This is an email I just wrote to Michael Schneider, the guy that adviced German Internetproviders to censor www.xs4all.nl and www.serve.com. He will probably forward the text to the German Public Prosecutor General, who should also read it.
I try to make them understand that censoring is not very effective on the Net, and that they should stop it right now. At the same time I threathen to sue both of them for free-speech infringement and damages. We'll see what happens. Censoring the Net is _the way_ to make bestsellers, when will the governments understand ?
> http://www.anwalt.de/ictf/p960901e.htm > > It now contains a digest of the complete occasion including parts of the > letters I wrote to the Public Prosecutor General.
I read it yesterday. Thanks.
> I would appreciate, if you portray the activities of ICTF entirely and > exactly.
I consistently state that the German providers where forced to censor by the Public Prosecutor. This is also what people understand from the press-releases we sent. Evenso the entire www.xs4all.nl website is blocked, with 3100 pages, in order to censor 1 single homepage. Regardless who is responsible for the censor-actions, it is an outrage that 3100 xs4all customers are censored by Germany. Without a single phonecall, fax, email or letter to Xs4all internet or the user that placed the Radikal pages on our website. If there are pages that are not accepted by Germany, then Germany can always confront us, or the website owner, in a Dutch court of law.
It may interest you to know about some developments:
There are a number of mirrors for the Radikal site. All sorts of people have spontaneously started to copy the websites to their own system:
There are more mirrors than just these, but i did not get the entire list. According to the German General Prosecutors opinion these sites would also need to be blocked. Expect the list of mirrors to grow, and expect to be forced to block that growing list of sites on the Net. Realize that a lot of internetusers consider it a sport to redistribute censored information. The way to write a bestseller on the Net is to have it censored by some government. It has the opposite effect.
The entire issue 154 of Radikal has been posted in German newsgroup by anonymous users.
German users can still use remote (non-german) proxy-servers to access all the Radikal information on Internet. People have posted information about these remote proxyservers in German newsgroups.
Xs4all uses rotating IP-numbers for its services. The IP-numbers of certain sites and services are changed every couple of hours. A static ip-filter would certainly not be enough to block www.xs4all.nl.
We have asked our parliament and department of Foreign Affairs to help us fight this blunt German censorship. We have also asked the EFF, CPSR and EPIC for advice, and to spread our press-release. A fax was also sent to CNN, Wired, and other press-services.
We have discussed starting legal procedures against Germany and the ICTF with our lawyer. If any political and diplomatic actions fail to stop this act of blunt censorship, then we will most probably start litigation against the German government and the ICTF, for damages and violation of the European right on free-speech. It is clear that censoring 3100 pages, to prevent one of them from being published, is an infringement of European free-speech legislation. We have adviced the provider behind www.serve.com, that is also censored, to engage in the same kind of procedures.
Please inform the German Public Prosecutor General that the censoring actions have been ineffective, and that Radikal is now on many different websites and is being distributed widely on the entire Internet. Continuing to block this growing list of sites would be an impossible task, what happens if Germany demands to block AOL, EFF, Compuserve, Prodigy, The Well, Netcom and Demon Internet next week ? Providers would be forced to block large part of Internet. I don't think that's what anyone would like to happen.
-- Felipe Rodriquez - XS4ALL Internet - finger firstname.lastname@example.org for http://xs4all.nl/~felipe/ - Managing Director - pub pgp-key 1024/A07C02F9