The Internet cannot be censured!

A member of the German parliament from the party Die Linke (aka PDS, neé SED, the ruling party of the former German Democratic republic) has managed in one fell swoop to discredit his party even more than they normally do on an average working day. And he has helped the Wikipedia Germany tremendously.

We are currently running a financing campaign, as we are in need of new servers and people to run them, the project is growing by leaps and bounds. This member of parliament found something on his entry that he did not like - seems he used to work for the Stasi, according to some media. This was stated in the article with a reference to the source.

Since he apparently does not understand how the Internet works, he went to court and received an injunction against the owner of the domain wikipedia.de to shut it down. Okay, this is run in German, so it had to be capped. What he apparently does not realize is that this does not stop the servers. They are physically located in places like Holland, the US, South Korea. A German judge cannot shut down a server in the US. Okay, the URL is different: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauptseite, but it is still reachable! That is what forwarding is - it just rewrites the URL.

What has happend, however, is that the mainstream German media (including the Tagesschau) has picked it up. And the most amazing thing is happening - the money is pouring in! People are donating small amounts - 5, 10 Euros. Some are donating larger amounts. Many are doing it anonymously, others are making a statement: that the party Die Linke needs to examine why it has this particular politican in its ranks. Surely there are "cleaner" people to be found for the job of parliamentarian.

I suppose it is the Obama Effect - get everyone mad, and they will all donate what they can. Together it is sufficient to change the world. I am just so moved by all the entries, and the people saying: "Thank you, Wikipedia!" That really makes all the hours spent writing and editing and arguing and talking about the Wikipedia all the more worth it!

Okay, it is a crying shame to have to waste this money on court and lawyer's fees, but if that is what we have to do to keep the Wikipedia online and accessable, then we will do it. The Internet has changed the world - it is high time the politicians realized that!

I am available - for a price - to teach them.

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