Norway Considers ISP Filtering for Online Gambling
23 February 2011
From Online Casino on February 23, 2011:
The Scandinavian online gambling marketplace has been in review by the governments of countries such as Norway Sweden, Denmark and others, with the hope that there will be reforms in the gambling laws in that region.
The European Union and the European Commission is making an effort to bring the member countries with gambling monopolies in line with a fair trade solution for e commerce and trade. Sweden and Norway are two Scandinavian countries with state owned online gambling monopolies that are having difficulty finding solutions to satisfy E.C. compliance.
Norway for example since July 2010 put in place financial blocking devices similar to those in the USA in an effort to discourage offshore betting by Norwegians. The state gambling monopoly Norsk Tipping, has released the results of a survey that suggests 4% of Norwegians that are of legal age still place bets on foreign gambling web sites.
Culture Minister of Norway, Anniken Huitfeldt, has publicly stated that tougher measures will be forthcoming to curb he use of offshore online gambling sites. Dagbladet the Norwegian newspaper reports that the tougher measures may include Internet Service Provider blocking or filtering of foreign online gambling operators. Huitfeldt, commented, "Such measures have been successfully used in Italy, Estonia and France, and the concept has found favour in Denmark."
As with most controversial measures that curtail people’s freedom of choice some of the liberal voices are crying foul and unfair. Ove Vanebo the Liberal leader has come out against the moves and has stated that it is impossible for politicians to do this to it citizens. Liberalen a publication backing the liberal point of view suggested that the introduction of ISP filtering is blatant internet censoring. The Liberalen editorial stated, "The proposal breaks completely with the liberal values that should be bipartisan consensus in Norway."