German court orders immediate ban on Nazi Web site

The German state government of North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) has won one battle in its efforts to ban Web sites carrying neo-Nazi content, but has yet to win the war.

On Thursday, the administrative court in Arnsberg, Germany, ordered an ISP (Internet service provider) to immediately block access to objectionable sites, according to Jürgen Schütte, an official with the NRW state government in Düsseldorf, Germany. The ISP, whose name is being withheld, filed a lawsuit earlier in the year against the state government's ban, which was initiated in February, Schütte said.

Thursday's decision enforcing the state government ban follows an earlier decision by another regional court, which ruled against the decree on behalf of another ISP. In October, the administrative court in Minden ruled in favor of a local Internet company that had objected to following the state government's Web site ban. The state government has meanwhile appealed to the next higher court, the appellate administrative court in Münster, according to Schütte, who was unable to say when a decision is expected.

NRW, Germany's most populous region, is the only state in Germany to have issued a ban on Web sites disseminating neo-Nazi information. "The other states still haven't been able to make up their minds," Schütte said.

In February, the NRW state government ordered 76 ISPs in the region to immediately ban access to objectionable sites, according to Schütte. Of these, 17 rejected the ban, and 11 of these have gone to court to fight it, he said.

Ultimately, the decision on whether the NRW state government can ban neo-Nazi Web sites is in the hands of the appellate administrative court in Münster or even higher courts, such as the federal administrative court, according to Schütte. "The higher courts have the ultimate say, and that means law suits involving the Web site ban could go all the way to the federal constitutional court," he said.

The battle against neo-Nazi online services has heated up ever since Germany's highest civil court ruled in late 2000 that the country's laws banning certain material can also be enforced against foreign-hosted sites.

The association of German Internet businesses has criticized the NRW government ban as state censorship.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?