Declan McCullagh on Sat, 20 Jul 96 05:18 MDT

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nettime: German officials step up anti-net campaign

[Subscription info for fight-censorship is at --Declan]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1996 20:09:56 -0500
From: Declan McCullagh <>
Subject: German officials keep pushing anti-porn/Nazi net-campaign

Attached is more on Germany...

I have background at,
especially when we get the f-c archive site back online. There's a bio of
German Federal Minister Claudia "International Net-Standards Needed" Nolte



HAMBURG, GERMANY, 1996 JUL 18 (NB) -- By Steve Gold. America Online's
(AOL) German operation has moved swiftly to refute any suggestion that
it is responsible for the transmission of pornography, especially
child pornography, across its network.

The refutement comes as Hamburg state prosecutors have announced
they are looking at the issue of responsibility for online service
subscribers who propagate pornographic files between themselves.

"AOL Bertelsmann Online completely rejects the accusation of
spreading child pornography," said AOL in a prepared statement. [...]

As reported previously by Newsbytes, German state prosecutors have
been getting very jittery over the spread of neo-nazi and pornographic
material across the Internet...

According to the German media, the Hamburg state prosecutors are
investigating instances of "lewd" material being relayed across AOL's
service. However, Newsbytes notes that the prosecutors may face an
uphill battle in any prosecution as there is no specific online
pornography statute in the German lawbooks, despite there being
provision for distribution of neo-nazi information.

Industry experts have suggested that the state prosecutor's
department's investigation is nothing more than a media circus. [...]


UNITED NATIONS (Jul 17, 1996 10:47 a.m. EDT) --
International standards for the Internet may be necessary to prevent
pornographers and neo-Nazis from using cyberspace to circumvent
national laws, Germany's minister for family affairs says.

"Because the Internet knows no national borders, we will be able to
protect youth only through international standards," said Claudia
Nolte, who was at the United Nations on Tuesday to discuss ways
to protect women and children from violence and sexual

Nolte told reporters that while the Internet offered "many positive
opportunities" for exchanging information, the global computer
network could be abused by neo-Nazis and pornographers
operating outside national jurisdictions.

She said the United Nations could play a role in developing
international standards to control such abuse.



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