the court-order!! They cant contest the order, its the content owner who has too move a motion for denial in the courts.

Again this gets more complicated as the content is created by UK citizens, where the British Courts served Blogger with a court order!!!

So you can see that google has played fair here.. and I dont see any whining by the content creators

Matt Claypotch [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

With the recent Blogger/Blogspot outages, they might as well have left it up- they would have been complying anyway.

(rim shot)

Seriously, though. If this had been a sexual offenders' blog ordered shut down, nobody would care. I don't know about Charlotte's condition, and I sympathize with the cause to give any human the chance to survive, but circumstances aside, a court order is a court order, and Google complied. They're not "doing evil", they're just doing.

Ryan [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

I'm confused, on what legal grounds can they force this blog to be shut down? It doesn't appear to be breaking any laws.

by the way, what laws does a sex offender break by blogging either? Bad example... but you're right, people are quick to take rights away from sex offenders undeservedly

Matt Claypotch [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

The sex offender example was an example. It could be any other legal proceeding. I don't know what grounds the judge is citing for the court order, but the court order exists, and Google has to follow it.

Wow, what a dupe to authority the previous sentence makes me look like. I'm normally all for the 'damn the man' attitude, really, but Google is a very large company, and companies like to keep their butts covered. I guess that's my point.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

===>"on what legal grounds can they force this blog to be shut down? "

Well it appears that the UK courts have granted an a DNR order on this kid..

" The doctors at Portsmouth then decided that she would never recover...[..] The Judge decided in favour of the hospital. "

So why wont the UK courts issue an order to remove content ?? After all the parents by bloggin are showing the world, that the hospital docs and English Judiciary decesions is wrong (?)

I think Google in a way has DONE them a big favour .. byt taking them off blogspot.. in this way, the site now gets a lot of attention all over, e.g this fourm :)-

Not Saussure [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

I think people are misunderstanding what's happening. From UK Press Gazette (there's a lot more if people want to follow the link)

Monday, 30 October 2006

A High Court judge has banned the parents of Charlotte Wyatt, who was at the centre of a right-to-life battle, from talking to the media about their children or each other – but they can discuss their daughter's medical condition.

The move came as lawyers for Portsmouth City Council sought an injunction in the Family Division of the High Court to protect possible foster placements for Charlotte.

Social workers are seeking foster parents to care for severely disabled Charlotte, currently in St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth, after recovering from a life-threatening viral lung infection she caught in February.

Charlotte's parents, Darren, 34, and Debbie Wyatt, 25, from Portsmouth, split up in January.

TW [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

That's a shame, then, Not Saussure, because I thought people in the UK had the same freedoms as people in the US. I'm baffled that freedom of speech is restricted there.

Good for her parents that they are fighting for their daughter. Shame on everyone else for trying to step on their means of expression.

Not Saussure [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

The parents didn't, as far as I can make out from the news reports, contest the application, which will have been brought by the Social Services department. The father, certainly, wants his daughter – for whom he was the carer after the couple split up – to be fostered, since he can't cope.

If you follow the link to UK Press Gazette that I posted, you'll see that the judge specifically said that he's not trying to prevent discussion of Charlotte's medical treatment;

'In effect, the orders ban the couple from discussing each other or their other children with the press and media.

'The judge also issued an injunction restricting future publication of material about Charlotte and other children, but permitting publication of certain information already in the public domain.

'Mr Justice Hedley stressed that it was his intention to allow information about Charlotte's health to be published, but nothing relating to the on-going family proceedings relating to her future care – and warned that he would regard any breach which might affect the ability to find a foster home for her as a grave contempt.'

Note the last bit in particular – anything affecting 'the ability to find a foster home for her,' which is certainly what her father wants.

There's some further material floating round on the internet, which I wasn't looking for but found easily enough while looking for the background to this story; I'm not going to repeat it, because that would be a grave contempt, but I can say it has nothing to do with the child's medical condition and that no British court would allow its publication about any children because of our strict laws about children's confidentiality and right to privacy in social services and child custody matters.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

To contrast this, here's some reports of people complaining that Google removes *too little*:

[Via Cam]

Support Freedom! [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Here's a few lessons.

1. The First Amendment protection in the US for freedom of speech is indeed a rare thing in even other "civilized" and developed countries. It's scary to imagine that it could be illegal anywhere to simply discuss the attempts to keep your own daughter alive when the government has decreed she should die. Ghastly!

2. While Google might be compelled to remove the content, wouldn't it be nice if they had resisted as long as possible and created a public debate, just as they did in the US for handing over search results?

3. This is similar to Google's "deal with the devil" in China. If Google simply remained an American company, located entirely in America, offering their services to the world from America with no overseas locations; nobody could order them to censor this girl's story, or to censor Chinese content. It's when they decided to be trendy and be an "international company" with offices everywhere, that they opened themselves up to CONTROL by other governments.

4. Google's surrender without a fight or even a complaint is a bad precedent, and will only encourage more governments around the world to impose their tyranny or semi-tyranny on internet content providers.

How many other "legal requests" has Google complied with which never made the news?

5. Citizens in no other country have as many freedoms as Americans. We're not perfect and there have been great encroachments, particularly in the name of "security"; but this tragic case demonstrates the fact that freedom is so precious and scarce in this world. Citizens of other countries must demand equal rights in their countries. Try adopting every word of the US Constitution, or at least demand full implementation of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights--most countries have signed it, how about following it! It will ONLY happen if citizens insist.

mc [PersonRank 3]

16 years ago #

Erm, to the 'Support Freedom' poster:

1. The UK does have an equivalent to the 1st amendment, which is Article 9 of the Human Rights Act which is both UK and EU law.

The fact that they are not allowed to talk about certain details is because they are involved in an ongoing court case, and is to prevent an unfair hearing (the right to a fair trial is protected in article 6 of the Human Rights Act) which is necessary in a number of situations. It is also temporary whilst the hearing is ongoing.

2. While you may argue Google has a moral imperitive to fight censorship in policy decisions such as China, I think asking them to fight individual court orders from widely respected legal systems is rather silly

4. This is not tyranny, it is an incredibly well thought out legal system, upon which yours is based.

5. I think you'll find we in the UK have greater freedoms than in America, (hello Patriot Act :), but anyway...

NotSaussure [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

'Support Freedom' You write 'It's scary to imagine that it could be illegal anywhere to simply discuss the attempts to keep your own daughter alive when the government has decreed she should die.'

Well, in that case, stop imagining it, then, and you won't be so scared.

The judge made it very clear in the ruling quoted at the link I provided – – that he's not trying to stop her now-separated parents discussing Charlotte's medical treatment. What he's trying to stop is them (and others) conducting a lurid public argument about each other's suitability to have custody of her. The same rules – there for the protection of all children involved in custody disputes – apply automatically in any such case.

The only reasons the injuction was necessary is that Charlotte's medical problems and the associated legal fights mean that the press is far more interested in this than they are in most custody cases and, ironically, that there's an unusual amount about her medical condition and treatment already in the public domain – and the judge wants to keep it there, because it's a legitimate topic of public interest in a way that lurid speculation about the various family members' present domestic circumstances certainly isn't.

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