German police: neo-Nazi online content explodes

The amount of German-language neo-Nazi Web content recorded by authorities soared in the past year, according to figures released by the German federal police Verfassungsschutz.

Police counted some 800 such pages at the end of 2000, up from 330 at the end of 1999, a spokeswoman for the Verfassungsschutz office in the state of Badem-Württemberg said Monday.

She added that while the higher numbers can be partially attributed to increased Internet activity by neo-Nazis, they are also partially due to added vigilance by authorities.

"We're working hard to locate (such Web sites), so we've reduced the number that are off the books," she said.

Publications deemed to incite racial hatred, as well as Nazi insignia and slogans, are banned in Germany. While many such sites are hosted outside the country, chiefly in the US, Germany's highest civil court ruled last month that national laws can be enforced even against content on foreign Web servers, as long as the content is accessible in Germany.

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