German Government Decides to Delete Child Porn Websites

Apr 6, 2011 9:00 AM PST

BERLIN — Germany’s federal governing coalition has decided to drop legislation that would block child porn websites and instead simply delete them.

According to reports, the law was introduced by the previous coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU) and Social Democrats, but the new liberal CDU-Free Democrats (FDP) coalition believes that deleting the sites is a better solution.

The old blockade policy was supposed to be tested for one year, but is now being replaced by the new decision.

The FDP said it was against just blocking material because it believed that move would foster wider Internet censorship.

"Blocking online content is something that rightly elicits mistrust and challenges," said the FDP's Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.

She said the FDP had convinced the CDU that "deleting forbidden material like child-pornographic content is really the best and most effective way."

According to German federal criminal police, 99 percent of child porn is removed within four weeks after the content is found.

Commenting on the decision, Tim Henning, vice president of technology and forensic research for U.S.-based ASACP told XBIZ that his organization certainly agrees that once a site is proven to contain child porn images or video that content should be deleted.

"This can be difficult to accomplish as some child porn sites are hosted in countries where there is little or no cooperation from law enforcement and/or the content is not illegal. It can be further complicated when the content is hosted on user generated spaces and file sharing communities. Probably the most difficult to battle are the bot networks where the content is hosted on infected computers without the knowledge of the owners of those machines," said Henning.

He added, "Even when content is deleted it is very easy for it to be uploaded to a new hosting location. It is a very challenging battle that requires much perseverance and technical skill. As difficult as it might be, for every image or video that is removed a child's victimization is reduced and this makes it all worth while."


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