Monday, February 15, 2010

Iceland May Become an Offshore Haven For Journalists And Leakers

Iceland may soon pass legislation to make it an offshore haven for leakers and other types/forms of journalism that face censorship. It is modeling itself as the equivalent of a Cayman Island bank or Delaware corporations location. As an early adopters it could have some benefits of setting the standards, and becoming a de-facto hub; with all the revenue and influence that goes along with that. The obvious downside is the potential repercussions from organizations/governments that will not take kindly to their secrets being broadcast across the world. It is not clear what kind of repercussions or penalties could or would be inflicted, but you can be sure they will try something. (via)

"On Tuesday, the Icelandic parliament is expected to introduce a measure aimed at making the country an international center for investigative journalism publishing, by passing the strongest combination of source protection, freedom of speech, and libel-tourism prevention laws in the world.

Supporters of the proposal say the move would make Iceland an “offshore publishing center” for free speech, analogous to the offshore financial havens that allow corporations to hide capital from authorities. Could global news organizations with a home office in Reykjavík soon be as common as Delaware corporations or Cayman Islands assets?

“This is a legislative package to create a haven for freedom of expression,” Icelandic member of parliament Birgitta Jónsdóttir confirmed to me, saying that a proposal for comprehensive media law reform will be filed in parliament on Tuesday, and that whistle-blowing specialists Wikileaks has been involved in drafting it. There have been persistent hints of an Icelandic media move in recent weeks, including tweets from Wikileaks and a cryptic message from the newly created @icelandmedia Twitter account.

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