Jew Controlled Germany Threatens to Block Service to Hate Websites
Source: Wired.com | 8:20 a.m. Apr. 9, 2001 PDT
German Threat Raises Infowar Fear
by Steve Kettmann
BERLIN – The Germans are planning an attack.
At least, that’s the threat that Interior Minister Otto Schily has made, vowing the German government may resort to denial-of-service attacks as a way to shut down U.S. and other foreign websites that help German neo-Nazis.
Condemnation of the plan was immediate. But as of Monday afternoon in Germany, Schily’s office had reported no backtracking from his statement, which has been the focus of recent media attention in Germany.
“If I said something like this in public as a speaker of the Chaos Computer Club, I could count the minutes before I had an investigation against me,” said Andy Mueller-Maguhn, a leader of Berlin’s famed CCC hacker group — and also Europe’s representative on the ICANN board.
“It might be that Mr. Schily does not know anything about infowar, but I know a lot of countries see attacks coming at their computers from other countries as an act of war. If even one country in the world were to start acting like this, it could lead to an open infowar that no one could win.”
Schily regularly makes headlines in Germany with his denunciations of far-right groups, who have grown not only more numerous over the last year but also more violent. In fact, the government announced last month that in 2000, the number of far-right crimes reached its highest level since World War II.
Schily believes right-wing websites, increasingly based in the United States, foment this violence. Last December, Germany’s Supreme Court ruled that German law could be applied to material placed on the Internet and available in Germany, raising the possibility of German legal action against Americans sponsoring such sites.
Meanwhile, political pressure has built for the government to take strong action. As Paul Spiegel, head of Germany’s Jewish community, said in response to the figures on escalating right-wing crime: “I hope now for a first effective step in fighting right-wing extremism.”
But in delving into such sensitive territory as a government sponsoring DOS attacks, Schily may stir up more controversy than he realizes.
“I don’t think he knows what a Pandora’s box he’s opening,” said Frank Rieger, a longtime member of Berlin’s hacking scene who last year co-founded a Berlin startup.
“If even one American ISP decides to say, ‘We are being attacked by a foreign government, and we are going to counter-attack,’ they have much bigger resources, so that could be really devastating. There wouldn’t be much bandwidth left, because there is not as much bandwidth here in Germany as there is in the United States.”
If it all sounds far-fetched, maybe it should. But that does not mean Schily floated the idea without being serious about it. His office did not return repeated calls asking for comment, but Mueller-Maguhn has established the existence of a recent letter — signed by Schily himself — outlining the DOS plan in detail.
“The letter says that such an attack would not violate the law,” Mueller-Maguhn said.
“Watching the situation, it might be that I have to start an investigation against Mr. Schily, because of two things. One is promoting illegal things in public. You’re not allowed to tell people to do something illegal. And the other thing is a little bit worse. German law says if you prepare an act of war, that’s something quite serious.
“I … hope that the Americans don’t take it too seriously, what he said here. I have no idea what his motive was saying something like this in public. That’s not accepting the sovereignty of another country.”
Mueller-Maguhn, who has consulted with the German government before, said he had been unable to reach Schily on the phone to get an explanation.
“If Mr. Schily wants to say what is happening here (with right-wing violence) is caused by American computers, that’s bullshit,” he said.
Schily’s increasingly hard line stands in contrast to his background. A former Green Party leader, he switched to Gerhard Schroeder’s left-center Social Democratic Party — but no one has forgotten his Green past.
“From his history, he’s not at all wild,” said Mueller-Maguhn. “Not even when he helped defend terrorists. He was always a very straight lawyer. He was not a man of political interests. He was a man of spreading his own name as a good lawyer. He was a real careerist.”