In an effort to start blogging again, after a summer’s absence while concentrating on completing my thesis, I would like to follow up on my previous post about internet censorship in Sweden.

Bosse Ringholm, deputy prime minister of Sweden, was reported in the media to threaten online gambling sites (link in Swedish – sorry!) with being filtered and banned from the Swedish internet. The background to this debacle is that gambling in Sweden is only legal through the state monopoly Svenska Spel, and that their income have decreased steadily in the last years as gamblers have turned to other companies operating outside the boundaries of Swedish law through placing the servers in another countries. The banks would also be prohibited to process creditcard transactions from such sites.

The rationale for the government?s crackdown on such companies is to take precautions against gambling addicts. (Exactly why it would be less addictive to purchase a raffle ticket from a state-owned company than with a private one remains unclear.) To come to terms with this competition and perceived threat to the Swedish model, the government now draws inspiration from other regimes that are much more efficient in upholding their national laws, despite issues with this new thing called the internet.

So, what where the odds misusing a filtering system once it?s in place? Probably not a bet that even Svenska Spel would gamble on.