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Germany Denies Plans to DoS Neo-Nazis 227

Over the weekend, we learned that Germany's Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily, was thinking about DoS'ing neo-Nazi sites -- not a new form of censorship, but the first time a government has put it on the table. Each country has its own type of content so abhorrent that its censorship must not be questioned. If a Bush cabinet member had mentioned that the U.S. is considering ping-flooding Dutch providers of (what we would call) child pornography (nude 17-year-olds), would anyone protest? Soon China will take Falun Gong off the net with trin00 and Kuwait will SYN-flood rogue sites that show pictures of women voting. But anyway, yesterday, the Ministry denied such plans, so the chaotic Balkanization of the net is postponed for another six months. Yay!

My translation of the slug from the April 5 story would be:

Innenminister Otto Schily is considering paralyzing foreign Nazi websites with hacker attacks. For this, the Ministry wants to use so-called Denial-of-Service attacks. With similar methods, hackers last spring blocked out broad portions of the Internet.

And a friend's translation of the April 8 denial:

Schily denies "hacker methods" against Nazi websites

Minister of the Interior rejects assertion his authority wanted to close down Nazi websites with "hacker methods"

BERLIN. The Ministry of the Interior led by Otto Schily (SPD) denied it wanted to act against Nazi websites using "hacker methods." What will be used in the fight against right wing extremism would only be determined by the law, a spokesman said on the weekend.

The story was updated re Kuwait (not Iran) and women voting.

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Germany Denies Plans to DoS Neo-Nazis

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    yeah, its only a short step from stopping nazis and child porn, to repressing sites that host Doom wads and unsigned bands!
    ban nothing or everything.
    like real life, why have laws against murder, its only a short step from that to banning people from going outside after 7pm.

    Really, some of the logic expressed in slashdot makes me laugh out loud!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dude, it can't get more stupid. May be he is just a bit smarter than the darn "progressive" smart a**s, who have no shame to play conspirateurs of the rebirth of neo-nazi-ism worldwide.

    If you love/hate the Nazis so much, my Amercian friends, why don't you keep your f* abused and flawed first amendment arguments to yourself and live your racists attitutudes out in your own country, the beloved U.S.A. Who would have ever thought, that I would find in the community of so-called intelligent hackers the most braindead libertarian freedom loving conspirateurs for right-wing, supremacist extremism.

    I mean coding is peanuts in comparison to deal with your political, intellectual wrong wiring of "sold-out" brains.

    Shily is one of best, smartest, fairest secretary of Interior we ever had. The only one who really has brains and has been uncorruptable to any bullshit from the left extremism to the right extremism.

    Exactly because he defended leftist politicial terrorists, who most probably would have been *executed* in the U.S. if they had done the same crimes in the U.S. if they did them in Germany very sucessfully, he will never be braindead conservative who buys into bullshit arguments from anywhere, neither from German based conservatives, nor from U.S. based ultra-conservatives of the Libertarian front. I must say I have never been more disgusted than with the discovery of how flawed the Libertarians of this country are and with whom they are not ashamed to go to bed with.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If a Bush cabinet member had mentioned that the U.S. is considering ping-flooding Dutch providers of (what we would call) child pornography (nude 17-year-olds), would anyone protest?

    I don't know about anyone else, but I sure would. I would view our forcing these kinds of "morals" upon countries that don't waste their citizens' tax money on enforcing victimless crimes like we do as an act of war.

    It is bad enough that we declare such material illegal to distribute, let alone to possess. There are a number of reasons why I hold this view:

    • Where are minors supposed to get pornography from? Your answer to this is probably "They shouldn't." You might as well make it illegal for minors to masturbate too, in that case. And, no, they shouldn't have to resort to pictures of slutty old chicks like Pam Anderson. If you're so worried about the corruption of our children, try getting rid of all that shit first.
    • Most "illegal child porn" I have encountered (by accident, of course) is not porn at all. Much of it is topless 16 or 17 year old girls taking pictures of themselves. Only a relatively small amount appears to be professionally produced, and very little depicts sex. There is some disgusting stuff out there that is rightfully illegal, though.
    • I can't see anything fundamentally wrong with a 19-year-old male looking at naked pictures of (or having sex with) a 17-year-old female. That's only a two year difference, for christ's sake! But it is a felony in many places.
    • Until it is proven that looking at pictures of 17-year-old females turns you into a "child" molester, such images should remain legal to possess.

    I had better stop here, since even the mentioning of minors having sex probably qualifies as obscenity. Lets see, that's two counts so far, so I should be out of prison in no more than 50 years. Not bad.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Even the government wanted to forbid a fascist party and it couldn't.

    Not true. Germany's government is, today, trying to ban [cnn.com] a party [npd.net] that it considers "unfriendly to democracy" and has a "close affinity with Nazism."

    So yes, Germany can forbid a fascist party if it wants, and for no other reason than its (perceived) ideology. It probably will succeed in doing so in a few weeks, and that'll be a tragedy for free speech/thought. At least it'll expose the current German government for what it is, though.

  • Everybody else has already commented on the rediculousnes of this post, but they seemed to have missed one:

    spray DDT over villages growing Cocoa

    Um, DDT kills insects (and is pretty effective at it as well!) Spraying DDT over cocoa fields would only cut down on the Malaria in the region. Now I know that you are going to go off on the US killing all of those poor defenseless mosquitos and trying to eradicate an entire life form (Malaria bacteria) but I can assure you that the people in the region won't mind.

    The only reason I can even consider this America bashing is the environmental impact of DDT, notably the thinning of eggshells of nearby seabirds; however those studies have been mostly debunked already and I can't believe that you are basing your otherwise logically sound[1] ranting on this flimsy evidence.

    [1] For some definition of logically sound.

    Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
  • spray DDT over villages growing Cocoa

    Hmmm...I hadn't heard that there was a War on Chocolate.

    Learn something new every day.

  • The cacao plant's nuts are used to produce cocoa powder for chocolate, the coca plant's leaves are used for cocaine. They are different.


  • What is the opinion of China flying recon planes around the US? No problem, with that, right?

  • Sorry, the whole concept of 'tolerance' as practiced in our Western liberal society is based out of our morality.

    Peddle your halfbaked psuedo-philosphy somewhere else, okay?
    Sure, but casting an entire sector of humanity as depraved or immoral is itself highly dangerous. The Kosovars believe that the Serbians are vicious and immoral, and the Serbians believe the same about the Kosovars. Would Europe have been a better place if we had ground Germany under our heel after WWII, like we did after WWI? No, because that's what caused Nazism to come to power! You can't repress tyrrany by being tyrranical. In order to defeat racism, we have to look at what there is in human nature that makes large sections of the population embrace it, rather than just sweep it under the carpet. I am a racist. You are a racist. Face up to it, deal with it, get past it. It's the only way the problem can be avoided, IMO.
  • I hate censorship as much as the next person, but not as much as i hate nazis.
    That's kind of like saying "I hate concentration camps, but not as much as I hate Jews".
  • by PhilHibbs ( 4537 ) <snarks@gmail.com> on Monday April 09, 2001 @03:49AM (#305699) Homepage Journal
    Nazis have. If you ask them, they would reply that they believe that their system of morality is entirely valid and acceptable. No society believes that it is evil. What you should have said is "don't people have the same morals as me?". It's the same kind of transformation as R.A.Wilson [rawilson.com]'s "War on Some Drugs" [rawilson.com].
  • "Iranian women, in fact, do have the right to vote"

    I was trying to be mildly funny (pictures of people voting, ha ha), but skipped Rule 1 which is to make sure jokes have their facts straight. I apologize to Iran. Someone name me a country where women can't vote and I'll update the joke.

    Jamie McCarthy

  • "Arial photos of numerous camps (including Auschwitz) so detailed that you could see people smoking cigarettes. But you sure as hell couldn't see people being smoked - especially en masse, as they supposedly were."

    Holocaust-deniers ignore the aerial photographs which do show the smoke from burning pits. Some of these photos, taken moments apart by the planes flying overhead, actually allow stereoscopic views which show, in effect, a 3-D view of the smoke rising over the Auschwitz death camp.

    Prof. John Zimmerman talks about these in his essay Body Disposal at Auschwitz [holocaust-history.org]. He writes (I'm omitting his footnotes):

    ...when the June26 [1944] photo was first analyzed in a Central Intelligence Agency study in 1979 it was noted that ground scarring near CrematoriaIV and V, consistent with the eyewitness testimony about burning pits, was visible.

    The other photo was taken on May31, a time when deportations were occurring. This photo was not analyzed in the original CIA study. The full extent of the extermination process is not recorded on this photo. However, it needs to be kept in mind that this is a still photo taken at a particular point in time, not round the clock surveillance.

    Nevertheless, the May31 photo does reveal important information not addressed by deniers. In 1994 Mattogno assured his readers that the May31 photo did not show a "trace of smoke" or "pits, crematory or otherwise."The problem is that at the same time his monograph appeared, a book published on Auschwitz showed smoke rising from a pit near KremaV, the same place all of the eyewitnesses said bodies were being burned.This was the same May31 photo. It had actually first been reproduced showing the smoke in 1983.

    The May31 photo also showed something that was spotted by Dr. Nevin Bryant, supervisor of cartographic applications and image processing at Caltech/NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He identified prisoners being marched into KremaV.

    Mattogno claimed in 1995, the year following the publication of the May31 photo, that the smoke was not from burning bodies but most probably from trash. However, it is known that this is not the case because KremasII and III each had a trash incinerator. Therefore, there would not have been a reason to burn trash in the open. Moreover, as will be seen, there are three pits near KremaV in the photo. Mattogno simply had no explanation for the presence of this smoke.

    Jamie McCarthy

  • Afghanistan doesn't allow any voting. It shares that distinction with the U.A.E., which another poster mentioned, and with Saudi Arabia and presumably others.

    I'm updating the country to Kuwait. The CIA World Factbook's entry on Kuwait [cia.gov] says "Suffrage: adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years," etc. Interesting that after five minutes of looking through dozens of countries to try to find one that denies the vote specifically to women, the only one I could find was one whose government my country went to war to defend.

    Jamie McCarthy

  • "In the story's submission the submitter posted a link to Neo-Nazi content but not to pornographic content."

    Obviously you didn't click the link (which was my addition, not a submitter's). It points to a collection of papers and speeches by my late friend Stig Hornshøj-Møller, who had researched the Nazi propaganda film Der ewige Jude.

    Stig had argued, and persuasively demonstrated, that the 1941 Nazi propaganda film is no longer a threat to democracy, and that screening it for young people in particular can help them understand Nazi use of propaganda. And yet the film is still strictly regulated by Germany, to the point where instructors have to apply to the government for permission before using it even in the classroom.

    Go check out his work [holocaust-history.org]. It's fascinating (IMHO) to see how the film has changed in sixty years from a tool of persuasion, to an object to be feared, and, finally, hopefully, to a historical document to be learned from.

    Jamie McCarthy

  • You're inconsistent: "Considering the amount of teenage pregnancies and abortions..." followed by "...in the latter [16yr olds] case the participants are able to oversee the consequences..."

    Apparently they either don't see the consequences, or they don't give a flying, er, fuck.

  • have you checked what happened to the tibetan ecosystem after the "great" ddt? ddt is just too damn <i>effective</i>.
  • Same old, same old - this is just the modern version of what has happened for ages in the propaganda wars - like in radio, like Cuba today Jams Radio Marti, and then there's China's control over public opinion, etc, etc, etc.

  • > The most important thing about selective censorship (which is what we are discussing here)
    > is that you need to determine who decides what is offensive.

    This conversation is getting too abstract. Even if Germany had decided to go through with the DoS attack, it would have been against entities and ideas that are highly illegal in that country. So in this case "what is offensive" is decided by the law. And it's not really a question of offensive material, but of illegal material. Since German law doesn't apply abroad, they sensibly decided that it wasn't a good idea after all. However, they would be legally fully justified to mount a DoS attack on German servers hosting NN material.
  • > So two 17 year olds can have sex, but they just can't take a picture of themselves doing it.

    What's so unusual about that? You can also breast-feed your baby, or have it lie completely naked on a changing table and apply cream on its behind, yet you'd probably get in trouble if you gratuitously photographed and posted these acts.

    In the US we can decide who runs our country (and by extension much of the world) at 18, but we can't decide to have a drink until we're 21.
  • Most people would not object to certain types of "censorship", such as the fight against child exploitation. The problem is that once you do decide to engage in censorship at all, the line between acceptable and unacceptable is very blurry. I think it's very important to maintain open dialog between policy makers and the public to keep this line on the acceptable side.

    > Germany does, in many cases, provided it is nazi material.

    Germany is a strange case precisely because of its recent history. It is really between a rock and a hard place: if they do away with the unconditional Nazi censorship, many will take that as being soft on faschism. If they keep enforcing it, many will (and do) accuse them of limiting freedom of speech. I think for the forseeable future it doesn't much matter what they do. In another fifty or a hundred years time might sufficiently buffer them from history to do away with the current anti-Nazi policies.
  • > so I think we can count this out.

    My feeling also. Don't know about the kicking in doors thing :-)
  • > I don't believe in censorship in any form, regardless of how much the material might be
    > found offensive.

    I'm a bit ambivolent about that. There are valid points on both sides. I have a problem with sites like those tracking abortion doctors in the US and encouraging physical actions against them. Freedom of speech should be granted only when it doesn't limit others' freedoms, particularly the freedom to live.

  • by uradu ( 10768 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @04:43AM (#305712)
    > The flip side is that freedom of speech enables John Skinhead to spout Nazi propagander if he
    > wishes - just as God-loving bible bashers are allowed to preach that we're all going to Hell.
    > Just as I'm able to proclame my atheism and contempt for hate-mongers - as God-loving
    > bible-bashers generally are.

    You're making it sound like groups that actively incite and organize violence against minorities and groups that simply spout bias are essentially the same. Most countries' laws will disagree with you, and the difference between the two is usually used as a yardstick of censorship and denial of freedom of speech. There's a big difference between saying that you're a worthless human being, and saying, oh, yeah, by the way, let's organize some riots and gangs and bash your head in and kill you.
  • Whether you happen to agree with it or not, (which I don't BTW), some people happen to believe this sort of garbage. If people believe it it will be on the net. DoS one site another will spring up. There will always be a dark side of the net because there is a dark side of the human race.

    Now, whether or not we should decide to spend tons and tons of energy to fight it is another story. I don't claim to have a good answer for that.

  • Ah, so the censorship issue raises its head again. <p>
    <b>But of course, we all know that a man like Horowitz can publish his opinion on slavery reparations in an advertisement in college newspapers without any threats or censorship whatsoever. Our wonderfully liberal and tolerant colleges and universities certainly allow any opinion to be expressed, even those of Charlton Heston or Wayne LaPierre.<p>
    Certainly, anti-abortion websites expressing the authors opinions of abortion and abortion doctors are not censored or ordered removed from listing.<p>
    Or are they?
    The most blatant hypocrisy today is that of the modern day liberal, who cries 'censorship' the minute parents start complaining about books in libraries, but silence and censor any contraty opinion under the guise of eliminating 'hate speech'.</b>
  • "The public reaction to it was inexcusable, but he is not the type of person you want to rally your banner behind."

    You proved my very point. Since Horowitz is obviously a 'racist', then it is okay to steal newspapers that publish his ad. It is okay to silence him, or Laura Schlessinger, or any other person, because they are (in your opinion) racist and 'hatemongerers'.

    And that is a double-standard, plain and simple. If you allow Craig Killborn to post "Snipers Wanted" with a video of George Bush in the name of comedic 1st Amendment expression, then to silence Horowitz is a double standard of the highest order.

    As for websites, there are websites promoting the molestation and kidnapping of children. Is the left busy condemning them? Of course not, only those 'hate-filled' anti-abortion websites must be silenced.

    The point is this: Under the guide of eliminating the 'hate-mongerers' and 'hate-speech' the leftists routinely censor and silence any opposing opinion or speech. Any condemnation of homosexuals is 'hate' against homosexuals. Any condemnation of equal opportunity programs is 'hate' against minorities. The list goes on.

    It's BS plain and simple. If the left is so dedicated to 1st Amendment expression rights, then it needs to be more than just expressions that happen to be in agreement with their own.

    BTW, Horowitz was marching with African-Americans for civil rights before you were even born. He was the liberal's liberal before you were even in grade school. Your condemnation of him is laughably ignorant of historical facts.

  • What is the opinion of China flying recon planes around the US? No problem, with that, right?

    What, you mean like the russian submarines that have spent the last few decades cruising up and down our coasts? I don't recall us ever sinking one, or taking its crew hostage.

    And, god forbid they had an emergency, we would certainly let the crew members see their own ambassador in less than a few days, and return them home pretty quickly. The sub we'd probably hang onto for a while and eventually give it back (as I fully expect the chinese to do with our plane -- yes, it's our property, landed in an emergency, but they can just "keep an eye on it" for a few weeks). Did american subs ever play chicken with russina subs? Probably, but you know if they had crashed the whole damn world would be bitching us out about it -- we would have had a coast guard cutter out there in minutes to rescue both crews.

    There is no excuse for holding hostages of people who make an emergency landing, an even less than none for not letting a foreign citizen even see their own ambassadors. People and property are two different things.

  • by Tim C ( 15259 )
    Because, especially in this situation, there is very little to compare between the two.

    When you bomb a nazi organisation's HQ, you damage and destroy property (not just the HQ, but buildings around it), and kill people (again, not just the nazis, although as long as they're not killing people, they have just as much right to live as the next person).

    When you ping-flood a website, you bring down a website. No-one gets hurt, nothing gets damaged (expcet maybe the pride of a sysadmin or two).

    It would be different if it was computers controlling, say, air traffic or power generation that were targeted, but when a website gets taken down like that, no-one gets hurt.

    Sure, it would almost certainly damage diplomatic relations between the two countries, but anyone who would even threaten to go to war over such a thing should not be in a position of power.

    I acknowledge that such a break-down in relations could, eventually, lead to war, but it should certainly not be anyone's first reaction.


  • Why would China care if US citizens couldn't access Chinese web sites?

    I can't imagine that a Chinese version of Amazon would do much overseas trade, for example.

    I can see the point in blocking eg the American subnet from being accessed by the rest of the world, as that would have some considerable economic impact. However, for countries that don't even use the same alphabet, I honestly can't see it having a particularly great effect.


  • If you do decide to fight it, then you have a very difficult question to answer: What right do we have to express our opinons?

    Sure, I think probably most people here would agree that Nazi beliefs are morally repugnant. So, do we fight against them?

    Well, therein lies the problem - I seem to remember a while back, lots of people here getting very righteously indignant that the RIAA was seeking injunctions against people and sites who posted the DeCSS code. More recently, people were pretty annoyed that the Co$ threatened /. over a comment posted.

    I can't rationalise protesting against the latter censorships, whilst participating in the former, myself.


  • by Tim C ( 15259 )
    That's assuming that all the packets take the same route to the target, of course.

    The best way to DoS a server, imho, would be to use a distributed attack, from a number of different subnets.

    That way, not only does the server get hit with more packets (there's no guarantee that one machine will be able to take down the server), but they take different routes to the target, which helps to ensure that more of them get through (as you don't risk taking down any of the intervening nodes).

    Besides which, the "worst" that can happen is that you overload a router or two on the way there; you are not going to be able to ping-flood an airport's or university hospital's critical systems in that way, unless they are also acting as a router (or you're really dumb, and fire at the wrong IP address, and the firewall lets the packets through...)


  • In the story's submission the submitter posted a link to Neo-Nazi content but not to pornographic content.

    Why? Is it because they feel that pornography is not acceptable but Nazism is?

    They censored themselves whilst raising issues about censorship!

    I personally have no probelms with pornography but take enormous and personal issue with Nazism.

    I find it odd that we can all have sex at 17 (in the UK the age of consent is 16) but killing Jews (or promoting it or excusing it) is wrong.



  • What could be next? the RIAA sending a DoS attack to Napster's Database servers? These days, almost any thing is possible...
  • You can have sex much younger if you like (12 or thirteen), however it has to be pretty clear that it is voluntary (adults having sex with children is definately not allowed but 14 year olds having sex is not illegal perse). Considering the amount of teenage pregnancies and abortions, I think the dutch approach might be a bit more realistic, kids fool around anyway. As for child pornography, I think any western country is pretty intolerant towards it.

    However I think there's a difference between 6 year olds being forced to do stuff they don't want and sixteen year olds having sex. You might make the argument that in the latter case the participants are able to oversee the consequences whereas younger children cannot.
  • Basically that means you're in deep trouble if the 12 year old says otherwise (for instance when they've grown up, this stuff happens a lot). However, the reality is that people are capable of having sex from the age of about 12/13 and do so. There's nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is rape and adults having sex with 12 year olds usually falls into this category. The intention of the law is that if you are 12 you can have sex if you want to. Mind you, if you are a 12 year old boy and want to have sex with a 12 year old girl, both parties are doing something illegal in the US. In holland it is either rape (always illegal, no matter what age) or just two kids fooling around (in which case we teach 'em to use condoms).

  • - I think lots here would protest that scenario

    - age of sexual consent varies from state to state in the US

    -earlier age of consent doesn't necessarily make for a freer society. It makes kids freer earlier.

  • Afghanistan? The Taliban doesn't seem to like women doing anything...

    Really, any government with an official religion is worthy of mocking, take your pick.
  • The countries that attempt to censor net content of any sort should be blocked by the rest of the net, at the peering routers level. This ought to be a peering requirement. We know Red China is censoring us - we should simply block all of their sites from visibility to the rest of the fscking world! They might get a clue in about ten years,... maybe.

    First, Red China is not blocking me so it's not an universal POV.

    Second (and most important) most of the Net's backbone is private property. Why would any corporation hurt its profits for a measly and improductive anti-censorship statement by only a few customers ?

    Seriously though you Americans are amazing. Always asking for fewer rules when you gain from it (usually detrimentally to others) and asking for more when the lack thereof bothers you. Couldn't you be consistent for a while?

  • The countries that attempt to censor net content of any sort should be blocked by the rest of the net, at the peering routers level. This ought to be a peering requirement. We know Red China is censoring us - we should simply block all of their sites from visibility to the rest of the fscking world! They might get a clue in about ten years,... maybe.

    But this is easier said than done, unfortunately. Suppose you run a node router connecting to many other nodes. You forward all the traffic you get. How will you know what any of your peered routers drop? You won't, unless you implement a traffic logging server that compares requests against responses. Even then, you'd have to have a way to figure out which were real requests versus errors, an impossible or at least very difficult and error prone task. Most peering routers won't even attempt to do this at all.

    Countries are going to get away with this short sighted censorship, at least until protocols and DNS management schemes are improved to catch it. Oh well, I don't really have anything to say to or hear from osama@bin_ladin.org, anyway. No loss. And people in oppressed countries will always have some ways around the "official" Internet.

    But it _would_ help to simply cut the high-speed links to countries known to be censoring network content for political/economic/religious reasons. (State religions are abominations. So are official State political and economic restrictions.) Now here's something George W. might really get behind, if he could only remotely understand it!
  • What the hell, its late (early)....

    tell Chinese they should return their spies

    They aren't spies. Spies usually try to discover secret stuff while not being noticed; in this case, they were flying regular routes for years listening to radio transmissions and looking for radar sites. I'd call it (usually) dull recon duty.

    Arm the military with dubious human rights records

    I don't know what this means, but it sound wrong ;-)

    I hope that hot head Bush sends in a rescue mission into China to rescue the US "hostages" and gets his ass kicked with a warhead on the WhiteHouse.

    No, you don't. No matter how a rescue mission turned out, it's a good bet that the end result you be a large portion of the planet being transformed into a decorative glass bowl. (OTOH, then I might get my power armor and gauss gattling gun! ;-)

  • I was about to point this out. In fact a woman recently ran for Prime Minister/President (I don't recall). I think it was Rafsanjani's daughter.
  • Pictures of nude 17 year olds are as much child-pornography here in Holland as they are in the USA. The "anything is legal there" view on Holland is not entirely right.

    Yes, you can purchase marihuana in shops, yes, we're about to legalise euthanasia but child-pornography is still illegal and one would certainly face prosecution if caught.
  • Doesn't any action by the government against the Nazi sites just play into their whole "Jews control the government" line?
  • Nazis shouldn't be given sanctionary in any country of the world. They are not human beings

    You owe me a new needle for my irony meter.

  • That's a wonderful argument in favor of spammers and against the various RBLs. After all, the spam really doesn't hurt anyone, and doesn't cost actual money, right?
  • One catch, it's "Free Speech" here in American but as I understand German law, that kind of speech is outlawed. Interest legal problem, there it's illegal, here it's not... but it can be accessed with ease from there. Their ministry has to act (after all what is a law if it's not enfoced) but how do you enforce your laws on someone else's nation?
  • I usually get annoyed when Americans see Europe as one homogenous place. It's 50 very different countries. This time it seems to be a European with the same misconception. Weird!

    Anyway, the age of consent is different in every country. In Sweden it's 15.

    Someone said that it differs between US states as well. Isn't there a federal limit at 18 though? Or is that only for porn?
  • You, my friend, are obviously not a lawyer.
  • I'm happy to say I live in Antwerp, on the edge between what one might call the Jewish and North-African quarters. Antwerp being the Belgian city renowned for its high number of extreme right-wing voters.
    I just take objection to PyRoNeRd's black-and-white statement. A judge won't interpret the anti-racism laws as he does. It should be obvious that the real situation is slightly more complex...
  • A Dutch person told me that adults CAN have sex with 12 year-olds as long as the 12 year-old doesn't object. That's the whole point of Age Of Consent.
  • People are capable of driving and drinking at age 12. Most 12 year-olds are capable of working 40 hours a week in a mill. Do you let them do that?
  • I hate Nazi actions more than anti-free speach actions. However, I hate anti-free speach actions more than Nazi speach.
  • Also, I can't spell speech.
  • Nice, well considered reply there, mate.
  • Um, hello? How much of the linked-to site did you actually read? From the root page [holocaust-history.org] of that site:
    The Holocaust History Project is a free archive of documents, photographs, recordings, and essays regarding the Holocaust, including direct of Holocaust-denial.
    So, it's clearly not an example of (neo)Nazi content, but rather a site working against people who try to falsify history. I don't think you can make a case that the Slashdot editor (the sometimes-controversial Jamie) somehow censored himself by chosing this site as an example... It's a weird example, though. Your final sentence doesn't parse over here. Or if it does, it doesn't jive with the rest of your text, and frightens the living sh*t out of me.
  • Wow, we only have to prepare for these two eventualities? Holy sheepshit Kreskin, good thing you've warned us with your powers of clairvoyance. Genocide so that the "better portion can survive"? Betraying your politcal stripe on that one. Clone war? The human genome hardly provided us with enough information to create people, much less create a race of creatures for us to fight against. Geneticists are even wondering if the genome contains all the instructions to create a human form. They expected to find over 100,000 genes in the genome. Instead they found some 30,000 genes. Other forces must be at work. The beginning constituency of the egg is one area they're looking at. Before you go into the business of predicting the future, do yourself a favor and read up on some of this stuff. I'm no expert, but I can sniff out Chicken Little from a mile.
  • I tend to agree with Chomsky who said that the speech which offends us the most is that which we must protect the most vigilantly. For, if we allow censorship of those opinions with which we don't agree, we are opening our opinion up to the same attack from our opponents. What you have left is speech which lacks so much in content from the culling of the controversial that it says absolutely nothing at all. In addition, how are we to strengthen our arguments without knowledge of the spectrum of human discussion, even the kookiest nether-regions? If a well-organized attack on your values from a crank brings them down around you, then you have been building your house from straw.
  • I'll have my battleclone personally deliver the apology.
  • Actually he probaly is not following the agreements b/c of the WTO, which i'm sure your country is a member of as well.
  • Regardless of how abhorrent the neo-nazi sites are, if the German gov't tries that, they will find their backbone access to the Internet SERIOUSLY compromised. Carriers will not tolerate that kind of behaviour.....
  • by rash ( 83406 )
    The article states "we" as in people in the USA,
    why is this?
    I am not an american and is therefore not a part
    of "we".

    Why does the article writer think that EVERYONE
    that reads the article are americans?
    This annoys me.
  • My take:
    "Citizens it is time for the national lottery. In these democratic times we must democracy to rid ourselves of bad things. And the results are in. With an overwhelming 1,234,567,890 votes, the Neo-Nazi Hall of Fame site is tonight's winner. Already cybertroops are flooding the site's computers. And they're off...

    And now for a message from our sponsor.

    For great Justice - Use BackOrifice 2000 (popular cracking and remote system control hijacking tool as well as a legit remote admin tool).

  • Really, some of the logic expressed in slashdot makes me laugh out loud!

    Irony thou wicked beast!

    Murder is much more clearly defined than hate crime.

    And banning murder is much more clearly defined than the intent in censorship.

    And you're confusing banning with enforcement.

    Banning hate speech, even more so censoring it, is still a matter of trying to enforce the ban on murder. It has no value in and of itself.

    Banning murder has a very clear value and intent.
  • The net will evolve to route around it. Preventing DDOSes is pretty straight forward when you get right down to it and they're noticably hard on the network outside the site they're attacking, as well as the sites under attack. While it currently takes more effort than it's usually worth to trace a DDOS (Unless you're a multi-millon dollar company) the routers WILL evolve to the point where an attack is automatically detected and shut down near the source.
  • They talked a lot about Rights of Expression also. Get this - it doesn't apply to criminals, and Nazis and racists are criminals.

    Dissenting opinions will be stamped out like the vermin they are, eh? Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer.

  • Oops, in retrospect my post appears that it may be a little trollish to the Germans here, so I apologize if I gave needless offense. I was reacting to my rage against thought-crime attitudes, not the German/Naziism issue in particular. So, instead let me say, it is not anyone's business whom if anyone I choose to hate, love or feel indifferent toward. Get out of my head, you do not belong in there. The one thing I hate and fear most is someone trying to tell me what to hate and fear. There, maybe that's a little more clear.

  • > Unless it's a communist party which proposes a revolution to create a communist state like in the > USSR.

    No, this is wrong. The KPD was/is not allowed in Germany.

  • Please prove us that the goals of the PDS are against the Grundgesetzt (Germany's constitution).
  • However, democracy has the property that it can be self-destroying. Dictatorships never have the cunning idea to disband themselves, but democracies have voted to accede absolute power. (Case in point - in Germany, IIRC August 1934, 'The Enabling Law' (don't know the proper German name for it, sorry) was passed by a _95%_ vote and giving absolute power to Adolf Hitler...).


    If we allow anti-democratic forces freedom of expression there is a risk that they might take over and destroy democracy.

    But that is a risk that we, IMHO, have to take. Because if we don't, then we have already lost democracy. It is then not a possibilty but a certainty.

    And don't say that we should only censor nazis and the like. Restrictions in freedom of speech, once they are in place, always get abused, always get extended to more groups... and to still more... because they easily can, and because politicians can't resist.

    The sad truth is that freedoms are very easily taken away, but very hard to recover.

    Accepting the existence and expression of ideas repugnant to ourselves, and the risk inherent in this, is the price we have to pay for our freedom.


  • Each country has its own type of content so abhorrent that its censorship must not be questioned.

    There is no form of censorship which cannot be questioned.

  • > As is any religion with an official religion...
  • Some Ministry not knowing what it actually might mean says that they will try to deny an internet service to nazis meaning that they will ask ISPs to cut them off and some ultra extremist geek makes it into DoS attacks. Nothing new... No story here, really. Birng some REAL news, please.
  • Why is every babeled translation considered informative?

    Because then people don't have to manually Babel it themselves, thereby saving them time.

    'The German law causes itself however out'? What a [load of?] crap.

    Yes, I know Babel mangles most things (especially German). However, which of the following do you understand better?

    [German] Wer die Angriffe für das Innenministerium durchführen soll, ist noch nicht bekannt.

    [Babelled] Who is to execute the attacks for the ministry of the Interior, is not well-known yet.

    Sure, it ain't English good, but it gets across the point...

  • by HerrGlock ( 141750 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @03:29AM (#305775) Homepage
    This is what I've been fearing since the first time I've heard of a government attempting to take a site off the air that it disagrees with. This, if left unchecked, will mean the absolute end of the internet as a way to get all sides of the issues, all means of research and all ability to have honest and open discussion of any topic.

    A government may have to limited right to decide what can/will be distributed within it's borders, but that does NOT mean it has the right to cross political boundries and attempt to tell the rest of the world what it can and cannot have out on it's pages.

    The US is horrible with this and that is not helped by other countries who run hollering for the US to 'do something' about purely internal matters within a country.

    Just because you do not like the message does not mean you have the right to silence the messenger. I wish all governments would understand that and allow honest discourse about all subjects.

    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • Idiot.

    Ok, I am off topic here, but... do you really think anyone would depend on the Internet where lives are at risk?

    That's what the Internet was created for: keeping crucial installations running in the event of nuclear war. You don't get much more into "lives at risk" than that. You've probably parroted or at least heard the saying: "the Internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it". This comes from the fact that the Internet interprets damage as, well, damage, and routes around it. TCP is designed for reliability.

    Many people have been brainwashed to believe the Interet is unreliable. It is not. Web sites are singularly bad at being fault-tolerant, due to being the single point of failure. Most instant messaging programs are pathetically fragile, due to having to go (unencrypted, no less) through the provider's server. And sadly, the active destruction of "open relays" destroys a tremendous amount of the usefulness of SMTP. These are just examples of stupidity, though, or of people trading reliability for other factors.

    Look at DNS. Or IRC (although most networks aren't set up for real reliability, sadly). I know people who have had their continent's main Internet link ripped from the ocean floor, and they were back in minutes talking like normal. I would have no problem trusting my life to a properly designed and implemented Internet-based system.

    I am sure most of them would be connected to a LAN, have other means of communication, control of electronics, and backup power generators in case a power plant is somehow affected.

    Please explain to me what any of this has to do with the Internet. The only thing I can see as remotely relevant is "other means of communication". Well duh. But the Internet is likely the best, most efficient, and sometimes the only realistic way of transmitting certain information. Say you've got a hospital with MRI images, and they've got an expert from somewhere else helping them perform this crucial operation. How else would you suggest they transmit the data? By fax?

    Now, if your network is set up right, you will have redundant links, and a decent admin should be able to block many of the bogus packets at the main routers. But if the attacking country is serious, they will likely go after all of these, and do their best to avoid being filtered. Flooding the networks with garbage is one of the few ways to really damage the Internet. If someone started DoSing my country, I would absolutely consider it an act of war.


  • Well, there's always something called freedom of speech; it's not up to the German minister go around on the internet like a real hauptstormbahnfuhrer, and blocking all sites that he doesn't like. The only way to deal with these situations is through the proper international legal channels, no country should be their own judge in these matters. I mean what would be next:

    • Islamitic countries blocking access to christian websites
    • Christian countries blocking Islamitic sites
    • McDonalds blocking access to websites with hamburger recipes
    • Etc...
  • Well, it is off topic, but Iranian women, in fact, do have the right to vote.. and do vote massively. Seems some of those "freedom fighters" do not mind slighting other people as long as this does not infringe on their right to, well, slight other people.
  • Sigh. Don't read him so literally.

    Every country has a majority for whom certain taboos are sacrosanct.
  • You can't. As long as there are different nations, each one of them has to admit there are things legal in Nation A and illegal in Nation B. Example: I live in a country (Brazil) in which software patents are not recognized, so I have the RIGHT to, say, set up a 1-click shopping site. Now, if the US governments admittedly DoS's my site because of THEIR laws you can be sure I'll raise all the hell I can. Yes, I'll sue GWB himself if I have to.

    Of course, "admittedly" is the key word here. The German govt was plain stupid in leaking their plans. If Dubya wanted to DoS me, I'd probably have no way of knowing it was ordered by him.

  • Jordan is a fairly benevolent dictatorship.

    King Hussein died, and his son hasn't changed much at all... He's mostly playing the role of a lurker, watching and learning. I don't think he's changed much of anything in the year he's been in power.

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @05:53AM (#305801) Homepage
    If a Bush cabinet member had mentioned that the U.S. is considering ping-flooding Dutch providers of (what we would call) child pornography (nude 17-year-olds), would anyone protest?

    I certainly would. I find the whole idea of child pornography repellent, but in Europe, sex is legal at 16. Sorry Americans, we're just plain free-er thinking than you. If you don't like what we do, it's your problem, not ours.

  • It's not the first time that a government has used a DoS attack as a form of censorship. Remember when we were attacking Kosovo? Many of the websites that the US Gov. put together to inform people within Kosovo of the U.S. version of the story were DoSed from somewhere within Kosovo.

    I remember hearing about it on CNN.

  • If you want to make hate groups very vulnerable to attack, just buy them Office licenses.

    Any skript k1dd13 with good intentions can take them down with a simple macro- and the government can keep their hands clean.

    Do Neo-Nazzis use Passport? [ridiculopathy.com]

  • We here in Germany always have had free speech as of 1949 with the release of the new constitution.
    But such ideas always were to come out, though they usually were cut down fastly. Even the government wanted to forbid a fascist party and it couldn't.
    IMO it just would create lotta more net traffic, while the target sites just would move.

  • Interesting that after five minutes of looking through dozens of countries to try to find one that denies the vote specifically to women, the only one I could find was one whose government my country went to war to defend.

    Don't worry Jamie, your government didn't go to war to defend the Kuwait government, it went to defend its oil interests.

    Human rights atrocities are fine by us (and the UK will even supply the torture equipment!) but mess with the fuel chain and we'll blitz you. We didn't walk out on the Kyoto agreement for nothing, you know! We demand our right to cheap fuel for our SUVs to run inefficiently on while sitting idle in traffic jams!
  • If you think SUV's run inefficient, you should see the waste figures for a fleet of busses running near empty to and from the suburbs to the central cities.

    And if you think *that's* inefficent, you should see how much waste 50 SUVs make compared to the 50 occupants being on one full bus. Or how much 400 SUVs idling in traffic make compared to the 400 occupants sitting on a train. The train doesn't get stuck in traffic, either.
  • by Martin Spamer ( 244245 ) on Monday April 09, 2001 @10:27AM (#305842) Homepage Journal
    ... but that does NOT mean it has the right to cross political boundries and attempt to tell the rest of the world what it can and cannot have out on it's pages.

    The authority of a nation or state derives from it's ability to focus the use of force. In essence your country has authority over you because it can forcibly detain you, not because of any moral authority. It right's are therefore those it can excercise. If it can excercise a [D]DOS, it has the right. It's nieve to believe otherwise.

  • In the US we can decide who runs our country (and by extension much of the world) at 18, but we can't decide to have a drink until we're 21.

    Remember also that in the case of felons, you can run the country but can't decide who runs the country!

  • I know what this post is going to do, but hey!

    I want to know why so many /. readers are anti-semetic.

    When I put up my first web site I had blue ribbons all over it, animated ones and all that.

    But you are talking free speech (which believe it or not isn't a world wide thing) and a Nazi's right to it.

    Free speech is an idea, just like some idiot thinks it's a good idea to wipe out a race of people. Free speech didn't become a big thing until the US Constitution. And free speech in the US isn't/wasn't so people could talk about ways to kill people and what not. It was set up so you could say in public this is the way I am - and you didn't have to worry about someone killing you.

    And here in the US the Supreme Court ruled that your speech may not impose a risk of injury on another person or you may not use speech to insite violence.

    How does someone get off saying that banning Neo-Nazi sites (and other HATE groups) is like living in Nazi Germany? How? Are DoS attacks going to kill anyone?

    If someone wanted to ban sites that talked about a new form of government and "hey lets institute it" - then that would be wrong. But if a country wants to keep hate from spreading then it's fine with me. I wouldn't expect a site promoting the sacrifice of Christian babies to stay up for long, so why would I expect a Nazi site to stay up?

    -One thing that people don't know about Nazi's is that the party believed in a constant state of war until the supreme people would only be left. Killing not just Jews, but everyone. Even those people who are going to flame me, yes you with the blonde hair and blue eyes.

    See people need to know what they are saying when they say any form of censorship is wrong. Censorship exists all around us all the time. Yes; here in the US you have a right to free speech, but you also have the right to be who you want to be and sites which would make you afraid to be who you are infringe on your rights as well.

    I don't blame Germans one bit. Nazi's hopefully are in the past lets leave them there.

    People think that it's a God given right to be able to express your views. It's a shame you would defend that while knowingly backing a person who would take even one life in the name of hate.

    "Linux is better than Windows" is free speech
    "Lets all go to CowboyNeal's house with torches" is a crime in the USA
  • If an organization, government or private, publicly decided to begin doing this, the resulting DoS attack from every pissed-off slashdot reader, angst-filled script kiddie, and livid free-speech activist, worldwide, would be enough to cripple (and make an example of) any organization.

    It would take only one and it wouldn't ever be an issue again.
  • Over the weekend, we learned that Germany's Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily, was thinking...

    It doesn't say, anywhere, that the "we" refers to people in the US. Because there was a mention of the US government doesn't mean that the assumption was made that all readers were from the US.
  • I notice how most people want their rights and their "Freedom of Speech" yet many find it inhumane for someone to possess opinions that differ from their own.

    I'm far from a racism since, and have friends from all walks of life, including those with racist views, and while they don't appeal to me in any fashion, those with ideas other than my own still deserve the same amount of respect I would ask for to uphold my freedom to say what I want.

    How can you honestly think in terms of fairness to say "My ideas are right" when it may be ethical to you but not to others. Sure I despise racism, sites but I will say this, they are entitled to their own opinions and the same right to express it, as I can express my opinions, etc.

    On the subject of Denials of Service, I particularly don't buy that notion any government would partake in that for those reasons. I could however see a U.S. --> China DoS showdown between moronic kiddiots [antioffline.com], but I can't see the government wasting their time, and money doing this.

    Side note: For those into studying the effects of Denials of Services, and higher protocol based attacks, I wrote a paper [antioffline.com] on it a while back addressing attacks, fixes [antioffline.com], but never finished it. Who knows maybe I'll pick up on it again some time soon

  • This, if left unchecked, will mean the absolute end of the internet as a way to get all sides of the issues, all means of research and all ability to have honest and open discussion of any topic.

    No, you're thinking very narrowly. What this will mean is the absolute end of the current single-site model of news/content distribution, and that's probably a good thing. It's entirely too expensive and difficult to maintain high-traffic sites, not to mention constant wrangling with the DMCA (think Slashdot over the past few months.) If this sort of attack becomes common, over the next decade or so content will simply move to distributed storage networks like Freenet, as primitive as it is at the moment.

    With so many countries and people involved, you can't rely on laws or goodwill for anything on the net. This is both its greatest advantage and its biggest failing.

  • In Norway you become a member of the State church at birth if your mother (perhaps your father too? - don't know for sure) is a member of the State church. That was actually what finally got my mother around to relinquishing her membership. My parents didn't wish me to be automatically enrolled.

    It also used to be a mess to get out - you typically had to go to your local priest or similar and hand him a statement saying you didn't wish to be a member anymore, and frequently they'd be upset about it and try to convince you not to.

    Now, however, it is very easy.

    The issue of separation keeps resurfacing at regular intervals, often when the debate starts raging about whether or not gay and lesbian priests are supposed to have the same rights as others, or similar issues where the conservative leadership of the church is heavily at odds both with Norwegian law and with the people in general.

    Sweden has taken some steps towards separation, in that the local leadership of the state church is actually elected. A while back a group of atheists or agnostics (don't remembers which) actually almost managed to gain control of the church leadership in some counties, because most people don't give a damn about who contols the church.

    Sweden is clearly the Scandinavian country where the debate seems to be least heated, and where it seems the path is pretty clear towards separation, and where there has even been talks about deciding on a specific year (don't know if anything was agreed on with regards to that) for separation or for a vote on it (I don't follow Swedish politics much ... :-)

    The issue of separation is important not the least because the state church get advantages none others do: In Norway the state church can count as members anyone who has not actively registered as non members, or that haven't registered as a member of another recognized religious or atheist organization, and that have parents that are members of the church.

    The other organizations, on the other hand, have to get the membership of the child reaffirmed at the age of 15, and effectively have to require membership dues or similar methods of getting a legally recognizable recognition of your membership to get money support from the government.

    The state church doesn't have to care about their membership numbers to get money, either. The way the money allocation is done is that the government decides how much to give the state church, then divides that sum by the number of people that haven't left the church, and that is the amount of money that the other organizations will get per registered member.

    This effectively mean that because the church has seriously bloated membership numbers because most people don't care, the state church get a lot more money per active member than the other organizations get.

    The state church also have special legal privileges (at least in Norway, don't know about the rest of the Scandinavian countries). For instance the king (and possibly the prime minister?) and at least half the cabinet has to be members of the state church.

  • The problem is that many nazi sites that would be illegal under German law "simply" for putting forward Nazi propaganda does not in themselves incite and organize violence.

    In many cases they may represent organizations that do so offline, or hidden for view, or they may represent "research institutes" and similar that claim to do unbiased research on nazi ideology, but that acts as propaganda fronts. Some of them will take great care to avoid anything that can be construed as inciting to violence or racial hatred, and leave that for private conversation with people interested in their sites.

    That does not mean they don't pose a threat.

    But it does mean that you suddenly have to go much farther in censoring ideans and thought if you want to stop them.

    Germany does, in many cases, provided it is nazi material. Most other countries do not. Many countries have special provisions for nazi propaganda, but most of them are specific enough to only prevent material or manifestations of ideas that clearly incite violence or racial hatred, and allow material that present, discuss, or even can be interpreted as propaganda for, nazism to go through.

    One could discuss whether those laws should be stricted, but there's a slipperly slope from censoring hate groups to censoring legitimate political activity, and the further down you go, the harder it is to stop.

  • Well, that's the biggest problem with freedom of speech. Can you draw the line at what's acceptable and what isn't ? Unfortunatley the answer isn't black and white.

    You think of the number of people who have died for freedom of speech (about the government and stuff - I'm not really clued up on this stuff) in wars. How would they feel if they died to that some misguided idiot can publish Nazi worshipping literature. In any form.

    The flip side is that freedom of speech enables John Skinhead to spout Nazi propagander if he wishes - just as God-loving bible bashers are allowed to preach that we're all going to Hell. Just as I'm able to proclame my atheism and contempt for hate-mongers - as God-loving bible-bashers generally are.

    However, I also believe that people can make up their own mind. It's not like hate pages are two-clicks away. You search for it. The fear is that these pages will coax people into forming similar opinions of hate. In my opinion if they are reading those kind of pages then your attitude and opinion is already that way inclined.

    Either that or you want to see for yourself just how misguided people who waste their time publishing hate material.

    So, in conclusion my point is that if you want to hate blacks, Jews, Gays, whites, minorities, majorities, women, etc you will, regardless of what web pages or literature you read. If you are easily swayed by hate material, surely you can be swayed the other way...

    Anyone agree ?


  • adding to the other reply to parent post - check out www.ageofconsent.com [ageofconsent.com].
  • Here's [ageofconsent.com] all you've ever wanted to know about the age of consent around the world.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant