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Tue Sep 17 17:43:14 1996

Dokumentation --- Zensur von
Text date: 13.09.1996
Author: Reuter Information Service

Germans probe computer firms over electronic paper

Copyright  1996
Copyright  1996 Reuter Information Service 

BONN (Sep 13, 1996 4:05 p.m. EDT) - Germany's Federal Prosecutor's
Office said on Friday it was investigating a number of so-called
Internet providers because they were giving computer subscribers access
to a radical left-wing electronic newspaper.

A spokesman for the office said the firms were suspected of inciting
criminal activity and advertising for a terrorist group because they
had failed to block access to the left-wing Internet page "radikal

Among other things, the electronic site provides instructions on how to
sabotage railway lines. Prosecutors consider it to be terrorist

On Friday, the page was still available via major Internet providers
CompuServe Inc, AOL and T-Online, the online service of
telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom.

AOL said in a statement that it was technically impossible to block the
server where "radikal" originated, and that the page was anyway now
available via at least 30 other servers and in thousands of electronic

Authorities have been getting increasingly frustrated that radical left-
or right-wing material whose distribution is a criminal offence in
Germany can be picked up here on the Internet from computers in foreign
countries. The server where "radikal" originates is located in the

Firms giving access to the Internet -- a network of interlinked
computers providing access to millions of electronic pages -- say they
are no more responsible for the contents than a telephone company is
for the conversations it carries.

On Thursday Germany's office for the protection of juveniles for the
first time put an Internet page -- produced in North America by leading
Nazi apologist Ernst Zuendel -- on its list of banned publications.

But officials conceded that the move was likely to have little
practical effect, and provider T-Online said it had no intention of
blocking the page.