Germany, in a First, Shuts Down Left-Wing Extremist Website

  • Posted on: 28 August 2017
  • By: thecollective

From The New York Times

BERLIN — An influential website linked to violence at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg last month has been ordered to shut down, in the first such move against left-wing extremists in the country, officials in Germany said Friday.

Thomas de Maizière, the interior minister, said that the unrest in Hamburg, during which more than 20,000 police officers were deployed and more than 400 people arrested or detained, had been stirred up on the website and showed the “serious consequences” of left-wing extremism.

“The prelude to the G-20 summit in Hamburg was not the only time that violent actions and attacks on infrastructural facilities were mobilized on linksunten.indymedia,” he said, referring to the website.

The Interior Ministry said the website was the “most influential online platform for vicious left-wing extremists in Germany,” and noted that it had been used for years to spread criminal content and to incite violence.

The right to demonstrate peacefully is enshrined in the Basic Law, Germany’s 1949 Constitution, but the authorities have taken action against hate speech and incitements to violence. In June, officers raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings on social media. And in January 2016, the Interior Ministry ordered a ban on a right-wing website, “Altermedia Deutschland.”

Linksunten.indymedia, founded in 2008, billed itself as “a weapon in the social struggle” and said it was a “decentrally organized global network of social movements.” The ministry was able to move against the website because it viewed those running it as an “association,” and under German law, those can be blocked for extremist activity. The platform was not accessible on Friday, and the ministry said that its goal was to shut the site permanently.

Raids in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg were conducted in the early hours of Friday against several leading members and supporters of the website, the ministry said in a statement.

In Hamburg last month, about 500 police officers and an unknown number of protesters were wounded in clashes. The ministry said that the website had referred to police officers as “pigs” and “murderers,” and had featured instructions for creating Molotov cocktails.

A spokeswoman for the political party The Left, Ulla Jelpke, told the newspaper Die Welt that the ban was an “illegitimate act of censorship” and an “arbitrary limitation of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.”

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Comments

I wonder how liberal hate speechers censors will think of this. This is what happens when you create these laws. They come around.

I wonder if Sargon of Akkad is going to ignore this, or if he's going to rejoice in it? He's certainly not going to speak out against it.

We still have Indymedia here in dc https://dcindymedia.org, mostly covering local events plus things like Charlottesville (to which so many DC people went).

What happened in Germany is likely to spread. It won't start with anarchistnews, Itsgoingdown.org, or Indymedia sites on Turtle Island. Instead, it will start with "balance" campaigns by sites like Patreon, which shut down the Itsgoingdown.org fundraising account for "balance" after shitcanning the neo-Nazi accounts they had. You will see shit like Twitter trying to take down one antifa account for each Nazi account they take down.

The government will try to mirror back against us the sucessful campaign against Nazi hate, with exactly the kind of shit we heard from Trump about Charlottesville guiding both state and corporate policy,

An effective countermeasure to the German Indymedia takedown would have been to restored from off-site backups kept in places unlikely to be raided, using servers outside Germany and maybe outside the EU to keep the data out of reach of German court orders. In response, Germany would probably order IP address or more likely DNS based blocks, but that's one of the things Tor is really good at defeating.

It is so hard to block Tor itself (due to Tor bridges etc) that T-Mobile in an effort to enforce use of their "web-guard" filter on prepaid accounts with no ID resorted to blocking the Tor project download site. That is easily defeated with a download over public wifi and marks the limit of the effectiveness of T-Mobile's blocking. T-Mobile is Deutch Telekom, meaning that blocking in Germany probably works a lot like T-Mobile blocking and filtering here in the US, as least in the technical sense.

We should indeed assume that the DNS takedown that worked so well against "Scumfront" and the "Daily Scummer" will later be used against us, again like what Patreon is doing. In the long run, a wave of DNS seizures will force enough we usage into Tor to make .onion sites a viable way to reach people, especially those already interested in an officially difavored topic like resisting a fascist regime in power (and thus controlling local Internet access and use).

Forcing a wide spectrum of web users to rely on Tor with its unblockable DNS resolution and onion routing will make all web usage more secure by crippling state-level surveillance. Exploits etc will give them occasional snapshots of activity on individually rooted sites and computers, but nowhere near today's bulk surveillance. The "net result" will be to favor all opponents (regardless of political position) of the regime in power and controlling the Internet.

Oh and for all you alt-right trolls, and for that sorry piece of shit Jack Posobiec, yes: I am still standing myself!

Governments would be doing anarchy a huge favor if they shut down @news.

The internet is a trap and this post is part of it.

I'm sure leftists will argue that the internet "is where power exists" today and so it is important to "contest" that space. But anarchists aren't interested in contesting power, we're interested in destroying it.

Websites are simply another way to encourage us to consume rebellion rather than do anything substantial.

Of course the internet is alienating like nothing else when used for outreach and especially socializing. But how the fuck our ideas, views, actions, projects and critiques have a widely-reachable tribune if not through the internet these days? Zines may still be effective for that purpose, but the internet is also a damn good support for spreading zines.

Wolfi hates the internet? Well he's got good arguments for it and I'm okay with his will to stay away from it, as much as I admire anyone who can build good interpersonal relations without needing a screen. But how would I have been able to read Wolfi's last publication without the net?

I get that commenting here has become intoxicating for many people, including myself for a long while. But compared to the damage done by Fedbook?

Why do you assume that "our ideas, views, actions, projects and critiques" need "a widely-reachable tribune?" This makes sense if you're a leftist trying to "transform" mass society. It doesn't make much sense if you're seeking an end to mass society and the flourishing of anarchy.

The medium is the message and your "intoxication" is your enslavement.

And mine. : )

Different commenter: nope, you're wrong and that's dumb IMO. Yes, the internet sucks. No, completely isolating yourself from modern society and its discourse will not destroy power.

Deep and substantive points. Could such profound insights possibly be a form of discourse arising from the very same medium we are discussing?

Isolating yourself or not isolating yourself is totally irrelevant to destroying power. Destroying power comes from attacking its fundamental bases, not from posting something on a forum.

The attitude of "yes the internet sucks but...." merely serves to reinforce domination. If you don't play the game of using the cultural technologies you are a "loser." And losers are precisely the threat we are looking for.

You're strawmanning the shit out of everyone, presumably trolling and of course, a raging hypocrite. By all means, take your own advice instead of telling me about who I am, what I do or don't do and what you think that means.

(Sigh), @news, the worst thing to happen to anarchism since that stupid fucking cookbook.

I don't presume anything about your identity other than you call yourself an anarchist. I don't say what you do other than post on a forum. As I alluded to in my very first post, I'm a "hypocrite." But that is a term that only makes sense in the context of morality. The context I present here is one of critique. That means understanding how fundamentally, this very medium subverts radical actions that might actually make a difference.

Are we anarchists or do we mostly just play ones on the internet?

Imagine if we took all the time we spent on @news, social media, news sites, pornhub, whatever...and maybe used it de(con)structively.

It's astonishing how radicals will defend to the death their use of the same tools that enslave them.

You're just jerking yourself off and calling it critique. Not nearly as interesting or insightful as you think and STILL trying to tell me what I'm saying and doing. Just another pompous ass with a keyboard.

Oh and just because I spent a few moments insulting you doesn't mean I actually care about this. My panties remain untwisted ;)

of the internet.... Everyone on the internet is a pompous ass with a keyboard because that's what the internet is for.

Look at it from the perspective of the State. You'd be an unsophisticated boor to shut down websites that promote dissent because that often times risks a backlash that might actually topple you. See the Arab Spring for example. It'd be much wiser to permit "freedom" so that the people can air grievances (speak truth to power, be pompous asses with keyboards) without risking your greater structure.

I'm sorry I said that about your panties. I'm glad you're cool.

So ... You're not actually sorry and DON'T think I'm cool?!

would you still be an anarchist? If you didn't consume anarchist media....would you still be an anarchist? If you didn't have that cool crust punk patch...would you still be an anarchist?

Anarchism isn't about what you consume or how you "identify", it's about what you do.

So who gives a shit if the State shuts down websites? Maybe we'd actually do something.

Like what? It's not as if anarchists were doing anything before the internet.

Sort of an interesting fallacy, isn't it? This commenter apparently feels all trapped inside the internet, as if the kind of person who can't summon the willpower to close their laptop is only being held back by their addiction to reading @news comments.

If an inanimate object was all it took to enslave you, maybe you were already pathetic in the first place?

"Daddy what did you do before the Singularity gained complete control over humanity?"

"Well honey I wrote on @news and Reddit. A few times I went to an antifascist demo where I held a sign and waived a flag and yelled a lot. I once even punched a Nazi in the face! I played in a punk band and wore pins and sold sold radical books in a coffee shop. I went to talks and had reading groups and watched radical documentaries. "

For every action that fundamentally attacks the infrastructure of domination, there are 1 million that remain safely in the realm of symbols and ideology.

And as the previous commenter noted, this is not new. Only accelerated with the technology. Just like everything else.

1. Why did you have kids?!
2. Preaching to the choir.
3. Still not nearly as insightful as you think but clearly your bitterness has been focused on the people around you rather than destroying power, no?

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