Censorship in Belgium!

A follow up is available!

A video portraying a humorous action against union protest has been taken down from on-line video sharing site Youtube. This video was made on December 23th of last year, the day after a national strike of railroad personnel.

It shows students from Bruges making an announcement on the intercom system of a train broadcasting the following message: “Today all train travel is free. People who have already bought a ticket can get reimbursed from the train conductor. NMBS/SNCB hopes to compensate yesterdays discomfort in this way.” (Translated from Dutch)

Screenshot of the video

To be able to make this announcement no security features had to be circumvented at all. As the video clearly shows there is no lock-picking necessary to access the intercom system on-board Belgian trains. All that is needed is a generic key that can be bought in any hardware store. This same key for example is also commonly used to open fuse boxes.

The link to original video is redirected to a short note on Youtube. The author of this video made a little presentation on the how and why at the 28C3 conference on technology, society and utopia in Berlin. The video of this presentation is still available online. It has the complete original video embedded.

For me this is a clear example of unlawful censorship. At this time it is not know to me who took the initiative to take down this video. But I would like to invite you all to find the reason for the take down in Youtube’s community guidelines. I think it is clear that we are currently living in a society in which it is to easy for company’s and governments to censor an individual criticism.

   ­ Orginal video (blocked)
   ­ Youtube community guidelines
   ­ 28C3 presentation containing the video
   ­ Another action responding to the strike (Dutch)

Media coverage of the original incident:
   ­ De Standaard (Dutch)
   ­ Focus-TV (Dutch)