Bonehead-Of-The-Day Award
by Jerry Lerman



Italy Makes Blogging A 2 Year Jailable Offense. They Didn't Mean To, But Still.  Italian Government Response?  2 Bloggers Down, 4,999,998 To Go
Technology ignorant judge takes down freedom of speech in one stroke of his pen

A Sicilian judge ruled earlier this year that blogging, under Italian law, is the same as publishing an unregistered newspaper. In Italy, publishing an unregistered newspaper is a crime of "stampa clandestina," and is punishable by large fines and/or jail. And so down went the first blogger.  He was noticed because he wrote unkind things about the Italian government.  A horrible legal precedent and basis for the ruling.

But by registering a blog, the blog would then be subject to all laws governing newspaper publishing which means the blogger could no longer freely write his or her thoughts.  And so it would no longer be a blog.  And especially there would be no right to criticize the government.

Since the ruling, another blogger has been taken down.  Apparently there are those in the Italian government who have decided to run with this opportunity.

The judge, not understanding a thing about the Internet, but still given authority over it,  unintentionally, with the stroke of a pen, took down the right of free speech in Italy and empowered the government to gag its citizens.   A demonstration of the awesome power of ignorance.

Good thing our US leaders, in charge of regulating technology, like Senator Ted "the tubes to nowhere" Stevens, have complete competence in, and understanding of, what they regulate.

The Register (UK)  26-Sep-08
Click here for original story


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