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Censorship The Internet

German Wikileaks Domain Suspended Without Warning 215

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the boom-headshot dept.
mb writes to mention that Germany has gone one step further in impeding access to Wikileaks. Germany's registration authority, DENIC, recently suspended Wikileaks.de without notice. "The action comes two weeks after the house of the German WikiLeaks domain sponsor, Theodor Reppe, was searched by German authorities. Police documentation shows that the March 24, 2009 raid was triggered by WikiLeaks' publication of Australia's proposed secret internet censorship list. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) told Australian journalists that they did not request the intervention of the German government."
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German Wikileaks Domain Suspended Without Warning

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  • Damn! (Score:4, Funny)

    by beaststwo (806402) on Friday April 10, 2009 @04:46PM (#27536753)
    Who leaked it!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 10, 2009 @04:46PM (#27536761)

    ...friggin' nazi's? Or is that wrong. Very wrong.

  • by rm999 (775449) on Friday April 10, 2009 @04:52PM (#27536811)

    I read about this story on Wikileak's site (http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Germany_muzzles_Wikileaks)

    This seems like Germany improperly suspending a domain name, but I don't think they are censoring any information in this move.

    • by lixee (863589) on Friday April 10, 2009 @05:04PM (#27536901)
      Just because they didn't succeed, doesn't mean they didn't try.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If you have some stuff on your site, that I don't want people to see, or I plan to do something, that you will somehow find out and post it on your site, and then I shut your domain name down - Censorship.
      At least a form of it.

      Or am I missing something here ?

      • by rm999 (775449) on Friday April 10, 2009 @07:23PM (#27538015)

        Wikileaks.org is the main domain name and has not been shut down. No access to information has been lost, except to the tiny minority of people who were only using wikileaks.de and don't know how to use a search engine.

        It's a very minor form of censorship, but I think this story is a red herring to more important censorship stories like this one
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikileaks#Potential_future_Australian_censorship [wikipedia.org]

        • I don't think so. Germany is a neighboring country to mine and one of the biggest in the EU. I find this trend in a country that should know better for historical reasons quite disturbing. The fact remains that this stuff starts small and then grows. How long before Germany suggests a web filter so that these kind of tactics are effective?

          Many will want us to think this is a read herring.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you do something we don't like, we come to your home and search every last corner of it. We'll take your domain and publicly link you to child pornography.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yetiszaf (726202)

      This is not about "improperly" suspending a domain name.

      wikileaks posted the australian block-lists which contain links to child-pornography.

      Linking or forwarding to such links is illegal in germany.

      I think it may have been better to strip links which contained pedophilia or similar things from those lists before publishing them.

      • by Savantissimo (893682) on Friday April 10, 2009 @07:33PM (#27538067) Journal

        Then German law is improper. To say that it is illegal to tell the public what sites have been blocked, indeed, disappeared by another government is beyond fascist. The child pornography gambit has always been a ruse to allow censoring whatever the tyrants don't want us to see.

        The reasoning is ever-expanding: child rape -> child sex -> child molestation -> child nudity -> teenage nudity -> clothed children in "arousing" poses -> breast-feeding photos -> clothed teenagers in "arousing" poses -> making photographs -> making drawings -> selling pictures -> sharing pictures -> posting pictures -> downloading pictures -> looking at pictures -> thinking unapproved thoughts about otherwise legal pictures -> linking to sites that have posted pictures -> linking to sites that link to sites that post pictures -> posting which sites are censored by your own government -> posting which sites are censored by other governments -> pointing out that some censored sites are not anarchist-communist-terrorist-liberal-necro-copro-sado-boogyman kiddy porn.

        And if a policeman or prosecutor claims that you have gotten too close to doing any of the above, she can take down your whole site, especially the bits that are exposing government criminality, seize the domain name, take all your stuff and lock you up. Now there is no way of knowing what they have censored or redressing the intentional or sloppy misuse of the thoughtcrime statutes by the private companies that implement the secret laws. But - think of the children! It's for the children! Anyone who claims otherwise must be a anarchist-communist-terrorist-liberal-necro-copro-sado-pedophile-boogyman!

        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          Mod parent up.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by mysidia (191772)

          Did you miss the ever-expanding list of things they can do to you?

          take down your site -> seize your domain name -> lock you up -> take all your stuff -> take the stuff from all the people in the general vicinity [slashdot.org] of yours -> lock up everyone you discussed the site with -> lock up all people who associated with you in any way

      • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday April 10, 2009 @08:45PM (#27538497) Homepage

        How are we supposed to deal with the child-porn problem if we're not allowed to discuss it ? People revert to an apelike mental state the moment you mention pedophilia.

        Want to mess with that prick who cut you off on the highway ? Call 911 and tell them you saw him rape a 6 year old, he will be arrested and detained within the hour, and those lovely cops will make sure to tell everyone he's a pedophile before the day is done. Not a single neuron will fire, nobody will dare think about evidence or motive. It's like the term "kiddie porn" is the root password to society, with it you can get anything done to anyone.

        If they really want to combat child pornography, they need to attack the source: producers. Hiding links will not make it go away. Revoking domains will not make it go away. Shutting down servers wont' even make it go away. Our beloved Streisand effect ensures that any and all censorship is met with an even greater riposte.

      • by witherstaff (713820) on Friday April 10, 2009 @09:49PM (#27538869) Homepage

        How is just having a website address to a child porn site illegal, if you didn't even visit the link? I wonder how any blacklisting filtering software would be legal in Germany if it filters out illegal content sites.

        If I post a link to Nuclear weapons [wikipedia.org] am I going to be charged with being a terrorist? Oh wait, I voted for Ron Paul in the primaries, I probably already am somewhere [wikileaks.org].

      • The list does not appear to be a child porn list. There are a few things which might be child porn, or might be barely legal style sites (I'm not willing to load them and find out). Some others appear, from the URL, to have animated porn involving drawings of youngsters, I can't say if thats legal in Australia or Germany, but I would guess not.

        The majority of the sites appear to be either adult porn sites, individual files from user upload sites, or troll sites (2girls1cup, meatspin) two of the blocked si

  • And.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday April 10, 2009 @04:53PM (#27536821)

    .... this is why a decentralized Internet with no intelligence on the switches is important. Because of that, Wikileaks was able to have multiple hosts in multiple countries that are affected by very different sets of laws and busybodies. Even though two major players got together to knock Wikileaks off the Internet, it still is humming along quite nicely.

    Folks, fear the day that somebody requests control over who gets to have access to the Internet (Obama, I'm looking at you) and who gets routed where. Yes, QoS is technically going in that direction, but it is still difficult to abuse that for the purpose of knocking random offenders of the Internet. If that somebody happens to be The Government, you can be sure that a) all other governments will want the same control, and b) diplomacy and general government douchbaggery will only leave the blandest, least offensive and best lobbied/bribed sites up and running. Everything else will have moved underground, where again, you'll have to know the right people to get access to the good stuff.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "...you'll have to know the right people to get access to the good stuff."

      Hopefully.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      Well then. We should probably setup Slashdot BBS.

      WWIV, BRE, and ANSI color codes...like internet post-apocalyptic skills.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Folks, fear the day that somebody requests control over who gets to have access to the Internet (Obama, I'm looking at you)

      Dope.

  • by amn108 (1231606) on Friday April 10, 2009 @04:55PM (#27536831)

    Lobbying - the 'unofficial' 'democracy'. Shaping societies since stone ages.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Handful?

      The situation in Germany is insane.
      Being from Sweden, I've gone on several booze runs to Germany.
      I speak a very neutral English (along with four other languages), and can easily pull off various accents to the point where I've had people:
      *) Ask iIf I'm from Edinburgh
      *) Ask if I'm from England
      *) Ask if I'm polish
      *) Ask if I'm australian
      *) Called me "a fucking New York dick"
      *) Ask me if I'm Canadian

      I've tried talking to germans.
      I've tried asking ~25 year olds for directions -- you'd expect "the Intern

      • I know quite a few Germans who speak better English than I speak German, but when I went over on an exchange languages were very badly taught. We went to some of their lessons, and discovered that we were better at going between French and German (our second and third language) than they were (their second and first language). Personally, I blame the fact that they start school several hours before civilised people have woken up...
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday April 10, 2009 @07:42PM (#27538125) Homepage Journal

        I've tried talking to germans.

        You are incredibly brave.

  • WAIT A MINUTE! (Score:5, Informative)

    by AlgorithMan (937244) on Friday April 10, 2009 @06:58PM (#27537851) Homepage
    The law which would allow them to suspend a domain for anything is not yet through our assembly - IF they did this, it's illegal - also the message from the Domain name registrar (DENIC) translates out to

    The requested domain is currently not reachable

    The domain-owner or the administrative contact should be informed about these problems by now. We expect them to be solved soon.

    If you as domain-owner or administrative contact are not yet informed about the hassle, we might not have reached you. In this case, please contact: ...

    so this MIGHT be a technical problem, though this still highly alarms me, since I am a political activist in germany, myself...

    • by speedtux (1307149)

      And the police searching the owner of the domain owner's home was also just an "honest mistake", right?

  • The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) told Australian journalists that they did not request the intervention of the German government."

    I'm sure that the Germans did this all su sponte because they want to make it up to Australia for being on the other side in WW II.

  • On international sites, .de domains function primarily as a tangible target for the censors we have here. The wikipedia.de domain has been forced on several occasions to remove its link to de.wikipedia.org. Keeps them busy, I guess.

    I'd be more worried if they started raiding the homes of the domain owners--- oh, wait. :P

  • This is pretty serious stuff. I think the truth is that Australia is bring used as a test case for internet censorship at the international level by the hegemony.

    I don't know anyone who feels the need for this intrusion into civil liberties. It's step on of a new world order... 'shut the fuckers down'.

     
  • by no1home (1271260) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @03:11AM (#27540345)

    While there is no real loss of access to the information or loss of information itself, the loss of the wikileak.de domain is bad for those who prefer to use it. As has been argued elsewhere in these comments, this is censorship and it is wrong (even if it was accidental or some misunderstanding).

    How do we prevent this or restore this? The wikileak system should be more distrubuted. OK, it probably already is pretty distributed, especially when you account for the language- or country-specific domains. However, maybe we can do more? WikiTaxi (http://www.wikitaxi.org/delphi/doku.php/products/wikitaxi/index) is something I just learned about today and it looks quite interesting. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to bring down a P2P version of a wikileak website? I don't know the technical details of how to set it up, but there are a lot of incredibly smart programmers out there who can make it happen.

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