cr> re: German censorhip


Richard Moore

Date: Sun, 28 Jan 1996
Sender: "David E. Anderson" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: re: German censorship

Richard's right about the strategy in Germany and what it signifies for the US.
A couple minor points I would add:

- Just as pariahs like pornographers and neo-Nazis are the best choice as
initial targets by those whose real aim is people like us, Germany is the best
choice to impose a crackdown.  German law already limits the distribution of
Nazi materials, so the latest restriction can be couched ( and is in fact ) as
a natural extension.  Germany also serves to test these restrictions in a
democracy.  ( They can't learn the same lessons from Singapore.)  Finally,
German influence over a united Europe and the rest of the globe is growing.
This last trend will continue as the former East Germany is industrialized
using some of the most efficient manufacturing technology in the world and
massive government subsidies for major corporations.

- As for provocation and entrapment, that was an element in the case of the
San Jose pornographers prosecuted in Tennessee.


Date: Sat, 27 Jan 1996
Sender: Joe Shea <•••@••.•••>

        This article has just gone up on our Web page.  Please ask
permission to post it beyond com-law and cyber-rights.


Joe Shea
The American Reporter

by Eric Culp
American Reporter Correspondent
Bad Homburg, Germany
german online

                                by Eric Culp
                      American Reporter Correspondent

        ULM, Germany -- The German telephone company Deutsche Telekom AG's
T-Online service has cut Internet access to sites ranging from a dog club
to a pop singer's fan club in order to stop its users from connecting to
the World Wide Web page of a Canadian-German neo-Nazi and holocaust
revisionist in Toronto.
        The shutdown of the sites was sparked by an investigation of the
Mannheim prosecutor's office into CompuServe and T-Online for allowing
access to the home page of Ernst Zuendel, whose writings are said to be
illegal in Germany. The country has strict laws against inciting racial
hatred, and people here can be arrested for displaying Nazi flags, SS
emblems or giving the straight-armed Nazi salute.
        All sites with addresses beginning http// have been
blocked for the nearly one million users of T-Online, said a company
source who spoke on condition of anonymity. Sites no longer available to
users include the home page for a fan club for singer Lisa Loeb and the
web site of the Leonberger Club of America, a dog club.
        The source said: "We unfortunately have the problem that the only
way to shut down Zuendel is to cut access to all webcom (addresses). We
don't know how else we can stop him."
        Juergen Homeyer, a spokesman for T-Online in Bonn said, "We have
blocked access to Zuendel." He declined to comment further on the action.
        The address belongs to Web Communications, a Santa
Cruz, Cal.-based online provider. Chris Schefler, company president, said
in a telephone interview, "I think it is unfortunate that this happened
because they are censoring all our customers."
        Schefler said the Web Communications has some 1,500 home pages,
and it is company policy not to censor their content. When asked whether
his service would pull Zuendel's page, Schefler said: "We don't have any
such plans at this time."
        Walter Jank, a worker at T-Online's user hotline in nearby Neu Ulm
said he couldn't access sites with the webcom address. "I can't get into
them," he said, adding that he didn't know the reason for the connection
        A spokesman here said he could not talk about the blackout of Web
Communications' sites. He said: "All other companies, such a CompuServe,
have cut service to Zuendel."
        But a CompuServe user in Berlin said Friday that he had "no
problem"  dialing into Zuendel's home page.
        T-Online is one of Germany's largest online providers, Homeyer
said. The current number of users is about 993,000, and he expects the
client base to reach one million within the next 10 days. New users are
signing up with T-Online at a rate of 1,000 a day, he said, adding that
more than 30,000 new users have logged on since Jan. 1.
        T-Online's move to curb access follows a recent decision by
CompuServe to blackout a number of user groups for child pornography after
the prosecutor's office in Munich began a probe into the online service.
The Wall Street Journal Europe reported Friday that CompuServe, which has
about 250,000 users in Germany, would probably not block access to
Zuendel's cite.
        The source at T-Online said, "The legal questions about limiting
access in Germany have not yet been cleared up."
        The source added that German officials are attempting to prosecute
a case involving the distribution of illegal literature in Germany via the
Internet in order to set a precedent.


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 Materials may be reposted in their entirety for non-commercial use.