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International Censorship


Members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign on April 23 sent a letter to Chancellor Helmut Kohl protesting the recent prosecution of the top CompuServe offical in Germany. He has been indicted because the online service allowed access to Internet newsgroups and web sites containing sexually explicit pictures and games with Nazi symbols. See the GILC press release and CNET's coverage.

On April 18, the German Parliament began debating "Federal Law to Regulate the Conditions for Information and Communications Services (IuKDG)." Final Version of the bill from December 20, 1996 . Discussion of bill by Christopher Kuner, Esq.

Bavarian prosecutors announced on April 16 that they had filed an indictment in February against the top Compuserve offical in Germany because CIS allowed access to Internet newsgroups and web sites with sexually explicit pictures and games with Nazi symbols. See the CIS press release and CNET coverage. In 1995, CompuServe caved to German censors and dropped access to 200 newsgroups. See the 1995 CompuServe press statement and the list of banned newsgroups.

The German Federal government has pressured Deutsche Forschungsnetz, a major academic Internet provider into blocking the Netherland-based server XS4ALL because it hosts RADIKAL magazine. See WIRED's story. In January, German authorities filed charges against a member of the Communist Party of Democratic Socialism, Angela Marquardt, for linking to the magazine. In September, several service providers temporarly blocked XS4ALL following a threat by the Public Prosecutor General. See the Internet Content Task Force (ICTF) Press Release of September 3, 1996.

UK service providers association agreed to self-censor. The UK Goverment had sent a letter to British Internet service providers demanding that they drop 133 newsgroups. Service providers VBCNet and WaveRider issued responses to the letter. Check CNET's coverage of the letter and response.

The French high court struck down a French Internet censorship bill (La Loi Fillon) on July 25, 1996.



Silencing the Net: The Threat to Freedom of Expression On-line -- A report from Human Rights Watch documents attempts by governments to limit free speech and restrict on-line privacy.

1993 Human Rights Watch report on Electrifying Speech.

The European Union Communication paper on "Illegal and harmful content on the Internet" discussing censorship of the net.

Investigation into the Content of On-Line Services: Report to the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Australian Broadcasting Authority (30 June 1996).

Other Sites

Global Internet Liberty Campaign. International coalition of human rights, free speech, cyber-liberties groups fighting for free speech on the net.

Declan McCullagh's Fight Censorship Archives.

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Last Updated: February 01, 2002
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