This is the English version of a German press release on ak-zensur.de
28 May, 2009
Within 12 hours, 60 child pornography sites were removed from the internet
In the ongoing German dispute over the appropriate action against documented child abuse on the Internet(child pornography), the supporters of a mere blocking solution argued that it is often not or only with considerable effort possible to remove the illegsl content or to get hold of it’s originator.
Alvar Freude of the Working Group against Internet blocking and censorship (AK Zensur) put this argument to the test. He analyzed the various European blocking lists via automatic procedures and wrote to each provider on whose servers child pornography was located according to lists. He received an impressive response: Within 12 hours after sending the first e-mail 60 websites were already deleted.
Further results and insights:
* The first reactions respectively deletions followed after a few minutes and came among others from the USA, Holland, Denmark, Russia and Germany.
* Three of the the deleted websites were located on servers in Germany.
* A total of 348 providers in 46 different countries were contacted automatically and informed of 1943 allegedly illegal websites. A previous individual analysis of the web sites content has not been made. (It is completely illegal in Germany to look at child pornographic content.)
* 250 providers have responded to the request, but they mostly found legal content. Samples that were taken afterwards confirmed the legal content.
* Ten providers indicated that a total of 61 cases of illegal content had been removed. With a simple e-mail you can achieve a lot.
* The examination through the providers showed that the vast majority of websites, including some from Germany, appeared to have no child pornographic content, some do not contain any objectionable material at all – therefore the websites were blocked in error. In Finland several domestic websites were blocked, that contain a critical examination of the blocking issue.
* The providers have not been informed that some of their hosted websites were put on the blocking lists.
* When made aware of this fact, the providers are more than willing to cooperate and remove illegal content as soon as possible.
* A certain part of the illegal material was located on ‘hacked’ websites, ie sites that were exploited through security holes to spread external material. Here too the providers were very grateful for the supplied information.
The process to shut down websites with child pornographic content does not take longer than the transmission of a blocking list. This shows the absurdity of the reasoning behind simple blocking – there is no rational reason to just block criminal content and leave it on the Internet, still accessible for everyone who uses minimal effort to circumvent the block.
What was possible for a citizens’ initiative, such as the Working Group on Internet blocking and censorship, should be even easier for the German government and law enforcement agencies and their results should by far exceed the results of AK Zensur.
Delete, don’t block – the motto of AK Zensur – is possible!
Released by: Working Group against Internet blocking and censorship (AK Zensur)
Web: http://ak-zensur.de/ (in German)
+49 179 13 46 47 1
About the Working Group against Internet blocking and censorship (AK Zensur):
The Working Group on Internet blocking and censorship (AK Zensur) speaks out against the Federal Government’s planned Internet blocking and promotes an effective fight against child abuse instead of ineffective symbolic politics that only promotes ‘looking the other way’, does not help the victims and establishes an infrastructure that restricts basic public rights. AK Zensur coordinates the work of Internet blocking opponents, but is also appreciates the many activities that are happening decentralized in the on- and offline world.
The members of AK Zensur are amongst others: Chaos Computer Club (CCC), FoeBuD Association, Association of Information Technology and Society (FITUG), Forum of Computer Scientists for Peace and Social Responsibility Association (FIfF), Victims Of Abuse Against Internet Blocks (MOGIS), netzpolitik.org, the online platform ODEM.org, Trotz Allem e.V. and numerous individuals.