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UN Free Press, Italy Talks of Blocking Websites, Jordan of Registering Them

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 27 -- When the Foreign Ministers of Italy and Jordan came Thursday to speak of religious tolerance, the Italian mission's press note referred to "diffusion of the video Innocence of Muslims." Inner City Press went, to ask about censorship not only in Jordan but Italy.

  Inner City Press asked minister Giulio Terzi about his comment that "It is absolutely legitimate for governments to block sites that include... incitement to hatred." Inner City Press asked, how would this be decided? By whom?

  Terzi replied that Italy "believes in freedom of speech and expression and of thought... My reference was to, when I was asked, the crime of blasphemy, considered by national criminal code, could be pursued though impeding access to contemporary way of communications."

  That is, blocking websites. Is that freedom of speech and expression and of thought?

Jordan has recently required hundreds of websites to register with the government, which as Inner City Press asked, has been seen as undermining freedom of the press.

The Foreign Minister of Jordan Nasser Judeh replied that this "press and publications law has nothing to do with freedoms or the right to free expression, it has a lot to do with regulation." He said there are "website that are not registered." Oh. Watch this (proudly unregistered) site.

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