Protest against censoring the internet


(This page is a translation of a german page, protesting against the planned "filtering" of internetsites in Germany)
April 22th 2009, the German government put the legal framework in place to make it possible to censor the internet. The "Family Ministry" wants to fight the distribution of child porn over the internet, by putting filters in place at all providers (for example Alice, Telekom, Arcor), to block sites that are listed on a classified list. This list should be issued by the BKA (the german federal "anti-crime" department). Which sites will be put on this list eventually, cannot be controlled. Examples of this kind of lists from surrounding countries, which have already implemented filtering, show that sites which have nothing to do with child porn are on this ban list.

This filtering means, that german internet users cannot access these pages anymore. It does NOT mean that these sites are actually being taken down, or that legal steps are being taken against the operators of these sites. It boils down to a dictated "looking the other way". Now, one could get paranoid, and I'm not one to believe in all kinds of conspiracy theories, but with this kind of measures, the thought that fighting the distribution of child porn is just a pretext keeps popping up.

When such filters are put into place, and accepted, the temptation to extend the filters to other content will be immense. For example, Mrs. Merkel already mentioned that this way, the distribution of so called "violent movies" could be restricted. The music business would just love to step into this. It will only be a question of time, till these filters will be extended. More and more sites will be blocked. Political radical content, content which "glorifies violence" (keyword first person shooters), copyright infringement, etc. In the end, it will come down to a born-and-bred censorship of the net.

Where can I find more information?

Many experts and netusers agree on this, but all the critism has been ignored - as usually - by the decision makers. For reference, a few articles and blogs on this subject (many are only in german):

In general, the following sites and blogs are a good source for this and related topics.

I want to do something too !

Anyone who want, can copy the HTML-Code (styles are embedded) and put it on their homepage. A bit of protest won't do any harm. (and feel free to improve my english... this is a rushed translation ;))