A good time to limit free speech
a freak attack against Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi, members of the Italian ruling coalition have pointed the
finger at social networking sites.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni announced he is considering limiting
freedom of expression in an attempt to crack down on sites that
instigate violence against the PM. Maroni blamed the attack on a hate
campaign launched against Berlusconi on social networking sites, adding
that uncensored web access could result in "a dangerous spiral of
However, Berlusconi's opponents and advocates of free speech warn that
the internet is one of few Italian media outlets not under Berlusconi's
control. Italy has some of the most stringent laws governing online
publications and requires bloggers to register as newspapers. Andrea
Monti, a lawyer and avid advocate of freedom of speech claims the
government already tried to tighten online censorship on several
“It has happened before. When something bad
happens, the authorities' first reaction is to tighten the grip on
online censorship,” said Monti.
Berlusconi was attacked by Massimo Tartaglia, a 42-year-old with a
history of psychological problems. Tartaglia hurled a statuette of
Milan's Duomo cathedral at Berlusconi, breaking his nose and a couple
of teeth. In a related story, the statuette has all but outsold in
Italy, and seems to have become a very popular Christmas gift.