Swiss government faces opposition to online restrictions

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The Swiss government’s decision to block all online gambling sites not operated by Swiss land-based casinos may be contested by a referendum.

 

The ruling, announced in September and set to take effect from 2019, was designed to ensure an entirely local online market.

However, Swiss ISPs ordered to block unauthorised domains questioned the process, stating no extra monetary provision has been made to fund the crackdown.

The providers have been backed by three political parties, who together have collected 60,000 signatures in opposition to the move.

“Freedom for the economy and the internet, has great support in Switzerland,” said youth president of the Free Democratic Party Andri Silberschmidt, warning against a move toward “digital isolation”.

The country’s law states that a referendum may be held on controversial legislation provided a petition with 50,000 signatories is presented within 100 days of the law’s passage.

The government must now authenticate the signatures by 18 January, before reaching a decision.


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