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Date: 1999-09-10

GILC gegen Filter/plaene der Industrie

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q/depesche 99.8.10/1

GILC gegen Filter/pläne der Industrie

19 internationale Organisationen, alle Mitglieder der Global Internet
Liberty Campaign, haben den Bertels/männern & anderen, die großer
Köpfe sind, erklärt, warum die Content Rating & Filterpläne 1
gefährlicher Blödsinn sind.

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Internet free speech groups from across the world released a
statement warning that adoption of a global "voluntary" Internet rating
and filtering scheme could suppress the free flow of information and
facilitate governmental censorship. Nineteen organizations from the
Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC), an international coalition of
cyber-liberties and human rights groups, submitted the statement at
the Internet Content Summit in Munich this week, where 300 Net
industry executives, government officials, legal scholars, and
consumer advocates are joining to discuss proposals to regulate
material online.

Over the past nine months, the Bertelsmann Foundation, a German
think tank associated with the media giant, has collaborated with
representatives from government, industry, law enforcement, and non-
governmental organizations to devise policies to control objectionable
material online. The Bertelsmann Foundation, which organized the
conference, is presenting a memorandum that outlines a range of
resolutions for self-regulation of the Internet. A key proposal centers
upon the creation of an international rating system that will enable
Web site operators to "voluntarily" rate their sites and filtering
software to block "inappropriate" content accordingly.

Free speech advocates argue that filtering mechanisms will have a
chilling effect on free expression and may undermine the democratic
nature of the Internet. Cyber-liberties groups claim that the
widespread adoption of such technology would make it easier for
governments to mandate the use of filtering software and impose civil
or criminal penalties for "mis-rating." GILC members warn in the
statement, "When closely scrutinized, these should be viewed more
realistically as fundamental architectural changes that may, in fact,
facilitate the suppression of speech far more effectively than national
laws alone ever could."

The GILC letter emphasizes that numerous undesirable effects are
likely to follow the implementation of rating and filtering software. It
contends that the adoption of such mechanisms "may prevent
individuals from discussing controversial or unpopular topics, impose
burdensome compliance costs on speakers, distort the fundamental
cultural diversity of the Internet, enable invisible 'upstream' filtering,
and eventually create a homogenized Internet dominated by large
commercial interests."

The full text of the GILC member statement is available at:

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edited by Harkank
published on: 1999-09-10
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