Germany’s record on free speech leaves a lot to be desired. Vacillating from one extreme to another, from simulcasting Nazi propaganda to criminalizing Holocaust-denial, it has long struggled to protect the civil liberty of free speech while quelling the tides of authoritarianism. In an attempt to control the recent uptick in xenophobia and racism, largely exacerbated by sudden demographic shifts linked to Berlin’s refugee-intake program, German authorities are now prosecuting arbitrarily-defined “hate speech,” otherwise known as free speech, with what appears to be de facto blasphemy laws.
On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel backed a federal program to monitor and police internet activity on popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
The Orwellian program is being led by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, or BMJV and the Interior Ministry, implicating several branches of government in the campaign to suppress free speech online. – READ MORE