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Declaration against German censorship

Send a mail to [email protected] to sign this declaration
against current German censorship and IP-filtering of sites.


A Letter of Protest

On August 30th 1996, the German Federal Prosecutor wrote to German
Internet providers and on-line services telling them that they could
possibly be charged with aiding and abetting persons who are currently
the subject of a preliminary inquiry by the German Federal Prosecutor
due to an article published in a magazine which offended German
anti-terrorism laws.

The German Federal Prosecutor wrote (excerpt): "Under the following
Internet addresses ... [the GFP names two WWW sites, which will be not
quoted here because we do not refer to the actual case of a specific
text which gives cause for complaint, instead we are interested in the
act of censorship as such] ..the complete issue is available... [of the
magazine who is subject of preliminary inquiry by the GFP. The GFP
explains why they deem the text to be illegal in Germany]... We want
you to be aware that you are possibly making yourself liable to
prosecution by acting as an accessory to criminal offences [according
to German anti-terrorist laws '' 129a,3 and 130a,1 StGB] if you allow
the text to be accessed via your Internet dial-ins and host computers."

Although the German Federal Prosecutor merely pointed out the
possibility of being liable to prosecution and although the opinion of
the GFP as expressed in the letter has not as of yet been proven right
by a court decision, several German providers responded to the letter
by temporarily (for no longer than 28 days) closing off the WWW sites
where the electronic version of the article was previously available to
Internet readers. From the point of view of a WWW site, for example
xs4all.nl in the Netherlands, the action of German providers (among
them the largest German providers) means a blockage of all of their WWW
information for a great number of German netizens because of a single
web page among the thousands of pages xs4all offers at their site. We
think denying access to WWW sites is wrong.

Beside the fact that it is practically impossible to filter the flow of
data in order to keep specific WWW pages which are stored on WWW sites
in other countries outside of the German state territory when Germans
are allowed to contact these countries by phone for example - unless
the German government decided upon massive censorship measurements
which would be not according to German Laws as they are today - we
demand equal rights for Internet providers and TelCo providers, thus
making the GFP's letter unsubstantiated if equal rights were applied.
So far, neither German Telecom nor the German postal service have been
liable to prosecution by acting as assessories to criminal offences by
simply transporting telephone or mail data.

xs4all and xs2all Internet Information! 

back to the letter of protest in german language 

Internet Information (available in English, Dutch, German):
http://www.xs4all.nl/~felipe/germany.html --- latest news 

Internet Information in German language http://www.spiegel.de/aktuell/sonv0296370906.html