Boldrini, a leftwinger, President of the Camera dei Deputati (the Italian Low Chamber), asked for a new set of Internet-related regulations during a conference whose aim was to advocate a (useless) Internet Bill of Rights.
Boldrini, that isn’t new in such exploit, enforces the old rhetorical technique of stating something as a general issue, while then making an exception that reflects the actual message. So, she says, the Internet must stay free BUT we do need to regulate it because of profanities, obscenities and violences available on the Internet.
Boldrini isn’t the first and shall not be the last to endorse this wrong position – I’m in the field since more than twenty years (sigh!) and the song still remains the same no matter the singer – confirming what the late Giancarlo Livraghi wrote almost twenty years ago, back in the 1996, in his essay, Cassandra :
Ideas travel quickly; and bad ideas seem to travel even faster.
In Europe, we have an added problem: regulation from the European Union.
Several times (and especially after the “decency act” was declared unconstitutional in the United States) they promised publicly not to interfere with freedom on the net.
I don’t believe them.
In spite of that statement, they are working on all sorts of regulations, controls and censorship, lead especially by the French.
We know at least some of the areas in which they intend to act. Systems of electronic payment (as if they weren’t already solved); protection of copyright (what they really mean is the interests of large software suppliers, or publishers, or the entertainment industry); the fight against crime and “terrorism” in networks (that can lead to all sorts of repression of innocent people while doing very little about organized crime); “pornography” (and we have seen what that can lead to). Also privacy of personal data, which indeed should be protected; but we have seen how even that cam become the excuse for unnecessary, ineffective and repressive bureaucracy. Etcetera…
And then… there are the “rule maniacs”.
A certain type of law experts and legislators, who (even in a place like Italy, already plagued with 100.000 more laws than it can possibly need) want to increase at all times the number of rules and regulations, and make them as complicated as possible (also generating an increasing number of cumbersome and inefficient regulatory bodies…).
It’s this type of people that keeps spreading the concept of society at risk, of a net dominated by hackers and pirates, or (isn’t that terrible!) invaded by independent and uncontrolled information and opinion. Society is at risk, they say, when minorities have a voice, differences of opinion travel out of control, information falls into the hands of those “common people” who so far had to come kneeling to the shrines of Law and Order.
What Boldrini and her peers fail to acknowledge is that we do need to enforce the regulations already in place (after possibly having reduced its quantity) and not create again and again bureaucracy and confusion that don’t help citizens and prevent the market from working properly.