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This page provides occasional items, linked to the original articles, as we attempt to keep up with the rapidly changing situation on civil liberties.
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2002 - 2004

1st Jan to 9th Sept 2005

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Freedom is the right to say Wolfgang Werle was convicted of murdering Walter Sedlmayer

Posted by James Hammerton @ 1:48 am on 15 November, 2009.
Categories privacy and surveillance, freedom of speech, German politics.
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As Samizdata point out convicted murderer, Wolfgang Werle, is trying to sue Wikipedia under a German privacy law:

Wikipedia is under a censorship attack by a convicted murderer who is invoking Germany’s privacy laws in a bid to remove references to his killing of a Bavarian actor in 1990.

Lawyers for Wolfgang Werle, of Erding, Germany, sent a cease-and-desist letter (.pdf) demanding removal of Werle’s name from the Wikipedia entry on actor Walter Sedlmayr. The lawyers cite German court rulings that “have held that our client’s name and likeness cannot be used anymore in publication regarding Mr. Sedlmayr’s death.”
Half-brothers Wolfgang Werle (right) and Manfred Lauber go on trial for murder in Munich’s district court. They are accused of the popular actor Walter Sedlmayr in July 1990 have murdered and robbed in his apartment. (AP-Diether Endlicher)

Half-brothers Wolfgang Werle (right) and Manfred Lauber go on trial for murder in Munich.

German media have already ceased using Werle’s full name regarding the attack. Jennifer Granick, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says German publications must also alter their online archives in a bid to comport with laws designed to provide offenders an avenue to “reintegrate back into society.”

“It’s not just censorship going forward. It’s asking outlets to go back and change what is already being written,” Granick said in a telephone interview.

This insane policy must be stopped. As Perry concluded in his Samizdata article:

As the world networks together, increasingly we cannot tolerate legal attacks anywhere because the repercussions will not stay neatly within national borders, so neither can our hostility to such assaults on our liberty… now let us also do something about Britain’s intolerable defamation laws.

I’ll have more to say on Britain’s laws soon…

Privacy in Germany

Posted by James Hammerton @ 6:45 pm on 8 February, 2009.
Categories privacy and surveillance, the database state, German politics.
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Ralf Bendrath providers a useful overview of the struggles for privacy in Germany in 2008.

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