Due to the prospect of a new law in Italy that would give those writing on the internet just 48 hours to remove a post or face a €12,000 fine, the Italian homepage for Wikipedia is now redirecting to a statement specifically opposing the proposed legislation.The proposed law is known as the “DDL intercettazioni” (Wiretapping Act), and critics see it as an attempt by Berlusconi’s government to censor bloggers.
The Wikipedia statement, signed “The users of Wikipedia”, threatens to shut down the Italian site as the rule will contradict Wikipedia’s mission:
With this announcement, we want to warn our readers against the risks arising from leaving to the arbitrary will of any party to enforce the alleged protection of its image and its reputation. Under such provisions, web users would be most probably led to cease dealing with certain topics or people, just to “avoid troubles”.
We want to be able to keep a free and open-to-all encyclopedia, because our articles are also your articles – Wikipedia is already neutral, why neutralize it?
UPDATE: The Wikimedia Foundation has announced their support for the protest.
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