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Europe and Free Speech

Europe has never had the strong tradition of or protection of free speech and press that we enjoy in the US.  For years, I have criticized the use of libel laws in Europe to stifle speech -- similar things are attempted in the US, but seldom get very far in the courts.

Now comes this proposal (courtesy of Captains Quarters):

The Council of Europe has called on its 46 member-states to introduce legislation on the right of reply to correct false information on online media.

It said the Committee of (Foreign) Ministers, executive of the European human rights watchdog body, had adopted a recommendation on the right to reply for online Internet media.

This recommended that members consider introducing legislation on the "right of reply or any other equivalent remedy, which allows a rapid correction of incorrect information in online or off-line media......"

Fortunately, our government does not have any legal or constitutional right of reply in any media, though the implications for the Internet are interesting since about 20% of my readers are in Europe, if you can trust my referral logs.  So lets give it a test:  the EU is a bureaucratic, statist nightmare.  There, lets see if that gets a response.

Posted on December 17, 2004 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

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