German web blocking law repealed

By EDRi · December 14, 2011

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Deutsches Netzsperrengesetz außer Kraft gesetzt |]

After more than two years of discussions and opposition, on 1 December 2011,
the German Parliament has finally taken the decision to drop the Access
Impediment Act, the law that proposed blocking access to websites deemed to
have child pornographic content.

The decision was already considered by the German Government in April 2011
after the law had proven inefficient for its initial purpose of fighting
child pornography and after being largely opposed by freedom activists. An
online petition to have the law overturned was signed by 130 000 people. The
decision to have such sites blocked was “ineffective, counterproductive and
represented the beginning of internet censorship,” said EDRi-member Chaos
Computer Club.

The law was asking ISPs to ban a list of websites compiled and considered as
“dubious” by the Federal Criminal Police Office. As in other cases, the
blocking measures proved to be easy to circumvent and therefore inefficient.
“Internet blockings are pointless. I need around five minutes to reconfigure
my browser if I want to view that material,” said programmer and Pirate
Party member Stephan Urbach.

According to many experts, the only efficient method is deleting content.
“For years, the Internet industry has been working on the continued
improvement of successful deletion. This includes securing any evidence to
the end of criminal prosecution as well as international cooperation. Now,
it only takes us a few days to take illegal content off the net,” stated
Oliver Süme, Vice-President of German Internet Industry Association.

According to Justice Minister Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German
decision to abolish the Access Impediment Act will influence the decisions
taken at the European level.

The next steps are now with the Federal Council that needs to accept the
law, the President to sign it and then to be published in the German Federal
Law Gazette.

Bundestag looks to delete child pornography websites (2.12.2011),,15575254,00.html

Access Impediment Act repealed (only in German, 1.12.2011)

Access Impediment Act repealed (only in German, 1.12.2011)

Zugangserschwerungsgesetz aufgehoben

EDRi-gram: German Internet blocking law to be withdrawn (6.04.2011)