Whistleblowers win one in Iceland’s Parliament

At 4 a.m. last Thursday, at the end of an all-night session, Iceland’s Parliament, the Althing, voted unanimously in favor of a package of legislation aimed at making the country a haven for freedom of expression by offering legal protection to whistle-blower Web sites like WikiLeaks, which helped to craft the proposal…

…Iceland hoped to become “the inverse of a tax haven,” by offering journalists and publishers some of the most aggressive protections for free speech and investigative journalism in the world. “They are trying to make everything opaque,” she said. “We are trying to make it transparent…”

The plan to make Iceland a world leader in journalism protection took shape in December with the assistance of two leaders of the whistle-blower Web site WikiLeaks.org, Julian Assange and Daniel Schmitt, whose publish-nearly-anything ideology has given them personal experience with news media laws around the globe…

Monroe Price, who runs a program in comparative media law at the University of Oxford, told The Independent in London, “As an exercise in aspirations, it’s a bold and important endeavor.” But, he added, “if it’s a significant issue like a national security question, then the charging jurisdiction will figure out ways of asserting its power.”

Does he really mean that bastions of Free Speech and Liberty like the UK and US might be willing to break or band the law in pursuit of preserving their political will?

You betcha!

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