back to article Berlusconi plans to use G8 presidency to 'regulate the internet'

Italian president and media baron Silvio Berlusconi said today that he would use his country's imminent presidency of the G8 group to push for an international agreement to "regulate the internet". Speaking to Italian postal workers, Reuters reports Berlusconi said: "The G8 has as its task the regulation of financial markets …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear!

    Every politician in every nation has a different idea of what regulation of the internet would mean. Excepting a broad agreement along the lines of "won't somebody please think of the children" there will be a year of argument followed by very little consent. Other than a general agreement that the internet should be regulated in some way.

    I suspect that what he really wants to do is regulate the internet in Italy and will use some sort of broad agreement in principal from the other seven G8 nations to try to force through regulation at home.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bollocks to it

    I've started building up my perfect dark cache I suggest everyone else does the same, the politicos want the internet and they can have it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He knows.

    An Italian government rarely lasts more than a year.

    He'll be on the board of phorm next.

  4. Cameron Colley


    ... I love the internet -- but it seems that lieing, murdering criminals will own it too.

    *Mine's the one with the ticket to North Korea in the pocket -- hope I can handle the freedom.

  5. Chris G

    Not fit to run the internet either

    Berlusconi, what it says in the title

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    that guy is a joke

    Berlusconi is a joke, someone needs to regulate him....

  7. Luther Blissett

    Berlusconi for UK Reg readers

    Imagine if the Daily Mail were a short fat bloke... walking... talking... crooning...

  8. Shane Kent

    Stick to finance and ....

    G8? Stick to finance and stay the f*@k away from our rights! And I sure as hell don't want some F*@king Italian telling me (an English-Canadian) what to do.

  9. Watashi

    Unfit for purpose

    The internet could use some regulation... but as so many governments are suffering from compulsive authoritarianism at the moment, now is probably not a good time.

    On the positive side, the credit crunch / recession means that the Communications Data Bill has been left off this year's list of proposed Bills - this means there is a good chance it will never come into being, what with Brown unlikely to get re-elected and the Tories being publicly opposed to many of the worst aspects of the idea. Hopefully, the impending mega-recession will delay Berlusconi's plans long enough for both him and Brown to be removed from power before anyone comes up with some serious ideas.

  10. pAnoNymous
    Thumb Down

    not good at all

    Italy - where you need Passport ID to use an internet caffee and are prosecuted if you post a blog without having it registered as a publication first.


  11. Dave Murray


    Not fit to run Italy? He's not fit to run one of the media companies he owns let alone a country or be president of the G8. What he really means is he will try to ensure that he, Murdoch and the like can own the Internet.

  12. Nick Kew
    Black Helicopters

    Move along, nothing to see.

    I doubt we (non-Italians) have much to fear from Berlusconi. Lots of bluster, but who the **** takes him seriously?

    What's much more worrying is already happening. Regulation to "protect" us and/or the children. ISPs to spy on us. RIP act. That spam email had a picture of a child attached - you're nicked. And don't even think of letting your teenager research chemistry homework online, especially if you're of middle-eastern appearance.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    L'Unita is mistaken

    It is actually United Kingdom, China, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia. The UK anti-paedo measures aka cleanfeed perfectly double up as censorship if needed. Can we have a Tony with horns icon please?

  14. night troll


    will these prats of politicians realise they can not "regulate" the internet and that the whole point of the way it was set up was that no one country or individual could control it. Muppets, all of them.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @night troll

    Well... really, the point of the way it was set up was that so no one nuke or infrastructure attack could disable it. The rest is kind of a happy side-effect.

  16. Argus Tuft

    not just dictatorships..

    "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."

    Don't forget Australia where the pollies now want to 'regulate' the internet via compulsory filters to 'protect' us from ourselves.

    At least if the Italians control it we'll have naked TV shows streamed on line.....

  17. Neil Stansbury
    Black Helicopters

    The real irony

    is they will just create the equivalent of internet tax havens if they succeed.

    The arrogance & ignorance that the politicians think they can control a distributed information network should be shocking.... alas I'm not.

    Let's see them regulate a meshed network of open WiFi routers.....

  18. Darling Petunia

    Corruption Maximus

    Berlusconi is about as corrupt as they come. You can fool all the people enough times to get elected, especially if you're rich and own all the nation's media. Addio libertà.

  19. Steve Evans

    Errr.... okay...

    Given that we're talking about an Italian Politician here, surely corruption would be more up his street?

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  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear...

    Berlusconi - that self serving profiteer, surrounded by corruption allegations! By 'regulate', presumably he means 'find some way of taking a cut and slipping it in my back pocket'. He is a piece of scum. It's beyond me how he can get elected in a self-respecting western democracy. Oh - wait a minute - it's Italy...

  22. Sacha TF Padovani

    Just to shed some further light on the matter

    Some of you may recall, if it even reached the Reg, that some months ago, Mediaset, the tv'n'stuff company owned by jolly old Silvio's family (his brother and sons, basically, but he's still got his feet in it anyway) wanted to sue YouTube for illegally replaying bits and snaps of "private content", i.e. a whole host of very funny tv shows, of extremely widespread audience (at least here in Italy), (and also Big Brother, Survivor .. the lot) broadcasted on Mediaset's three national channels.

    Many commentators here believe that's the real purpouse of this "regulatory" crap.

    Pirates because we'll bittorrent away his ass one single bit a time.

    (Plus, on the Murdoch front... SKy Italy has just been enraged by Silvio's "Anti-crisis" economic package, since he's ramped the VAT Sky has to pay to trasmit from 10% to 20%, resulting in pay-tv subscriptions going up at least 3 Euros. Several tv ads have been circulating "Berlusconi doubles taxes to 4.6 Million italians [Sky subscribers]. Needless to say, Silvio wasn't impressed, but his Finance minister said there's no other way to reap some cash.)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about ACTA?

    Does this have anything to do with the ACTA negotiations that the participants have been actively trying to keep out of the public eye? Perhaps Berlusconi already has an idea of what the outcome will be?

  24. druck Silver badge

    They all want to be dictators

    "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."

    What is disturbing is how all the western so called democracies are so eager to become more like those dictatorial regimes, implementing mass surveillance, extending detention without trail, and now wanting all encompassing censorship of the internet.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Come on... Berlusconi's world, "regulate" means that HE owns and controls it. To the lions, I say.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: L'Unita is mistaken

    Cleanfeed is optional for ISPs to implement.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    Quote: doubt we (non-Italians) have much to fear from Berlusconi. Lots of bluster, but who the **** takes him seriously?

    Hey didn't they say that about Mussolini?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: RE: L'Unita is mistaken

    Should that read "Cleanfeed is 'optional' for ISPs to implement."?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It could be a good idea!

    Lets get him to regulate the Internet to stop the Mafia from having any foothold in it. That way, 10 minutes after proposing it he'd be too dead to do any more harm.

    Could this, if successful, herald a new era for dial-in BBS systems and a new era for the Internet?

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Democracy - Only if we say so....

    Most "democratic" govt's have woken up to the fact that the Internet can actually provide the people with a real and INSTANT voice - rather than the state-controlled elections every 4-6 years depending on where you live.

    Having democracy only suits govt's that can control it's reach into the masses hence the current 2 pronged assault on the internet via Child Porn and P2P.

    Uncontested we will reap what we sow

  31. jason

    Is it really Berlousconi talking?

    If this is really Berlousconi's idea I think we have nothing to fear, as I think everyone knows what Berlousconi means (apart from the funny videos you can find on the net him picking his knows and eat whatever comes out of there)

    BUT, is it really his agenda? The U.K. and Australia are (in my opinion) trying to pass laws about regulating content on the internet to see the reactions. What they really want to do at some point is make the internet as regulated as any other kind of press.

    Who can tell me that this kind of content (whether someone agrees, disagrees or finds it out-of-ordinary) won't be blocked?

  32. The Other Steve


    night troll :

    "will these prats of politicians realise they can not "regulate" the internet and that the whole point of the way it was set up was that no one country or individual could control it. Muppets, all of them."

    David Wiernicki :

    "Well... really, the point of the way it was set up was that so no one nuke or infrastructure attack could disable it. The rest is kind of a happy side-effect."

    NO. NO. NO. Neither of those is even remotely true. Not even a little bit. I'm bored of trying to police this particular myth, so I suggest you go and read up on some history by yourselves. I'll give you some hints though, the nuke myth is to do with the involvement of Paul Baran. GIYF, except you'll have to ignore every page that restates the fatuous shit just spouted, because it's wrong. Try books. In the event of a holocaust, you will not be able to watch youtube videos, so not all bad then.

    As for :

    "Berlusconi plans to use G8 presidency to 'regulate the internet'"

    Less stupid and venal people than him haver tried and failed, so I'm not going to worry just yet, plus as mentioned above it will soon become clear that the corrupt fat bastard really wants to silence dissent against him. How TF did he get to be pres of the G8 anyway ? Oh wait, because they're All fat, corrupt, plutocrats as well.

  33. The Other Steve

    Oh, and ...

    The first person who says "the net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it", is an utter fucktard of the highest order and should have their geek licence revoked until they have successfully passed a course of harsh re-education and stringent punishment. I will volunteer my services for free.

  34. Matthew Brown
    Black Helicopters

    In some ways

    This is reassuring. It means there's still a communication medium that has them scared shitless.

  35. Bilejones

    It's a part of a campaign.

    The corporate political whores have long been unhappy about their inability to control the net the way they control the old media. A few years ago the Clintonian Bitch was whining that the trouble with the internet is that there were "no gatekeepers".

  36. Henrik Madsenh

    re: not just dictatorships..

    And Denmark has joined the fine group of countries trying to protect the great unwashed masses from themselves with the piratebay DNS block.

    Scary stuff!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Retarded nose-picker should pull his head in and concentrate on areas he knows something about.

    Like picking his nose.

    Our apparent masters dislike the extra freedoms that the net entails. Hence, muppets like Berlusconi arcing up...


  38. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    and lets not forget......

    that BERR (Mandelson) is actively conspiring with Cowley and Dilbert the CEO and Chairman of Nominet (who look like they are in the pocket of BERR) to grab control of Nominet the UK's Registry. Members voted firmly against a proposal put forward by Cowley and Dilbert back in 2007 but not happy with that Dilbert and Cowley are now trying to force through some changes in collusion with BERR.

  39. Cortland Richmond

    Net Regulation Italian Style

    An Italian court as reported in El Reg recently found a blogger to be an unlicensed newspaper subject to criminal penalties. The UK already licenses newspapers and theater's, doesn't it? So you're next.

    I expect in the USA that would run into Crown v. Zenger.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Child pr0n and the loss of online freedoms...

    Child pr0n has been every government's biggest and most reliable ally in the gradual erosion of online freedoms. Huge new (and very well-funded) structures have been erected all over the world in the name of the fight against this '$20billion dollar a year industry' and still they keep growing in power and reach, helped by supine politicians quick to jump on a populist bandwagon knowing they have all but legislated out of existence any meaningful right to opposition.

    Every time these cockwits announce some new measure to gag the interweb for their own particular reasons and agenda you can be sure they will, without a doubt, publicly hitch their cause to that of the fight against child pr0n (with terrorism a good fall back position), safe in the knowledge 'no right thinking person' will dare to oppose them. And so on it goes...

    Meanwhile, any news on the global fight against the overwhelming tide of child pr0n..?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    [QUOTE]Meanwhile, any news on the global fight against the overwhelming tide of child pr0n..?[ENDQUOTE]

    Yep... its been as effective as the 'war on drugs'.


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