52 States in 8 Months

Guttenberg defends Internet censorship in Germany

Posted in Europe by Ulf on May 9, 2009

Today’s news about the Internet censorship in Germany: The campaign made it to the Tagesschau at 2pm and again at 5pm (the 5pm version was a few seconds longer). Anyway, it’s in mass media :-).

I read on Abgeordnetenwatch.de how a guy from the CDU defends the proposed law. No real news here. He claims that blocking servers which host child porn would suppress a profit-yielding business, and at the same time he admits that those blocks can easily be circumvented. When will our government realize that those people who pay for child porn will be the first ones to circumvent the blocks?

Another famous argument from our government is that it will protect people from accidentally opening websites with child porn. I believe that I have never ever seen a website with illegal child porn. Yes, I opened a lot of websites which turned out to have normal porn on it, and I cannot distinguish a girl who is 16 from a girl that is 19, so I might have seen “teen porn”. But I have never opened a web site with child porn (and I guess that I can distinguish a girl that is 10 years old from a girl who is 18).
Has anyone of you ever accidentally clicked a website with child porn? Let me know, please!

Next news: Someone has asked the BKA for the contracts which they’ve signed with the German Internet providers about the website blocking. Now, the freedom of information act didn’t help, the BKA denied the request. Their arguments:

  • Publishing the contract between the BKA and the German Internet providers would compromise the public safety. They claim that seeing this contract would make it easier to circumvent the filters. Well, any tunnel/proxy/vpn will circumvent the filter, I don’t have to read a contract for knowing that. But what does that have to do with public safety? (Maybe they plan to poison the DNS system to block those websites which would also affect a lot of legal websites. Now, revealing something like that would endanger public safety, because people would understand what filtering is all about. Luckily, the methods for circumventing these filters are pretty much the same.)
  • They also claim that the contracts cannot be published because they’re intellectual property of the BKA and the German providers. WTF? A simple contract is considered as intellectual property? I can’t believe that.

In the end, some bad news: The Petitionsausschuss will only deal with this topic after the election, and they want to change the law before that. :-(


9 Responses

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  1. Martin said, on May 9, 2009 at 7:39 am

    One question, what you mean by “illegal child porn”? (Doppelt gemoppelt?)

    And a comment to the “suppress a profit-yielding business”. I mean this by itself is a lie (among all the other lies and misinterpretation and misinformation Zensursula and friends are saying). I never heard any real numbers because there probably are none. (Or as made up as the 110% increase in child porn incidents). Also most people agree that the actual spreading of child port happens in p2p Networks or even complete off line.

    But I don’t want to go in to much details. There are enough places where you can find out about all the crap they are talking. I’m just asking myself why they do this. I mean, those people can’t be as dumb as they seem to be. So there are 2 options, they really think they are doing something good. But why don’t they listen to any arguments against it than and focusing on the options that will work way more effective, suggested by the people against censorship? I don’t get it.

    The other option is, they know that they are talking complete bullshit and don’t care what they are doing as long as they get reelected. (Even if they are lowering basic rights and making it easier to overthrow democratic structures, because when this will happen they hope they are long gone, or are the ones at the top). Or I also could imagine that they are just fighting it thru now, so in the end they can brag even more: Here I’m a good and strong leader, elect me again because I can handle resistance and push things anyway. But again, I don’t get there motivation for being so dumb. I just don’t get it.

  2. elke said, on May 9, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Yes, it’s really hard to grasp.
    I believe that most of nowadays politicians (being in there thirties, forties, fifties) have a rather bad understanding of what internet really is. Why are they afraid of internet being “the big enemy”?
    Two men could talk on the street about child porn and exchange material and it would be just as bad. So would you try and find out what all people are talking about and make sure they don’t until it’s safe?
    Where is the huge difference to the “huge communication tool” internet – because it’s faster, more anonymous? Maybe one of you has some good approach (denkansätze) for me to understand what really is so special about the internet (at least in their point of view).

    Then again I totally agree with Ulf – so the problem is, that the material is created in the first place. This should be prohibited. This event is what harms the child. Not that some guy looks at it at his computer somewhere else.
    And, it is a topic that came up in the media only in the last years. I don’t think (of course I don’t have figures neither) that this really is the (a) huge problem of nowadays society. To me it seems blown up as a balloon and misused as arguments for other purposes (where the question comes up what these really were, as Martin pointed out!), taken away from an “objective” discussion. It reminds me – sorry that I have to simplify so much, of what happened with the discussion about terrorism – siimilarly inflated topic far from at least my notion of reality to serve for other purposes. Do I exxagerate?

  3. Ulf said, on May 9, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Elke: Your note that some old people don’t know what the Internet is about reminded me of this: http://www.politiker-stopp.de/

    The 110% increase in child porn incidents which Martin cited related to the number of started police investigations. It doesn’t say anything about convictions, so I guess we can forget that number.

    Elke, I also believe that our politicians are abusing many topics in these days. They misused the thread of terrorism to introduce the Vorratsdatenspeicherung, and now they misuse the Winnenden school masacre to forbid Paintball and Gotcha without forbidding Völkerball, fencing, boxing and biathlon. I mean, forbidding Counterstrike and shooting clubs would be more reasonable approaches, although I totally believe that this wouldn’t fully solve the problem. And they misuse a couple of child porn incidents to introduce nationwide Internet filters. That is so … stupid!

  4. scytale said, on May 9, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Yes! You’re so right. Our politicians (or even our political system?) are so stupid. Thanks for saying that out loud!

  5. stefan said, on May 10, 2009 at 8:13 am

    great ulf, now google will point at your blog when I enter “illegal child porn”

    btw: it’s easier to search child porn donators in the internet than to ask people in your neighbourhood … if you don’t believe my try asking :-P

  6. stefan said, on May 10, 2009 at 8:20 am

    ( that does not mean that I support these methods, I just want to point out that there are reasons to think the internet is a big enemy )

  7. Elke said, on May 11, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Ulf’s blog is at least not under the first 50 google hits when searching for “illegal child porn”.

    how can you find out whether it is in the list of results at all? I mean, “illegal child porn” of course?

    Is there something where I find his rank for the search expression -> illegal child porn <- ?

    (Hope I’ve increased the ranking now :) )

  8. Elke said, on May 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    AND IT’S NOT 1pm!

  9. Ulf said, on May 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    It might be more helpful to create links to “https://52statesin8months.wordpress.com/” while using “illegal child porn” as a link text. If you create your own blog, feel free to link mine with this text.

    Thank you for your note on the 1pm. I forgot to switch my blog to daylight saving time (WordPress doesn’t do this automatically). From now on all posts will get the right time stamp in Eastern Summer Time, UTC -4h.

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