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Next G8 President Wants To "Regulate the Internet" 279 279

antispam_ben writes "The President of Italy, which will have the Presidency of the G8 starting January 1, says he wants to use the future position of Italy to 'Regulate the Internet.' Italy's President Berlusconi appears to be a cantankerous character, prompting riots when Italy last had the G8 presidency in 2001. This will no doubt be a serious effort, but knowing the fundamental design of the Internet involves routing around damage, the efforts could be more amusing than threatening." Update — 12/5 at 00:04 by SS: Reader fondacio noted that Silvio Berlusconi is Italy's Prime Minister, not its President. He is Italy's G8 representative, and Italy will hold the presidency in 2009.
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Next G8 President Wants To "Regulate the Internet"

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  • Not the president (Score:5, Informative)

    by fondacio (835785) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @07:45PM (#25996495)
    Berlusconi is not the president of Italy. He's the prime minister. The president is Giorgio Napolitano [].
  • by earlymon (1116185) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @07:49PM (#25996545) Homepage Journal

    Whack him as crazy all you want, but the truth is that he's crazy and despotic. From TFA:

    Berlusconi owns swathes of the Italian mass media.

    The left-wing newspaper L'Unita wrote: "You can not say that it is not a disturbing proclamation, given that the only countries in the world where there are filters or restrictions against internet are countries ruled by dictatorial regimes: those between China, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia."

    And -

    Any G8 move next year to "regulate the internet" led by Berlusconi is likely to attract criticism. He has often been accused of using his power to try to silence dissent. He lost a long-running libel battle against The Economist earlier this year after it said he was not "fit to run Italy" and was this week suing American critic Andrew Stille for defamation.

    More on this guy - []

  • by ilithiiri (836229) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @07:51PM (#25996579) Homepage Journal

    Here for his post []

    Beppe Grillo is an Italian *comedian* turned blogger turned person fed up with the current state of italian affairs. He tried (so far in vain) to promote laws signed by the populace, which would not allow politicians to be in the Parliament if they have been convicted by courts.

    On any other country (well, most of them) this would be implied, wouldn't it?

    No chance!

    Read on to [] for the state of the art of the Italian parliament.

    25 politicians in the Italian and European parliament convicted by courts.

    Did they steal candy? No chance.

    We're talking about judge corruption, extortion, that sort of stuff.

    On topic: Berlusconi seems he'd like now to create a UNIQUE ID for every net citizen so that they'd be univocally identified on the Internet.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 04, 2008 @07:56PM (#25996635)

    First, there's not only one mafia. The mafia you know is the sicilian mafia, whose focus is mainly on drugs and "pizzo" (a fee asked as an insurance that nothing happens to your possessions). In other regions in the south, there are 'ndrangheta (in Calabria), Camorra (in Campania, the region where Naples is) and Sacra Corona Unita (in Puglia, the "heel of the boot"). Then, you have the kidnappers in Sardinia.

    Ndrangheta makes money mainly from kidnapping, "pizzo" and control, plus the usual stuff. Sacra Corona Unita is not very frequently in the news. Camorra is behind everything can be pumped money from in Campania: from drugs to pizzo to garbage collection and disposal, as you heard in the news recently, even to undertakers (yep, you read correctly). All these mafias are deeply rooted in the local behavior, with the population either supporting directly or indirectly. Moreover, they have strong connections with politics, either with the local Communes or regional administrations or even at the State level. It is not unheard of that some illuminated major has been found burned alive chained to his car just because he fired an employee, so in this picture, even if you want to change things, you really cannot.

    Therefore, the mafia does what carries them money. They don't do strong public events if they can prevent it, because that would likely involve an outburst of police. Making Berlusconi disappear would be a very strong act, something that mafia is unlikely to do unless strongly menaced (something that happened with two judges, Falcone and Borsellino). Please note that politicians have been killed in Italy (eg. Aldo Moro) by extremist left-wing terrorists (the so called Brigate Rosse) which do not have anything to do with mafia.

    In the north of italy (eg. from florence up north) mafia does exists, but because of the many southerns that moved in, and brought some activity. The people from the North of italy are very different, and they dont' like the southeners at all. Some actually consider them Italian-speaking africans.

  • by Vihai (668734) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @08:05PM (#25996759) Homepage

    "You can not say that it is not a disturbing proclamation, given that the only countries in the world where there are filters or restrictions against internet are countries ruled by dictatorial regimes: those between China, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia.

    And Italy. Yes, Italy has a state list of sites to be filtered.

    With the excuse of protection from child pornography they started state filter and they are now expanding them to block other inconvenient sites.

    First online gambling sites not agreeing to pay italian administration their share.

    Then sites selling cigarettes.

    Then The Pirate Bay.

    It is just a matter of time until they will block sites criticizing the government itself.

  • Let the Internet Be (Score:2, Informative)

    by zach_the_lizard (1317619) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @08:38PM (#25997117)
    The internet is the freest and most unregulated source of information there is. Certainly governments would want to regulate this, as many facts that make them uncomfortable can be spread. The mainstream media cannot be counted on to report everything; look at their cheer leading for the Iraq invasion. Latvia even made it a crime to criticize their central bank policies, and bloggers can end up in trouble. The internet needs less regulation, not more. All we'll end up with with regulation is having to pay or bribe (directly or indirectly) some stupid government official to get business done.
  • by Pandare (975485) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:29PM (#25998593)
    In California, where several episodes of To Catch a Predator were filmed, there is potentially a civil claim to be made if it is the case that the film crew divulged private facts about the predator. Additionally, there is also a potential harm in that the show may present the predator in a false light, i.e. they are implying that the predator's intent is different than his actual intent.

    The other two torts regarding privacy aren't applicable, since the guy agreed to enter the house of someone else where the crew presumably got the permission of the owners to film. So, it seems that they do not specifically need permission from the people being filmed to air their faces if they're confident that the guy actually did it. Since they work with the cops, it's safe to assume they only show the guilty ones, so those found innocent aren't being misrepresented. This is completely ignoring the entrapment claim that could be made in the criminal courts, since the question asked was do they need express permission.

    Relevant laws and cites include an RCFP [] advisory, and both Cal. Civ. Code  990, 3344 [] and Cal. Civ. Code  1708.8 []

    And IANAL, nor do I claim any special knowledge of the law, but I'm taking my LSAT on Saturday, for whatever that matters.
  • Re:Not the president (Score:3, Informative)

    by thirty-seven (568076) on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:49AM (#25999087)
    No, the government in Spain is run by the "Presidente del Gobierno", literally President of the Government not President of the Nation. This is using the non-US definition of "government", meaning "executive branch". This basically means "chairman of the cabinet", which is what "prime minister" or "first minister" also means. Indeed, the Spanish "Presidente del Gobierno" is usually called the "Prime Minister" in English.
  • by Kagura (843695) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:46AM (#25999397)
    Berlusconi is not the president of Italy. He's the prime minister. The president is Giorgio Napolitano [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @05:56AM (#26000651)

    That's hillarious. Berlusconi is the mafia. He owns all major television stations and use them intensively to spread his propaganda, and during his last term (yes, he was reelected and no one outside Italy understands how) he enacted laws protecting him against lawsuits being run against him. Horrible, horrible politician by European standards, but Italy has given up on democracy, and that is what is keeping Berlusconi in power.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein