Germany's coalition government advanced a bill yesterday that would force all ISPs to block access to around 1500 websites hosting child porn. Users that access these sites will instead be greeted by a stop sign. ISPs will be logging the IP numbers of visitors trying to access any of these sites and provide that data to law enforcement officials upon request.

The bill has been highly controversial in Germany. Net activists and civil liberties advocates have staunchly opposed such a centralized block list, and the German weekly Die Zeit called it "undemocratic".

However, not everybody is that unhappy about the prospects of a government-controlled Internet. Dieter Gorny, head of the Germany IFPI, recently said that the block list is "the right signal," according to c't magazine. Gorny continued:

"This is about government regulation of the Internet favored by our society, and part of that is the protection of intellectual property."

In other words: Child porn is just a first step, torrent sites like The Pirate Bay are next. This is not the first time the music industry is trying to enforce ISP-based censorship in Germany. Gorny's organization proposed a similar scheme back in 2000 that was touted as "digital border checkpoints." These efforts went nowhere, but that won't stop the industry from trying again.

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