Saturday, 27 June 2009

The EU in German blogs (5): Internet filters in China and Germany - updated

A considerable number of German blogs like knick.knack, Lars Heise, Feistes Ding, Addliss, P-Pricken, Nicht Spurlos, Blogwürdig, The Archangel, Rappelsnut, Windflüchter, Kamikaze-Demokratie, uebergeek, schongehoert, and also the most important and influential German blog Netzpolitik have reacted to a statement by EU Commissioner Viviane Reding against internet filters in China.

If they don't cite, they all refer to a news article at a German radio station published 4.30 pm yesterday. I don't think that this is not the original, since a German AFP press release with the same content came out earlier. But why checking sources when it comes to EU politics?

In fact, I was unable to find this statement on the press overview of the Commissioner herself, so it is quite hard to verify in which context it has been said. EUobserver had the statement yesterday morning, but quoting Martin Selmayr from the DG Communication.

The reason why the German blogosphere is sarcastically reacting to this statement is that the German parliament just passed a law to charge the Federal Criminal Police Office to centrally filter child porn pages.

This legislative proposal (the story in English) has led to the largest reaction of the German internet community ever, unsuccessfully trying to prevent the installation of censorship mechanisms (which also proved to be ineffective against the diffusion of child pornography) by the German legislator.

The non-responsiveness of the governing parties (Christian Democrats and Social Democrats) to the concerns of hundreds of thousands who reacted online and offline is likely to cost them many votes of the "internet generation" at the parliamentary elections in September, possibly even strengthening the German Pirate Party.

Having the EU Commission react to China but not to Germany therefore sounded rather ridiculous in the ears of German bloggers

See also: Dyrathror