back to article Germany approves strengthened child abuse law

The German Cabinet has approved a law to strengthen the existing ban on child sex abuse images. The law, already agreed by two large ISPs, will display a 'Stop' sign to anyone who tries to access websites included on a list prepared by the police. Economics Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said the law aimed to stop the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Edward Miles

    Better than most similar schemes...

    ...because: "The law... will display a 'Stop' sign to anyone who tries to access websites included on a list prepared by the police."

    At least by telling you when something is blocked, it gives people a small ability to keep an eye on what is and isn't being blocked!

  2. Niall
    Black Helicopters

    Not a backdoor for censorship

    more like a tree lined avenue.

  3. Paul Murphy

    sites or pages on the sites?

    Won't someone think of the scorpions album cover and wikipedia?


  4. Sabine Miehlbradt
    Dead Vulture

    Fix that title, please

    German CABINET approves....

    The rest of us consider this law an excuse to build up an infrastructure for censoring whatever.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    " other types of content were explicity excluded"

    What, you mean, like, dentists, travel agents, and religious web sites? And sites that host lists of the banned sites?

  6. Igor Mozolevsky
    Paris Hilton


    "... the law aimed to stop the *300,000 to 450,000* requests made by German residents for abusive images every year..."

    so that's 375,000 plus/minus 20%?.. That's some margin of error!!!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A lot of people don't realize that the idea behind privacy laws is not to protect criminals of today, but to protect what some might consider criminals in the future. There is nothing wrong with this law right now, but in 20+ years time, who knows who'll be in power and who knows what they might do with it. Anyone who supports something like the national ID cards, I hope will think about this. People are just so short sighted.

  8. Pyrrho Huxley


    Is there any evidence that laws like this actually stop people getting images if child sex abuse? Is there any evidence that laws like this actually protect children and cut down child sex abuse? I'm sorry to ask these questions, but I've worked in IT so long now that I think everything should be based on evidence.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Craig

    I've seen this before..

    While I don't really see this as a way to impose improper censorship on the Germans, and in actual fact I think this is a good idea... don't have to look too far back in Germany's history to find an example of law being abused to take more power than originally intended...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Very good

    Much better than secret censorship systems, now if something gets blocked that shouldn't be, it will be widely known.

    the idiots here should take notice of this.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 15:36

    If you agree with jailing people who release a list of censored sites - specifically in order to point out that the list has grown far beyond its original remit, without cause or recourse - then there's no hope for you. The Australian list had "no interest in extending" its blocklist, either - but it did, because there's ALWAYS an interest in expanding it. Someone, somewhere, who has control over that list, will want to take something else down along with the kiddie porn. That will ALWAYS be the case, and it's why censorship of ANYTHING is incredibly dangerous.

    And the irony is that your own words support expanding the remit of the blocklist to anyone who releases the blocklist - and then, presumably, to anyone who discusses or links to the people who released the blocklist. Otherwise the blocklist does no good at all.

    And then, when you succeed at crushing all discussion of the censorship list? Well, now the people who create the list operate in complete secrecy with no accountability for adding sites outside the original remit. What could possibly go wrong?

    Either the plan fails in its implementation, and is pointless, or 'succeeds', and creates an atmosphere of oppression far in excess of its original intent.

    Censorship cannot exist without censoring discussion of the censorship, and that cannot exist without POLITICAL censorship - which must be continually expanded in order to keep the original censorship effective.

    Blocklists and free societies by definition cannot coexist - period, end of story, no compromise. Ever.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Just asking...

    ...But is it really beyond the skills of internet experts to actually just close down the offending sites on these lists? Perhaps instead of compiling 'daily lists' of such sites the police might actually like to get on with some - you know - investigative work and just close these sites down? Or don't the police do that sort of thing any more?

    Just an idea.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Thats what they say they will use it for.....

    in belgium we can do even better: ISP are forced to "block" a site that might publish details on (alleged) abusers! While I agree the content of that site IS illegal (privacy issues!! yes, even the offenders have their rights! ), redirecting doesn't seem to be a good idea.

    Mind you, the purpose of the law was (as descibed in a reg article earlier) to block sites offering childporn, ironic they are using the same law to block a website that claims to be fighting against childporn...

    More detail about it on or the newspaper "".

  15. Anonymous Coward


    This blue movie is not ready yet. This child, she is far too young. And where's this guy's moustache?

  16. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    "a daily list of about 1,500 sites"???

    Is that 1,500 new sites every day, then...?

    And as for this not being a "backdoor to censorship", pardon my derisive laughter!

    We've already seen the nonsense of the bans applied to Wikipedia et al because of an album cover, what else is out there that might contain (alleged) child porn because it features young looking women? (A lot of Japanese women appear to be "underage" to western eyes)

    Meanwhile a lot of kiddie porn gets distributed via IRC or P2P or other such methods, something this law will do nothing to stop...

  17. Andy Bright

    Bad Taste

    Remember! It's never okay to shake a baby, even if you've looked everywhere for your keys.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it!

    I agree with these censors for child porn, just not the way they go about doing it. It's simple.

    If I wanted to find child porn, I doubt I'd have much trouble, the simple fact is I don't, and knowing where to find it isn't going to change that.

    So make the list publicly available, the sites are blocked anyhow. The RIAA can get letters sent out to ISP's customers, so the government can also get details on who had the IP that triggered the block.

    3-strike silent count-down, then a trip to the local nick to explain yourself, computers seized and examined for evidence/malware.

    Maybe more than 3 strikes, I don't know how likely people are to stumble onto blocked sites, but you get the idea.

    The problem still remains that those who REALLY want to get around it, will be using tor, or an anonymizing proxy in some dodgy country.

    Alien, because that's what our governments have become.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it! (Part 2)

    There is another benefit of the list being made public, besides the transparency that we know non-porn related sites aren't being blocked, but we can also use the list to block the dodgy sites in a host file, thus preventing accidental stumblings, and improving the effectiveness of tracking the real paedos.

    Mines the one with all the ideas falling out the pockets.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I approve

    These kinds of laws protect children the same way a combover cures baldness.

  21. Pablo

    Almost Tolerable

    At least they're using an an honest block message. But the whole concept is fundamentally flawed. They admit it can easily be circumvented, these things inevitably block stuff they weren't meant to, and there isn't even any evidence that blocking child porn actually does any good, in terms of, you know, actually stopping real child abuse.

  22. Daniel Silver badge

    Reminds me of a rather splendid strip on - about voting scandals surrounding the Diebold voting machines as it happens, but the principle is valid here too.

    PREMISE: Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold) has blamed Ohio voting machine errors on problems with the machines' McAfee antivirus software.

    [MAN 1] Wait. Antivirus software on voting machines?? You're doing it wrong.

    [MAN 2] Why? Security is good, right?

    [MAN 1] Of course, but... well. Imagine you're at a parent teacher conference, and the teacher assures you he always wears a condom whilst teaching.

    [MAN 2] Ah. Strictly speaking, it's better than the alternative ...

    [MAN 1] - yet someone is clearly doing their job horribly wrong.

  23. andy
    Thumb Down

    @just asking

    "...But is it really beyond the skills of internet experts to actually just close down the offending sites on these lists?"

    As I understand it, it is not this easy as laws are different from country to country. you could not have, say, China, pulling the plug on offending sites that are perfectly legal in the host country (or probably most other countries)

    I'm not talking necessarily about kiddy p*rn but it still applies -- what is the age of consent in one country could be underage in another.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020