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German government pressures ISPs to block "offensive" sites




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Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 10:18:09 +0200
Subject: More Internet Censorship in Chin^h^h^h^h Germany
From: "Doobee R.Tzeck" <drt@un.bewaff.net>
To: declan@well.com

http://md.hudora.de/blog/categories/originalContent/2002/09/11.html#a746

Internet censorship in Germany

For nearly one year there is going one a farce in Northrhine-Westfalia,
one of germany's 16 states. The district government of Düsseldorf asked
local providers last fall to "block" access to four webpages.
http://www.nazi-lauck-nsdapao.com, http://www.stormfront.org,
http://www.front14.org should be blocked for hate speech and
http://www.rotten.com for promoting violence and war and for inhuman
exposure of people. The hatepages are clearly verboten by german
criminal law and there is no much room for discussion that rotten.com
is at least inapropriate for minors. So publication of all four sides
is a crime over here and the content itself is illegal in Germany. The
district government asked the Sites by mail to remove the content -
they didn't. But we have a law in Germany which states that the access
provider (ISP) has to block access to illegal content if this is
possible and does not hurt the ISP beyond reasonaability ("zumutbar").
Up to then it was consensus that it is not technically possible to
block internet sites while keeping the Internet in a way we know it.
But the district gonvernment claimed that it was possible.

So some Providers started redirecting the IP addresses of the four
sites by hacking their own recursive DNS resolvers ("DNS Servers") they
where providing to their customers. In Apring 2002 the district
government sent a order to 80 ISPs to block http://www.stormfront.org
http://www.nazi-lauck-nsdapao.com by either:

"1. Exclusion of the Domains in the Domain-Server. In case the
Accesprovider deploys a DNS this can be configured in a way that
requests will not be routed at the right server but to an nonexistent
or another predefined page.
2. Usage of a Proxy-Server. The URL as a destinctive key for a
individual webpage on the server can be blocked by using a proxy.
Request to a illegal webpage will be filtered and access will be denied
or it will be redirected to a predefined page in the browser and
informed.
3. Exclusion of IPs by blocking at the router. The Router can be
configured in a way that all datatraffic to a certain IP will not be
routed."

Also the district government initiated a test of other filtering
mechanisms. To my knowledge they didn't ask the Chinese for knowledge
transfer. Legal battles, demonstrations etc. followed during the
summer. Yesterday the district government ordered the providers to
immediately block the sides.

You might want to watch at the machine translation of english page on
the subject
at

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://www.ccc.de/censorship/&langpair=de|en&hl=en&i

a Documentation collected by the CCC there is also an english page on
the subject by the people who organized the demonstration at

http://www.netzzensur.de/index_en.html




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