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Court shuts down German wikipedia site





Bondings
Quote:
A German Court has ordered the German-language version of Wikipedia shut down after the family of deceased phreaker/hacker "Tron" sued Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. for using the deceased's full name in an entry. Currently, visitors to wikipedia.de are greeted with a notice that the site has been taken offline as the result of a provisional court order.
...
Tron, (***** ********) died in 1998 under mysterious circumstances. He had spent much of his teen years working on hacking and at one point, produced working clones of German phone cards. He also created a working prototype for a phone that could handle voice encryption on its own. In October 1998, he was reported missing, and his body was found a few days later in a Berlin park. The official verdict was suicide, but his family and some of his associates harbor suspicions that he was the victim of foul play.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060119-6013.html
http://wikipedia.de


I suppose most people will not agree with the closure of a whole website as large as wikipedia for the sake of not displaying one family name. However, the parents only got to court to remove the last name of their son from that website. This based on a privacy law not permitting the disclosure of the full name of "ordinary" people without their permission.

Of course, their action caused the adverse effect and now the story goes around the internet. The German Wikipedia is also still available on http://de.wikipedia.org/ .

I am a strong supporter of most privacy laws, including this one (not the action taken, though). Disclosing full names of people in news stories can ruin the lifes of those people and their families.

Another issue is the public internet in this case. You can force the media not to disclose those names, but doing this on the internet is almost impossible and unrealistic. Wikis also have the problem/advantage that every person can change or remove information at any time in complete anonymity.

Edit: Please note that the Wikipedia.de website was only taken offline temporarily till the final verdict.
zapdude
What the heck? what kind of excuse is that to try and shut down WikiPedia, can it really pose that much of a danger to the family??! Would be the same if the encyclopedia was on paper??
Bondings
zapdude wrote:
What the heck? what kind of excuse is that to try and shut down WikiPedia, can it really pose that much of a danger to the family??! Would be the same if the encyclopedia was on paper??

On paper, then sure it would, but they only temporarily shut down the website till the trial is finished.
jaysen
that, in a word, is retarded.

might as well shut down all the newspapers, magazines, television, and the internet as well and call it a day.

I could understand if it was untruthful, or misleading.... but why should they be gagged from telling the truth?
SunburnedCactus
A fine illustration of the issues involved in true free speech. Do we really have the right to publish whatever we want, even if it harms others? Especially in a case like this where the name was used without obviously malicious intent. Cases like this have the potential to set a very worrying precedent for the future.
naz
I don't think it's ok to shut down a whole website for 'just a name' .
I think it'd be enough to write a mail to the Wiki and just let the name be removed. It is right that our free speech should be limited ,but in this case they start at the wrong point. You can't ban a whole community that is based on voluntarity. I think full names should be allowed as long as they're used to harm the victim or his family.
Personally I don't think that somebody did this ,with this intention.

On the other hand ,the good thing is,that german laws can be forced only in germany and thus the whole thing isn't that 'bad'.

Nonetheless, the family has in my eyes just too much freetime...
alja
naz wrote:
Nonetheless, the family has in my eyes just too much freetime...

Is easy to judge at first sight.
I don't know the facts but obviously the family didn't want to hurt the internet community either. Probably this is just the consequence of a review that some moderator missed. I think this is just a good chance to find different problems for the wiki content. I am a wiki user and am also grateful for the service and I see this just as a way to improve. Hopefully it will back soon for the Germans.
RA
I agree that a state has the right to shut down any site in its territory, but I have to wonder if the state SHOULD shut down that site. Yes, it makes sense to limit free speech to speech that does not hurt someone else. However, shutting down an entire site under the auspices of protecting someone's rights is just stupid.

First, anyone could go over and change any of the entries to have the full name of the subject in a number of articles. Does this mean the site should be shut down? Of course not.

Second, if the server is hosted at an international location (especially one that does not care about the protection law), then you are only hurting your own nation's sites -- since people will just go somewhere else to get their information.
RA
summer-sensation
Um, wow. That's a pretty lame excuss to shut down a German wikipedia site. Actually, I love wikipedia. It's the only site you can get a variety of information for free. *sigh* What's this world coming to?

Do you think they'll come back? Wikipedia, that is...
Bondings
summer-sensation wrote:
Um, wow. That's a pretty lame excuss to shut down a German wikipedia site. Actually, I love wikipedia. It's the only site you can get a variety of information for free. *sigh* What's this world coming to?

Do you think they'll come back? Wikipedia, that is...

Of course, they'll come back. It was only taken offline temporarily. (I added it now to my post)
Ljsk
I can see where the family are coming from, but agree that its nearly impossible to fully control this kind of thing.

Still, I'm assuming the articles been taken down?
alkady
Now thats pushing it a bit I think, I mean if your talking about someone, How is that violating their privacy, This is information that is already known, And his names probably made the headlines all over Germany.
Xcelerate
That's crazy.

I love wikipedia, and people shouldn't be able to shut it down just for one little problem. Sure, they should reason their compensation then move on. Besides, this incident has probably given the family more attention than they would have gotten from the full name being in the article in the first place. Kind of ironic, isn't it?
eznet
This is indeed sad. One always hates seeing an educational tool being shut down but, I guess that this is the law there in Germany. I wonder what the public consensus is there.. If they are for or against the courts opinion.... I guess that is what really counts. Rolling Eyes
wolfhnd
Interesting article. How does this related to the posting of names of sexual offenders? What are the laws concerning this issue in Germany?
lockwolf
That goes against the law of Freedom of Speech. I guess that the family is too lazy to edit the wikipedia and remove the name themselves. Besides, hes dead! Nobody is going to come after them and hunt them down and threaten them or kill them or anything like that. Come on people! Stop attacking things that are good such as Wikipedia! You will fail!
Insanity
Sucks for those who need to use Wiki for that. It sounds downright stupid to me to shut it down completely just for simply posting a person's full name.
Good thing there's at least more versions of Wikipedia for us to use.
n0obie4life
Let's just use the English version for now. Anyway, I'm sure Bondings understands English.

Also, if they'll sue the german language wikipedia, I'm sure the english version of it will come soon. The English version contains more stuff Smile.
ck88
It's not shut down at all Only the forwarding from the wikipedia.de to the de.wikipedia.org has been set on hold for now. Thats all.
Dragonfly
Even if it was shut down for a while (more than 24 hours) it was very much unfair of the part of the court, this is what I feel. The whole site shouldn't have been shut down at any time. That way many people who are looking for other information on wikipedia will not be able to reach the sources due to this step taken by the court. I know many people are using information from wikipedia like I myself do and wikipedia's version is very detail when it comes to biography.

They could order Wikipedia to close or pull down only the article in question or dispute. This is my opinion.
MOBILEFRIEND
DAMN, THOSE GERMANS! THEY ARE DOING IT AGAIN!!
Woet
MOBILEFRIEND wrote:
DAMN, THOSE GERMANS! THEY ARE DOING IT AGAIN!!


What are they doing again, lol? Laughing
Tiger
Like most people here, I am not familiar with the entire case. I also understand what restraining orders are and about taking things offline while a matter is under review by the courts.

Even so, there were so many other ways to do this, that to take a site off line, even temporarily is totally ridiculous. First, if the family wrote to the webmaster, I am sure he would have simply deleted the last name, and perhaps added a warning that no other user should add it due to current law.

Second, the family could have changed it themselves and then written to the webmaster asking him to monitor the page and prevent the last name being added again.

Third, the actual article itself could have been pulled. But to take the entire site offline even for an hour, is really over-reacting to the situation!

Wikipedia is perhaps the greatest free resource we have on the Internet. IMHO, it is as great as Google, Yahoo! and eBay. Taking the entire thing offline for a single individual or family, even for an hour, is a huge injustice to the entire Internet community!

Perhaps the family is still grieving, perhaps they are afraid, but surely the matter could have been settled out of court? As for the courts, they should be ashamed too! Closing such a valuable resource, even for an hour, is stupidity in the extreme. Surely there are wise judges who could have simply ordered the article removed or archived until the matter was resolved, rather than closing the entire site until a final decision was reached?

Let's hope that such stupidity does not manifest itself again soon!
maclui
This issue is stupid no one can control the content of the whole internet, I am sure his name appears more than once in the internet. The problem with it is that it leaves a precedent. Today they close it for a Name, tomorrow for an article and next whole sites.
guissmo
hello, the person who placed his name in wikipedia should be the one sued!

if i placed his name here or whatever, should this site be shut down?

HECK NO!

i should be the one sued if that's the case, right?
srdjan
Diplomacy at work at it's fullest..It's ridiculous, you can sue anybody or anything for the dumbest thing.
Heck I even think this Torn guy would be very happy to have found himself in Wikipedia...I mean being a hacker and all, and doing some illegal stuff (I'm not familiar with his work, but hacking phone cards is not legal in this world), he can't expect much credit right?

What I really think is that his family saw a potential profit, and gave it a shot. It's PATHETIC, and I hope they read this forum because there is a lot of healthy reasoning here (except for maybe this one:) )
But what can you do, it's exactly the space democracy gives you in the modern times. Insted of participating in lawsuits like this I'd recomend anyone to get a life...and get a job...and try and make their life better each day by doing things right..
Or maybe I'm totally wrong here, and the family was ashamed of their own kin (or the things he has done)...Again wrong though, what about the right of free will, and free choice?

And finally, Wikipedia isn't a reliable source of information, it's content can't be controlled very well, and the accuracy of the content is questionable in some cases...Hell, the Internet isn't a reliable source of information, in over 30% of the cases, and therefore, logical reasoning should lead the court that there is no fault by the Wikipedia...maybe there is a privacy issue with the person who posted and mentioned this guys name...but that's all!
I mean the whole website? Tststs...

cheerz!
S.
mota
That is amazing......If this would success, then many other sues may be arised.
sibbahz
When privacy issues like this happen on large sites like wikipedia, they should get the user traced who was responsible and just take it out on them. There must be a way of checking ip addresses.
Closing it is like shutting msn down for a day because someone sent a pirated file over it.
Donutey
Taking a large website like that down is like asking CNN to shut down temporarily when a person being interviewed leaked a confidential name...

Although Wikipedia has worked overall quite well it still needs a little bit more moderation, posting a name like that can cause many problems... for those who go to www.ytmnd.com and the recent ebaumsworld.com conflict you realize this. ( A flame war resulted in actual vandalism against one group and death threats... )
cepher
well...leaking a name is veryyyyy dangerous...

i support that wiki-germany had the condolences to bring their site down...but it would be a mojor inconvenience.
lolz
actually i think in arstechnica said it clear

"A German court can rule as to the legality of something within the framework of the German legal system, but such rulings obviously do not extend past the nation's borders. When it's a matter of dealing with an entity with a physical presence in a country, enforcement is rather cut-and-dried. The problem for those seeking legal redress is that the Internet is no respecter of national borders, which makes judicial proceedings such as this as well as certain laws all but pointless."

it is just pointless when their rule hcan never past the nation's boarder, i believe that tron's real name will still appear at wikipedia in fact due to this case more people will check out that article
Tasukii
That's awful, I hope there won't be a problem with the french wikipedia or anyelse version of the website.
Hana
I think it would be naive to think that the real name of Tron would stay undetacted and that his family could just go on never at risk of it becoming known to the public. It is only a matter of time that it would become general knowledge without much notice. I do think that Wikipedia has made a mistake publishing it without family's consent and I think a rectification and an apology would be in place. Shutting the whole page down temporarily - why? - to punish?- to give them time to correct the mistake? I don't know. Seems to me it's a matter of seconds. Anyway, I think the whole thing has blown out of proportion.
tengsoon
Hmmm, many of our reactions are adverse, in fact my initial one is also quite similar to many of you dudes.

But then i thought, what if I WERE IN THE SHOES of the family. I mean how would you guys feel? I would feel like CRAP especially now the family members and desecendants have to live with shame forever.

Its quite selfish in our eyes that these people deprived other people of a noble free encyclopedia, but to them maybe the family name and dignity is worth more than anything else...

Haha, Its quite dumb i try to understand them, but well juz guessing and exercising some empathy. And if they do earn $$$ from this, maybe i can try the same thing too..haha Razz
lukeropro
How can they shut down the whole site just because of one name? The most they should do is change that article, that's all! But I do support the privacy laws and everything so don't get me wrong!
cepher
comon people...the german wikipedia is still up...just a different domain tag..
chiragcoolboy
Code:
How can they shut down the whole site just because of one name? The most they should do is change that article, that's all! But I do support the privacy laws and everything so don't get me wrong!
fuzzie
These people succumb under media pressure man... media stirs a frenzy, oh hooo its the internet lets make a big thing out of it. a fad for currency blings.
rainbow
Just saw that they reached a deal to allow access to the wikipedia again. Of course, the wikipedia foundation had to pay $605 dollars to be able to do so. It seems to be coming down to money. Though, the courts decide if the wiki has to remove the name or not in just under two weeks, so it should be fairly interesting to follow.

Though, you can understand the family's desire for privacy - it wouldnt be very fun to be bombarded with Spam Snail-Mail or prank phone calls non-stop. And the hacker was a minor, so there's gotta be a law protecting minor's rights.
coutinhochaves
This action taken by German courts to shut down Wiki brings about more questions about Wiki in general. I realize that there are content monitors for the wiki site. However, somebody mentioned that anybody can delete content from the wiki site, thus sabotoging information or creating misleading information. This is obviously going to occur in an open encyclopedia, but are the changes not tracked, somehow? Are all changes unnoticeable? If somebody edits the info, is it impossible to know that there was other information there before?
tony
wikipedia.de is shut down but de.wikipedia.org is still up.
bassgs_17
WHAT!? Curse you German courts, as Wikipedia is a grade A site! What attrocity will they think up next?!
-Aquatrike
rwtthai
Well there are two issues here. The Courts and the family.

It would not detract from the content to delete his real name. I feel the issue for the family is: 1 the fact that they infer that he did illegal things. 2. He either was murdered or committed suicide.

Personally I don't think either of these should be placed online along with the real name of the person (without his permission) as they have serious impacts on the person and his family. They are both strong legal issues and what is posted is second hand knowledge or conjecture not fact. It is irresponsible of the moderators to allow this type of posting.

Second is the courts blanket approach to the problem by applying a sledgehammer instead of a scalpel. Why shut down a complete site when all that is required it to remove the offending article. Either is is ignorance on the part of the judge or judicial arrogance.
Lilystock
Well, like most people, I just don't understand why the court had to shut down the WHOLE site. Even temporarely... Couldn't they just delete the increminated article... temporarely... ?

But most of all, I'm quite desappointed. I thought only american was liked to sue for every tiny thing without trying some other way to solve the problem first ! I'm quite ok with what Tiger said. They had plenty of way to get by the wikipedia admin, without going to court...

Now, they are only getting more exposure which is quite ironic, but I think they just had it coming !
MWANGI
They should not have done it. I am very annoyed that they did such a thing. What wrong were they doing anyway?. I think it is a violation of human rights! Shocked
darknez3
I think that truth is inevitable. Tron is not something new, and people already know. It is meaningless to punish Wikipedia only for something rediculous as this.
SNES350
I agree about including last names in news stories - don't do it. I'd rather not have mine going around because of a negative story, and I doubt many people would want that either.

Also, as if contradicting my view, I believe that people of political positions should have their names included in any stories, positive or not, in which they were a major part. We want to know as much as possible (without personal details) about the people running our government.
Kd527
jaysen wrote:
that, in a word, is retarded.

might as well shut down all the newspapers, magazines, television, and the internet as well and call it a day.

I could understand if it was untruthful, or misleading.... but why should they be gagged from telling the truth?


I agree that that's retarded. Now in the U.S., that should be illegal as we have freedom of speech, but I don't know about Germany...
PopCultureLSU
The Germans are working to start another world war
PopCultureLSU
so when the United States starts to take down websites that actually inform people, the whole world is probably gonna be trying to blame the American government for not supporting education for its citizens. Why does everyone in the world hate America? I mean shoot, look at the Germans! The European Union needs to stop bashing America and start worrying about their own member states
darknez3
PopCultureLSU wrote:
The Germans are working to start another world war


Careful what you say around the forums. Thats a comment that can lead to a suspension.
mikeymowse
I do not understand how courts manage to make so many obvious mistakes. The site is sincerely an educational site and should be allowed to use any name it wants in order to spread education. The man's name is no longer being used, he is no longer with us, and the name was not used in a derogitory sense, but in an educational one. In my opinion I do not know how this is not allowed. I especially do not understand how a court can shut down an educational website, and at the same time sympathize with the family of a phreaker/hacker. I respect them, but the courts tend to have zero tolerance for them, so it is hard to understand the courts actions in this case. I guess other websites better watch what they say, anyone could be next...
mikeymowse
darknez3 wrote:
PopCultureLSU wrote:
The Germans are working to start another world war


Careful what you say around the forums. Thats a comment that can lead to a suspension.


I agree with the quote. Careful what you say, especially when you probably do not know what you are talking about. I've been to Germany, and everyone there was anything but nice, and the people there are not war mongers. They are probably better people than us Americans, we are the materialistic society. Not that I am one to say materialism is bad, I love my toys...
toughtrio
But no one looks at the achievements of 'Tron'. Like how could a teen create a clone of working German Phone Cards. They have so much complex data enclosed, and then creating something that holds such a big challenge ( thats something fer me).

Well then hope you all change the centre of discussion.

Warm Regards,
bigdan
I think its a fair call, the family does have a right to privacy at this time.

I'm sure they would've re-opened the site properly if they had followed the courts orders.
Mike Schaefer
That is outrageous. Of course living in the land of the free has it's advantages. This is a slipery slope. What will be next?
snjripp
While shutting down wikipedia is not the first thing that anyone really wants, it raises serious questions about the norms that each society chooses to follow. These could be free speech, whether it is responsible or not, or it could be required to be held responsible while also giving freedom. Freedom to be wrong is of course a part of both, the freedom to be malicious is not. However, in this case, the freedom to be invasive is in this case a grey area.
Soulfire
Shutting down the website didn't solve anything, and since the internet isn't really governed over by anyone, I don't think that Germany has the authority to do such a thing. No one does.

And, the family probably just wanted attention or something, although I don't know their circumstance and can't speak for them. I can tell you that many more people are going to look at that article when the German Wikipedia comes back up, or already have.

Laws in a nation are void once you move into another nation, and since the internet is worldwide, no one nation's laws can control it. Simply put.
galbotrix
As per my logic I used to believe that Germany is a country pro-freedom, due to their massive support towards free software. Consider that the city of Munich is almost completely running on GNU/Linux and FOSS. So this came to me as a surprise that they should close doown an epitome of free knowledge bae. Nevertheless I am positive enough that wiki would be up and running very soon.
nealio1000
thats weird
nilsmo
Maybe it was a bit of an exaggeration to shut down a court because of this lawsuit. But Wikipedia.de seems to be perfectly fine now. Smile
startsomething
That really is very unreasonable. The family should be able to handle it. What could really happen that is so important to shut down an entire site.
latios2007
too bad for grman wiki... at least it is not the english version
metalwitch
I quit using a Wiki because of BS rules that are stupid, but I do not agree with shutting down a whole site due to one thing being wrong that can be fixed.
magnaniteck
what do they mean by mysterious circumstances
Snailfox
Wikipedia isn't exactly known for its reliability. Whenever we're writing essays in school our teacher reminds us not to use it. Since it being able to be edited by absolutely anyone.
Sad
garvalf4
it was really stupid, but when we consider there is a "famous" hacker behind this (member of the Chaos Computer Club), he could know for sure there would be much noise around this afterwards. I think it's not fair for the parents, but maybe they wanted this kind of advertisment after all.
Wd_removed
Wow. Thats a bit stupid.

They are just providing information on a subject that may be of interest to some people, isn't that what encyclopedias are for?
petroldevil
hooooooooow is that it is ver wierd how i cant believe this lake it is cnn does anyone believe it oh no
Kashinilaya
It's funny how chilly such discussions can grow to. There is a tendency, for the sake of freedom, to allow news producers to noticiate whatever they want. If names are really necessary to tell a story, name them, but most of the time we don't need to "name the cows" (as we say in my country). We should be more sensitive and understanding towards others' lives. If the German Court took the wrong decision by shutting the site down will only turn it into a two mistakes story. Reveiling a name without needing it, bringing discomfort to the family, is not any more excuseable than shutting a site down.
criticaldensity
im sure Send Keys will find a way to blame to Democrats. Wink
kaze89
galbotrix wrote:
As per my logic I used to believe that Germany is a country pro-freedom, due to their massive support towards free software. Consider that the city of Munich is almost completely running on GNU/Linux and FOSS. So this came to me as a surprise that they should close doown an epitome of free knowledge bae. Nevertheless I am positive enough that wiki would be up and running very soon.



Pleased to tell you that it's up and running again already.
On the front page it says they found a temporary solution, don't know whatever that's supposed to mean. I think this is all pretty silly....shutting down the website and all. I am German and it came as a surprise to me too.

Quote from wikipedia.de:
Unsere Rechtsanwälte haben daraufhin mit einem Eilantrag bei Gericht die Einstellung der Zwangsvollstreckung aus diesem gerichtlichen Beschluss gegen Sicherheitsleistung in Höhe von EUR 500,00 erwirkt. Dies bedeutet, dass die einstweilige Verfügung formaljuristisch zwar noch Bestand hat; bis endgültig über die Rechtmäßigkeit des Beschlusses entschieden ist, entfaltet dieser aber keine Wirkung mehr für uns. Daher dürfen wir seit dem 20. Januar 2006 wieder auf die deutschsprachige Wikipedia weiterleiten.

I don't want to give a literal translation here (juristic German is just to hard to translate literally, hell, I'm glad if I understand it and it's my mother tongue!) But it says that wikipedia's lawers payed 500€ to nullify the decree and that means that formally the law is still in force until the final decision is made, but that it doesn't affect wikipedia anymore. So they have been allowed to forward to the German version of wikipedia again since January 20th.
otaku
WHy would you shut down the whole site, because of ONE stupid article.
I don't think that's just.
I guess you have to stick to english right now.
Jorge
Hmm, I have some German blood running through my veins (grandmother was once in the Hitler Jugend) and I think they did a darn good job of shutting down this over-democratic site for the general and terribly mediocre public!

But apart from this bit of nonsense, it's scary to see how easy something like Wikipedia can be shut down. Isn't there anything society can do about it? It's too easy, really. What if someone decides to shut down all the freethinking and critical media? Would it be just as easy?

Besides, I'd be proud to see my name on such a site, no matter what I would be linked to. Murder, drug abuse, necrophelia.... yeah!
kaze89
Jorge wrote:
Hmm, I have some German blood running through my veins (grandmother was once in the Hitler Jugend) and I think they did a darn good job of shutting down this over-democratic site for the general and terribly mediocre public!


I'm I supposed to take that as offence? Confused
theeto
i have soo much use of wiki. my project was saved thanks to the site... i feel sorry about them.
ChargerBear
My question to the German court is. Was this guy a common person? I think that when this guy counterfeited the phone cards and was convicted of his crime(I'm just guessing he was convicted). He was no longer a common person. Common people in my opinion give up their common status when they do something uncommon. Counterfeiting in my opinion is uncommon. Maybe I missed my calling. I should have been a lawer.
gonzo
I am no fan of the wikipedia minions. Eventually their gross hypocrisy will come full circle.
wilma
This is utter nonsense.
The internet is always filled with a whole lot of garbage and to find something good is hard.
And here the court goes and spoils a GOOD thing
wikipedia rocks! It is one of those rare educational websites that are very user friendly and truely has information on every topic under the sun
kimrei
If he was a phreaker he was a criminal, phreakers a phone orientated hackers, they cheat the phone companies out of call rates and often pay costly practical jokes.

All in the name of good fun though.

In regards to the fuss over his name my first reaction to reading the story was surprise that his family was aware of the hacker name taboo. You don't give out a hackers name, that's the equivalent of raping his/her online identity, which is extremely important when it is (as it is to any proper hacker) an art form and a major aspect of ones life.

To have wikipedia temporarily taken down was granting justice for Tron and, if his family is aware of hacker culture, one of the only ways of mainting his honour short of defacing the site or tracking down and harassing the person who made the entry.

Not that I agree with it.

But I would be glad to know that someone would sue wikipedia if I was in Tron's scenario.


BTW Have any of you heard of china's forced censorship of Google?
They (chineese government) refused to let the search engine run in their country without it. Google's owners agreed because they feel that limited searching is better than none and have a message informing a user when something has been censored.
zoharnatan
To close Wikipedia would b like closing all the zooes in the world. People wont b able to see animals, same as pepole wont b able to find quick and free information about anything.

So they wrote he's name, so what?? Isnt he a public figure? if i wrote Madona's real name, will she sue me? (what is it, btw?)

Information is life. You cant put limits to it. and you cant close the only place that gives every1 the ability to know everything.
mephisto73
That's crazy. We have similar laws in sweden, personuppgiftslagen (PUL), which means you cannot publish a persons name on the web without explicit consent, expections are made for newspapers etc., but the distinction is fuzzy at best. Who judges what is a newspaper or not as it is just a matter of computer access to be able to publish "news".

Most laws were made obsolete by internet and is now struggling to catch/keep up with development.
CompactHaven
I'm a Conservative, but I believe strongly in free speech. I also believe a website should not be forced offline unless there's a darn good reason (such as child porn).
I didn't even know Germany could do this. Nobody owns the internet. What's going on?
Jeslyn
Quote:
Nobody owns the internet.


Google is coming pretty darn close.
BigRog
i read the first post and was like wow. wiki is so helpful. they must be crazy to shut it down. i dont know how i would do all my tremendously hard school assignment without wiki.
randy
jaysen wrote:
that, in a word, is retarded.

might as well shut down all the newspapers, magazines, television, and the internet as well and call it a day.

I could understand if it was untruthful, or misleading.... but why should they be gagged from telling the truth?



But my understanding is that Germany has a law that doesn't allow for the last name of "ordinary" people to be publicized under situations such as this (see previous posting), and so Wikipedia of Germany was not respecting those laws. However, I could see the argument that the man involved was not "ordinary", as he was a relatively well-known hacker. However, that is a point that Wikipedia could argue, I don't know enough about the man's life to make that decision.
Star Wars Fanatic
It probably would have been better for the family to call up the Admins of this site and tell them that they need to take it down or legal action will be taken up. Much better and this company would have probably taken it down.
i_am_mine
What should really be questioned is how will Wikipedia deal with such Scenarios in the future?

As everyone knows Wikipedia is editable by almost anyone, and it is constantly being edited by hundreds of people as we speak. As such, it is impossible to keep track, and monitor whether a certain post included sensitive material such as names ( as in this case ).Most filtering and moderation on Wikipedia is done on the basis of "is-this-true-or-not", I do not think moderators have much legal knowledge about legal proceedings going on worldwide.

This could happen again and again to Wikipedia.


What's the solution?
smarter
I do not know the details but closing (temporarily or not) a website for simply revealing someone's name is extreme if not plain stupid. Shocked
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