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Censorship Government News

Germany Institutes Censorship Infrastructure 235

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-for-your-eyes dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Germany's government has passed a draft law for censorship of domains hosting content related to child pornography. A secret list of IPs will be created by the BKA, Germany's federal police; any attempted access to addresses on this list is blocked, logged (the draft seems to contradict press reports on this point) and redirected to a government page featuring a large stop sign. The law has not yet passed the assembly, however five of the largest ISPs have already agreed to voluntarily submit to the process even without a law in place. Critics argue that with the censorship infrastructure in place, the barrier for blocking access for various other reasons is very low. The fact that the current block can easily be circumvented may lead to more effective technologies to be used in the future. There are general elections as well as elections in several of the states later this year."
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Germany Institutes Censorship Infrastructure

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  • Inc. China (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Manip (656104) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:11AM (#27683903)

    Step 1) Child Porn
    2) Other "Offensive" Material (e.g. Nazi Material)
    3) ???
    4) Welcome to the great firewall

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jorgis (1151067)
      I don't believe that this necessary will lead to censorship of other "offensive" or politically incorrect material. Here in Norway, we've had a similar filter[1] in place for a few years now, and it hasn't been extended in any degree to include anything other than what has been deemed as child porn. It's efficiency in combating the distribution of child porn can be questioned, but I don't think you'll ever find it being used for other purposes. [1] http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Norwegian_secret_internet_censor [wikileaks.org]
      • Re:Inc. China (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Manip (656104) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:44AM (#27684045)

        In other countries it has led to exactly that.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Martin Soto (21440)

          Do you have concrete examples to mention? Are you sure that those examples are comparable to Germany and other European countries?

        • by Cally (10873) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @07:33AM (#27685259) Homepage

          China has a police force. My country has a police force. ZOMG!!!! fascist communistic dictatorship prepares to seize power and enslave us in their siberian lard mines!!!

          And anyway, when climate change kicks in and the world descends into every-nation-for-itself anarchy, we're gonna need some form of authoritarian state power to enforce conscription into the armies needed to fight off the starving hordes massing on various national borders.

      • Re:Inc. China (Score:5, Insightful)

        by spankyofoz (445751) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:51AM (#27684077)

        But look at what ended up on our blacklist here in Australia (it's also on wikileaks). It too was set up to counter the scourge of child porn.

        But we ended up with blocked sites containing
        euthanasia
        abortion
        malware
        online gambling

        It's not much of a stretch to see other politically sensitive topics being blocked.

        • by msimm (580077) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:50AM (#27684339) Homepage
          Systems (political systems), because they're created by man are inherently corruptible (thanks to that man is not perfect dictum). Which is why in the US for instance the old conservatives used to argue for small government, and the founders tried to limit the federal government.
          • But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

            i.e. A Constitution that lists the specific powers Congress may exert. Thank you James Madison.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          Thanks to Wikileaks posting lists of banned sites, including the Australian one, we can now get at least a partial list of sites that are banned in the UK and soon in Germany.

          Simply download the list, check that the sites are up using a proxy in a free country or Tor and then check to see if they are up in your country. Obviously it would be best to do this in some untraceable way, such as on a free Wifi service with a random MAC on your wifi card. Any site which is available elsewhere but not in your count

      • Re:Inc. China (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:04AM (#27684137)

        it hasn't been extended in any degree to include anything other than what has been deemed as child porn.

        It's impossible to know that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tommyhj (944468)

        Problem is that the list is SECRET, and the selecting of offensive sites isn't up for discussion. You have no way of controlling the censorship.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by maxwell demon (590494)

          Even worse [heise.de] [link target in German]: According to the linked page,

          Der Entwurf sehe daher vor, dass es für die Strafverfolger mÃglich sei, "in Echtzeit" direkt beim Provider auf die IP-Adressen der "Nutzer" des virtuellen Warnschilds zuzugreifen. Eine Strafbarkeit liege schon in dem Moment vor, wenn nicht nachgewiesen werden kÃnne, dass es sich um ein Versehen oder eine automatische Weiterleitung gehandelt habe.

          Translation (emphasis by me):

          The draft therefore allows that it's possible for

          • by corbettw (214229)

            The draft therefore allows that it's possible for criminal prosecutors to access "in real time" directly at the provider the IP addresses of the "users" of the virtual warning sign. Criminal liability already exists a when it cannot be proven that it was a mistake or an automatic redirection."

            That is, if you happen to access a blocked page (for whatever reason) you have to prove that you were in error.

            Yet another reason not to ever visit 4chan. *shudder*

      • Re:Inc. China (Score:4, Interesting)

        by squoozer (730327) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:59AM (#27684375)

        Norway must have a very tame Government then because here in the UK the IWF (a quasi governmental body answerable to just about nobody) has been making a serious grab for power over the last year. It started off with hidden lists of child porn sites and now is spreading / has spread to include "terrorist" material and "violent" pornography and they want to block more material.

        Of course because the list is completely secret and it's not strictly a government body there is no accountability, they are free to do pretty much anything they want. My problem with this situation is not that they want to block access to some material it's the way the system is set up. It's so ripe for abuse it's untrue.

        For a start the list should be open for review along with the reason for the block and a review period. There should also be an appeals process against a block which can come from either the site owner or a user (can't see this getting used all that often but it should be available).

        Also, since it is essentially a Government body it should be accountable like a Government body not hiding behind some "we're a business / charity / trust and therefore not accountable" wall.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by syousef (465911)

        I don't believe that this necessary will lead to censorship of other "offensive" or politically incorrect material. Here in Norway, we've had a similar filter[1] in place for a few years now, and it hasn't been extended in any degree to include anything other than what has been deemed as child porn.

        How do you know? You can't get to it, so how could you possibly know if it's child porn or if anything that isn't child porn has been censored??? How hard would it be to twist that rule without your knowledge tha

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by digitig (1056110)

        politically incorrect material. Here in Norway, we've had a similar filter[1] in place for a few years now, and it hasn't been extended in any degree to include anything other than what has been deemed as child porn.

        The article you reference contradicts that claim: "Many of the sites on the list have no obvious connection to child pornography."

      • So in the name of reducing the distribution of child porn they have created a publicly accessible list of all the child porn sites they've managed to find.

        *slow clap* well done.
      • by remmelt (837671)

        I believe that, but how can you be sure?

        These lists are usually secret. There is no way for you to check if your non-cp site is on there or not, except when it's too late. As for the wikileak: anyone can "leak" a list that is incomplete. There is no oversight, you have to trust the government agency in charge to be honest. These people aren't even elected.

        This is wrong on so many levels.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I don't believe that this necessary will lead to censorship of other "offensive" or politically incorrect material. Here in Norway, we've had a similar filter[1] in place for a few years now, and it hasn't been extended in any degree to include anything other than what has been deemed as child porn.

        Yeah, as far as you know. If it was done well you never would notice at all, and yet you'd miss certain key pieces of information that are an absolute necessity for understanding the so-called "Bigger Picture".

        Go ahead and stick your head back in the sand, though.

      • by eltaco (1311561)
        I don't believe that this necessary will lead to censorship of other "offensive" or politically incorrect material.

        how can you even know that, when the list contents aren't made public? Every time these lists have leaked from various countries, there have been blacklisted websites that have nothing to do with child porn! Quoting from your own link:

        "The list is generated without judicial or public oversight and is kept secret by the ISPs using it. Unaccountability is intrinsic to such a secret censorshi
    • It appears the Nazi party never left Germany,

      P.S
      sorry slashdot I just got you added to a future blacklist.

  • RickRoll Germany (Score:4, Interesting)

    by I cant believe its n (1103137) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:13AM (#27683913) Journal
    So the time has come to Rick Roll the entire population of Germany, but with links to banned IP's?
    If every breach is logged a huge percentage of Germans will be found out as perverts.
    • by EdIII (1114411) * on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:22AM (#27683951)

      huge percentage of Germans will be found out as perverts.

      huge percentage of German will be confirmed to be perverts.

      There fixed it for you.

      I'm not trolling here either :) German porn is legendary . Can make you hard and sick at the same time :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by WeirdCat (1136961)
      You will laugh, but this could be exactly the solution to stop this stupid idea. Wait till the first politician has to explain why the number of people looking at those addresses are sky rocketing! :-)
    • The Germany equivalent of the ACLU should post several large ads including a TinyURL leading to a stop sign, where millions of people are
      - logged
      - made to ask themselves if they really KNOW what has been hidden from them, if it was legit or not and how they'd tell right from wrong then.

    • Re:RickRoll Germany (Score:4, Interesting)

      by meist3r (1061628) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @07:23AM (#27685205)
      We don't need the BKA to put that on the list. The classic RickRoll Youtube vid was already blocked when the GEMA (the german IFPI equivalent) couldn't get their greedy mouths full and demanded horrendous sums of money for their "protected works" to be displayed to German viewers. There are of course dozens of clones and copies still up which aren't registered but the classig "Rick Astley - Never gonna give you up" video only shows a "This video is not available in your country" ... way to go cutting us off from the internet culture greedy rights holder bastards.
  • A good thing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:17AM (#27683927)

    So... i2p2.de is getting a lot of press as an anonymous network in which to proxy your traffic.......

    and...

    The German BKA is planning to put up actual "STOP SIGNS" on the Internet?

    If this does not force the average German to start participating, or at least thinking about way around this, I don't what will. Hopefully, you will see a ridiculously huge level of participation in this new networks and we can see on of these networks operate on something other than developer levels of participation.

    There could be a silver lining in this after all...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      the thing is, that the average german person things, these laws help preventing childrin from being raped...
      its just to rediculus, but the people wont notice anything until it has to do with gasprices beeing increased or cars getting more expensive -_-

    • I2P will only connect to the WWW through exitproxies. If Germany gets this law, all of the German exitproxies will shut to prevent their IPs' being connected to this kind of traffic.

      I2P will lose out because of this. It'll become another darknet.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The German BKA is planning to put up actual "STOP SIGNS" on the Internet?
      The Australians had fun with this:
      "Simulate Australian Internet censorship" http://www.somebodythinkofthechildren.com/simulate-australian-internet-censorship/ [somebodyth...ildren.com]
      Or the direct link
      http://nanourl.net/36a87 [nanourl.net]
      You get to see you ip for that "logged' feeling :)
    • by meist3r (1061628)

      If this does not force the average German to start participating, or at least thinking about way around this, I don't what will.

      You don't know much about German mentality do you? It took them a holocaust, nuclear bombs and national defeat and invasion to "think about" why being Nazis was such a bad idea. I'm sometimes ashamed to be a German. Not because of history but because a majority of people have learned absolutely NOTHING from it. I would think that some of the people would at least start a discussion about it but most Germans (from what I can tell) don't (want to) understand the matter. Problem is that only gradually will the

  • /facepalm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Thermionix (1473355)
    Whats with all the governments jumping on the censorship bandwagon? I for one do not welcome our new censoring overlords
    • Re:/facepalm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:33AM (#27684001)

      Whats with all the governments jumping on the censorship bandwagon? I for one do not welcome our new censoring overlords

      Governments always want to subdue and control. They see lack of control as the problem. Citing childporn/hatespeech/_______ is but a means to an end.

    • by meist3r (1061628)
      It's quite simple really. The internet really took off around 1999-2000 for the last ten years (idiotic) governments like mine have been blissfully ignorant of the changes. For the first five years they refused to admit anything had even changed and didn't get it at all. Now in the last five years they suddenly realized how much had actually changed in terms of business and culture and social exchange and so forth and that intimidated them. Therefore, they started trying to gain back control with the expect
  • Don't worry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerteNO@SPAMdrunksnipers.com> on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:36AM (#27684005) Homepage

    It will only be used to block sites with child porn

    and terrorism sites

    and sites with info on building bombs

    and "pro-ana" sites

    and bestiality sites

    and sites critical of the government

    and copyright violating sites

    and sites with violent images

    and sites with malware

    and porn sites

    and sites with content that is considered to be offensive by some

    and ...
    ok, maybe you should worry

    • by sqrt(2) (786011)

      and "pro-ana" sites

      I'm pretty hip, but I don't know what that means.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Pro-ana = pro-anorexia
        • Indeed. I've had the misfortune of reading some of those sites. Frightening stuff.

          The worst is the images they post as 'thinspiration'. The people look like they are straight from concentration camps.
          • Although there are some sites that show bones, for the most part the women or men portrayed are not sick. It's just that 70% of Americans are overweight, so when we see a healthy person with a healthy weight, we automatically assume they are "not normal" and something's wrong with them.

            Like the woman who did Ally McBeal. Many people accused her of being anorexic, but her BMI was 19 at the time, and therefore precisely where the medical professionals say we should be.

    • by redhog (15207)

      Worry by participating in, and voting for your local Pirate Party (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_Party).

    • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:01AM (#27684113)

      and sites critical of the government

      Germany's "Meinungsfreiheit":
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_by_country#Germany [wikipedia.org]

      Under criminal code, some things you can't say:
      "Disparagement of
              * the Federal President (Section 90).
              * the State and its Symbols (Section 90a).
      Insult to Organs and Representatives of Foreign States (Section 103).
      Rewarding and Approving Crimes (Section 140). ...
      Dissemination of Pornographic Writings (Section 184)."

      There are others, but Gerhard Shroder, former Chancellor, actually got a court order banning the media from mentioning his hair:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Schr%C3%B6der#Freedom_of_the_press [wikipedia.org]

      Oh, and if you curse at a bureaucrat, those worthless sacks of shit of which there are way too many, that's "Beamten Beleidigung" and you can get fined 5000 Euro on their word. Germany has Freedom of Speech like Iran has freedom of religion. Some people will undoubtedly point to it's recent past for legitimacy of some of the rules, but I maintain it's from people worshipping the concept of the state and having a strong central government.

      • by hughk (248126)

        if you curse at a bureaucrat, those worthless sacks of shit of which there are way too many, that's "Beamten Beleidigung" and you can get fined 5000 Euro on their word.

        Agreed. The literal English translation of Beamten is 'office holders'. but we call these people in the US or UK public/civil servants. Gives them a different level of expectation. Oh, and totally forget any kind of whistle-blowing website, it would have to be hosted offshore.

        • by Teun (17872)
          Indeed offshore, as European commerce laws have already been abused to close sites in The Netherlands based on German dislikes:
          http://www.spaink.net/english/osce_internetfreedom.html [spaink.net]
          This particular issue started around 1996 and was in (Dutch) court in 2002.

          Personally I don't particularly like the gang that published the magazine 'Radikal' but I'm more worried about the ways it was prosecuted here in The Netherlands.

          Yet I can see reasons for incidental filtering, it needs to be transparent yet when you fo

      • Oh, and if you curse at a bureaucrat, those worthless sacks of shit of which there are way too many, that's "Beamten Beleidigung" and you can get fined 5000 Euro on their word.

        There is no such thing as "beamtenbeleidigung". Insulting an somone working for the government is the same thing as insulting any other abitrary person.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rolfwind (528248)

      and sites with violent images

      BTW, I'm not sure if this is still the case, but years ago video game makers couldn't show blood in games published there. Perhaps even the movies.

      Because, well, the violence becomes okay if there is no blood resulting from it.

      • by meist3r (1061628)
        No no blood in games is not acceptable as long as the game is given an 18+ rating (which means many publishers won't even release it here). All games that are >=16y rated need to have "non-human like" characters which you can then chop up an mutilate however you want as long as it's not solely for the purpose of torture or dismemberment. The German ratings board is in some instances even more ridiculous than the MPAA but German kids don't give a crap anyway. There's enough companies in adjacent Switzerla
    • http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigbest.pl

      That will be the first one on the list. Because it reveals that evil Nazi scientists escaped to South America after WWII, and obtained Hitler's DNA from the Russians, and have been mixing it with cat DNA to create Kitlers, which have been shipped around the world, to lead the "The Litter Box Putsch" in your area.

      When your cat goosesteps into your living room in jackboots, you'll know the day has arrived.

  • by grimJester (890090) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:48AM (#27684065)
    Assuming the site still exists, here's [slashdot.org] a site explaining what's wrong with the finnish version of this list. I can't check the link for reasons that should be obvious.

    Short list of problems:
    - 98+% false positives, including the top 7 or 8 google hits for "gay porn"
    - Majority of sites are in the EU or US, yet the sites are still up
    - The law only allows non-finnish sites to be on that list, yet a finnish site critical of the list is blocked.
  • When you vote in these elections mentioned in the summary, vote for someone who does not support censorship

    Of course the problem with most modern "democracies" is that on many issues (including censorship, ridiculous IP laws, increased powers for the police etc) there is no-one to vote for who doesn't support it.

    Oh and with all the crap the German government is trying to pull, it sounds like the German police may end up being Gestapo MK II in all but name.

    • by Tom (822)

      When you vote in these elections mentioned in the summary, vote for someone who does not support censorship

      They're already figuring that in.

      Germany is currently ruled by a "large coalition", i.e. the two major parties rule together. Every time that has happened in the past, it has resulted in a) a crappy government (check) and b) less % in the next election for both of them (we'll see that soon).

      They know this will very likely happen. Both parties are struggling to show that they were the "good" part of the large coalition and the others were the ones who made it all suck. I figure they hope to make the other lo

      • by meist3r (1061628)
        Given the alternatives I'd rather live with no government at all. Can you imagine what this country would already be like if the CDU with all their lies and 18th century politics had complete control?

        Same goes for the other end, can you imagine what a screwed up place this would be if the SPD was in complete charge? The only thing good about the "large coalitions" is that they keep each other in check (sort of) by always fighting about special interests either one can't live up to their "full potential"
      • If this is their "showing" of activity, they're thinking quite poorly of their population. They are actually acting against the interest of their people (freedom, easy access to information, etc), thinking that they'd rather be lulled by that fake "security thingie of the internets".

        So there are a few possible reasons why they do that:

        a) They genuinely believe that this works. If so, get other politicians, they're inapt.
        b) They think the Germans are dumb enough to think that it works. If so, get other polit

    • The trouble is that while one side supports censorship, the other probably supports intelligent design in science lessons, or the introduction of a higher super-tax band on the rich, or some other legislation which will be unfavourable.

      Too many people don't realise that there are more than two or three parties to vote for, so they pick the lesser of the evils. In many cases, unfortunately, it's censorship (under the guise of "thinking of the children", "stopping terr'rism" etc).

      Hell, create your own party
  • massive criticism (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:07AM (#27684145) Homepage Journal

    There is massive criticism against this within Germany.

    Pretty much everyone who knows anything is against it, this includes both the people who know something about the technical details (i.e. IT people) as well as those who know something about child pornography, and even people who were abused as kids.

    The summary of the criticism is:

    • This will do nothing to stop child porn
    • It is extremely easy to avoid (it's just a DNS block, use a different DNS and you're good)
    • They block site instead of prosecuting them, including sites that are known to be in Germany
    • It's just a cheap show in election year
    • Sites linking to blocked sites will be blocked as well, which means sites like wikileaks. Since the blocklist is secret, you'll never know when you just put yourself on the list.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tom (822)

      Sources:

      This article [heise.de] (in german) sums up most of the counter-arguments in an excellent way. It also includes a link to this interview [tagesspiegel.de] with someone who was abused as a child and opposes the new law very strongly.

      Choice quote from the interview:

      Because the government only wants to fight the pictures of child abuse, not the child abuse itself.

  • Hiccup in logic. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by senorpoco (1396603)
    These filters are based on the premise that sexual deviants are also idiots. There was child pornography before the internet there will be child pornography with a filtered internet. All this does is set a precedent for a government to censor what it deems harmful to the greater good.
    • by hughk (248126)

      Some are.

      How many times have we heard the defence "I downloaded it only for research purposes".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ihlosi (895663)

        Some are.

        Most people are. If you take a subset of the general population that doesn't have a criterium which excludes idiots, you'll end up with lots of idiots in the subset, too.

    • by MrMista_B (891430) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @05:00AM (#27684377)

      This has as much to do with child porn as WMD's had to do with the American invasion of Iraq.

      I'd say that's a pretty damn accurate way to put it.

    • by Xelios (822510)
      I think the people in charge know full well that this list will be largely useless at actually stopping anyone from getting to the content they want. There have been public debates within the government on TV here about it for weeks (similar to CSPAN in the US) and literally every expert brought in to give his opinion has said it'll have little or no effect. To which the government cronies reply "A little effect is better than nothing if it's for the children". You should see the derision they've aimed at I
      • It would not give them the power to block anything, as you pointed out redirecting DNS requests is utterly useless, simply use a DNS that's not under the control of the government you're in and you're past it.

        I see it as the usual "test balloon". Let's see how much resistance we get. None? Ok, let's go a step further. A little? Ok, let's stay here for a moment and wait 'til the waves die down. A lot? Ok, let's postpone it a little and wait for the next pedo sting.

  • The same in Denmark (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    We have the same in Denmark, except here it is the police and "Red Barnet" (child protection NGO) that maintains the DNS blocklist. I think all ISPs uses it.

    We have had one case where a legal local site had porn banners, and was blocked due to having banners for a perfectly legal "lolita porn" site. He was delisted again after a day or 2.

    The big problem with this list here in Denmark, is that there is no court involved in determining if the content is legal or not. It is Red Barnet and the police that acts

  • satire (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:40AM (#27684289) Homepage Journal

    If you can read german, this comment from a satire magazin sums it up very well:

    http://titanic-magazin.de/stopp.html [titanic-magazin.de]

  • Sweden has it (Score:4, Informative)

    by isecore (132059) <.isecore. .at. .isecore.net.> on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:40AM (#27684291) Homepage

    Sweden already has this policy. It's a blocklist implemented in the DNS structure of Swedish ISP's. Thus it's easily avoided by anyone with even basic computer skills.

    Officially it's to block kiddie porn, but there's no public examination of what sites are on the list. Also, it's been demonstrated several times that there's a lot of rather odd choices when it comes to blocking - i.e. a korean site about Bonsai trees is on the list.

    There's been quite a lot of controversy surrounding this list, and it's been accused of being the start of a slippery slide towards censorship.

    Also, it's essentially useless since it's easily avoided.

    • Very true, and not all that long ago, there were discussions whether this list should be used to block access to foreign online gambling sites. I can't remember what the reasoning behind the suggestion was, but it indicates a very poor understanding of internet technology and (what I would call) acceptable censoring.
  • What I don't understand is that they put the URL on this list, meaning the BKA knows
    So my question is: Why don't they get those sites closed?

    There was an article in c't, the German IT magazine. I'm citing from the online version [heise.de]

    Vor diesem Hintergrund machte jüngst die Kinderschutzorganisation Carechild ein aufschlussreiches Experiment. Sie verwendete dazu 20 Adressen aus der im Netz aufgetauchten dÃnischen Sperrliste. 17 der Seiten waren in den USA gehostet, jeweils eine in den Niederlan

    • "I thought closing down might be more effective than trying to block them, which won't work anyway..."

      If a BKA officer closes a child pornography website, he's just doing his job. Whether he closes a child pornography website, arrests a drug dealer, or identifies fraudsters, he gets paid.

      If a politician successfully crusades for a blacklist which filters child pornography, he becomes a hero in the eyes of the public. This furthers his career and he makes more money in the future. He may not have the intelle

  • by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@NOSPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday April 23, 2009 @06:51AM (#27684993) Homepage Journal

    There is one way to make a blacklist work & prevent it from being abused. Keep it private to where only law enforcement (not politicians) can use it. Make it Wikipedia style to log the time & date of changes made as well as the UID & IP person submitting the changes. Then if the changes made are later found out to be inconsistent with the goal of the blacklist, you *arrest* the submitter & charge them with *felony* unlawful access to a computer system. If they want to be have a police state we can show them that it can work both ways.

    • by Ihlosi (895663)

      Then if the changes made are later found out

      ... by whom?

      If they want to be have a police state we can show them that it can work both ways.

      Police are notoriously incapable of enforcing the law on themselves.

      My suggestion would be: Make the list completely public. Hey, if the blocking actually works, then no one is able to access the sites anyway, right?

      • Then you'd have to explain why there are so many .de, .fr, .dk and other .$EU URLs on the list that you could just as easily shut down.

  • by Brian Ribbon (986353) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @07:11AM (#27685131) Journal

    "Germany's government has passed a draft law for censorship of domains hosting content related to child pornography."

    I don't know whether the summary was inaccurate, but the phrase "related to child pornography" is extremely disturbing. I run a website which frequently criticises child pornography laws, but doesn't contain child pornography. Will that be censored too?

    Even if child pornography is the only material which is blocked, I still don't agree with the filter. Studies [newgon.com] have shown that the majority of prohibited material involving children does not depict sexual abuse. It is also ridiculous to claim that simply accessing freely available child pornography encourages the sexual abuse of children (the music industry certainly doesn't take kindly to people downloading their content without paying, so why should child pornographers?). In Germany, possessing a non-photographic "pornographic" depiction of a character who appears to a virtual child can result in a lengthy prison sentence. Will the filter "protect" cartoon children too?

    The methods which the authorities used to push this filter are somehwhat suspect. Germany has, for some time, battled to persuade its citizens to accept internet filtering, however there is a fairly large civil rights community and a strong belief in the freedom of the internet, resulting in much opposition to such censorship. Just a week before the vote on the draft legislation to implement filters, German police coincidentally "broke up [bbc.co.uk]" a huge "child pornography ring", allegedly involving 9000 people. This was presumably a sting operation which involved the logging of the IP addresses of every visitor to a police-operated website, followed by raids on the properties linked to every IP address which had been logged. It doesn't matter that only 50 or so people will be convicted, because the authorities have already won....

    Anyone who now opposes internet filtering will be reminded of the huge "child pornography ring" and accused of supporting the horrific sexual abuse of children for huge child pornography networks. Nobody can check the police's evidence because that would be illegal and a child would be "revictimised", while anyone who wanted to check would obviously be a paedophile. And so the draft legislation passed.

  • What about... shared ip hostings???

    LOL

  • By the time child porn is distributed on the Internet, the worst crime has already occurred: children exploited somewhere, with a camera pointed at them. The police have failed to protect those children. Stopping the Internet distribution protects mainly the police from the fact that they have failed to protect these children. It doesn't catch the exploiters who exploited and photographed the children. In fact it keeps those exploiters out of sight, and harder to catch - but harder for the public to notice

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw

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