Germany to censor video games, internet

edited June 2009 in Politics
Germany is apparently hellbent on returning to totalitarianism and censorship. The ministers of interior are pressuring the Bundestag (Parliament) for a nationwide ban on all video games in which it is possible to kill other human(oid)s and the german Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Ursula von der Leyen, nicknamed Zensursula (derived from the german "Zensur", censorship) is trying to establish internet censorship enforced by the government on ISPs. In combination they try to shut out austrian internet video game retailers.

Thank goodness I was born in Austria, else I would mover here right about now. Other destinations would be the Netherlands or Sweden.
Seriously, I could puke.

Comments

  • edited June 2009
    When it comes to the Internet censorship I absolutely agree with you since the law will probably pass.
    But video games will not be banned in Germany. We've had this debate for a long time, and each time there is a school shooting or violence between youths the press and politicians bring up the topic again, and again, and again. The article linked to is already a few weeks old and the statements were made shortly before the EU elections. Coincidence? Seeing that the election of the German parliament is soon coming up all this talk of video game censorship is just to gain more votes.

    This is far worse, since it is already happening...
    Post edited by kiwi_bird on
  • I say let countries that want to ruin the Internets for themselves do so. They're just ruining their own economies. How can you be a world leader in science and technology if you have such big brothering going on? If every country in the world did it, there would be no competetive disadvantage. But as long as the US doesn't censor, you're just helping us out. And boy, do we need that help.
  • Yes, you say that until the United States does something just as stupid and we are the ones getting hurt by it. Baloney, Scott.
  • edited June 2009
    I don't see how our economy is being ruined.
    Post edited by kiwi_bird on
  • I don't see how our economy is being ruined.
    Despite this being mostly empty threats, I have heard plenty of young germans declaring moving to the Netherlands, Sweden or Austria should the political climate drastically change and worsen. Such an emigration could become significant rather quickly especially in the face of the average age of the population of germany becoming older and older. If such laws scares away the youth, this could indeed become an economic problem. Given though that this would need a lot of germans to move away.
  • edited June 2009
    Given though that this would need a lot of Germans to move away.
    And that I seriously doubt. I go to a pretty good school in Germany, a "Gymnasium", and yet though many are bothered by the new laws the majority have either forgotten or don't really care.
    I even took part in a student protest a few days ago, and the people with whom I spoke there were quite mad about what was going on in German politics. But no one mentioned moving away. These were students at a university, some of which were activists in the left and liberal party, mind you. Germans are in general finally beginning to be proud of themselves again, especially the younger generations. They want change, and don't just want to "run away".

    I believe we are facing a dramatic change in German politics and culture.
    Post edited by kiwi_bird on
  • I heard about this bs. If this were to happen I can see a lot of people moving from Germany elsewhere. Why would you want to censor stuff that no one has requested to be censored, and where do you draw the line if this does go down? Its that slippery slope again. Today they'll come for you free internet and tomorrow the rest of your freedom, until there is nothing left.

    Mind you, kids are a tech savvy bunch. You need only look at what's happening in Iran, to see that even if the powers that be supposedly shut down the net, there's still ways around it.

    Sure, this willl hurt their economy, when ISP experience people closing their accounts. Young people need to rally against this bs, before its too late. I doubt if it would stand though because of the european union.

    This is more crap being pushed out, either under the 'protect the children, and to hell with adults voters views' or 'the in the name of fighting terrorism' banners. These are becoming the reasons for all their underhanded agendas.
  • Sure, this willl hurt their economy, when ISP experience people closing their accounts.
    Remember that the majority of people couldn't care less, and likely wouldn't even notice...
  • Today they'll come for you free internet and tomorrow the rest of your freedom, until there is nothing left.
    No. Free internet has very little to do here with any other right we have, or any other freedom we have. The state even pays for unemployed people to have a computer and internet.
    Sure, this willl hurt their economy, when ISP experience people closing their accounts.
    I don't think that will happen.
    I doubt if it would stand though because of the european union.
    The law is now already in action.
    Remember that the majority of people couldn't care less, and likely wouldn't even notice...
    Exactly. I think it may even be a bigger percentage than in America.
  • When I was skimming the Internets I think I saw something about Australia blocking all downloads of video games not save for people 15 and under.
  • edited June 2009
    When I was skimming the Internets I think I saw something about Australia blocking all downloads of video games not save for people 15 and under.
    That sounds unlikely, but I've not been Australia based for quite a while now, so I can't confirm, I'll find out for you, unless Lackofcheese does it first.

    Edit - I've looked into it, and It seems doubtful to actually happen. First of all, it's part of the Internet Filtering plan, who just about everyone in government is trying to wash their hands of right now, since it's insanely unpopular, and any party that puts it in is absolutely guaranteed not to survive the next election with their power intact - and on top of that, the only ISPs(only Six of all the ISPs in Australia, only one of the six being a major provider) that agreed to put the filter in place as a trial have publicly stated that they're only doing so to demonstrate that it's utterly ridiculous, and won't work.

    Secondly - The person who is proposing the idea, Stephen Conroy, is Well known as being an ultra-conservative, hypocritical Religious nutcase, and silly as an arse full of smarties to boot. He only holds onto his position because of political maneuverings, not popularity.

    He's been screaming about mandatory internet filtering for years, and is the one primarily responsible for the Mandatory internet filter expanding from just blocking Child Pornography to blocking everything he finds morally objectionable - and often getting that wrong, with one memorable incident being that a Queensland dentist's website was blocked because it was hacked to redirect to a questionable sex-toy distributor's website, with the punchline being that the problem was fixed a whole 18 months before the website was put on the blacklist - and this was only discovered when the blacklist was leaked to wikileaks, at which point Conroy stated that publishing the list was a crime, supporting child pornographers, and so on, up untill roughly a week later, when he came out saying that it Wasn't the real list, as it had too many sites listed, however, he was still pushing the Australian Federal Police to investigate and prosecute the offenders.

    Conroy and his department have also been caught pulling underhanded tricks in regard to this before, Such as using his office's clout to try to get an engineer fired from the ISP "Internode" for speaking out against the filters, noting that the trial of the system in Tasmania was utterly broken, and that the filter was pretty much utterly unworkable and a very stupid idea all around.

    He's also well known for Accusing anyone who Critisises the Filters of being a supporter of child Pornography, despite the fact that the majority of the websites being blocked have nothing to do with child pornography - some memorable examples include wikipedia pages, websites on Atheism, particularly sites that are critical of the bible, websites that have information about anorexia, Sexual education and sexual health resources, and a number of pages regarding evolution - for just one nationally televised example of this behavior:
    Senator Conroy: Illegal material is illegal material. Child pornography is child pornography. I trust you are not suggesting that people should have access to child pornography.

    Senator Ludlam: No. That is why I was interested in asking about the law enforcement side of it as well.

    Senator Conroy: No, we are working both angles at it. We are just trying to use technology to enforce the existing laws.

    Senator Ludlam: I am just wondering if I can put these questions to you without being accused of being pro child pornography. That would assist.

    Senator Conroy: I was wondering if I could get the questions without being accused of being the Great Wall of China.
    Lastly, the labor government are not terribly fond of Conroy at the moment, as a major part of Labor's election campaign was the National Broadband Network, which would bring our internet speeds more in line with European internet speeds. The first thing that Conroy did when he got into power was cancel the contract with the OPEL consortium, who were the ones basically almost entirely tasked with rolling out the NBN, and refuses to have anything done about the NBN until the filters are put in place - and Labor is getting hammered because they're not acting on a promise that was one of the Lynch pin promises of their campaign.

    TL:DR - The guy who came out and issue the press release that this was going to happen is a fucking lunatic religious fanatic who happens to be about as popular in the government as syphilis, and is well known for announcing things as absolutely assured when he's the only one trying to get it done. It won't happen, and if it does, it'll result in a Double-dissolution election in which Labor will be either removed from power, or become a lame duck government, unable to pass wind, let alone anything else.
    Post edited by Churba on
  • When I was skimming the Internets I think I saw something about Australia blocking all downloads of video games not save for people 15 and under.
    Yeah. Fuck that Stephen Conroy. After 11 years we finally rid ourselves of John Howard, the conservative fuckwad who demonised immigrants, led us into two ill-conceived wars alongside the US, tried to rob workers of their hard-won rights, attempted to de-socialise our healthcare system, and countless other offences, and then along comes a liberal leader, Kevin Rudd, a guy who I support on almost every other issue, and he tries to force this censorship garbage upon us, making us even more of a backwater and aligning us with places like Saudi Arabia and North Korea. Gaaaaah! At least Howard left filtering the internet as a personal choice.
  • That sounds unlikely, but I've not been Australia based for quite a while now, so I can't confirm, I'll find out for you, unless Lackofcheese does it first.
    It's not even draft legislation yet, so it's not happening any time soon. Hopefully it never will.
  • edited June 2009
    That sounds unlikely, but I've not been Australia based for quite a while now, so I can't confirm, I'll find out for you, unless Lackofcheese does it first.
    It's not even draft legislation yet, so it's not happening any time soon. Hopefully it never will.
    See my edited post above - I punched in a bit of research on it, and frankly Conroy has more chance of breaking the laws of physics than getting this one through.

    All the FRC forum Aussies, Feel free to come join me in my Expatriation. It's nice over here, the internet is faster, you can buy Fireworks, and everyone digs our accent.
    Post edited by Churba on
  • some memorable examples include wikipedia pages, websites on Atheism, particularly sites that are critical of the bible, websites that have information about anorexia, Sexual education and sexual health resources, and a number of pages regarding evolution - for just one nationally televised example of this behavior:
    I can understand why a religious nut would want to block sites having to do with sex, evolution, or atheistm. But anorexia? Can anyone explain that?
  • But anorexia? Can anyone explain that?
    They believe that pro-anorexia sites (they exist) encourage people to become anorexic...
  • But anorexia? Can anyone explain that?
    They believe that pro-anorexia sites (they exist) encourage people to become anorexic...
    It wasn't just that - It was also anorexia information and Support sites, because they often have pictures of Scantily clad people - not explicit images in any way, but just images of men and women in the grips of Anorexia, and comparing them to healthy bodies, that sort of thing.
  • Sooner or later, some tech guy will devise a way to circumvent these dumb blocks. Having a policy of 'block that, and to hell with the rest' won' earn you any votes.

    I wonder what the Pirate Party think of this stuff being pushed in Germany?
  • edited June 2009
    I wonder what the Pirate Party think of this stuff being pushed in Germany?
    I dunno, it's not like they have a website or anything.
    Post edited by Omnutia on
  • Oh Lord. I had no idea how crazy that guy was until I read your post.
    silly as an arse full of smarties
  • edited June 2009
    not explicit images in any way
    Well sometimes pictures of naked anorexic people show up, just so you can see the full effects of the tolls it takes on your body. It's explicit, but it's really nothing anyone is wacking off to (well, it's the internet, so someone probably is, but I'd just like to hope not).
    Post edited by Dkong on
  • Well sometimes pictures of naked anorexic people show up, just so you can see the full effects of the tolls it takes on your body. It's explicit, but it's really nothing anyone is wacking off to (well, it's the internet, so someone probably is, but I'd just like to hope not).
    People need to realize that most porn has nudity, but not all nudity is porn. Are they going to block the museum website with the pictures of old paintings? I mean, the Simpsons covered this ages ago, and they were far from the first to do so.

    The fact that I can understand a concept such as this because I watched a cartoon, yet a high ranking political official does not, is the perfect illustration of everything that is wrong with our society.
  • I wonder what the Pirate Party think of this stuff being pushed in Germany?
      They're up for vote this year.
    • edited June 2009
      The fact that I can understand a concept such as this because I watched a cartoon, yet a high ranking political official does not, is the perfect illustration of everything that is wrong with our society.
      The sad part is, I think the senator does know the difference, but he chooses to ignore such a distinction because a) his party only holds the balance of power in the senate with the vote of a conservative religious party (Family First - yeech) whose solitary senator believes that not only should the internet be censored, but that global warming is caused by the sun's activity, a position he took after a trip to a convention of US climate change sceptics. Uh huh. And b) Senator Conroy doesn't see the inherent contradiction of trying to roll out a high speed fiber network across the country, while seeking to limit the use of that network to only items the govt. doesn't disapprove of. Or maybe he does, and disregards it, as it's all about point "a", which guarantees the government's otherwise progressive legislative agenda.

      I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy just doesn't work.
      Post edited by thaneofcawdor on
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