Norway Looking To Force ISPs To Censor The Internet
from the great-firewall-moves-north dept
There aren’t many details here, but it sounds like Norway is thinking about putting in place an internet censorship plan that’s similar to what’s in China. ISPs would be responsible for blocking various sites that the government didn’t like — including foreign gambling sites (government monopoly on gambling would be protected), any sites that offer unauthorized downloads, sites that are seen as “desecrating the Flag or Coat of Arms of a foreign nation,” sites “promoting hatred towards public authorities, racism and hate speech” and “Sites offering pornography that may cause offence.” While it sounds like this is still a long way away from becoming law, there are obviously a ton of problems with this. Beyond the first point, which is clearly just to preserve a lucrative government monopoly, the rest are pretty subjective and open to wide interpretation. Promoting hatred towards public authorities could be seen as just about any political blog. Hell, perhaps this post could be seen as qualifying to be blocked. Also, trying to ban pornography sites is impossible, because there is no definition of pornography that covers everything. There are a ton of sites out there that “may offend” some people — but won’t offend most people. It’s not clear what good such a proposal would actually do — but it’s pretty clear that it would probably piss off a lot of perfectly reasonable Norwegian residents who want the freedom to use the internet as they please. Update: In the comments, it’s pointed out that this proposal is not supported by the majority, and probably won’t go anywhere.