The German government has enraged freedom of speech campaigners on both political wings by blocking political Web pages. Reuters reported that Germany's federal minister for family affairs, Claudia Nolte, has banned eight documents on the grounds that they are "hazardous to minors".
A German Embassy spokesman in London said the German government was preparing legislation but no censorship was yet in force.
He said: "The German government does not ban political material but there are certain cases, such as incitement to racial hatred or to terrorism, in which material may be censored."
He added that censored material tended to be right-wing, although a few other organisations had been banned, such as the Kurdish PKK, which "has been outlawed after a number of acts of violence".
ISPs will almost certainly have to ban access to sites maintained by Ernst Zundel, who publishes material denying the Holocaust. A left-wing magazine, Radikal, was also targeted.
Service providers have blocked German users' access to the Dutch anti-censorship Web site xs4all (www.xs4all.nl). Germany has set up a regulatory agency, the Internet Content Task Force (ICTF).
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