Italy proposes a Ministry of Blogging with mandatory blog-licensing

Nick sez, "Famous Italian anti-government campaigner and blogger Beppe Grillo describes a proposed new Italian law which would force all bloggers to register, pay tax and be regulated by a government body."
Ricardo Franco Levi, Prodi’s right hand man , undersecretary to the President of the Council, has written the text to put a stopper in the mouth of the Internet. The draft law was approved by the Council of Ministers on 12 October. No Minister dissociated themselves from it. On gagging information, very quietly, these are all in agreement.

The Levi-Prodi law lays out that anyone with a blog or a website has to register it with the ROC, a register of the Communications Authority, produce certificates, pay a tax, even if they provide information without any intention to make money.

Link (Thanks, Nick!)


  1. Wow, so you can kiss Italy goodbye.

    Does that mean for servers in Italy, or just Italy’s domain or does it mean any citizen of Italy? Even if that citizen’s blog is on US servers? How can they possibly enforce it?

  2. >Even if that citizen’s blog is on US servers? How can they possibly enforce it?

    Um. If the citizen resides in Italy, how about by throwing them out of the fourth floor window of a police station?

  3. Even if it’s on a foreign server, they can hit the person who owns the blog if he/she is resident in their jurisdiction. There is also the whole issue of sharing personal data between the European Union and the US. Though Europe’s data protection laws are admirable in their purpose, I believe that their actual implementation has a stifling effect, particularly on small firms.

  4. ‘Just as with guns, the pattern is registration -> regulation -> confiscation.’

    Sorry, but I can’t do the gun control analogy. One is a means of self-expression, the other a means of efficient destruction. There is a strong justification for gun control, not for choking freedom of speech.

  5. Don’t take my word on this as gospel, but I live in Rome (my Italian is not so good) and I asked my Italian wife about this and she told me that the proposal failed and that it was very unpopular. It has been returned to be re-written, but she says don’t worry because the current government is about to “fall down,” meaning that it will fail (as in the collapse of the ruling coalition) very soon in Italian fashion. So don’t expect a vote for now.

  6. Hi I am italian. The point here is not whether this is going to be voted or not, in my opinion. It’s just scary that somebody had the guts to propose something like this. There’s actually a lot of discussion here with that proposal. I don’t think they can ever enforce something like this but this is ot an issue for italian politicians as 90% of italian laws are never or rarely enforced. I’m sorry that my country brings such a stupid topic into discussion.
    Hope I can give you some better news soon. :)

  7. “Sorry, but I can’t do the gun control analogy. One is a means of self-expression, the other a means of efficient destruction. There is a strong justification for gun control, not for choking freedom of speech.”

    It’s far easier to choke the freedom of speech of disarmed people.

    (More to the point, guns are property and the right of property is absolute. From my cold, dead hand)

  8. In soviet Italy, government kills your blog.

    In Italy we have a very very sad and stupdi prime minister, Romano Prodi, an ex-communist that is ruining our country. This censorship law is born from the need to stop the spreading of scandals involving the governmente members, for example the Sircana case, a government spokesman who was caught on a road chatting to some bitches-trans, and the photos spread over the internet.

    In soviet Italy, government kills your country.

  9. Well, you could choose better sources than Beppe Grillo, I guess.

    The Law proposal did not intend to be about blogs at all from the start, even if it was ambiguous.

    Remember that a few years ago Grillo was famous for smashing computers on stage. No one should be allowed to forget that ;)

  10. For completeness’ sake, I have to add that the Prime Minister Romano Prodi has never been a communist: he was rather a Christian Democrat.

  11. No taxation without AdSense Solicitation!

    Aw c’mon, it’s only a matter of time. People are making money online, governments are always broke, and then you-know-what happens.

  12. don’t think for a second the u.s. government wouldn’t love to silence bloggers, if no one else, at least bloggers who oppose any aspect of the current oligarchy. this seems to be a lot of what the internet regulation that has been kicked around recently in the u.s. is really about. and it would be a lot more dangerous if it happened here, because the u.s. is the major conduit for worldwide internet traffic.

    and on the gun issue, i might have to agree with flamingphonebook on this point. i live in a dangerous neighborhood where the bulk of the guns are owned by the two most dangerous groups, the cops and the “criminals”. neither of those groups follow the laws that are set out to control them. in that case i feel a little safer knowing that it would still be possible to acquire one to protect myself. several hundred million metal objects are not going to disappear at once…

    and yes i know guns are terrible. shots are fired on my street with some regularity. i know owning one gives you a higher percentage of getting shot. but that is a statistic and doesn’t account for the fact that many gun owners are ignorant of safety issues. note: i do not own a gun, i just worry about the ignorant call for “control” and it’s misplaced application of “caring-for-others-safety.” it’s just not that black and white.

    now regulating which weapons governments could have would be an interesting idea… not that most would follow any limitations set, but just for contemplation’s sake, think whether the government would do a better job listening to the people if the people were armed or if they weren’t?

    to quote the tao:

    “If the government is sluggish and tolerant, the people will be honest and free from guile. If the government is prying and meddling, there will be constant infraction of the law. Is the government corrupt? Then uprightness becomes rare, and goodness becomes strange. Verily, mankind have been under delusion for many a day!”

  13. This is completely untrue. I’m afraid that most of the people that’s rioting now against this proposed law has read Grillo’s blog but certainly not the law.
    The ROC (registry of organization operating in communication) is free, so it is not a tax; and the registration is mandatory only for companies, not for people that run blog or personal sites.
    The new law design could have been written better, but it is a semplification of the current Italian law that requests a costly registration for every printed or online journal.
    Free speech on the web is not endangered by this law.

  14. ‘There is a strong justification for gun control, not for choking freedom of speech.’

    Uh, right. Because its so much easier to squash freedom of speech minus the means to fight back.

  15. I am Italian (civis romanus sum), and I have to disagree with both EIO and S*.
    We pay the government to write drafts, so if the law is obscure is their fault, not mine for not having understood the semplification (btw, I like it as simple as it is, no registration at all).

    In a country where you can be arrested if you refuse to show your ID (art. 651 of the Penal Code) to a public officer (policemen, but also teachers, physicians, etc…) every law sufficiently obscure should not be dismissed as a semplification, but is to be clearly perceived as an attack toward freedom of speech.

  16. Just to “put the dots on the i’s” as we say in Italy:

    – the proposed law can be read by whole on Beppe’s blog.
    – it says that all “editorial” sites are to be registerd. That including blogs.
    – it says expressly that company sites aren’t to be registered to the ROC. (only editorial companies)
    – the registration is free but it has paperwork to be done and stamps to be bought to do that.
    – it is not clear if professional journalists are needed.
    – the Government published an answer to Beppe on the Government site on saturday saying that it will revise it.
    – On wednesday the Parliament is discussing the law with no modifications yet.

    – Great result of Beppe’s post I think. 11.000 comments for one post. And I guess pleanty of emails to the writer of the proposed law.

  17. I am Italian too, and more than a little interested in this story.

    For now, I can report that this proposal is apparently not going anywhere: Paolo Gentiloni, one of the ministers involved in drafting the law, admitted of “not having thoroughly read the proposal” because he thought that “it was not going to alter the status quo”. He is now declaring that this law will certainly be changed in order to keep blogs out of the picture, and
    that he’s sure that Mr. Ricardo Franco Levi is the first who will be willing to take action to change it.

    Well, it took some national and international pressure, plus remembering that the law was at a clash with our existing Constitution, but it seems that things will be back to normal

    Mr. Gentiloni’s statement can be read (in Italian) on his personal blog. Look who else has one, BTW…

  18. well I’m italian too. My point is not considering the excuse because the didn’t read well words of this law. We, them are not children. Shame on them!! Anyway I vote this premier Romano Prodi, he is very far from Comunism and his gouvernament plan was make our way of comunication free, but this law remaind too much easily to our past premier and his target: control mass media.We are at the 77th place at world free press ranking. it is a bad result for a country who belongs to G8. Pay attention world, we are a good school for bad mind (Fascism, Mafia, Berlusconi). I think web is dangerous for power and for the others kind of mass media. It is totaly free from both his side: free for who create a blogs, youtube films, who wanna say what he think; it is also totally free for who reads. I mean free, not only about an economic point of view also about time: you can check web at the same time you are at the office and the boss can’t discover you :) Governaments can’t control anything, economic force can’t control anythings as they can do with news papers. That makes internet the only future way of comunication people will want. I think for this reason News Papers, tabloid and gouvernaments are joined in passing the idea that Internet is dangerous, internet were Like a BIB BROTHER. This is the oppsit of truth, by internet we can be free to have all the ideas, all the informations, right or wrong, we need! No one BIG BROTHER can control diffusion of ideas. Now Big Brothers are controlling not internet mass media. The real problem about Internet is that someone, that I don’t know, knows what I read, what I buy, what I write. This is the biggest aspect that make me scary.
    Sorry for my bad english, sorry for my longness :-)

    Marco Melotti, Pavia, Italy

  19. I’m italian and I’m ASHAMED of our politicians:
    either they are incompetent or they are corrupted…
    or both…

    They’ll totally ruin our country…

  20. Hy,I am an Italian citizen, thanks in order to have published this news…The Italian people are overwhelmed from mafia political organizations that occupy the institutions…The means of information are control to you and managed from the gangsterism…The Italian people have need that the rest of the world is informed on what is happening in Italy… You do not leave us single…
    Please published often the news of blog of Beppe Grillo is the only way in order to hold to you informs on what is happening in Italy… Excused for my ugly English…

    ciao Pietro

  21. well what to say, my first post n this blog. This law is something that shoked me, very much, much more than what happened in Genova in 2001. That was fascism, this is even worse. This demonstrate without any further doubt that this so-called left wing governement is worse then the berlusconi’s one. I thought that it could not be possible to go so far down. Well we actually are. i’m scared and above all I am angfry at those people, those politicians, thirsty of power and money.
    I’m 29 and I’m already very tired with all of this, I tried to stop reading newspapers to evitate getting liver cancer in 5 years time (beacuse of the rage)…it’s useless, they are cheating us from any side, any point of view

  22. Straight from:

    ========= QUOTE ===============
    Don’t Gag the Internet

    I am receiving so many emails and comments criticizing the draft bill ”New discipline for publishing and delegating to the Government for the release of a unified text about the reorganisation of legislation in the publishing sector”.
    To be clear: the draft law was not discussed in the meeting of the Council of Ministers on 12 October because it was presented as a normal routine measure.
    I read the text today for the first time and my opinion is that it should be blocked immediately. This draft law would in fact put a cloak over the Internet in Italy and would probably bring about its ending.
    It’s a liberty-killing law and it is against the bloggers who each day publish articles that are never reported by newspapers and the TV.
    I am part of the government and I accept my responsibility for not having intercepted the draft law, but as far as I am concerned this law will never pass, even at the cost of raising the issue of the support given by Italia dei Valori to the Government.

    ========= END QUOTE ===============

    Any comments or suggestions?

    We hope that next time they will FIRST read and THEN (eventually) sign…

  23. A note to any of you folks who not living in Italy: Blogs are a treasure for the Italians for one large reason: The Internet media is the about the only widely-read media remaining that is not controlled by Berlusconi. You might also be interested to know that these Italians are paying at least three times for their (marginal-quality) broadband Internet than most Americans and some parts of the country are still without broadband.

    My personal opinion about this bill is that the Streisand effect would have quickly rendered this law useless for the Parliamentarians, who apparently are holding a grudge for Beppe Grillo (I wonder why ;-) ).

  24. Our italian politicians are under fibrillation.
    A book ( La Casta) was recently published and in such a buck are clearly shown all privileges that many of our politicians and ex politicians are enjoying.
    Cars with driver(s), planes, body-gards, high salaries, special pension, apartaments at a special price and many other benefits. Just un exemple: the cost of our Republic President apparatus is 4 times the cost of the british crown.
    Mr. Grillo has recently obtained, in one day only, about 300.000 signatures, all around Italy, for a proposed law to exclude from the Parliament all politicians with a previous conviction and to limit at two elections the possibility to stay in the Parliament. For such a succes he was entitled with any possible epithet to minimize his community action.
    Instead of to reduce the expences, starting from their privileges, thay are trying to stop a communication system which is out of their control. Italy is not far from Orwell forecast.

  25. ops.. and that?!

    “Today Italy is among the most liberalized countries in Europe, and the fifth market in the world in terms of pro capita earning, the second for mobile telephony voice services, and
    for which Italy represents the highest rate of penetration (140%). We are the first country
    in Europe for third generation mobile services (17 million UMTS users) and the second in
    the world after Japan”

    most liberalized?!

    …damn! Shut up PD(evil)F!


  26. Beware to hosting italian comments about Prodi and his opponent: there are many flamers in my country who talk without connecting the brain to the mouth XD
    Now, seriously, the most grave problem in my “belpaese” is that the citizens don’t react vigorously to intolerable abuses like this!

    I’m very scaried and in the same time p#st’d off

    Italy is a beautiful place hostage of the MAFIA, the Massonery and the IGNORANCE!

    we need an our own 1789. NOW!

  27. Well, I think the problem with our Republic is somewhat the same old problem we used to have at the times of the much older Republic, meaning of course the Roman Republic, our dear mighty Res Publica which was starting to rule the known world but was not so Publica after all, two hundred families roughly having ALL in their hands.

    Too far away, the Roman Republic? I do not think so. 100 hundreds years is only 4 generations, and deep patterns of behaviours are hard to die. I know this is not an active contribution and just a useless observation of a 60 years-old man of Rome.

    But pls look at almost ALL Latin countries around the globe, where more or less aristocratic elites tend to keep ALL for themselves again and again. And the French? They had to kill the nobility in one of the greatest slaughters in history (a slaughter which of course I am not now proposing as a solution, no, no, no, lol).

    I might be influenced both by my history addiction and my new blogging experience on ancient Rome. I nonetheless believe in what great French historian Braudel wrote (and believed): great civilizations never die.

    Yes, they never die, this unfortunately being so true not only for our virtues (of which few are left) but for our flaws as well (of which many still remain): this selfish tendency – among the rest – to keep ALL, giving to the plebs *panem et circenses*, which were like mass-media today, though less manipulative maybe than modern circenses.

    And now, Gracchi are up again, as if confirming that deep counter-behaviours can survive as well.

    These blogs of course bypassing the official media channels and mobilizing 100,000 people in one snap cannot but be considered a danger. A great danger indeed.

    I am old, and watching. With a bitter smile …

    All the best

    Comments like that of Amara always irritate me and remind me of some US travel guides to Italy (or Europe) where *most* of the information provided regards where laundry services or cash points are located. I think great America is more than that. Much more than that.

  28. I’m Italian blogger. The situation in Italy is very very serious (pls take a look at and But I want to point out we have strong democacy defensive tools (roman law is a light in the world from 2000 years). Moreover we adere also to European Union regulation. We can accept constructive critics from all over the globe. But I want to clarify we cannot accep any lesson from US bloggers. USA is sistematically violating international laws amd uman rights from at leat last ten year. Afganistan and Iraq and under everybody eyes. Just in Italy during recent years many individuals are been stollen from CIA agents and tortured for years. Moreover as a conseguence of our lost in II would war 60 year ago even today we are compelled to host 90 USA nucler weapons on our territory in violation of international egreements. In Italy we have mafia wide spread in south, in USA mafia is simply inside White House. So warm invitation to all US bloggers: please shame about your false democracy and resolve your internal problems before thinking to criticize Italy. Thanks

  29. i m an italian citizen and i wonder to myself, why don t we enjoy the China Union, instead of EU?—–it seems to be a good idea…isnt it?

  30. Dear ‘ManofRoma’ that was not my intent, I was admiring how important are blogs to Italians given how cumbersome and expensive is the use of Internet in Italy. My Roma Fastweb connection is blacklisted by SORBs, as are all Fastweb connections, (so that Bayesian SPAM filters put my email in my recipients spamfiltered boxes), the cost of my subaverage ISP is 4 times my colleagues’ costs in the States, and I pay extortion costs to Telecom Italia to use their line (after I spent 6 months to simply have a line). I should feel fortunate, however, because some areas in Italy do not even have broadband Internet. Therefore the intent of my message was to note how important this issue is to the people who live here, given all of their obstacles for using a standard ‘toaster’ technology (Internet).

  31. Dear friends,just a few hours ago the actual Italian Government has gone “under” 4 times in Parliament discussion, due to various proposals as stupid as the Levi-Prodi antiblog attempt, which last, finally, seems to have been cancelled…..the seemly destiny of the actual governmental coalition , following the end of a pocket size Titanic…….
    The old soviet mentality among left sided italian is hard to die…….
    Anyway , not for nothing its said that we are the homeland of poets, saints and navigators (discoverers),and so even in the worst situations there is always a sunbeam to support our optimism.

  32. A short Mediapolitical guide of Italy and an answer to AMARA’s post nbr 28 here:

    woooooow, I didn’t know that “La Repubblica”, “La Stampa”, “Il Corriere della Sera “, which are supposed to be the top of the Daily newspapers and full Prodi government oriented, belong to Berlusconi.
    Maybe in the last night, he bought them all……

    For whom, also for Amara(Bitter), who wants to give a look to the italian, left hanging, pink to red colored(and not only), power connections, I suggest a visit to the following extremely interesting and surprising Web site

    you will wonder , and find plenty of times , that the names De Benedetti, Romiti, Ligresti and others recurr much more often,in the printed media world than Berlusconis, and not only there. These names represent the real “Nomenklatura”, in its traditional USSR interpretation, spread allover the Italian economy switching centers, always together with a selection of other, also recurrent names,and alltogether, represent the real dominators of Italy , rather antiliberal, and, exagerating , who mislike people to have a personal opinion, ideas, and communication out of their control, through other means -i.e. blogs-

    As Berlusconi is not a man of the above mentioned traditional establishment , from which he is rather seen as a danger, he must be fought , too often in unpolite ways, and through the hate campaigns arranged through the above indicated “top” newspapers…..some times, old soviet Pravda, was more honest in its reports.

    Berlusconi family owns, 1 Newspaper, which is “Il Giornale”,with a daily average of 215.000 readers (2005) (far from De Benedetti’s”La Repubblica”, which has around 600.000 readers!) which is the main paper of the actual opposition parties, and is publisher of various weekly and monthly magazines, besides books and similar stuff, under the Mondadori brandmark which is the biggest in Italy. Berlusconi Family owns Mediaset which is a 360° electronic media company , for movie and tv productions, and operating 3 nationwide TV channels, Canale 5, high share, socialist oriented, Italia 1, light entertainment and rather neutral info, and the smallest, low share, Rete 4, Berlusconi oriented.

    The RAI, italian public ???[ >:-((((] Television has 3 main channels and various thematic channels and is ,almost fully left oriented, for what belongs the news and daily tv and radio information services, with one Tv Network, RAI 3, which has the newsgathering service surnamed “Telekabul”(under the Talebans …..obviously) by the political opposition parties.

    This just to try to give,with some provocation, another point of view, that one of the actual political opposition to Prodis patchwork government, without offending intents towards anybody.
    I apologize in advance if…..

  33. Gigi (30), I heard about Beppe Grillo getting 300,000 signatures in one day, and wondered whether this proposed law had anything to do with his now being perceived as more of a threat.

  34. Dear Michael, Thanks for benefit of the Boing Boing readers; was it an over-reaction? Well, once upon a time, RAI radio interviewed me, and they were very explicit about what I could not say about Berlusconi. I had a close experience with an anti-Berlusconi editorial that was never printed in La Repubblica, as well. Anecdotes and personal experiences though. Mostly the support for my simple statement is that we all know that newspaper readers focus most often on the sports section, and TV is the most used mainstream media for information here, and we know how that goes. (Click on Italy on the map). Ciao, Amara

  35. Someone should point to Dego (#35) that Cory Doctorow is not and never has been a “US blogger.”

  36. Teresa Nielsen from Gigi
    In Italy is forseen in our Constitution ( Art.51 )that anyone can sumit a Proposal Law to the Parliament if it is signed by 50.000 people.
    Grillo was able to collect 300.000 signatures in one day and this was most probably considered as a threat, not only for his succes but also because this Article was never used by others in the past or it was used only few times.

  37. I’m italian too, salve a tutti (“Hello to everybody”).

    Just some random replies:

    1) The current proposal of law is (luckily) being revisited due to the massive people’s reaction.

    2) A very similar law in 2001 was approved and it’s still “alive”; anyway this law has never been enforced (as far as I know) against personal, no-profit and randomly-updated sites. It applies only to explicitally declared news sites.
    The 2001 law also applies to sites hosted in foreign countries but mantained by italians (don’t ask me how it can be enforced…).

    3) The first ones to report informations about the current proposal of law were technology-related web sites (like Punto Informatico); anyway the big trouble started when Beppe Grillo republished the news: since he has an heavy influence on public opinion the news got the TV and newspapers attention (and of course the government attention, too).

    4) Beppe Grillo used to smash computers on stage, but it was a period when he though that computers are a form of slavery. Now he discovered that Internet is a great medium to spread his thoughs (especially since when he has been banned from TV). People are allowed to change their ideas.

    5) The ROC subscription is free, anyway the needed bureaucracy and the bigger penal risks related to the content (usually defamation) are supposed to discourage many people from blogging.

    6)I don’t think that the aim of this law was the censorship of Internet content. Simply, it is a law written by someone that really doesn’t know the Net and made a big mistake…

    7) For “Freedom House” (the american organisation) reports say that Italy has a fairly poor press freedom. Most newspapers belong to few powerful economic groups (at present most of them support the center-left parties), but the most important private TV channels are owned by Berlusconi. Public TV channels (RAI) are always taken by any just-elected government. It’s the only country where journalists must be in a professional body (“Ordine professionale dei giornalisti”). Political parties (of every colour) aren’t very interested in the “freedom to informate”, anyway they are much more focused on traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers) then the Internet.


  38. More accurately about Freedom House: Freedom House was founded in the US, it has close affiliates in Europe (“Freedom House Europe”) and elsewhere, and the surveyors for those Press Freedom Reports are fairly global .

  39. To add to #44 D), for those readers outside of Italy.

    8) If you own a TV, then you must pay a ~130 euros/year tax, which is managed and used by RAI, the allegedly ‘public’ television and radio. So if you don’t engage in (or know) the games that people use to avoid paying the tax, then you’re effectively paying (forced to pay) for the politicians-slanted RAI programming.

    9) There are few ISPs; they are all of low value, quality, and service, and sometimes one doesn’t have any choice of a service (i.e., only one company has functioning Broadband in one’s area). And all ISPs are tied to the part of the fixed line that Telecom Italia owns, which one must use if one wants Internet, which adds another layer of Internet difficulties for people here.

  40. hi i am marco i am 40 and unfortunally italian boy.
    i am not proud to live in Italy and if the general
    situation don’t change i leave my country and i wil
    l go to live and work in another nation of the UE or
    in another part of the world.About the Levi’s law a lot of people have spoken, i tell only this: Big Beppe Grillo we need a lot of person as him and i fight every day in my life to change the
    destiny of my conuntry.Sorry for my english and bye

  41. @ D#: Thank you for pointing out some things.

    I am italian too and I have now been living abroad for some seven years.
    I’m kinda surprised nobody actually sketches a little background about this proposal of our government.

    The point is that in Italy editorial freedom, freedom of speech on paper if you wish, is rather ‘striclty’ regulated. Any expression of meaning or information, to be legal, has to be certified by the presence of a ‘responsible editor’.
    To be a suitable ‘responsible editor’ you need to be a journalist (you need to pass an exam for that).
    This all boils down to the fact that if somebody does not agree with what you say they have to be able to bring you in court of justice for trial.
    So you cannot be just a somebody, they have to know who you are and where you are.
    That goes hand in hand with the fact that in Italy censorship is a rather ‘healthy’ office of the public administration.

    Most people don’t even bother knowing how this actually works. It’s just there and I guess not only in Italy.

    Anyway, at a certain point some guy (that would be Beppe Grillo) just proposes to meet one day in the street all of the guys typing and reading on a screen (that would be bloggers or just anybody if you wish).
    Turns out it’s a lot of people, what a surprise. Turns out is kinda worrying, all of a sudden, for all those who had not seen it coming (that includes all the big powers).
    So, in line with the style any other decision taken in Italy (which is usually taken only measuring the depth of one’s pockets), in an gesture of exemplar anacronism our powers decide to extend the practical control over the printed matter to the ‘net’.

    imagine a girl who receives late-night threat phone calls from some heavy breathing guy; I guess she wouldn’t think smashing the phone to pieces would solve a lot.

    The logic behind this can, maybe, be found in the usual practice of intimidation italian style: threatening to bring somebody in court of justice.
    I bet even guys in the mob say that (‘I’ll see you in court if you don’t…’), before opting for some more… DIY method.

    Thank you.


    1- Prodi has never been anyhow related to the Communist party; he’s just an old Christian Democratic who once maintained that he was told during a seance (that would be a ‘seduta spiritica’) where the bad guys of the time (the Red Brigades) were keeping the then-prime-minister aldo moro…

    2- Beppe Grillo is, sadly, not making propaganda. And I say sadly because the guy is just exposing himself and getting the whole load of it. Grillo had been ‘banned’ from italian TV for some 15-20 years. Like others now and then (then was a time of other parties), he had often said the wrong thing in some official broadcasting. Who says he’s making use of the internet and so on seems to me, at the least, little informed

  42. This is a message from Italy. Very entertaining to see that someone thinks Prodi is an ex communist. He’s only and old Christian Democrat with many skeletons in his closet. This law is surrealistic and so is the 2008 budget which is being discussed these days. This governement is not applying the programme for which they were elected. The have no idea of what the Italian people think and need. There is no communication whatsoever between the people and the governement. It is as if the governement lived a different country. People voted for Prodi because the alternative was Berlusconi. And they had voted for Berlusconi 5 years earlier because the alternative was Prodi. Go figure. There is no escape from this politcal empasse. With regards to this new law, it will not pass, for the simple reason that it is inapplicable and that Brussels will ask for it to be cancelled imediately, as it is an obvious attemp at undermining freedom of speech in a democracy. Every Italian knows this law has been designed to shut people up. Papers are all under the control of political parties, being that right or left wing, it makes no difference. There is no such thing as free information in this country. Meantime the governemt is not moving a finger to change labor law which is destroying young people’s lives. We live in the state of povery in which our own governement keep us. Which we voted precisely because it had promised to change labor law. This is the reason why many young people now use the web to communicate the deplorable state in which they live. And now they are trying to shut the web up so the world won’t know. Please circulate: boicot all Italian products and write to free papers in your country and let the world know. Read also:

  43. Well , I’m an Italian citizen , obviously I found this “news” unbelievable, in terms of democracy, For what I remember ironically I know something like that as existing only in China , a country notoriously not quite democratic , therefore not comparable at all to my country .

    If this law will take place, I think for sure I shall ask to any other real democratic county the status of political refugee, because feeless to express my political or any kind of idea , I will finally feel like live in a country pretty close to some those like China or any like fascist or communist type , in brief a kind of regime designed to close our mouth for ever, and what is most unbelievable is that any of the parliamentary or politic figure were all agreed with this issued.

    I have my own site , a no profit one , where some of my invention as well ideas are exposed for free to anyone who want enjoy or is interested about , it takes me a lot of my free time to keep the site alive ,and I spent many years to built it as it is now , sacrifice my time and money , and I don’t want to pay any further tax or subscribe any government mandatory or shit like that, I have thought to express my creativity and my democratic opinion if necessary for free because believed to live in a democratic country .
    There some years , that we Italians are going through very bad time bad time, and I’d always thought that if our ancestor could only back to life , I guess they would fight all of us as aliens kicking most of us straight to the sea , it seem we are destroying this marvellous country , where the most beautiful pages of art and history were written in the past. Today our most “impressive and interesting social aspect” attracting the world’s opinion seem to be just the political corruption and mafia ……well who think they are different after all?

    If there is somebody who give me asylum please contact me for that , because despite all I’m afraid I have to live the Italian soil soon.

  44. I live in Italy and i work in web development & design. I’m afraid about this law, because our life will be impossible and many websites will close. Personal or tiny websites, which talk about information and offer free services, will have serious problems and will become too much expensive to mantain.
    Freedom in internet in Italy is in serious danger… ;-(

  45. I live in Italy too, and blog about Italian life, events and culture, but I am not Italian.

    When I first heard about this ridiculous law I was shocked. It is a real attack on freedom of speech, which has be brought about by Italians politicians who detest any form of criticism.

    At present the www is the only place in Italy where real people can speak about real issues. The mainstream media are just about all controlled by some interest or other.

    However, from what I understand, and I could be wrong, this law will not be brought in – the worldwide reaction seems to have worried Levi-Prodi more than a little. In some ways this is ironic in that these wise politicians wanted to end criticism but have inadvertently created more bad press, and criticism, on a worldwide scale, for Italy than just about all Italian blogs put together!

    I really do hope this issue dies the death – if not, then I think there are many who will fight it – including me.

    What also gets me is that Italian politicians appear to have no appreciation of the www and blogs and are totally forgetting just how much good publicity many blogs, including my own, generate for the country.

    I refer, half jokingly, to Italy as the ‘Living Museum’ – recent events seem to have demonstrated that this description is not too far of the truth.

    Let’s keep an eye on this – just in case someone tries to resurrect it…

    All the best from Italy – a marvellous place in many ways,

    Alex Roe

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