CompuServe and Germany:
A question of ethics or censorship

By Corinne Eckel
  • Munich officials in Germany started an investigation of the contents in newsgroups that especially deal with child pornography

  • Child pornography is illegal in Germany

  • CompuServe removed 200 sex-related newsgroups in December

  • These newsgroups included which is pretty self explanatory, but also included which has nothing to do with offensive sexual material but discussions on Captain Pickard from Star Trek TNG and Captain Stubing from Love Boat, also newgroups such as acts as a support group for homosexual teens

  • CompuServe claims to be trying to establish some kind of system that would allow the company to limit customer access to the Internet, depending on the laws in a particular country.

  • Similar to the blocking of Neo-Nazi hate propaganda

  • Was CompuServe right to do what it did?

  • Was this act a form of censorship or a company trying to obey the laws of other countries?

  • Is CompuServe responsible for the material in newsgroups?

  • Will there ever be a way to completely block offensive material on the Internet? Is it ethical to even try?

    The New York Times Syndicate: CompuServe Blocks Sexually Explicit Usenet Groups