Megalomaniac Silvio Berlusconi is not content with a near monopoly of the Italian media but wants to extend his power into the heart of cyberspace.

In paragraph 29 of a law proposal, also known as “DDL intercettazioni” (Wiretapping Act) his corrupt and beleaguered government aim to stop publication of any material deemed detrimental.

It doesn’t matter if the details are true, the act merely gives the offended party the right to demand a ‘corrected’ version be published within 48 hours without further comment.

Wikipedia are correct to highlight the threat this poses to independent voices on the Internet.

As a protest all Wikopedia entries are currently hidden to anyone searching for information in Italian. Instead you will find a statement explaining why the entries they have requested cannot be shown. This is a translated version of the  Wikipedia statement .

As they rightly point out, every Italian citizen is already protected in this respect by Article 595 of the Criminal Code, which punishes the crime of defamation.

Berlusconi’s proposed legislation is nothing short of a gagging order in a desperate attempt to save a sinking ship. As such all journalists, bloggers and anyone who values free speech must do everything in their power to resist it.