Freedom of expression under attack in Germany

Minister Maas has proposed the law which places a variety of obligations on the companies, in the apparent hope that this will lead profit-motivated companies to take over private censorship measures. Following years of deletions of perfectly legal content by, for example, Facebook, Minister Maas seems to believe that this will lead to outcomes that are appropriate in a democratic society based on the rule of law. (…)

Another addition to the draft law is a procedure to prohibit the distribution of pornography. The effects on group chats, such as WhatsApp which might also be affected by the law, depending on the scope, will be interesting as partially public exchanges of legal content such as pornography would suddenly become the focus of deletions. (…)

In total, 24 criminal offences have been added to the latest draft, including counterfeiting and fake news for the purpose of treason against the nation, defamation of the state and its symbols, as well as insults to the Federal President.

EDRi: Reckless social media law threatens freedom of expression in Germany »

Zerohedge: Germany Passes Bill To Fine FaceBook, Twitter Up To $50MM For “Fake News” »

Related, EU Observer: Germany calls for EU laws on hate speech and fake news »

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