Internet chief on porn charge

Prosecutors in Bavaria have indicted the managing director of the German subsidiary of Compuserve for helping to supply child pornography and Nazi propaganda on the Internet in what promises to be a crucial test case.

Although several countries, notably China and Singapore, have imposed restrictions on the Internet, no Western country has ever tried to stop the free flow of data - however reprehensible. But the authorities in Bavaria, where Compuserve has its German headquarters, have been putting pressure on online services for several years, demanding barriers to images and texts that are outlawed in Germany. At the end of 1995, prosecutors forced Compuserve to shut down access to more than 200 Internet news groups, some of which were suspected of displaying child pornograpy images. Imre Karacs - Bonn

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