Over the last few years we've noticed a troubling trend for Italian politicians to push absolutely ridiculous
anti-internet policies. Some have claimed that much of this comes from the fact that current Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi owns a lot of the mainstream media outlets in the country, and the lack of control over the internet bothers him and his party -- which could explain why they use almost any opportunity to lash out
at the internet. To make matters worse, there seems to be particular confusion over things like YouTube, leading to the ongoing lawsuit that could sentence Google execs to jailtime for not removing a video fast enough
(Google took the video down within a couple hours of being alerted to it). Then there's the politician who tried to file lawsuits
against thousands of YouTube commenters.
So perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that politicians in Italy are proposing that all web video in the country must first be authorized by the Communications Ministry
(found via Slashdot
). Officially, Italian officials say that they're just implementing an EU directive on how to deal with product placement, but others note that this clearly goes way beyond that, with many seeing Berlusconi trying to stomp out online video competition to his media holdings.