The big news of the moment is, the Italian authorities have sealed all accesses to Project Gutenberg, the famous open library of classical texts – if you are in Italy, what you get when you hit gutenberg.org is a warning sign from the Guardia di Finanza, that the website you are trying to reach violated copyright laws.
What’s up?, you might ask.
Well, it turns out our authorities have cracked down on those websites where you can illegally download ebooks, and in particular those that allow the downloading of magazines and daily papers.
Now, how to find these websites?
Apparently the investigators made a list of all the URLs that were traded on certain Telegram channels.
Project Gutenberg was mentioned, so Project Gutenberg was blocked.
The situation is still pretty confused, but if on one hand our authorities are currently looking like dorks, and all those that were accessing the Gutenberg archives to do research, translations or out of sheer curiosity are left out in the cold, it is also true that this is a fine example of what can happen to our freedom in a few minutes.
Ironic, considering how vocal some people are in this moment about conspiracies involving viruses, 5G cell fields and Bill Gates.
But of course a lot of those never read a book in their life, certainly not on Project Gutenberg.
ADDENDUM: in the time it took me to write this post, the Gutenberg pages were unlocked. They can be dorks, but they are fast on the uptake.
Better this way.