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Deutsche Bahn sues Google over anarchist links

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Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, is suing popular search engine sites in an effort to get them to remove links to two articles which give instructions on how to sabotage railway.

The articles, first published by German anarchist organisation Radikal, deal with how to cut power to overhead lines, which lawyers for Deutsche Bahn describes as life threatening.

The articles were used by groups protesting the transport radioactive material, Christian Schreyer, a lawyer at Deutsche Bahn told IDG.

The first of the lawsuits was filed against Google in Germany on Wednesday, following unsuccessful attempts by Deutsche Bahn to get Google to remove links to the articles from its database without taking legal action.

Although some Radikal pages are still available via Google's cache, it has taken down any links to specific articles Deutsche Bahn complained about, Goodle spokeswoman Cindy McCaffrey told us. She told us she was not aware of any lawsuit against Google.

Lawsuits against AltaVista and Yahoo! are expected to follow later this week.

On Monday a Dutch judge ordered ISP XS4ALL to remove Radikal's pages, which it hosted, from its servers. XS4ALL has blocked the homepage but has requested that the judge explain why the material is illegal under Dutch law.

According to XS4ALL, the offending articles have been online since their publication in the paper version of Radikal, in 1996 and 1997, respectively.

XS4ALL has a procedure for dealing with complaints about illegal or infringing material, and is questioning why the matter suddenly became so urgent when the content has been up on its site for five years.

The situation is complicated because a number of mirrors of the Radikal homepage have sprung up across the Internet. Deutsche Bahn has said that it would take action against other sites hosting the radical content.

Google said it would consider removing links to any such sites if requested to do so. ®

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