In order to publish an article with information from anonymous informants on the state of knowledge of the British authorities without legal problems, the New York Times blocked access to it for British citizens and delivered a print edition without the article
In an unusual move, the New York Times has closed to British readers an article that appeared on Sunday about the planned terrorist attacks in Great Britain. The article was not in the international print edition of The Times or the International Herald Tribune, which were delivered to the U.K. British Internet users were blocked from accessing the article, Details Emerge in British Terror Case.
In an unusual move, the Times consulted its lawyer before publication, who advised that the article not be made available to British burghers. It contains statements from British whistleblowers in security circles, who wished to remain anonymous, about new evidence in the case. In the U.K., it is illegal to disclose information that could influence a court case before it happens. British Internet readers were informed of the precautionary measure by the New York Times, as the newspaper reported yesterday:
On advice of legal counsel, this article is unavailable to readers of nytimes.com in Britain," is the message they would have seen. "This arises from the requirement in British law that prohibits publication of prejudicial information about the defendants prior to trial.
The enterprise seems absurd because here territorial boundaries of a jurisdiction are to be respected in a way that can’t really work, but may be legally compelling to prevent an indictment of the New York Times. It is necessary to respect the laws of the country that also has a free press, even if the freedom of the press is more limited than in the U.S., according to the New York Times, which probably feared mainly financial losses. British Internet users were denied access via localization programs used for spatially targeted advertising, i.e. presumably via IP addresses. This may not exclude all of them, but it does exclude the vast majority.
The media group’s Mabnahme may be accepted by British or international courts as sufficient to comply with British law. However, it could also have the consequence that other states can now put prere on the media to make certain content inaccessible to their citizens. Thus, the New York Times could become a pioneer not only for censorship even in the service of totalitarian states, but it could also lovingly justify zoning of the Internet by erecting virtual walls. The New York Times points out that there is general freedom of the press in the UK, but national laws restrict reporting in a variety of ways. Whether online editions for the USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran or Germany had to be made by the New York Times and other media? In any case, the much-publicized free flow of information was even more channeled than before.
Update: An article in the British Times today reports virtually all the details from the New York Times piece. So was the censorship of the NYTimes completely unnecessary??
The attack plot was apparently far from imminent
The Times article gives reports from British security forces on the status of the investigation beyond the official communications (400 computers, 200 cell phones, 8000 storage devices, thousands of gigabytes). Shortly after the recording of a videotape in an apartment under surveillance by the British police through an eavesdropping operation, it was decided to arrest the suspects. On the "Martyr" video, two of the suspects allegedly justified the planned attacks with the violence in Afghanistan and Iraq: "As you bomb, you will be bombed; as you kill, you will be killed"."Seven such martyrdom videos have been found, as well as a diary in which parts of the attack plan were carried out, and evidence of money transfers from abroad. The suspects had been observed for months experimenting with chemical substances in an apartment. In addition, the components with which a liquid explosive could be made had been found.
However, the reports also show that the "foiled" attack plan was by no means imminent, as the British and American security authorities and governments had first said in order to justify the tightened controls "foiled terrorist attacks"). The planners had had a lot of work to do in order to carry out the attack. Not even the recruitment had been completed. Some had no passport, neither tickets had already been purchased, nor bookings made. Probably there was no date for the planned attacks, the execution of which was also not really fixed yet. The British police also seem to be unsure whether any of the suspects had been able to build a working explosive device.
Allegedly, the British police did not become aware of the group because of the planned terrorist attack either, but received a tip and were looking for links to the suicide bombers of 7. July or to terrorists in Pakistan. In the course of observation, he said, it was discovered that chemical experiments with sports drinks had been made by the group, raising suspicions that they were using them to smuggle the explosives onto planes. Much, however, had remained unresolved because Scotland Yard had been forced to strike prematurely by the arrest of Rashid Rauf in Pakistan. Allegedly, a person connected with him then tried to get in touch with the British group. That was interpreted as an attempt to have the operation launched. Therefore one was then forced to intervene in the.