Iceland closer to becoming offshore hacks' haven

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«Réinventer le “free speech”»

Mediapart: Are you thinking of exporting the project?

S.M.: "We're working on an Arabic translation. Take Tunisia. How can real democratic reforms be put in place after the revolution? This software could be very useful. We've tried democracy as it was invented by the Enlightenment thinkers. That worked quite well. But it led to the formation of political elites, which have proved incredibly gifted when it comes to manipulating public opinion. What next? Democracy, free speech and debate all have to be reinvented in the internet age. So the IMMI is not then the end of the story - it's just the opening pages of the first chapter of the story."

Mediapart: You were close to Julien Assange before distancing yourself from him. What do you now think of Wikileaks?

S.M.: "It's a fantastic project. But the media have played the sensationalism card with Wikileaks. It is after all just one element within the larger political picture made up of organisations, like Transparency International, Reporters without Borders, and anonymous activists who are committed to freedom of the press. By focusing too much on Wikileaks, we've forgotten to pose the essential questions. It is not so much a question of which documents will be leaked next, but rather a question of why these documents still need to be leaked, why certain texts remain secret when they really don't need to be, why society remains so opaque."

Mediapart: You're also about to launch Kritik, a pay-to-view online investigative daily.

S.M.: "Yes. We've launched a pre-site in Icelandic. We're forming a group of freelance investigative journalists, because we don't have the means to pay them a salary yet. Internet users will be able to buy digital currency, which will allow them to pay, as they wish, an article by a journalist or a contribution from a blogger."

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English version: Chloé Baker

(Edited by Graham Tearse)

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