|The Wired News reports that “a small group of Spanish ‘cyberpunks’ may have saved their country's Internet cafes from being branded as gambling dens.” And presumably, driven out of business. The minors who gather at the Ciberpunk Cafe in Madrid organized a protest against a law, proposed by Ruiz Gallardon, President of the Community of Madrid, which would have re-classified cybercafes as casinos. Minors would then not have been allowed into Madrid’s cybercafes, and that would have denied 20% of Spain’s youngest Internet uses access to the Internet. |
A similar law had been passed in northern Spain and resulted in the closing of Internet cafes there. This alarmed those in, and sympathetic to, the business. Public reaction was strong enough apparantly, for Gallardón has announced that he’s changed his mind about the new law. Spanish newspapers recorded this as a victory for the “cyberpunks,” who reportedly facilitated their protest through the Internet to communicate to one another, and to get others involved who do not yet use the Internet.