pirate republic

Iceland is proposing radical new laws that will create a safe haven for investigative journalism and therefore the release of this kind of shocking footage, which exposes a cover-up, as well as the true nature of a war where a superpower deploys its weapons on a third world country, in this instance cutting down, among others, two people working for Reuters. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (Immi) will allow organisations likeWikileaks to provide the strongest possible protections for sources and whistleblowers releasing sensitive material that big business and secretive states want to suppress.

 Having flown from Britain last Tuesday where our disreputable Parliament was about to pass the Digital Economy Bill with virtually no scrutiny and certainly no concern for freedom of expression, it was remarkably refreshing to read the following from the official website of the Immi, which, incidentally, is supported by all parties here. "The goal of the Immi proposal is to task the government with finding ways to strengthen freedom of expression around the world and in Iceland… we also feel it is high time to establish the first Icelandic international prize: the Icelandic Freedom of Expression Award." 

To get the cynicism out of the way upfront, one suspects a plan to market the country as a haven for well-heeled geeks. The “Icelandic Freedom of Expression Award” is brochure stuff, like those economic freedom ratings which consist of counting the yachts in the harbour. 

 And why not? There’s a both a corporate and state-level landgrab on data and virtual space going on and so the logical outcome of Iceland’s policy would be to provide a physical safe haven for people who resist or fall foul of it. 

 Henry Porter suggests that the yanks aren’t pleased by all this. I suggest the following response: 

damn ye, you are a sneaking Puppy, and so are all those who will submit to be governed by Laws which rich Men have made for their own Security, for the cowardly Whelps have not the Courage otherwise to defend what they get by their Knavery; but damn ye altogether: Damn them for a Pack of crafty Rascals, and you, who serve them, for a Parcel of hen-hearted Numskuls. They villify us, the Scoundrels do, when there is only this Difference, they rob the Poor under the Cover of Law, forsooth, and we plunder the Rich under the Protection of our own Courage; had you not better make One of us, than sneak after the Arses of those Villains for Employment?"