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German internet providers say "stop" to child porn

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German internet providers say "stop" to child porn

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Five of Germany’s internet providers have agreed to block access to pages containing child pornography within six months.

The legislation is modeled on similar action taken by Britain, Italy and Scandinavian countries. Limiting access to information is a sensitive subject in Germany because of its Nazi past and strong surveillance under the East German Communist rule. “The circumstances are clear and restricted to this area, they cannot be applied to other areas of the internet. We do not see ourselves as some kind of internet police,” said Thomas Ellerbeck of Vodafone Deutschland. Germany’s family minister hopes the move will work against so-called occasional web-surfers who make up 80 percent of child pornography users. “This is the outcome of some very difficult negotiations with a strong, well-organised opposition,” said Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen. “I thank you and commend your courage and your decision to walk down the path with us.” But critics argue it is a step towards internet censorship and say that those who want to will be able to exploit legal loopholes easily and gain access to child pornography material on the net.