Out of the Icelandic disaster comes a sign of hope

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Link by Link - A Vision of Iceland as a Haven for Journalists - NYTimes.com.

As the New York Times reports:

A banking scandal nearly bankrupted this tiny island nation (population: barely 300,000) little more than a year ago, but Iceland is considering a new vision: to become a haven for journalists and publishers by offering some of the most aggressive protections for free speech and investigative journalism in the world.

The proposal, the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, combines in a single piece of legislation provisions from around the world: whistle-blower laws and rules about Internet providers from the United States; source protection laws from Belgium; freedom of information laws from Estonia and Scotland, among others; and New York State’s law to counteract “libel tourism,” the practice of suing in courts, like Britain’s, where journalists have the hardest time prevailing.

“We would become the inverse of a tax haven,” said Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Parliament and a sponsor of the initiative. “They are trying to make everything opaque. We are trying to make it transparent.”

I think that deserves an unambiguous welcome. I can see file servers moving to Iceland from all over the world. And, no doubt, they hope people too.

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