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German Police Raid Homes of Domain Owner 430

BountyX writes "First and foremost, is back up after downtime due to server load; however, the German government wants to keep the site down. According to their twitter page, police have raided the home of domain owner Theodor Reppe (PDF) over internet censorship lists that were leaked two weeks ago. What the Australian government's secret ACMA internet censorship blacklist has to do with Germany is a mystery. This case is a prime example of multiple governments collaborating in support of censorship." Reader iter8 provides a link to coverage on Wikileaks itself, which says that police searched Reppe's homes in both Dresden and Jena, and adds: "According to police, the reason for the search was 'distribution of pornographic material' and 'discovery of evidence.' Wikileaks has published censorship lists for Australia, Thailand, Denmark and other countries. Included on the lists are references to sites alleged to contain pornography, including child pornography. Wikileaks has not published any images from the sites."
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German Police Raid Homes of Domain Owner

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  • by Swampash ( 1131503 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:04AM (#27327201)

    His house was raided by the cops because he was listed as the registrant for the domain Is that what passes for probable cause in the Fatherland?


  • Whack-a-mole (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dracophile ( 140936 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:09AM (#27327239)
    To us, it looks like a game of whack-a-mole. To the authorities, however, it may look like a hydra, and I worry that they might start acting like it. If they haven't already.
  • Smart Move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane_Dozey ( 759010 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:14AM (#27327269)

    Smart move, raiding the home of a person involved in a website devoted to leaking crappy behavior by companies and governments. Even smarter citing wishy-washy reasons for doing so. Real smart.

  • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:18AM (#27327303) Journal

    Wow! I think I might actually start making donations to these people - If they're getting this much hassle and attitude of various governments and agencies, they must be doing something right.

    Sure, I'll probably go on a government watch list, but the way things are going we either all already are or soon will be, so why should that be a discouragement?
  • Re:Smart Move (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jackie_Chan_Fan ( 730745 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:22AM (#27327343)

    It doesnt matter.

    Civilians have no rights anyways. That is the great American lie that has been used by the US government, and now all foreign governments, to trick their citizens into believing as if they matter or have any say in anything. It helps calm the rage of the poor and suffering, and gives them hope that one day it might change.

    It never will though.

    All that matters is the ruling class and wealth.

    Its all VIP, and you're not important.

  • Re:Smart Move (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:32AM (#27327415)

    Smart move, raiding the home of a person involved in a website devoted to leaking crappy behavior by companies and governments. Even smarter citing wishy-washy reasons for doing so. Real smart.

    Yeah, I can't wait until this explodes on the mainstream news!

    Oh, wait. It won't, and most people will never hear about it, or about wikileaks.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:48AM (#27327501)

    I didn't realise German secret services were involved in that sort of thing.

    That and this article certainly shines a whole new light on German politics for me. It seems hypocritical that they're not willing to perform combat operations in Afghanistan because of fears this will make people link it to it's Nazi past in being seen as an oppressive force yet meanwhile, back home, their security services are, well, acting as an oppressive force?

    It sounds like Germany's political elite are suffering an identity crisis - do they accept they've moved on (which they have) and that they can stop worrying about how people will view them and actually do something useful in Afghanistan or do they keep living under that cloud of fear of what people think of them and their past, in which case, they need to stop doing shit like this because this sort of thing links them to their past much more strongly than actually doing their fair share in Afghanistan would.

    They can't have it both ways, either do something useful in Afghanistan and stop caring what others think or stop doing this kind of shit to oppress your citizens back home.

  • by knarf ( 34928 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @08:00AM (#27327597) Homepage

    Ah, but there is a relatively easy solution to that: don't spread the list itself, instead spread a list of secure hashes (sha256 or something similar) of the blocked domains. If you want to check whether your domain is blocked you run it through a similar hashing algorithm. If the hashes match the domain is on the list (assuming that the hash size has been chosen well so that the chance of collisions is negligible). You could run this whole process in a convenient web page. Add several lists of hashes for known blocklists and you've got yourself an online blacklist checker which the authorities can not (legally) touch. Should it ever come to a court case the actual list(s) can be revealed and the hashes recalculated so as to prove that they are correct.

  • by LaminatorX ( 410794 ) <sabotage.praecantator@com> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @08:07AM (#27327647) Homepage

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

    Keep up the good work, wikileaks. Somebody's got to.

  • Re:Unbelievable... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msuarezalvarez ( 667058 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @08:11AM (#27327689)
    No, they were not. The immense majority of currently living Germans were not even planned at the time of the Nazis. Guilt is not inherited, you know...
  • by Mikkeles ( 698461 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @08:13AM (#27327707)

    No, ordinary human rights.

  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @08:28AM (#27327853) Homepage Journal

    More seriously, what the fuck did the police think they're doing? They are persecuting people for exposing censorship.

    Well, you're a German citizen, right? Germany has, last I checked, a constitutional federal, parliamentary representational democratic republican form of government, correct? Does the Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland not guarantee your basic rights?

    Well, then stand up for them and write your representatives in parliament. Tell them you, as a German citizen, won't stand for the rights of citizens being violated! Tell them that Germany is no longer a gestapo state. The Geheime Staatspolizei is no more! And you won't stand for having it recreated!

  • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @08:29AM (#27327859) Journal
    Sometimes, they ignore you, then laugh at you, then fight you, then you lose. Just remember this as well.
  • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @08:38AM (#27327951)

    If this looks like the first case of international collaboration over a wikileaks takedown, it could be a sign of things to come.

    Wikileaks relies on the fact that, although they piss countries off, they never piss of a lot of countries at once. As such a takedown in one country means little because of its distribution.

    However what would happen if something really major got posted on Wikileaks, something that a government would need to go all out to remove. Say someone posted a list identifying all CIA agents. Would the US government make its allies act to take down wiki leaks presence in each of their country? Would they get ICANN involved and order them to wipe all of its urls off the web? Even block all wikileak IPs at a root server level?

    The second a website like Wikileaks which tries to evade potential countermeasures becomes a nuisence to enough people, there'll be plans (if they don't already exist, it's hard to see intelligence agencies not having thought about it) drawn up about how you'd go about wiping a site from the internet. If this does happen, it'll have dire consequences about the future of the net.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:06AM (#27328269)

    There is a problem with that statement:
    There is only one reason why a democracy should _ever_ have anything classified: That is an ongoing investigation which would be in danger if the details about it were public (the criminal would know he is investigated).
    And even then _everything_ should be made public after the investigation is over.

    Democracy means people can decide stuff. People can only decide if they are informed. Classified (government) documents should be a criminal offense in any democracy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:17AM (#27328417)

    They posted it to ISPs.

    And how many governments leak information? ALL OF THEM.

    So the AUS government is guilty of distribution of KP links too.

    German police to raid Australia in 3, 2, 1...

  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:24AM (#27328491) Homepage

    Well, first this is relevant to Australia and Germany, so I doubt Bush had anything to do with it (You were making a joke, I know, "Whoosh!", etc. but it was pretty poor). Second, I think the objection here is not that publishing classified documents is a crime, most non-libertarian fringe people on the site would probably agree with that, but rather that this document, which has significant potential for quelling free speach and political dissent, is classified. Here we have a list of sites that an entire nation worth of the "Free World" is not allowed to look at. A list which clearly contains sites not relevant to the original purpose of the list (basically to block kiddie porn). A list, in short, which the Government of Australia could conceivably use to block any speech that they see fit, and NO ONE is allowed to know what is actually on the list to protest.

    There has been some screwed up crap going on in the US, but I don't think even Bush would have tried something like this.

  • by furby076 ( 1461805 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:56AM (#27328969) Homepage
    Yea it was a joke, people blame bush for everything (and i do blame him for a lot) I just figured to carry it to an extreme :)

    Anyhow - if the document contains information which should not be classified it is not up to joe schmoe to determine this and release the information. First off joe schmoe may not have all of the facts (and often doesn't) - there may be some legitimate reason why those sites are classified. They could tell you those reasons, but it would release more classified information. Yes some would say "that's shady, etc" but that is life. We, humans, want to know everything. We want to be the ones in on the secrets - so when we aren't we are saying they are doing things to hurt us. Which is a false arugement.

    But even if this guy was correct and that all of the information he posted was fine to post - it was still a classified document and there are ways to go about doing things. He should have gone through legal channels, lawyers, court system, etc. But to release the information, while blatently violating the integrety of the classified documents is to break the law. Breaking the law carries penalties.
  • by cagrin ( 146191 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:56AM (#27328981) Homepage Journal
    There would seem to be a concerted effort across the globe to tighten control of information that gets out to the public. Jay Rockefeller trying [] to take down the existing(free) version of the internet is another example. One of the many sources of information out there that the "establishment" is concerned about is the Alex Jones Show [] (or Inform yourself, we are coming to an important time in history where those in power(our so-called leaders) are moving to a global government that has been planned for many years(i am not against global government per-say but i AM against one lead by the current corrupt pricks in power). Also something of interest: The Movie - The Obama Deception [] One other thing: I Want You to get MAD!! []
  • by furby076 ( 1461805 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:03AM (#27329077) Homepage

    Organizations like the CIA tend to do whatever the US government wants them to do

    Yes that is a duh statement. They are employees of the US gov't and do what the US gov't wants. Just like the KGB did what the Communist Russian gov't wanted. Just like the Mossad does what the Israeli gov't wants. Makes sense.

    This may include trying to save lives (but, most probably that would be in actuality, lives of citizens of the US and, to some extent, its allies), but it most likely also includes things like toppling foreign governments which the US dislikes, irrespective if this would likely make Americans safer.

    Yes the CIA tries to topple gov'ts and while there can be abuse your statement of "irrespective" makes it sound like that is their primary goal. I would argue their primary goal is to make the US safer. You would have to prove otherwise.

    It is really not clear, and actually rather unlikely, that the CIA is able to accurately predict the consequences of its present-day actions on the future safety of US

    Nobody can accurately predict the future - but when you stop a terrorist cell you are pretty sure you did something to help save lives - or do you think terrorist cells are going to support the Infidels?

    The reality, if you would take off your glasses, is that as long as everything the CIA really does is kept secret from you, you have no idea whatsoever if what they do is actually what you believe they do. After living for a while in an Internet-enabled world, I, for one, become less and less willing to blindly believe whatever the US government tells me "the CIA is doing for me".

    The reality is I do not wear glasses, nor contacts. My vision is 100% fine - so is my perception of reality. While I do not know everything the CIA does I realize I do not need to know everything. If everyone knew every inch of the CIA there is no way they would be effective. It would be in the news "CIA investigates Joe"...well first, Joe may get harassed by people as many may already assume Joe is a criminal (hey if you are being investigated you did something wrong)...second if Joe was a criminal may stop or shift his activities foiling CIA plans to figure this out.

    I am not asking you or anyone to blindly believe the US gov't is 100% kosher - make sure you vote and get the right people into office...or better yet, get yourself into office and on the right comittees. Join the CIA/FBI and do the right thing - but realize secrets are needed because our enemies have no qualms about using secrets or using our knowledge against us.

  • by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:23AM (#27329293) Homepage

    That is a very good idea - have the government keep the real list under locks and only distribute an officially sanctioned hash-list.

    However, you make the assumption that the stated reason the list is classified is the actual reason. The government doesn't want you to vet the list, even for a URL you already know. That's the point of censorship; to make information disappear as thoroughly as if it were never there.

  • by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:27AM (#27329353) Homepage Journal

    Until such time as the western governments stop being evil all the time, I think that's a perfectly reasonable position to take.

    Yup evil things, like public education (even if it sucks, it's better then nothing), social security to help our elderly, roads so we can drive our cars, the Internet....all evil things.


    • public education = Indoctrination centers for your children that the government owns. Don't send them to their indoctrination and go to jail.
    • social security = ponzi scheme designed to provide the government more money, enslave the population, encourage the beneficiaries to vote for more benefits, and which will inevitably bankrupt the entire system as more people go on the entitlement list and fewer are paying into the ponzi scheme pot. Maybe they'll just send old people those IOUs that the treasury has filled the SS "trust fund" with.
    • Roads so we can drive cars, and spend money on gas to get to our isolated homes where no stores or businesses are within walking distance, and enrich the global oil conglomerates and the tyrannical dictators that control the oil supplies.
    • The Internet, mostly built with private funds and the vast majority of which is privately owned, but which governments are quickly trying to get under control so they can censor the dissenting voices.

    Yep, all those evil things.

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:46AM (#27329595)

    perhaps the editors of wikileaks weren't too keen on the idea of looking at hundreds of childporn images themselves.

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:47AM (#27329617)

    yes, bush did try this.

    it was ashcroft's idea (remember that asshole? too bad his mother didn't have an abortion..)

    he wanted to sign up anyone who has the job of entering peoples' homes (pizza delivery guys, phone repair/installers, cable guys, even apartment managers). there was a secret society he was creating of snitches. this has all been leaked and documented and perhaps it shamed the BA into rethinking it. probably they just took it even MORE undercover.

    large companies had 'reps' who would meet with other 'reps' and they even had the gov-given 'right' to use force in times of 'emergency'. yes, untrained non-cops using deadly force if the president gave the ok and declared some kind of local emergency. []

    I WISH I was making this up! ;(

    it was very real and it was (is?) very scary.

    thsi is NOT your father's america. its not, anymore. its been converted into something that we always used to joke about - we have become 'just like' soviet russia.

  • by xouumalperxe ( 815707 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @10:51AM (#27329685)

    There is, but responsible media says "look, in addition to child porn, these guys are censoring a, c and d. they said they were only censoring child porn". The child porn links were completely unnecessary.

    That's a tempting position to take, and one I seriously pondered before posting what I did. But the thing is, I'm not sure whether it was an accident or on purpose, but the example (c) I listed as hate speech and implicitly stated was OK to censor is something that you seem to have posted as bad censorship. That, in and of itself, is enough reason for Wikileaks to post the complete list, insofar as they can gain access to it: that way you and I judge what's legitimate and what's illegitimate censorship by ourselves, rather than seeing the leaks through already filtered lenses.

    Ultimately, I don't think posting those sites on wikileaks meaningfully spreads or promotes child pornography, and the last thing I want from a site that specializes in political leaks is editing (beyond compilation and readability, of course).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @11:00AM (#27329797)

    Oh, okay. So I suppose they were expected to through every one of those 2000 URLs, download the contents, examine it and determine for themselves whether or not it was CP, in full violation of the law. That would be beyond idiotic, and posting an edited version of the list would itself serve as a confession to having knowingly possessed CP. The idea of posting a link like this is to let people make their own minds up, which they have every right to do.

    As it is, I don't see the problem. They are not hosting images, they are hosting text. And if we're reached the point where posting non-libelous text can be a crime, then the situation in Australia is the least of our worries; it puts this country back on the level of totalitarian regimes which censor and outlaw the possession of certain books (and even those countries generally allow people to access the list of banned books).

  • Re:Unbelievable... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @11:04AM (#27329831) Homepage Journal

    Guilt is not inherited, you know...

    Tell that to American blacks.

  • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @11:25AM (#27330105)

    All the new initiatives, all the rhetoric on security, all the police powers. All evil.

    Not only that, but in the UK the education policy has resulted in a decade or more of both grade inflation and falling literacy, the elderly are being given a raw deal on pension rises due to a change in the measurement of inflation and the government are trying to monitor and restrict the internet.

    Those are not good examples of areas where the government is being good, pure, honest and beneficial to the people.

  • by TheP4st ( 1164315 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @11:32AM (#27330189)

    I care about privacy, state control issues and so on, but a lot less than I care about shutting down these monsters.

    "In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;
    And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist;
    And then they came for the Jews, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;
    And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

  • by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @12:13PM (#27330773) Homepage

    Say someone posted a list identifying all CIA agents.

    Actually, this is the first time I've found myself on the other side of the fence. If a list of _human_beings_ were published on wikileaks, I would be all for taking it down. I don't care what those humans have done, do, or may do. Wikileaks should not endanger real living humans.

  • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @12:22PM (#27330925) Journal

    I also despise the creation of child pornography. But I believe that various governments are deliberately mixing the issue up with others so that it can be used to justify totalitarian measures. If we adopt a passive acceptance that whenever "child pornography" is mentioned the government can overpower any law or objection to their behaviour, then we'll be hearing the a Hell of a lot about "child pornography". Which come to think of it, we are.
  • by ciderVisor ( 1318765 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @12:36PM (#27331155)

    I'd suggest you watch it on the TV when and if it ever happens.

    The revolution will not be televised.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @02:00PM (#27332607)

    So by downloading Integard you are breaking the law, because it contains 'the list' ?

    Others have said it before - the future is not George Orwell's "1984," it is Kafka's "The Trial."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:01PM (#27336343)

    Oh come now. It's not the safety of all people that has you modded up, it's that they're your people(whether from your country or your country's allies) who also have high-ranking and secret identities. There have been plenty of other named people on wikileaks, should they be removed because they may be endangered? Meanwhile, there are +5 comments under this same article in favor of war in third-world countries, where millions of civilians have been killed.

    As it is, I don't see the CIA lifting a finger to help anyone. America is becoming a totalitarian regime and you want to protect from "endangerment" these guys, who also obviously can't protect themselves right? You seem to imply that they're more deserving of the people's care.

    Wikileaks should not endanger real living humans.

    Neither should those who make it onto wikileaks, which is pretty much it's purpose; to shine a spotlight on those in our governments and institutions who engage in unethical behavior.

    I can't tell if your post was made out of ignorance or what, but it definitely comes off as you playing protectionist to the government.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"