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After Berlusconi Attack, Italy Considers Web Censorship 160

Posted by timothy
from the streisand-should-charge-a-consulting-fee dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Italian government has proposed introducing new restrictions on the Internet after a Facebook fan page for the man who allegedly attacked Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday drew almost 100,000 users in under 48 hours. However, the planned clampdown on Internet hate speech sparked a heated debate over censorship and freedom of expression, leading Interior Minister Roberto Maroni to execute a partial U-turn."
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After Berlusconi Attack, Italy Considers Web Censorship

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  • Control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnHegarty (453016) on Friday December 18, 2009 @06:30AM (#30485366) Homepage

    Must be very hard for Mr Berlusconi that there is media he doesn't control.

    For anyone not familiar with Italy he already owns all the major tv stations and newspapers.

  • Hrmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by acehole (174372) on Friday December 18, 2009 @06:32AM (#30485370) Homepage

    Just goes to show, politicians everywhere dont like a medium that allows the little guy to have a voice.

  • They never learn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18, 2009 @06:34AM (#30485380)

    OR, the Italian government could use this as an opportunity to gauge the public disapproval for their senior politicians.

  • by netsharc (195805) on Friday December 18, 2009 @06:36AM (#30485392)

    If they do go ahead with it, the serious backlash will surely bring down the Berlusconi regime. Or is this just wishful thinking? His media power has really brainwashed the majority of citizens there..

  • Wrong response (Score:5, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Friday December 18, 2009 @06:36AM (#30485394)
    The last thing you do is try and stop people from hearing about it. You make light of it, show it as not a big deal, and move on.

    "Yeah, some guy hit me with a souvenir... Oh well, shit happens! The security guards are stepping it up a notch or two, but it's not like I was shot or anything. Thanks god, you know? Wouldn't want to leave my wife having to look for an inferior lover! Vote for me, you guys... I'm easy going."

    And the world moves on.
  • by furball (2853) on Friday December 18, 2009 @06:53AM (#30485448) Journal

    The Patriot Act is intended to focus on groups of people organizing to carry out a planned action. It doesn't do anything for single crazy acting on their own.

    What allowed Nidal Hasan to kill people was rampant political correctness.

    Whether what Nidal Hasan did constitutes terrorism is still open for debate. The typical things we identify with terrorism such as a political cause, message, or grievance is still unidentified. When a combatant buries an IED, we can assume that his issue is that the US leaves Iraq/Afghanistan. What's Nidal Hasan's gripe? His deployment? The US's role in the Middle East? Does anyone know? Does he even have one? When is an act terrorism and when is it just simple murder?

    Is the shooting at Virginia Tech terrorism? Or is it only terrorism if the perpetrator is Muslim?

  • by mrpacmanjel (38218) on Friday December 18, 2009 @07:01AM (#30485492)

    Governments *hate* the idea of people having too much freedom.

    Why?
    It means you'll start asking too many questions and governments don't like that!

    It also means you become difficult to control.

    How?
    By keeping you fearful - global warming, recession, terrorism, nuclear arms and now the freedom of the Internet (terrorists and paedophiles use it)
    These subjects in themselves are genuine concerns but governments have a knack of focusing on them and using them to conrol the general population. Usually by using extreme measures via law and policy legislation.

    Web censorship is no different. Governments need us to be passive and compliant. Fortunately free speech is *impossible* to control it's part of who you are. You can censor or prohibit the *mechanisms* that express free speech but never "control" it.

    Suppose Italy do censor the Internet and other countries follow. Do you really think that will be the end of it?

    I don't think so.

    If they start blocking web sites (probably at ISP level) then people will turn to encryption and deliver content that way. If encrypting the web becomes illegal then some other mechanism will manifest itself (e.g. bypassing the ISP entirely).

    I hate to say this, but some form of government control is coming to the Internet whether you like it or not.

    So, be prepared.

  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Friday December 18, 2009 @07:03AM (#30485504) Journal

    Or is it only terrorism if the perpetrator is Muslim?

    It is terrorism precisely when the word "terrorism" brings out the right sentiment in those listening to you.

    The British were terrorising Catholics in Northern Ireland. The IRA were terrorising the English in London. The ANC was terrorising the white government in apartheid South Africa. The apartheid government was terrorising the black majority. Jews terrorised Arab villages and British hotels. Arabs terrorise Jewish women and children in marketplaces.

  • Fans (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TimeElf1 (781120) <<kennettb> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday December 18, 2009 @07:13AM (#30485576) Homepage Journal
    The Italian government has proposed introducing new restrictions on the Internet after a Facebook fan page for the man who allegedly attacked Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday drew almost 100,000 users in under 48 hours.

    Well that is a rather knee jerk reaction, last I checked Facebook was not for just people from Italy. Besides people will become fans of anything on Facebook, from beer, to Jeffrey Dahmer.
  • by mpe (36238) on Friday December 18, 2009 @07:37AM (#30485712)
    The problem in Italy is not that people are "brainwashed" by Silvio, it's just that he sucks slightly less than the only other choice.

    Having only two choices when the population of Italy is nearly 60 million sounds like the bigger problem :)
  • Re:Control (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday December 18, 2009 @07:48AM (#30485782) Homepage Journal

    As far as controlling his image, his image didn't look so hot after he took a nice beating.

    About 90 percent of the world was heartened to see that at least one single human was able to express to his political leader what he felt in a direct and honest manner, and in a way that the politician could not ignore.

    The image of Berlusconi's well-fed and dissolute face all battered and bloody was a message to the world: There is yet hope.

    Salute!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18, 2009 @08:40AM (#30486246)

    What about a country with 300 millions and two choices?

  • Pretty Arrogant (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Milican (58140) on Friday December 18, 2009 @09:14AM (#30486688) Journal

    It's too bad, but people get attacked all the time. However, when a leader gets attacked then we need to shut down the Internet. Pretty arrogant and self-centered. I'm glad the Internet is pretty free, but it's only a matter of time until politicians invent an excuse to control it. I'm sure it will be for the children, or to stop some possible terrorist scenario. Then it'll creep out from there.

    JOhn

  • Wrong title (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cowboy76Spain (815442) on Friday December 18, 2009 @09:16AM (#30486714)

    It should have read:

    AFTER BERLUCONI ATTACK, ITALIAN GOVERNMENT SHOWS HIS PLANS FOR CENSORSHIP.

    Anyone with info about how Berlusconi deals with the basis of democracy (independent news, respect to the Constitution, independent judges) would have expected these plans to be in the works. The attack gives them an opportunity to show them.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday December 18, 2009 @12:23PM (#30489408) Journal

    And don't forget the Americans terrorizing the British East India Company in Boston.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.

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