“The censorship list is published quarterly in the magazine ‘BPjM-aktuell’ which can be read in any major library in Germany,” wrote Drake. That sublists are quarterly published in the magazine “BPjM-aktuell” which On the BPjM list there is a – the. BPJM-Aktuell 3 (): 11– Olson, Cheryl K. “Video Game Politics: An Update ,” , available at

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This un-hashed list was posted to the user’s Neocities blog, along with some analysis of the blacklist’s contents and a rundown on the minimal protective efforts used for the list. The actual blacklist is much more extensive than what’s published here.

In fact, as is noted in the post, a majority of the list is publicly viewable. The censorship list “index” is split into various sublists: Works that are harmful to young people Sublist B: Entries prior to April 1, Sublist C: All indexed virtual works harmful to young people whose distribution is prohibited under Article 4 of the Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag Sublist D: All indexed virtual works, which potentially have content whose distribution is prohibited under the Strafgesetzbuch.

The sublists A, B and E contain about movies, games, printed works and audio recordings. That sublists are quarterly published in the magazine “BPjM-aktuell” which can be read in any major library in Germany. Sublists C and D are what’s been withheld from the public, even as these URLs are distributed once a month to software and hardware companies.

As of the time of the posting, there were more than 3, URLs on the blacklist.

Bpjjm leaker spotted some unusual things in the list of banned URLs. To begin with, it appears that there’s very little effort being made to keep the blacklist current. Beyond that, the government body building the list seems to be suffering from technical ineptitude, resulting in supposedly blocked sites not being blocked at all.

On the BPjM list there is a entryirgend.

Contrary to the belief of the BPjM public servants this doesn’t work as a wildcard — just this specific domain will be blocked… several URLs with a wrong trailing slash: The examples above are filenames.

The entries on the list with the trailing slash are invalid and return a file not found error. The correct URLs without the trailing slashes won’t match the hash and are not blocked.

German Government Tries To Censor Publication Of Its List Of Censored Websites

As is inevitable when entities pursue bulk website blockingnon-offending content is part of the collateral damage. Probably at one point in time there was a,tuell listing of a music album which is forbidden in Germany — this was enough to block access to the “eBay of music” for years Now it is the website of an iPhone App for fun picture manipulation.

The startup has no chance to be listed in German search engine results at all This is on top of strange and very arbitrary blockages, like a listing for the videogame Dead Island at amazon. Germany is the only western democracy with an organization like the BPjM The rationales for earlier decisions to add works to the index are, in retrospect, incomprehensible reactions to moral panics.

German Government Tries To Censor Publication Of Its List Of Censored Websites | Techdirt

With its secret list exposed, the German government has gone after Neocities in a belated attempt to keep its no-longer-secret list secret. Neocities has complied, but not without protest. An anti-censorship activist, concerned citizen and security researcher has proved that the hashes are very easily reversible, bpum published the disclosure, including a plain-text list of the censored sites on a Neocities page. Now the German government is pressuring Neocities to take the site down, and are claiming we were breaking German and possibly US law by hosting a copy of the list of sites that they distribute.


Two lists containing URLs were published on one of your blogs, namely https: The list of URLs contains child sexual abuse material CSAManimal pornography, nazi propaganda, minors in poses involving unnatural sexual emphasis and content inciting hatred, just to name a few. All of the URLs are illegal under German law. Since CSAM is also illegal under US law, we are of the aktuelo that this site violates the laws applying to your service and also violates your terms of conditions.

More properly stated, the websites contain the offensive material, not the URLs themselves.

And, as was pointed out by the person researching the list, much of aituell in the list is out of date i. And, if the statement about violating two countries’ laws wasn’t theoretically frightening enough, KJM goes on to claim that posting this content violates Neocities own mission statement.

The KJM sees that neocities values anonymity and states to be uncensored. But the KJM thinks that https: To rebuild the web we lost to monotony, and make it fun again. At no point does the mission aktuelll encourage the stripping of anonymity or encourage censorship. Neocities is a platform for website construction, something KJM believes is somehow contrary to sticking up for its users and their content. Leave it to a government agency to craft one of the emptiest paragraphs to ever grace an official takedown request.

The biggest issue is the list itself, the one the government wants to keep out of the hands of the public, as Neocities points out. There is apparently no legal way to challenge the list. It is decided by fiat in secret by a German government agency, and there is little or zero recourse for those falsely condemned. By keeping it secret — ostensibly to prevent the public from accessing illegal content — website owners are kept in the dark about the German government’s censorious efforts.

This sort of power is dangerous without accountability. The list is outdated and composed carelessly. Akhuell like Discogs are blocked off while true offenders remain uncensored because the b;jm the children” agency can’t be bothered to ensure its slash marks are properly used or that the URL is free of typos. Neocities has discussed this unofficially with the EFF but, as the post notes, the legal implications of this leaked list are still very murky.

As a precaution the list has been removed. It survives, for now, at the Internet Archive. And, if given notification that the posting of the list does not violate US law, the BPjM blacklist will be reposted. The ultimate stupidity of this debacle is the fact that the German government thinks it can undo what’s been done. By acting in this fashion, it’s only akktuell more attention to the list it wants to remain a secret. Worse, it’s drawn more attention to the blog post highlighting the many failures of the list itself.

It’s one thing to want to prevent access to clearly illegal material. It’s quite another to slap together a list composed of dead sites, mistyped URLs and a variety of bizarre blockings based on “incomprehensible reactions to moral panics. Join the Insider Chat. This feature is only available to registered users.

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Test drive our new responsive design! If you liked this post, you may also be interested in Ninja profile22 Jul 5: Yet another example why “black lists” don’t work. So most lists and blockades around the world fit within a,tuell following: Rikuo profile22 Jul 5: For a country so ruddy scared of anyone hearkening akthell to the “good ol’ days” of the tyrannical Nazi regime to the point you can’t even have swastikas in a game about killing said Nazisthey sure don’t have a problem acting tyrannical, don’t they?

Anonymous Coward22 Jul 8: That was done because recruiting and training “fresh” ones was too expensive and took too much time the allies in west germany thought was better spent on creating a model capitalist society as a showcase against the soviet Union.

The De-nazification was only done in homeopathic quantities with some scapegoats, not as a program as widespread as people were led to believe. Mason Wheeler profile22 Jul PaulT profile22 Jul 6: So, pretty much normal stuff, then? Outdated list, no b;jm to see if the blocks are working let alone current, perfectly legitimate content being blocked as collateral damage and attempts to obfuscate rather than fix any of the above predictable problems or redirect resources to workable solutions for the problem at hand.

It’s sad how utterly predictable this is. Michael22 Jul 6: I’m amazed that anyone can still come to the conclusion that when faced with a large number of things you are concerned about people seeing, the first step is to put them all in a big list.

The Germans have taken it one step further – they then categorized this list. Now, what do you call it when you scan the internet for URL’s, determine what is on the pages, index the pages into categories that can be easily searched, and then publish the information?

Oh yeah, you call that Google, don’t you?

Anonymous Coward22 Jul 6: Lists don’t kill people, guns do. Sheogorath profile22 Jul 7: Unless the websites of the local police and the white pages are included in a blacklist collateral damageand you can’t use a printed white pages during an emergency. Case22 Jul 7: Maybe they should look up their own regulations: The “leak” contains both lists, therefore “all of the URLs are illegal under German law” is just bullshit — youporn and other sites in the list are decidedly legal, they just must not be made available to minors.

Some German22 Jul 7: So just to clarify a few things about this because I think the article is a little misleading in some ways. I am quite open to the idea of getting rid of it, it is outdated and obsolete.

But you also have to know that Germans aren’t first amendment maximalists. Given the historical context we view such a stance with caution and rightly so in my opinion. The idea behind those lists for the vast majority on it is to limit access for young adults not the general public. There are restrictions concerning advertising and tv broadcasts for example but in general books, cds etc on the lists can be purchased by asking for them in the store, they are just not allowed to be on the shelves.