Major German ISPs Agree to Block Child Porn Websites

WIESBADEN, Germany — Five of Germany's eight major Internet service providers — Deutsche Telekom's T-Online, Vodafone's Arcor, Kabel Deutschland, Telefonica's O2 and Alice's Hansenet — signed a legally binding agreement with the government and the Federal Crime Office on Friday, agreeing to install software to block consumer access to child pornography sites. The five companies together cover around 75 percent of the German market.

Software blocks installed by the ISPs will redirect consumers attempting to click on blacklisted websites to a red stop sign. The Federal Crime Office has compiled a blacklist of 1,000 sites, which is updated daily.

Under the agreement, the ISPs have six months to reprogram thousands of servers and install the page blockers. The government expects that, once these are in place, as many as 450,000 attempts to access child pornography sites will be blocked daily.

German Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen proposed the law, modeled on similar action taken years ago in Scandinavia, Britain and Italy.

"If these countries can overcome any legal and technical issues and successfully fight child porn online, we can do the same in Germany," von der Leyen said.

Other Internet providers who service the remaining 25 percent of the German market have not joined in the agreement, saying they do not want to risk breaching the telecommunications secrecy law by blocking child pornography sites. They also argue that they only provide the technical capacity to distribute information and are not responsible for content that is passed through their networks.

Limiting access to information is a sensitive subject in Germany because of the country's Nazi history and East German Communist rule, but von der Leyen said protecting children was the priority.

"The vulnerability and dignity of children is more important than mass communication," she said.

The German cabinet is expected to announce changes to the telecommunications law by summer that would force the remaining Internet providers to block child porn sites.

There's no reliable information on the extent of child pornography, but the German government says access to video and other images of child pornography on the Internet more than doubled from 2006 to 2007.

Earlier this week, German police announced they had smashed a global ring of some 9,000 suspected pedophiles in 92 countries. Pornographic images of children were transmitted from more than 1,000 connections in Germany to 8,000 IP addresses in countries including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Austria and Switzerland. The footage included "images of the most serious sexual abuse, even of toddlers,” police said in a statement.

Critics have said that the new law is practically useless, because companies abroad can easily bypass the software block. According to German computer magazine CT, a 27-second online video is already circulating showing how the block can be circumvented. Only the "naive Internet user" might possibly be stopped from accessing prohibited material, the magazine wrote.

"Most child pornography material is available through private forums, like exchange sites, newsgroups, chat rooms, free areas of Usenet and email distribution lists," said Udo Vetter, a lawyer who often represents people charged with possession of child pornography, In an interview with CT.

Vetter said "many simply receive the videos on DVD via the mail," adding that he doubted a major child pornography industry even exists. Vetter estimated that 98 percent of such images have been around for years and that the quality of most new material that surfaces seems to have been made by private individuals in a domestic setting.

Related:  

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

Adult Creative Unveils PPC Services

Web design and marketing firm Adult Creative has launched a new suite of pay-per-click (PPC) services.

Gov. DeSantis Vetoes Florida's Age Verification Bill, Endorses Forthcoming Alternative

Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed HB 1, a bill in the Florida state legislature that originally restricted anyone under 16 from accessing social media, but was then combined with a separate bill mandating age verification of adult content.

Bemefi.com Launches Through YourPaysitePartner

Bemefi.com, the official website of fetish and gonzo studio Bemefi Video, has launched through YourPaysitePartner (YPP).

OnlyFans CEO: 'We're Very Proud of Our Adult-Content Creators'

The Financial Times has published an interview with OnlyFans CEO Keily Blair, in which she discusses the popular creator platform and her current vision for the company, and explicitly states that the company is “very proud” of its adult content creators.

Jasmine Teaa Is LoyalFans' 'Featured Creator' for March

LoyalFans has named Jasmine Teaa as its Featured Creator for March.

FSC Submits Statement for the Record to U.S. Congress About Financial Discrimination

The Free Speech Coalition has submitted a statement for the record to Congress, detailing the ways in which Treasury regulations aimed at preventing financial crime may be unintentionally leading to de-banking adult businesses and workers.

VRPorn.com Releases 2023 'Annual Report'

VRPorn.com has released its Annual Report, highlighting tendencies and popular search terms on the site in 2023.

Aylo Responds to Canada's Privacy Commissioner Report on User-Generated Content Protocols

Aylo has released a statement responding to a report released by Canada’s privacy commissioner, regarding a complaint about user-generated content.

PASS Adds Indie Producer Fivestar to Board of Directors

The Performer Availability Screening Service (PASS) has tapped independent producer Fivestar to join its board of directors.

Kentucky Republicans Revive 'Public Health Crisis' Claims to Justify Anti-Porn Bills

Republican lawmakers in the Kentucky House and Senate are renewing claims that adult content is part of a “public health crisis,” to justify introducing matching copycat versions of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists.

Show More