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Even More Restriction For German Internet 330

Posted by kdawson
from the nose-of-the-camel dept.
tikurion writes "It's only been a few weeks since the law dubbed Zugangserschwerungsgesetz (access impediment law) was passed in the German Parliament despite over 140,000 signatures of people opposed to it. The law will go into effect in mid-October 2009. Now Minister for Family Affairs Ursula von der Leyen implied in an interview that she is planning on extending the reach of the law, claiming '...or else the great Internet is in danger of turning into a lawless range of chaos, where you're allowed to bully, insult, and deceive limitlessly.' More on golem.de via Google translate (here is the German original)."
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Even More Restriction For German Internet

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  • 4chan (Score:5, Funny)

    by DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) on Monday August 03, 2009 @01:59AM (#28923445)

    where you're allowed to bully, insult, and deceive limitlessly.

    If this was their goal, there would only need to be one domain on the list.

    • by bhima (46039) *

      Trying to block 4Chan just encourages them

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by purpledinoz (573045)

      German laws are pretty strange. You can be sued just by insulting someone. Of course it's hard to differentiate a harsh opinion and a genuine insult. And if you swear at any governmental worker (police, vehicle licensing office, employment office, etc), forget about it. Free speech is not as strong as it is in the US. So the likes of Howard Stern could not exist in Germany. Of course Germans are worried about l33thax0r posting insults on message boards.

      What I find even crazier is that most Germans I've talk

      • Re:4chan (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheP4st (1164315) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:49AM (#28923741)

        I suppose Germans don't value free speech as much as the Americans.

        "Brett Bursey" [wikipedia.org] learned the hard way what the price can be for exercising your "right" to free speach in the USA.

        • Re:4chan (Score:5, Insightful)

          by purpledinoz (573045) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:30AM (#28923955)
          I guess I should rephrase: I suppose Germans don't value free speech as much as the Americans used to.
      • Re:4chan (Score:5, Insightful)

        by karstux (681641) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:35AM (#28923975) Homepage

        Not all is lost in Germany. Political activism against the ongoing restriction of our civil rights is strongly on the rise. The petition against the censorship law has been mentioned in the article, and our Pirate Party has gained thousands of new members in the past few months. It has done pretty well in the European elections this year, and I think that public awareness to civil rights matters has improved since then. I strongly hope the Pirates will enter the Bundestag (parliament) in September.

        Our government has used pretty underhanded techniques to push these laws, effectively grouping all opposition to the censorship law with child molesters. So if you ask someone on the street if "they're against a law which will combat child pornography on the internet", of course they will decline. On the other hand, if you asked them if "government and police should be able to censor the internet at will", the result would surely be different.

        By the way, this phenomenon is not unique to Germany. In America, civil rights have been whittled away with terrorists as a scarecrow.

      • Re:4chan (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Stachybotris (936861) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:55AM (#28924091)

        What I find even crazier is that most Germans I've talked to agree with this speech law. I suppose Germans don't value free speech as much as the Americans.

        I'm going to Godwin this, but only because it's true...

        IIRC, it's not that Germans don't value the freedom of expression, but rather that they're still suffering from a pretty bad case of what we'd term 'pendulum swing'. You see, after World War II ended, they got a little touchy about people being able to openly spew hateful and hurtful speeches. They clamped down pretty hard on peoples' ability to say what they want, though not directly through legislation, and it never really let up. To this day the Germans still remember what happened to them as a nation the last time bullying, lying, and insulting others went unchecked - they started a war that involved a fairly large number of countries and ended up with them losing and, essentially, being split in two. So, as a result, the older generation, and even the current on (albeit to a lesser extent) is really strict about policing itself.

        Penny Arcade's 'Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory' also comes into play here... When hiding behind a screen of semi-anonymity, people with an audience will say and do just about anything to get a rise out of others. This is, unfortunately, part of human nature.

        Given that, it's not difficult to see why they're overly sensitive about what people do and say on-line. They're trying, in their own misguided and ill-conceived way, to put the same sort of self-policing mechanism in place on the web that they use in real-life. But since they have to deal with an enormous number of outside influences (read: every site on the internet that doesn't originate in Germany), they have to use the club of law instead of the softer form of social pressure that works when people are standing around talking in the town square. Unfortunately for them, the 'net and the town square aren't the same thing and certainly don't work the same way.

        Or, to summarize; this law, though probably poorly-written, is conceived with good intentions, though we all know how that goes.

        • Re:4chan (Score:5, Informative)

          by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday August 03, 2009 @04:34AM (#28924241) Journal

          IIRC, it's not that Germans don't value the freedom of expression, but rather that they're still suffering from a pretty bad case of what we'd term 'pendulum swing'. You see, after World War II ended, they got a little touchy about people being able to openly spew hateful and hurtful speeches. They clamped down pretty hard on peoples' ability to say what they want, though not directly through legislation, and it never really let up.

          You're mostly correct, except it wasn't the Germans themselves who did it. It was the Allies, then still occupying Germany, who imposed most of those restrictions as the required condition of Germany becoming a free independent state again.

          • Re:4chan (Score:4, Interesting)

            by SlashWombat (1227578) on Monday August 03, 2009 @04:46AM (#28924279)

            You're mostly correct, except it wasn't the Germans themselves who did it. It was the Allies, then still occupying Germany, who imposed most of those restrictions as the required condition of Germany becoming a free independent state again.

            Am I alone in thinking that this seems rather ironic? The countries that traditionally valued freedom disallowing the very same freedom in a conquered country? (However, most of these so called "freedom loving" countries are now devolving into fascist regimes in their own right.)

        • Re:4chan (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Monday August 03, 2009 @06:16AM (#28924787)

          I even question the intentions of the law.

          The alleged intention of the law is to make viewing child porn impossible or at least make it a lot harder. There are videos on YouTube how it's possible to circumvent the problem in a matter of 10 seconds. Even child protection organisations called the law "short sighted" and "useless", if they were friendly and didn't want to use stronger words.

          Instead, what will happen? Someone browsing for CP will encounter this stop-page. If he's dumb, he'll browse through. If he's smart, he will start looking around for IP masking tools, making it even harder to find them if (not when, but if) a server containing such material is raided and IP logs are analyzed. Over time, the only IP addresses from Germany will be those of TOR exit nodes and similar tools, which in turn will result in a crackdown against anonymizing services.

          Also, some politicians already "thought" about expanding the number of sites, to encompass other "undesirable" pages (like, say, TPB and similar "illegal" pages). Once such a tool is in existance, it will be abused. And I'm not so convinced that abuse has not been part of the idea altogether.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Kokuyo (549451)

            The abuse of the tool already happened... or at least the abuse is already intended. Just after this law was accepted (matter of single digit hours, not days, mind), politicians asked to extend this tool to contain sites besides CP. The next thing is terrorism. After that? Well, I think filesharing is a top candidate.

            Nobody guarantees that it will stop there, though.

      • It happens in most countries, though it's referred to as "libel". German laws are somewhat more stringent, but it's the same concept. Germans also have been bombarded with tales of cyber-bullying in the media, so the public perception is at the moment skewed.

        I think the media conglomerates have played a major role, in first hyping tales of online child pornography to create a feeling of crisis, now in pushing stories of online addiction and cyber-bullying. I have a sneaking suspicion that they see the inter

      • Lol, Howard Stern? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday August 03, 2009 @01:46PM (#28930369) Journal

        Read up on the guy and just WHY he is hosting his current show the way he is. BECAUSE HE WAS CENSORED OF THE AIRWAVES.

        No country that throws a hissy fit over a nipple has the right to lecture anyone else on free speech.

        American TV is the most bleeped tv in the western world and you critize others? Hypocrasy, you are doing it right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Wowsers (1151731)

      Bullying, insults and deception.... isn't that what all governments do best? Are they going to legislate against themselves?

  • And also to click the big X in the top right of the screen.

    • Top right? (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm on OSX, you insensitive clod.

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:00AM (#28923467) Homepage
    Heaven:
    Where the police are British,
    The cooks are Italian,
    The mechanics are German,
    The lovers are French and
    It's all organized by the Swiss.

    Hell is:
    Where the police are German,
    The cooks are British,
    The Mechanics are French,
    The lovers are Swiss and
    It's all organized by the Italians.
  • by russlar (1122455) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:02AM (#28923479)
    "No Internet for you!"
  • Umm.. why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NervousNerd (1190935) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:03AM (#28923491) Journal

    Now Minister for Family Affairs Ursula von der Leyen implied

    There shouldn't even be a family affairs department. What families do is their own matter, unless they do something illegal.

    • Re:Umm.. why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:11AM (#28923539)

      It's called Social department in the Anglo Saxon world... All countries have "family affairs" departments.

      But besides that I do find it problematic on what the German government is proposing. If they truly did believe what they did, they would actually fix the school system first! The German school system is a mess and is prone to the exact problems that von der Leyen is trying to solve in the Internet. But hey fixing the school system would mean that von der Leyen would actually have to do something, you know her job!

      • Re:Umm.. why? (Score:4, Informative)

        by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross.yahoo@ca> on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:18AM (#28923579)

        I was further doing some reading and here is something interesting:

        http://www.handelsblatt.com/unternehmen/it-medien/die-angst-vor-der-totalen-ueberwachung;2434939;2 [handelsblatt.com]

        Einführen müssen die Filterstrukturen Internet-Provider ab 10 000 Kunden. Für kleinere Unternehmen wÃre der finanzielle Aufwand zu hoch. UniversitÃten und Ãffentliche Bibliotheken sind ausgenommen.

        Ok translated... Any ISP with under 10,000 clients can ignore this, as well small companies, universities, and libraries...

        TYPICAL GERMAN politics, come up with a screwy law, and make it even more screwy! So I guess what I can take from this is that child porn is ok to see at a university, but not a corporation or large ISP... Yeah that makes sense, really does...

        • by Sven Jacobs (1385749) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:48AM (#28923739)

          TYPICAL GERMAN politics, come up with a screwy law, and make it even more screwy! So I guess what I can take from this is that child porn is ok to see at a university, but not a corporation or large ISP... Yeah that makes sense, really does...

          I guess they introduced these exceptions because implementing the censorship infrastructure on the ISP side takes a great deal of time & money. Obviously only big ISPs can afford that ;)

          The big parties of the German government once again proved that they're just doing what they want and not what the citizens want! That's why I'm going to vote for the Piratenpartei [piratenpartei.de] (Pirate party) on September 27.

          • by umghhh (965931)
            They did this because they love complicated laws that provide the loopholes for the needy. Now the question is who could be needy here and what could their need be.

            I like Germany but I think their problem is not even their complex law system that nobody really understands. The problem is that the majority of them either believe in it or are to lame to challenge it. Example: a colleague of mine sitting normally on the other side of our common desk claims that german courts never make mistakes. Now I talke

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by multi io (640409)

            TYPICAL GERMAN politics, come up with a screwy law, and make it even more screwy! So I guess what I can take from this is that child porn is ok to see at a university, but not a corporation or large ISP... Yeah that makes sense, really does...

            I guess they introduced these exceptions because implementing the censorship infrastructure on the ISP side takes a great deal of time & money. Obviously only big ISPs can afford that ;)

            Maybe they did it because their totally secret list of sites to be blocked would no longer be secret enough if nerdy admins of 100-customers ISPs as well as unwashed leftist University datacenter operators would get to see it.

      • It's called Social department in the Anglo Saxon world...

        Do you do know where the Angles were from? And the Saxons too, for that matter?

        I think in this case, `English speaking' might be a better phrase...

    • We have around here in europe a lot of social politic. Not only in hand out, but also in infrastructure. This ministry shortened to family ministery (sorry german) [wikipedia.org] actually do quite a bit more , senior, civil duty, family, kids etc... For example the previous ministry made law to enhance kindergarten infrastructure to allow much more (250K) young kids to have a kindergarten available. And I pass many other stuff. The problem is here they are doing stuff which displease us (censorship) and IMHO should not b
    • *sarcasm* Hell, I think that I like all these laws. I mean, why should I be bullied if I post something that a lot of slashdotters don't like? What give them the right to mod me down? Just a few minutes ago, a fellow slashdotter responded to me, and used the word "fuck" in his reply! Disgraceful!! Just who the fuck is he, anyway, to be fucking at me?

      I welcome our new German censorship overlords. And, I hope the Ozzies, the Brits, and the Canucks all join with the United States, and follow Germany's e

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anarchduke (1551707)
        Hey watch it, that's Germany you are talking about. In Germany, it is forbidden to talk about Nazi's, even when they are censoring the internet.
      • What give them the right to mod me down? Just a few minutes ago, a fellow slashdotter responded to me, and used the word "fuck" in his reply!

        You know, censorship is funny that way... in Germany, there are no rules stopping people from saying four letter words (or the German equivalents) on TV, and the rules against showing naked breasts or sex scences are much more relaxed.
        And we're allowed to drink alcohol on the streets and show the bottles and stuff.

        There isn't really more censorship in Germany then ther

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      Just wait until they create a Ministry for Desperate Housewives.

    • She actually got through woth the "But Think Of The Children!!"-approach.

      Worst. Election-Campign-Stunt. Ever.

    • Re:Umm.. why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Monday August 03, 2009 @05:20AM (#28924473)

      Because "Zensurulla" (censorship Ulla) as the German Miss Education has been nicknamed, has a long history of political stunts and blunders.

      Very well remembered (even though she tried hard to downplay it and make it forgotten) was her attempt to encourage academics to have more kids. She was pissed at the "lowlives" who pump out baby after baby even though they couldn't get them what she deemed a good life and education, while people with PhD's simply don't have many kids, if any. So she envisioned a bonus for people with high education if they had more kids. Quickly nicknamed the "Akademikerwurfprämie" (university graduates litter bonus).

      Appearantly she didn't take into account that a few hundred bucks a month ain't enough to encourage someone with a career and an income beyond 6k a month to toss it all for a kid if all they got in return was a bonus they could possibly only laugh at.

      So now she stumbles with her feet firmly lodged in her mouth from one blunder to the next, hoping that she finally manages to come up with an idea that could possibly get her some recognition and make all the former "ideas" forgotten. Well, it works, but only because one stunt is even more harebrained than the one before.

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:05AM (#28923497) Homepage

    Why are the most innocuous sounding positions in government, always the most malevolent?

    Minister for Family Affairs
    Home secretary

    I will literally shit myself if my government appoints a minister of puppies, pink ponies and day old baby ducklings.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ysth (1368415)
      ...silly walks.
    • by Shakrai (717556)

      I will literally shit myself if my government appoints a minister of puppies, pink ponies and day old baby ducklings.

      What does the tasty foods ministry have to do with this?

    • by dido (9125) <dido@@@imperium...ph> on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:15AM (#28923885)

      Those are some of the finest examples of actual Orwellian doublespeak in the real world. Read 1984 sometime, and perhaps you'll get a glimmer of understanding. The Ministry of Peace is engaged in making war, the Ministry of Truth falsifies history, the Ministry of Love tortures and punishes those who do not love Big Brother, and the Ministry of Plenty oversees poverty and shortages.

      • Read it.
        But I thought, too obvious, slashdot is already overloaded with 1984 quotes already ;-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You can read it here [gutenberg.net.au]. But if you don't live in Australia then please ignore that link...

        However I never liked that book--its was boring and the main character is a total sap.
    • by karstux (681641)

      Well, to be fair, it's more a matter of Minister von der Leyen grossly overstepping her competencies. She simply shouldn't dabble in matters of communication and infrastructure. Of course, that's a benevolent interpretation... and it's shocking and unsettling that she was able to install the law.

    • by syousef (465911)

      I will literally shit myself if my government appoints a minister of puppies, pink ponies and day old baby ducklings.

      Minister for the arts.

    • by Alsee (515537)

      I will literally shit myself if my government appoints a minister of puppies, pink ponies and day old baby ducklings.

      Oh, it's not just minister titles. That happens with the titles of laws too.
      I will literally shit myself if my government ever passes some law with an OMGPUPPIES!-title like Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.

      -

  • " I say Freedom " (Score:4, Insightful)

    by testman123 (1111753) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:15AM (#28923555)

    Citizens of the world, dark forces are at work in most of our democracies. They plans to get control of a power tool & medium: the internet. Their aim at restoring the "control on information and the oligopolies" of the previous millennium and extending it further any known limits.

    Most of them claim, it is to restore "good old values". But the real reason behind all those bigotries is the money my friend!
    The fight for freedom as started.

    But, the force of the cipher is among us ;-)
    Are you ready ?

    • Re:" I say Freedom " (Score:4, Interesting)

      by foobsr (693224) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:27AM (#28923623) Homepage Journal
      But the real reason behind all those bigotries is the money my friend!

      My favourite pet theory is that it (restrictions&cameras everywhere etc.) boils down to preparing for a time when essential resources (water, probably energy) will be scarce indeed.

      The fight for freedom has started.

      No. The majority of those who will be affected is either struggling for food (so called 3rd world), a 'better' life (e.g. China) or is too stupid (decadent) to realize (eu, us).

      CC.
      • My favorite theory concerning the camera craze and total surveillance has to do with the riots in Paris a few years ago. Only weeks after the riots, cameras started popping out left and right, usually in places where you would expect such riots to form.

    • by umghhh (965931)
      Well what a surprise - the struggle for freedom never ends.

      The world changes so do its laws and situation in which they are applied. Only by being vigilant citizens can prevent government taking too much powers and abusing them. Nobody says it is not dangerous thing to do. We should still be happy that they do not execute us like they do in NK or Iran. Still realizing how well our systems work we should keep an watchful eye on our representatives and fight them if need be.

      • We should still be happy that they do not execute us like they do in NK or Iran.

        I should be happy that it ain't worse? "It could be worse", where did I hear that before... right, it was 1940 in a Jewish Ghetto.

        Why orient to something below my standards? Why not aspire to something above? Why not say "it could be better" and work on that goal? Yes, it is certainly not comfortable and it may (or rather, will) be dangerous. Freedom has never been cheap or even free.

  • by FranTaylor (164577) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:17AM (#28923573)

    Or else the great outdoors is in danger of turning into a lawless range of chaos, where you're allowed to bully, insult, and deceive limitlessly.

    • But then the small indoors is in danger. We need to move everybody to the moon, starting with the people who create laws like these.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Stop using common sense in politics. It doesn't belong there. As far as I know, two things can influence a regular politician : bribery and riots.
    • by selven (1556643)
      Isn't that what happened in the I, Robot movie, where robots were programmed with the need to maximize safety as an unbreakable law but with no understanding of freedom?
  • Time machine? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kheldan (1460303) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:19AM (#28923583) Journal
    This german woman must be viewing the internet through some sort of time portal; it's already a piece of crap!
    • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:50AM (#28923745)

      It'd have to be a machine that go could pretty far back. Way back, even.

    • I would be very surprised if this German woman (knowing her from pics I'd say I want proof on that last one... then again, not really) never viewed the Internet altogether.

      It's no secret that our politician (not being German, but this is pretty much a general truth, at least in Europe) know next to nothing about the internet or any modern form of communication. Some already freely admitted that they can't even check their email (as much as it may be for old people, but this ain't Korea), they have their sec

  • I think their government might not only have an access impediment, but also a speech impediment with a name like "Zugangserschwerungsgesetz".
  • wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lordharsha (1101875) on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:42AM (#28923701)

    the great Internet is in danger

    Pity she can't see that the threat is from people like her.

     

    turning into a lawless range of chaos

    In other words, a free and uncensored global platform for communication

  • wait, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by niteice (793961) <icefragment@gmail.com> on Monday August 03, 2009 @02:46AM (#28923731) Journal

    "the great Internet is in danger of turning into a lawless range of chaos, where you're allowed to bully, insult, and deceive limitlessly."

    It's not already?

    • by mpoulton (689851)

      "the great Internet is in danger of turning into a lawless range of chaos, where you're allowed to bully, insult, and deceive limitlessly."

      It's not already?

      Yeah, and isn't that what has made it so great? The lack of structure?

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      But you don't understand, you pedo-terrorist, that now families have access to the Internet !

      Of course you don't understand, like me you probably were already browsing before puberty. You have to understand that some ministers started browsing after menopause...
      • Then throw the families out of the 'net. Easy solution. What's next? Making a law demanding porn movies to be PG13?

        You have to understand that some ministers started browsing after menopause...

        And some don't altogether.

  • by Ihlosi (895663) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:08AM (#28923841)
    Apparently, some people in the German government haven't realized yet that the Pirate party has made it on the ballots in some places, and that the next election is less than two months away.

    Just keep giving them some more free advertising.

    Completely unrelated, I'd also see some legislation allowing the Federal Constitutional Courts to hand out savage beatings with the clue stick to everyone involved in drafting and passing unconstitutional laws. And they should broadcast it on TV, too.

    • I'd also see some legislation allowing the Federal Constitutional Courts to hand out savage beatings with the clue stick to everyone involved in drafting and passing unconstitutional laws.

      I'm absolutely against beating up cripples [wikipedia.org].

      But I'm willing to make an exception here.

  • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Monday August 03, 2009 @03:27AM (#28923931)

    She has been recently discovering the internet, before she was living happily in Barbieland playing with her Disney ponies.
    The wakeup call was simply too hard for her.

    Seriously, if you read interviews with her, that woman is the german equivalent to Sarah Palin. Stupid dangerous outrigt arrogant and does not even listen one second to anyone!

    • by hughk (248126)
      Unfortunately using platforms such as "protecting the children" is something that a number of minor politicians and fading celebrities have done to boost their careers. The lady may be an idiot, but so are a significant number of people, who are concerned about things they don't understand. However, this is all academic as I have no vote in Lander or Bundes elections.
  • Oh, you mean the politicians should have paid more attention to that 0,17% of the population? They have a job to do, it's called democracy.

    For the record, anything that limits, tracks, or controls public access to information and the Internet is Bad in my book.

    If anything, I would lament that only a mere fraction of a percent give enough of a damn to sign their name against it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by am 2k (217885)

      There's a rule in software support: "For every customer who complains about a bug, there are a hundred that are also experiencing it, but don't bother to complain." I propose that the same can be said about signatures like these.

  • Freedom != freedom (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jandersen (462034) on Monday August 03, 2009 @04:09AM (#28924137)

    Freedom means different to different people. To a lot of people in the world "freedom" is not a religion, but just something that is nice to have, sometimes. I don't expect the Freedom Fanatics to understand this, let alone accept it, but it is true none the less. I also expect to get modded down for saying so - by those very "Freedom Fighters".

    So, to a majority of Germans it makes sense - it seems very clear that the internet has indeed already become a cesspit with a very few gems floating around in it. To a lot of people the rather abstract benefits of "freedom of speech" are simply not important enough to outweigh more mundane concerns, like not being harrassed by the idiots that seem to dominate everything on the internet.

    The internet is indeed a powerful tool for communication and it can be used to promote freedom and bring valuable information to everybody and so on. But there is a huge difference between the freedom you enjoy in a society where people treat each other with respect and dignity, and the freedom you have in a lawless wilderness, where you can expect every person you meet to be an enemy. I know which one I'd choose.

    • by Mascot (120795) on Monday August 03, 2009 @04:34AM (#28924249)

      To a lot of people the rather abstract benefits of "freedom of speech" are simply not important enough to outweigh more mundane concerns, like not being harrassed by the idiots that seem to dominate everything on the internet.

      Here's a thought: Don't go there

      Nobody's forcing them to surf around the Internet at random. It's perfectly possible to only use it for their country's major newspapers and online banking, if their psyche is so tender they cannot handle anonymous people writing stupid things.

      If the Internet was invasive, I might concede you have a point. But, as the nickname for the law shows, this is about limiting _your_ access, not preventing the idiots out there from doing their thing. It's like instating a curfew to protect you from criminals.

      For the record, I have nothing against child porn filters, which was the original notion of this law apparently. My country's ISPs all have one. The difference is the police decide what goes on that list after they manually check the sites, there's no political agenda. And it's not even a block, it's a warning you can click through.

      • by Ihlosi (895663)

        The difference is the police decide what goes on that list after they manually check the sites, there's no political agenda.

        There's always a problem if the police can just do stuff without a judge being able to review their decisions.

        • by Mascot (120795)

          I didn't say a judge was not able to review their decisions. If the police starts going nuts with it you better believe you can drag them to court over it.

          But the odds are rather slim. For one, the content of the filter is an international cooperation (it's the organized crime unit that's handling it here, not some traffic cop), so odds are it would take some doing to pollute it without somebody noticing. The criteria to end up on it is also rather narrow, the site has to contain explicit sexual abuse of ch

      • > Nobody's forcing them to surf around the Internet at random

        Spam is invasive though.

        I'm fine with them jailing fraudsters.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sparx139 (1460489)
      The problem for me isn't censoring the internet per se, but rather that censorship often branches into the realms of legal (but not necessarily attractive to the majority of people - think fetish sites for example) activity and can crush freedom of speech.

      So, what do you want? A lawless place with its inherent risks and joys, or a gated community that forces you to leave the toilet seat down, always say please and thankyou, and kicks you out if you walk on the grass? Give me the lawless any day.
  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Monday August 03, 2009 @04:25AM (#28924207)

    In all honesty, I couldn't understand any of them (the germans) anyways.

    Hell, Google can barely understand them...

    • by am 2k (217885)

      Hell, I can't understand them either, and German is my mother tongue (although I'm not from Germany).

  • by vorlich (972710) on Monday August 03, 2009 @04:37AM (#28924259) Homepage Journal
    If you are reading Slashdot from outside Germany in English, then don't come to live here. Well, okay you can live in Berlin but you are forbidden to travel any further south and stay off of my snowboard turf!
  • by Skylinux (942824) on Monday August 03, 2009 @06:53AM (#28924977) Homepage

    This is exactly why I will vote for the Pirate Party at the next election.
    I don't agree with some of the stuff the Pirate Party stands for but I absolutely don't agree with anything the CDU, SPD or any of the other major political parties stand for.

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