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News from the field

Child porn on the Internet - reservations against blocking

Published on: 19.01.09
Source: Tagesspiegel

The German Federal Minister for Family Affairs Ursula von der Leyen claims for the obligation of blocking child pornographic content by the Internet providers. Following the example of Norway, a red STOP sign shall appear when trying to access sites with such content. Norway established filtering systems in 2004 on the level of the Internet providers. Von der Leyen demands a binding agreement with the seven largest Internet providers in Germany till beginning of March 2009. The Federal Criminal Police Office, the German central organisation combating and investigating crime, is tracking down sites with child pornography and shall prospectively report lists to the Internet service provider, in order to block them immediately. The agreements shall be taken up as input for the revision of the German Teleservices Act.

Ekin Deligöz, politician from the family ministry, warns against raising the hopes too high, the access to child pornography might be blocked, but the content is still online and can be made available via other channels. The approach in the fight against abuse of children must be supported in other ways too, like education in schools and the protection of victims.

Harald Summer, Managing Director of Eco, German Internet Business Association, disagrees with the expectations relying on blocking. He stated that only the access will be impeded, but it will have no impact on minimising the number of sites. There will be other ways to get access to those kinds of material.

Regarding the question, if filter systems might be misused for other purposes like fighting against terrorism, the representative of the Federal Data Protection Office stated it would depend on the kind of filter system, if an interference with personal rights or the right to privacy happens. It must be prevented, that individual surfing behaviour is monitored.

Please read the complete article in German language under http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/deutschland/Kinderpornografie


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