2 July 2011

Help us say no to Italian internet censorship

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AGCOM, Italy’s independent and autonomous Communications Authority is about to decide (on July 6) to controversially appoint itself – without any further Parliament approval needed – to take on the powers to order the removal of any online content in case of presumed copyright violation. It can black out foreign sites and take down Italian ones within 48 hours. No further court decision is required for these actions to take effect.

The deliberation 668/2010 of the Italian Authority for Communications Guarantees (AGCOM) in matter of online copyright entitles AGCOM to remove contents from web pages or to block the access to foreign web sites for Italian users in case of copyright violation, all within 48 hours. The Authority would be free to decide following an administrative procedure, this means that judicial proceedings won’t be required and AGCOM will operate with complete independence from the judiciary system.

No distinction among public web sites, blogs, private pages, web portals. Any web page would be under AGCOM’s control and would be subjected only to the Authority’s censorship rules, bypassing the judges’ pronouncement required until now. A simple report by the copyright owners will be sufficient for proceeding to the removal of the contents or, in case of a foreign web site, to the IP address blockage denying the access to all Italian users.

Some international attention would be very helpful here.

in English:
Background article
Avaaz campaign website

More background in Italian here:
– La Repubblica: 1 July
– Il Sole 24 Ore: 1 July | 3 July
– La Stampa: 26 June | 29 June | 30 June | 30 June | 1 July | Comment by Berckman Center Fellow Juan Carlos De Martin

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