Our German neighbors are about to vote about a controversial legislative package introducing mandatory internet censorship at the network level. Netzpolitik has an excellent overview of the political debate until now. AK-Zensur, the Working Group on Internet Filtering and Censorship, has a comprehensive overview of arguments against the proposals. Germany would be the first EU country to adopt mandatory Internet filtering for Internet access providers. Some ISPs in some other European countries already filter on the basis of black lists provided to them by government agencies and/or private organizations. Here is part of Markus Beckedahl’s account of the action against the proposed censorship:
The net community did not only oppose the governments plans, but also made constructive suggestions how to deal with the problem of child pornography without introducing a censorship architecture and circumcising constitutional freedoms. The working group on censorship demonstrated the alternatives for instance by actually removing over 60 websites containing child pornographic content in 12 hours, simply by emailing the international providers who then removed this content from the net. The sites were identified through the black lists of other countries documented on Wikileaks. This demonstration underlines the protesters main arguments: instead of effectively investing time and efforts to have illegal content removed from the internet, the German government is choosing censorship and blocking – an easy and dangerous way out. The greatest fear of the protesters is that once in place, the infrastructure will be used to censor other forms of unwanted content, not only child pornography. German politicians already seem to be lining up with their wish-list of content to be censored in future – the suggestions ranging form gambling sites, Muslim web pages, “killer games”, and the music industry cheering up with the thought of finally banning pirate bay and p2p.
You can find a detailed linklist of the zensursula-debate here (in german).