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GEORGIA FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net provided that a court approval is obtained.17 It is yet to be seen how the new law will be implemented in practice.

Additionally, ISPs are obliged to deliver statistical dataseparated by userabout site visits, traffic, and other topics. Mobile-phone companies are required to provide similar data when asked by the government. Cybercafes are not obliged to comply with government monitoring, as they do not register or otherwise gather data about customers. Individuals are not required to register when they buy a mobile phone, but registration is needed to buy a SIM card and obtain a number.

While cyberattacks are not very common in Georgia, they do occur and are often related to political tensions between Georgia and Russia. For example, Russian hackers conducted large-scale attacks on Georgian government sites during the August conflict. The websites of the parliament and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were knocked out for a few days, with defamatory images of the Georgian president posted in their place.

More recently, in August 2009, a Georgian blogger known as Cyxymu was the target of a denial-of-service attack that ultimately affected hundreds of millions of users worldwide and caused disruptions in the functioning of Facebook, Twitter, and the popular blog-hosting site LiveJournal. The blogger, a critic of Russias conduct in the disputed territory of South Ossetia, blamed the Kremlin for the attack.Tamar Chkheidze, Internet Control in Georgia, Humanrights.ge, November 17, 2010, http://www.humanrights.ge/index.phpa=main&pid=12564&lang=eng.

Tom Parfitt, Georgian Blogger Cyxymu Blames Russia for Cyber Attack, Guardian, August 7, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/07/georgian-blogger-accuses-russia.

GEORGIA FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net GERMANY 2009 POPULATION: 81.6 million INTERNET FREEDOM n/a Free INTERNET PENETRATION: 72 percent STATUS WEB 2.0 APPLICATIONS BLOCKED: No Obstacles to Access n/a SUBSTANTIAL POLITICAL CENSORSHIP: No Limits on Content n/a BLOGGERS/ONLINE USERS ARRESTED: No Violations of User Rights n/a PRESS FREEDOM STATUS: Free Total n/a INTRODUCTION Telecommunications in Germany are an increasingly contested arena in which the state, civil society leaders, and powerful private companies including internet-service providers (ISPs) assert sometimes incompatible rights and interests. There is a great deal of legal uncertainty in two key areas of internet freedom: a data-retention law has been ruled unconstitutional, and controversy surrounding a new law for blocking internet content has prevented it from being applied to date. Furthermore, while the constitution contains strong privacy protections, and private companies that violate them have been held accountable, lawmakers have increasingly curbed privacy rights in certain contexts, particularly with respect to government-approved surveillance. On other issues, such as the liability of ISPs for content, conflicting court decisions have added to legal ambiguity.

OBSTACLES TO ACCESS The infrastructure is well developed, with electricity and at least fixed-line telephony in all homes. Mobile-telephone access is ubiquitous. In 2009, there were a total of 108 million mobile subscriptions in Germany, compared with 82.7 million inhabitants.1 In terms of internet access, 72 percent of the population over 14 years old were considered users in See BuddeComm, GermanyMobile Market: Statistics and Forecasts, https://www.budde.com.au/Research/GermanyMobile-Market-Overview-Statistics-Forecasts.html, accessed September 2, 2010. For the development of mobile-phone access in Germany since 1990, see Bundesnetzagentur [Federal Network Agency], Annual Report 2009 (Berlin: Bundesnetzagentur, 2010), 90, available at http://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/cln_1931/EN/PressSection/Publications/publications_node.html.

GERMANY FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net 20092010. Broadband service, defined as a connection speed of at least 1 Mbps, is almost universally available.2 However, in 2010 only 49.6 percent of the population actually used broadband service.Private ownership of computers and home internet connections are the norm. The 1990s privatization of the telecommunications sector in Germany has led to a stark drop in prices.4 Current flat rates for internet service are below 24 (US$30) per month.5 In addition, users can take advantage of free access at public institutions like libraries.

Nevertheless, a sizeable share of the population makes little or no use of computers or the internet, whether out of lack of interest or lack of computer literacy.

Thanks to school-related access, 97.5 percent of all students aged 14 to 19 are internet users. Underprivileged groups are less likely to use the internet; they include women, older people, people with less formal education and less income, residents of the eastern states (formerly under communist rule) or very small cities, and people living alone.6 Only 26 percent of the population uses the internet routinely and in a substantial way, and members of this group are typically male and 36 years old or younger.The video-sharing site YouTube, the Facebook social-networking site, the microblogging service Twitter, and international blog-hosting platforms are freely available.

However, the four mobile-telephony providers in Germany prohibit in their general terms and conditions internet-based services, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and instant messaging, that would threaten their revenue from the equivalent telephony-based services. While these prohibitions have apparently not been enforced, their legality is questionable.8 Similarly, the private ISP Kabel Deutschland was found in 2008 to have slowed down its connections during certain times of the day, which adversely affected users of the video-sharing technology BitTorrent in particular.9 Such practices raise questions about the protection of net neutrality, which is coupled with the protection of telecommunications secrecy laid down in Section 88 of the Telecommunications Act.

The privatization of the telecommunications sector was undertaken with the aim of fostering competition. However, the market has become concentrated in the hands of a few Bundesministerium fr Wirtschaft und Technologie [Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, BMWi], Breitbandatlas 2009_2 (Berlin: BMWi, 2009), 7, available at: http://www.zukunftbreitband.de/BBA/Navigation/Service/publikationen,did=303750.html (in German).

Initiative D21, (N)Onliner Atlas 2010 (Berlin: Initiative D21, 2010), 10, available at http://www.initiatived21.de/category/nonliner-atlas/nonliner-atlas-2010 (in German).

Bundesnetzagentur, Annual Report 2009.

See, for instance, http://telko.check24.de or http://www.dslweb.de.

Initiative D21, (N)Onliner Atlas 2010, 42.

Initiative D21, Digitale Gesellschaft: Die digitale Gesellschaft in DeutschlandSechs Nutzertypen im Vergleich (Berlin: Initiative D21, 2010), http://www.initiatived21.de/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Digitale-Gesellschaft_Endfassung.pdf (in German).

Christoph H. Hochsttter, Lauschangriff DPI: So hren die Provider ihre Kunden ab, ZDNet.de, March 24, 2009, http://www.zdnet.de/sicherheits_analysen_lauschangriff_dpi_so_hoeren_die_provider_ihre_kunden_ab_story-3900154441001975-1.htm (in German).

Janko Rttgers, Internetanbieter bremst Taschbrsen aus, Focus Online, March 6, 2008, http://www.focus.de/digital/internet/kabel-deutschland_aid_264070.html (in German).

GERMANY FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net large companies over the past decade. The emerging leaders among ISPs and backbone internet providers are Deutsche Telekom, Arcor, United Internet, Freenet, QSC, Versatel, Telefnica, and AOL; many small ISPs have been forced out of business.10 The countrys four large mobile-phone companies are T-Mobile, E-Plus Mobilfunk, Telefnica O2, and Vodafone D2. Internet cafes are common in Germany, though their number may be decreasing amid growing individual computer ownership and the free wireless connections now offered in many bars and cafes. The main regulatory burdens faced by internet cafes relate to the protection of youth from harmful content and practices.ISPs must meet the technological and administrative requirements laid out in a decree on telecommunications interception before they can start doing business.12 The entity responsible for regulating digital technology is the Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post, and Railway (Bundesnetzagentur), operating under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Its decisions, which are based on the Telecommunications Act, may be challenged directly before the administrative courts. Section 5(1) of the Federal Network Agency Act provides for an Advisory Council consisting of 16 members of the lower house of parliament and representatives of the upper house, appointed by the federal government on the parliaments recommendation. The Advisory Council focuses on issues surrounding spectrum management, frequency usage, universal service obligations, and strategic policies of market relevance. 13 It also submits proposals to the federal government concerning the appointment of the president and the two vice presidents of the Federal Network Agency, who serve five-year terms and may be reappointed. They may also be dismissed if there is a serious reason to do so. The German Monopoly Commission has voiced the concern that this leaves the agency vulnerable to political instrumentalization.14 Separately, in 2010, the European Commission criticized the Federal Network Agency for passivity and the drawnout nature of its regulatory procedures, which in practice might give a competitive See, for instance, the websites www.providersuche.org and www.teltarif.de/i/backbone.html.

These mainly relate to online content, gaming, and the availability of alcohol in internet cafes. See Bundesprfstelle fr jugendgefhrdende Medien [Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons, BPjM], Internetcafs: Rechtsauffassung der obersten Landesjugendbehrde zur jugendschutzrechtlichen Einordnung von gewerblichen Internetcafs, in BPJM Aktuell (Berlin: BPjM, 2005), http://www.bundespruefstelle.de/bpjm/redaktion/PDF-Anlagen/bpjm-aktuell-internetcafesrechtsauffassung-der-oljb-aus-04-05,property=pdf,bereich=bpjm,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdf (in German).

The decrees full title is Verordnung ber die technische und organisatorische Umsetzung von Manahmen zur berwachung der Telekommunikation. It is available at http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/tk_v_2005/gesamt.pdf (in German).

Bundesnetzagentur, Advisory Council, http://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/cln_1912/EN/FederalAgency/AdvisoryCouncil/advisorycouncil_node.html, accessed September 7, 2010.

Monopolkommission [Monopoly Commission], Telekommunication 2009: Klaren Wettbewerbskurs halten (Berlin:

Monopolkommission, 2009), 75, http://www.monopolkommission.de/sg_56/s56_volltext.pdf (in German). The European Commission has also taken up this concern. See European Commission, Progress Report on the Single European Electronic Communications Market, 15th Report {COM(2010) 253}, 196, http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/doc/implementation_enforcement/annualreports/15threport/15rep ort_part1.pdf.

GERMANY FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net advantage to Deutsche Telekom, the former state-owned monopoly.LIMITS ON CONTENT The penal code contains provisions against certain types of public speech, most notably the propaganda of unconstitutional organizations (Section 86); hate speech, defamation, and calls for violence against segments of the population (Section 130); utterances that deny or render harmless acts committed under the rule of National Socialism and are capable of disturbing the public peace (Section 130); instructions for serious crimes (Section 130a);

representations of violence against human beings that appear to glorify such violence or render it harmless, or that injure human dignity (Section 131); and pornography focused on acts of violence or sexual acts of human beings with animals (Section 184a) or with children under age 14 (Section 184b). Pornography in general is not forbidden, but it is illegal to give juveniles under age 18 access to it or facilitate their access to it (Section 184[1] and [2]).

There are also laws prohibiting defamation, the divulging of state secrets, copyright violations, fraud (including phishing), spam, malware, and viruses.

Blocking is employed when illegal content is hosted abroad and entities in the host country are unwilling to remove it. While there is effective international collaboration on content removal with respect to problems like fraud,16 extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi content is illegal in Germany but not in many other countries where it is hosted, meaning such material must be blocked in Germany.A new law restricting child pornography, signed in February 2010, has generated heated public debate. The measure requires ISPs to block access to pages containing child pornography, and authorizes the Federal Criminal Office (BKA) to compile continuously updated lists of the sites to be blocked. The law, which will only be in effect until the end of 2012, contains many legally questionable components, and has already fallen into so much disfavor that courts will reportedly not take it into consideration.18 When the law was being drafted, a huge public campaign coordinated in large part by the Working Group Against Internet Blocks and Censorship recommended takedown notices and prosecution rather than blocking as an appropriate remedy.

European Commission, Progress Report, 196.

Tyler Moore and Richard Clayton, The Impact of Incentives on Notice and Take-down (Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge, 2008), http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rnc1/takedown.pdf.

The blocking is hard to quantify, as there appears to be a great deal of fluctuation, with hundreds of extreme right-wing sites being blocked or taken down and hundreds of new ones surfacing each year. In 2007, for example, there were reportedly new right-wing internet sites, and roughly the same number were deleted from the internet. Agence France-Presse, SPD:

Sperrung von 231 Internetseiten in ffentlichen Gebuden, Focus Online, December 9, 2008, http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/spd-sperrung-von-231-internetseiten-in-oeffentlichen-gebaeuden_aid_354643.html (in German).

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