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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Comments on “Iceland Wants To Become A Hub For Free Speech Journalism Protection”

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46 Comments
Designerfx (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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…

Paul` says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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.

Rasmus says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

DazzaJ (profile) says:

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!

The Anti-Mike (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Nastybutler77 (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Derek Bredensteiner (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

“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.

Ex local music promoter geek says:

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.

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