Religion News Report
Germany plots cyberattacks on neo-Nazi sites
InfoWorld, Apr. 10, 2001
German interior minister Otto Schily is contemplating the use of spam in his battle against neo-Nazi Web sites, a government official confirmed Tuesday.
The online edition of Germany's Der Spiegel has reported that Nazi sites could face a government-ordered DoS (denial of service) attack. By flooding the Web server with information requests, the extremist site would be paralyzed. Early last year Web giants like eBay and Yahoo were taken down in DoS attacks staged by a young hacker.
However, spokesman Inger downplayed the article.
"Schily has mentioned the use of spam, not DoS attacks," said Inger, adding that the definition of spam would be bombing the site owners with e-mail messages. This can be highly irritating and kill e-mail communication, but will not shut down the Web site.
Inger noted that the cross-border action in cyberspace is a "very complicated topic" and that the German government recognizes the limits of the law.
Besides online action, the government is looking at the possibilities of bringing civil actions in U.S. courts against those who create neo-Nazi sites targeted at Germany. As of yet, no cases have been filed and no online action has been taken, Inger said.
Publications deemed to incite racial hate, as well as Nazi insignia and slogans, are banned in Germany. Extreme right-wing propagandists have found a safe haven in the United States, where they are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Most neo-Nazi Web sites are hosted in the United States, Inger said.
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