• Hi there!

stopp-pageFor several weeks now, there’s an incredible story going all over German web pages and blogs. I’ve read a lot about this and I gotta state my 2 cent today.

In Germany, we have the “Basic Constitutional Law” (“Grundgesetz”) which says (translated on my own): “Everyone has the right to express and publish his opinion in the word of mouth, in writing and in any illustrating way and to teach himself in an unresisted way from every generally accessible source. The freedom of press and the freedom of reporting by radio and television are guaranteed. A censorship does not take place.

(Original, German text goes like this: “Jeder hat das Recht, seine Meinung in Wort, Schrift und Bild frei zu äußern und zu verbreiten und sich aus allgemein zugänglichen Quellen ungehindert zu unterrichten. Die Pressefreiheit und die Freiheit der Berichterstattung durch Rundfunk und Film werden gewährleistet. Eine Zensur findet nicht statt.)

The most important part is: A censorship does not take place!

Most recently, this is a lie! Why?

Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen (Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth) fought a long and (in my opinion) unrespectful fight to fulfill someones dream: control and censor internet usage in Germany. The main reason was and is to prevent child pornography, which is a great and heroic goal. But the technical ways, this is supposed to be done, it quite ridiculous.

  • A list of website, which are likely to host child pornography, is provided by German authorities.
  • German internet providers must filter internet traffic (most likely: DNS requests)
  • Requests for an address on the list will be redirected to a “stop page”
  • German authorities will be informed about this request (including client IP address) automatically
  • Things may happen

You may now think: “okay, no more child pronography – what’s the problem?”.

The main problems (in my opinion) are:

  1. Since the list does contain confidential information, it cannot be published and so cannot be controlled
  2. There surely will be ways to avoid the usage of filtering DNS server
  3. If you tried to display a web page, whichs address is on the list, German authorities will be informed and it’s not unlikely, they will knock at your door hours later

Imagine you click a link like http://sho.rt/URL which takes you to an address being on the list. Well, there might be a knock at your door the next morning – good luck!

Interesting links concerning this topic:

Since Germany states in its constitution that there won’t be a censorship in any way, this development is totally shocking. Mrs. von der Leyen, if you wanna stop child pornography, this is totally okay. But you doing it the wrong way.

At least (open question): are you sure, there is a way?

T.

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