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Government

French Senate Passes Anti-Piracy Internet Cut-Off Law 225

An anonymous reader writes "The French Senate has approved a three strikes law for Internet users who download copyrighted entertainment media without paying for it. If, after two warnings, a person continues to download pirated music and movies, the internet service providers would cut off access for a year. Quoting: 'The legislation passed with a massive cross-party majority of 297 votes to 15. Only a handful of conservatives, centrists and socialists voted against, while the Communists abstained. In passing the bill, the senators rejected an amendment proposed by senator Bruno Retailleau of the right-wing MPF party replacing internet cut-off with a fine. ... The bill sets up a tussle between France and Brussels. In September, the European Parliament approved by a large majority an amendment outlawing internet cut-off." We discussed the introduction of this legislation several months ago.
United States

FEMA Sorry for Faking News Briefing 403

theodp writes "The Federal Emergency Management Agency's No. 2 official apologized Friday for leading a staged news conference Tuesday in which FEMA employees posed as reporters. All the while, real reporters listened on a telephone conference line and were barred from asking questions. In the briefing, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson Jr., FEMA's deputy administrator, called on questioners who did not disclose that they were FEMA employees, and gave replies emphasizing that his agency's response to this week's California wildfires was far better than its response to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005."
The Internet

Italy Wants to Restrict Blogs 242

nx writes "Italy wants to restrict bloggers' rights by forcing everyone to register their blogs, pay a tax and have a journalist as a "responsible director". This law is clearly designed to curb critical voices and free speech, although it has yet to be approved by parliament."

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