British bloggers say that free speech on the internet is under threat from draconian new laws, which could see them jailed for up to three years
Europe's justice ministers have agreed genocide denial and race hatred legislation that will outlaw remarks on the internet "carried out in a manner likely to incite violence or hatred".
The measures are contained in the European Union's Racism and Xenophobia Directive and could hit controversial European bloggers, even if their websites are hosted in America.
Chris Mounsey, the 29 year old behind The Devil's Kitchen blog, said: "There is potential for this to have worldwide application. Free speech is at the centre of blogging. Part of the reason bloggers can tell the truth is because it is difficult to pin them down. This law tries to do it."
The legislation goes beyond German or Austrian-style bans on denial of the Holocaust to cover those people who question the official history of recent conflicts in Africa and the Balkans.
The directive is set to enter British law before 2010. David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: "We don't need yet more law to combat racial hatred and incitement to violence. We already have British law dating back to 1861."
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