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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    anon, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    legalize prostitution

    The country is full of gorgeous six foot tall blonde women, they will make a fortune in sex trourism!

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    anon, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    legalize prostitution

    The country is full of gorgeous six foot tall blonde women, they will make a fortune in sex trourism!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    "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."

    The mainstream media of the U.S. will declare war on them (or, rather, they will pull some strings and congress, their puppets, will declare war on them).

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Financial Aid

    Considering their financial problems, I think maybe Iceland is just going to use this as a threat to get financial aid from the worlds larger, wealthier nations. You know, offer them the right financial aid packages and they'll just forget about this.

     

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  5.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    say what?

    A country with no money will not be swayed by power. Think about it.

    If they have the best journalistic protection, then it's even more assured that they will have significantly more power than a country with money, aka the US.

    As an example, look at how sweden handles piracy issues irrespective of US sway/attempts to influence it.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, the U.S. is clearly losing the war on terrorism. We sent, what, 30K + troops after Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda constitutes, what, 2K members. Yet for every member of Al Qaeda that dies as a result of this war how many MORE U.S. troops die in this war? A LOT more.

     

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  7.  
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    PRMan, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Sounds like a recipe...

    This sounds like a recipe for being invaded at some point in the future when a power like neighboring Britain no longer likes what you are saying.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    (to continue what I said) I'm not saying that this war on terrorism is a bad thing, I am certainly not Muslim and would hate to live under an Islam regime. I'm just stating the facts as they are, the U.S. is indeed losing the war on terrorism.

     

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  9.  
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    Rasmus, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Financial Aid

    You could be right, but on the other hand you might be wrong.

    Because there is a certain pride in Icelanders regarding these matters. The country was founded by people fleeing from Norway to retain their free speech and suppression from the central government. Almost everyone in Iceland is a direct descendant of those early founders from around 900 AD.

    So being a haven for free speech and freedom from suppression is a core element in the national mythology in Iceland.

     

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  10.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    Unless all the reporters are going to move to Iceland and stay there, they will likely not be able to avoid libel in the country they live in. Virtual hiding won't work.

     

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  11.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Financial Aid

    It used to be a core element in the national mythology of the U.S. as well. I think there used to be Constitutional Amendments regarding it, I think. But no one pays any attention to those anymore.

     

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  12.  
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    DazzaJ, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    Great idea for Australians

    This would be good for Australians seeing Conroy and the Labour dictators are trying to bring in filtering, and numerous laws to limit Australian online content, both access and posting. It has to be approved content! (Great wall of OZ)
    I think if they also setup hosting plans and VPN networks they could attract a lot of people from countries like China, Australia and the like!

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re:

    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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  14.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I am certainly not Muslim and would hate to live under an Islam regime."

    Hmm, how certain are you of this? For instance, would you consider the USA to be a "Christian" regime? I wouldn't, but others do, I suppose.

    In any case, there are examples of moderate Islamic nations out there in which you probably wouldn't feel "Oppressed" in the way you might be thinking...

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Many journalists are willing to be punished (and go to jail or worse...

    Many more, perhaps most, are not.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

    Unless all the reporters are going to move to Iceland and stay there, they will likely not be able to avoid libel in the country they live in. Virtual hiding won't work.



    Do you support freedom of speech ?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If so few people were willing to risk their lives to stand up for what they believe in the U.S. military and many other governments would be unable to recruit anyone.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The freedoms that we enjoy in the U.S. exist exactly because there were so many people in history willing to sacrifice a lot in order to achieve those freedoms. When it comes to people standing up for something they believe I do believe many people will be willing to sacrifice a lot.

    When you think "journalist" you are probably referring to the corrupt mainstream media and so you figure that they would never sacrifice anything for something they believed was good for society. But the mainstream media does not constitute journalists, they constitute a corporate controlled criminal organization.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:44pm

    Re:

    No, TAM only supports an oppressive government that unfairly benefits him.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    I support free speech for those who are willing to take responsibility for their speech.

    The "freedom of speech" is a one sided concept that allows people to say whatever they want without concern. Freedom of Speech is too often a cover for dishonest speech, misleading speech, and so on.

    Without a fair balance between free speech and responsibility for that speech, it just becomes another abusive weapon.

     

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  21.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re:

    "Without a fair balance between free speech and responsibility for that speech, it just becomes another abusive weapon."

    I'm sorry, but that is an absolute misunderstanding of what freedom of speech is and why it is so important. Talk like that should be reserved for elite globalists. Limiting freedom of speech is the one domino that, if removed, destroys the pyramid of freedom on the whole.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Jorge, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    Sneakers 1992

    We’ve seen how the US and others have leaned on Switzerland to release private bank info to capture tax cheats. I could see how Iceland would suffer a similar fate regarding informants. I wonder if they have done a full threat analysis regarding this move?

     

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  23.  
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    Roger A, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh, you mean like Fox News?

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re:

    Hahahahahahaha....

    Hahahahahahahahahaha...

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

    What's your real name Mr. "Free speech for those willing to take responsibility"? Put it out in the open, and sing it loud. Address and phone number too. Let's see just how willing you are to take full responsibility for your free speech.

     

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  25.  
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    mrharrysan (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe TAM is really Glen Beck??!!

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Re:

    So people should be allowed to exercise free speech but they should be willing to take the punishment for their free speech. So if someone disagrees with the president they should be allowed to disagree but then they should be willing to face the consequences, like jail time or execution. But that defeats the purpose of free speech. By your standards free speech exists everywhere and has always existed everywhere. By your standards we don't even need a constitution protecting our free speech because we all have free speech, we just have to face the consequences afterwords.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re:

    I almost never agree with you about anything, TAM, but I've tried really hard to respect you and your rediculous opinions, despite the fact that you argue against basic facts (such as simple economic priciples) like a child.

    After this posting, I no longer have any respect for you or anything you ever have to say. You've just lost any benefit of the doubt I was giving you. You, just like the opinions you express, are worthless.

     

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  28.  
    icon
    Derek Bredensteiner (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re:

    I just can't wrap my head around this "responsibility for speech" concept a few folks seem to advocate. You say it with such seriousness that it makes me think you must have some reasoning behind it, I just don't get it.

    How can we have any sort of reasonable discourse and make any sort of progress if either party is afraid of reprisal for the things they say?

    I assume you hide behind a pseudonym because you do fear consequences from your speech, however unjust those consequences may be. Perhaps even as simple as some people might (unjustifiably) take some inappropriate action against you. But you argue that everyone else should take full responsibility for everything they say because there's never any consequences?

    It's not just the government to fear, it's idiots too.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Sorry not interested ...there broke no money

    ya right you cant manage your country you want people to move there and let who run it and hows that isp doing that stifles free speech and hows MICROSFOT doing over there and ....you get the hint

    SHAM ME SCAM colour me green .....

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    hey i know what to do, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 4:28pm

    lets sue bit torren ttrackers

    thast not against free speech in anyway
    http://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-tracker-loses-lengthy-legal-battle-100211/

    ya know like people might want to use and share FREELY

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    anti anonymous, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    ya know the TAM guy

    hey how about making sense insead of trying to use hyperbole on people to ry and confuse confound and stir the pot up( oh wait that pot aint your its mine...smokes it) you though got hay and are smoking it....

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re:

    I support free speech for those who are willing to take responsibility for their speech.

    Translation: You can say whatever you want as long as I can shoot you for it.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What's your real name Mr. "Free speech for those willing to take responsibility"? Put it out in the open, and sing it loud. Address and phone number too. Let's see just how willing you are to take full responsibility for your free speech.

    TAM is a lying hypocrite to the hilt.

     

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  34.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Your right to free speech ends right where it affects my rights.

    "FIRE!"

    If you are not willing to take responsibility for your speech, not accept what it does to others (especially when it ir untrue), then you haven't earned it.

    Free speech isn't an absolute.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hint: If you don't support speech you don't like, then you don't actually support free speech at all.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hardly anything you say is ever true yet I support your right to free speech.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your right to free speech ends right where it affects my rights.

    It isn't your right to deny others their rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Paul`, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 10:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ... So all Muslims are terrorists and want to live under Sharia law? I'm pretty sure they'd move to a country with Sharia law if that where the case.

    Also, guerilla warfare tactics (those used my the insurgents, I wouldn't call them terrorists if they are fighting an invading force) are particularly effective against regular militaries as they work with minimal troop numbers and can inflict large casualties.

    Back on topic though, yay for Iceland.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Paul`, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    These days they tend to throw money and collage degrees at people to get the to join.

     

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  40.  
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    packrat (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 4:54am

    iceland

    database center, free speech and data minging shadow profiles!

    if the DB's are free, (not copyright) LOTS of people will be linking in there, don't you think?

    sounds like the place irsh monks discovered is gonna BURIED under nat. enquirier reporting to me.

    I want to move there. We'll see how the ref goes..
    packrat

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    "From an economic perspective, individuals who give away copyrighted works illegally can cause as much harm as those who sell those works illegally"

    From a common sense perspective, no one owes you a monopoly on anything and as such, any time someone buys a piece of work from you that you have copy privileges on, they are giving you UNOWED money. and all the money that you claim they should pay you for infringement is UNOWED. and all the money that courts grant you from those who infringe on your privileges is UNOWED money. We shouldn't allow your privilege to collect unowed money to get in the way of our rights.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    Re:

    oops, meant to post this somewhere else. Sorry. You may delete it from here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    Pay no attention to the paid shill for mpaa/riaa. It's not worth your time or effort.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Ex local music promoter geek, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 7:07pm

    What about when the servers all end up in Iceland?

    When lawsuits and DMCA gets more abusive in the states, people are going to be anonymously posting to servers in Iceland, because Iceland will protect anonymity and free speech. Which is a huge economic boon to Iceland. And once the economic benefits are realized, I'd bet that other countries will start changing laws to bust of their piece of the cheddar.

    Perhaps not the US, UK, China etc. but smaller countries with smoother legal systems and no real industry might start to recognize the economic potential that 100 technophiles and 10,000 servers might offer their nation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    Dementia (profile), Feb 15th, 2010 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In point of fact, this applies to most rights. Your rights are only rights until they infringe on someone else's rights.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    vpn china, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:55am

    vpn

    i am in china, and i can unblock it with a china vpn, but it's really a pain to have to do that

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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