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This is the 1st amendment on steroids*Wikileaks document*

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posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 08:40 PM
Icelandic Modern Media Initiative

This translation is not normative. In the case of discrepancy between the English and Icelandic versions, the Icelandic version is authoritative.
Proposal for a parliamentary resolution
for Iceland to strongly position itself legally with regard to the protection of freedoms of expression and information.
Parliament resolves to task the government with finding ways to strengthen freedoms of expression and information freedom in Iceland, as well as providing strong protections for sources and whistleblowers.

In this work, the international team of experts that assisted in the creation of this proposal should be utilized.

To this end,

the legal environment should be explored such that the goals can be defined and changes to law or new law proposals can be prepared.
the legal environments of other countries should be considered, with the view to assemble the best laws to make Iceland leading in freedoms of expression and information.
the first Icelandic international prize should be established, The Icelandic Freedom of Expression Award.

With the goal of improving democracy, as firm grounding will be made for publishing, whilst improving Iceland's standing in the international community.


This parliamentary resolution proposal is written with the support of parliamentarians from all parties. Numerous respected specialists, both foreign and local, have consulted on the work and have promised continued support for the Icelandic government if this proposal is accepted.

A vision for Iceland
Freedom of expression, in particular, freedom of the press, guarantees popular participation in the decisions and actions of government, and popular participation is the essence of our democracy.

- Corazón Aquino
democratic President of the Philippines (1986-1992)

The nation is at a crossroad that call for legislative change. At such times we should not only address our past, but also adopt positive plans for our future.

The legislative initiative outlined here is intended to make Iceland an attractive environment for the registration and operation of international press organizations, new media start-ups, human rights groups and internet data centers. It promises to strengthen our democracy through the power of transparency and to promote the nation's international standing and economy. It also proposes to draw attention to these changes through the creation of Iceland's first internationally visible prize: the Icelandic Prize for Freedom of Expression.

The world's media is moving to the Internet, allowing publishing from any location. Whether a newspaper like The Guardian is published online out of Reykjavik or New York is indistinguisable to its readers. At the same time, there is a recognized crisis in quality journalism.

Where to publish is now decided by factors such as distance and communications capacity, server costs and legal environment. Iceland has the first two covered: it has fast undersea cables to some of the world's largest consumers of information, and its clean green power and cool temperatures are attractive to those running internet services.

We can create a comprehensive policy and legal framework to protect the free expression needed for investigative journalism and other politically important publishing. While some countries provide basic measures, Iceland now has an oportunity to build an internationally attractive legislative package built from the best laws of other nations.

Examples of successful laws include the following: recent legislation from the state of New York to block the enforcement of U.K. judgments constricting freedom of the press, a 2005 Belgian law to provide strong protection for the communications of journalists with their sources; and the Swedish constitution's Press Freedom Act.

A legislative package based on these and other protections would attract a wide range of media and human rights organizations that routinely face unjust sanction. For example, British press agencies are currently forced to redact an increasing amount of information from the historical record in a futile attempt to ward off secret gag orders and other abusive legal actions taken by litigious billionaires and corporations trying to conceal corrupt behavior. Similarly Transparency International and other human rights groups are routinely sued for exposing corruption on their web-sites.

These influential groups would be inclined to promote and protect the proposed legislation, and through it, the long term strength of our own democracy. It is not only other countries that need access to such supportive laws--let us not forget that RUV nightly news was gagged by the Kaupthing bank on Aug 2, 2009.

The potential is already clear. Many important newswires and human rights organizations have moved to Stockholm on the strength of the existing Swedish Press Freedom Act. Similarly, Malaysia Today relocated to the United States after having been persecuted in its own country. As legal costs for participants in the information economy have begun to spiral out of control, the world is looking for an internally consistent set of rules that place clear limits on the risks faced by publishers.

Not all the benefits of this proposal can be counted in kronas: like the Reagan-Gorbachev summit, the indirect effects of weaving together the interests of the Icelandic people with the interests of the world media should not be underestimated. The proposal that has been described above would make Iceland unique in the global discussion and would engender the goodwill and respect of other nations.

It is hard to imagine a better resurrection for a country that has been devastated by financial corruption than to turn facilitating transparency and justice into a business model.

Transforming vision into law
Below we trace some outlines of the laws that would have to be carefully evaluated and adapted for this protective legal framework to emerge. In some cases the need for legislative change is clear, in other cases more study is needed and we merely point to potential problems and offer possible solutions for consideration. Given the number of different laws affected and the required consistency between the various measures, we call for further study to be initiated as soon as possible.

edit-shortened title contd.

[edit on 25-3-2010 by devildogUSMC]

posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 08:41 PM
Source Protection
Current protection of a journalist's sources is defined in the law on the treatment of criminal cases no. 88/2008 and the law on the treatment of private cases no. 91/1991. The current media bill contains articles protecting a journalist's sources. It however states that journalists have a right to refuse to expose their sources except when a court ruling states otherwise, as per art. 119 of the law on the treatment of criminal cases no. 88/2008. This seems an overly broad exception to such an important principle and it may contradict principle 3 of Council of Europe recommendation R (2000)7, upon which the media bill's source protection statutes are based. Given the consensus nature of CoE recommendations, we should strengthen source protection to far exceed this recommendation.

Whistleblower Protection
Where statistics have been collected, internal whistleblowers account for most revelations of corporate and government corruption. The rights of the people to benefit from these disclosures should not be abridged and just like in many other countries, specific mechanisms to encourage the reporting of unethical practices should be considered. One could envision, for example, an absolute right to communicate information to a member of the Icelandic Parliament.

The USA Federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §§3729-3733) provides model protections and incentives for those who report frauds made against the government. According to the Government Accounting Office (2006), $9.6 billion was recovered for the government under this act, which protects and encourages the reporting of frauds against the government in a number ways. For instance, by providing employment guarantees that preserve seniority status and salary, as well as providing 15 to 30% of the monies recovered as a compensation and reporting incentive.

The proposers suggest that changes be made to laws regarding the rights and duties of official employees (no. 70/1996) such that official employees be allowed to break their duty of silence in the case of extreme circumstances of public interest. Similar changes could be made to municipal governance law (no. 45/1996) regarding employees of municipal governments. Suggestions for such changes have been made in three proposed bills, parliamentary documents 41 from the 130th legislative assembly, 994 from the 132nd legislative assembly and 330 from the 133rd legislative assembly. It may also be appropriate to make changes to article 136 of the general criminal code (no. 19/1940), such that the interest of the public must always be weighed in procedures against public servants who have disclosed classified information.

Communications Protection
Belgian law since 2005 was designed to explicitly protect all communication between sources and journalists, with both groups defined broadly. But such protections may have limited effect if protected communication records between journalists and sources are automatically stored by third parties.

Currently Icelandic telecommunications law no. 81/2003 implements EEA mandated data retention. It applies to telecommunication providers and its current implementation mandates the retention of records of all connection data for 6 months. It states that communications companies may only deliver information on telecommunications in criminal cases or on matters of public safety. It also states that such information may not be given to others than police and public prosecution.

The European directive that caused this law to come into effect, 2002/58/EB from 12. july 2002 regarding privacy and electronic communication, is up for review in the autumn of 2010 and the German constitutional court is expected to rule whether or not data retention is at odds with the European Human Rights Treaty. Given these developments and a general trend towards more privacy awareness, the Icelandic data retention laws may need updating to address these concerns.

Another aspect of communications protection comes from chapter V of the currently implemented law 30/2002 on e-commerce and electronic services, which provides indemnity for "mere conduits", such as telecommunications networks and Internet hosting providers. There are few and mostly well defined exceptions to this indemnity, but the exception for general court orders without further definition is worrying. This should probably be improved by clarifying which exact circumstances can trigger such exceptions.

Limiting prior restraint
Prior restraint is any legal mechanism that can be used to forcibly prevent publication. Such restaints have a significant negative impact on freedom of expression. Most democracies place strong and in some cases absolute limitations on prior restraint. Methods for guaranteeing that existing laws not be abused in the attempt to limit the freedom of expression should be explored.

Process protection
Equal access to justice is an important part of democracy. Even in countries with strong constitutional protections for the press, such as the United States, there is weak process protection, and as a result it may be financially infeasible for publications to participate in legal battles. Even in the cases where the publications have the capacity to defend themselves, it may be against their economic interests. An example of this is the case where Time Magazine was litigated in the United States for running a cover story on financial corruption in the Scientology cult. Although Time magazine eventually won the case, it had to spend $7 million in legal fees taking the matter all the way to the Supreme Court--effectively a multi-million dollar "fine" against Time magazine for engaging in quality, research based journalism. It would have been impossible for a smaller publication to mount such a defence, and it would be impossible for Time Magazine to take on many such battles, creating a "chilling effect" on quality journalism and interferring with the democratic process.


posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 08:59 PM
reply to post by devildogUSMC

This is groundbreaking legal innovation. This would be a law on the side of truth and justice. God knows, we could use something like that in these times.

posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 09:41 PM
Iceland could be the new promise land, Rising from the ashes an economic enslavement system, to stand above every nation in the world to sound out Freedom does still Ring!
Your freedom of speech and information is envied by this United States Citizen.

God bless Iceland!

For America, Your votes will never overcome the votes that are bought and paid for by money stolen from you through taxation.

When the rule of the law does not apply to government,the rule of the sword will become mightier than the pen.

[edit on 25-3-2010 by TaxpayersUnleashed]

posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 10:13 PM
reply to post by TaxpayersUnleashed

Don't you think we should adopt something like this here in the states as well to prevent violence and oppression and to promote truth and justice, proving the pen IS mightier than the sword?

posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 11:22 AM
Somebody, please read this and discuss it with me. I think it is one of the most necessary documents of our time for all nations to adopt a version simillar to.

posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 11:28 AM

The legislative initiative outlined here is intended to make Iceland an attractive environment for the registration and operation of international press organizations, new media start-ups, human rights groups and internet data centers. It promises to strengthen our democracy through the power of transparency and to promote the nation's international standing and economy. It also proposes to draw attention to these changes through the creation of Iceland's first internationally visible prize: the Icelandic Prize for Freedom of Expression.

Still digging through it. But this paragraph is simply amazing in concept. Great find. Let's see if we can get this in the hands of some of our own government officials.

posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 11:54 AM
reply to post by patmac

From what I understand of this, it sounds like everything I thought our country would be all for doing, when I was eight years old. This is the kind of thing that should be thought up every single day by lawmakers if they really represented us and had our best interest in mind and cared about our advancement as a species.

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 04:26 AM
reply to post by TaxpayersUnleashed

Iceland might end up suprising the world by saving it. Maybe the truth will set us free and stop the entire world from imploding.

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 08:52 PM
reply to post by devildogUSMC

I think the pen is the most powerful tool when in a society bound by laws.

You can't sign a law that stops violence. You can't regulate it people are not robots.

When you steal or hurt or damage anyone, they want it to stop and sometimes choose violence if they are capable of it.

However we have seen what happens when governments become unregulated. when a gov can sanction genocide thieft or whatever crime,it takes a miracle to overcome.

The biggest threat to our liberties is our government we contracted to defend them.

Right now i see an increased amount of military growth and individual liberties, as well as sever abuses of individuals by the people we hired to apply our laws.

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