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Iceland and Wikileaks MPs propose 'journalism haven'

Wikileaks and Iceland MPs propose 'journalism haven' By Chris Vallance Reporter, BBC News ADVERTISEMENT Wikileaks has provoked the dream of Iceland becoming a haven for whistle-blowing Iceland could become a "journalism haven" if a proposal put forward by some Icelandic MPs aided by whistle-blowing website Wikileaks succeeds. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), calls on the country's government to adopt laws protecting journalists and their sources. It will be filed with the Althingi - Iceland's parliament - on 16 February. If the proposal succeeds it will require the Icelandic government to consider introducing legislation. Julian Assange, Wikileak's editor, told BBC News that the idea was to "try and reform Iceland's media law to be a very attractive jurisdiction for investigative journalists". He has been in Iceland for a number of weeks and is advising MPs on the IMMI. The hope is that journalist friendly laws will encourage media businesses to move to Iceland. "If it then has these additional media and publishing law protections then it is likely to encourage the international press and internet start-ups to locate their services here", Mr Assange said. He believes the political mood in Iceland is receptive to the need for change. The proposal will go before Iceland's parliament - the Althingi "The Icelandic press has itself suffered from libel tourism, so there does seem to be the political will to push this through." Wikileaks is a non-profit website that has established a reputation for publishing leaked material. In October 2009, it posted a list of names and addresses of people said to belong to the British National Party (BNP). Other high-profile documents hosted on the site include a copy of the Standard Operating Procedures for Camp Delta, a document that detailed restrictions placed on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

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