What the Police appear to be saying is that you can be given the all-clear as a bona fide researcher of terror material in the morning – then re-arrested the same evening for the same offence. Surely not, one might think, but that possibility is within the bounds of the Law.
It doesn’t help that the list of materials that could assist a terrorist is very wide. It would certainly encompass broad swathes of chemistry, physics and biology – as well as current military training. This has therefore provoked the accusation, in some quarters, that the Act is likely to be applied in a selective and racist fashion – with individuals whose skin is not quite white being far more likely to be asked to justify what is on their bookshelves or hard drive.
What of the University Authorities? One reason this case continues to sputter along is the Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham University, Sir Colin Campbell, who also refuses to lie down.
In July, he stated: “There is no 'right' to access and research terrorist materials. Those who do so run the risk of being investigated and prosecuted on terrorism charges. Equally, there is no 'prohibition' on accessing terrorist materials for the purpose of research. Those who do so are likely to be able to offer a defence to charges (although they may be held in custody for some time while the matter is investigated). This is the law and applies to all universities."
Sir Colin is very keen to claim that the case did not touch upon issues of "academic freedom". In a letter to the Times, he claims that “the University of Nottingham has always fully embraced this principle and continues to do so. Claims to the contrary … are careless, entirely false and bear little relation to the facts.”
Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? But perhaps, by opting for what might be considered the “Nuremberg Defence”, he is missing the point. Yes, this is the law, but one might have hoped for greater insight into the question of whether it should be so from a senior member of a university. Sir Colin is buying into the notion that there are “dangerous books” out there – and the only way to avoid danger is to check with authority first. But once the authorities start to dictate what books or documents we may possess, we are on a slippery slope. ®
Face it, folks...
We're living in the new, improved version of the late 5th century CE, when what was left of a once-great civilization was put out of its misery. We can quibble over whether Brown or Bush is actually the one filling in for Romulus Augustus.
The difference is, Middle Ages tech didn't reliably give the overlords total control, 24/7/365 like the well-heeled autocrat of today. No, back then, they had to appropriate and subvert a previously pacifist religion and use it to drive the fear of the Other into the minds of millions for a millennium. While that approach has been proven effective in modern times (e.g., what once was a constitutional republic known as the "United States of America"), combining it with the electronic and media technology available today gives even the most insecure dictator thoroughly reassuring levels of Total Control over His supine populace. Thus, the backward age that lasted a mere thousand years the last time 'round looks quite likely to go considerably longer under the New World Order. The optimist in me hopes it's 'only' ten times as long; in any event, I'm sure my (natural or other) death will long precede even the end of the beginning.
The first performance as tragedy, the second as farce - though no less tragic or harmful.
> you don't like the list of books/documents or feel that some other freedom is being trampled on, please feel free to vote at the next election for a member you feel will represent your views.
What a marvellous idea. Unfortunately the rest of the sheeple (and those "authoritards", like you, who blindly think that simply owning/ reading something means you're going to do something bad) are quite happy in their blissful ignorance, to vote for someone who says they're going to make us all safer without the slightest clue of how this will actually be achieved or how they will lose basic rights and liberties that their forefathers fought wars to protect.
> And did any of you libtards stop to think for a second the Yanks have the AQ manual up as a honey-pot for the very stupid AQ sympathisers?
Ah, of course! It was all a cunning ploy all along! It was, indeed, so cunning, that you didn't event think to *MENTION* this in your previous "authoritard" rants about how someone didn't have a "good reason" to download "dangerous books" etc etc...
*breaths deap and used his mental fire extinguisher*
how wrong can you be let me count the ways
""How about someone having copies of launch codes for Britain's nuclear weapons "for research"?""
codes and passwords are not books codes , paswords , PINs etcare allways imune for free speech arguments
"Or how about a manual describing how to make and use date rape drugs effectively? Someone involved in pharmacology might have a legitimate use for such information but it would probably depened on the context of their research."
having the knowlage on how to make it and uning it are 2 diffrent things I know how to make gunpowder should I be arested?
"I don't see why books should have some kind of immunity. If someone has a slide-hammer and a screwdriver whilst working in their garage, that's perfectly reasonable. On the other hand, if someone is found to be carrying the same tools in a car park at 2am, they will probably be arrested for "going equipped to steal"."
again tools and knolage are not the same things and you would have to be doing soming suspisions.
"If someone has a book providing instructions on how to make bombs from household materials, it doesnt seem unreasonable for them to explain the context." yes but the burdon of proof should be "prove I am going to blow somthing up" rather than "prove you are not going to blow somthing up"
"Given that Al Qaeda has used British citizens with origins in various Islamic countries to commit acts of terrorism in the UK and abroad, it would seem particularly stupid for someone of that demographic to be in possession of such material." I call racisum on that!! seriousley it is that sort of profiling that causes a lot of hatrated in the first place