Blogpost: The Great Firewall of Norway

By: nart on 13 February 2007
Posted in Norway, Europe

Blogger Gunnar Helliesen has posted the following to his blog,

The Great Firewall of Norway
Published February 13th, 2007 in Politics and Censorship.

My country is going off the deep end.

A Computer Crime Panel study group established by the Norwegian Government has issued a proposal to the Justice Department for a new law that would force all ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in Norway to actively censor the Internet.

If this proposal were to become law, Norway would have stricter Internet censorship than China.

According to this article (Norwegian only, sorry) in the Norwegian daily Dagbladet, the minority of the Panel proposes to block, among other things, all:

Foreign gambling sites (preserving the very lucrative Government owned monopoly on gambling)
P2P sites offering illegal downloads such as MP3s, TV shows and movies
Sites desecrating the Flag or Coat of Arms of a foreign nation
Sites promoting hatred towards public authorities, racism and hate speech
Sites offering pornography that may cause offence
ISPs are already mandated by law to filter sites offering child pornography.

(The list above is my translation into English from the original article. Any errors in the translation are mine.)

At this point it should be noted that the majority of the Panel (4 out of 6 members) instead want the courts to block sites on a case-by-case basis. However, the minority have insisted that their proposal be forwarded to the Justice Department for eventual debate in Parliament.

Even the majority’s proposal is unacceptable, in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that it’s almost impossible to implement successfully. The people who want to view these sites will find a way. If nothing else, they can use the many tools developed in the West to help people in China get past their Great Firewall.

A Norwegian poet, singer and songwriter once said:

'Norway is a country for those so inclined.'

– Odd Børretzen

Was he ever right.