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Iceland Votes "Já" To Proposed News Haven 232

eldavojohn writes "The proposed rules shielding journalists harbored in Iceland are now official. It appears that sites like Wikileaks and Cryptome could have a friendlier home base. For those familiar with the Icelandic tongue, the voting results and legalese. Some of the details can be found at"
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Iceland Votes "Já" To Proposed News Haven

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  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by SnarfQuest ( 469614 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:20PM (#32593638)

    It would be nice to get something like this in the US.

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 ) < minus herbivore> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:35PM (#32593860)

      I don't get it mods, why is this funny? It really would be nice to have this in the US.

    • Re:Wow (Score:4, Funny)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:58PM (#32594144)
      Man, Iceland is so lucky.
  • is it just me? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tomkost ( 944194 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:22PM (#32593664)
    Seems like the "socialist" Scandinavian countries are the most honest and "free". I've visited many of them and always been received with kindness. Yes, the women are as attractive and "fun" as stereotyped. Time to investigate moving there.
    • Check the tax rates. I don't know exactly but I've heard some pretty interesting things from Swedish acquaintances.
      • Re:is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:36PM (#32593878)

        But they get stuff for their tax money. Instead of here were we get almost the same tax rate, but no healthcare, shitty roads, no real social services to speak of and a government that passes laws for the highest bidder.

        You may not like high taxes, but I would prefer high taxes and services to slightly lower taxes but nothing in exchange.

      • by sznupi ( 719324 )

        From my point of view (quite close to Nordic areas) - ok, I pay slightly lower taxes, great. Those that are collected are used worse; too much waste around.

      • by migla ( 1099771 )

        Yes, I guess taxes are high, but then health care is as good as free and studying at the university is free and I'm sure there are plenty of other nice things taxes help buy us.

        If you want to experience the wonders of (limited) socialism, you might want to visit soon, since the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening. Free market is pretty much the norm in peoples minds in Sweden too and we are selling out our commons.

        • by hitmark ( 640295 )

          how about we pull and exchange, export all those that want more free market to USA, import all that wants a degree of socialism?

          as for universities being free, i cant speak for the swedish model, but the norwegian one is one of a government provided loan that will start picking up interest the day you stop studying for whatever reason.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Per Wigren ( 5315 )
        When you have paid your tax and all of your obligatory (those that you must be either stupid or too poor to not have) insurances I bet that the Swedes have a larger % of their salary left after their taxes and insurances are paid. As a Swede I pay around 29% in tax and I'm OK with that as long as I can rely on reasonable public services like health care and yearly limits on how much I have to pay for medicine, should I need it.

        I'd really like to see a lower VAT though. 25% (except for food and books) is r
        • You should go with Belgium instead. With 15% VAT, they have the lowest one in the EU.

          • I will keep that in mind! Do you know about any good Belgian online stores for electronics? A price comparison site maybe?
    • Re:is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:34PM (#32593842) Homepage

      Well...unfortuntelly, reality has a socialist bias.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I'm just curious, what exactly did you mean by this comment?

        I'm not trying to be snarky, I am just not sure what you're trying to state by saying reality has a bias.
        • The parent may be referring to our ancestry, which evolved to a point where it was better not to kill members of your own species*, but to help them instead. The Greater Good and all that.

          *Except anyone outside the monkey sphere. I'm not saying I subscribe to the idea but it does seem interesting.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by MoriT ( 1747802 )
            But only until you were in competition for resources. Then, it might well have been useful to stab them in the back and take their stuff. Also, back then you had to keep seeing the same people every day. Game theory suggests games played repeatedly will play out differently than games played only once. So our behavioral evolution is less relevant to our modern behavior than one might think.
          • Well that's what I was wondering...if he was making a reference to to social behavior of humanity. In that case, it would probably be more appropriate to say that humanity has a social bias, rather than reality. However, since I wasn't sure what he was going for I figured I'd ask...hopefully he gets back from lunch soon.
        • I'm just curious, what exactly did you mean by this comment?

          Perhaps he meant that everything seems to be "socialist" today if you pay attention to people who seem to think socialism is another word for "evil." For instance, at this moment, someone is probably putting the finishing touches on a protest sign calling BP socialist, possibly while misspelling the word socialist.

        • He's making a play on Colbert's comment at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner:

          Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

          As a general point, "reality has a well known ______ bias" is an absurdist's explanation for why reality refuses to support an unpopular ideology.

          The GP was pointing out both the prevalence of "socialist" policies throughout the Western world.
          The implication being that it's unfortunate that capitalism and the free market haven't taken over yet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        my reality has a conservative bias, i don't know how yours works. []

        * Conservation of energy
        * Conservation of linear momentum
        * Conservation of angular momentum
        * Conservation of electric charge
        * Conservation of color charge
        * Conservation of weak isospin
        * Conservation

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          If our conservatives would concern themselves mainly with the conservation of weak isospin, they'd get my vote in an instant. I am all for that. Unfortunately, they concern themselves mostly with the conservation of the wealth of the already wealthy.
    • Socialism works in societies where there is a good cooperative spirit and little desire to game the system for one's own goals. Otherwise... you get China and the only one to benefit is the occasional Mao, Pol Pot or Stalin.

    • one big problem: winter most of the year.

    • Seems like the "socialist" Scandinavian countries are the most honest and "free".

      Hmm. So a country that focuses on benefits for society turns out to be better for members of the society that individuals choose to join, than a country that simply focuses on individuals who might individually make poor decisions about their own needs. Funny how that works, eh?

  • Bandwagon anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NervousWreck ( 1399445 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:27PM (#32593728)
    According to the article, Iceland did this to make it a more desirable server location. Seems like that market can serve as an incentive for more "data friendly" laws; Here's hoping other countries follow suit.
    • Re:Bandwagon anyone? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:35PM (#32593862)

      They did this because Wikileaks posted bank records for one of their failing banks which showed they were transferring billions of dollars out into safe havens as they were going down. Seeing as how the big bank fiasco tanked their economy they didn't take to kindly to this misappropriation of funds and decided Wikileaks was a good thing.

    • by lawpoop ( 604919 )
      Is there really big money in catering to sites like cryptome and wikileaks? Only the most non-mainstream of journalists are going to see this as a plus. NYT or WaPo aren't ever going to run afoul of American laws regarding their website; not in a way that would impact their bottom line, I don't think. Don't get me wrong, I think wikileaks and cryptome are the greatest thing since the printing press. But I would think that if a country wants to be a go-to place for server hosting to make money, they would l
      • Is there really big money in catering to sites like cryptome and wikileaks?

        Depends on your business model. If you have targeted ads, you might do well.

        A well placed antacid advertisement might just hook a scumbag CEO reading about himself.

        An amazon associate link to The Book of Virtues [] probably wouldn't go over so well to the same CEO.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hitmark ( 640295 )

        NYT or WaPo could probably pull a nice one by leaking finds to wikileaks or similar, and then writing a article about some leak from a unknown source to wikileaks. Basically, as long as it cant be proven that they did the leak, they both get to blow the whistle, and wash their hands by pointing the finger at a third party.

    • Seems like the should promote themselves as a location for "passive cooling" and offer carbon credits or something equivalent.

      • by dave420 ( 699308 )
        They also have abundant geothermal energy production, so a data center only needs an internet connection, and it's good to go.
  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:31PM (#32593802)

    The proposal to draft some rules is now official. The rules themselves will now be drafted by a committee, and then the committee will present them to the legislature, which may then in the future enact them. The proposal is indeed promising, as is the strong (unanimous) support for tasking the committee with fleshing it out, but what exactly the committee will come back with could vary quite a bit.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing a little Gunboat Diplomacy couldn't resolve.

  • The Evil Empire will never find us here, General Assange!
  • by jdesbonnet ( 22 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:42PM (#32593946)

    That will probably be all undone as a condition to EU membership (which I think is inevitable at this point).

    • > That will probably be all undone as a condition to EU membership


    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jbssm ( 961115 )

      What are you talking about? Check the world stats for freedom of the press []. EU countries are ALL, either less restrictive than USA or at most, some are equally restrictive.

      I know things are not perfect around here when you go on a country by country basis in southern European countries and Eastern European, but most of the laws and directives of the EU commission are quite good ones for the normal citizen, you can see they are not there just to defend the rich ones.

      But mostly and what shows me that you don'

  • ...flat, drab passion meanders across the screen in reaction to this piece. And the crowd goes "Yay."
  • Now if only Iceland hid some forgotten caches of WW2-era war-gold then it would be the perfect placr to build The Crypt []

  • insensitive clod!
  • by Favonius Cornelius ( 1691688 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:27PM (#32594552)
    For those small island states, especially broke ones, you need to invent a reason for people to care. This kind of freedom of speech could bring in money in one form or another and help remake Iceland. Good for them!
    • Or make big corporations bully you into giving up said freedom. And ruin your economy as you resist.

  • How long will they be able to resist the strong arm tactics of the WTO and UN.

  • Doesn't the U.S. already have a law protecting journalists?

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      problem is that big media and US government seems to be walking hand in hand these days.

      end result being that whats good for big media is good for the "elected" rulers of USA.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.