German Of The Day: Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz

That means… Beats the hell out of me. I think it means something like Internet Enforcement Law.

Mass

At any rate, it’s this really clever new law pushed through by German Justice Minister Heiko Mass (SPD) – a particularly lame duck because his party is now history after last week’s election – that forces Internet companies like Facebook to remove “obviously illegal” posts (whatever that means) within 24 hour or pay big fines. This takes care of “hate speech” forever, see? Brilliant.

Of course it will also take care of a lot of posts that will have nothing at all to do with hate speech but will be blocked anyway by these companies. Just in case, you know?

Free speech ist not quite as free as it used to be in Germany. But it’s worth it, right?

Kritiker bemängeln, dass die Rechtsdurchsetzung in private Hände gelegt wird, und sie fürchten ein “Overblocking“: Die Betreiber könnten im Zweifel lieber zu viele Inhalte entfernen, um nicht mit dem NetzDG in Konflikt zu geraten. Dadurch gerate die Meinungsfreiheit in Gefahr.

 

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German Of The Day: Du Darfst

That means you may, or you are allowed to.

Kim

You know, as in New Zealand allowing Kim Dotcom to be extradited to US-Amerika itself for racketeering charges? Yes, Kim. You may. The entire Dotcom family is really upset, I assume, but they’ll get over it. In a decade or two.

A New Zealand judge on Monday upheld an earlier court ruling that flamboyant internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges.

The decision comes five years after U.S. authorities shut down Dotcom’s file-sharing website Megaupload and filed charges of conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering against the men. If found guilty, they could face decades in prison.

This Doll Must Die

Don’t EVER let anybody tell you that Germans are lasch (feeble) when it comes to threats posed to them by foreign intelligence snoops.

Cayla

Forget about not caring about Putin & Co., forget about spinning your wheels ridiculously with your NSA spying affair. We’ve got a real live (sort of) freakin’ wi-fi-connected Internet doll on the loose and we’re all going to die if we don’t kill her first. OK. So we don’t know who she’s working for yet. But still.

A German government watchdog has ordered parents to destroy an internet-connected doll for fear it could be used as a surveillance device. According to a report from BBC News, the German Federal Network Agency said the doll (which contains a microphone and speaker) was equivalent to a “concealed transmitting device” and therefore prohibited under German telecom law…

“My Friend Cayla” uses a microphone to listen to questions, sending this audio over Wi-Fi to a third-party company (Nuance) that converts it to text. This is then used to search the internet, allowing the doll to answer basic questions, like “What’s a baby kangaroo called?”

Why would anybody want to know what a baby kangaroo is called, huh?

And this is just the beginning, too. These wi-fi-thingies will soon be everywhere. “It doesn’t matter what that object is — it could be an ashtray or a fire alarm.” Damn right. So after you’ve finished strangling this doll toss everything else out of the window while you’re at it. Just in case. They’re out to get us, people. They’re everywhere, I tell you. Whoever they are. Bad dolly!

At what point did we enter this Philip K. Dick novel, anyway?

“Journalism Isn’t Treason”

That’s very true. But that’s not the issue here. Go ask folks like Edward Snowden or Julian Assange and they’ll tell you. We now live in an age where treason isn’t treason, either.

Treason

The case centres on the Netzpolitik.org (Net politics) blog, which earlier this year published documents on plans by Germany’s domestic security agency to expand its Internet surveillance.

“The freedom of the press and of expression is a valuable asset. But this freedom, including on the Internet, is not limitless. It does not absolve journalists of the duty to comply with the law.”

Next Big US-Amerikan Internet Giant Soon To Threaten The German Way Of Life Again

Whatever that is. It’s called Postmates and it’s an on-demand courier service that is sure to ruin everything Germans hold to be hoch und heilig (holy) in the realm of quick and easy albeit expensive pick-up and drop-off service.

Postmates

It’s despicable and it’s nasty and it’s wait a minute… A German invented it. Well, a little German innovation never hurt anybody, right?

Postmates has set itself an ambitious goal — to be the Uber of goods, with a vast network of couriers, linked, like Uber’s drivers, via a sleek app, waiting for users to hit a button on their smartphones and send them forth to pick up anything that money can buy. Like Uber’s drivers, Postmates couriers aren’t employees but “independent contractors.” Anyone with a bike, car, truck, scooter or motorcycle can register and decide exactly when they want to work.

“In Germany, if you have an idea like mine, people think you’re deluded.”

Günter Wallraff Dresses Up As Günter Wallraff To Appear As Günter Wallraff On Günther Jauch

Günter Wallraff, disguised as the unspeakably annoying undercover reporter Günter Wallraff, appeared undercover last night on Günther Jauch to explain to Günther Jauch how he, as Günter Wallraff, just went undercover to uncover at Amazon ITSELF how Amazon is now single-handedly causing “our entire culture to atrophy” and how it is a “monster” that is using its “slave laborers” to bring “our entire society” in imminent danger (when he says “our” here, folks, he actually means “our” as in the “German our”).

Günter

Other than that though he appeared somewhat lucid at times, or at least until the end of the show when his hallucinations began to resurface again and he started foaming at the mouth once more and got in a few of his more predictable anti-American swipes but by that time it was time for me to go to bed and go undercover myself so I had no other choice but to shut his ridiculous ass down.

Günther Jauch stellt in seiner Talkshow den Boykott des Onlineversenders zur Debatte. Dabei fällt der Streit um unmögliche Arbeitsverhältnisse bei Amazon glatt in sich zusammen.

Hysteria Is A Good Thing

NSA hysteria, I mean. If you are a German IT service provider looking to cash in on it, that is.

Hysteria

“Hosted in Germany” is big marketing medicine in Germany these days, or at least that’s what many German IT companies are hoping. The question is just how long the hysteria can be kept going at a fevered pitch in order to get the bigger bucks, I mean euros, these German data centers will now be demanding.

Then, of course, there are still those plans for the coming of the dawn of the birth of the age of the German Internetz, sort of. What will they think of next?

Das IT-Unternehmen Bechtle sieht seine Chance in sicheren Plattformen für Daten und in Software „made in Germany.“

No Private Sphere Here

Fed up with having their personal privacy abused by Facebook, Google and the NSA all the time, many Germans have decided to give up their personal privacy altogether and now actively and gladly publish online practically ever damned freaking boring imaginable thing they do like ALL DAY/EVERY DAY/ALL LIFE LONG.

Internetz

Actually, I thought they were all doing that already.

And in a related story, the Deutsche Telekom is planning to introduce “a vast computer network linking smaller computer networks worldwide,” or at least German-wide. They are then going to call this innovative and highly original new invention of theirs the Internetz. Or they sure ought to.

Or how about the Inner-Netz?

“My philosophy is that information is more useful when it’s out in the open.”

And We Don’t Trust That Dad Gum Internetz Neither

One in seven Germans shuns the Internet completely.

Shun

Those are actual Germans up there shunning the actual Internet with an actual laptop, I think.

Totally unrelated PS: Profiteering: Crisis Has Saved Germany 40 Billion Euros