2011/04/05

Internet censorship in Germany: Agreement on rollback

.
The German federal government (cabinet) decided back in 2009 that internet censorship should be introduced to block certain internet contents (supposedly only child porn) in Germany.

Critics pointed out that this was
(a) entirely unnecessary because the German executive could simply wake up and ask the providers to delete the content for good - with great chance of success,
(b) it was ineffective because even children were able to circumvent the proposed censorship and
(c) it was a dangerous step towards censorship that would lay the groundwork for autocratic government by building both acceptance for their methods and build their tools.
It was also pointed out that such blacklists from other countries are extremely crappy; outdated and blocking lots of legal content.




A citizen petition of 134,000 people was ignored and the ruling coalition created the law in the parliament, but the government (not the responsible minister) was uncomfortable with it. The next elections yielded a different ruling coalition and they agreed to not execute this law, not to introduce the censorship.

This agreement was rather questionable as well, treating an effective law as something lesser than a mere coalition agreement detail. The parliament's president - in theory ranked higher even than the chancellor - criticised this recently.

The minister who was responsible for the stupid law had long ago moved to another ministry and had apparently lost enough political capital by now.


Finally, it turned out that simple work without any specific law enables policemen to delete 93% of the identified child porn sites within two weeks and 99% within four weeks. The mere censorship would not have achieved any such thing; all perverts would have been easily able to get past the utterly useless "warning sign" censorship wall. Meanwhile, seven billion people could still have reached the porn.


Well, there has been another cabinet-level decision; the shitty and 100% useless law will be rolled back soon. The members of parliament should ask themselves why the heck the gubernative is deciding such things and delegating merely the execution of legislation to the legislative, but this time it's at least about a good move.

FAZ article:
"Koalitionsausschuss Internetsperren endg├╝ltig vom Tisch"

The government has understood that it moved too quickly into a direction that too many Germans consider to be questionable if not dangerous. Our Chancellor Merkel has proved in the last few years that she's capable of changing course - probably not the least because politics is for her most likely almost entirely about power and only marginally about ideology or conservatism.
This flexibility is at times a good thing, for some of those corrections have been rather good ideas.

S O

edit: Related: http://www.boingboing.net/2011/03/31/britains-back-room-n.html bad news from the UK.
.

No comments:

Post a Comment