EU Blog Regulation

September 7th, 2008 at 3:43 pm by David Farrar

Some in NZ I am sure will want NZ to follow the 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 Minister

16 Responses to “EU Blog Regulation”

  1. goodgod (1,347 comments) says:

    It’s reminiscent of the days when certain european countries tried to suppress the printing press. They failed then too.

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  2. stayathomemum (140 comments) says:

    I am sure Helen mentioned/was quoted regarding suppressing alternative media shortly after the EFA was passed – somebody may be able to dig up this reference – I think it was towards the end Jan
    In other words – yes – it is already on her radar.

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  3. Rakaia George (313 comments) says:

    I don’t think the European bloggers have too much to worry about – the French, Spanish and Italian governments have been ignoring EU regulations since the make-work edifice has existed.

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  4. getstaffed (8,228 comments) says:

    Ah yes…. the e-EFB coming to a pseudo-democracy near you (…and me, and other kiwis…)

    Edit: stayathomemum – snap. Control freaks like Clark must hate the internet. Fancy freedom of expression without state control!

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  5. side show bob (3,476 comments) says:

    Typical European fuckers, it’s always about rules with them pricks, mind you the arseholes that we have to live under would give their leftwing nuts to suppress the net. It’s the same old same old, a “secret commission” , political speak for the ruling elite trying to impose their values, their fucking rules on the rest of us. Isn’t it time the world changed, have these pricks learnt nothing in the last 100 years. The only way the world will grow is through the freedom of ideas and the freedom of information.

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  6. Redbaiter (12,012 comments) says:

    Just the left after freedom of expression again. Europe is a commie hole, where only “approved” opinons are permitted. Approved meaning “in sync with mainstream leftist thought”, which is always the supreme path to collective happiness. You know that folks don’t you?

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  7. tux (16 comments) says:

    Just finishing off 1984, read it as a kid and enjoyeing it again now.
    Of course big sister hates any form of freedom, where as the book had a constant war to keep people productive, poor and under control. well Helen today uses the environment to do the samething.
    In 1984 the job is not to win the war.
    So to, today, it’d not to save the planet, just look at her record. Even Aussie and the USA are doing better than us.
    I can only hope there is a melt down this week.

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  8. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    My belief is that the European Union was created by the elite to make easier the control of a large body of people, rather having to control each country individually: they are drunk on power. The EU must be run by control freaks when it is illegal to sell or even *give away* kiwifruit weighing less than 62 grams – such a heinous crime carries a £5,000 penalty. I kid you not; these guys make Helen look like an amateur. Speaking of Dear Leader, I am amazed that the Electoral Finance Act allows free speech in blogs: her benevolence knows no bounds.

    EU control of the internet is perfectly consistent with the Communist Manifesto of 1848, which lists ten steps for the transition from a capitalist society to a communist one. Most of these steps have already been carried out in NZ & other Western countries, and #6 applies here: “Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.”

    As an aside, there is information on the web about MI6 helping to push England into joining the EU. MI6 traditionally gets its staff from the elite universities, and like nearly all universities they are awash with liberal leftists/Marxists/Socialists. The ruling elite usually come from this same pool of commies, so it is not surprising that MI6 want their old friends to have power via the EU. Liberal-left moves in a country always begin with the intellectuals in universities: that is why Helen has a long history of lecturing in universities. These people make out that they are the workers’ friend, but in reality they want control and are giving a sales pitch to sweeten the medicine. The fact that Helen is the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage indicates that she is not one of the “common people”, and closer to the arty-farty set.

    The agenda of the Left can be summed up in three words: control, control, and control.

    NZ is not free of State control of the internet:

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  9. DJP6-25 (1,779 comments) says:

    I’m sure Labour would like to try this here after the election if they can form a government. The Democrats in the US want to do something similar by resurrecting the ‘Fairness Doctrine’. Let’s hope Tuesday is a bloodbath for NZ First and Labour.


    David Prosser

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  10. Lee C (2,987 comments) says:

    “I wonder how long until we see such a proposal down under?”
    If Labour carry the election – about nine months. I am only suprised the EFA didn’t include blogs, surely an oversight which they will remedy as soon as possible. After all you can’t have people sharing political opinions for the whole electoral cycle, unregulated and unnaccountable for three years at a time, can you?
    No, much better that when the election year commences, we follow the rules like everyone else. Unless your blog agrees with the government, of course.
    Roughly speaking kiwi-blog out – The VDS allowed on a ‘technicality’ after much soul-searching by the Electoral Commission.
    Thin end of the wedge and all that….

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  11. Al-Girta (58 comments) says:

    It is nothing to do about commies or lefties Euro elites simply don’t trust the general population so they generally seek control. They are worried that the great unwashed like the smell of diesel fumes and cordite too much

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  12. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    Shocking, but typical Europe. Regulation for the sake of it. Their agricultural regulations are just as bad.

    You even need two pitchforks if you have cattle – one to muck them out and one to feed them with. You can’t have one pitchfork and clean it. There is an actual law saying that – that is the sort of pointless detail they try and regulate. Crazy stuff.

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  13. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    Lee: “Thin end of the wedge and all that….”
    No, I’d say we’re about half-way along the wedge already.

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  14. PhilBest (4,967 comments) says:

    One of my favourite writers is a Norwegian Blogger called “Fjordman”, who shut down his own blog years ago to avoid falling foul of Norway’s stiff P.C. regulations on free speech. He does continue to get his essays posted by others on various blogs, and there is a “Fjordman Files” site run by someone else that provides links to the essays as they appear.

    There is hardly a more weighty commentator on the EU, political correctness, feminism, Islamic fundamentalism and so on.

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  15. PhilBest (4,967 comments) says:

    Just spotted this on “Gates of Vienna” Blog:

    Monday, September 01, 2008
    “Lady Justice Was Raped”

    Posted by Baron Bodissey

    “Our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan reports on a recent travesty of justice in the Netherlands. He says, “The hatchet fell — freedom of speech is now dead in Holland.”

    Here’s his translation of an article from last Friday’s De Telegraaf, followed by his own commentary:

    Webmaster is punishable for extremism

    ZUTPHEN — Owners and managers of websites can be held responsible if visitors to their sites place extremist texts on it.

    The magistrate [‘politie rechter’; lowest court level] sentenced the manager of the site ‘’ to a fine of €750, from which €250 is probational. Contrary to other similar cases, the condemned hadn’t written the offending texts himself, but merely forgotten to remove them.

    According to the MDI the sentence is a step forward in addressing digital discrimination. “The judge clearly indicated that the contents of texts placed on sites are the responsibility of the manager,” said MDI director Niels van Tamelen.

    The organization tipped the department of Justice about the offending texts on the site. “Important is the signature (political style) of the site. The manager placed negative news items about Muslims and links to extremist sites. He could therefore expect that punishable texts would be placed on his site, and he had address that.”

    – – – – – – – – –

    According to councilor Bertjan Souman from Epe a slippery slope has appeared: “The site was for some time actively controlled by my client. He wasn’t able to manage it properly due to a lot of work. He only found out something was wrong when he was arrested. The writers of the offending articles were not prosecuted by the police at all.”

    H. Numan’s commentary:

    It appears to be just a minor news item, but it most certainly is not. Freedom of speech was thoroughly axed by the court. Of course the writer of an article is responsible for his article. The publisher is not, or at least to a much lesser extent.

    What has happened is the creation of a precedent: a relatively unknown website run by a non-famous person met the full wrath of multicultural (in)justice. The sentence may seem light, but is far from it. €750 is a lot of money. What people may or may not know is that most Dutch people have insurance to cover lawsuits, but… this insurance only covers civil litigation. Criminal lawsuits are not covered by insurance. The lawyer’s fee (€200 per hour) is therefore not covered, not even for such a clearly incompetent lawyer as Mr. (Meester, the title for a Dutch graduate in law) Bertjan Souman is. I have no idea how much a lawyer would charge for this bumbling piece of work — if you can call it even work — but at least 20 to 40 hours, if not more. Which is about four full months’ wages for the webmaster in question…….”

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  16. Put it away (2,883 comments) says:

    Next thing you know these eurocrats will be saying you can’t sell eggs by the dozen…. oh wait

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