Feeds

Germany may strike Nazi sites with DoS attacks

Committing crime to uphold the law

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

German Interior Minister Otto Schily is contemplating a scheme to disable foreign Web sites which pander to neo-Nazis by ordering them struck with denial of service (DoS) attacks, Der Spiegel reports.

In response to the high-profile DoS attacks last year, Schily established an Internet Task Force to protect Germany's critical infrastructure. Schily seeks to transform its role into something more like a "rapid deployment force," the magazine says.

The government believes such attacks would be legal, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Dirk Inger. Such attacks would represent "the defense of our system of laws against illegal attacks by those who consciously exploit the international medium of the Internet."

Mind you, the Web sites in question would be hosted overseas, presumably in compliance with local laws. In the USA, for example, hate speech and Holocaust denial are protected by the First Amendment, though they are crimes in Germany.

Not surprisingly, a lot of German neo-Nazis skirt their own laws by publishing their rubbish abroad, especially in the USA where it's perfectly legal.

The German Supreme Court ruled a week ago that laws regarding Nazi material can affect people who publish it "on the Internet, on a foreign server that is accessible to Internet users in Germany."

This is hardly a surprise, as Germany has a rather long history of ignoring the sovereignty of other nations which it happens to consider itself superior to.

Obviously Schily has noodled out the fact that no country will honor an extradition request for someone accused of making Nazi materials available to German Netizens, unless the accused is committing a crime recognized by the second country.

Hence his brilliant idea of sponsoring script kiddies to perform extrajudicial attacks to disable the Web sites directly. Of course that's a crime at the moment, but perhaps the German courts will make an exception such that it would be legal for hackers to disable sites that publish wrong-headed ideas which bother the German government.

So if this plays out, Germany would become one of the few countries that doesn't prosecute hackers because it's the one of the few countries that outlaws a specific body of evil thoughts. Quite a nice bit of pretzel logic, we must allow. ®

Related Link

the Ministry denies the story (auf Deutsch)

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.