LINDA WERTHEIMER, Host:
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Just as the Internet is becoming part of daily life in Italy, concern is rising that the government is trying to control it. The Italian government is drafting a decree that would give the state control over online video content. Critics say it's an attempt by the prime minister to protect his TV empire from competition. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli from Rome.
SYLVIA POGGIOLI: Christian Lingreen says his native Denmark has 100 percent WiFi coverage - Italy maybe just one percent.
CHRISTIAN LINGREEN: I love Italy, but I have got to say that IT is not their cup of tea.
POGGIOLI: Nearby, sits Riikka Vanio of Finland, who has two children.
RIIKKA VANIO: In the school, it's impossible to pass any information to other parents thru Internet, because basically none of them have Internet connection at home or not even email address. So it's not part of their culture yet.
POGGIOLI: The man who drafted the decree is Telecommunications Deputy Minister Paolo Romani.
PAOLO ROMANI: (Through translator) If YouTube uploads film clips covered by copyright or produced by a broadcaster and uses them for a commercial purpose, this means YouTube has to be treated exactly in the same manner as a broadcaster.
POGGIOLI: Since then, Pancini has met with Romani to press for changes.
MARCO PANCINI: We want to be sure, that in the final (unintelligible), these rules are not applicable as to a broadcaster using YouTube only to show archive videos or a short extract from a TV show, because in this case this would make almost impossible to provide YouTube services in Italy.
POGGIOLI: Alessandro Gilioli, a journalist and blogger for the magazine L'Espresso, says with the decree, censorship will be exercised through red tape.
ALESSANDRO GILIOLI: The way Italian government strangles the Web is through bureaucracy, not like in China - through, bureaucracy, permissions, bureaucratic obstructions.
POGGIOLI: Mediaset is already suing Google for nearly $800 million dollars in damages for uploaded clips of its version of the Big Brother reality show.
WERTHEIMER: Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News, Rome.
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