by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jun 17th 2009 4:54am
Via Slashdot we learn that Germany is the latest country to consider a censorship regime that would create a blacklist of sites that ISPs would be required to block. As with most such things, the official claim is that this would be to block out child porn. Of course, this is a head-in-the-sand approach to fighting child porn. It's about trying to pretend it's not there, rather than tracking down those actually responsible. Those who really want access will find it elsewhere through non-blocked sites or groups. Except now it will be more underground and harder to track. But, more importantly, in setting up any sort of secret censored list, you can pretty much guarantee that the list will be abused. A similar attempt in Australia, where again everyone was told it was about stopping child exploitation, was recently revealed to have a lot of other stuff on the list -- such that only 1/3 was actually about preventing child porn. The article linked above shows that Germans have teamed up to protest such a censorship regime -- and have done so in a very constructive manner -- suggesting much more reasonable alternatives. Now we just need to see if politicians recognize that there are better solutions before just jumping on the easy censorship "for the children" bandwagon.
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