Last March I posted that the French Constitutional Council had approved a law that could lead to creation of a parallel judicial system controlling the publication of information on the Internet, effectively banning journalists from reporting violence. At that time, the French government proposed
a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers, identifying them as government-approved sources of information if they adhere to certain rules.
One of the reasons I post on France is that, where France leads, Europe follows.
Well, today Baron Bodissey posts about censorship in Finland, The proposed law, however, is much more far-reaching and included IM and IRC, and includes the hiring of
moderators censors to monitor it all.
The items in italics are the replies by Finnish State Prosecutor Mika Illman on the proposed law:
Hiring an adequate number of moderators would become mandatory, as it already is mandatory for a network publication to have an editor, who is responsible for controlling the journalistic work.
3. How does your suggestion take IRC and instant messages into account?
The principle is the same. The administrator would have a duty to monitor the discussion and in due time to take action against clearly illegal material. This is no stronger obligation than the one TV or radio broadcaster has in the case of live broadcast.
Who would pay for all this and how it would be done two of the many unasked questions.
Couldn’t happen here, you say? Here in the USA, broadcast radio is trying to censor internet radio. Little Miss Attila explains why you should support H.R. 2060.
Update: And then, there’s using the Fairness Doctrine As Political Intimidation
In preparation for the 2008 elections, Democrats in Congress are trying to intimidate radio and TV broadcasters into including more Democrat views into their programs.
They are trying to resurrect an antiquated Federal Communications Commission regulation, the Fairness Doctrine, to require that opposing sides be presented to arguments. The Fairness Doctrine emerged at a time of very few radio, then TV, stations. Although in 1969 the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality, in 1974 the Supreme Court did conclude the Doctrine “inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate”, and in 1984 that a scarcity of airwaves argument was by then flawed as a multitude of stations emerged and were expected. In 1985 the FCC ceased to support a Fairness Doctrine, and formally scrapped it in 1987. The number of radio stations has doubled since 1970, the former three networks’ TV stations are now challenged by over 500 alternatives, and the Internet carries a wide-diversity of views.
At root of the current push by Democrats is, as conservative columnist Geoge Will observed, “The illiberals’ transparent, and often proclaimed, objective is to silence talk radio.” Why? “By trying to again empower the government to regulate broadcasting, illiberals reveal their lack of confidence in their ability to compete in the marketplace of ideas, and their disdain for consumer sovereignty – and hence for the public.”
Read evert word.