05 July 2007

DE - German legislation troubles the big Internet companies

Yahoo and Google seems to have problems adapting their business to the tough requirements of the German law regarding content harmful to minors and the implementation of the data retention directive, respectively. Yahoo has recently changed the way the content filter setting for its photo-sharing service Flickr works for German members so that they can't view photos labelled as "moderate" or "restricted" via the search function. The German draft law for the implementation of the data retention directive also raises problems with the online service providers. The draft foresees that providers of e-mail services will basically have to keep records of the following: the user's IP address for each e-mail sent and for each access to the inbox as well as the sender's network ID for every e-mail received. Peter Fleischer, Google privacy counsellor considered the draft law as "a severe blow to privacy " and praised the possibility to have anonymous email accounts.