Iceland Unanimously Approves Wikileaks Bill To Establish Free Speech Press Haven

from the good-news dept

paperbag was the first of a few of you to let us know that the Wikileaks-backed proposal in Iceland, to establish wide ranging free speech/free press/free expression rules has passed, unanimously. Basically, the law is designed to protect operations like Wikileaks, and encourage more and more protections for speech. While it's a great step forward for those who believe in protecting free expression, some have pointed out that that it probably won't have that much of an actual impact, because of the way most countries interpret jurisdictional issues. That is, outside of Iceland, those press freedoms may be effectively meaningless. I hope that's not actually true, but given the way some recent rulings have gone, I wouldn't be surprised. Still, from the standpoint of catalyzing important discussions about free expression and protection of journalistic activities, hopefully it gets other countries thinking about ways to fix their laws, rather than relying on outdated regulations.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 1:15pm


    What is the Icelandic equivalent of "Erin go Bragh"?

    It may not have much impact, but at least it is a step in the right direction.

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

  2. identicon
    Leo Ghost, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Actually, it may have great effects.

    One of the greatest questions about this is why other countries should care, laws have told us that the crime is committed at point of download, not where the information is from. However, it is worthwhile to note that currently Wikileaks routes all its releases through Sweden, and so far it has been able to keep all sources secret (Manning gave himself away). If in the future they route everything through Iceland, it may be impossible for other countries to get the names of the sources. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if most journalism is routed through Iceland in the future. With laws in the USA increasing, we need to latch on to any freedom while we can.

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

  3. icon
    Overcast (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Doh - wrong dang post~! ooops.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Awesome bill is awesome

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

  5. icon
    senshikaze (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:11pm

    this is how the Data Haven from Cryptonomicon starts. Awesome. Go huge-volcanic-ash-spewing-island,err... Iceland!
    Yea. Iceland.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:33pm

    in a related story, the rest of the world blocks iceland from the internet.

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

  7. icon
    mrharrysan (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Epiphyte

    As an employee of Epiphyte corporation, I can say that, yes we have been looking into Iceland as a data haven.

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

  8. identicon
    Chunky Vomit, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 3:56pm

    Sadly, this is a movement that the United States should be leading.

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

  9. identicon
    Jordan, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 4:47pm

    Unintended uses

    Anyone who has seen or read 'The Corporation', and probably many others as well, knows that the law passed ment to give all people equal rights was never used as it was intended. The only case that has gone to court over this was Corporations demanded they be given all the rights a single person is given, under this law. According to them, they are a single entity and must be treated as a single person. They got all rights and protections according to this law and this law alone; Yet they have none of the accountability because you can't put a corporation in jail for some reason.

    I'm worried that with all of these new laws pertaining to freedoms that are cropping up, we could an equivalent situation all over again.

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

  10. identicon
    Davis Freeberg, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 5:03pm

    I don't think it matters if the press freedoms don't exist outside of Iceland because the original story will be out there for people to find. Part of the problem with Wikilinks is because they are groundzero for a story they are being targeted, if it becomes impossible to shut them up, then the info will get out there because other reporters in Iceland will have a chance to expose it. Maybe other countries won't get to see the raw data, but at least they'll be a place where whistleblowers can leak data without repurcusions.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 5:21pm


    China tried to do it the other way around. How well did that work?

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

  12. identicon
    Savita, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 1:26am

    Like most citizens, I believe that media (old, new or wikileaks/cryptome) should expose any corruption in Govt, big business or totalitarian regimes.

    Wikileaks describes Cryptome as a venerable anti secrecy organization. And Wikileaks offered a home to Cryptome when it was under attack in USA.

    Ironically, while some of mainteam media are wary of Wikileaks, anti secrecy whistleblowing site Cryptome is keeping Wikileaks honest. Cryptome has published all of Assange's emails over a few years giving an insight to how he was moulded.

    Cryptome has also published letters from Wikileaks insiders about how Wikileaks only needs about $55 K to run servers but spends $200 K for business class travel, hotels and assorted expenses. Wikileaks founder has not denied a single Cryptome report.

    Now, we can get the Govts viewpoint. See what Wikileaks has to say. And get Cryptome's take as well. And only then make up our own mind.

    Wikileaks is a great idea. And so is Cryptome. Democracy is a wonderful thing.

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

  13. identicon
    Baldur Bjarnason, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:39am

    You lot are all missing out on the fact that this is brilliant news for us Icelanders. From our perspective it doesn't matter that much that this might not benefit overseas corporations, that'd just be a bonus. What matters is that corrupt *Icelandic* businessmen were using UK law to stifle *Icelandic* news coverage. They can't do that now. Anything else is, again, just a bonus.

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

  14. icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 7:26am


    Surely you jest. The US is trying to shut down wikileaks.

    Also, good job Iceland, you've just won a lot of respect from me.

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

  15. identicon
    Mike K, Jul 11th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Is Iceland the new "home of the free"?

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

  16. identicon
    Santa, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    All eggs in one basket? :) Bad Idea!

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

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