The EU still seems to me to fundamentally misunderstand the internet. They're so locked in to a top-down, centralist 'push' view of information dissemination that they can't seem to get their heads around a world in which individuals make their own choices about which sources of content to 'pull' information and opinion from.
Iain Dale picked up Dan Hannan's Telegraph blog in which he describes how the European Parliament are set to vote on a report that proposes regulating blogs. Reading the report (see Dan's link) it's actually a report 'On concentration and pluralism in the media in the European Union'. Yes, they really, seriously, fail to see any difference between 'push' publishing media of the commercial kind and private blogs. Which is astonishing. The media are regulated, they argue. Blogs are part of the media. Therefore blogs should be regulated.
The report was born from the concerns of a single MEP - Estonian Socialist Marianne Mikko (you wouldn't have guessed, would you?). It was adopted by the Culture Committee, chaired by Greek Socialist Katarina Batzeli (PES). Mikko expands on her concerns HERE.
The blogosphere has so far been a haven of good intentions and relatively honest dealing. However, with blogs becoming commonplace, less principled people will want to use them
What, really? You mean the interweb isn't full of saints and sane normal people? Go on!
we do not see bloggers as a threat. They are in position, however, to considerably pollute cyberspace. We already have too much spam, misinformation and malicious intent in cyberspace. I think the public is still very trusting towards blogs, it is still seen as sincere. And it should remain sincere. For that we need a quality mark, a disclosure of who is really writing and why.
Uhm, isn't the definition of 'pollution' somewhat subjective? I mean, there may be those who would think that the EU's use of a €200m a year PR budget to flood cyberspace with dishonest propaganda is 'pollution'. And does the 'misinformation' in cyberspace include the suppression of any enquiry into the gross theft of millions of Euros in expenses by MEPs? And your concerted campaigns to villify, marginalise and dismiss any EU whistle-blowers who lift the lid on your cesspit of graft, corruption and malfeasance could also be termed 'malicious' in many eyes, could they not? The sheer arrogance and duplicity of this risible EU crap should be exposed across the entire blogosphere, shouldn't it?
German Liberal Jorgo Chatzimarkakis joined Mikko in the call to regulate blogs. Ah yes, fine German name. That would be the Saxony-Anhalt Chatzimarkakis family, I guess. He said;
bloggers cannot automatically be considered a threat, but imagine pressure groups, professional interests or any other groups using blogs to pass on their message. Blogs are powerful tools, they can represent an advance form of lobbyism, which in turn can be seen as a threat. Any blogger representing or expressing more than their personal view should be affected by this report.
Ooh! Pressure groups, eh? Like groups of WI chutney makers protesting against EU requirements to label their jars in full compliance with the Food Labelling Directive? Or EU citizens protesting about some further insanity imposed on them from Brussels? So 'lobbyism' of this kind is a 'threat' is it?
I just cannot begin to comprehend the utter, barking and howling, screaming at the moon, carpet-chewing insanity of these morons.
The fact that a sufficient number of MEPs feel their foul fetid Federalist project to be under threat from ordinary blogs such as this one tells you one thing only; it's not blogs they're scared of. Its the truth.