Italy: Successful Protest Protects Internet
Avaaz, a global non-profit organization dedicated to social democracy, celebrates a victory for the internet as legislation for the “gag law” in Italy was once again postponed last week. The organization collected over 600,000 signatures in support of a petition to prevent the law from passing.
According to Index on Censorship, the law would “[Allow] the executive to shut down web pages, bypassing the judiciary power in case of defamation; [force] newspapers to rectify what they wrote within 48 hours at the request of the person ‘offended’ by the article; it includes heavy fines for newspapers that publish material leaked from the judiciary, and it [would] probably include prison sentences for guilty journalists.”
As it is widely believed the motivation for this bill was self-serving for Berlusconi in the wake of a series of alleged sex scandals, this temporary victory marks the Italian public’s refusal to be bound by the strictures of their bacchanalian Prime Minister.