February 3, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – In recent months, Poland has been cracking down on online gambling, a crusade that began with a political Internet poker scandal late last year.
However, in this effort to censor Internet gambling, the Polish government seems to have overstepped its bounds, unleashing a bigger scope of Internet censorship that goes far beyond online casinos and Internet poker rooms. And, perhaps predictably, there has been much outcry against this censorship scheme.
“Thousands of internet users signed a petition addressed to President Lech Kaczy?ski early last week, asking him to veto the government’s gambling bill, arguing that the proposed law would infringe on the freedom to use the internet,” writes Martyna Olik at the Warsaw Business Journal.
“The proposed regulations … elicited vocal reactions from various groups,” Olik continues. “A protest was organized by the ‘Pirate Party’ – a political group promoting internet piracy – while other internet users set up protest web pages and Facebook groups. Representatives of internet-based businesses and organizations also issued an official letter to the PM claiming that the law was tantamount to censorship.”
The situation seems similar to Australia’s recent efforts to censor the Internet, and the huge outburst of public opinion condemning it. Hopefully, this news will have Polish politicians rethinking their harsh anti-online gambling stance, and force them to treat Internet gambling more fairly, as many of their European neighbors are beginning to do.