Saturday, July 05, 2008

Web censorship debate in Iran

The Iranian parliament has voted make a priority of passing a bill to apply the death penalties to bloggers who harm "mental security in society" by promoting, for example, "corruption" or "apostasy." AFP reports:
Iran's parliament is set to debate a draft bill which could see the death penalty used for those deemed to promote corruption, prostitution and apostasy on the Internet, reports said on Wednesday.

MPs on Wednesday voted to discuss as a priority the draft bill which seeks to "toughen punishment for harming mental security in society," the ISNA news agency said.
One the Iranian parliament's biggest admirers is Bill Clinton. As he explained (link also has the audio) to Charlie Rose in 2005:
[Iran is] the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami. [It is] the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: two for President; two for the parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralities.

In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70% of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.
Of course, the Democrats would not try to promote a similar bill to censor US media. The death penalty is too extreme, and they wouldn't say the bill was about "mental security." They might call it instead "the fairness doctrine."

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