Iceland to become journalism haven?

dagblöðinWorld media have been reporting on Wikileaks editor Julian Assange’s efforts to gain support in Iceland for making the country a haven for the world’s free press and whistle-blowers.

Here Assange explains the situation in his own words in a message sent to journalists all round the world:

“I am in Iceland. You should be too, or at least, reporting about it.

“I have been in Iceland the past few weeks advising parliamentarians
here on a cross-party proposal to turn Iceland into an international
“journalism haven”–a jursidiction designed to attract organizations
into publishing online from Iceland, by adopting the strongest press
and source protection laws from around the world.

“In my role as WikiLeaks editor, I’ve been involved in fighting off
many legal attacks. To do that, and keep our sources safe, we have
had to spread assets, encrypt everything, and move telecommunications
and people around the world to activate protective laws in different
national jurisdictions.

“We’ve become good at it, and never lost a case, or a source, but
we can’t expect everyone to go through the extraordinary efforts
that we do. Large newspapers are routinely censored by legal costs.
Even internet-only publishers writing about corruption find
themselves disconnected by their ISPs after legal threats. Should
they not relent, they are hounded, like the Turks & Caicos Islands
Journal, from one jurisdiction to another. It is time this stopped.
It is time a country said, enough is enough, justice must be seen,
history must be preserved, and we will give shelter from the storm.

“That’s why I’m excited about what is happening in Iceland, which
has started to see the world in a new way after its mini-revolution
a year ago.

“The proposal, called the “Icelandic Modern Media Initiative” is
expect to be filed on Monday the 15th. All 15 members
of parliament approached so far [out of 51 max, the Cabinet of 12
can not propose] are willing to be listed as movers/authors. They
represent every party, including the governing coalition. I think
it is going to happen and so do the politicians.

“The draft site and Parliamentary proposal is available here,
and is embaroged until the 15th, when it is due to be publicly
filed [parliament has next week off].

That’s it!

Julian Assange.”

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