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Icelandic Modern Media Initiative
March 28, 2010 10:26 PM   Subscribe

Al Jazeera English's "Listening Post" on the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a proposal that could turn Iceland into a "journalism haven."
posted by brundlefly (11 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wish Iceland was kinda US-sy in their ways. Then they'd bring troops over here and spread their message of free speech and ensure that Sarah Palin's new show isn't shown on Discovery.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:40 PM on March 28, 2010


It's an interesting idea. If Iceland truly feels the need to be greatest in the world at something, then becoming the country with the greatest protection for free speech would a positive way to channel that desire. At least, I can't see any negative side to greater transparency and freedom of information.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:48 PM on March 28, 2010


I'm envisioning an internet where every flame war about censorship suddenly includes pedantic parsing of Icelandic law.
posted by klangklangston at 10:54 PM on March 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


And all the really offensive (and controversial) websites move to Iceland so nobody can shut them down. But for every wikileaks, they'd end up with a lot of terrible racism and pornography, so I hope they're prepared to take the heat for that as well.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:01 PM on March 28, 2010


I wonder if free speech will extend to violation of US copyrights?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:19 PM on March 28, 2010


Heh, the Pirate Bay would sure like that. I think it would be nuts, though, since Iceland really needs to be an integrated part of the world economy at this point. The best course would be to draw some line like "no copyright violation allowed" and then defend everything else without exception.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:24 PM on March 28, 2010


There's been a contretemps lately between wikileaks and Icelandic police authorities about whether Icelanders have been assisting the American government in monitoring wikileakers in Iceland. So far there's nothing to really connect Icelandic authorities directly with any surveillance.

Icelandic authorities haven't been above doing the bidding of US spy agencies in the past, but that was while there was a US airbase in the country, so the situation now is different.

I don't really know whether this will affect the chances of that particular law being passed.

There is absolutely nothing in there about copyright.
posted by Kattullus at 11:40 PM on March 28, 2010


Where will cartoons of the prophet Muhammad fit in?
posted by Behemoth at 11:48 PM on March 28, 2010


ensure that Sarah Palin's new show isn't shown on Discovery.

Ice Road Fuckwits?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:52 PM on March 28, 2010


The guys from WikiLeaks were in Iceland to promote the law, and one of their member was detained by Icelandic (and U.S?) intelligence people.

Glenn Greenwald had an article going over most of this.
Many of those events are detailed in an Editorial they just published, which, he explained, was part of an effort to publicize what is being done to them in order to provide some safety and buffer. A good summary of those events is provided by Gawker As but one disturbing incident: a volunteer, a minor, who works with WikiLeaks was detained in Iceland last week and questioned extensively about an incriminating video WikiLeaks possesses relating to the actions of the U.S. military. During the course of the interrogation, the WikiLeaks volunteer was not only asked questions about the video based on non-public knowledge about its contents (i.e., information which only the U.S. military would have), but was also shown surveillance photos of Assange exiting a recent WikiLeaks meeting regarding the imminent posting of documents concerning the Pentagon.
Apparently this is all related to a video Wikileaks plans to release on April 10th, which is apparently an unencrypted (or decrypted) feed from a drone attack that killed 97 civilians in Afghanistan or somewhere.

---

Interesting, after the Judy Miller thing, there was some momentum for a journalist shield law that would protect people like Judy in the U.S. It's pretty amazing that what motivates people in the U.S. government is protecting journalists involved in U.S. malfeasance, rather then hose exposing it.

BUT the proposed U.S. law explicitly disallows protection for bloggers and other 'amateur' journalists, so it's not clear that Wikileaks would qualify.
posted by delmoi at 12:34 AM on March 29, 2010


“Chief of police in Reykjavik, Fridrik Smari Bjorgvinsson, said the only link he has been able to establish between the allegations and his force was the arrest of a 17 year-old in Kopavogur on Monday for breaking into a business premises. Bjorgvinsson emphasised that Icelandic police have not been working with the American secret services on the matter, as Wikileaks spokesmen allege.”

Perhaps the Reykjavik police chief is also part of a global campaign to destroy WikiLeaks. Or perhaps the whole story is one of mystification and error.

__________

http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2010/03/26/icelandic-authorities-reject-wikileaks-surveillance-claims/

Icelandic authorities reject Wikileaks surveillance claims

Posted on 26 March 2010. Tags: Iceland, spying, usa, wikileaks

The Icelandic authorities attempted to distance themselves from a growing scandal today, saying they had nothing to do with surveillance of key figures behind the Wikileaks whistle-blowing website. The Wikileaks editor has accused American and Icelandic authorities of covert photo taking, following him around and of arresting and interrogating one of the website’s Icelandic staff members. An assistant to the Minister of Justice said the ministry and its staff would like to distance themselves from the Wikileaks editor’s allegations and said that any such action, if it took place, would have been a police matter, Visir.is reports. Chief of police in Reykjavik, Fridrik Smari Bjorgvinsson, said the only link he has been able to establish between the allegations and his force was the arrest of a 17 year-old in Kopavogur on Monday for breaking into a business premises. Bjorgvinsson emphasised that Icelandic police have not been working with the American secret services on the matter, as Wikileaks spokesmen allege.
posted by Postroad at 8:16 AM on March 29, 2010


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