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Warming up to media protection in Iceland

June 17, 2010

If you’re looking to say something contentious on the Internet, then Iceland is the place to go. The Icelandic Parliament unanimously passed a proposal yesterday to make the country a “new media haven”

Iceland Passes Proposal to Become New Media Haven.

This feels like it is one of those things that is a great idea in concept, but a bit of a nightmare in practice.

Certainly this law won’t extend past Iceland’s jurisdiction so a journalist working in a foreign country could still be prosecuted (or persecuted), even if the media outlet is in Iceland and the journalist claims protection under Icelandic law.

Servers based in Iceland could be protected, so at least no official entity could shut them down.

But Icelandic cyber protection could be cold comfort from a hot cyber attack, especially of the type allegedly originating from China or Russia.

Then there is the question of who will be protected? Will Iceland open safe-haven for communications from terrorist organizations, or racist/hate “news outlets”?

I fully support media protection, especially for whistle blowers and those uncovering grave injustices  but I’m not sure this law gives these journlaists any more support, other than moral support.

But even that may be a victory of sorts.

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One Comment
  1. Thanks for these thoughts Ron, definitely a complex situation.

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