Blog   |   Italy

In Italy, vote postponed on Berlusconi's ‘gag law’

Berlusconi finds a wiretap bill more difficult to pass than expected. (AP/Riccardo De Luca)

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is leaving for vacation in a very bad mood. On Thursday, the House of Deputies, although dominated by Berlusconi’s center-right coalition, decided to postpone until September its vote on a wiretap bill that had been considered a bellwether by a government wracked by internecine wars and confronted with ominous poll predictions.

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Israeli forces detain journalists aboard humanitarian flotilla

New York, June 1, 2010--Israel should immediately release the journalists it detained along with hundreds of peace activists on Monday after Israeli forces stormed a convoy of ships carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. According to international news reports and CPJ interviews, Israeli forces arrested at least 20 journalists aboard the humanitarian flotilla; three have since been released.

Blog   |   Italy

Chilling Google verdict in Italy

David Drummond is one of three Google executives given a suspended prison term. (Reuters)

Italy was already the Internet freedom bad boy among western European democracies with its plans to extend broadcast TV licensing requirements to video sites. But the conviction today by a Milan judge of three Google executives is more than a one-off case of antisocial cyber behavior. It could end the protection that Web platforms now enjoy for user posted content. Potentially, that would mean that every video posted on the company’s YouTube site would have to be pre-screened for compliance with the law. That’s impossible for a site that is uploading almost a day’s worth of video every minute worldwide.

Internet freedom defenders had been expecting the worst for months, and Judge Oscar Magi didn’t disappoint. He gave six-month suspended prison sentences to David Drummond, Google's senior vice president and chief legal officer, Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel, and George Reyes, a former chief financial officer. 

February 24, 2010 5:49 PM ET


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