German net censorship

John Naughton’s column in the Observer this weekend (The Germans get their Flickrs in a twist over ‘censorship’) had an interesting article about censorship of internet sites in some countries and Germany in particular.

It is an interesting read - mostly because it wasn’t something I would expect of Germany, generally quite an open country, you certainly see more nudity there than in the UK. The English Garden in Munich is an example, some of the posters on lamp posts I saw when I cycled there etc give the impression of a country pretty comfortable with nudity and the human body.

News like this also upsets me as I am one of the people who believe what is described in the article as the ‘myth’ that the internet is uncontrollable / unregulateable. I understood the viewpoint of the different European countries that told eBay they must not allow Nazi memorabilia to be sold in their countries as it was illegal, but it is moves that limit people’s freedoms like this that allow laws that have enabled the above story.

It is hard to know where to draw the line of freedom of information - I am still of the view that the more information is free the more people can decide for themselves. The only problem is that I am not sure my idealised world works when others limit what people can see (Governments, ultra-extremists Muslims, Scientologists, creationists etc.).