Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Has political blogging been outlawed in Italy? Maybe. A disturbing precedent has been laid down, at any rate.

Back in May of 2008, a Sicilian judge determined that historian and blogger Carlo Ruto was guilty of publishing a “clandestine newspaper,” which it turns out is illegal.

How did Ruto’s blog achieve the status of a “clandestine newspaper”? It wasn’t properly registered with the authorities. Also, it had a headline. If your blog entry has a headline, it’s a newspaper, the judge ruled.

The penalty is 250 Euros or up to two years in prison. Ruto was spared imprisonment but fined and ordered to take down the site, which he did. This all goes back to a 1948 law requiring registration of newspapers. Which in 2001 was deviously modified to include websites.

Ruto was targeted for being critical of connections between the Italian government and the mafia. Maybe his case is the exception. But recently, a well-known Italian politician, Giuseppe Giulietti, said that almost the entire contents of the Italian Internet “could be considered illegal.” Bloggers are up in arms, as well they should be.

Sounds incredible. But bloggers in the U.S. have been threatened with similar sledgehammers, in the form of campaign finance regulation.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. dunscotis says:

    Those in power – whether in the government, the church or in business are fixated on having the power to control. Power has become for those who currently have power an end in and of itself. Never re-elect anyone for any office – you only corrupt them!

  2. Alan Eason says:

    “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

    First Amendment to the Constitution

  3. atsa do fairnusa doctrino … watsa mata u? paison, u no lika da fairnusa?

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