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Fwd: Austrian ISPs to protest raid with blackout - new times

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>Date: 24 Mar 97 17:16:58 EST
>From: "K. N. Cukier" <100736.3602@CompuServe.COM>
>To: Fight Censorship <FIGHT-CENSORSHIP@vorlon.mit.edu>
>Subject: Austrian ISPs to protest raid with blackout - new times
>Message-Id: <970324221657_100736.3602_EHV109-1@CompuServe.COM>

To following up on earlier posts regarding the raid of a Vienna-based ISP for
allegedly passing child pornography through its network:

Austrian Internet service providers plan to block off all Internet traffic from
4pm to 6pm local time tomorrow, in a show of solidarity for the raided ISP. The
times are a correction from an earlier posting that said the blackout would be
during the day.

After a meeting on Sunday with around forty Austrian ISP executives, all but one
of the country's ISPs agreed to the Internet blackout. According to a source,
only IBM refused to participate. The protest includes the state-run telco, OPT. 

It is apparently the first time that Austrian ISPs have unified, and from what I
hear it is likely that they will now forge a formal association.

Additionally, the raided ISP plans to file a suit with the ministry of justice
and the judge that ordered the raid seeking the return of the seized equipment
and financial damages -- perhaps as high as 1 million schillings ($84,000).

For Europe, the blackout may have some effect. When French police hauled in two
ISP executives for investigation on similar charges last year, French ISPs also
barred Internet traffic. The move brought attention to the issue and forced the
French minister of telecommunications, Francois Fillon, to publicly state that
French law needed to consider whether ISPs should be held accountable for what
passes through their network, and that possibly they should not be.

-- KNC

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