mercoledì 11 marzo 2009

Gag to Internet: Chaos Computer Club

Chaos Computer Club: deletion of problematic content only protects the offender

February 12, 2009 (

The Federal Parliament's Scientific Service confirms it has misgivings under constitutional law regarding German Federal Minister for Family Affairs and Christian Democratic Union member of the German Federal Parliment, Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen's, proposal to block objectionable internet content.

The Federal Parliament's Scientific Service has concluded in a study [1] that the bans on ISPs based on Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) lists proposed by Family Minister Mrs von der Leyen are open to question under German constitutional law.

The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) feels vindicated in its opinion [2] on internet censorship issued at the end of November 2008. However, the investigation conducted by the Federal Parliaments' Scientific Service concentrates on the legal conformity and constitutionality of the bans.

Nevertheless, the CCC remains of the opinion that actually prosecuting the culprits is getting far too little attention in the current debate.

As evidence of actual crimes on children is involved in so-called "objectionable content", this should be the actual focus of state action.

"Blocking objectionable content by bans, as proposed by the minister would mean that the actions and culprits would escape both notice and prosecution.

The state's shortcomings in prosecuting these offences are nevertheless not resolved by blocking viewing of the crimes", CCC spokesman Andy Müller-Maguhn said about Mrs von der Leyen's proposal.

A statistical analysis of filter lists [3] from Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Sweden revealed that more than 96% of the servers they banned are located in western countries, particularly the USA, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.

It is quite implausible that these servers and their operators cannot be shut down and prosecuted by means of international cooperation by law enforcement authorities.

There is clearly a lack of political will here to establish appropriate priorities and to make the necessary resources available.

The reasoning that bars to access must be implemented since the culprits are not being apprehended does not even match the facts.

It has been known for a long time that the any 'barriers' put up can be
evaded by the simplest means.

"As servers only appear on the BKA blacklists if they are known to investigators, there is no excuse for law enforcement agencies not taking action against the operators. However, appropriate efforts at international cooperation and effective prosecution are not even being looked at as policies", said CCC spokesman Andy Müller-Maguhn.

So instead of taking effective and productive measures and getting to the root of the trouble, an attempt is being made to pressurise ISPs into creating a censorship infrastructure.

Once the technology for content censorship is installed, it will doubtless be used for other interests, such as those of the music industry.

A barrier that opens the way to a state-censored internet will be crossed here for no objective reasons.

Examples from the Scandinavian countries so highly praised by Mrs von der Leyen show that blocking filters are already being misused to censor discussion of the filters themselves.

[4] In this instance objective critics of blocking systems have been defamed
en bloc as friends of child pornography to prevent an objective discussion.

Similar events can already be observed in the debate in Germany.

Instead of back-door internet censorship, the Chaos Computer Club
consequently demands that effective measures are finally taken against
child sexual abuse and its associated trade.

Summing up the CCC's concerns, CCC spokesman Müller-Maguhn said: "The
internet reflects real social problems that must be resolved and not swept under the carpet.

The legal bases for prosecuting offenders are already in place; what is lacking is a cohesive course of action, including the required provision of staff for law enforcement authorities.

The fact they are trying to give the appearance of solving the problem by banning and blocking objectionable content is pure populism.

The public is being mislead with the aim of establishing a censorship infrastructure that is unfit for a democracy".

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