Sunday, October 28, 2007

Italy wants to register bloggers

THE country which bought you Benito Mussolini, the Catholic Church, the Roman Empire and other advocates of free speech is trying to bring in some of the toughest Internet gagging laws outside China.

Ricardo Franco Levi, undersecretary to the President of the Council, has written a law that requires anyone with a blog or a website has to register it with Communications Authority, produce certificates, pay a tax, even if they provide information without any intention to make money.

If you must blog you must form a publishing company and have a registered journalist on your board of directors running things.

The draft law has already been given the thumbs up by the Council of Ministers and now faces Parliament before becoming law.

With all the hoops that the new law makes people jump through, it is going to take a very dedicated bogger to want to set one up.

As far as the government is concerned, that is a good thing because people will stop saying nasty things about them on web sites.

The law will close down most blogs and those which survive have to be so certain about what they are publishing is true or else they go to jail.

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