Because Of Online Pranks, German Politician Recommends Kids Get Internet Licenses

from the say-what-now? dept

There have been various stories in the press about people using Facebook to set up small parties, in which they accidentally make the invite public. Hilarity ensues as thousands RSVP and attend. One of the big stories where this happened involved a German girl and, apparently, German politicians don’t like this at all. They’re now debating a plan to outlaw such things:

?If, in advance of an announced Facebook party, there are concrete indications of a danger to the participants or third parties, then it is the duty of the local authorities to ban the party.?

But, even worse, one politician, who supports the ban, also claimed that kids be required to get “internet driving licenses” that “would explain the dangers of Facebook.” That seems a bit extreme. Thankfully some politicians recognize this:

?The simple fact that excesses happen on the sidelines of such events does not justify a general ban,? Wolfgang Bosbach, the chairman of the domestic affairs committee in parliament, told the daily Kolner Stadt Anzeiger, according to Spiegel. ?There are also riots on the sidelines of football games and demonstrations but that does not mean that we should completely ban them.?

Is it so hard to admit that sometimes kids get involved in silly pranks and they don’t require massive legal changes?

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Comments on “Because Of Online Pranks, German Politician Recommends Kids Get Internet Licenses”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Interesting Idea

Actually, I don’t think this is that bad of an idea, but for everybody. That way, instead of 3 strikes kicking you off the internet completely, you just lose your license to access the internet, and have to reapply for it after a certain period of time and perhaps after some courses on illegal internet activity.

Obviously an “internet” license shouldn’t mimic a driving license in every way (since 95% of the time lives aren’t at stake), but it’s a better alternative than the “3 strikes” plan as it is now…

MrWilson says:

Re: Interesting Idea

Yeah, that’s what we need – one more barrier to access. People work online, get their education online, socialize online. Almost anything people do that’s harmful to others on the internet is already illegal.

The concept is as asinine as locking someone out of society in order to better socialize them.

Drizzt says:

You should mention, that Mr. Bosbach is demanding such stuff on a regular basis. He’s a “law & order” guy who wants always the most draconian “security laws” (in quotes as most demands aren’t proven to improve security at all, security theatre maybe).

The sad part is, that you can’t ignore that clown entirely, since he has some say within the CDU/CSU and such ideas might get picked up in parliament. But as a general rule of thumb: most things he has demanded so far, were (luckily) never moved forward or even brought into parliament. That’s just a populist demand during the summer break (where there’s almost nothing else to report as most people are on vacation).

Austin (profile) says:

Mandatory Training Video

I have to agree that a license for using the internet is going several steps too far. However, I’ve often thought that when a user gets new service from an ISP, they should be required to watch a 10-15 minute training video on the Internet. Seriously. They shouldn’t be able to load a web page or pass any other traffic until they watch it. No test, no real verification that they actually watched it, but maybe, just maybe, if 10% of the total dumbasses on the internet had seen such a short video before they were unleashed on the web, we’d all be 10% better off.

As to the content of the video…well, I’d try to stick primarily to the technological end of things. “This is a web browser, it loads web pages. This is an email client, it reads and sends email.” So on and so fourth. That said, a quick, 2 minute etiquette section would do the web as a whole a world of good. I’m not saying we should tell everyone 4chan is bad. But perhaps we should explain to the newbies that what happens on 4chan is best left there and not spread elsewhere on the web?

Bergman (profile) says:

On the one hand, requiring kids to have a license in order to express themselves, with the option to revoke it that comes standard with all licenses, sets a horrifying a precedent. If it can be done to one citizen, it can be done to other citizens, and eventually other citizens can become all citizens.

But despite the horror my inner-libertarian feels, the thought that this would also amount to a license to become a politician, and wondering what would happen to a politician whose license to communicate was revoked, has me cackling maniacally (under my breath, anyway).

Anonymous Coward says:

How is this remotely an issue, and why are people all doom and gloom because so many strangers RSVP’d to a damn event on Facebook. Are you f-wording kidding me? Oh noes i made this event and now a shit ton of people i don’t know are coming, some of these pansies need to grow a pair.

Also it’s called the f-wording postal service, send out invitations the old fashioned way if you think your life is ruined because of a harmless prank. God damn.

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