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Russ Kennedy from Compuserve responds to German report (fwd)

Declan McCullagh wrote:
>From owner-fight-censorship@vorlon.mit.edu Wed Nov 20 20:12 MEZ 1996
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 10:04:49 -0800 (PST)
From: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
To: fight-censorship@vorlon.mit.edu
Subject: Russ Kennedy from Compuserve responds to German report
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 20 Nov 96 09:49:07 EST
From: Russ Kennedy <RKENNEDY@CSI.compuserve.com>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>

Hi, Declan.  I received your message containing the wire story,
"CompuServe Mulls Move Out of Germany" and wanted to offer this additional

Compuserve absolutely is not moving its offices out of Germany. We *are*
very concerned about Internet-related legislation as it is constructed in
Germany (and, indeed, throughout Europe), and we plan to work with the
German government and other ISPs in an effort to ensure that fair
legislation is enacted. 

CompuServes position on the issue of Internet content regulation remains
the same:  We do not believe that online/Internet providers should be
placed in the position of determining what content is appropriate for
individuals and their families.  That responsibility -- that power --
should reside with the individual user through user controls.  While I
know you aren't the biggest fan of such technologies (or at least
regarding how blocked sites are determined), such user controls do enable
individuals to block access to much Internet content that may be offensive
to them personally or inappropriate for their children. 

In addition, we believe that law enforcement efforts regarding alleged
"illegal"  content should be directed toward those individuals who post
such information -- not at providers who merely offer Internet access. 

Legislation was introduced last week at the federal level in Germany that
early press reports indicate would make online/Internet service providers
"responsible for their own offerings, but stops short of holding them
liable for third-party contributions."  While that may be the intent of
the legislation, it is possible that the language is sufficiently
ambiguous (I know that will surprise you) to allow multiple
interpretations.  And as you probably know, there appears to be some
disagreement between the German federal government and states on this
issue.  I must stress that my perspective at this time is based completely
on press reports.  I am waiting for a final analysis of the legislation
from our Munich offices. 


				Russ Kennedy	
				Manager, Gov't & Industry Relations
				CompuServe Incorporated