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The Catalonian Matter: Law and Order, Democracy and Freedom of Speech, Censorship and Trust

I’m an engineer, and I firmly believe that Internet matters and, in general, Information Society, should be kept separate from politics, so usually, I’m very skeptical to talk about those and mix things.

Let’s start by saying that I’m Catalonian. Despite the dictatorial regime when I was born, forbidden teaching Catalonian, I learned it, even despite, initially for family reasons and now for work reasons, I live in Madrid. However, I keep saying everywhere I go, that I was born in Barcelona, where I consider myself from, and how wonderful is that region. I’m proud of my name, Jordi, and I don’t allow anyone to call me Jorge, with is the Spanish translation.

Having traveled over 120 countries in the last 15 years, training people on IPv6 and doing IPv6 consultancy/deployment services, I consider myself “citizen of the world, ” and I don’t think, in the actual global world, there is any reason for being a nationalist or patriotic in the heart.

That being said, I have good friends and colleagues at every remote place in the world, and that’s what really matters.

I think this clearly shows that I’m objective enough to write down this and not being biased by my origins, or my actual living town, on the other way around, being very open-minded as a world traveler.

I’ve been astonished the last few days because about the endless exchange of letters addressed to ICANN, the European Commission, ISOC chapters, and other Internet-related institutions, even blogs, articles, etc., which make no sense if you know the real history behind all this, instead of those letters with false information.

Let’s set the stage. There is a region, within a democratic country, that has some percentage of the population that want to declare their independence. This group of people didn’t ask the rest of the citizens in the country, even other people like myself, that was born there. In fact, because I don’t live there right now, I will not be allowed to participate in the so-called “process”. Even further, I don’t know if I will get a passport from there, or if some of the friends I have there who don’t want to split, will be expelled from the country, or if they will be allowed to sell their properties there, or if they will be confiscated, etc.

So, we are talking about a departure, asking the people to vote for it, not knowing at all what actually that means, including every small detail, and what will be the exit door for each of the possible cases.

I guess each region or town in our country has the same rights. I want to do it for my own house. I have the right of doing that… it is my property… my land!

Can you imagine this in your own country?

As we are a democratic country, there is a power separation (legislative versus juridical), and by the way, we have a Constitution, that all the Spanish citizens approved after the end of the dictatorial regime, and the corresponding Constitutional Court.

The Constitution is clearly not perfect, and now that we got more experience, since 1978, it could be amended for improving it, by consensus. This could even mean that we change our state model into a federal one, such as the German model, or many other options.

This is nothing different than what we do in IETF, making Internet standards, or in the RIRs, making public policies, or even in ICANN. Right?

Guess what, now some of the participants of a given Regional Internet Registry (RIR), decide to unilaterally change some of those rules, or even split in a different group—let’s say a new RIR. Yeah, we could do that, but we need to agree on the process. Hey, coincidently we’ve had a similar situation recently—IANA/PTI—so we are familiar with that already.

Do you think we will agree in that group in my example, changing the policies before we complete the process? Do you think somebody will agree in finding consensus in a policy proposal not knowing all the details of it? Do you think we will keep allocating IP resources to that group according to new policies that they develop by themselves against the community consensus on the existing policies?

So, this is what the Catalonian Government has done. They have approved, against the law, special laws to make that process, to play games and act like in a theatre, and they try to convince citizens as puppets by means of lies and misinformation, which they are investing public money to propagate in a global world.

Law and order: In a democratic system, we all obey the law. If we don’t like it, we have the system to change it. What we can never do is to disobey or call for disobeying before going for a change. Otherwise, this will be a crazy world. Everybody will be able to change his/her mind every other day and create risks for the rest of the citizens. Definitively not the way!

So of course, our Constitutional Court has called for obedience to our Constitution, which means no public money can be invested in the process, and the Catalonian Government, their maximum representatives, has forced people that disagree with the process to resign or pushed them against the law, or involved volunteers, asking for illegal actions, and invested in having embassies of a non-country, which cost a lot of money despite having difficulties to pay the public servants, to cover the cost of the education and health system, and so on, and asked for more money to the Spanish Central Government, from the taxes of all the citizens, which in part is being invested, in an illegal process.

Obviously, and despite, the wish to make this soft, and not being provocative, the Constitutional Court, during the last few days, was finally forced by the Catalonian Government provocation, to order the Spanish Police to execute the necessary steps to block ONLY the websites which make the propaganda of the process. However, the Catalonian Government and also volunteers used .CAT, among many other institutions, to duplicate those websites, once and again.

There is nothing against freedom of speech, there is nothing against .CAT, just making sure that the court orders are fulfilled by all the citizens, including public servants, regardless of the organization where they work. Public servants, individuals working for the Information Society, TLDs or other kind of registries, Service Providers, etc., all have the same obligation to follow the law as the rest of the citizens.

Where is the limit of the freedom of speech in Internet? Do you agree that if I publish a website with information about how to do a robbery at your home, call for volunteers to organize a terrorist attack, or to help me in any unlawful or criminal activity, and there is a court order against that website, this can’t be considered as measures to restrict free and open access to Internet?

Censorship can be enforced in many ways. One of those ways is to publish false information and confuse people about the real facts, hiding the reality with lots of extra background noise.

When organizations and persons that have been elected by the Internet community take advantage of their positions to, instead of have objective positions, and not correlate those institutions and enact false accusations and misinformation, we can’t anymore trust on those persons and they must resign.

The most open organizations, using their influence in the global information society, can actually execute a censorship action which is even much worse than any restriction to freedom of speech.

There are other relevant facts in this history. Many politicians that have been governing Catalonia for many years are being prosecuted for illegal activities, such as 3-5% commissions in public tenders, using public money for promoting the independence process, and such.

Guess what? Their only way-out is the independence, otherwise, they are going to need to pay for all what they have robbed to the public treasury, and it means money and prison. Is not that curious?

Is not curious that the Catalonian Autonomy is the one that in the last years got more credit from the Central Government? Do you expect they will be able to reimburse it?

Do you think if any of us, disobeys the law the same way, as this process is doing, will be ignored by the authorities, or we will be detained and requested to explain every detail of all the illegal actions in front of a judge?

Or do you expect authorities to ignore every illegal action from all the citizens and then we all get crazy, and we go into an anarchic world?

The Spanish Government has been very prudent, too much probably, as they could have used article 155 of our Constitution to suspend the Catalonian Autonomy, but they decided not to go that way, at least for the time being. This is not a clear demonstration of democracy and freedom of speech?

In Europe, since a long time ago, we are trying to integrate and be stronger. Splitting countries is against that spirit, don’t make any sense.

Our community must be smart enough and ignore messages with false or incomplete information. Those messages are even considered apology of sedition, same as if we start creating websites doing apology of terrorism or any other illegal activities.

Let’s avoid going on with all this misinformation and I plea to those having only the real facts and complete information to spread the message to avoid others getting confused.

Internet-related institutions must not trust anymore those individuals or organizations who are misinforming the rest of the world. Internet-related institutions must respect the law of democratic countries. Only when it is clearly proven that democracy is not real, we must act, otherwise, we are damaging our own credibility.

Those that have already published false information, must apologize. It is clear that they have got confused because the Catalonian Government and many of their actors in this theatre, have been far noisier than the rest of the community, but it’s time to review. I will not point to them right now, but clearly, I will not mind doing so in a couple of days if they decide to keep their false accusations which are an insult for the rest of the Spanish citizens, including the majority of the Catalonians which aren’t part of this and by extension an insult to the rest of the Internet community.

By Jordi Palet Martinez, IPv6 training and consultancy

Filed Under


"Free speech" is, and has always been, Charles Christopher  –  Sep 28, 2017 3:30 AM

“Free speech” is, and has always been, about protecting the minority from the majority. Similarly we do NOT have “Free Action”. But lets define free, as free in these statements means without cost. Thus our lack of Free Action is because man’s laws places a price to be paid for certain actions, liberty or money being the most common payment methods. Words and their use have no such costs.

Too often today people confuse actions and words trying to equate them. This is a crafty way to assign values to words by connecting them to some cost of action. The danger here, as been shown throughout history, is that eventually this leads to thoughts having a cost …. Ones life being a common payment payment when this has happened throughout history.

The action of not listening, to the words of the minority, is always free. If your action is to listen, that is your choice, be very careful about assigning a value to that action.

A famous quote that seems forgotten today:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

- Martin Niemöller, German Lutheran pastor

Francis Zappa worked as a specialist at Edgewood Arsenal chemical warfare facility. His son had an interesting life having had the opportunity to taste DDT and have a doctor stick radium pellets up his nose to address the many sicknesses he experienced as a child. Francis wife Gail’s father spent his life working on classified nuclear weapons research for the U.S. Navy. Gail herself had once worked as a secretary for the Office of Naval Research and Development.

Their son was Frank Zappa, a “cultural irritant” of his time, not surprising given what experiences taxpayers provided him in childhood. He was also more than a little effective fighting for free speech in the entertainment industry. This interview being a classic:


“Why are people afraid of words?”

Yes, we must protect minorities Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Sep 28, 2017 7:25 AM

But ... if the minorities are making actions against law, the law must be protected or changed.

The law can be wrong, it can become outdated, so let’s amend it.

If the courts responsible to ensure that the law is followed, decide to ignore it because a minority is not obeying it, then we all will have the same right to ignore the law, because we all are minorities.

>if the minorities are making actions against Charles Christopher  –  Sep 28, 2017 3:30 PM

>if the minorities are making actions against law

Were the words on the now censored websites performing actions that were hurting people?

George Stephen Morrison was the commander of U.S. Naval forces at the time of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident that gave the Johnson Administration the justification they needed to enter the Vietnam War. In 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified; it concluded that Maddox had engaged the North Vietnamese Navy on August 2, but that there were no North Vietnamese naval vessels present during the incident of August 4.

The LIE of the August 4th incident was used to start the Vietnam War eventually killing millions.

His son was Jim Morrison who went on to be a “cultural irritant”, he was the lead singer of the band The Doors.

Was it words of the lie, or the actions that followed, that killed millions?

“It would be an exaggeration to put all the blame on, or give all the credit to, the CIA
for spreading LSD. One cannot forget the nature of the times, the Vietnam War, the
breakdown in authority, and the wide availability of other drugs, especially marijuana.
But the fact remains that LSD was one of the catalyst of the traumatic upheavals of the
1960s. No one could enter the world of psychedelics without first passing, unaware,
through doors opened by the Agency. It would become a supreme irony that the CIA’s
enormous research for weapons among drugs fueled by the hope that spies could, like
Dr. Frankenstein, control life with genius and machines,

would wind up helping to create
the wandering, uncontrollable minds of the counterculture.

- John D. Marks, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, former Foreign Service Officer U.S. State Department.

Lilly offered to supply unlimited amounts of LSD to the CIA and as the memo to Agency head, Allen Dulles, pointed out, this “meant that LSD could finally be taken seriously as a chemical warfare agent.”
“Just as the Nazi doctors in Dachau preyed on the helpless, the CIA searched for subjects who were unable to resist. They used prisoners, mental patients, sexual deviants, the terminally ill, foreigners and ethnic minorities. The Addiction Research Center of the US Public Health Service Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky was a place for heroin addicts to kick their habit. It was also one of fifteen penal and mental institutions the CIA used as a supply of guinea pigs for its covert drug research.
- http://www.drugawareness.org/history-of-antidepressants-just-where-did-your-medication-come-from/

People lie and so do governments. It may be hard to figure out which is the biggest lier, its not hard to figure out which is the more dangerous lier ..... The best solution is to educate yourself and expose the lie, hiding it solves nothing. In fact its foolish to even think you can hide it, even if you are the CIA.

There is such a thing as intellectual self defense. Its an ability worthy of great training.

“Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.” =
“I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.” =
“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery”
- Thomas Jefferson

“To understand your fear is the beginning of really seeing ...”
- Bruce Lee

>Were the words on the now censored Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Sep 28, 2017 3:37 PM

>Were the words on the now censored websites performing actions that were hurting people?

I’m not prejudging or saying anything about hurting people, however they are against law.

>I'm not prejudging or saying anything about Charles Christopher  –  Sep 28, 2017 3:43 PM

>I'm not prejudging or saying anything about hurting people, however they are against law. Are you saying you believe the words on the websites have hurt no one?

Exactly, I never said that, however a Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Sep 28, 2017 3:52 PM

Exactly, I never said that, however a court said is against the law and must be banned, so you can't keep doing copies of that. Same way a terrorist site can have documents showing how to do bad things, construct bombs, etc., is not hurting anyone, but it is against the law as it my pose consequences which actually can hurt people. For example, calling the people to create disturbs going to vote to an illegal referendum, destroy police cards, force others, bring childrens to the protests, etc. All that will hurt people. Simply calling for disobeying the law, it is an unlawful act "per se".

>calling the people to create disturbsCalling me Charles Christopher  –  Sep 28, 2017 5:05 PM

>calling the people to create disturbs

Calling me to do something does not “make me” to do it. Children claim “Bobby made me to it!” So that excuse does not work in kindergarten, but it is an excuse for adults? Interesting.

They are asking to change the law, all of them. Thus it is no surprise their attempt is being refused and censored (which is the focus of this discussion). No government on earth is going to let a significant part of its population say “Goodbye”, regardless of laws on the books at that moment. As noted above, governments have a long history of breaking their own laws, saying “its the law” when force is being used.

> illegal referendum

Then it has no power of law and is thus meaningless.

If it has no power of law then why is it a threat? The answer to that is the power of censorship.

>Same way a terrorist site can have documents showing how to do bad things

In my mind you just equated the Catalonia censored sites with terrorism. So be it.

The censored sites that I was able to view just now via caching (the sites providing english translations) seemed to have no calls to action beyond an offering to vote on a referendum and how to do it.

So its illegal to offer a vote that has no force of law, and yet there is so much fear of this powerless act that

thousands of police are in a harbor ready to use force to stop this powerless act.

Interesting. I guess we should look forward to a future of being protected, through internet censorship, from other such meaningless and powerless acts. And if that fails then thousands of police will make sure the goal (who’s goal???) is achieved. I especially look forward to the tax payer bills for that enforcement, and I am certain there SHALL BE no vote allowed regarding the continuance and costs of such enforcement.

True power comes from between the ears. That is why people fear words and censor those who dare to think differently and act in ways that harm no one. Like having a vote. And the internet makes censorship so much easier.

The law to be changed is the Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Sep 28, 2017 5:16 PM

The law to be changed is the Constitution. If they want to change it, to allow a different state model, they will be protesting (and then all Spain will join) to make sure that there is a Constitutional amendment. The referendum can't change it. The Constitutional Court (not the government) has dictated that this referendum can't be held being illegal and even less using public funding. The Courts asked the policy to protect to avoid it happening. If they want to a popular question (not a referendum), simple ask the people to express their opinion in a web site, and nothing like all this mess will happen. Obey the law, amend it if broken, but not disobey it instead of amending it. Otherwise we don't have a democracy. I'm the first one not agree with all the laws, but I respect them and make my efforts to make sure they get corrected in a civilized way, not destroying properties and freedom from others in the way.

Privacy Whois Needs to End Charles Christopher  –  Sep 28, 2017 5:53 PM

>destroying properties and freedom from others in the way.

The many are blamed for the actions of the few. Again cause and effect are being confused. Here is a perfect real world example:


I suggest, as I have for years,

privacy whois needs to end

. Laws should be in place that require domain name whois is correct and verifiable.

Now lets apply that to this case:

1) The whois is rubbish, it does not point to any individual. The domain is rezoned do to the ACTION of using incorrect whois, no censorship has occurred.

2) The whois points to an individual claiming no association with the website, and likely cooperates fully with laws enforcement. This includes no resistance to dezoning the website, because of the ACTION of incorrect whois. There will likely be secondary evidence to prove or disprove such individuals involvement such as payment records and IP logs. But the website takedown is FAST.

3) The whois does point to the individual that authored the website. Regardless of their agreement dezoning the domain occures per the laws you invoke above (not that I agree). What is key here is that

person(s) responsible are held responsible not innocent people. In other words this truly protects “properties and freedom from others”

Unfortunately it is case (3) that causes privacy whois to be desirable. Privacy whois now becomes the mask of the police officers and government in the video above.

Jordi, do you support to removal of privacy whois as a tool to hold website authors accountable (via actions not speech) and as a tool to be able to separate the “guilty parties” from those wanting to participate in a peaceful protest?

I will accept your "the many are Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Sep 28, 2017 6:04 PM

I will accept your "the many are blamed ..." if the ones organizing the illegal referendum ask the people to not make damages, but it is in the other way around ... Fully agree with the whois privacy. It is a trouble, many organizations hide behind that to make spam (they call it email marketing) and not be able to find them. On the other side is people that is forced (because the spammers) to use it, but if we have no privacy, the 2nd case is less relevant because you can find the criminal doing it.

>Fully agree with the whois privacy.I am Charles Christopher  –  Sep 28, 2017 11:16 PM

>Fully agree with the whois privacy. I am glad to see we agree that elimination of privacy whois would be useful, and as you said likely solves more problems than is causes. I believe those problems it causes are solvable, but that is another discussion. >if the ones organizing the illegal referendum ask the people to not >make damages, but it is in the other way around ... Censoring the website will not stop that communication from taking place. All it does is make people feel good that something happened, while ignoring that a little more of their rights were just nibbled away. Furthermore, the censored websites I found, and was able to read, had no such calls to damage or any type of suggestions for violence. They were exclusively about the vote, what it is, and how it was going to take place. Your calls for violence agreement does not apply to those sites. That is the other point, once law enforcement starts doing this they are going after EVERYTHING if for no other reason than it is easier for them to defend later on "let the lawyers sort it out years later". Now imagine you are self employed and you have a political site that some politician does not like. They shut down both your sites. You business is ruined and everything lost ... Or perhaps it was not your political site, perhaps it was your business site and you made a politician mad because his son lost a contract to your company. But your political site allowed the personal attack on you to shut down your business. We all need to be fighting against censorship. Like the library of Alexandria, do not allow a single match to get near the internet. There are plenty of people trying to do just that. Do not let them get a toehold.

I'm not saying the Court took a Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Sep 29, 2017 7:18 AM

I’m not saying the Court took a good or bad decision. I’m not saying I’m in favour of censorship, I’m not.

What I’m saying is that we like it or not, we must obey court orders, or change the law, but never disobey them.

new article about this topic: ISOC Against its Own Principles: Acting as a Censor Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Sep 29, 2017 9:20 AM
ISOC Against its Own Principles: Acting as a Censor Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Sep 29, 2017 9:22 AM
"We can’t trust ISOC anymore unless their Charles Christopher  –  Sep 29, 2017 2:35 PM

"We can’t trust ISOC anymore unless their principles are revised and behave in an open, constructive, informed way, and offering the people the freedom of speech on their own blogs, or at least, if they make mistakes, amend them immediately." The Catalonians are trying to make a similar point. This is why governments are not "god" and must never be followed blindly. We are not here for governments, they are here for us, their purpose is to serve us. This is the basis of nonviolent resistance, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience (non violent!). It sucks the life out of government authority. Here is a beautiful picture of the dynamic at play: http://www.muncievoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/people-power.jpg But people must be able to communicate to avoid the ancient lie that is always told, "You are the only one who feels this way" ....

Just peacefully walk away ....It has always Charles Christopher  –  Sep 29, 2017 2:40 PM

Just peacefully walk away .... It has always been this way, and always will be this way. That is the part governments most fear your understanding of. "Nothing new, under the sun." - Solomon

Remember that is not the Spanish Government, Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Sep 29, 2017 2:44 PM

Remember that is not the Spanish Government, is the Constitutional Court order. Able to communicate you mean with the dozen of threats of death I got since a couple of days ago, immediately I published this article? And by the way they are from *pacific* Catalonian colleagues, and I know it, because very very very few people has my phone number and of course they know that I don't want anyone else to have it ... so either is people having my phone number of people cooperating with criminals doing those calls. Still think this is the way? Just because I talk freely about my points? You think asking people to bring the children's is peacefully ?

I acknowledge how fortunate I am to Charles Christopher  –  Sep 29, 2017 4:29 PM

I acknowledge how fortunate I am to live in a country where I have many self defense options you do not have, but should. >Still think this is the way? Yes I feel it is the way. I am very sorry you are going through this. Their actions are wrong. The more people stand up and stand out like you are are doing, the better off we all are. I'm talking speech here, not violence. Its is because you are one of the few that you are a target. That is why you want to support others speaking out to. "The nail that sticks out gets the hammer." - Japanese proverb People that verbally threaten you are usually not to ones to worry about, they are usually the cowards. Admittedly, people have lost the ability to respectfully disagree, silence will not solve this problem. The more able people are to have a heated debate, and then go out for a beer (Starbucks, tea, whatever!), the better off we all will be. A good spirited debate sharpens the minds of all involved. Silent never ending agreement (collectivism) is dulling to those same minds. This is why you are earning true respect right now, and that is very threatening to some. I will pray for your safety, and I will pray for your continued clarity of thought to stand up for what you believe. That you will continue to be an example to others. And that others will follow your lead, regardless if I agree with the position. >You think asking people to bring the children's is peacefully ? Bringing children is very foolish. If a mother brings her child to use as a shield, then we have other problems to solve. Limiting speech is not going to eliminate such stupidity, it is likely to increase it. Passing laws on "stupid" is also not going to solve the problem, but it would create far more problems. But back to cause and effect. Its those performing the violence that are the problem and need to be dealt with. And even without the internet, such things will happen using telephone calls, pamphlets, private meetings, etc., look at history. While I feel fear in the mind of any person is wrong and sad, I recognize a simple fact, bad people (violent) should always fear good people, never the other way around. If good people live in fear of bad people its that which needs to be reversed. Its fear in the minds of good people that empowers bad people to act. Fight the mind game as best you can. Never forget good people vastly outnumber bad, but good people often give up their power to those few bad people, and fear is how that is done. None of this is easy which is why you have earned my respect, and I am sure the respect of others as well. Now lets ALL keep sharpening each others sword as we respectfully disagree, then learn, then change our actions (hopefully helping others ), and grow.

"http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-09/spanish-government-issues-veiled-death-threat-catalan-lead Charles Christopher  –  Oct 9, 2017 4:19 PM


“Let’s hope that nothing is declared tomorrow because perhaps the person who makes the decalartion will end up like the person who made the declaration 83 years ago.”
- spokesman for the ruling People’s Party

“Yes, Pablo Casado, we know how our President Companys ended up, shot by the army. Does it make you happy to remind our defenceless people of it?”.
- Republican Catalan Left (Esquerra, ERC) MP Joan Tardà

“Companys is the only incumbent democratically elected president in European history to have been executed.”

They did not have the internet back then, but their version of censorship no doubt played a role in the politics of their time. If Zerohedge.com were censored, I am not sure I would had had access to todays example of tyranny. If Zerohedge.com were censored, likely other sites trying to present this news would be censored to.

The double edged sword remains, so to the fact that government exists to SERVE its people not the other way around.

Just judged Jordi Palet Martinez  –  Oct 9, 2017 4:24 PM

He can’t be shoot in a democratic country, but of course, he will need to pay the price of his unlawful acts, so it is 15 years of jail.

If we don’t take the law seriously, every citizen has the right the break it the same way.

>He can't be shoot in a democratic Charles Christopher  –  Oct 9, 2017 5:16 PM

>He can't be shoot in a democratic country "Companys is the only incumbent democratically elected president in European history to have been executed."

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