2 links on proposed new legislations

Alessandro Rubini rubini at gnu.org
Tue Jun 5 12:52:52 UTC 2001

> A proposed law in Spain (Ley de los Servicios de la 
> Sociedad de la InformaciĆ³n, LSSI) would allow the goverment 
> to censor content in Internet (without asking a judge) 
> and require registration prior to publication, [...]

> I've heard that there are similar laws in France and Italy
> (is this the same as the one forcing sottware distribution 
> media to bear goverment produced identification labels?).

No, it's a different issue. Some time ago (one, two months, I don't
remember), a law was approved that requires any "periodical delivery
of information on any media" to be registered at the local police
department. Worse, it required that any such periodical source of
information has an official editor that is part of the journalist's
association (something acting like a mafia of information, not an
association anyone can subscribe to).

After a lot of complaints and some digging in the issue, it looks like
the authors of this law didn't think about web sites.  So, once again,
we have a law that may make everyone a criminal, or it may not. Our
political class is absolutely ignorant about technology and
information flow (there may be some exceptions, but I could make this
assertion in public: we have several such gross errors to support the
idea). Also, when we met in Roma with a SIAE officer and the
politician the wrote the SIAE law, they demonstrated to absolutely
ignore about what free software is and what programmer wants. They
still think that a real programmer is one who hopes to become as rich
as Bill Gates (we heard "SIAE is there to protect you, in the hope
that someone of you will become a new Bill Gates due to his

To be fair, the law about information was not limited to those stupid
rules about periodical news; it's mainly a law about government helps
to new publishers, but they manage to put that nonsense in it, and now
it is effective (even though not applied to the letter).

> The report suggests that the draft will make it illegal even 
> to link to so-called "hacking tools" - presumably[1] this would 
> include port scanners, packet sniffers, vulnerability scanners 
> and the like which have perfectly legitimate uses for network 
> administrators and programmers.

I think we have something like that about child-porn. Once again, the
law is meant to prohibit newspapers that invite readers to look at
child-porn stuff, but the letter of the law can well be applied to web
sites (and it also tells about links-to-links, so everyone is

IANAL (i am not a lawyer) INCCUL (io non capisco, consultate un legale)

> I'm also wondering about an idea to do a web page linking to all
> the Bad Laws related to computers and networking, that are being 
> rushed through all over the world.

Good Idea. Any volunteer?

Quello che scrivo rappresenta solo il mio personale punto di vista,
non rispecchia l'opinione di organizzazioni di cui faccio o ho fatto parte.

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