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Saturday, October 3, 2009

The National Liberation Movement- Information platform

When Beppe Grillo organized the second V Day in Turin Italy on 25 April 2008, the theme was "Freedom of Information in the Free State". In addition to raising awareness of how important information is and that it should not be manipulated or controlled by certain groups or individuals, Mr. Grill set out to collect signatures for a referendum to be held on separating the influence of the state on the press in Italy. The three main issues Mr. Grillo correctly identified which need to be addressed in Italy is: The Abolition of the Order of Journalists, The Elimination of public funding to publishing, and 3) The abolition of the Gasparri law.

Mr. Grillo understands how important truthful and unbiased information is to a democracy and its citizens. This is what he wrote on his blog when he released his platform outlining information and media.

Information is one of the fundamentals of democracy and of individual survival. If the control of information is concentrated in the hands of a few players, inevitably antidemocratic drifts will start to develop. If information has reference points that are economic beings and not Italian citizens, the interests of the multinationals and of the groups of economic power have more weight as against the interests of the individual. Thus Information is at the basis of any other area of social interest. The citizen that is not informed or who is misinformed cannot decide, cannot make choices. He assumes a role of consumer and of passive voter, excluded from the choices that relate to him.

Here are some of the proposals Mr. Grillo has listed as part of his platform on information.

- digital citizenship from birth, free access to the Internet for every Italian citizen

- elimination of public money to finance newspapers

- no TV channel with national coverage can have majority ownership by any private person. The shareholding must be widespread with maximum ownership of 10%.

- TV frequencies to be assigned by a public auction every 5 years

- abolition of the law by the D'Alema government that asks for a contribution of one per cent of receipts from those to whom TV frequencies are assigned

- no daily paper with national coverage can have majority ownership by any private person. The shareholding must be widespread with maximum ownership of 10%.

- abolition of the “Order of Journalists”

- sale to widespread shareholders with maximum ownership of 10%, of two public TV channels

- a single public TV channel, without advertising, to be informative and cultural, independent of the parties

- abolition of the Gasparri law

- complete coverage of ADSL at a national level

- state ownership of the telephone “backbone” with reacquisition at cost price from Telecom Italia, and the commitment from the State to supply the same services at competitive prices to every telephone operator

- introduction of Wimax relays for mobile and widespread access to the Internet

- elimination of the telephone line rental fee for getting a landline connection

- immediately to come into line with European pricing for Internet and telephone connection costs

- maximum level nationally of 15% for the companies that gather in advertising headed up by a single private individual

- reduction in the time frame for intellectual property to 20 years

- prohibition on shareholding by banks and public (or quasi-public) bodies in publishing companies

- decriminalization of the court action for defamation and recognition to the person acted against of the same amount requested if the case does not proceed (the sum of money to be deposited in advance with the Tribunal as a precautionary measure at the time the action is brought)

- abolition of the Pisanu law on the limitation of wifi access.

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