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Cabinet moves to erase child porn sites

The Local · 6 Apr 2011, 11:13

Published: 06 Apr 2011 11:13 GMT+02:00

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Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition leadership on Tuesday made the surprise about-face on earlier plans to block such sites, following the success of a year-long test programme for removal.

“According to current numbers with the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA), after two weeks 93 percent of child pornography content was erased, and after four weeks it was 99 percent,” said Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a member of junior coalition partners, the Free Democrats.

The justice minister has long argued that blocking sites alone is ineffective and leads to a “breach of trust” with internet users, a sentiment shared by internet activists and the Pirate Party.

In November 2010, former President Horst Köhler refused to sign the controversial law to block the child pornography sites following criticism that it would block access to other innocent sites, and therefore amounted to censorship that could breach Germany’s constitution.

The law was written under the previous “grand coalition” government between Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats and the centre-left Social Democrats, and heavily advocated by then Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

Merkel’s party and their new partners in government, the FDP – who opposed the measure – agreed during coalition negotiations 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, and was stalled until both sides agreed to test removing the sites.

Story continues below…

It will now be repealed.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:37 April 6, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
well, finally some common sense.

Don't get me wrong, child pornography is the most vile, disgusting, and most deservedly illegal content that's out there on the Internet... but it's good to see that what started out as nothing else but a populist campaign on the backs of abused children to secure votes for Mrs. von der Leyen has finally completely crashed against the wall.

There is no arguing against the necessity to combat child porn with force... but nothing is gained by just blocking access to it. It'll still be viewable by people who know how to circumvent DNS blocking (which takes less than 30 seconds and can be done even by the most computer-illiterate Internet novice), and it also warns child porn purveyors that their site is now blacklisted and that they need to move (or even destroy evidence). Not to mention the fact that over 90% of that illegal content is hosted in countries that have very strict anti-child pornography laws to begin with and therefore provide the necessary legal basis to delete child porn content right at the source - as the above mentioned recent figures concerning deletion attempts by authorities very much prove.

The actual reason why conservative circles in particular in this country were clinging so much to the access blocking bill is twofold - far from wanting to protect children from abuse (yeah, right), the whole child porn theme was just a front, a red herring laid out by the entertainment industry lobby on the one hand which wanted to benefit from access blocking by way of also making illegally hosted movies and music inaccessible in the future, as well as on the other hand politicians fearing the wrath of the people in general and wanting to censor free speech. In this context, it is not without poetic irony that Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, chief sponsor of the bill, was brought down by the guttenplag Internet project.
14:17 April 6, 2011 by freechoice
if they block access to those websites, how can we find out who are pedophiles and child molesters?
15:04 April 6, 2011 by Johnne
This is very bad news for @way2cool.
16:35 April 6, 2011 by trash head
> Don't get me wrong, child pornography

child pornography is not existing in german law. Its rape of kids, nothing else-

pornography means that both actors have to aware of and ok with the fact, that their act will be filmed and published. In german law, kids arent responsible to make such this decisions as long as they arent 16. So its not pornography. Its filmed child abuse !
20:36 April 6, 2011 by Nemo2010
Porn of any stripe is all filth and degrading to both men and women. Rapists, child mosesters and thier ilk should be beheaded.
01:55 April 7, 2011 by Logic Guy
Well, as a Psychologist, I'm sure that the best way to combat all forms of Pornography is through education.

"Humans do what they know to do." AD

Logic would suggest that people would actually do as they should, if they actually knew how.

Again, Non-emotionalism is the CORRECT answer.
10:01 April 7, 2011 by freechoice
Have they caught that serial killer in NYC on the loose?
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