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21.Nov.2001
CCC-ML


Chaos Computer Club: Censorship is being done
A provider from Nordrhein-Westfalen (German county) starts to block Internet sites.

In some sort of hurrying obedience at least one Internet provider in Düsseldorf (Germany), the ISIS company, has constricted access to several Internet sites by changing the DNS entry on the ISIS name server. Yesterday, the Chaos Computer Club got aware of this censorship effort.

On a hearing of the county government of Düsseldorf with diverse Internet providers it was discussed by what means providers would be able to block access to diverse outlandish websites, [1].

This was in main about sites spreading radical right-wing content, but also rotten.com, specialized to collect more or less tastily picture material from the Internet, was condsidered to be dignified to be censored. Rotten.com quote thier extreme photo collection, among other of of casualties, as serious dealing with the manor of freedom of speech.

Philipp Schulte of CCC Düsseldorf in view of this faint-hearted censorship effort said: "It is to assume that the still very short list of objectionable websites will increase very much in the future and other providers will follow the example of censorship outrider ISIS".

To use a different name server appears to be a work-around for customers. eg. 194.246.96.49 (dns2.denic.de), 194.246.96.25 (dns3.denic.de), 194.25.2.131 (dns02.btx.dtag.de).

The Chaos Computer Club's considered opinion is that censorship by technical means is not a suitable way to handle content supposed to be problematic. "The massive restriction of the citizens in exercising their freedom of opinion is beyond the pale", added Jens Ohlig, CCC speaker.

Though the hearing of the county government in Düsseldorf on November 13 ended 'result open', according to numerous particitpants, customers of those providers, who are in hurrying obedience complyed with the governments suggestions, on access to several sites instead of the original notes receive an 'informer form' [2] to announce Internet sites thought to be problematic to the county government NRW.

The county government's approach to filter the Internet offers and by this to attempt to establish censorship is a critical step into the wrong direction in the opinion of the Chaos Computer Club .

"Instead of establishing technical filters, which reconcilableness with the constitutional law at least is questionable and which technical implementation is easy to avoid anyway, the government authorities rather should focus their efforts to sponsor the loom of media competences. More important than technical methods would it be to emerge a social immunity for content thought to be problematic", added Andy Müller-Maguhn, club speaker, to the club's statement. [3]

To what extent other companies in NRW followed the suggestions of the county government, without being legally bound to, is being reviewed. (ps) (Translation: mj)

[News message: 21. Nov. 2001, 15:24] [Comments: 0]
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