Wednesday, March 07, 2007

France Bans Citizen Journalists!

Is France Giving Bush New Ideas to Eliminate Dissent?

I haven’t seen this reported in the media outside of computer and tech journals like PC World, Macworld, or Info World. This is from Macworld:
France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

The French law seems to have a very wide ruling and be sweeping in authority. It will criminalize the recording of any public violence except that of an accredited journalist. It makes you wonder if there are exceptions for private security surveillance cameras. I don't know the details and none of the articles pose or answer that question.

The broad drafting of the law so as to criminalize the activities of citizen journalists unrelated to the perpetrators of violent acts is no accident, but rather a deliberate decision by the authorities...

The government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers, identifying them as government-approved sources of information if they adhere to certain rules. The journalists’ organization Reporters Without Borders, which campaigns for a free press, has warned that such a system could lead to excessive self censorship as organizations worried about losing their certification suppress certain stories.

Does anyone doubt the desire of similar measures by the Cheney Misadministration?

(cross posted at Daily Kos)


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