The Federal Government wants to improve the legal certainty for operators of open WLANs with a further amendment of the law.
New Internet List from The Federal Government
On Wednesday the Cabinet adopted the draft of a third law amending the TMG to remove the weaknesses of a law amendment from June 2016.
Compared to a previous draft, some details have been modified. Authorities should be given the right to suspend WLANs temporarily.
In addition, the government introduces a kind of official blocking list with Internet addresses in order to prevent copyright infringements or other legal violations.Associations of the IT industry as well as of trade and hospitality industries had criticized in their comments, above all, the intended claim of rights holders on IP or door locks. The rights holders do not like that they can not make any pre-emptive or extra-judicial costs for warning infringements by WLAN users.
Hosts no longer affected
Compared to a previous version of late February, the government has slightly changed the design. Thus, rights holders can only request “blocking the use of information” from “telemedia services” and no longer from any “information society services”. “Host providers, on the other hand, are not covered by this regulation as a service provider according to § 10 TMG,” the explanatory statement states. The IT industry association Eco had also complained about the scope of application of the network blocking regulation.
In addition, the government has now made it clear that the right to network barriers remains the only means by which the rights holders can enforce their rights. In the earlier version, it was said that “rights holders” are particularly likely to demand the blocking of information.
Authorities may disable WLANs
Another amendment relates to the orders of authorities to be excluded by law. While in the earlier version it was still mentioned that WLAN operators should not be obliged to
“cease service offering”
now only the “permanent” setting of the service is prohibited. In the explanatory memorandum, it states: “However, orders issued by an authority to prevent risks to public security or public order may be permitted on the basis of corresponding legal bases, provided they are of a temporary nature.”
This could mean that the police, for example, require the shutdown of public WLANs prior to a demonstration, so that the communication of demonstrators or counter-demonstrators can be better monitored by radio-cell interrogation. It had been demanded in various opinions that not only authorities, but also courts, should not issue any such orders. The government did not meet this criticism.
Overblocking is to be prevented
In its explanatory memorandum, the government is now closer to the controversial door closers. “In particular, a blocking measure must not lead to ‘overblocking’, thus overshooting its goal. It is therefore also possible to take measures that fall below the barrier, such as limiting the amount of data, if appropriate in a particular case.” .
Technically, the establishment of network locks via the router is no problem. “The WLAN service provider (eg Café) can easily exclude access to such sites to prevent the repetition of legal violations. In addition, there are files at the Federal Inspection Office for youth-endangering fonts, which for this purpose are routed to routers Similar solutions would also be possible for other legal violations. ” In this way, the Federal Government is introducing official blocking lists for WLAN operators. In the debate on the internet barriers against child pornography, such blocking lists were ultimately rejected as inappropriate.