Berlusconi: “Regulate Internet”

The scandal in Belgium surrounding defense minister Pieter de Crem, who had a blogger fired from her work in a New York bar when she blogged his being drunk in that bar, which then prompted him to warn in parliament of the dangers of blogging (video with subtitles in English), has apparently awoken Italian politics.

Silvio Berlusconi said today, during his visit to Poste Italiane, that Internet needs to be regulated (link, in Italian). His government will propose a plan at the next meeting of the G8 in January – when Italy is chairman and the meeting will be a G20 summit – “to regulate Internet the world over and making it a forum which is open to everyone in the world,” said Berlusconi. It will be the ideal venue, because “80 percent of the world economy and 72 percent of the world population will be represented”. The prime minister said that the problem could not be resolved by the UN, because that body is “plethoric”, which means as much as overstuffed, sluggish and dying.

He gave no further details, nor did he explain what the problem is with Internet. Being that this country has a rather bad score on the Worldwide Press Freedom Index however, a dismal 35th – well under countries like Namibia (25) or Ghana (29) – and that it’s usually falling in the rankings whenever Berlusconi is in power, we can be sure that it won’t be happy time online when he gets his way. And you can be sure that Pieter de Crem’s chance meeting in New York has something to do with this.

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