Some in NZ I am sure will want NZ to follow the EU in “voluntary” blog regulation.
From the Daily Telegraph:
It’s the same when it comes to the EU’s determination to clamp down on blogs. Eurocrats instinctively dislike spontaneous activity. To them, “unregulated” is almost synonymous with “illegal”. The bureaucratic mindset demands uniformity, licensing, order.
Eurocrats are especially upset because many bloggers, being of an anarchic disposition, are anti-Brussels. In the French, Dutch and Irish referendums, the MSM were uniformly pro-treaty, whereas internet activity was overwhelmingly sceptical.
Bruno Waterfield recently reported on a secret Commission report about the danger posed by online libertarians: “Apart from official websites, the internet has largely been a space left to anti-European feeling. Given the ability to reach an audience at a much lower cost, and given the simplicity of the No campaign messages, it has proven to be easily malleable during the campaign and pre-campaign period.”
The EU’s solution? Why, to regulate blogs! Back in June (hat tip, EU Referendum), MEPs began to complain that unlicensed blogs were “polluting” cyberspace with “misinformation and malicious intent”. They wanted “a quality mark, a disclosure of who is writing and why”.
At the time, I dismissed it as the ramblings of a single dotty MEP. Not even the European Parliament, I thought, would actually try to censor the internet. I was wrong. We now have the full report and, sure enough, it wants to “clarify the status, legal or otherwise, of weblogs”, and to ensure their “voluntary labelling according to the professional and financial responsibilities and interests of their authors and publishers”.
Iain Dale also expounds:
We all know that ‘voluntary’ soon becomes ‘compulsory’. My label is the title of my blog. That is quite sufficient, and I don’t need some faceless Eurocrat to tell me otherwise.
And will it be adopted?
Europhiles will now, no doubt, accuse me of scaremongering, and point out that it’s only a Parliament proposal and has now to be agreed by the Commission and the Member States, and in all likelihood won’t get very far. I’m too old to fall for that old trick.
I wonder how long until we see such a proposal down under?
Hat Tip: No MinisterTags: Blogosphere, EU, free speech, Iain Dale, No Minister