German President Köhler signed Internet filter law

By: daniel oppermann on 5 March 2010

After having refused to pass the Internet filter law for the last eight months, German President Köhler agreed to do so by signing it on 17 February 2010. The law is expected to be officially published in the middle of March 2010.

Köhler's decision caused a difficult situation for the ruling coalition of the conservative CDU and the liberal FDP. Especially the FDP spoke out against the filter law (which was developed under the former government) and thereby forced the CDU to rethink its decision to create block lists for the Internet (so far consisting of child porn content). Now with the law coming into force the ruling coalition is pressed for time to agree on a reformulation of the legal text.

Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) declared that the new approach of the German government is focused on deleting child porn websites instead of blocking them. She pointed out that a cooperation with the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE) would be a crucial step to take.

While the government coalition still tries to save the law by rewriting certain passages, opposition parties like the Green Party and The Left demand a complete repeal of the law.