Tue Sep 17 17:56:29 1996
Dokumentation --- Zensur von www.xs4all.nl
Text date: 14.09.1996
I got a message from Lorenz Lorenz-Meyer, Editor DER SPIEGEL online. He
spoke to the German Authorities and got some shocking news.
It seems that there is a possibility that I, as CEO of Dutch
internetprovider Xs4all, could get arrested by German authorities.
This seems a bit far-off, but he is not the only person that
warned me about this possibility. People in the left-wing movement
in Holland have informed me about the agressive behaviour of the
German government against the Radikal publications. Subscribers
have been violently arrested in the past. It was also predicted
by them that the German Authorities would not easily stop their
censorship of radikal. There seems to be a lot of old pain.
Contemplating a bit further about the risk of being arrested,
I thought about these developments on a larger scale. The first
thing that popped to mind is that all the owners of the Radikal
mirror-sites may also be arrested if they ever visit Germany. These
are over 30 people and organisations. One of the sites Radikal was
mirrored on is EFF. The Board-members of EFF could, in theory,
be held responsible by the German Authorities. John Perry Barlow
could be arrested next time he comes to give a lecture in a
German city, because the EFF has illegal German documents on
it's website. Declan McCullagh has put the Radikal information
in the Well. He and the managers of the Well might be questioned
when they enter Germany. Et cetera. It would be an outrage if
anything like this happens, but friends and this journalist told me
that it could happen to me anytime I travel to Germany.
I'm tempted to disconnect the Radikal pages from Xs4all, because
of this intense intimidation. But if Xs4all would bend to this kind
of intimidation, we would create a precedent. The Germans might see it as
a 'reward' for their acts. They'd be stimulated to continue on this
road, and may become an example for other countries.
Imagine if every country would have these standards. Any country can
order their own ISP's to block a certain foreign site. Imagine the
authorities of those countries have the powers to prosecute against
foreign ISP's when they visit their country, or when they are extradited.
These acts of agression against ISP's and internetusers will profoundly
change the Internet if they'd be tolerated.
The possibility of being arrested in our neighbour country is almost
too surreal to think about. But now people start telling me to seriously
prepare for it, in case it may happen. It would not be the first time
a foreign citizen was arrested and put in jail by the Germans for
dissiminating information. Just a couple of weeks ago a US citizen
was arrested by the Germans because he sent nazi documentation to
Germany through the mail, i think his name was Koch, but i'm not
Here is the message lorenz sent me:
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 1996 13:13:52 +0200
From: Lorenz Lorenz-Meyer
Subject: third attempt
I just had an extensive and controversial talk
via phone with Mr. Hannich, spokesman of the german
Generalbundesanwalt, about the legal action taken
against the distributors of "radikal". As is the
nature of talks with official spokespersons it was
not utterly satisfying. But anyway. Just one question:
The possible targets of german public
prosecution are not only german ISPs.
There are 'preliminary proceedings' of the
Bundesanwaltschaft against 'unknown' - i.e.
the persons responsible for making
"radikal" accessible in Germany over
the Internet, _even if they are in foreign
countries_. I'm afraid that this already includes
you. Have you been notified of this fact?
And do you have plans to guard/defend yourself?