Feeds

Greek blogger arrest infuriates world

Worst possible timing for over-zealous police

Boost IT visibility and business value

The arrest of a blogger by Greek police just days before Athens hosts the inaugural meeting of the Internet Governance Forum has left the blogosphere in uproar and the authorities with egg on their face.

Antonis Tsipropoulos was arrested at home on Tuesday by the Greek police following a complaint from a controversial Greek televangelist that Mr Tsipropoulos's blog aggregation site, blogme.gr, linked to slanderous material.

The content in question is hosted at the FunEL blog, and mocks the colourful Dimosthenis Liakopoulos for producing trash TV and being anti-Semitic. However, since the blog is hosted in the US, the Greek authorities swooped on the popular blogme.gr site, arresting its owner, ordering him to appear in court in a few days to face charges and shutting down the service.

Mr Tsipropoulos originally posted a concise account of his arrest, complaining that he was not in any way able to control the content he had linked to, but later removed it, reportedly following legal advice.

The response from the blogging community worldwide has been swift and furious, with many Greek bloggers planning to organise a protest outside at the IGF meeting today when their prime minister formally opens the event at 10am at the Divani Apollon hotel south of Athens.

The arrest couldn't come at a worse time, following a high-profile campaign launched earlier this week by Amnesty International drawing attention to the bloggers worldwide who have been detained for posting information online. Many Greeks will be surprised to learn they appear to have joined the ranks of Iran, China and Vietnam.

What makes the matter all the more timely is that the arrest highlights an endemic misunderstanding of internet technology and policy, where authorities try to enforce laws over the net by charging whoever they can in their own country, who are nearest to the problem.

The main aim of the IGF meeting is for governments, business, international organisations and civil society to meet up and discuss the best methods of working with the internet and one another. If only the Greeks had been approached by Liakopoulos next week, the incident would most likely never have happened. ®

Related links

The blogme.gr site
Satrical site FunEL

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.