(en) In Protest: Austria Off the Net

Stefan Merten (merten@dfki.uni-kl.de)
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 12:45:02 +0100


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Major Austrian Internet providers ready to pull the plugs on Tuesday, March 25, 16:00-18:00 local time (15:00-17:00 GMT)

Vienna. In an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon, an ad-hoc-counsel of Austria's major internet providers Aconet, Eunet, Vianet & numerous others (in total 76, still counting) decided to take action against the latest & severest of governmental attempts against free flow of information.

On Thursday, a group of secret policemen raided Austrian provider VIP (http://www.vip.at/). They pulled the plugs on any machine & confiscated every single piece of hardware. 400 vip/customers are up to now without connectivity. The search warrant did not include any accusations against vip.at. It was based on a request for assistance in law enforcement by the public prosecutor's office in Munich, dated March 10 1996 (!). There was no official comment on that delay.

As Peter Wlcek, webmaster at vip.at, told quintessenz on Sunday, the raid was related to a usenet/posting to pedophile newsgroup by a former customer of vip - back in February 1996. "The point is", says Wlcek, "Police have been knowing name & address of this man ever since, but they raided us nevertheless."

Wlcek would not comment on the fact that the examining magistrate Helene Partik-Pable is a prominent partisan of Joerg Haider's rightwing Freedom Party and Member of Austrian Parliament. The ruling coalition's (social democrats/conservatives) telecom law is after several years of fruitless efforts right now under parliamentary discussion.

The protest action will result in a total vanishing of ".at" from the net. The participants understand this as an action to show authorities that the current or planned laws can only be granted via a totally restriced net access (none, that is). Under the current circumstances, internet access cannot be granted to anyone.

Author: erich-moechel@quintessenz.at (http://www.quintessenz.at/) peter purgathofer (purg@igw.tuwien.ac.at)

A press conference will be held in Vienna, Monday March 24th 1997, at the Haas-Haus, 12.30.

Contact: Madeleine Fuchs (fuchs@vianet.at)

More information is available at

German: http://www.internet.at English: http://www.atmedia.net/atmedia/info-offline-en.html

More additional information from International Site you find here:

http://www.netizen.com/netizen/97/12/special1a.html http://www.msnbc.com/news/64418.asp

I have now collected national and international, german and english links on the incident and the shutdown on a separate page,

http://igw.tuwien.ac.at/shutdown/

This page will be updated regulary, as will some of the pages this page links to.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted by eCE engagierte ComputerExpertInnen eCE@iguwnext.tuwien.ac.at

Peter Purgathofer

--------------------------------------------------------------- Institute of Design and Assessment of Technology Department of Computer Science, Vienna University of Technology A 1040 Vienna, Moellwaldplatz 5 phone +43/1/504 11 86/23, fax +43/1/504 11 88 http://igw.tuwien.ac.at/igw/ ---------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Notes from the resender

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From: Peter Purgathofer <purg@igw.tuwien.ac.at> Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 17:11:45 +0100 To: fiff-l@dia.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de

About the organization

The eCE is an Austrian organization of computer experts concerned with social responsibility of computer usage. As far as I know it can be compared with the US CPSR and the German FIFF.

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