European Commission Chickens Out: Allows Hungarian Media Censorship

from the no-moral-backbone dept

There was plenty of concern earlier this year, as Hungary took over the EU Presidency just at the same time it had passed a worrying new internet censorship law that lets the government fine any content provider that it judges to not be sufficiently "balanced." The European Commission apparently had planned to criticize the law... but somehow chickened out at the last minute. Glyn Moody points us to a (slightly confusing) account of what happened, where minutes before a vote was to be taken, some sort of "deal" was struck that appears to let Hungary continue to censor the media. Among the "concessions," it appears that the "balanced" part won't apply to internet-only media, but will still apply to other media. Online publications, though, still have to register with the government, and can face fines or get "dropped" from the register -- barring them from continuing to publish -- if they violate certain rules. As the report notes, this still seems like it goes against the basic concepts of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Feb 21st, 2011 @ 10:13pm

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, one less country i can flee to if the usa decides to start censoring

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2011 @ 11:05pm

    Re:

    Whaddya mean "starts"?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 21st, 2011 @ 11:30pm

    Surprise surprise. You mean you can't just do whatever you want just because it's on the Internet? If those are their laws in real life, why wouldn't they apply online as well?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Mr Big Content, Feb 21st, 2011 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Whaddya mean "starts"?

    Donít you worry, the US Government would never dream of oppressing its citizens, because so many of them are armed, and at the slightest hint of any danger to their liberties, they would rise up as one and pulverize the oppressors.

    It is the Second Amendment that keeps us free.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2011 @ 11:52pm

    Re:

    Surprise surprise, you didn't even bother reading the article.

    They aren't laws in real life. They ONLY apply online. No, something does not suddenly become more illegal just because its online.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    RikuoAmero (profile), Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 12:04am

    Re:

    Guess you didn't read the full article. According to this crazy law, you have to register with the Hungarian government to publish. Criticising the government in a news report would have to be "balanced" with something that praises the government.
    Also, think of it this way. This balancing mentality...imagine writing a news article say about a Nazi who's been captured after evading the authorities for decades. This law would have you balance the article, so on the same page, you would report about a Nazi wanted for the crimes of potentially thousands, and also praise him for something good he's done.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 12:14am

    Censorship is the future of the Internet.

    Suck it up.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 2:21am

    Re:

    Nice scarecrow you have there, let me burn it for you.

    This law only criminalises publishing anything without a license. That means, if you publish your own work online without obtaining a license from the government, you are liable for jailtime.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Tfp, Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 4:53am

    As an EU subject

    'Hungary took over the EU Presidency'

    I demand that they be sacked immediately for attempting to stifle free speech.

    ALL governments LIE all the TIME and love subjugation, even yours.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Another Brick in the Wall

    Governments all over the world seem to be moving to eliminate freedom. The ONLY ones moving the other way seem to be the ones that are facing revolt. It's a shame that they're all that way but a reminder to people that if you want freedom, you're going to HAVE to revolt every once in a while. No wonder governments are scared to death of the internet.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 8:27am

    The Socialist European Union. Remember it's the SEU now.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    "The Socialist European Union. Remember it's the SEU now."

    That's right a socialist European union founded and built on the classic socialist foundation of a trading bloc.


    You're giving AC's a bad name you know.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Raif, Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Whaddya mean "starts"?

    Are you writing ironically?

    It would take quite a bit for the US citizenry have the resolve for a violent revolution, and I don't think small arms would help. :)

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    OK, so that's a fatalistic response. If you really don't think you can change anything, then wouldn't it make sense to just save yourself some energy by not posting defeatist comments?

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This