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article imageItalian Wikipedia shuts down in protest of new wiretapping law

By Andrew Moran     Oct 5, 2011 in Internet
Rome - Italian Wikipedia is protesting Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's new wiretapping law that would force bloggers and publications to remove objectionable content and revise it within 48 hours. it.wikipedia.org is now shut down.
If you’re attempting to access the Italian Wikipedia, unfortunately you won’t get passed the first page.
Administrators of the Italian Wikipedia issued a release to notify its users that they are protesting Italy’s pending wiretapping legislation by hiding its content. Wikipedia explains that Italy’s looming Internet laws will put the publication in danger of being deleted by force.
The law known as the “Wiretapping Act” will require websites to correct published content within 48 hours that is deemed as objectionable. Any Internet user who feels offended by the subject matter on a website can request a correction even if it is true and accurate. The website could face a fine of up to 12,000 euros ($16,000).
“The page you want still exists and is only hidden, but the risk is that soon we will be forced to actually delete it,” writes Wikipedia on its homepage. “Unfortunately, the very pillars on which Wikipedia has been built – neutrality, freedom, and verifiability of its contents – are likely to be heavily compromised.”
Wikipedia noted that for more than a decade now, the internal review team has enhanced its content process and has said that it does not need a law to deal with related issues.
“During all these years, the users of Wikipedia (and we want, once more, to point out that Wikipedia does not have an editorial staff) have always been available to review - and modify, if needed - any content deemed to be detrimental to anyone, without harm to the Project's neutrality and independence.”
Activist groups and non-governmental organizations have already criticized the proposed law and stated that it will be used to stifle freedom of speech and curb negative media coverage of the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, notes PC World.
The Italian Parliament is currently reviewing and debating the legislation put forth.
More about italian wikipedia, Wikipedia, italy wiretapping law, Silvio berlusconi
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