PDA

View Full Version : Iceland's Efforts To Become an International Transparency Haven and Free Speech Zone.



Peter Lemkin
01-12-2011, 10:51 AM
Introduction
"I am proud to advise the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative's proposal to create a global safe haven for investigative journalism. I believe this proposal is a strong way of encouraging integrity and responsive government around the world, including in Iceland. In my work investigating corruption I have seen how important it is to have have robust mechanisms to get information out to the public. Iceland, with its fresh perspectives and courageous, independent people seems to be the perfect place to initiate such an effort towards global transparency and justice."
—Eva Joly MEP

ICELAND TO BECOME INTERNATIONAL TRANSPARENCY HAVEN (http://immi.is/?l=en&p=intro)

On June 16th the Icelandic Parliament unanimously passed a proposal tasking the government to introduce a new legislative regime to protect and strengthen modern freedom of expression, and the free flow of information in Iceland and around the world. The unanimous vote included all government members.

Birgitta Jonsdottir, the chief sponsor in parliament of the IMMI proposal said: "Iceland will become the inverse of a tax haven; by offering journalists and publishers some of the most powerful protections for free speech and investigative journalism in the world. Tax havens aim is to make everything opaque. Our aim it to make everything transparent." she said.

Highlights from the proposal:
* the Icelandic Prize for Freedom of Expression
* Protection from "libel tourism" and other extrajudicial abuses
* Protection of intermediaries (internet service providers)
* Statute of limitations on publishing liabilities
* Virtual limited liability companies
* Whistle-blower protections
* Source protection
* Source-journalist communications protection
* Limiting prior restraint
* Process protections
* Ultra-modern Freedom of Information Act

Because of the complexity of the legislative changes required, the final legislation will not pass through Parliament at the same date, at least 13 laws need to b e changed and improved in 4 ministries. The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture that will have an over all responsibility of implementing the laws.

Estimated time for the entire IMMI package to be completed is about a year. The creators of the IMMI hope by Iceland's bold steps in the direction of creating a haven for freedom of information, speech and expression, that it will inspire other nations to follow suit by strengthening their own laws in favor of the fundamental cornerstones that are the base of democracies and thwart the trending of gagging, legal harassment and destruction of historical records.

This proposal was created by international collaboration of lawyers and organizations such as Wikileaks, who have a comprehensive understanding about how the current status of affairs are in our world in regard of serious attacks on freedom of information and expression.

The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative is based on turning the tax-haven concept on its head. Instead of pulling together asset hiding and secrecy laws from around the world in order to shelter corruption and financial crime, the IMMI pulls together the best transparency enabling legislation, to create a stronghold for investigative journalists, internet publishers, transparency watchdogs and the public.

The global support for the IMMI underlines the need for a robust environment that supports the world's best journalism and the activities of transparency groups. The flow of information has no borders and most of the media is moving to the internet. That is why the time has come for a modern legislative regime that can promote and defend global freedom of expression, in principle and in practice.

Magda Hassan
02-01-2013, 10:32 AM
January 31, 2013 - 11:16pm by Leader Staff (http://clevelandleader.com/user/1)




According to the RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, FBI agents landed in Reykjavík in August 2011 without prior notification in an attempt to investigate WikiLeaks operations within the country. However, their plan was interupted when Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson learned about the FBI's visit and sent them packing. The Icelandic government then issued a formal protest to United States authorities.
On several different occasions, the U.S. government's hunt for WikiLeaks has involved private individuals and companies in Iceland. For example, the U.S. has been successful in obtaining account information from Twitter on parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who now refuses to travel outside of Iceland for fear of being arrested for her connections with WikiLeaks.
Iceland's government had already protested against the United States' activities in Reykjavík. It has already been learned that the U.S. embassy located there is monitoring people who enter the immediate area, and try to stop people from taking pictures of their building, despite the fact that it is perfectly legal to do so.
According to the report from RUV, a private plane landed at Reykjavík airport in August 2011 and onboard were FBI agents who had flown directly from the U.S. to Iceland with the mission to investigate WikiLeaks operations in the country as a part of a larger investigation into the organization. The FBI agents reportedly contacted the head of the national Icelandic police, as well as the head prosecutor in an attempt to gain access to all available information on WikiLeaks.
When Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson found out about the FBI's visit, he summoned the FBI agents, who were then told that the Icelandic government wouldn't permit a foreign power running their own investigations in the country. Jónasson then ordered the FBI agents to return to the U.S. After a special meeting of the cabinet, Foreign minister Össur Skarphéðinsson was then charged with formally protesting against the United States' behavior.
The story of the FBI's unannounced visit to iceland in August 2011 was revealed in an RUV report featured on January 30, 2013, by WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, who explained:

"The FBI arrived in private planes and landed at the Reykjavík airport. According to my sources, which are highly reliable and which I have been able to corroborate, news of the visit reached Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson who reacted sharply, as it was unbelievably presumptuous to come to Iceland that way. According to my sources, Jónasson demanded that the FBI agents pack their bags, get back onboard, and leave the country. The matter was then brought before the cabinet and a formal protest was issued to US authorities."
Jónasson corroborates that FBI agents arrived in Iceland and remained in the country for a few days, but claims not to know how many there were. However, he said it was out of the question that a foreign power be permitted to conduct private investigations of Icelandic citizens and their activities in the country. He told the broadcast news service:

"I can corroborate this took place in August 2011. Agents from the FBI arrived in Iceland. They'll have to answer for what their plans were. I can also corroborate that they wanted to get the cooperation of the national police and the national prosecutor's office."

http://clevelandleader.com/node/20013

Peter Lemkin
02-01-2013, 10:45 AM
The Federal Bureau of Intimidation got what they deserved. Few countries would have the bravery to kick them out. Bravo Iceland!

Jan Klimkowski
02-01-2013, 08:34 PM
"The FBI arrived in private planes and landed at the Reykjavík airport. According to my sources, which are highly reliable and which I have been able to corroborate, news of the visit reached Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson who reacted sharply, as it was unbelievably presumptuous to come to Iceland that way. According to my sources, Jónasson demanded that the FBI agents pack their bags, get back onboard, and leave the country. The matter was then brought before the cabinet and a formal protest was issued to US authorities."

Yeah - it wasn't Mulder and Scully.

Kick the G-Men out.

And expect the Wrath of J Edgar.