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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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May 28, 2005

The Internet Routes Around Censorship, Even in France

Posted by Ernest Miller

Yes, yes, I know, that saying has many flaws. Still, sometimes these is a bit of truth to it.

Brother Dana Blankenhorn notes a report from the BBC News on the role the internet is playing on the EU vote in France (One for the Web?). Read the BBC article: French Media in Referendum 'Bias' Row).

The main point of the article is that conventional media heavily favors a "yes" vote on the EU referendum, yet the public currently favors "no".

A group of journalists from French state TV and radio are so angered by what they see as one-sided propaganda campaign being broadcast on the airwaves on behalf of the government and the "Yes" campaign that they have set up an online petition, signed by more than 15,000 people since 1 May.
Not only is the traditional media heavily in favor, but the two major parties are also in favor, effectively silencing traditional campaigns on behalf of "no".
Because both the centre-right ruling UMP and the opposition Socialist party are campaigning for a "yes" vote, their dissident MPs have no official party platform for their campaigns against the constitution from which to explain why they believe the Treaty is flawed.
So, the "no" supporters have turned to the internet.
In cyberspace, a whole range of opinions - individual or on behalf of trade unions and anti-globalists group such as ATTAC - can be freely accessed, while "No" campaigners appear much more at ease with the Internet than the traditional party campaigners....

In response, the "Yes" campaign has started its own internet sites, but they are a lot more official and rather less imaginitive, though some MPs have now started their own blogs.

Gee, I wonder if the fact that the traditional bureaucracy is so sclerotic and unable to handle new media that is part of the reason people favor "no"?

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Freedom of Expression


1. Seth Finkelstein on May 28, 2005 01:10 PM writes...

"A group of journalists ..."

Sorry, at this phrase, alarm bells go off for me.

Interpreting the issues of another country's politics is notoriously difficult. I've come to be very skeptic of any report about the combination of news, politics, and "THE INTERNET!!!"

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