Does anyone remember this story? The European Parliament was accused of trying to regulate blogs… of course this was not really the case. Basically Marianne Mikko (MEP) did not understand blogging and made some strange recommendation in a EP resolution (which has no legal weight whatsoever!).
Anyway, today the EUobserver reports that this story has also arrived in Sweden:
Swedish media have erroneously reported that the EU plans to register and bill all bloggers, setting off a firestorm of reaction in the country.
Politicians of all political stripes and most major media outlets have since furiously attacked the idea as another example of Big Brother snooping into people’s daily lives, while the MEP at the heart of the controversy has been compared to Romanian dictator Nikolae Ceausescu.
The article makes some good reading if you are interested in
a) How long it takes for a topic to spread across Europe… The whole issue came up more than a month ago! Another interesting thing is how the story was transformed … the ‘first’ debate a month ago was about a “quality mark and some disclosure remarks”; now the Swedish debate was about EU plans to “register and bill all bloggers”.
b) How national and European debates mix. The new surveillance legislation in Sweden is of course a good context for the blog topic, although both originated within different policy areas. However, it seems to me that the bigger scandal is indeed the new Swedish law…
c) A bold political statement: “She has a hole in her head”
d) More proofs that blogging and presumably the Internet are not properly understood … In the words of Ms Mikko: “The Economist is a valuable brand, its articles are trusted by readers without contributors having to reveal their names,” she said. “If there is a way to validate the best bloggers the same way that publishing in the Economist validates its writers, it should be done.”
A Northern Perspective offers an explanation why we see this kind of debate in Sweden:
A combination of a lack knowledge of how the EU works, British type tabloid sensationalism and the hidden agenda of a certain group of so-called liberals can make wonders in influencing the public opinion, a very useful thing in these days when the future of the Union is very much at stake.