Juden in Europa

Judentum und Israel
haGalil onLine - http://www.hagalil.com



Search haGalil


Newsletter abonnieren
Bücher / Morascha

Koscher leben...

Aktiv gegen Nazi-Propaganda!
Jüdische Weisheit


Successful Activites of haGalil.com
against right-wing hate speech on the Internet

Report Form shows its effects

By Dr. Dan Maor, Advocate, Tel Aviv

[Get this text in german]

Quelle BfV / Köln

According to a press release of the Member of the German Parliament (Bundestag), Ulla Jelpke, the German Federal Government had reported on a parliamentary request, that 298 criminal investigation procedures which are related to right-wing hate speech have been opened by German prosecution authorities throughout the year 2000. This means, that about each fourth of those criminal proceedings have commenced on initiative of the attorneys who cooperate with haGalil onLine and the supporting charity.

According to own records, the attorneys who cooperate with haGalil onLine and the supporting charity have filed almost 100 notices on criminal right-wing extremist hate speech on the internet. A large part of these notices derive from reports which were submitted by readers of the largest Jewish online Service in Europe, haGalil onLine, whereas the remainder was based on own investigation.

It is noteworthy that some few of the notices filed in the year 2000 were registered only in the year 2001 by the prosecution authorities, whereas, on the other hand, notices submitted in the year 1999 got registered only in 2000. Furthermore, the criteria used for the categorization of offences in the Federal Statistics are unknown - while anti-Semitic incitement, which forms the criminal charge in most of the notices, should always meet the criteria of "right-wing extremist propaganda."


According to the press release issued by Mrs. Jelpke, the Federal Government reported that there were no convictions on the charge of right-wing extremist propaganda on the internet in the year 2000. This statement does not bear too much meaning, since it is only related to investigations which were also opened in the year 2000. And, with a view to the fact that currently the analysis of a seized hard disk may take 14 months (and more) in some German federal states, the fact that none of those investigations have been closed in the same year, does not appear too surprising.

Convictions based on the notices files by the attorneys who cooperate with haGalil onLine over the past years must have been numerous. But the German Code of Criminal Procedure does not provide for a conviction to be notified to the reporting person who himself is not a victim of the offence. However, fortunately some prosecutors, nevertheless, permissibly notify the reporting person on own accord, while most of the save themselves such extra work. Thus, in may cases haGalil onLine learns about such convictions only from the press or public statements of the convict. Nevertheless, haGalil onLine know about quite a number of such convivtions - many of which are based on own notices filed in 1999.

About some completed procedures

In one case, a man who used the alias "Fubbes" while ragging in the message boards of haGalil onLine, which were designed for completely open access still at that time, became finally convicted. During the investigations, his home was searched, and in the course of such search it was determined that a swastika flag, which might have had some inspiring effect on his activities on the internet, was attached to the wall above the PC of the convict. According to statements of the convict, police had also found right-wing extremist literature in his flat.

A student from the southwest German city of Freiburg, which called himself a "historian" in the same haGalil message boards, had denied the Shoah. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment on probation.

The former National Democratic Party (NPD) functionary Axel Möller who dwells in the north-eastern city of Stralsund and whose person is also mentioned in various public reports of the German inland intelligence authorities, received a summary conviction order, according to which he should have paid a fine for incitement to hatred. His appeal was very unsuccessful, as the fine was increased by the court in its sentence.

Also worth mentioning is the case of a well established vine dresser from the Austrian south-eastern Burgenland province, who posted in the message boards of haGalil onLine using the alias "Werwolf". In the year 2000, he was sentenced by the Regional Criminal Court of Vienna to a conditional prison term of 18 months on the charge of a violation of the Austrian law banning the continuation of national socialist activities.

Investigations on Hate Speech hosted on US-American Servers can also lead to convictions

A large number of convictions on the basis of the activities of haGalil onLine is expected for the year 2001, too - and, now, also with respect to pages which are hosted on US-American servers - it is not true that such hate speech generally cannot, for practical reasons, be prosecuted in Germany.

Nazi Propaganda - often hidden under a "common citizen" wrapping

Subject matters to the notices filed in the year 2000 were right-wing extremist pages, message boards, submissions to message boards or other files bearing hate-speech content. The range of the notified web pages lasts from sites which are thoroughly designed in Nazi propaganda style and attempted arrangements for the procurement of weapons for right-wing extremist terrorist purposes (the offenders could be identified) down to private home pages, on which, behind a "common citizen" facade, and side by side with a lot of unsuspicious stuff, also Nazi material has been offered. In the latter mentioned cases, the semantics used in the announcements of and the links to such material, often discloses that the author of the web page is affected to such attitudes, and did not, out of "unsophistication", publish something on the internet which he deemed to be inoffensive. This also forms important circumstantial evidence against an often used argument of defending lawyers.

Grouses and Secret Societies

The files which were relevant for criminal law and became the subject matter of the notices related, inter alia, to mirrors of the notorious Nazi hack version of the popular freeware "Moorhuhn" (grouse) game, in which the designs of the grouses, which have to be shot in the game, were replaced by figures with "Jewish attributes" (which should mean side-curls and scull-caps), or text archives which the so-called "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" may be retrieved from. Some other notices concerned on-line publications of the hate-speech book "Secret Societies and their Power in the 20th Century", which was published under the pseudonym "Jan van Helsing" and had been seized in the Federal Republic of Germany long time ago, because it resembles anti-Semitic theories on conspiracy, which are ruminated in a new form.

The Goal: Investigation, and not early Warning, of the Perpetrator

HaGalil onLine, the supporting charity and the cooperating attorneys never approach the providers of right-wing extremist pages, except if criminal prosecution will prove to be unsuccessful from the start. The perpetrator and his social environment would get alarmed by a sudden removal of the content by the provider, evidence which is possibly available could often be finally destroyed by a simple click on a button.

HaGalil onLine regards the identification of the offender as more important than the danger that right-wing extremist web pages could remain available on the web for some more time. The identification of the author of right-wing extremist pages bears the advantage towards the use of the providers' complaint report forms, that the offender will be known to police and internal intelligence as right-wing extremist. The offender will be deterred from publishing the content again by just using the services next available "free webspace provider" after the original provider has removed it. And, once convicted, there will be a criminal record, which might, inter alia, have the following effects:

  1. Business licensing authorities will treat applications of the offenders with more scrutiny, for example when he applies for the license of an inn,
  2. The competent authorities will refrain to grant licenses required under the weapons, explosives, or hunting laws, or withdraw existing licenses,
  3. In connection with the commencement or continuation of employment in the public service, the conviction may serve as an indicator for the lack of loyalty to the constitutional order,
  4. In cases where the offender is member of a society, a "comradeship", or similar, the security authorities, which enjoy the competence to ban such entities according to the relevant laws, have evidence concerning the conduct of the members of such entities to their disposal.
  5. Public employers, or the authorities supervising some professions (e.g. bar or physicians' associations) learn about the suspected right-wing extremist activities of one of their employees or members,
  6. In case of a juvenile, the respective youth welfare office are given notice, which might, then, decide to have a look at the family situation and the parents' conduct,
  7. In case of a pupil, the headmaster will be notified, who will, then, learn about right-wing extremist activity of a member of that school,
  8. The prosecution and police authorities, as well as the inland intelligence, also maintain a register with investigations, which were closed without an accusation having been brought in. If the offender should attract the attention of the prosecution again, it is less likely that the prosecution would assume "negligibility" once more.

In cases of massive abuse of certain internet media services, regulatory measures can also be invoked against certain providers according to the German Interstate Media Treaty, which has been signed by the German states and contains uniform regulatory provisions. Such measures would, then, be directed against the relevant provider.

Investigations take Time

In most of the cases, the submission of a report by use of the Report Form will not lead that the relevant pages will immediately vanish from the internet. First of all, the attorneys dealing with the reports, who are investing a lot of time into the assessment of the reported cases - free of charge! - will have to draft the notice to the prosecution authorities, which may, in many cases, be very much work due to the technical and legal complexity of the subject matter involved. Once the relevant prosecution authority has received the prosecution authorities, a first assessment of the case will be conducted, which is, then, followed by a standard registration procedure. After that, extensive investigation and collection of evidence is sometimes needed, before the removal of the relevant internet content can be requested, or the suspect can be confronted with the case. After all, the aim of the prosecution authorities is to collect evidence which can also convince an independent court.

Protection of the Reporting User forms an Important Objective

The Report Form provides for the submission of personal details of the reporting user. The reporting user should be given the opportunity to receive a feedback, in order to enable him to show that his activity against right-wing extremism may also lead to results. For example, as soon as the notice of receipt issued by the prosecution authority is available, the file number of the procedure will be submitted to the reporting user. If, and as soon as, a notice on the results of the investigation is given, the content of such notice will also be forwarded to the reporting user. Nevertheless, he does not have to be afraid of having to receive "unpleasant visitors" by the "customers": The notices to the prosecution authorities are always submitted by the attorneys on their own behalf, not on behalf of the reporting user. It can, therefore, never be taken from the documentation in the investigation files which person initially had provided the respective information. Furthermore, such information is privileged, and the attorneys may and will refuse disclosure of their sources of information. By the way, such information requests had yet never been made, and are also not expected to be made.

No unnecessary Work for the Investigation Authorities

Different to the procedure maintained by some other reporting schemes, the reports submitted via the Report Form of haGalil onLine will not forwarded to authorities without prior examination, but the legal relevance and technical possibility to identify a suspect will be assessed prior to further action on the basis of thorough technical knowledge and long-term experience with the internet. After that, investigations on the person of the suspect will be conducted, of course only on the basis of publicly available resources.

In many cases, a suspect can be identified to the authorities on the basis if such own investigation. Only as soon as the own investigative means are used up, the attorneys dealing with the case will procure the prosecution authorities with the results, together with detailed explanations of the factual and legal implications, which should also enable a prosecutor who has less experience with the matters concerning the internet to conduct his investigations in an effective manner.

Investigation on own Accord

As soon as the attorneys who cooperate with haGalil onLine and the supporting charity learn, through their investigations, about relevant groups of perpetrators or publications which can be found at several places on the internet, they continue to investigate on own accord. They vest the relevant authorities with such results, as far as they can be used.

Expert Advice to Investigators

On request, the attorneys of haGalil share their technical know-how with the responsible staff of the investigation authorities. For example, upon a request made by authorities, general advice is granted - free of charge -, which enables the sharing of experience which could be gained by haGalil onLine on the identification of subjects, with such authorities.

An attorney who cooperates with haGalil onLine and the supporting charity had compiled in written form the technical and legal know-how gained in course of the activities. The paper which was produced that way, and which will only be made available to inland intelligence, prosecution and police authorities, found great interest there.

At some points, the cooperation has its limits. If it appears that investigation authorities act only slowly, or even not, at all, the supervisory instances are approached, to enable them to work towards the conduct of speedy and effective performance.

Final Remarks

It should never be forgotten that right-extremist hate speech and attacks on the dignity of man are not trifles. Through the ideology which they aim to spread, such offenders cause a direct threat to democracy and togetherness in our society, as they deliberately poison the social climate. The social checks and balances which are required to overcome such dangers cannot only be arranged by the state, but have to be established within the whole of the society.

haGalil onLine 22-03-2001


Yiddish Books
Yiddish Music

Spenden Sie mit PayPal - schnell, kostenlos und sicher!
Werben in haGalil?
Ihre Anzeige hier!

Advertize in haGalil?
Your Ad here!

haGalil.com ist kostenlos! Trotzdem: haGalil kostet Geld!

Die bei haGalil onLine und den angeschlossenen Domains veröffentlichten Texte spiegeln Meinungen und Kenntnisstand der jeweiligen Autoren.
Sie geben nicht unbedingt die Meinung der Herausgeber bzw. der Gesamtredaktion wieder.
haGalil onLine

Kontakt: hagalil@hagalil.com
haGalil - Postfach 900504 - D-81505 München

1995-2006 © haGalil onLine® bzw. den angeg. Rechteinhabern
Munich - Tel Aviv - All Rights Reserved