Italian bloggers call for support from around the world to fight blogger-licensing in Italy

Last week, I gave a talk in Milan and had the immense pleasure of sitting down to lunch with Davide Casaleggio and his colleagues, who work with provocateur, dissident and comedian Beppe Grillo on issues related to social justice and media in Italy. Now Davide sends along this call-to-action for bloggers around the world to help fight an initiative to force Italian bloggers to be licensed by the state:

In the last five months the Italian Parliament has accelerated the legislation against the Internet. Probably because it's the last media that is out of control in Italy after out of seven National TV's 3 are owned by the Prime Minister, 3 are State owned and controlled by the Government (read: Prime Minister), and all major newspapers are financed by the State.

Two million people are going to be unemployed within just one year in Italy. Yet our very own little Marie Antoniettes, firstly Levi (left wing) then Cassinelli (right wing) then D'Alia (center) now Carlucci (right wing) have nothing better to do than work day and night, PAID FOR BY US, in an attempt to gag the Web.

Just when Levi stated that he had withdrawn his blog killer proposal, asking all bloggers to register with the Government if they gain profit (e.g. adsense), along comes Cassinelli with a new blog screwer law. The difference between the two is significant. If it is true that Levi was attempting to kill the bloggers, then Cassinelli first screws them, making as if he is trying to help them and then he kills them having the same objective: get bloggers to register with the Government.

Then Senator D'Alia comes along wanting to black out the Internet. He has proposed an amendment, that has been approved in the Senate, to a draft law put forward by Minister Brunetta, that will oblige the ISPs to black out a site, a blog or a social media like YouTube or Facebook (the whole site) at the request of the Minister of the Interior for crimes of opinion, for example a film clip or a group that invites people not to observe a law that is considered to be unjust. Without any verdict from a magistrate. Today, this only happens in China. In a dictatorship.

Now Carlucci, ex show girl now member of Parliament for the right wing, is proposing to a law to forbid to publish any content in any form on line anonymously.

Tens of thousands have already wrote to the Parliamentarians and often they thought twice before going on. Today though we want to tell all of them that that is enough, to keep their hands off the Internet, to keep bloggers free. Help the Italian bloggers! Let them see that we all want to remain free bloggers.

Send in your photos with the words: "FREE BLOGGER"

Send an email to freeblogger@beppegrillo.it with:
- subject: your name
- text: the address of your blog
- attached: a photo of you with a sign saying "FREE BLOGGER"

You'll see it among the two thousand already arrived.

Thank you for your support,
Beppe Grillo