Iceland Wants To Become A Hub For Free Speech Journalism Protection

from the didn't-see-that-coming dept

Iceland got some bad press in the last year over its massive rise and devastating fall as a financial powerhouse, despite having such a tiny population. But now, the isolated island nation has decided that if it can't be the center of the financial world, it might as well become the hub for investigative journalism. It's set to announce "the strongest combination of source protection, freedom of speech, and libel-tourism prevention laws in the world." My first thought on hearing of this was that it sounded like the country wanted to become a haven for Wikileaks... and, indeed, the report at Nieman Lab says that Wikileaks was involved in drafting the new legislation. I think this is a great idea -- and the world needs places where free speech is much more seriously protected, but I do wonder how it will work in practice.
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Filed Under: free speech, iceland, investigative journalism, journalism, wikileaks

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Feb 2010 @ 1:51pm


    It will take some time, but eventually the laws will change to allow them reasonable safe harbors even in the U.S. and most everywhere.

    I know you are very anti civil rights and you want unjust laws that favor you unfairly but if history has shown us anything, most laws that favor a small faction of the population eventually get demolished (though often does take a long time and a lot of hard work). I mean, not too long ago slavery used to be legal and even after slavery was reduced racial discrimination was legal and often written into various laws/the legal system. Look how far we, as a society, have progressed towards getting rid of unjust laws, do you honestly believe that your desire to create, maintain, and enforce unjust laws will continue to be satisfied for a very long period if time.

    However, we must also realize that unjust laws don't just get rid of themselves. History has shown that it takes a lot of work to eliminate unjust laws and the Internet is not going to magically eliminate them either.

    and as far as being able to punish those that leak information, they can't even do that now in areas without safe harbors. Heck, China can't even control information flow (much less the U.S.) and their many many attempts in the past have completely failed. Many journalists are willing to be punished (and go to jail or worse) and have been punished for not revealing their sources. The government can't jail everyone. The war on information distribution will fail just like the war on drugs and the war on terrorism.

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