Finland considering new internet speech restrictions

Bill Stewart bill.stewart at
Sun Oct 20 11:49:45 PDT 2002

>Subject: Fwd: BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 10/18/02
>>Finland is considering establishing changes to its freedom
>>of speech laws that focus on the Internet.  A proposed bill
>>would allow a court to order an online publication to remove
>>messages or news items.  Moreover, all online publications
>>would be required to name an editor-in-chief and would be
>>responsible for content posted on the site.
>>< >

I had trouble the first time I used the link, but it's also in dated October 17th.
Helsingin Sanomat is published on the web in English.

There was a bombing at a mall in Finland last week,
with seven people killed, including the suspected bomber,
a 19-year-old chemistry student, who frequented a message board
"Forum for Home Chemistry".  The 17-year-old moderator of the board
was arrested for a couple of days, but then released.

Some more excerpts from Helsinkin Sanomat:
The Constitutional Law Committee heard from various internet experts during 
its meeting on Wednesday. After the meeting, committee Chairwoman Paula 
Kokkonen was not willing to comment on whether something should be done 
differently by the committee because of the Myyrmanni incident.
The question of whether or not internet chatrooms and message boards are, 
by definition, publications, is still in the open.
Centre Party MP Johannes Leppdnen, a member of the Constitutional Law 
Committee, commented that it is now necessary to ponder if incidents such 
as the Myyrmanni bombing could be prevented with more careful 
monitoring.     "However, I hope that a momentary situation is not taken 
advantage of in a way that would limit some fundamental rights", Leppdnen 
stated. He also pointed out that the question of internet supervision has 
not been solved anywhere else either, nor has the question of 
responsibility for online information.     The new law on freedom of speech 
will not reach a plenary session of Parliament until some time next year. 
The goal is for the law to take effect next autumn.

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