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News from the field

Germany: Bad marks for filter software

by Jutta Croll, Stiftung Digitale Chancen
Published on: 08.03.07
Source: Press release from KJM, Germany

The German Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz (KJM) has for the first time received the results from a test of filter software conducted bei the KJM's test laboratory at jugendschutz.net.

Jugendschutz.net has observed serious deficiencies, none of the filter software that was tested received sufficient marks regarding efficiency. Especially illegal violent content, political incorrect content and other contents inadequate for kids and teens like gambling or suicide forums where found not to be blocked efficiently.

On the other hand, too many websites with content especially adressing kids and teens where blocked by the filter software and therefore are not accessible for the youngsters.

Based on German law (Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag – JMStV) the KJM is authorized to decide on the appropriateness of filter software. The KJM's president, Prof. Wolf-Dieter Ring, regrets that up to now no filter tool was found adequate and could be approved by the KJM. He says: We expect to find adequate solutions in dialogue with the Internet industry. In any case filter software can only be accompanying measures for youth protection.

In the first run we tested ICRAdeutschland, jugendschutzprogramm.de and System-I and in addition several other tools that seemd to be state of the art, said Friedemann Schindler from jugendschutz.net. We have now got relevant information about the test methods and will have a second run in May 2007.

According to German law, filtering tools shall provide for efficient protection against unwanted and harmful content and enable the adequate selection of Internet contents for different age groups.

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