Felipe Rodriquez on Wed, 16 Apr 1997 20:25:59 +0200 (MET DST)

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nettime-nl: Xs4all website censored by German academic internet provider


Amsterdam, 16 april 1997

Since April 11th 1997, the dutch XS4ALL website www.xs4all.nl has been
censored by Deutsches Forschungsnetz, the German academic Internet
provider. This was confirmed today by Dr. Klaus-Eckart Maass, managing
director of Deutsches Forschungsnetz in a press release.

An Xs4all subscriber (http://www.xs4all.nl/~radikal) publishes a
magazine which is considered to be illegal in Germany. The German State
Prosecutor has 'informed' Deutsches Forschungsnetz about the presence
of this magazine, which has resulted in the censorship of the entire
XS4ALL website.

Of the 6000 homepages on the XS4ALL, only one of those contains the
Radikal magazine. Other XS4ALL homepages include artists, research
materials, shops, activists and other information sources like the
formerly censored Serbian radiostation B92
(http://www.xs4all.nl/~opennet) and its 24hr/day radiobroadcasts on
Internet. All these 6000 homepages are now unavailable to the German
academic Internet community.

The decision to censor the xs4all webserver because of the radikal
publication will probably cause and this censored magazine to become
more popular on the Net. Censoring the Internet has, in most cases,
proved to be counterproductive as many Internet users mirror the
information on to their own sites and start to distribute it.

In September 1996, a number of German providers organised a similar
block of the XS4ALL website after complaints by the State Prosecutor.
This block was lifted after four weeks, but resulted in a vast mirror
network. Today, there are still more than 40 mirror websites of the
radikal home page around the world. These mirror-sites were placed on
the Net more than six months ago. Why does Deutsches Forschungsnetz
only block the xs4all webserver when the information on this website is
known to have been mirrored all around the world for at least six
months? XS4ALL intends to send Mr. Klaus-Eckart Maass a message
informing him about these mirrorsites. In principle he should then
be obliged to block these other sites where radikal nr. 154 can also
be found

XS4ALL has not yet received any official communication from the German
justice department, nor from the Dutch justice department. Our policy
is that as a provider we are not in the position to judge whether this
magazine is illegal in the Netherlands, therefore we do not interfere
with the liberty of speech of our user. If there's any doubt about the
legality of the publication in Holland, a Dutch court of law would be
the proper place to remove these doubts. Therefore our user would have
to be tried by the Dutch justice-department.

Relevant information:

Radikal magazine        - http://www.xs4all.nl/~radikal/index.html
Radikal mirrorlist      - http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/radikal/mirror.html 
DFN pressrelease 	- http://www.dfn.de/dfn/sperrung.html 
Dr. Klaus-Eckart Maass  - http://rigel.dfn.de/adressen/maass.html 
Managing Director DFN   - maass@dfn.d400.de 
DFN website             - http://www.dfn.de

XS4ALL Internet BV - Felipe Rodriquez-Svensson - finger felipe@xs4all.nl for 
Managing Director  -                           - pub pgp-key 1024/A07C02F9 

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