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German Publishers To Use Sniffers to Censor Web

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the you-thought-it-couldn't-be-done dept.

Censorship 135

Anonymous Coward writes "The IDG News Service reports the industry "is proposing a system to detect illegal content on Web sites, and block access to those sites via German ISPs." The blocks would be installed at "key Internet junctions" that would disallow access to the offending sites. Andy Müller-Maguhn at the Chaos Computer Club is quoted in the story, and calls the scheme absurd." This scheme has been floated before - looks like it's going full speed ahead.

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Re:HTTPS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#441266)

So big deal. Just get someone to setup a proxy in the Free World that lets you connect to it via SSL. Everything goes over the SSL connection, the proxy goes and gets the real pages, and the Reichstag is none the wiser.
You mean sites like [] .

In a few days (1)

jjr (6873) | more than 13 years ago | (#441269)

Someone will comeup with a way on how to get around this. Is funny to what lengths people will go to get free stuff. I will be suprise if the german people allows this to happen. Well we just have to wait and see

Re:German way of thinking ?? (1)

hholzgra (6914) | more than 13 years ago | (#441270)

it's not that difficult to get permission to
own firearms in germany (especially if you are into sport shooting or hunting),
it's just next to impossible to get permission
to wear a loaded gun in public

and by comparing german and u.s. death statistics
i tend to like the scheme

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 13 years ago | (#441271)

Libel actually usually is legal. It's as legal as selling someone near boiling coffee, or leaving the top off a swimming pool with no fence, and letting kids play in it.

However, you can be sued for it.

-David T. C.

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (1)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 13 years ago | (#441272)

I can't believe so many people thought you were serious.


Those whacky Germans (1)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 13 years ago | (#441273)

Here in the US we only use our sniffers for inhaling cocaine.

Re:Not so (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 13 years ago | (#441274)

Indeed, I can show you two near-identical versions of a perfume advert, one taken from a British mag and the other from a US publication.
On the US one the hint of aureole that was visible through the girls' T-shirt has miraculously disappeared....
What we in Europe consider life's essence is an abomination in the eyes of many US citizen.

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 13 years ago | (#441275)

does this system block his IP or his block of IP's, does it block the entire domain
That's one of the problems of filtering software, I was recently using a computer of Amerada Hess, the oil company, to access my (web based) e-mail. When I typed in the adress of my provider I got the message that "this site is inappropriate according to the standards set by the company"....
xs4all is one of the most reputed ISP in the world so what made this silly machine think it should be banned, the combination of X and S in the name maybe?
Or was it the fact that the wel-known journalist Karin Spaink [] has her Scientology-critical site hosted by xs4all and is the blocking software infiltrated by Scientology?

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (1)

Mr. Piccolo (18045) | more than 13 years ago | (#441276)

WARNING: Do Not Feed the Trolls!

It's pretty ironic... (1)

zdryer (22042) | more than 13 years ago | (#441277)

I realize that this system is mostly for blocking MP3s, but it raises the interesting question of Internet censorship in Germany. Germany has tight restrictions on the display and distribution of Nazi propaganda and symbols. I suppose the idea is that Nazi Germany was such a murderous, hateful place that the government must do everything it can to stop Nazism from ever returning. Yet don't Internet filter systems strike anyone as similar to Nazi book burnings? I'm not trying to be a sensationalist, but think about it: first Germany blocks Nazis, child porn and MP3s, then some fringe cult groups, then "subversive" individuals, then who knows what? It's the classic slippery slope. I think the nearly unstoppable nature of the Internet will force Germany (and many other countries) to examine its ideas about censorship. Ultimately the objectionable information will always be available to the most determined individuals. Is the best way to stop hate trying to filter it, thereby forcing it underground, or exposing it to the light of the day, where it will shrivel and die?

Music to fit the medium (1)

lazzaro (29860) | more than 13 years ago | (#441278)

I think this happens by creating music that can only exist on the 'net. For example, algorithmic music which dynamically checks the local weather or your company's stock price, and changes the audio to fit. Or music that involves humans and agents interacting over the Internet, using the latencies between participants as an integral part of the performance.

Look as Les Paul -- both the electric guitar and the multitrack tape recorder (his two big inventions) had this level of impact on music. I think the Internet has at least one or two tricks up its sleeve that will have the same level of impact on making music differently.

Re:HTTPS (1)

Fruit (31966) | more than 13 years ago | (#441279)

Well blocking would be pretty easy, especially since SSL host keys depend on the domain name.

Re:Difficult task (1)

AdrianG (57465) | more than 13 years ago | (#441284)

Not quite then end, I suspect. I'm guessing that to sniff traffic for offensive content, the censor must actually go to the original site to see what the content looks like. (The article is sparse, but the phrase "Rights Protection" suggest to me that copyright violations may be part of the motivation for this scheme.) This initial build of the sniffing filter rules for a particular file will probably be done, at least in part, by hand, and adding the URL in question to the list is easy to do by hand, even if the retrieval of the original offensive copy is encrypted by SSL.

It is, I think, precisely the possibility of mirror sites that makes the idea of sniffing additional traffic for evidence of other copies of the content seem interesting.

I won't be so bold as to suggest that this is now the end of the story, but I submit that we are, at least, closer to the end.


Re:Negative list ? (1)

AdrianG (57465) | more than 13 years ago | (#441285)

Actually, another thought occurs to me. What if someone sent a forged stream of TCP packets by the sniffer that made it look like illicit content was coming from something like "" and other prominent sites, and started making their system filter out all sorts of good content. It sure seems like ways like this will be found to make the censors look stupid.


Re:Wonder how many people it's occurred to ... (1)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 13 years ago | (#441286)

Imagine, it occured to them (Several of them being victims of the regime theirselves).

Information is aviable, but only for educational purpose.
Propaganda and misinformation is what they fear.

But I think, it's getting a bit off-topic.

Use an anonymous proxy... (1)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 13 years ago | (#441287)

Problem solved...

Or will they ban those as well once the record industry gets a clue? If yes, then this case has far more chilling implications in Germany than simply stopping pirated music.

What's next on the slippery slope? Checking the actual bits that flow across the net for MP3 headers? (after all, the record industry says that nearly all MP3s out there are illegal; who cares about inconveniencing a handful of law abiders who just want to distribute their own works in this format) And then ban encryption once people start doing that?

Once again, it potentially is a never ending arms race that benefits none.

"Humans Only" Web (1)

andrejbauer (119026) | more than 13 years ago | (#441292)

On a smaller scale it is easy to prevent computers from successfully scanning a portion of the web because it is easy to provide instructions on how to access a web page so that humans can easily and quickly follow those instructions, but it is very hard for computers to follow the instructions.

For example, you can have a surfer follow instructions such as "enter the first letter of each word in this sentence and we will let you through to our Humans only web site". The answer is easy for humans and hard for computers because language understanding is a hard problem.

Note that the answer must contain sufficiently many bits of information so that it is hard to get it right by trying out all answers.

Work like this is being done at Carnegie Mellon University, but I cannot find any links to it right now. Maybe if a couple of hundred of you harrass this person [] he might agree to write a little slashdot article about it.

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 13 years ago | (#441293)

These sniffer boxes are just online policemen, but unbiased because they are automated. Nobodies freedom is being curtailed but the lawbreakers.
Ever heard of due process? Ever heard of innocent until proven guilty? When was the last time you let the cops raid your house without a warrant? I know, non sequiter but damn, man, censorship sucks. Say this sniffer filters on words such as "firebomb". Then suppose there's a site online that happens to use that word in a context that has nothing to do with illegal acts. How is an automated bot gonna differentiate? Rich

blahblahblah (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#441294)

It can't be done, the German government is oppressive, there are technical details (holeholeholehole, wow, they're dumb!)...

60 some years ago, a bunch of people fell asleep at the board, and millions of people died. I don't think this is about MP3z or oppressive government, I just think they're scared shitless about it happening again. We (America) have never truly suffered. (oh no, a bunch of us don't have jobs, what will we do? oh no, we have to pay several cents more for gas, what will we do? oh no, they're taxing our tea but we don't get any say in their government, what will we do? bullshit, that doesn't count.) I don't think it's right for us to criticize the solution because we don't fully understand the problem domain.
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

Sad day for german perverts. (1)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 13 years ago | (#441295)

Plus slashdot readers from germany won't be able to see anymore.

Re:Difficult task (1)

alhague (127665) | more than 13 years ago | (#441296)

> What is to stop someone from mirroring the sites?

Nothing / Noone. 'They' will just block the mirrors which will be mirrored which will be blocked...

> Sounds like this could balloon quickly out of proportion...

'They' don't care. They'd like to build 'internet-borders' around every country (just read this today, somewhere...).


Public Proxies (1)

yebb (142883) | more than 13 years ago | (#441298)

If this kind of thing continues, I could see, there being a real need for public proxy servers running in non-censoring countries, so that people can get around the blocking software in the censored contries.

Its funny how there really isn't any way of totally blocking information on the internet... Damn the man.

Re:Public Proxies (1)

yebb (142883) | more than 13 years ago | (#441299)

Booya.. Proxy it up baby!

Just Ban Music (1)

sallen (143567) | more than 13 years ago | (#441300)

That's the simpliest solution. Uh oh, I forgot, then those behind the software wouldn't get their money. But then again, isn't it for the good? It may sound like a troll, but it makes as much sense logically as what's proposed. After all, if there's no music, the problem described is solved.

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (1)

sallen (143567) | more than 13 years ago | (#441301)

These sniffer boxes are just online policemen, but unbiased because they are automated. Nobodies freedom is being curtailed but the lawbreakers.

And you've just stated the problem. Much of law is based upon intent. That's determined by REAL policemen, prosecutors, courts, and juries (grand and otherwise) every day. You sniffer determines intent and guilt without any of the above. In the U.S, the Supremes might have a tad bit of a problem. (And If I had an ISP, I sure wouldn't want the liability in THAT case.) I agree that the internet is not above the law. I also agree that the law, those who enforce it, are equally not above the law when it comes to the internet.

This is great! (1)

Bastiaan (153444) | more than 13 years ago | (#441303)

If this scheme really will be implemented, that would be the best promotion for cryptographically secured peer to peer messaging.
For maximum irony the P2P implementations would be using code from GPG, as it has been substancively sponsored by the German Gov.

Re:Free speech... (1)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#441304)

Ideas against the state.

Thoughts of emmigrating.



Re:HTTPS (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 13 years ago | (#441305)

Maybe... but that's still not a good soltion, simply because:
  • Few sites run SSL. Try this link [] - does it work? No - because Slashdot doesn't have SSL capabilities (at least, yet).
  • As someone else pointed out, just the fact you are trying to connect to can set off the filter and stop you.
  • Someone else suggested SafeWeb [] - the question then becomes "do they block SafeWeb IPs?" Given US laws like the DCMA, if enough people decide that getting around "access controls" is wrong, it's not entirely implausible for the gov't to block.

Basically, the only really plausible way to get around the filters isn't SSL from the sites, it's using services like SafeWeb. And then you block those services...

Would have been funnier if it said: (1)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 13 years ago | (#441306)

German Shepard Sniffers to Punish Those Censoring Web.

Anonymous Coward writes "The IDG (International Dog Grooming) News Service reports "is proposing a system to detect illegal drug content on Web sites, and block kennel access to those sites via German Shepard ISPs.(internet sniffing pooches)" The flea block Collars would be installed at "key Internet junctions" that would disallow access to the offending sites. Andy Müller-Maguhn at the Chaos Kennel Club is quoted in the story, and calls this post absurd." This joke has been floated before - looks like it's going full speed ahead.

Re:I'm going to get flamed for this, but... (1)

groke (160115) | more than 13 years ago | (#441308)

Not only that, but Michelangelo made the David, not da Vinci.

How moronic can you get? (1)

maunleon (172815) | more than 13 years ago | (#441310)

Laws are made by people, some none more grown up than the adolescent masses. They are also made by special interest groups.

I don't know about Germany, but in the US the constitution was written in order to protect the right of few from the vocal majority (or minority, as the case may be)

If you accept everything that is written in the law books, you should turn yourself to the authorities for almost any sexual act save the missionary position. In many places in the US, the law still says oral sex is illegal.

Let me see...

San Francisco: Persons classified as "ugly" may not walk down any street. (we should enforce this one)

Seattle: "You may not carry a concealed weapon that is over six feet in length"

Washington state law: All lollipos are banned

Iowa state law: you may not kiss for more than five minutes

Iowa state law: a man with a moustache may not kiss a woman in public

Ohio state law: it is illegal to get a fish drunk

Oklahoma state law: you can be fined or arrested for making ugly faces at a dog

Oklahoma again: it is illegal to have sex before marriage

Oregon state law: it is illegal to whisper dirty things in your lover's ear during sex.

etc.. etc.. etc..

Slashdotters are so enamored with the fact that they can post, that they don't stop and think if they should.

Re:Difficult task (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 13 years ago | (#441311)

"Ve Vant Your Papers"

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Re:Encryption (1)

ZvlvLord (200368) | more than 13 years ago | (#441312)

I totally agree with that comment. Encryption is your friend =) Besides, since when does censoring change anything ? In my opinion it just drives things underground. More importantly: how does the german public react to this is what I'd like to know. Any german readers who care to share ? Kind regards,

Not so (1)

nugatory (205289) | more than 13 years ago | (#441313)

For example, filtering out porn is simple enough. That's why there's so many companies that do it. It is a simple matter to accurately filter out pornography


It's really quite difficult to accurately filter porn. Many companies do it, but none that I am aware of do it well and accurately. Yes, Felix Frankfurter knew porn when he saw it, and so do I, and no doubt you do too (and we might even mostly agree about when we're seeing it). But that's because we're people, and people are very good at pattern recognition.

Computers don't do pattern recognition especially well, and there's not a porn filter in existence that doesn't have an intolerable error rate.

I once worked at a major system vendor. One day they installed a porn filter. Bingo - no access to the X/Open web site!

Re:And it stops where? (1)

nugatory (205289) | more than 13 years ago | (#441314)

I'm trying to imagine why an association of German record manufacturers would want to block the CoS, and I'm coming up blank..... :-)

The article says that they're blocking illegal content (in this case pirated MP3s), as opposed to objectionable content. If there's a slippery slope here, it has to do with the general notion of making some actions illegal. That's a slippery slope that societies have been working with since the dawn of civilization.

So the answer to your question is: it stops at the line between legal and illegal, and that has nothing to do with the internet. It's an ongoing debate in any democratic society.

FWIW, the legal status of pirated MP3s is just as murky in Germany as it is here.

Wonder how many people it's occurred to ... (1)

Peter Greenwood (211400) | more than 13 years ago | (#441316)

among German leaders, that if no-one is allowed access to information about Nazi times, they might miss new attempts to do the same kind of thing?

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

kurioszyn (212894) | more than 13 years ago | (#441317)

12 million ...

My claim is just as valid as yours.

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (1)

cprael (215426) | more than 13 years ago | (#441318)

Which principle? That it's the duty of the telephone company to monitor your phone conversation to make sure you're not discussing anything illegal or immoral? That it's the duty of the postal service to read your mail, so nothing illegal/immoral gets sent? Oh, and that a _private company_ gets to set the standards used for the above, and develop/implement/deploy the technology used to do it?

Get a clue. (a) There's a reason why ISPs are classed as common carriers. Their responsibility is to carry the traffic, NOT to serve as a judgement point about the content contained within that traffic. (b) There is not legal protective mechanism for such a system. if this German association decides you're "illegal", then users behind such a system are blocked. Please note, their definition has nothing to do with any legal process, is not appealable, and can be changed at their whim.

You make the ascertion that they are unbiased. No, they're as unbiased as the (programmers, management, whichever is lower). They are only as unbiased as the people who decide what to filter. What if I decide, in addition to the "publicly" filtered traffic, to filter anything going to a political group I don't like - say the ACLU? Now whose freedom is being curtailed? What law has been broken _by anybody_?

If you want a website to obey the law, then go after the website. Going after the users like this is like citing every person who drives down a particular street because a hooker happens to be standing on the corner.

Re:I'm going to get flamed for this, but... (1)

ataltane (225883) | more than 13 years ago | (#441320)

I hate to say this for such a well-written and reasonable response..... but....

You have been trolled. Have a nice day.

I mean.... frogger ? ;)


The best way to remove a virus is with vi and a steady hand

Your Flamebait (1)

Kasreyn (233624) | more than 13 years ago | (#441321)

Good job! You got a lot of em that time.

Try for 10 with your next! God, you rolled me in the aisles.


P.S. This is only Offtopic in that it is a snide remark to the people who flamed this guy, to remember a syaing that went something like, "look before you leap". =P

Ho hum (1)

shinji1911 (238955) | more than 13 years ago | (#441322)

yet again ... stupid bureaucrats try to censor net, and people will use proxies to get around nonsense. Will we see some real _news_ sometime?

Re:It's pretty ironic... (1)

hilltop (247710) | more than 13 years ago | (#441325)

When I was in germany you would see nazi symbols on all sorts of places. People would scrible them all over the subways and public walls. Most of the times someone else would just write "Nazis suck" or "Go away Nazis" over top of them.

I really think 99% of the people who drew the swastikas really dont buy into Nazism. They were just doing it because it is illegal to do and is looked down upon. Just normal rebellious teens I'd say. And teens in Germany can also get ahold of "Mein Kampf" even though it is illegal. People are curious wehn things are banned. This can go along with warez or music or whatever. When it becomes illegal and a challange, it becomes so much more interesting


Re:Negative list ? (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 13 years ago | (#441326)

It will effectively slowdown all the traffic going out of Germany. Those lists will be big and we will probaby end up with 'intelligent filters' sniffing for jpegs with particular shades of pink or something.

Luckily in germany, post-telco revolution, I can direct dial with ISDN an ISP outside the country for only a few extra pf per minute.

sheesh (1)

lokmant (253962) | more than 13 years ago | (#441327)

what difference is there between what the Germany recording companies are trying to impose and the Chinese government? Blocking sites via ISPs, a "negative list" of websites ..

What I want to know.... (1)

Kibo (256105) | more than 13 years ago | (#441328)

is can satire be considered a troll? In a way the author is fishing for responses, and using a point of view that is something less than laudable to make their (gender ambigious, I can be P.C. to) rebuke. I'll admit, the post was subtle, but doesn't one consider the pool of people writing to slashdot when reading from it? Jerry Fallwell and the Christian Family Protection Alliance and Gun Purchasing Cooprative (CFPAGPC) isn't terribly likely to participate in this grand melee of ideas. Or perhaps I'm full of crap. You Make The Call.


kurisudes (258390) | more than 13 years ago | (#441329)

Come on to my FPS and see how well your RPS (rights protection system) does!

Encryption (1)

Nohbdy001 (265019) | more than 13 years ago | (#441332)

Are we forgetting how simply we could just encrypt our data and then no sniffer would know what it was?

Take a look at the German constitution.... (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 13 years ago | (#441333)

Take a look at the German constitution, before you jump to any conclusions.
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany is one of the most sophisticated in the world. It defends personal liberty, freedom and human rights even more consequent than the american. (You could call that:"Third 'Reich' lesson learned.") That's why the authorities there get so twichty when anybody turns up, whose basic ideology is in direkt oposition to those rights and the constitution. Be it the Neonazis, CoS, or anybody else.
No ISP, be it german or not, would be so stupid to install such blockers. This thing is gonna disapear just as fast as "eMail-tax". IIRC Some weird idea that some guy came up with in german parliament a few years ago. BTW: Prohibiting Child Porn and Nazi Propaganda (both which can only come to life through utter and absoute DENIAL of basic human rights) is not a restriction of personal freedom and liberty , but a protection and defense thereof.
There are quite an amount of europeans (not only germans) asking themselves whenever the mayority of americans will notice this.

That's just offensive (1)

Psycho Boy Jack (268087) | more than 13 years ago | (#441335)

Sorry, but your offensive claims have no basis in fact. The Nazi party did not begin the campaign of censorship until after they'd taken control, and it was really not a signicant factor until after the Holocaust was laready underway. "Six million dead Jews (and about as many other casualties of death and work camps)" isn't really a thing to throw around as the impact of your little censorship disadvantage.

Racism (1)

Psycho Boy Jack (268087) | more than 13 years ago | (#441336)

If this idea was being debated by the government of, say, Spain, I don't think you'd be calling their parliament Neo-Nazis. Stop the racism, please.

Where did you read the article (1)

rbrown999 (306995) | more than 13 years ago | (#441338)

where did you read the article on electronic borders?

Its the law, and thats the end of it. (1)

Urban Existentialist (307726) | more than 13 years ago | (#441339)

Okay, I am getting sick and fed up of all the bullshit that surrounds this issue. It is my indubitable opinion that the law is above the personal opinions of what the adolescent masses think the internet should be, and their half formed ideas of 'freedom of speech' and suchlike.

The simple, plain and irrefutable fact is that the internet is not above the law. The law exists to make sure that the common decencies expressed by society are enforced, and so help me God, I will fight anyone who tries to turn my country into an anarchist, lawless, libertarian hellhole.

What is wrong with requiring that websites obey the law? Nothing! There is no difference betwwen a website or any other institution - they must all obey the law.

These sniffer boxes are just online policemen, but unbiased because they are automated. Nobodies freedom is being curtailed but the lawbreakers.

This is a matter of principle: The Sword of Lady Justice must prevail against the lawless barbarians that pollute the corners of the web, or we shall all suffer even more than we do now.

You know exactly what to do-
Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

Re:And it stops where? (1)

purple_rider (309236) | more than 13 years ago | (#441340)

...its all downhill. Once they start, it will never end, until the only web surfing that will be allowed is for shoes and new cars (used will still be banned). WTF.

Free speech... (1)

purple_rider (309236) | more than 13 years ago | (#441341)

...insults, thinking out loud, cmdtaco, not conforming to German thinking. Any other reasons to block /.?

Re:Difficult task (1)

purple_rider (309236) | more than 13 years ago | (#441342)

I also read an article along those lines. It mentioned electronic "passport" ideas, to let users go between certain sites. But it also smacked of a monitoring system, to keep some out, some in. This is most likely what the Germans would be striving for.

Re:Sad day for german perverts. (1)

purple_rider (309236) | more than 13 years ago | (#441343)

Who said that would be illegal or unable to be seen from Germany? I think it is "art". Actually, this guy I used to work with "Art"...

Re:French Toast (1)

karmawhoeaaa2 (309448) | more than 13 years ago | (#441344)

not You!!!!

Hey Anonymous Coward (1)

stigmatic (310472) | more than 13 years ago | (#441345)

Right now I'm working on vi vi vi (Bye Bye Bye NSync rip), Mrs Jackson -- Outkast (only to be sung by JessJackson) and some other ones... stay tuned ;)

some sexy chick from back in the days []

what defines illegal content? (1)

xeeno (313431) | more than 13 years ago | (#441346)

The article starts off talking about napster-like software, and then mentions that they want to do similar things with web sites. Exactly how do they define illegal content?

Sounds a little flakey to me. What's to stop someone out-of-country from setting up a few open proxy servers for their german friends? Are they only going to block illegal content, or are they going to block what they consider immoral content as well? Are they going to extend these courtesies to sites within germany that offer content which many consider to be ... less than legal?

It seems to me that much of Europe is becoming more and more dysfunctional. France shakes its little fists at yahoo, and they limit content. Italy decides that groping a woman's ass is a handshake and not a sexist act. I'm not even going to bother mentioning the many bizarre things that come from England. And now Germany wants to censor web content for their entire nation. Hey, I probably should be the last person to accuse a country of being screwed up - I'm an american. The entire world knows how dysfunctional WE are.

More importantly - is this a smart move for Germany to make? If they aren't careful in choosing their censorware, they could incite country-wide riots by accidentally denying the populance access to quality streaming scat and bestiality video. Everyone knows how serious germans take their porn....

I sincerely doubt it (1)

screwballicus (313964) | more than 13 years ago | (#441347)

Such a scheme seems to be completely implausible for a number of good reasons:

1) It assumes that ISPs are going to jump on the bandwagon, which they most certainly will not. Being the only ISP in town which doesn't allow customers to download MP3s would be a losing position, indeed. Most ISPs would certainly not be in favour of banning downloads of copyrighted media, especially given that Napster and its kin are the major selling point for many of the high-speed services out there. ISPs market on the basis of such services, they're not going to want to ban them.

2) It also assumes that you can censor given specific "illegal sites". Decentralised networking, anyone? There's no way to censor Gnutella, and the like, regardless, as their isn't a central server to ban.

3) Even were illegal goods to be acquired from specific "sites" with single, fixed IPs, I think the DeCSS fiasco has taught us that, no matter how hard corporations and government work to shoot down sites, there'll be 10 mirrors popping up to replace them within hours. And, to conclude, on the topic of wacky German Internet censorship: We won the wars! Let's just make a little addendum to the treaty of Versailles that says we own the Internet and call it a day.

HTTP specifics and circumvention (1)

bbqdeath (314918) | more than 13 years ago | (#441349)

I'm not so sure filters looking for requests made to "" are likely to be a big problem, as the HTTP client only tells the hostname to the DNS resolver to get the IP address and optionally to the host itself in the Referer [sic] and Host headers.

You think that's bad... (1)

LetsRiot! (314931) | more than 13 years ago | (#441350)

Fascists in the GOP (led by Barr) are pushing through legislation that will make political assassination legal! Seriously... Privacy is important, but the GOP is being wide open about wanting to kill those who don't agree.

Dumb f&*king bigot. Must be a Republican. (1)

LetsRiot! (314931) | more than 13 years ago | (#441351)

You ignorant f%#king Nazi. Germany would have won the war, except for the fact that after they drove out/killed all their Jewish scientists they just wern't smart enough to pull it off, dumbass.

Sounds infeasible to me (2)

jbuhler (489) | more than 13 years ago | (#441352)

Regardless of the moral and legal implications of this plan, it sounds technically infeasible.

* First, consider the problem of blocking data coming through proxies based outside Germany. I suppose the RPS would have to block all such proxies, *if* they can be found

* Second, the proposal to filter by URL and return a human-readable reply in response to surfing an illegal site (a nice dialog box) seems to imply that filtering would have to be done through a transparent HTTP proxy. Such a proxying service would be extremely resource-intensive and might
cause unexpected problems if the transparency is not perfect.

* Third, there are a variety of countermeasures that site maintainers can take to make it difficult for an automated sniffer to discover illegal content, or, having done so, to properly block just those sites. A simple countermeasure would be to discover the domain or IP block that hosts the sniffers, then deny HTTP requests from that source.

I suppose this scheme might be good enough to discourage casual downloads by the majority of people. It might even be socially acceptable, provided it doesn't cause problems for unblocked sites. However, anyone who cares enough to work around the blocks (which is likely equivalent to the set of people who put up with trawling Napster and Gnutella today) can do so. Not much of a contender in the online arms race, methinks.

Of course, if one only intends to enforce the ban selectively...

These snifferbots work for Record Companies (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 13 years ago | (#441353)

The automated systems will work for the Record Comapanies, enforcing a record companies idea of what's illegal, and what is not. Naturally, this idea may conflict with what society wants, needs, and has agreed upon.

Corporate control and corporate censorship all utimately benifit a corporation's income-- not the needs, desires and ideals of society. In other words, if a population suffers from censorship imposed by a democratic governemnt, they can work to remove or adjust such a regime. They cannot do that with similar controls imposed by a corporation...

For a technical solution... (2)

jsm (5728) | more than 13 years ago | (#441354)

As luck would have it, a new version of this [] was released today.

But certainly, even in the presence of such technical workarounds, we must directly confront what the German publishers are doing. It's always better to have the law on your side than to have their guns pointed at you.

It's just a corporate desiderata... (2)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 13 years ago | (#441355)

This is not a legal proposal, but simply a crybaby corporate desiderata, from an industry that is unable to conceive means of competing in the digital age.

Of course, in a corrupt legal environment such as the one in the US, such crybaby wants pass, but not in a civilized european country such as Germany, which, in any case, has to answer to a higher legal authority, the European Union.


Place your bets... (2)

Teferi (16171) | more than 13 years ago | (#441357)

how many invocations of Godwin's Law on this? anyone? :)

"If ignorance is bliss, may I never be happy.

Re:Not so (2)

DGolden (17848) | more than 13 years ago | (#441359)

Different countries (and people) can have different ideas about what constitutes porn in the first place - for example, naked woman-breasts aren't considered pornographic across much of europe (and naked saggy-man-breasts are hardly pornographic, just unpleasant) - but run them by a fundamentalist muslim or christian, and see what happens.

Re:HTTPS (2)

jonathanclark (29656) | more than 13 years ago | (#441360)

If you block all traffic to a specific site then SSL doesn't help. Because of the nature of SSL server cannot virtual host SSL so they will never have to worry about blocking multiple sites based on IP.

SSL would prevent them from blocking individual URLs because they can't read the HTTP request. You can always get around any filtering system using a proxy that supports SSL (unless they block all proxies...) but Joe Consumer is probably not going to figure that out.

One interesting aspect of SSL, is that it can be used to tunnel any data, not just HTTP request (see this [] ) so you could use it to access Napster servers.

Traci Lords (2)

British (51765) | more than 13 years ago | (#441361)

I wonder if Traci Lords movies are filtered. After all, Traci Lords films are legal in Germany, when she was doing them at the tender age of 16. Yet in the USA, it's considered K I D D I E P O R N

Re:Difficult task (2)

AdrianG (57465) | more than 13 years ago | (#441364)

There's an easy answer to this. The mirror sites can require access through SSL. The content would be encrypted, and the sniffers wouldn't be able to read it.


Negative list ? (2)

mbyte (65875) | more than 13 years ago | (#441365)

That means that they keep track of the websites ...

Finnaly we can give those DDoS attachs a reall victim :)

(just imagine how fast ISP's going to dump this shit, if their computers spend ages checking this stupid lists ! )

Samba Information HQ

sniffers? (2)

po_boy (69692) | more than 13 years ago | (#441366)

I'd hate to be the guy who has to sniff all of the links on slashdot. Those have to smell horrible.

All your dangifiknow [] are belong to us.

Re:Difficult task (2)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | more than 13 years ago | (#441367)

> The censor must actually go to the original site to see what the content looks like.

If the site uses https, then all the sniffer sees is that somebody accessed that site. But not the exact path of the contents, because the request is encrypted as well! all we need to do is to have some neutral cover page, and stick the interesting contents deep down in the site, after a long path. Thus, even "going to the site" won't help, because the censor wouldn't known where exactly to go...

The only solution to this (for the censor) seems indeed to maintain the filter rules by hand, or to use search engines to find exact URLs of potentially questionnable content.

Re:Difficult task (2)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | more than 13 years ago | (#441368)

Very smart! The same method could actually actually also be used to access the original site... End of story.

Re:I'm going to get flamed for this, but... (2)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | more than 13 years ago | (#441369)

Quick! Somebody please moderate the parent as funny! Frogger a violent game? Oh my God!

Um. Question. (2)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#441370)

What is their definition of offensive and/or objectionable? To one person, things such as instructions on how to make a fur coat might be offensive. To others, sites advocating abortion might be offensive. If the government decides what is permissible and what isn't, the German people will be the worse off for it. What will likely happen is the subjects that offend the policy-makers will be blocked, whether the public finds them offensive or not.

Not to sound nutty, but this is frighteningly like an Internet equivalent of Soviet reaction to opposition to official policy. They would take dissenters and confine them to asylums until they were "competent" enough to rejoin society. While the German government isn't doing anything quite that severe, by defining social standards, it reduces its population's freedom to think unorthodox thoughts.

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (2) (142825) | more than 13 years ago | (#441374)

What is wrong with requiring that websites obey the law? Nothing! There is no difference betwwen a website or any other institution - they must all obey the law. I agree! If a website violates the law, then file charges, have a trial, throw the person in jail.

What you are talking about is having someone think that they may violate the law, then just shut it down. In the United States, there is a thinking called due process.

Not, if you don't like it, shut it down. It is legal to publish Penthouse, Playboy. It is legal to publish instructions on how to make a bomb. It is legal to express opinion that is not flattering. Libel is not legal, but you have to prove that the statements aren't true. You are not supposed to use a libel lawsuit to silence critism [] .

If approve of someone censoring what you don't like, someone may not like censor what you say and censor you.

Re:I'm going to get flamed for this, but... (2)

sallen (143567) | more than 13 years ago | (#441375)

I'll respond on the basis you are sincere about your comments. There are two areas that need to be addressed based upon your post. The first is the technological, the second is the subjective basis of the censorship you wish to support.

From the technical aspect, you seem to indicate that it 'shouldn't take too much work' to work out the bugs. Using your example to differentiate between legitimate artwork like DiVinci's David vs. troll goat porn. Not having seen troll goat porn, but having seen David, how do you make the distinction? You ban a site because something scanning it determines what... body parts? David and Venus have the body parts you wish to ban, just generally not in the same context of the porn. Should it be possible to develop scanning that can in someway actually determine those 'parts' are within a picture, how do you determine which picture they are, technically. (Besides, every time the software ran up against a piece by Picasso, it'd probably bomb.) As for the original post, they're talking about music downloads. They certainly can't ban a site because some music title with a download happens to be present.. so what? they download the file and check the digital contents to see if it matches some supported music catalog? It's been shown that one can alter bits within a music download and yet there is not enough change to be noticed by the listener. So you check length? checksum some total? That doesn't work. And even if you could, are you going have every recording ever made of every piece of work and with every arrangement? One copyrighted piece of music sung with 3 instruments in no way is going to be identified the same as the same piece of music sung by one person with 3 backup singers and the berlin philoharmonic orchestra. Also, back to the porn issue, you do realize that includes text as well as pictures. IS there going to be a way for the system to determine porn stories from someone's thesis on language and it's demise in the 20th and 21st century. based upon what. Words? Those could be the same. We definitely have problems here.

From the subjective censorship side. You made the distinction between legitimate artwork like DiVinci's David and goat troll porn. That's your conclusion, and valid for you. Of course, you do realize that there will be many who consider the statue of David as porn. IS that for you to decide or them? Since you've made that subjective decision already, I'm guessing you believe that it's art. For you and your family, you can make that decision. Is it wise to leave that to somebody else? You say there's no 'need' to see porn. I don't disagree. Someone said there's no 'need' to see Friends, and I'd also agree. But isn't that up to you? If THEY (whoever controls this mechanism) feel there's no NEED to see works by DiVinci, are you still in agreement? Isn't that your decision? What happens when THEY feel there's no need to see a posting critical of a public official, would you agree? What if a country wanted to block news of internal problems because it'd look bad to the world. You would agree? I happened to be disgusted in how some arrogant members of the press handled coverage of the Gulf War (yet wasn't at all displased when they were captured). Was there a 'need' to see coverage? Could THEY have decided no? I totally feel, whether some were arrogant or not, there WAS a NEED to see the coverage, but that's my opinion. What's yours? Oops, then again, neither of our opinions will be necessary since it'd make no difference if THEY were controlling things.

This doesn't even get into the legal aspects. But it doesn't seem to work both because of technology or ethics. It seems to be a knee-JERK reaction for an expediant method to protect what... the top 100 or so of some corporations current music. (And I'm all for copyright protection, don't get me wrong. But it needs to be protected without infringing on everyone else.) Are YOU going to protect those who are mistakenly blocked? You don't feel that matters? If they block what you see as art, that's acceptable? I don't necessarily disagree with what you see as desirable, but I do see blinders on as to what it actually ends up doing. But that's your opinion, and you have a right to it... at least for now. Who knows once the software is installed (as even your message, containing such words as 'porn' 'bomb making' and 'illicit drugs' could easily have your words banned. I'm all for stopping crime, but this isn't the way.

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (2)

slashdoter (151641) | more than 13 years ago | (#441380)

The problem is implementation, Look for the story about, the FBI was investigating them and if all they had to do was push a button to stop the site there would be great pressure to do so. I doubt you would find any person that would say child porn should be allowed on the internet ( or kitties in jars ) but it concerns me when we start a system that can cut off parts of the net.

What if Joe blow has a kiddy Pr0n site on his box, does this system block his IP or his block of IP's, does it block the entire domain. There is just to much power that could be derived from this thing. This type of system has the power to walk all over freesspeach, and even if most countries don't respect free speech, I do and that is why I don't want this. If you need another angle to look at this just think about the horror stories dealing with filtering software.


I can see it now... (2)

slashdoter (151641) | more than 13 years ago | (#441381)

Were sorry, this site your trying to view ( been blocked due to the following content

MP3 files,Hacking,DMCA violations,Pr0n

Please contact the owner of the site to correct the problem, after the $XX reactivation fee is payed you will be reconnected to (http://www.slashdot.olg)


Think outside the box (2)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 13 years ago | (#441382)

Let's think outside the box a little. In terms of software, how credible do you think the free information movement would be if we had all the rhetoric without any concrete accomplishments like Linux, gcc, GIMP, etc.? Because the free information movement has accomplished these things in the area of software, we can use these examples to try to influence politicians to take free information seriously, and not to buy the Microsoft line wholesale.

Where are the corresponding accomplishments of free information in the area of music? Mutopia [] is great, but its contents were all public domain already. If you look in the relevant dmoz category [] , there is virtually no music that has been intentionally made into copylefted free information by the composer.

As long as free software could be successfully portrayed as a synonym for warez, it was hard to make any political progress. Same goes for music. As long as the free music scene on the internet consists of nothing but downloading MP3s illegally, it's going to be very hard to accomplish anything against the overreaching of the copyright holders.

The Assayer [] - free-information book reviews

Re:I'm going to get flamed for this, but... (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#441383)

There is a critical flaw in your logic argument. It is called "practicality".

Let's face it, no one has a legitimate need to view pornography or bomb making schematics or the formulas for illicit drugs.

Let's face it, no one has a legitimate need to watch "Friends."

But two of the three things you listed (bomb-making schematics and the formulas for drugs) have the real possiblity of killing the participent, or others around the participent. Viewing pornography perhaps doesn't hurt the viewer, but the person who is performing the pornography is often forced into the situation due to lack of money/lack of education about alternatives.

Watching Friends, while perhaps "mindwarping", will not kill you (unless, perchance, your TV blows up; or the roof caves in while you are sitting there watching it). There is a far greater chance that you will be killed by the other things.

That's why, at some small shred of a level, there's a reason for the laws against them. Independence doesn't just protect your personal rights, and also the rights of others from your actions.

Logicians seem to have this weird problem binding "truth" with "reality". This is not a signature, but an easily viewed argument considering the above guy's post, which was totally moronic.

Carmack is an elitist, pseudonerd bastard.

No more lawyers! (2)

BlowCat (216402) | more than 13 years ago | (#441384)

If that system can determine what is legal and what is not, then Germany will no longer need lawyers!

Re:Its the law, and thats the end of it. (2)

sheetsda (230887) | more than 13 years ago | (#441386)

I believe you're misinterpretting most of the arguments against these types of systems. The primary reason most people don't like these systems is that they can easily be fooled. The fact that they are automated is the problem, computers have no sense of humor, irony, etc... and therefore cannot judge the difference between a illegal site and a parody. An excelent example is [] , the site seems to actually offer crack until you click on "buy", at which point it sends you to a page which makes fun of you for being a crack addict. Any computer system would pick up on that domain and block it when it is in fact harmless, and more than likely, not illegal because its a parody. Therefore, someones freedom is being curtailed.

"// this is the most hacked, evil, bastardized thing I've ever seen. kjb"

US: different methods, same effect (2)

q000921 (235076) | more than 13 years ago | (#441387)

So,if Germany decides to implement blocking at the ISP level, how is that different from the US? In the US, if the police believe that you have or publish "bad" content (pirated, objectionable, etc.) they can confiscate your computers and media, without any trial or due process.

I think many people in the US live in a state of denial in this area. There are lots of rights guaranteed on paper or assumed to exist, but in reality, when it comes to privacy, freedoms, and protection from unreasonable government actions, the situation is considerably worse than in many other countries. Many policy decisions in the US seem to be hidden behind code words, and informed public debate seems to rarely takes place.

I think it would be unfortunate if Germany adopted this proposed policy (and that's all it is for now). But at least there is an open debate about it and the cards are on the table. I think if it were to be implemented, it would likely come along with other legal provisions that protect consumers. For example, one thing to put on the table for the purpose of negotiations might be a requirement for publishers to publish their content in formats that allow copying. That could be a reasonable tradeoff, giving publishers a bit more confidence that they can effectively shut down pirate sites, in return for publishing stuff in a way that doesn't lock it up in perpetuity.

Difficult task (2)

litheum (242650) | more than 13 years ago | (#441388)

What is to stop someone from mirroring the sites? Sounds like this could balloon quickly out of proportion...

app layer content filtering? (2)

ViVeLaMe (305695) | more than 13 years ago | (#441389)

don't they need application layer content filtering to get what they want? :-)
i mean, with virtual hosting, they can't filter on IP, since on the same IP you could get those nasty mp3s, and right next to this, some innocent homepage?

so they have to filter on the http request.
http transparent proxying for everyone.
now how *expensive* and painfully slow is that? :-)
i can't see how they can get *one* isp to do this.

Stan (2)

stigmatic (310472) | more than 13 years ago | (#441390)

sung to Eminem's "Stan"... retouched...

Slashdot's gone cold I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all
The morning blue screen on my Windows and I can't script at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray but your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad -- it's not so bad

Dear Rob, I wrote but you still ain't callin
I left my email, my ICQ, and my yahoo chat at the bottom
I sent two emails back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em
There probably was a problem with your postfix or somethin
Sometimes I scribble email addees too sloppy when I jot 'em
but anyways; fsck it, what's been up? Man how's your boxes?
My boxes is linux too, I'm bout to be a compiler
once I learn gcc,
I'ma go on and compile for hours
I read about your Palm Pilot too I'm sorry
I had a friend lose his Palm over at the airport in Maradonna
I know you probably hear this everyday, but I'm your biggest fan
I even read all your Linux news and Microsoft posts man
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man
I like the way you sold /. to Andover man, that shit was fat
Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,
just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
This is Stan

Dear Rob, you still ain't called or wrote, I hope you have a chance
I ain't mad - I just think it's FSCKED UP you don't answer fans
If you didn't wanna talk to me outside your Linux World
you didn't have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew
That's my Senior sys admin he's only 26 years old
We waited on a 9600 baud for you,
four hours and you just said, "No."
That's pretty shitty man - you're like his fsckin idol
He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do
I ain't that mad though, I just don't like bein lied to
Remember when we met in Boston - you said if I'd write you
you would write back - see I'm just like you in a way
I never had a clue about shit either
I used to gcc shit with my wife then beat her
I can relate to what you're saying in your page
so when I feel like rmusering I read Slashdot to begin the rage
cause I don't really got shit else so that shit helps when I'm depressed
I even got a tattoo of slashdot across the chest
Sometimes I even packet myself to see how much it floods
It's like adrenaline, the DDoS is such a sudden rush of blood
See everything you say is real, and I respect you cause you tell it
My girlfriend's jealous cause I talk about you 24/7
But she don't know you like I know you Rob, no one does
She don't know what it was like for people like us growin up
You gotta call me man, I'll be the biggest fan you'll ever lose
Sincerely yours, Stan -- P.S.
We should be together too

Dear Mister-I'm-Too-Good-To-Waste-A-Packet-On-My-Fans,
this'll be the last packet I ever send your ass
It's been six months and still no word - I don't deserve it?
I know you got my last two emails
I wrote the @ signs on 'em perfect
So this is my payload I'm sending you, I hope you hear it
I'm on my modem now, 9600 baud do you fear it
Hey Rob, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to code?
You know the song that was written on the comode
about that little turd that could've saved that other turd from drowning
but didn't instead he left the person on the toilet shitting
That's kinda how shit is, you coulda rescued me from drowning
Now it's too late - I'm on a 1000 downloads now, I'm drowsy
and all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call
I hope you know I ripped +ALL+ of your pictures off the wall
I love you Rob, we coulda been together, think about it
You ruined it now, I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it
And when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you SCREAM about it
I hope your conscience EATS AT YOU and you can't BREATHE without me
See Rob {*screaming*} Shut up bitch! I'm tryin to code
Hey Rob, that's my senior admin screamin from the comode
but I didn't cut the power off, I just rebooted, see I ain't like you
cause if rm -rf'd we'd suffer more, and then the boxes die too
Well, gotta go, I'm almost BGP bridged now
Oh shit, I forgot, how'm I supposed to send this packet out?

Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy
You said your box is running now, how'd you like your gcc?
Look, I'm really flattered you would install 7.0 Redhat
and here's an autograph for your senior sys admin
I wrote it on the Starter cap
I'm sorry I didn't see you at the show, I musta missed you
Don't think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you
But what's this shit you said about you like to DDoS lamers too?
I say that shit just clownin dog,
c'mon - how fucked up is you?
You got some issues Stan, I think you need some counseling
so heres some more Linux stories to keep your ass busy when you get down some
And what's this shit about us meant to be together?
I sold Slashdot for thousands so now I'm a single rich geeky jetsetter
I really think you and your boxes need each other
or maybe you just need to treat them better
I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time
before you hurt yourself, I think that you'll be doin just fine
if you relax a little, I'm glad I inspire you but Stan
why are you so mad? Try to understand, that overclocking requires some stronger fans
I just don't want you to do some crazy shit
I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick
Some dude was drunk and switched his router for a bridge
and his packets were blackholed, and his DNS couldn't get digged
and in the colo they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to
Come to think about, his name was.. it was you

sil @ antioffline

I live in Germany! (2)

Dreckarsch (314892) | more than 13 years ago | (#441391)

I live in a country where there is no REAL freedom of speech. Oh, yes, the German constitution does have some provisions for what they call "free speech" but watch what happens when I deny what they call the holocaust or ridicule or belittle jews or other unpopular minorities.. Oh and yes: Blasphemy. That's a criminal offense according to the German Penal Code. Ridule God, a religious community or Weltanschauung.. and you could get fined and/or sent to jail for something like that. You Americans on /. take all the freedom you have _left_ for granted. They've been taking away your "radical freedoms" for quiet some time now but even so you still enjoy a lot less government meddling in your daily affairs than people in Germany. Things have and are happening over here in Post Reich Germany which I guess few off you would even believe.. They are planning to artificially raise the price for meat and meat products which are far more expensive than you could even imagine in the first place by introducing a special tax.. They have mandatory state run and controlled TV networks which you have to PAY for whether you watch them or not... I could rant on and on but let me tell you I think they're certainly planning to do just that: curtail the internet that the common citizenry doesn't even get exposed to the very notion that life is a lot different and at times a hell of a lot better outside the country.

This is about MP3s, not politics (3)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 13 years ago | (#441392)

Although Germany does restrict certain political activities related to National Socialism, and like France, has a certain societal interest in supressing Nazi memorabilia, nostalgia, or political expression, the system is designed to restrict or otherwise control online music transfers.

Personally, I believe that political expression on the net should not be limited by political bounderies-- suppress Nazi sites and you essentially give China the moral authority to control Tibetan political expression on the web, but that's just my opinion.

In any case, I believe that there is even less of a foundation for giving control over information flow to German Music Companies-- which is really what this is all about.

Re:Hmmm.... (3)

Teferi (16171) | more than 13 years ago | (#441393)

Six million.
And with that, I invoke Godwin's Law. End of thread.

"If ignorance is bliss, may I never be happy.

Re:Difficult task (3)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | more than 13 years ago | (#441394)

If it's automatic, the mirrors will soon be blocked as well... Moreover, if it's really automatic there will be a new kind of denial-of-service attack: somehow make it appear as if the site is sending content which matches the signature that the sniffer is looking for, and vlammm! site instantly inaccessible...


namespan (225296) | more than 13 years ago | (#441395)

Just curious. I'm not very knowledgeable about encryption or stuff at lower network levels, but wouldn't using HTTPS for looking at the websites stop the sniffers? I

And you can't block ALL encrypted traffic, seeing as how there's so much business that depends on it...


Re:And it stops where? (3)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 13 years ago | (#441396)

Maybe because of that rare L. Ron Hubbard collection of rap tunes, including the infamous "Fight the Thetan"?

Seriously, though, since the German government already considers the CoS a business rather then a church, then it might be listed as "illegal" in terms of fraud if they referred to themselves as a religion on any Germany-based servers.

Not that I care what happens to the CoS, mind you...

I don't think this has a chance in Hell(tm) of working right. There are just too many ways to get around it.


And it stops where? (4)

sconeu (64226) | more than 13 years ago | (#441397)

What's to stop them from blocking other "objectionable" content? I don't hold much truck with the CoS, but I can see them trying to block Scientology, and the slippery slope starts...

Where does it say... (4)

xDe (264660) | more than 13 years ago | (#441398)

... that it 'looks like it's going ahead'?

The article describes a system that the German phonographic industry would like to see implemented... no government enforcement of this is mentioned, just that they want to open a dialogue with ISPs, none of whom, according to the CCC's spokesman, want to install it.

Bit early to start panicking, yet.

Re:I'm going to get flamed for this, but... (5)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 13 years ago | (#441399)

this could be just what the Internet needs to remove the filth and perversion

I totally reject the idea that somebody else should take it upon themselves to decide what is filth and perversion. I am a rational intelligent adult perfectly capable of making my own decisions in such matters.

no one has a legitimate need to view pornography or bomb making schematics or the formulas for illicit drugs

Absolutely and incontrovertably wrong.

There are many people for whom pornography is necessary to achieve normal sexual function. Bomb making schematics are an essential part of police and emergency response training. A degree in chemistry or chemical engineering requires an understanding of exactly the principles that are used to make these bombs in order to avoid their construction accidentally in a manufacturing or laboratory environment. Formulae for illicit (and illegal) drugs are required for physicians and chemists to be able to understand and treat the effects of these substances. In many cases any illicit drug is in fact a legal drug, just taken by someone without a prescription for the drug.

The fact is that there are many people that benefit from the free availability of these materials.

Your posting is one of the most dangerous and ill-advised that I have ever seen on this site. What you are advocating is an almost complete evisceration of both freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and supression of much knowledge that is fundamental to our technology based civilization.


Re:I'm going to get flamed for this, but... (5)

jfunk (33224) | more than 13 years ago | (#441400)

Let's face it, no one has a legitimate need to view pornography or bomb making schematics or the formulas for illicit drugs.

Let's face it, no one has a legitimate need to watch "Friends."

Both statements are equally true.

A restriction on sensitive content available on the Internet will cause no inconvenience to most of us, and help stop the criminals out there from having access to mind warping propaganda.

So tell me, where is the line drawn?

More importantly, who draws it?

I think "Friends" is mind warping propaganda. I want it banned. All websites about the topic should be shut down and their limbs cut off.

Even better, say I am in a minority religion and the majority religion (here in NA, that's Christianity) doesn't like it. They want it shut down. They say it's evil and makes kids shoot each other in schools (not true at all). Because of jerks like you, my say is repressed by the majority. Not only that but my views are seen as illegal. My right to exist as I am, for all intents and purposes, ends, at least in the fucked up country you want.

Have I demonstrated why free speech should be all-emcompassing, yet?
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