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Censorship The Internet

Italy's First Steps in Censoring the Internet 90

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the slippery-slopes dept.
mijio writes "It's not the first time that Italy discusses Internet censorship. The last year, after some guys appeared in a video punching and blaming a kid with Down syndrome, Minister of Education Fioroni brought in to trial two of Google Italy's managers and then proposed and strongly sustained his idea of censoring the Internet to protect the young. Now Ricardo Levi, the prime minister's right hand, is finally successful in promulgating his law on internet censorship. With the goal of "promoting and enriching the pluralism of information," the law rules that everyone involved in "editorial activity" must be subscribed to the "Registry of Operators of Communication" to be prosecutable in case of defamation, where "editorial product" is defined as "any product with purpose of information, education, divulgation, entertainment, aimed at publication, no matter the form it is realized in and the mean it is distributed with." When inquired about the effects of this rule for bloggers, Levi responded, "We have no interest in touching amatorial or personal sites, it would be not feasible". The Times speaks about this paradox as well."
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Italy's First Steps in Censoring the Internet

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  • by Associate (317603) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:04AM (#21140087) Homepage
    Italy sucks!
    Regulate that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Daimanta (1140543)
      America sucks!

      Regulate th#*@)*#@)# [NO CARRIER]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pla (258480)
      Italy sucks! Regulate that.

      Nonono, don't blame the country, blame the asshats who push for idiocy like this.

      Try:

      Fioroni, who only defend retards for the familial resemblance, molests dead sheep; Ricardo Levi takes sloppy seconds while snorting lines of coke off the penises of 8YO boys. And they both smell funny. And... Uhhh... I dunno, something about watching too many American mafia movies if I could find the right phrasing to make it insulting but not just a racist joke, and some sort of insult
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by ncc74656 (45571) *
      "The dark night of fascism is always descending on America, but it always seems to land in Europe."

      -- Tom Wolfe

  • step back (Score:5, Informative)

    by l3mure (539607) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:06AM (#21140101) Homepage
    Riccardo Levi already stepped back: There was a misunderstanding, he said, we don't want to censor anything and actions will be taken to clarify the law on this point.
    • by mijio (539043)
      He has stepped back in front of journalists. Then he had reproposed the same rule with different formulation
    • by Lord Yupa (717292)
      The law is not restrictive in the new formulation: it is unclear and confused, so they can use it only against dissidents...
    • Watch out. This is ordinary in Italian politics.
      The scheme is:
      1. Speak about a very restrictive law that is being written.
      2. Wait for the reaction of the media. If they criticize you, step back and say you were "misunderstood".
      3. Change the criticized aspects of the law, introduce a bit of freedom. This is how you wanted the law to be from the beginning. Everyone should understand that this is a reasonable compromise between what is needed and what is possible to do. Now the media won't care about it anymor
  • by lbbros (900904) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:09AM (#21140127) Homepage
    First of all this is a dupe. The original story [slashdot.org] has already been published. Secondly, this is just (again!) a sensationalistic spin on a law that:
    • It is uncostitutional: see here [lulu.com] (link in Italian);
    • It won't be proposed in this form due to the huge debate it has raised.
    Please, Slashdot editors... do at least some basic research before posting stuff like this.
    • by Tim C (15259) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @01:35PM (#21141033)
      Please, Slashdot editors... do at least some basic research before posting stuff like this.

      From the FAQ [slashdot.org]:

      How do you verify the accuracy of Slashdot stories?

      We don't. You do. :)


      The answer was last modified 7 years ago. People have been complaining about this sort of thing for as long as I've been on the site. It's not going to change; they don't care. They are far more focussed on getting stories up quickly than on checking for factual correctness.
      • by wykthorr (999067)

        They are far more focussed on getting stories up quickly than on checking for factual correctness.
        That's exactly what I like about Slashdot.
    • It is uncostitutional

      Constitution can change as well, and even if it is violated no one will notice or bother.

      It won't be proposed in this form due to the huge debate it has raised.

      I bet that the government will pass the law in another form: As a data protection law which will say that everyone who keeps a file with personal information will have to register with the government (or an authority - which is the same thing in my opinion).

      Then if you create a blog and accept comments, and your blog software asks for the email address of the people posting the comments, your blog's database may

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lbbros (900904)

        I bet that the government will pass the law in another form: As a data protection law which will say that everyone who keeps a file with personal information will have to register with the government (or an authority - which is the same thing in my opinion).

        That won't happen easily. The privacy laws here are *very* strict, and often governments or other institutions have been slapped for violating them, publicly. To use personal data you have to state exactly why are you using them, and you can always hav

        • by wikinerd (809585)

          it has a rather strong perception in the public and political view.

          I have to say that I don't know the internal political landscape in Italy or the Italians's perception of politics. If Italians are aware of their constitution that's a good thing (in other countries people don't know what their constitution says). I have visited Italy but I didn't stay long enough to learn much about it (I loved it though so I will surely visit it again at first opportunity!).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...they congratulate because the torch is being carried on!

    • by yoprst (944706)
      jokes aside, Russia is far from being a forefront of internet censorship, thanks to outrageous incompetence of government officials
  • Idiots (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:15AM (#21140167) Homepage Journal
    "registering all web site operators" scheme was proposed even in turkey, then abandoned. italians are even behind turkey when it comes to internet, apparently. "protecting the young" my butt. the only thing the young need protection from, are rotten spirited politicians like those.
    • by eaman (710548)
      A register for on-line publication has been active in Italy for years, and it's not mandatory.
      It's meant to enforce trust for those who wish to use it, and it's mandatory to become eligible for those public financial aid we have for press.
  • by Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:18AM (#21140181) Homepage
    A German court recently forced one of the larger ISPs to block access to the Youporn site [youporn.com]. Originally they (the ISP) tried it by blocking access to the IP-Address but since Youporn is hosted by GoDaddy, that blocked their customers' access to thousands of other sites as well. Now they have tried it at the DNS level.

    The background to this is that a German porn site had to implement stringent controls to make sure the underage did not manage to sample their wares. Youporn did not bother with this and so had an unfair advantage. I read that Youporn is something like the 14th most popular site in Germany.

    Several other organisations apparently have similar plans to shut down access to some site or other.
    • by jotok (728554) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @12:11PM (#21140497)
      Youporn did not bother with this and so had an unfair advantage.

      Interesting to note that this was more about economic competition than "Save the Children!"

      I've been living and working in Germany for about a month now and this economy doesn't really like "competition" or anything like that. Anyone selling you anything (car, TV, apartment) first asks you how much you are willing to spend; you have to pay all kinds of outrageous extra fees for really no service (it's not uncommon for the realtor/property manager who finds you a place to demand ~3000 euro for their 1 day of work); and businesses collude to keep prices up (nobody is "allowed" to sell for lower prices).

      So it's not suprising to me that that this was an issue of halting "competition" rather than protecting young minds.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ElMiguel (117685)

        I've been living and working in Germany for about a month now

        Isn't it a bit early to make that sort of general statements about Germany?

        • by jotok (728554)
          Nah. That post is 10% personal observations and 90% anecdotes from longterm expats.

          Eventually I'll get used to the absolute lack of motivation around here, and then I won't be so frustrated.
    • Government asking ISPs to block access to certain sites (any sites) should be made illegal worldwide. ISPs lose money and undergo additional expenses incurred by government censors: They cannot provide true unlimited access to the Internet and have to spend time and money in blocking sites. Government censors interfere with their business and if they make the life of ISP entrepreneurs very difficult then we will stop seeing more small new ISPs being founded because of the costs and risks involved and Int

  • In other news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PHAEDRU5 (213667) <instascreed@@@gmail...com> on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:20AM (#21140189) Homepage
    Italy has a Minister of Finance.
  • ...if they decided to put a tax on Slashdot comments instead. Best way to zero out the national debt in just a couple of months.
  • by binarybum (468664) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:46AM (#21140343) Homepage
    man, I totally remember the last year when that video came out - that kid was seriously blamed!
  • by hcmtnbiker (925661) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @11:55AM (#21140405)
    after some guys appeared in a video punching and blaming a kid with Down syndrome

    then proposed and strongly sustained his idea of censoring the Internet to protect the young.

    Anyone else see a glaring contradiction here? If it was censored no one would have ever seen the video, in turn the kid would have never had his story shown, and in turn no one would have ever cared about him getting punched. The problem with censoring "graphical" content is it promotes exactly what the supporters of the censoring tell you it's trying to avoid, apathy.
    • by westlake (615356)
      If it was censored no one would have ever seen the video, in turn the kid would have never had his story shown, and in turn no one would have ever cared about him getting punched. The problem with censoring "graphical" content is it promotes exactly what the supporters of the censoring tell you it's trying to avoid, apathy.

      In the real world the bully lives for his chance to play before an audience. The Internet gives him a far bigger stage.

      • by Fizzl (209397)
        And 97% better chance to getting convicted becuse there is clear evidence available.
    • by epee1221 (873140)
      And while we're pointing out contradictions...
      They propose this in response to a couple of idiots posting a video, and then they say they won't actually go after "personal" postings.
    • by DerWulf (782458)
      exactly. But societies operate on see no evil hear no evil. Same with child porn. While I dispise it, naturally, there is really no good reason to forbid someone from showing of their criminal activities. Instead of going after the original crimes far to many law enforcement recourses are being diverted to fighting secondary consequences. One could say the same for anti drug laws which where originally designed to curb crimes related to drug aquisition. Now there is a whole new class of criminals, prisons a
  • "We have no interest in touching amatorial or personal sites"

    Italians! That is the only thing they have in mind.
    • by eaman (710548)
      You know Valentino Rossi has a "WLF" on the necklace of his suit: it goes for "Viva la Figa!"
      No, I won't translate the last word for you, and you should not google for it without a good pop up stopper :P
  • by thehatmaker (1168507) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @12:39PM (#21140677)
    Surely if censorship of the internet is to "Protect Children" then why not simply ban children from using the internet? This proposal would be like seeing children in a pub, then making everyone drink water, so the kids dont get drunk. what i never understood is, why try to keep children "innocent" only to viscously corrupt them with the hideous reality of their pathetic lives at 18?
    • by mistralol (987952)
      Normally if you tell a kid not todo something they will go and do it !
      Kids can also be very resourceful when you tell them not todo something ;)

      • by lahi (316099)
        And the day it is no longer so, all hope is really lost.

        -Lasse Hillerøe Petersen
  • This shouldn't effect my IED bomb making site a bit.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @12:55PM (#21140779)
    Come on Italy... are you that afraid of information?
    • by axettone (1168915)
      No, we aren't afraid. A lot of italian people think that this kind of law is sh*t, but our politicians are almost old and they're total n00bs. 90% of them don't know what a blog is.
      However this proposal has been retired by the minister, so no censorship will be applied at all.
      Greetings from Italy!
  • Old sig (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (730753) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @01:24PM (#21140951)
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge,
    For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master"

    I used to use this as my sig, I think I'll start doing it again. FYI, its a paraphrase of the last part of a statement in by Pravin Lal in Sid Meyer's Alpha Centuari.

    Heres the full text:
    "As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last loose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."
    -- Commissioner Pravin Lal, "Librarian's Preface"
  • Italy wants to "censor" the Internet, do they? I guess they've forgotten that the United States already "controls" the Internet, and since we're the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free there's no way we're gonna let the do it, so there.
  • It's been such a long time but finally, after an exhausting 72 years wait facism is back! Meanwhile millions of italian bloggers go by on scouters yelling "ciao!".
    • Actually this is more like Internet-Fascism where crusty old Italian guys discusses what they think is right over pizza, pasta and a pretend-knowledge of the internet.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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