The German cabinet has backed a new draft law that would make it harder to access child pornography online.
The bill will oblige Internet providers to block access to child porn sites by installing a “stop” sign when people try to access them. Ministers say it will not be used to monitor surfers’ activity – and investigations will only happen when illegal sites are accessed: “Let me tell you quite frankly, this is not internet-censorship and that has never been our intention. However free speech is not without its limits, that is written into our federal constitution. Free speech is circumscribed by the laws of the land and that is what this is all about, finding a targeted approach to prevent access to child pornography”, Economy Minister Karl-Theodor Zu Guttenberg told reporters. The government admits it will not deter persistent users, but is a highly effective preventative measure, already used in the UK and Scandinavia. The law is due to come into effect before September’s federal elections.