Comunicato in merito al cosiddetto DDL sulle intercettazioni/en
Wikimedia Italia, associazione per la diffusione della conoscenza libera hereby expresses its strong concerns about the latest draft of the "Lawful Wiretapping Bill" already approved by the Italian Senate (Senato della Repubblica). The bill would make it mandatory for "all web sites" to rectify any assertion alleged to be false or libelous, and it describes a procedure to be necessary followed.
If the bill will be approved in its current form and content, each request of rectification to an article of the Italian Wikipedia (including, but not limited to, biographies of living people) will make it non-neutral and, most likely, not even factual.
This bill is currently being discussed by the Italian lower house (Camera dei Deputati). We would therefore like to warn the public opinion about the danger it poses to all web sites, without distinction: not only the so-called "blogosphere", but Wikipedia itself would see reduced its possibility to report information in a neutral way, or even at all.
- WHAT WIKIPEDIA IS TODAY
- Wikipedia is a project based on a widespread participation of volunteers: everybody with an Internet connection can edit an article and make modifications to almost every page in the project. Each edit is shown in real time to all other users. Wikipedia has no editorial board or staff or any other organization in charge to evaluate or to accept the edits: every user is responsible for its own contribution.
Any point of view can be expressed on any topic as long as it is already available in other reliable sources. Citing sources protects against the presence of false or incorrect information, which is removed as soon as it is discovered by the volunteers. In addition, articles' talk pages allows the readers to report possible errors, to ask for explanations or corrections on the content of the article and obtain them when they are justified.
- WHAT IT COULD BE TOMORROW
- Based on the current formulation of the bill, rectifications are compulsory and non-commentable. Anybody who considers that his dignity is being damaged by any information (even if true) presented in the encyclopedia would have the right to get that information adjusted according to his wish.
Rectifications have «to be published within forty-eight hours from the request, with the same graphical layout, the same accessibility and the same visibility of the news they refer to» and without any further comments, on penalty of a fine between Euros 7.500 and 12.500. This has two main effects. First, the encyclopedia could possibly not ensure a neutral point of view, because it would have to include unmodifiable, uncommentable opinions even in absence of a reliable source, in opposition to verifiable facts. In addition, since Wikipedia has no editorial board, it would be impossible for any single person to ensure timely publication of the rectification, so that the bill would expose Wikipedia and its users to the risk of strong economic penalties.
The bill would hurt the activity of individuals who anonymously, freely and voluntarily spend their time and lavish their commitment to make accessible to everybody, freely and without charge, knowledge and information. We strongly oppose to any measure who could possibly make a reduction of the freedom of information, and reject any intervention which damages the cultural and journalistic production of these people.
Wikimedia Italia, associazione per la conoscenza libera
This press release has been subscribed by these registered users of Wikipedia. This text, even if subscribed by some Wikipedians, does not necessarily reflect the opinion or the consensus of the whole community, but only of the ones who have subscribed it.
- Original version
The original version of this text (in Italian) with the subscriptions can be found here.
- Wikimedia Italia
The associazione "Wikimedia Italia, associazione per la diffusione della conoscenza libera" or simply Wikimedia Italia is the official Italian chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.; it is an “Associazione di promozione sociale”, that is a non-profit charitable organisation. Wikimedia Italia promotes the projects of Wikimedia Foundation (without exerting any control on them) and the free and open culture in general.
- Nota sulla traduzione (Translation note)