Friday, June 19, 2009

What the hell happened to this country?

Today students flooded the university with those flyers.

Yesterday, Germanys federal cabinet voted for internet censorship.

I tried to translate the text:

"Rest in Peace
Article 5(1), Basic Constitutional Law

Everybody has the right to give his opinion freely in writing, speaking or imaging and to spread his opinion and to inform himself with free access to public sources. Freedom of press and freeedom of commentatorship by broadcast and film are warranted.
There won't be a censorship.

*May 23th 1949 - June 18th 2009

"It's noones intention to build a wall". - W. Ulbricht

Beneath the cloak of fighting against child porn, federal cabinet concluded the implementation of a wide ranged censorship of the internet which was free until this day. This censorship is meant to be through a sectret filter list of Federal Criminal Police Office and so it will abscond from any democratic control.

We as worried citizen are aghast at this act of censorship with which our Federal Government is pigeonhole next to states like China, Iran or North Korea."

On the backsite of the flyer they talk about the stupidity of internet censorship because it's easy to delete most of this ugly content out of the internet. Furthermore this law is violating seperation of powers which is grounded in constitutional law...

Additionally they give some liks to websites where they discuss internet censorship.
Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely the opinion that child porn is one of the most horrible things in our society! But there is no way internet censorship will solve these problems. The only thing internet censorship will protect are some perverts that are "protected" from visiting child porn websites, not the children!

Please leave a comment about this important topic or discuss it with your friends. I think everyone should know about it because Germany might not be the country getting such ideas last...


  1. The law that was passed this week does not breach Art. 5 GG!
    Art. 5 GG guarantees freedom of speech and opinion. Nobody can be forbidden to voice his or her opinion under this law. This is NOT censorship (as in: the powers that be may control what is going to be published beforehand).
    This whole idea of the internet being "free" is a misconception. The web is not a space free of any kinds of legal boundaries. Transgressing them will not be tolerated - that's what we call a legal state.

    I do see the lack of democratic control. But with websites changing their URLs or IPs any other day, you can't have parliament pass a motion for each and every one of them. BKA is ultimately responsible to the home secretary, and he is responsible to parliament, at least.
    I also see the point about uselessness: The barrier installed by the new law can be jumped easily, it does not prevent a single child from being raped.

    But it's wrong to say child porn web sites can "easily be deleted". Very often, they can't. Ever tried to get administrative assistance from Cayman Islands or wherever the host servers may be?
    By the way, the new law explicitly states that the web barrier is used as ultimatio ratio if deleting has proved impossible. I wish the authors of the obituary had cared to get their facts right. (By the way 2 - the law was not passed by government, but by parliament. Minor details regarding the sharing of power...)

  2. I think D.H. has a good assesment of the situation. There cannot be total freedom of expression on the internet. If it is wrong to libel someone or deny the holocaust on the printed page, then it is equally wrong to do those things on a web page. One should expect the authorities to be equally vigilant on and off the net.

    What is wrong with the Frau v. d. Leyen's ill-conceived law is that it lacks transparency -- we are not allowed to know which pages are blocked -- and is unlikely to prevent a single child being abused or the viewing of such porn.

    Worse, in my opinion, is the setting up of an infrastructure that can easily be misused. Frau v. d. Leyen reassures us she would not extend the blocking beyond child pornography, but her colleagues are not so reticent. They envisage the blocking being extended and I am sure, after the next rumours of some terrorist plot or other, they will be asking for "extremist" views to be blocked as well - equally non-transparently.