Wikipedia blocks access to protest Italian media law

Oct 05, 2011
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, speaks in Jerusalem in 2009. Online encylopedia Wikipedia has blocked access to its Italian version to protest a draft law to make websites amend content on even a single complaint of prejudice without independent verification.

Online encylopedia Wikipedia has blocked access to its Italian version to protest a draft law to make websites amend content on even a single complaint of prejudice without independent verification.

"The obligation ...without the possibility of any verification whatsoever constitutes for an unacceptable limitation on its freedom," a statement on its Italian site said on Wednesday.

Scandal-tainted Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government has approved the law requiring websites to amend content within 48 hours and without any commentary or explanation in case of complaints of or .

"Sadly, there is no third party to judge whether a content is damaging and it is solely based on opinion," Wikipedia said.

The aim of this law was to prevent details of phone taps ordered by legal authorities from appearing in the press. Offending journalists risk one month in jail or a 10,000-euro ($13,350) fine while publishers face paying up to 300,000 euros.

Those passing on court secrets to can be imprisoned up to six years, under the legislation, which also limits the use of wiretaps to cases where the minimum sentence is five years in jail.

Berlusconi is embroiled in several court cases, accused notably of having bought sex from Moroccan nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, nicknamed "Ruby the Heart Stealer", when she was 17 -- a crime punishable by three years in jail.

He also faces separate trials for fraud and .

Explore further: Search, social & shopping: Pinterest turns 5

Related Stories

Study finds major U.S. newspapers are warming up to Wikipedia

Apr 12, 2011

( -- Major newspapers in the United States are referencing Wikipedia more often and framing the online encyclopedia more positively in stories, according to a study by a pair of faculty researchers in the Virginia ...

YouTube wins piracy case against Spanish TV

Sep 23, 2010

YouTube cannot be held responsible for screening images uploaded on its site, a Spanish court said on Thursday, throwing out a case brought by a local TV channel over alleged copyright infringement.

Thais warned to stay off Twitter -- or face jail

Jul 03, 2011

Thai police on Saturday warned election candidates and citizens not to use websites such as Facebook or Twitter to continue campaigning on the eve of the national vote -- or risk going to jail.

Recommended for you

Search, social & shopping: Pinterest turns 5

3 hours ago

In its five short years of life, Pinterest has become 'the' place where brides-to-be create wish boards of wedding china photos and do-it-yourself home renovators bookmark shiny turquoise tiles for bathrooms. ...

The brave new world of big data retention

7 hours ago

With the Senate passing the Federal Government's data retention bill last week, there has been a great deal of discussion of "metadata", what it is and whether the government ought to have access to it. ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Oct 05, 2011
Try as Berlusconi may, he still has a long way to go before he equals Mussolini. Not that he isn't making a truly valiant effort of it.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 05, 2011
italy is a mafia state and would have no internet if the entrepreneurial states like the u.s , germany, and northern europeans did not give it to them.

not rated yet Oct 06, 2011
Plagiarism in a "family" style
How young ambitious capoes and soldiers from Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) under supervision of a decrepit american don-godfather from Northwestern University are successfully completed their sequential plagiaristic enterprise:
not rated yet Oct 06, 2011
Italy should not be in EU!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.