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Next G8 President Wants To "Regulate the Internet"

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the good-luck-with-that dept.

The Internet 279

antispam_ben writes "The President of Italy, which will have the Presidency of the G8 starting January 1, says he wants to use the future position of Italy to 'Regulate the Internet.' Italy's President Berlusconi appears to be a cantankerous character, prompting riots when Italy last had the G8 presidency in 2001. This will no doubt be a serious effort, but knowing the fundamental design of the Internet involves routing around damage, the efforts could be more amusing than threatening." Update — 12/5 at 00:04 by SS: Reader fondacio noted that Silvio Berlusconi is Italy's Prime Minister, not its President. He is Italy's G8 representative, and Italy will hold the presidency in 2009.

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Media mogul wants to restrict bad press (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996405)

Typical from the people in power nowadays

It'll never happen. (5, Funny)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996419)

Never happen. The mafia will just disappear him. ;)

Re:It'll never happen. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996453)

I think that you foreigners don't really have a clear picture of what the mafia is and does in Italy.

Re:It'll never happen. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996491)

I think that you foreigners don't really have a clear picture of what the mafia is and does in Italy.

So ... enlighten us.

Re:It'll never happen. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996635)

First, there's not only one mafia. The mafia you know is the sicilian mafia, whose focus is mainly on drugs and "pizzo" (a fee asked as an insurance that nothing happens to your possessions). In other regions in the south, there are 'ndrangheta (in Calabria), Camorra (in Campania, the region where Naples is) and Sacra Corona Unita (in Puglia, the "heel of the boot"). Then, you have the kidnappers in Sardinia.

Ndrangheta makes money mainly from kidnapping, "pizzo" and control, plus the usual stuff. Sacra Corona Unita is not very frequently in the news. Camorra is behind everything can be pumped money from in Campania: from drugs to pizzo to garbage collection and disposal, as you heard in the news recently, even to undertakers (yep, you read correctly). All these mafias are deeply rooted in the local behavior, with the population either supporting directly or indirectly. Moreover, they have strong connections with politics, either with the local Communes or regional administrations or even at the State level. It is not unheard of that some illuminated major has been found burned alive chained to his car just because he fired an employee, so in this picture, even if you want to change things, you really cannot.

Therefore, the mafia does what carries them money. They don't do strong public events if they can prevent it, because that would likely involve an outburst of police. Making Berlusconi disappear would be a very strong act, something that mafia is unlikely to do unless strongly menaced (something that happened with two judges, Falcone and Borsellino). Please note that politicians have been killed in Italy (eg. Aldo Moro) by extremist left-wing terrorists (the so called Brigate Rosse) which do not have anything to do with mafia.

In the north of italy (eg. from florence up north) mafia does exists, but because of the many southerns that moved in, and brought some activity. The people from the North of italy are very different, and they dont' like the southeners at all. Some actually consider them Italian-speaking africans.

Re:It'll never happen. (5, Interesting)

Dramacrat (1052126) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996983)

I'd recommend "Gomorrah", written by a Camorra... 'expatriate', so to speak, in hiding in Sweden (or England?); the Camorra bosses stated he'd be dead by Christmas. It's been translated to English. The Camorra is easily the strongest, the most modern, as they evolved to a focus on sheer business and not the older trappings of the other 'clans' or organizations. All that aside: the AC above me is correct, as far as my observations since I've been here.

Re:It'll never happen. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997241)

Thank you. That actually was enlightening.

Re:It'll never happen. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997379)

Not at all.
Italy is a strange country. Basically every city is a different country, with different traditions, people behavior, food, dialect (which is unintelligible from italian). You can travel 30 km and find a completely different kind of Italy. The traditional image you have of Italians is mainly the one of the south, made popular by the emigration and movies. The productive North is seldomly known, and the administrative Center, with Rome, is in the news for political reasons.

So, when you speak about Italy and italians, you should keep in mind that it is a very strong generalization. Despite this, what can I say? I'm italian, I moved abroad since years, I won't go back, ever. I think Italy is a very nice country with all its arts and good food, but there are too many idiots and bigots.

Re:It'll never happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997383)

Well, it had to happen at least once on /.

Re:It'll never happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997417)

Interesting: You didn't mention L'internet Gangstas and Mafia from myspace, etc ;)

Re:It'll never happen. (2, Insightful)

merraksh (1336195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997661)

In the north of Italy, mafia does exist because there are criminals and entrepreneurs up there too. Entrepreneurs with little care for legality and criminals with a passion for power are not only from the South. You may wish to use fewer urban legends and a few more facts next time. The mafias are firms with hierarchies, business targets, and competitors. They lobby the Parliament and consider the law in a more elastic way than others. They exist where the law is not enforced or is changed in order to favor them. It is true, some idiots consider southerners Italian-speaking africans, and I know a few, but the people from the North of Italy are not that different, let alone better. [A guy from Bergamo, a stronghold of southerner-bashers]

Re:It'll never happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997765)

All these mafias are deeply rooted in the local behavior, with the population either supporting directly or indirectly

Why is this so? Living conditions in Italy are not as hard as in Russia and the culture is quite marketable to foreigners. Is the influence of WWII still the key?

It is not unheard of that some illuminated major has been found burned alive chained to his car just because he fired an employee, so in this picture, even if you want to change things, you really cannot

No wonder the Italian economy is somewhat slow. Perhaps an Italian version of the FBI and federal courts would do the trick.

Re:It'll never happen. (0, Troll)

travbrad (622986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996957)

They pet cute furry bunny rabbits, make rainbow paintings, and have bingo night to raise money for starving children in Africa...DUH!

Re:It'll never happen. (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997299)

People think the Mafia is just one big criminal organization... but there's so much *more* to it than that.

Re:It'll never happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996571)

It was a bad idea when it was posted the other day too :p

Re:It'll never happen. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996681)

Actually Berlusconi IS with the mafia.
There's quite a lot of books and articles about how he's associated with mafia and how his father was in the past.

It's just that information is not free anymore...
But you just have to look for something in order to find it.

Uh, and for the records, also the minister of the Senate (Renato Schifani) is connected with mafia and he was declared guilty by a court.

Sincerly,
an Italian

P.S. One of his ministers (Berlusconi's) told to the press that he wants an "unique IP address for every citizen"... LOL!

Re:It'll never happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997203)

Berlusconi is the mafia.

Re:It'll never happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997229)

You might be interested to know that a very large percentage of the population in Sicily voted for him. This could have never happened with such large margins without the mafia support as they control a lot of votes in a variety of ways.
So, the mafia is very very unlikely to harm him in any way.

Re:It'll never happen. (1)

kyashan (919683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997609)

mafia won't do anything ..for the same reasons why sharks don't eat lawyers ;)

BTW he's not the president, nor many Italian's prime minister. He's a media mogul dinosaur (owns 3 major TV channels and bribes the channels he doesn't own directly). Many of us are waiting for the net to squash him down.

He fears the Internet [beppegrillo.it] .

No authority (5, Insightful)

Forthan Red (820542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996429)

Since the "President of the G8" doesn't have the authority to do SQUAT, who cares?

Re:No authority (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996765)

Since the "President of the G8" doesn't have the authority to do SQUAT, who cares?

Since the president is the guy who decides on the G8 meetings toilet breaks, I think you will live to regret those words! With an unlimited supply of water and "one john to rule them all", Berlusconi will show the leaders of the world what happends when you cross him.

Re:No authority (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996865)

Perhaps he doesn't have direct control, but slow steering of the ship via blackmail ( WTO ) has to start somewhere.

Re:No authority (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997143)

He is a buffoon.

Re:No authority (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997199)

He could clog the tubes though...

As the President Anonymous of the Internet... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997547)

I promise the "President of the G8" that we will fight any oppression and any restriction of our freedoms online, anywhere and anyhow.

Just remember who controls the bytes...

Enforcement not regulation is the answer (5, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996443)

The Internet does not need to be regulated. Instead what needs to happen is for all of the major countries of the world (including Russia and China) to start cooperating and prosecuting computer fraud where people misrepresent themselves to steal information and use it for personal gain. These laws already exist in most countries and the goal should be to extend them into the far corners of the globe along with a willing police force or the ability for Interpol to operate where needed.

Re:Enforcement not regulation is the answer (5, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996633)

Exactly. This is a classic instance of creating more ridiculous laws, rules and regulations rather than simply enforcing what's already in place. I've seen the same approach used to try to "clean up" the Internet to get rid of child porn. Special filters and laws don't need to be created to ban child pornography from the Internet. There are already laws against it... just enforce them and leave the rest of us alone. To catch a predator is a great example - that show uses existing laws to nail those guys.

Re:Enforcement not regulation is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996879)

But it does tapdance around entrapment laws.

Re:Enforcement not regulation is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997419)

I'm not familiar with your laws, but is it okay to broadcast the guy on TV without his consent?
Just because he's an asshole doesn't imply that he has no rights to privacy or does it?

Re:Enforcement not regulation is the answer (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997523)

They probably pay the ones that let them broadcast the show. But.. If that's the case, I don't know why anyone caught by the show would ever consent.

No amount that the station could offer them would be enough, and it could possibly violate some kind of son of sam type laws.

I'm not sure, but I'd think they would have to be agreeable somehow, otherwise get blurred/omitted.

Re:Enforcement not regulation is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997587)

"I knew that girl was 18. She told me her last boyfriend was Asian, and that crap doesn't start 'til college." - Dennis Duffy on 30 Rock, trying to explain his appearance as a predator on Dateline.

Re:Enforcement not regulation is the answer (1)

alemaco (1419141) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997743)

creating more ridiculous laws, rules and regulations rather than simply enforcing what's already in place

This is exactly what's been happening all the time in Italy. Politicians make laws and they have to show everybody they work so they can be re-elected.

Re:Enforcement not regulation is the answer (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996845)

Instead what needs to happen is for all of the major countries of the world (including Russia and China) to start cooperating and prosecuting computer fraud where people misrepresent themselves to steal information and use it for personal gain.

Part of that particular problem is that some of those that misrepresent themselves to steal information works for various governments targeting other governments. So from side of the issue they might want to deal with the problem, but from another they want to use the situation to their advantage.

be careful of what you ask for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997675)

you might get it.

"regulate the internet" stories are always tagged with "goodluckwiththat"... but, you know, it could end up very regulated, with the right political will.
Is the Internet in China as unregulated as you wish? What is going on in Australia?

Stop him! (5, Insightful)

Mathiasdm (803983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996445)

What he is doing is useless, as Tor (for anonymous browsing), I2P (for anonymous fast downloading) and Freenet (for anonymous data storage) make such filters obsolete even before they are implemented.

Re:Stop him! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997069)

Until they pass laws that makes such measures illegal. They want to know what every citizen is doing at all times, makes it easier to stop people who oppose the government.

The economy is screwed, the governments pissed it all away on wars nobody can win in an attempt to get even richer but know that but the only way they'll keep people in line is to make them too afraid to do anything.

The internet to Prez Berlusconi: (5, Funny)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996451)

fuck.it

All is not lost! (1)

iSzabo (1392353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996457)

At least everyone will waste a lot of money.

Why? (1)

yetijoe (1411395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996475)

What is the end game... how is government going to make it better. I can see (and support) investment in expansion. But they compare this to the financial crisis and the G8 regulating those markets. In my opinion the internet is not broken like the financial markets!

Opportunity (1)

Sanat (702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996483)

This could be viewed as an opportunity for the countries to work together but usually these things become opportunities to grab power as the AC above said... so rather than assist mankind it stalls out true progress.

There is a lot wrong with how the Internet is being used for scams, viruses, rootkits, etc. With a few countries working together then maybe more would be interested in joining in the cooperation.

Not the president (5, Informative)

fondacio (835785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996495)

Berlusconi is not the president of Italy. He's the prime minister. The president is Giorgio Napolitano [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not the president (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996943)

Seriously. It would seem that Berlusconi may be a global politician who understands little about the internet, we here on the internet know very little about global politics.

Re:Not the president (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997423)

Berlusconi is not the president of Italy. He's the prime minister. The president is Giorgio Napolitano [wikipedia.org] .

Reminds me of a story CNN ran some years ago about the Spanish 'Presidential election.' I'll bet King Juan Carlos was a bit horrified when he heard about that!

Re:Not the president (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997717)

In Spain we have monarchy, but they dont use they power. Everything is run by the government, ruled by the "president of the nation". So no mistake there.

anonymous spanish coward

It's About Time (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996527)

The efficiency of a multinational organization and
the effectiveness of the Italian president will finally
make my internet experience safe and unoffensive.
This truly is a golden age.

Not specific enough! (5, Insightful)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996533)

What the fuck does "regulate the inernet" actually mean? It could mean anything!

1. announce plans to regulate internet
2. ???
3. profit

Re:Not specific enough! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996851)

That's exactly what it means. Berlusconi is a crooked Media Proprietor. "Regulating the Internet" is code for "eliminate competition for my business interests". The Internet is a major thorn in the side of those, such as Berlusconi, who own media companies which rely on obsolete business models. So yes, the starting point really is is "regulate the internet" and the intended result really is profit.

Re:Not specific enough! (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997637)

What the fuck does "regulate the inernet" actually mean? It could mean anything!

It means: All your base (and pr0nz) are belong to us!

Censorship - not Regulation (4, Informative)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996545)

Whack him as crazy all you want, but the truth is that he's crazy and despotic. From TFA:

Berlusconi owns swathes of the Italian mass media.

The left-wing newspaper L'Unita wrote: "You can not say that it is not a disturbing proclamation, given that the only countries in the world where there are filters or restrictions against internet are countries ruled by dictatorial regimes: those between China, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia."

And -

Any G8 move next year to "regulate the internet" led by Berlusconi is likely to attract criticism. He has often been accused of using his power to try to silence dissent. He lost a long-running libel battle against The Economist earlier this year after it said he was not "fit to run Italy" and was this week suing American critic Andrew Stille for defamation.

More on this guy - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/02/world/europe/02italy.html?_r=1&ref=europe [nytimes.com]

Re:Censorship - not Regulation (3, Informative)

Vihai (668734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996759)

"You can not say that it is not a disturbing proclamation, given that the only countries in the world where there are filters or restrictions against internet are countries ruled by dictatorial regimes: those between China, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia.

And Italy. Yes, Italy has a state list of sites to be filtered.

With the excuse of protection from child pornography they started state filter and they are now expanding them to block other inconvenient sites.

First online gambling sites not agreeing to pay italian administration their share.

Then sites selling cigarettes.

Then The Pirate Bay.

It is just a matter of time until they will block sites criticizing the government itself.

Re:Censorship - not Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996857)

And Italy. Yes, Italy has a state list of sites to be filtered.

And, of course, Australia soon to be added to that list of countries...

Re:Censorship - not Regulation (3, Insightful)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996897)

It is just a matter of time until they will block sites criticizing the government itself.

You've nailed it in one.

Re:Censorship - not Regulation (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996961)

the only countries in the world where there are filters or restrictions against internet are countries ruled by dictatorial regimes: those between China, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia.

And Australia [slashdot.org] .

Beppe Grillo take on it (5, Informative)

ilithiiri (836229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996579)

Here for his post http://www.beppegrillo.it/eng/2008/12/open_letter_to_rupert_murdoch.html [beppegrillo.it]

Beppe Grillo is an Italian *comedian* turned blogger turned person fed up with the current state of italian affairs. He tried (so far in vain) to promote laws signed by the populace, which would not allow politicians to be in the Parliament if they have been convicted by courts.

On any other country (well, most of them) this would be implied, wouldn't it?

No chance!

Read on to http://www.beppegrillo.it/eng/condannati_parlamento.php [beppegrillo.it] for the state of the art of the Italian parliament.

25 politicians in the Italian and European parliament convicted by courts.

Did they steal candy? No chance.

We're talking about judge corruption, extortion, that sort of stuff.

On topic: Berlusconi seems he'd like now to create a UNIQUE ID for every net citizen so that they'd be univocally identified on the Internet.

Sigh.

Re:Beppe Grillo take on it (1)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997537)

Linking to a barely related (and barely coherent) blog post before going on a wholly off-topic rant does not quite make a comment on-topic. I'm not sure what makes Beppe Grillo's opinion relevant: his (former?) career as a comedian? His stint as a demagogue? His multiple manslaughter conviction? Italian public opinion has moved past the anti-political phase that characters like Grillo briefly embodied. The current government is doing a pretty decent job (which looks like a stellar job when compared to its predecessor's), and its approval ratings remain high - which is all the more remarkable when you consider the current situation of worldwide economic crisis. Things are changing.

That said, if Berlusconi messes with the Internet I'm ready to turn into a single-issue voter and support anyone who would set things right. I doubt he's actually going to manage to do that, though.

Fascist (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996593)

The G8 internet, now with more fascism. Bringing a preWW2 mentality to homes globally.

Good (5, Funny)

homer_s (799572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996599)

I assume that since many people here support govt. regulation of industry and commerce, they should be all for this idea. I mean, if a complex system like the economy cannot function well without govt. regulation, a complex system like the internet cannot either.

mod parent up (1)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996939)

I say mod parent up. That's an excellent question.

I do support govt regulation of industry and commerce.

I support government regulation of the mechanical aspects of the internet, specifically net neutrality. I support internet privacy laws.

I do not support government regulation of the content of the internet.

I don't think that car manufacturers should be prohibited from making polka dotted ugly ass cars if they want to.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996991)

Regulation of commerce != censorship of media.

The former is a matter of preventing industrial sharks from taking over and squeezing every last penny from consumers while offering sub-par service, the latter involves imposing someone else's subjective moral values on the general populace. Not the same thing at all.

Re:Good (1, Insightful)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997511)

Sarcasm, right? I hope so, because -- absent any evidence of deliberate fraud, which is illegal in its own right -- the former is also "imposing someone else's subjective moral values on the general populace."

Re:Good (1)

grunaura (659065) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997031)

Granted this is unfeasible by the very nature of the Internet...

To really understand the intention of Berlusconi you must understand that Italy is a modified socialist government itself. This man has his fingers in every sector of Italian business. I invite you to read "The Dark Heart of Italy [amazon.com] , by Tobias Jones which outlines how deep this problem goes." Berlusconi owns the RAI, the government controlled television. He also has his fingers in AGIP which is the one gas (petrol automobile fuel) vendor that is also controlled by the government. Other gas stations may not sell gas at a rate under that which is set by AGIP. The bottom line is that this man is very powerful, very rich and not going anywhere soon.

A recent figure came out in BBC [bbc.co.uk] stating that the mafia run businesses in Italy are operating at the 120 billion range which is enormous in contrast to Fiat's 50 Billion a year market share. My guess as an Italian speaking American is that this man really wants some form of revenue in the form of taxes out of the deal because piracy belongs to the mafia in Italy and TPB et. al. is cutting into its share. In fact Italy's government controlled telecoms "Telecom Italia," has been known to block TPB but I am unsure they are currently doing this or blocking torrent traffic.

Then again, this is coming out in the register and notably not the most reliable source of information IMHO.

PS: To my amusement and Italy's shame, he stated that we elected a "very tan" president.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997105)

Absolutely! No more allowing people just to connect to the Internet with any address they choose! Instead, I propose some sort of standard Internet Protocol address. And a central organization to assign everyone those addresses. Then, we can have some sort of header on every packet that will describe the source and destination address.

Perhaps we could have a central organization who would assign names to those addresses. And they could standardize the naming schemes, and the protocols the naming servers use!

nahh... that's just too much regulation :)

hooray, win will ensue! (4, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996609)

It has been said before, and I will repeat it here.

The internet treats censorship like damage and simply routes around it.

This "war on free information" (isn't the the en vogue thing to call a power struggle?) like every other idealogical war, cannot be won, and is counterproductive.
With every "blow" to us (us being those that desire freedom of information) we simply grow smarter, stronger, and more sophisticated in our measures to ensure the integrity of our freedoms.
Our numbers are so so so so so much greater than theirs. Every time one of us is jailed, or sued, or defamed 10 pop up as replacements. Every attempt to silence our voices results in us retreating further and further into obscurity and anonymity.

I welcome an information war between those of us who want freedom of communication and those that don't. We, who have greater resources, intellect, and numbers, will prevail.

Re:hooray, win will ensue! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996761)

I welcome an information war between those of us who want freedom of communication and those that don't. We, who have greater resources, intellect, and numbers, will prevail.

Except if we're complacent in the face of truly massive damage to the internet because we think we'll somehow automagically prevail. Sorry, but the internet's capacity to route around damage is limited, as any network admin can tell you. If you don't keep fighting every day to defend internet liberty, one day it'll be gone. Attackers only need to win once, defenders need to win always.

Frankly, I for one think we need to go on the attack - destroy corrupt politicians proactively. Hack their systems and leak damaging information. They'll label us criminals. But - guess what - they already do that regardless of what we actually do. They don't care about the truth, they want control.

Re:hooray, win will ensue! (4, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997489)

"Every attempt to silence our voices results in us retreating further and further into obscurity and anonymity."

Yeah, sounds like we're really winning the war on censorship and defending our rights to free speech... Here's a hint, if you have to say something in increasingly anonymous and more obscure ways, you're losing.

No government can ever prevent anything completely, only to degrees. The more they crack down, the more things will be done in secrecy, and the less people will actually do them at all. This is why the wars on drugs and terror have been such abysmal failures, they failed to curb the behaviors at all (perhaps even encouraging them!) and have had hardly any effect on the degree of publicity people who do them are willing to expose themselves to; by comparison, the war on child pornography has gotten people using increasingly obscure means of communication and distribution, kiddie porn still exists and probably always will, but I remember a time not so long ago when one could actually come across http sites openly hosting child porn for all to see.

This post is not intended to support or endorse any particular view on the issues it mentions, simply to state a point on government suppression in general.

It routes around damage? (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997579)

The internet routes around damage?
Great, let me know when my incoming line routes around the only ISP in the area.

The Internet is already regulated (4, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996639)

Since Berlusconi didn't expand on what he meant, the Register article is slightly alarmist. Maybe he wants to regulate download speeds, or legislate net neutrality? The bald statement of wanting to "regulate the internet" is worthless. If he did want to restrict freedom of speech, and an E.U. directive were put forward, it would still need to be passed into national law by the E.U. member states, and even if that occurred it could still be challenged at the European Court under the Human Rights legislation.

But realistically, the Internet is already regulated. Try putting a copy of Photoshop or pornography involving a 15 year old girl on your web page and see how long it lasts. The question is not whether the Internet is regulated, but the level of regulation. In China, criticising the government is prohibited. In the Middle East, pornography is prohibited. In the United States, reproducing commercial sensitive data is prohibited via copyright and patent laws, in Germany Nazi memorabilia is prohibited. Every society has its limits.

Re:The Internet is already regulated (3, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997147)

In China, criticising the government is prohibited. In the Middle East, pornography is prohibited. In the United States, reproducing commercial sensitive data is prohibited via copyright and patent laws, in Germany Nazi memorabilia is prohibited. Every society has its limits.

Which is precisely why G8 is the wrong group to tackle Internet regulation. Every society has its limits, but no society has exactly the same limits as the others. G8 is too far removed from the public interest to do any good here, and the interests of those who would regulate the Internet too different to lead to anything but an unreasonable "middle ground".

Streissand effect (4, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996707)

Look at what happend to 4chan and "anonymous" over the last year of so. Somebody posted a video of Tom Cruise acting like...well...like himself. Scientology's attempts to take this video down caused a bunch of idiots to start posting videos on youtube and..well...acting like idiots. Scientology's further attempts to silence them have caused what started as a joke to turn into a national-news-making group of resourceful, hate-filled individuals bent on "dispelling your organization from the internet and systematically dismantling it blah blah blah"

I predict: Cisco makes a shitload of money selling filters
a shitload of jobs are created to maintain all the censoring equipment
a shitload of our money is spent to prevent us from communicating with one another
a shitload of computer illiterates get angry when whatever side effects of this "regulation" start occuring
a small number of geeks create a tool to allow a slightly larger number of geeks to continue doing what geeks have done since their beginning...that is: whatever they want.

Re:Streissand effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997317)

i think i love you.

Re:Streissand effect (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997777)

It seems to me, that our jobs as geeks should then be to provide easy to use tools to the computer illiterate masses, so that they might continue communicating unobstructed with one another.

This is Italy we're talking about... (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996817)

Is there any guarantee that Berlusconi will still be Prime Minister in January? Historically they've changed governments more frequently than Cowboy Neal changes his pants... ;-)

Re:This is Italy we're talking about... (1)

azaris (699901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997161)

Is there any guarantee that Berlusconi will still be Prime Minister in January?

Hilarious. There's more chance of Vladimir Putin being deposed than Berlusconi. He's prime minister for the fourth time already, and he's not going anywhere.

Re:This is Italy we're talking about... (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997363)

An example that proves my point. He's been prime minister 4 times... that's at least 8 governments right there as he's been in and out of power. Unless he's 100 years old that's a lot of change you can't necessarily believe in...

Re:This is Italy we're talking about... (1, Funny)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997457)

Is there any guarantee that Berlusconi will still be Prime Minister in January? Historically they've changed governments more frequently than Cowboy Neal changes his pants... ;-)

How often does one need to change assless chaps?

Its inevitable (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996837)

Not today, not tomorrow, but someday you can expect content regulation to take place.

As we lose control little by little of our hardware, software, documents ( DRM ), its just a matter of time.

Re:Its inevitable (1)

Mojo66 (1131579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997381)

I agree. The internet, being anonymous and anarchic per se, is a nightmare to every authoritarian political system. Berlusconi's proposal only shows that western democracy is not far away anymore from countries like China and Russia, thanks to the aftermath of 9/11.

Re:Its inevitable (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997653)

Not today, not tomorrow, but someday you can expect content regulation to take place.

Um, last I checked content was regulated. If you arrange to commit a crime via the internet, it's illegal.

this could be the final straw that... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996905)

will make me take up arms. Food prices have gone up, there's no hope of retirement, the tap water is poison, they are spraying the sky with aluminum oxide, pulsing us with HAARP and now they want to regulate the internet!

I will start to take out these people by force if necessary once the internet becomes what it is not right now.

Re:this could be the final straw that... (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997093)

I, for one, am delighted to live in a world where people will take up arms for the internet after living (and putting up) with poisoned air and water.

This just in - the internet hasn't been what it's been since AOL opened its spigot and Kevlar is on sale for the holidays - film at 11.

Update from the future!! (0)

Sean0michael (923458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25996937)

Update - 12/5 at 00:04 by SS

Wow, that's amazing! It's only just after 4:15pm on Dec. 4th local time. Time travel really is possible!

Re:Update from the future!! (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997001)

UTC

faP1lzors!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25996987)

BSD +sux0rs. Wh4t in our group

Can't be that hard (3, Funny)

mahohmei (540475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997003)

C'mon, censoring the Internet can't be that hard. Just get a Websense filtering appliance and stick it in the Internet's MDF.

Dumbocracy (2, Funny)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997027)

The more mainstream the Internet becomes, the more it yields to dumb. Some people blame AOL. I blame humanity.

Dumb has large numbers behind it.

This man is a genius. (5, Funny)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997047)

Truly, Prime Minister Berlusconi is a great man, a marvel, the pinnacle of international leadership, and an example to us all.

When Obama was elected as President, he was the first to compliment him on his suntan.

Berlusconi v The Internet (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997051)

I expect that Berlusconi's definition of "regulate the Internet" is "make it stop competing with my television stations". Italians are to get their porn exclusively from him.

It's happening in all media controlled countries (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997393)

The old media moguls like Berlusconi and Murdoch are obviously pissed off at the internet. Advertisers now split their revenue between old and new media and there is now a voice outside of what the old media tells us.

Here in Australia, the home of Rupert Murdoch, we have a government trying to destroy the internet at every opportunity. I see in Italy they have a similar thing happening.

I guess i can take comfort in the fact it won't work.

Hey, paisano! (1)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997053)

I gotcher regulation right here! Fuhgedaboutit.

Dodgy boiler running Italy. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997107)

It is as if Jeffrey Archer or Robert Maxwell got to be prime minister of Britain.

He got rich by a combination bending the rules and having scantily dressed young women present the weather on his TV channels. Now he is in power he just stops all investigations into his activities.

He will just regulate the Internet so that no one can criticize him using it.

Let the Internet Be (2, Informative)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997117)

The internet is the freest and most unregulated source of information there is. Certainly governments would want to regulate this, as many facts that make them uncomfortable can be spread. The mainstream media cannot be counted on to report everything; look at their cheer leading for the Iraq invasion. Latvia even made it a crime to criticize their central bank policies, and bloggers can end up in trouble. The internet needs less regulation, not more. All we'll end up with with regulation is having to pay or bribe (directly or indirectly) some stupid government official to get business done.

Berlusconi is a pompous windbag... (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997125)

... and aside from his loud but empty rhetoric will have no impact on the Internet in Italy, much less in the EC or G8.

Own it (4, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997175)

I guess he wants to own the internet, just like he owns most of the mass media in Italy. Good luck with that!

Come on ... (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997353)

Silvio owns EVERYTHING !!!

Don't worry ... (1)

pentaknot (600220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997445)

Don't worry, there are at least a couple of reasons while it will never happen. 1) The guy is a complete moron, I'm sure he thinks the internet is "a series of tubes" (in italian: una serie di tubi) 2) Generally speaking, when it comes to politics, Italy is not the fastest country in putting bills through their legislative pace. It may take a decade or more before they even come up with an actual concrete proposal.

In a free world... (2, Interesting)

noddyxoi (1001532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997541)

the internet regulates dictators.

The Internet is Berlusconi's worst enemy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997583)

the Internet is Berlusconi's worst enemy. His control of printed media and private as well as public televisions prompted the Financial Times to talk of a situation similar to North Korea.

However, he has no control of what happens on the 'Net and he makes no money out of it.

For both financial and political reasons Internet is bad for him.

Unsurprisingly, the government hasn't done anything to increase the use of Internet in Italy and it now lags almost at the bottom of Europe.

No one regulates him.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997617)

not even the police!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkDp-6t-keA

Two Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997759)

Fuck Him.
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