Mediapart's Ludovic Lamant met in Reykjavick this month with IMMI co-founder and spokesman Smári McCarthy (pictured),an Icelandic-Irish software developer and self-proclaimed digital ‘freedom fighter' who is currently preparing to launch a pay-to-view investigative website in Icelandic. In this interview he explains more about the inspiration and aims behind the IMMI and how it has developed since last summer.
Mediapart: When will the law on media freedom be passed in Iceland?
Smári McCarthy: "We won't get there before 2012. We started work on a vast project in June 2010, first of all drawing up a list of what already exists abroad in terms of intelligent media legislation. The project is making good progress, but the ministers who support us are having difficulty finding the money we would need to function as well as possible. There are only nine people at the IMMI, of whom three are full-time."
Mediapart: You thought up this project in October 2008, in reaction to Iceland's economic crisis and the bankruptcy of the island's three big banks.
S.M.: "At the time we were all asking ourselves why we were collapsing. The most common answer put forward was that our banking sector was over-developed, that our debt had become too heavy. But that theory amounts to using the same dominant thought system that led to the crisis.
Actually, there had been above all a huge lack of information circulating among banks, regulatory bodies, the government and the general public. Had we been better informed, each of us, at his post, would have made better decisions. This is what the IMMI is about, to make it possible, from a legal and economic point of view, for an accountable, more transparent, less corrupt society to exist."
Mediapart: What you describe is also very connected to the situation of the island's major newspapers.
S.M.: "Of course. The profits of our biggest two newspapers come mostly from advertising, between 50% and 75%. It's difficult to favour investigative journalism in this context. But the IMMI goes beyond Iceland's borders. Recently some governments have manifested a real desire to restrain freedom of expression on the internet, insisting, for example, on the need to protect national security. Some are so worried that they are thinking about internet police. The old nation states are scared. This is the battle to be fought over the next twenty years."
- L’Europe que dessine Yanis Varoufakis
- Jonathan Faull, el hombre que debe evitar la salida de Reino Unido de la UE
- Les eurodéputés invités à contrer l’influence du lobby automobile
- Espagne: rudes négociations autour du pacte des gauches
- Brexit: l’envoyé de Juncker fait le service minimum auprès de Farage
Today's French Edition
La UneCronenberg: le réalisateur virtuose s'échoue dans son roman
- Roschdy Zem réussit son «Chocolat»
- En Allemagne, «Legida» attire extrémistes et racistes de tous bords
- Au cœur des primaires US: Bernie Sanders prend son élan
- Constitution: Valls rappelle les députés à «l'union sacrée»
- Etat d'urgence dans la Constitution: le débat oublié
- Grenoble, bonne élève de l'état d'urgence
- Un mois après Cologne, l'enquête piétine, la rumeur enfle
- Lakhdar Brahimi: «Il n’y a rien à attendre des négociations de Genève»
- Affaire Paul Bismuth: l'instruction est terminée