Internet Censorship in Germany

By: charles on 23 January 2009

According to German news publication Der Spiegel, German officials are calling for ISP censorship of offensive cites in order to quell the spread of child pornography, CNET and The Inquisitr report.

With implementation slated for March, Germany’s proposed censorship scheme will follow a model similar to Norway’s to block access to child pornography. In such a model, the government issues a list of sites to be blocked by ISPs.

Germany’s Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that the censorship could be extended to exclude other content from the Internet, stating “child pornography is a problem issue and clearly identifiable” but that “you can not exclude what the federal government may want to exclude in the future.”

This news represents a rising trend in Internet censorship and ISP filtration in Europe and worldwide.

censorship WITHOUT democratic control

the filtering of web sites is based on a CONTRACT (signed 17. April 2009) between the government and Internet providers. Until now there is no law at all that legalizes, in a democartic way, the whole action. The blacklists of web sites to filter is produced daily from the BKA (Bundeskriminalamt, about an equivalent to the FBI in the US) and delivered to the ISPs. This list, as well as the reasons why a web site is blocked, are secret and in no way controlled by a) the public or b) a judge. A surfer that is on the way to a (maybe) child porn site will end up on a site with a STOP sign and explanationary text. Not stated (but guessed from many) is, that the IP of this surfer will be recorded and delivered to the BKA, to investigate further.
So, from now on the door is wide open for content blocking of whatever. And since even the try to surf to a web site that may contain child porn is illegal, there is no legal way to check, which sites a blocked. At least, not from within the jurisdiction of Germany.
I think, all these un-democratic points qualify Germany from now on to be named as being on the same level of censorship as China and other government terror states.

Petition against this censoring

Hey everyone,
You might have noticed, that there is an online petition against censoring going on (about 100'000 supporters already) at the petition-portal of the german parliament.
I just want to point out (or try to with my bad English) that EVERYONE in the whole world is allowed to support this petition, because german constitution grands everyone to write petitions to the german parliament (or any other public institution of germany). This right has the totality of a human right in germany (some might say, because we are a nation of complainers ;-)) - Even childern may.
If you can read German, in this thread of the discussion site of the online-petition, you can read exactly the laws that grand you these rights:

https://epetitionen.bundestag.de/index.php?topic=1564.0

(starts with a discussion to fill out the registration correctly - later that foreigners are allowed to sign the petition also)

So - why should foreigners sign a petition - THIS petetion - in germany:

1.) Even if you are a visitor in Germany, you have the right (again granted by german constitution) to get information by every (legal) public source you like - without censoring. Of course child porn illegal. But the mechanisms to block this content can easily exended to every content - and there are no general control mechanisms - the BKA (german FBI) decides by itself which sites should be blocked - the perfect mechanism for censoring.

2.) If you are in germany, and let’s say, go to an internet cáfe or use the connection of your hotel - and you reach a blocked website with bad luck, your IP is stored by the BKA. And the BKA has then officially thinks you are searching for cild porn - and because you are using internet not from home - there is the danger that it is not possible to find you the very next day. It might be not nice, if the police awaits you in the lobby of your hotel - only because some spambot or cyber-worm “helps” you to find illegal sites.

3.) The lists of blocked sites are secret. If you are not using a german provider, you will never know if YOUR homepage, blog, commercial website, ect. is blocked.

4.) This is an infrastructure for censoring - and we all know, if its installed, it will be used and extended. Do anyone in the world wants to have the germany Nation to be uninformed, wrong informed, censored? - AGAIN. History shows - we can do this quite effective and with uncontrolable consequences.

sign the e-petition to show, that even foreigners don’t want Germany to be censored again.

1.) make an account on the petition portal of the german parliament:
https://epetitionen.bundestag.de/index.php?action=register

email (repeat email), password (repeat password)

And then your name and adress:
Frau/Mann = Mrs./Mr.
Name = sirname
Vorname = first name
organisation = institution, company… (optional)
Titel = academic title if any (optional)
Straße und Hausnummer = street and house number
Postleitzahl = postual code/zip code
Wohnort = place of residence/city
Land = country
Bundesland = federal state of germany/foreign countries - choose the last one (AUSLAND) if you are not living in germany
Telefonnummer = telefon-number (optional)

then activate option “Ich bin einverstanden” - which says, you are ok with the privacy-policy of the portal.

At last prove, not to be a bot with:
“Visuelle Verifizierung” - type in the letters you see in the picture on the bottom of the site,

Then push “Registrien”-Button.

Your username is generated automatically: “NutzerXXX” - XXX is a number.

2.) sign in with the username and your password.

3.) Sign the e-petition:
You find the right one at:
https://epetitionen.bundestag.de/index.php?action=petition;sa=details;pe...

click on: “Petition mitzeichnen” - sign petition
Its in the field “Anzahl Mitzeichnungen” (number of signings) - the forth blue box.

Congratulations: You have signed a e-petition to the german parliament - against censoring the internet.

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