• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Police raid paper HQ for forum user's details

The Local · 29 Jan 2013, 09:48

Published: 29 Jan 2013 09:48 GMT+01:00

The anonymous reader of the Augsburger Allgemeinen newspaper left in vicious comments online directed at Volker Ullrich, an Augsburg conservative politician who had a hand in planned changes to handling street prostitution last autumn.

Deeming the comments libelous, Ullrich demanded the contact details of the user so he could press charges.

As comments on articles can be left anonymously, which the user had done, the politician couldn't sue his online opponent. But the paper said giving the details away was against readers' data protection rights.

So on Monday afternoon police arrived at the Augsburger Allgemeinen with a search warrant from court and demanded the editorial team hand over the files.

Outrage on Twitter and Facebook soon followed, then later that night Ullrich said he would not be pressing charges after all – as long as the anonymous commenter apologized to him.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:39 January 29, 2013 by lucksi
Seriously? A raid for libel? What do the fines for libel cost? 300 to 500 Euro? And a judge signed off on the search warrant?

Yeah, they would totally do the same for the average Joe, right?
10:46 January 29, 2013 by pepsionice
Before everyone jumps in to defend journalism....consider the fact that no matter who you are....if you go after and insult people in a harsh manner....you can be dragged into court. Pretending to be safe as "anonymous" and use some newspaper forum for such behavior....just doesn't work. In the next day or two....some guy is going to find the cops at his door and taking downtown to be interviewed. I will feel sorry for him....but the truth is....you can run around doing harsh insults on public people and think you are completely safe.
11:47 January 29, 2013 by simski
This is absolutely ridiculous. The judge should probably have consulted someone on the technical details. 1) It is very unlikely that the user can be found, even if they have his user records. 2) If the police seized the usage data, they probably took the whole database, or at least the whole table of user information instead of executing a neat MySQL-statement to just get the data the need. That would mean exposing the data of hundreds of innocent users to scrutiny. It would be like raiding a whole suburb to find a stolen teapot.

This is why we need judges and politicians who know what the f--k they are doing.
12:35 January 29, 2013 by michael4096
The webserver logs almost certainly have the IP address of the poster, so unless he was using a foreign proxy he can be traced easily in Germany.
12:36 January 29, 2013 by Olentangy
There was (or perhaps still is) an international school in Heiligenhaus (near Essen) where I live. Someone, a disgruntled former teacher I think, set up a website that has a lot of harsh things to say about the school. Anyway, the site is hosted in the United States specifically to be out of reach of German law. My point is, what will happen if they see the guy's IP address is in the States or even, I don't know, Austria? Or what if the guy making the rude comments was using a VPN? Big waste of time if you ask me. Politicians are in the public eye; they had better have a thick skin.
13:07 January 29, 2013 by raandy
Olentangy they have freedom of speech in the US ,if this persons IP address shows as US , they are going to run into a wall a big wall.

pepsionice .. I would agree with you in part, but if the person made threats or made statements that are proven slanders and untrue then ok, but if the person says he thinks U is a jerk off or A hole that is his opinion and he is entitled to it with out fear of prosecution in a criminal setting, That said ,I understand the difference here as apposed to the US when we say "Freedom of Speech"
20:50 January 29, 2013 by yourkeau
God bless CSU and Herr Volker Ullrich, thank you very much for allowing me to live in Bavaria and write comments on this forum. God bless Bavarian polizei for protecting us from all these serious crimes. Good job!
00:34 January 30, 2013 by chicagolive
Anybody notice how it is getting hard for the average person to speak out against politicians here lately.
08:35 January 30, 2013 by Englishted
Ah just like the good old days of 80 years ago .

First they came for ........

Hope you know the rest.
Today's headlines
Air Berlin to cut 1,200 jobs and halve airline fleet
Photo: DPA.

Struggling Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, announced on Wednesday a major restructuring plan that shrinks its fleet and cuts 1,200 jobs.

Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Photo: Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons.

From stunning chalk-white cliffs to fairy tale castles, Germany has some breathtaking sights to see, perfect for social media.

Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd