The Horrible Situation of Free Speech in Italy
I have watched with increasing concern the latest evolution of Italian regulations on Internet. The new law that allows the telecommunications agency to shut down websites without a court order may have dramatic consequences for Italy.
With the current government owning and controlling directly and indirectly, national televisions and newspapers, the country needs a safe and powerful place where freedom of expression is guaranteed and protected. I doubt that Internet can be such place.
Recently one of the most popular shows of the Italian national television Anno Zero, was canceled. The journalist that hosted it for many years, Michele Santoro quit and looked for a new home for the show. With the national stations controlled by Berlusconi government and Mediaset stations controlled by Berlusconi's sons and friends, Santoro tried to sign with the third network La7. Only, at the last minute the conditions posed for his contract proved to be unacceptable.
One option would be to run Annozero as an Internet platform with itinerant live shows in theaters. The Raiperunanotte experiment last year that gave good results with millions of contacts during the live streaming. The new censoring regulation places new challenges also on the Internet solution.
Italian Internet now has a silencing legal mechanism in place. I see difficult times ahead.