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TOPIC: High Court Victory for Harry Miller and Freedom of Speech

High Court Victory for Harry Miller and Freedom of Speech 14 Feb 2020 22:02 #1

  • Roastie
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Good news for a change.

"The police response to an ex-officer's allegedly transphobic tweets was unlawful, the High Court has ruled.
Harry Miller was visited by Humberside Police at work in January last year after a complaint about his tweets.
He was told he had not committed a crime, but it would be recorded as a non-crime "hate incident".

The court found the force's actions were a "disproportionate interference" with his right to freedom of expression.

Officers visited Mr Miller's workplace and then spoke with him on the phone, and he was left with the impression "that he might be prosecuted if he continued to tweet", according to a judge.

Speaking after the ruling, Mr Miller, from Lincolnshire, said: "This is a watershed moment for liberty - the police were wrong to visit my workplace, wrong to 'check my thinking'."

His solicitor Paul Conrathe added: "It is a strong warning to local police forces not to interfere with people's free speech rights on matters of significant controversy."

Mr Justice Julian Knowles said the effect of police turning up at Mr Miller's place of work "because of his political opinions must not be underestimated". He added: "To do so would be to undervalue a cardinal democratic freedom.

"In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society." End quote

“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie." Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
Last Edit: 14 Feb 2020 22:03 by Roastie.
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User(s) who Liked this post: annabelle, Truthspoon, Lux Interior, The Mule, iamawaveofthesea, Pan

High Court Victory for Harry Miller and Freedom of Speech 14 Feb 2020 22:17 #2

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Here is the background information to this case.


“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie." Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
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High Court Victory for Harry Miller and Freedom of Speech 16 Feb 2020 15:00 #3

  • annabelle
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The disturbing thing is the police have recorded almost 120,000 'non-crime hate incidents' that have been logged into the system and can show up in criminal record checks.

quote:

In figures obtained by the Telegraph, South Wales police were found to have logged the highest number of 'hate incidents' with 13,856 cases since 2014.

The Metropolitan Police logged over 9,000 in the same time period.

A judge today described the police's actions had a 'substantial chilling effect' on Mr Miller's right to free speech.

Announcing the court's decision, Mr Justice Knowles said Mr Miller's tweets were 'lawful' and that the effect of the police turning up at Mr Miller's place of work 'because of his political opinions must not be underestimated'.

He added: 'To do so would be to undervalue a cardinal democratic freedom. In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society.'

He also said: 'The claimant's tweets were lawful and that there was not the slightest risk that he would commit a criminal offence by continuing to tweet.

'I find the combination of the police visiting the claimant's place of work, and their subsequent statements in relation to the possibility of prosecution, were a disproportionate interference with the claimant's right to freedom of expression because of their potential chilling effect.'

Mr Miller was joined at the High Court today by a group of supporters, including members of his organisation Fair Cop.

The organisation formed in May 2019 from concerns about police attempts to criminalise people for opinions that are not against the law.

Other supporters outside court today included Father Ted creator and comedy writer Graham Linehan, who said he has also had the police phoning him because of his opinions on transgender issues.

The College of Policing's guidance defines a hate incident as 'any non-crime incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender'.

In a ruling on Friday, the High Court in London found Humberside Police's actions were a 'disproportionate interference' with Mr Miller's right to freedom of expression.

BUT Mr Justice Julian Knowles rejected a wider challenge to the lawfulness of the College of Police guidance, ruling that it 'serves legitimate purposes and is not disproportionate'.

At a hearing in November, Mr Miller's barrister Ian Wise QC said his client was 'deeply concerned' about proposed reforms to the law on gender recognition and had used Twitter to 'engage in debate about transgender issues'.

Maya Forstater, a 45-year-old tax expert, lost her job at a London think-tank last year after tweeting that transgender women cannot change their biological sex.

Mr Linehan - who said he has 'had police come to my house, phone me up' because of his public opinions on transgender issues - said the ruling was 'just chipping away at the corner of the problems, but is significant'.

Holding a copy of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, he added: 'I'm going to continue tweeting, I'm going to continue campaigning and I'm going to continue standing with women in order to secure their sex-based rights.

'This judgment today has told us that we can do that and, if the police come knocking, say: 'Miller v Humberside Police, b****r off!''

A mother who called a transgender woman a 'pig in a wig' during a twitter row was today given a conditional discharge after a judge convicted her of causing anxiety.

Three police officers arrived at Kate Scottow's home in Pirton, near Hitchin, Herts to arrest her in front of her 10-year-old daughter and 20-month-old son after complaints were received from Stephanie Hayden.

District Judge Margaret Dodd found the 39-year-old guilty of persistently making use of a public communications network to cause annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety to Ms Hayden between September 2018 and May of 2019.

Scottow was convicted of a criminal offence, unlike Mr Miller, who tweets were recorded by police as simply a 'hate incident'.

Scottow was accused of deliberately 'misgendering' Ms Hayden by referring to her as 'he' or 'him' during a period of 'significant online abuse'.

District Judge Margaret Dodd told Scottow that she made deliberate and persistent use of male pronouns, and had caused Ms Hayden 'needless anxiety'.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8006275/Police-record-120-000-cases-non-crime-hate-incidents.html
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High Court Victory for Harry Miller and Freedom of Speech 17 Feb 2020 20:21 #4

annabelle wrote:
The disturbing thing is the police have recorded almost 120,000 'non-crime hate incidents' that have been logged into the system and can show up in criminal record checks.

yes and how will you know if any have been logged against you?

Essentially police are building up negative points against individuals for things that are not criminal acts. This then feeds into the technocratic concept of a social credit score with those who say things that are not 'politically correct' having their social credit score marked down and suddenly finding themselves unable to find work or get loans or be able to volunteer or even travel

400 Million Indian Users to Be De-Anonymized; UK Launches Social Media Monitoring Program With Ofcom
Aaron KeselIndia
February 15, 2020

All over the world governments are now threatening to monitor social media users’ posts online. Now, India is joining the effort with a new law expected to go into effect later this month that threatens Indian users’ privacy.

Social media companies will have to reveal users’ identities if Indian government agencies request their data, according to the country’s controversial new rules for social media companies and messaging apps with 5 million active users, which is expected to be published later this month, Bloomberg reported.

The new rules would signal blanket cooperation with Indian government inquiries, and would not require a warrant or judicial order. Further, if the law goes into effect, social media companies would be required to trace the origins of a post within 72 hours of a request. It isn’t clear if foreign users would be subjected to this treatment or how such actions would be handled in other countries.

Which, if this author is being honest, it may not be as easy as the Indian government thinks it is to trace users, given the existence of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). In fact, we may see the sale of VPNs like Private Internet Access skyrocket in India alone.

Tech companies like Facebook’s WhatsApp have expressed they will not comply with such requests, saying it threatens their users’ privacy and security.

WhatsApp will “not compromise on security because that would make people less safe,” the company said in a statement, adding its global user base had reached over 2 billion. “For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues — without sacrificing privacy.”

Other tech company executives, from Mozilla Corp., GitHub Inc. and Cloudflare Inc. opposed the rules, writing in an open letter to India’s IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that the guidelines could lead to “automated censorship” and increased surveillance. In order to be able to trace the originator of content, platforms would basically be required to surveil their users, undermine encryption, and harm the fundamental right to privacy of Indian users, they said.

India isn’t the only country that is now seeking to surveil their internet users. The UK just this week announced Ofcom, an existing communications watchdog, is its pick for enforcing rules around “harmful speech” on social media platforms. This comes after the UK last year established the world’s first independent regulator to keep social media companies in check.

The agency which will now be headed by Ofcom will be designed to make the Internet a safer place. The new regulation firm was jointly announced by the Home Office and Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The government white paper, titled Online Harms, published in the UK, outlines “plans for a world-leading package of online safety measures.”

“The White Paper proposes establishing in law a new duty of care towards users, which will be overseen by an independent regulator. Companies will be held to account for tackling a comprehensive set of online harms, ranging from illegal activity and content to behaviors which are harmful but not necessarily illegal,” the release reads.

All social media companies, file-hosting sites, online forums, messaging services, and search engines will be required to tackle the following issues:

Incitement of violence and the spread of violent (including terrorist) content
Encouragement of self-harm or suicide
The spread of disinformation and fake news
Cyberbullying
Children’s access to inappropriate material
Child exploitation and abuse content
www.activistpost.com/2020/02/400-million-indian-users-to-be-de-anonymized-uk-launches-social-media-monitoring-program-with-ofcom.html
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High Court Victory for Harry Miller and Freedom of Speech 18 Feb 2020 00:16 #5

  • annabelle
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See how they throw in that.... 'the spread of disinformation and fake news'.... alongside with inciting violence, encouraging suicide and child exploitation/abuse. :yerright:
Last Edit: 18 Feb 2020 00:16 by annabelle.
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High Court Victory for Harry Miller and Freedom of Speech 18 Feb 2020 12:19 #6

annabelle wrote:
See how they throw in that.... 'the spread of disinformation and fake news'.... alongside with inciting violence, encouraging suicide and child exploitation/abuse. :yerright:

yup and who decides what is 'fake news' and 'disinformation'?
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