EU contemplating porn filters -

German NGO AK Zensur (Working Group Censorship) revealed a hitherto unknown document from the Council of the European Union. The document, directed to the Multidisciplinary Group on Organised Crime (MDG) proposes establishing filters to block child pornography.

The proposal is similar to a law which the former grand coaliation government in Germany tried to pass last year, the so-called "Zugangserschwerungsgesetz" (access obstruction law). Former Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen initiated the law, which basically blocks access to and puts a stop sign on child porn.

The law created a political backlash in Germany, as internet-affine young people didn't like the idea of a federal police agency blocking content without approval by a judge, nor without any oversight. Germans are rather sensitive to that matter, due to having had two totalitarian regimes on its soil in the 20th century.

Apart from fears concerning censorship, the law was also heavily criticised by victim organisations. Former child abuse victims declared that blocking access to content is no use in combatting online child pornography - the government should instead work on seizing, deleting and prosecuting perpetrators. An "out of sight, out of mind" approach was seen as pure election campaigning.

The law was passed on February 17 this year, however the Ministry of the Interior, convinced of its uselessness, told the Federal Criminal Police Office not to bother making filter lists, as filters were easy to bypass.

It will be interesting to see how the proposal to install net filters will be discussed on the European level.