by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 21st 2011 10:03pm
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.
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