back to article How an Italian judge made the internet illegal

Italian bloggers are up in arms at a court ruling early this year that suggests almost all Italian blogs are illegal. This month, a senior Italian politician went one step further, warning that most web activity is likely to be against the law. The story begins back in May, when a judge in Modica (in Sicily) found local …


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  1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Now when Turkey does this...'s used as an excuse to deny them EU membership. Any chance of kicking the Italians out of the Club of Rome?

    (Joke icon, coz otherwise ... well, you know ...)

  2. Andrew Moore

    Anything with a headline can be considered a newspaper???

    Better watch the use of those <h1> tags then.

  3. maldido gringo

    please beat hard on us italians

    "The effect was to introduce into Italian society a highly centrist and bureaucratic approach to any single aspect of their life"

    Sad truth is we have not actual 'rights' as in any other place in the western world, we have to ask concessions at our local caliph, especially here in Sicily.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    This may not be all doom and gloom.

    Removing 90% of blogs will just increase the quality of the content on the net!

  5. Łukasz Stelmach

    Thank God...

    we, Poles (, are not alone.

  6. EJ


    Since when has anything on the Internet been "clandestine"?

  7. Chad H.

    So Crime.Org made the internet illegal?

    Is this an attempt to get into the "Click-Easy" business?

  8. David Webb

    Human Rights Act

    I'm sure the Human Rights Act would work in the fellows favour, and as every member of the EU has to sign up for it, then Italy is no exception right?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The good news is...

    that the trains in Italy are running on time again :)

  10. Dave

    Accessible in Italy?

    Given judgements in other countries that they have jurisdiction because a website was accessible from their country, doesn't this put all of us in breach of Italian law? Perhaps El Reg needs to either apply for a permit or block requests from Italian IP addresses?

  11. kain preacher

    New award

    The reg should come up with a special jack ass award for stupid judges.

  12. Pierre

    Ho joy (@ the author, and stuff)

    Good article. I had to check the author name twice to believe it. The headline is still misleading, but... I'm erasing my predjudice against you. Keep it up.

    Other than that, I don't think it's a "law" thing, as the mandatory registration thing (for newspapers) works quite well in other countries (it's still bad, though). It has more to do with a stupid judge (and _maybe_ a wrong turn in the Italian politics a while ago). In my opinion it's not as bad as the transfer of some .com domain names to an US state (reported here in the Mighty Vulture's nest, go find it!). Stupid judges and politicians with self-serving agenda and no IT-ish knowledge of any sort. I second the request by kain preacher: we need a "clueless moron" icon for these things.

  13. Paul C. Dickie
    Thumb Down

    Severe action is needed

    As those stupid laws clearly contravene the European Convention on Human Rights, the only sensible course of action must be to suspend Italy from the EU and also suspend all the agricultural subsidies paid to the Mafia <Ctl-backspace><Ctl-backspace> her hard-working peasant farmers.

  14. Pierre

    OOOOOOPS sorry Mr Author

    Please ignore the first paragraph of my previous comment. I SHOULD have checked the author's name twice, but obviously didn't. The article is good, but I didn't have a prejudice in the fisrt place. Still, keep it up!

    Coat, cab home, shame.

  15. Gary

    Making this law Go Away!

    Great, you want us all to register, Fine by me.

    Be prepared for a S**T storm of registration letters, email, phone-calls, faxes etc. from the Billions of internet users out there who by the mere fact of owning a page on the internet with a headline are now in breach of Italian law.

    Lets see who goes broke first, Us at one request each or the Italian gov, required to register, reply and confirm all that mail.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Revolt? Maybe later

    I don't think the Italians will revolt if the law is enforced - recall that the last government that made the trains run on time stayed in power until Italy was on the verge of being conquered, so I think that the current one will have to do a little more to trigger a revolt - or not, considering how many they've had since then.

    Posted "stampa cladestina" for obvious reasons.

  17. Robin Szemeti
    Paris Hilton

    Roman Law ... @madido

    Roman Law (on which most of te continental systems are based) differs from the English Common Law in one basic respect, Roman law basically says you can;t do anyhting, unless it is specifically permitted, Common Law works the other way around, you can do anything that is not banned.

    When maldido posted "Sad truth is we have not actual 'rights' as in any other place in the western world" he's not far wrong :(

    Still, at least our Italian blogger only got fined, could have ended up with a much more mafia-like punishment if he wasn't careful.

    Paris, because I know a horses head when I see one.

  18. Roy Gamsgro

    Only in...

    I was going to say "Only in America", but it seems it's not only there any more... :P

    Even Norway is catching up: Politicians want to close down access to all online gambling sites from Norwegian IPs. :D

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What's up with the promo picture?

    ...did the artist have the only keyboard in the world with the numpad and arrow keys on the *left*?

    Even Paris knows what a keyboard looks like...

  20. Tim

    Italy is contriving The European Convention on Human Rights

    This is clearly in contravention of Article 10 of The European Convention on Human Rights.

    ARTICLE 10

    1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. this right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

    2) The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

    In this case I do not think Italy can use clause 2 as a defence. Is Italy going to withdraw from the EU?

  21. Chris G Silver badge

    This is not a headline!

    The Honourable `Made Men´of Sicily are still a force to be reckoned with and it is they who are in this instance using the law to proscribe a blogger who is against them. For any who wish to change the law, they may find it difficult as the mafia have over a hundred and twenty years of experience in controlling what the Italian government do or don't do in their favour.

  22. Richard Cartledge


    This is against article 10 of the ECnHR.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ceci n'est pas un titre

    Stop slagging off the Italians, they are years ahead of us in terms of civil rights.

    Hell, they already have a compulsory ID card scheme in place!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clueless moron icon

    Yeh Cool!!!!

    I know the perfect icon for this one.

    A Picture of G.W. Bush!

  25. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    Surely only a TLD could count as a "newspaper"

    Anything below that is just a page in a larger publication.

  26. P. Rabbit Silver badge

    @Robin Szemeti

    You claim "Roman law basically says you can;t do anyhting, unless it is specifically permitted". Could you give a source for that? I don't recall ever coming across this concept when I studied law (in mainland Europe) and certainly not in my history of law/Roman law lectures. As far as I am aware, in Roman law countries too, everything is generally permitted unless it is specifically prohibited. If not, the Scots are going to have a problem as their legal system system is heavily influenced by Roman law.

    Incidentally, I long ago saw the light and became a technical translator rather than a lawyer and now specialise in exciting stuff like ITIL :)

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