Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The French outlaw citizen crime fighting

Story: "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 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.

Making it illegal to post self-documented crimes? Just what the heck defines a 'professional journalist?'
This scares me on two levels.
1. Liberals in this country love to copy the french. How long will it be until we have this as an issue in the US? 5 years?
2. A free speech issue, not just for me as a person, but as a blogger. If I can get fined for telling the truth, then political/news blogs are doomed as we know them.

France continues on its slide towards communism, and this is yet another step.


Seth Jackson said...

Ugh "Professional journalist"?

That is probably anyone who the French Government agrees with on a given issue.

Anyways I surely hope this doesn't happen in the US or anywhere else for that matter.

Anonymous said...

If it ever came down to this, then I think we, as the blogging community, would have to take the advice of Otter, in Animal House:

We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.

And as Bluto said: we're just the guys that can do it.

Bring it on liberals.


Mercy Now said...

I am thinking that great novel Les Miserables, maybe the French citizens should read that book again. I'm glad I'm in the US, otherwise, I could be fined by the French govt for posting this comment.

Palm boy said...

Seth, I agree. Way to much lienancy in the term 'professional journalist'.

David, fascinating.

Mercy, that would qualify as hate speech in France, I would imagine. :D