Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Is It Just Me?

Or is this headline disturbing?

France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991. The officers’ acquittal at the end on April 29, 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles.

If Holliday were to film a similar scene of violence in France today, he could end up in prison as a result of the new law, said Pascal Cohet, a spokesman for French online civil liberties group Odebi. And anyone publishing such images could face up to five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (US$98,537), potentially a harsher sentence than that for committing the violent act.

The government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers...


Is that a McCain-Feingold Part Deux?
I wonder who is being violent that they don't want pictures taken of...

And even mobile-phone operators (users)?
Plus, that fine of almost $100,000 seems unjust.
Do they have a debtors prison there?

Wowzers.