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Norwegian ISP yanks Usenet newsgroups after child porn ruling


Date: wed, 12 jun 2002 01:41:21 +0200
To: declan@well.com
From: mikael pawlo <mikael@pawlo.com>
Subject: newsgroups shut down in norway

Here are some news on a recent court ruling on newsgroup liability in
Norway that might interest you and other Politech readers.

Digi.no reports that the district court of Oslo, Norway has ruled that the
Scandinavian Internet Service Provider and telecom company Tele2 is liable
for distributing pictures containing child pornography, violent pornography
and forced pornography (all banned in Norway) in its newsgroups. Tele2 was
fined to pay NOK 500,000, which is a substantial fine in Scandinavian
courts (around USD 64,000).

As a consequence of the verdict, Telenor, the main competitor of Tele2,
immediately shut downall newsgroups that may contain pictures.

The Norweigan authority Okokrim, which is a law enforcement agency for
white collar crimes, is reported to look upon the Telenor reaction as an
over-reaction. However, Okokrim consider the ruling against Tele2 just.

The Norweigan Tele2 CEO Markus Takte regards the ruling as absurd and will
appeal. Takte states that one can not force the distributor to carry the
responsibilites of a publisher.

The ruling has also caused quite a stir in Sweden, while Tele2 is a Swedish
company. I think that the ruling - if not changed upon appeal - may
eventually create a situation where the ISP:s are forced to lessen
interactivity in the networks and apply a cable operator business model to
their systems, not much unlike AOL. Hence, the Internet would run a risk of
beeing split up into small islands with decreased interactivity between the
networks. The latter effect is commonly referred to as 'splinternet'.

Related links:

Report the case by Digi.no (in Norweigan):


Currency Converter:


Digi.no on the Telenor shutdown (still Norweigan):

Okokrim web site:

Digi.no on Okokrim's reaction to the shutdown (Norweigan):

Splinternet theory:


Mikael Pawlo


   ICQ:35638414                              mailto:mikael@pawlo.com
   +46-704-215825                              http://www.pawlo.com/

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