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Köhler refuses to sign controversial internet child porn law

DPA/The Local · 28 Nov 2009, 17:01

Published: 28 Nov 2009 17:01 GMT+01:00

Köhler has asked for “supplementary information,” the Spiegel report said.

The law, which critics argue would block access to other, innocent sites and therefore amounted to censorship, could breach Germany’s constitution, experts believe.

The law was written under the previous “grand coalition” government between Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats and was pushed by then CDU Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

Merkel’s party and their new partners in government, the pro-business Free Democrats – who opposed the measure – agreed during coalition negotiations last month not to put the law into practice.

But because it had already been passed by both houses of the German parliament, it could not simply be dropped. Köhler’s refusal to sign it means it is now effectively stalled until the new government finds a constitutional way to kill it.

Story continues below…

According to a Saturday report in business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière and Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger had agreed to kibosh the law by ordering the federal police not to act upon it. However, that would leave the law hanging in place.

One possibility, the Spiegel report said, is that the parliament issue a regulation repealing the law, which Köhler can wait to sign when it crosses his desk.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:33 November 28, 2009 by Celeon
Finally someone comes to his senses.

Most internet childporn is not distributed by websites but by file sharing networks which cannot be blocked in such a simple and easy to circumvent way.

The politicians know the expert's reports on that very well so why do they put so much effort into applying such a law nonetheless?

There is a simple answer. Blocking child porn websites is only a excuse for a much wider goal which lobbyists have on their wish list since years.

Setting a precedent for establishing internet filters.

First there is only a childporn blacklist.

Once it is there it is easier for lobbyists and pressure groups to demand expanding the law to :

-a illegal movie and computer game sharing blacklist

-a illegal music download blacklist

-a hacker websites blacklist

-a internet gambling blacklist

-a unbeloved political content blacklist

-a marketing brand violation blacklist

And suddenly Germany becomes little China.
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