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Censorship The Internet Government Politics News

German Parliament Enacts Internet Censorship Law 273

TheTinyToon writes that by a vote of 389 to 128, "the proposed censorship law to block child porn has been passed by the German government. Not surprisingly, a member of the conservative party (CDU) announced plans to also check if the law could be extended to include so-called 'killer games' like Counterstrike, only two hours after the law was passed. More [in German] on"
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German Parliament Enacts Internet Censorship Law

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  • by Naaythann ( 1416151 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @01:54AM (#28385837) Journal
    Living in Australia I have the joy of having games censored for the localised version. Violent movies are still widely available in comparison, why is it that the games are always targeted and not the movies. There has been plenty of films i've watched over the years I wouldn't suggest to under 18's but for them it is suprisingly easy to hire said movies from the local video shop.
  • by freedom_india ( 780002 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @02:09AM (#28385901) Homepage Journal

    In the movie Euro Trip there was a scene where the guy goes to meet his German girfriend and a boy does the Hitler salute with the moustache.
    It raised an uproar, especially in Germany and many German politicians swore up and down that they had excercised the Ghost of Hitler.
    Have they?
    If i remember the massive book "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", Nazi movies in theaters were do devoid of audience that Wilhelm Frick, the Minister of the Interior, issued a stern warning against "treasonable behavior on the part of cinema audiences."
    First you start by censoring what's available. Then you start by slowly ratcheting up the local propaganda, and then you outlaw any and all unapproved broadcasts and networks.
    German politicians are treading the thinnest line possible between Liberty and Hitler.

  • Re:Honestly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @02:46AM (#28386133)

    What is the deal with these people? What is their major problem with video games? Did their digital mothers get spawn camped and teabagged when they were children?

    As far as I can tell, this is political incompetence and not a general feeling in the population. Gemany is smaller (80 million) and hence has about one quarter the school shootings that the US has (caveat: this is my personal pet theory). The politicians have zero understanding or idea on why these happen and blame something else that they do not understand at all, namely violent videogames. The general population does not care either way, so this is a topic politicians use to give the appearance of "doing something".

    Incidentially, for the left wing leaders (SPD), this law could well be the beginning of their demise. There was a public petition against it with something like 135'000 signatures, which is very, very impressive. The way the government (left-right coalition) just ignored all expert testimony and all citicism could well loose them the younger generations completely.

    Incidentially, ignoring all experts and all criticism is becoming a trend for the german government. A very dangerous trend with one stupid law being followed by the next. Especially the Internet is something these people are not using and do not understand at all. There are many that have web-pages printed out for them by their secretaries and that is the level they are acting on.

    As to the nature of these "blocks": They will be DNS redirections, i.e. trivially easy to bypass. There is already one court decision freeing an ISP from doing such a block for other illegal content (3rd Reich propaganda, I believe), because the court found these blocks to be ineffectve. It appears it took the judge less than 10 Minutes to find out how to circumvent such blocks and he was not impressed.

  • or not! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by siloko ( 1133863 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @03:01AM (#28386235)

    The golden era is over. We're all doomed.

    The exact reverse can be argued. Due to the empowerment the internet has given to Joe Public, the enabling technologies which continue to come to market and the explosion in independent self expression Governments around the world are panicking into passing legislation which they hope will get the Genie back in the bottle. But frankly, they're pissing in the wind. Human ingenuity will win out over the nay sayers maybe for the first time in history because the development of tools is in OUR hands and the infrastructure is essentially beyond the control of individual governments.

  • by Xelios ( 822510 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @03:15AM (#28386329)
    "With 389 yes, 128 no and 18 withheld votes the government passed the so called "Zensursula" bill today with 535 politicians voting in total. Now the plans to repeal on grounds of unconstitutionality begin.

    It's a black day for the digital community and will no doubt have repercussions from tech-savvy voters for the two ruling parties in the upcoming elections.

    We've achieved quite a bit with the #zensursula campaign and we can continue to build on this, get better at spreading our message and eventually change this bad policy. I'm happy that the articles here on Netzpolitik have been given a voice in the press and in the minds of everyday citizens. This new information-central world of communication brings us a new degree of openness and we are slowly learning how to use our new digital tools and open source principles effectively. Every day we grow stronger and we'll continue to define and breathe life into these digital communities. Many people are becoming more political and are beginning to share their political views with others, both on the net and in the analog world. This is fun, it's creative and it's a worthwhile democratic activity, so join in!

    " The link at the end isn't quite so positive. It asks a lot of the same questions that we asked here on /. yesterday and gives a nice overview of the things that were done to try to fight this bill. The first paragraph reads:

    "After the passing into law of the 'Zensursula-infrastructure' there are undoubtedly many people out there who are feeling disappointed. What more could we have done that we didn't do in the last few months and years? How big does a movement have to be before it's successful? Our group has grown incredibly, so why doesn't anyone seem to understand us?"

    I'd do the rest but my translation skills aren't the best and it's already time for me to be getting to class. It's a great article though.
  • hahaha (Score:2, Interesting)

    by noric ( 1203882 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @03:22AM (#28386389)
    I was trying to think of an analogy for dns-based censorship that would resonate with politicians. Got it =D

    It's like paying millions of dollars to keep prostitutes out of the phone book.
  • Re:or not! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by N1AK ( 864906 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @03:36AM (#28386483) Homepage
    What can also be argued is that people get the government they deserve. Regardless of the widely held view of technology professionals a large proportion of the population of Europe & Australia support the idea of government controlled censorship on the internet. Why did an American President get away with warrantless wire-tapping, when an extra-marital affair by a different President has badly scarred his reputation? Because many if not most Americans either don't see the risk in giving their government totalitarian powers or support the idea.

    the infrastructure is essentially beyond the control of individual governments.

    It really isn't. Control of the internet is an easy thing for governments to exert, far easier than print or vocal communication. They already have access to all the data you send (via your ISP) if they want it, meaning you are relying on encryption. How hard is it for them to profile the owners of homes using high grade encryption and find likely political dissidents, then using laws they brought in to "catch high-tech paedophiles" physically seize computers and compel the owner to provide a password, which they have ruled is not protected by the 4th amendment and failure to do so is a crime?

  • by polle404 ( 727386 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @03:42AM (#28386519)

    unfortunately, the slope is VERY slippery in Denmark,
    We started with the DNS CP filter, (not required by law (yet)), then it progressed to include (by law), and latest Now there's talk about including gambling sites as well.
    The problem is, most people don't really understand the consequences of these things, based on the spin the media puts on it, if it even reaches that far.
    all they hear: Won'tYouThinkOfTheChildren(tm) and ThinkOfThePoorStarvingArtists(tm)...
    The sheeple are not even aware that they're selling their basic rights to the lowest bidder.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @03:54AM (#28386587)

    I'm fairly sure there is. But do you think he survives long in that shark pool? More over, do you think he gets elected (yes, that essentially leads to 'people are stupid')?

    Also, rest assured that even the most honest politician will be caught in that "you lied" trap. Even the most honest man "lies", at least from an objective point of view, if he has incomplete information. Ask a person from times medieval whether the Earth is the center of the universe and he will, objectively, lie to you. If you held elections in 2006, even a honest politician would probably have promised you wealth and growth because he didn't forsee the economy crisis.

  • by pinky99 ( 741036 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @04:45AM (#28386791)
    because the first politician to state that is blamed as being PRO-child-porn, "most likely he is also having that at home"!
  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @05:06AM (#28386913) Homepage Journal

    You've not read your history books, it seems.

    Hitler's first steps in power were not to start war. It took him six years to attack Poland, even though he had always planned to do that.

    What he did during those six years was consolidate his power by silencing dissenting voices. Censorship was one of the methods. Control of the media was another one.

    Our german parliament has revived both of these yesterday.

    Which means that no, we're not yet in a totalitarian state, but yes, the groundworks are being laid (again).

  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @05:14AM (#28386945)
    They don't need to kill you for real anymore. They can just make you unemployable by having you breach some obscure child protection law tacked on to this internet filtering legislation.

    Virtual death is now more serious, as you have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.
  • Re:or not! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:42AM (#28387725)

    Really? You live in a country where the government can be Affected with noise and votes? What planet are you from?

    I guess theoretically this is possible, but in my experience, you have the vast majority suffering from an overwhelming bovine indifference, and the powers-that-be "suffering" from way too much power - enough that the small minority willing to fight generally hasn't got a prayer at winning. Hell, look at France, where going on strike is the national sport - and look at how much good it's doing. The current conservative government has been steadily chipping away at social programs and, despite all the noise and protests that this creates, the best they ever get is a set of compromises that temporarily shut people up without ever stopping the real underlying reform.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 19, 2009 @12:43PM (#28391595)
    and search for the Image and Text of the Stop-Sign that is displayed on "forbidden" websites instead of the original content. Was about time to have one search-keyword that returns you the addresses of all of the bigger kiddie porn websites. </sarcasm>

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