Pedro writes about technology for El Pais, Spain's most influential 
newspaper (he is also someone I met both in Madrid and in Huesca, when I 
was speaking at the III Congreso Nacional de Periodismo Digital, earlier this year).

Previous Politech message:

"Jose Guardia on Spain's website regulation plan: Not that bad"



From: "Pedro de Alzaga" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Spanish law not that bad?
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 18:39:52 +0200

Declan and José, let me put some quick facts on the table (I'm working 
right now):

1.-        The european directive that should be the base of the Internet 
laws in every member state of the EU talks about "e-commerce". Spanish law 
(LSSI) talks about "Information Society". The european directive is half 
the size of the spanish law.

2.-        Just a simple cuestion  about the "Jurisdiction authority" 
(autoridad competente): Who decides wich is the jurisdiction authority to 
close an electronic magazine with a shop? The burocrat of the Department of 
State? The bucrocrat of the Department of Commerce? Even if they are right 
or not, even if all the "warranties from the existing legislation are 
applied", the damage will be done long before any judge could hear about 
the process (six months, one year, two years...). As José Guardia says: 
"(...)Continental Europe's legal systems need to fill any legal void as 
much as possible in an explicit way(...)". So why don't we "fill any legal 
void as much as possible in an explicit way" saying the simple magic words 
"judge authority"? Why the Government is so "concerned" about this 

3.-        Alfons López Tena, one of the members of  Consejo General del 
Poder Judicial (Judicial Power General Council), is the author of the 
"dissenting opinion" expressed, according to José Guardia, "basically for 
formal reasons". Any law affecting constitutional rights should be 
presented to the Parliament as Ley Orgánica, a higher legislation level 
that requires more support from the Congress. LSSI was not presented in 
this way. This is "the formal reason" Mr. Tena is affraid of.

I agree with José Guardia: this is not as terrible as many politicians say, 
but it is really important for the Internet in Spain. I'm not a politician 
nor a lawyer, I'm just a journalist and a spanish citizen who wants a law 
"not that bad".


From: Montse Doval Avendaño <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
References: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Re: Jose Guardia on Spain's website regulation plan: Not that bad
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 11:58:27 +0200
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I had already this debate with José Guardia in another list.
I think is not estrictly exact with the facts to say that the opponents to 
the law are either the political oposition or people with
profound ignorance about laws.
The concerns about this law are not superficial or PR movements in some 
kind of dark conspiration against this Spanish Government.
In LSSI there is a list of principles that if a content in a web site 
attempts "or could attempt" to them, the web site can be
banned and I already said in a previous message that who cares if a judge 
or a Government employee can decide so. It is the first
time, since we have a democracy in Spain, that a list of contents are 
prohibited and I think that is very alarming.
Besides that, previous to a court decision a Government authority can 
decide to put fines as high as 60.000 euros (around 54.000 $)
just because you didn't write your identity in the front page of your web 
site or you had those prohibited contents in your web
I don't want to risk to translate that list of principles that can't be 
harmed but some are national security, public order... Could
the Pentagon papers be published in a nation with this LSSI law? I doubt 
that. I'm really concerned about how little importance some
people give to the right of information and how much they trust their 
Governments. I think they made the wrong choice.

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