Apr 232009

It’s funny: sometimes everything works like a charm, sometimes everything is hard and finally does not satisfy you at all.

Today’s attempts are the meager result of a long walk all through Vienna. I was fetching some printing material, ink and paper from a shop that’s pretty far from work, and I decided to go all the way. Weather was sunny and warm, everything should have been perfect … and nothing was.

OK, I was probably not really in the mood. I was fuming, to be precise. It’s that censorship thing in Germany again. It is so incredibly obscene how those politicians lie, I simply don’t understand how anybody could possibly get away with it.

Remember the “Stop” page that I told you about? Remember that there is a secret list of websites, ostensibly containing child porn or links leading to child porn, a list of sites that you are not allowed to see, a list that you can not check for correctness without committing a crime?

OK. The last time, I guess two days ago, they said that the IP addresses of people hitting the stop page would not be logged. It is even in the text on the draft of the stop sign.

Today the draft of the law was presented, that currently is thrown together to get the remaining Internet service providers on board. And, lo and behold, suddenly the IP addresses must be logged by the providers and the police has the right to access them online. Just so.

Pretty dangerous to surf these days, because you don’t know where a link ultimately will lead you, and not only don’t you know what the secret list contains, you are not even allowed to know it.

Even more dangerous, because many people let their mail readers display images by default. Each of these images is an access to the web server containing it. Get a SPAM mail, BANG! You hit the list, because the mail reader tried to access the image.

Of course you won’t see it, because instead of an image, the mail reader would have got another page, the stop page. A page is not an image, thus your mail reader will gracefully ignore it. Your access will count though. See where this dangerous nonsense leads?

Now imagine people sending you carefully prepared emails of exactly that kind. You may ask why they should want to do that? Well, as an attack? To ruin your reputation? The get you and your business out of their way? It has happened. How are you going to defend yourself?

But, but, in any civilized legal system there is the presumption of innocence, right?

Nope. In an elegant move they have taken away with that as well. Criminal liability is constituted the moment that the user cannot prove that it was a mistake or an automatic redirection. Not they prove that you have committed a crime, you have to prove that you didn’t! How would you do that when the access was made by your mail reader on behalf of a SPAM mail that you have deleted since?

OK, that’s why I was fuming. That’s why my results were rather poor today. I just couldn’t relax and can’t even now. This is obscene. This is the worst attack on the foundations of the German legal system since the Nazis were defeated. This is the setup for a witch hunt, and at the same time it is the perfect means to get rid of critics. Welcome to the Middle Ages.

I have no idea why I originally chose “On The Sentimental Side” by Billie Holiday as Song of the Day. Must be something in the images.

Anyway. I just got a 10 CD box for 10€ from a bargain bin. 10 CDs of great recordings by Billie Holiday. You won’t get it outside of Austria or maybe Germany, thus I link to a collection that also contains the song. Deezer has it as well.

  3 Responses to “922 – On The Sentimental Side”

  1. The picture is beautiful and fits well with the song.

    Now, about this Internet thing: That is absolutely scary, especially the presumption of guilt! It’s rather like our Internal Revenue Service. If they say that you owe them money, you have to prove that you don’t. They don’t have to prove that you do!

    Also, if you ‘appear’ to be living a bit higher then your income ‘should’ allow you to, they can do a lifestyle audit and make an estimate of how much they really ‘think’ you are making. No proof is needed.

    Lastly, with the Patriot Act, signed by ex-President Bush, our congressman gave away many of our freedoms.

  2. wow, thanks for alerting us to this issue. I hadn’t been aware of these types of laws. I’ll keep a keen eye out here in the US for these types of back-room dealings. Cheers!

  3. Yup, it’s scary. As to the resumption of guilt: There is a chance that I may be wrong. See today’s post for the details.

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