The Italian government has extended its provision within the Media and Wiretapping Bill, "obbligo di rettifica", or rectification obligation, a law dating back to 1948 that requires newspapers or anyone "responsible for informative websites" to publish corrections, and passed a new law aimed at restraining online freedom of speech under the Berlusconi leadership, TheInquirer.net reported.
This law requires Italian bloggers, podcasters and users of social networking sites like Facebook to rectify "incorrect facts" published, and post corrections within 48 hours of receipt of complaint. Any failure to abide by the law within the timeline provided would result in the imposition of a fine of up to €25,000 to be paid by the author or publisher.
Image: Italian President Berlusconi
The European Digital Rights (EDRI), a pan-European coalition of online civil liberties advocacy organisations, and Italian journalists who call this bill "authoritarian" warn that it might darken much of the Italian cyberspace comprising of small-scale bloggers, website owners and users who comment on discussion pages, as they will be left with little or no time to deal with complaint requests and publish corrections within the time span allotted, EUObserver.com reported today.