EU - Online porn case shows global talks needed

(Reuters) The European Commission said the pornography conviction of a former CompuServe manager in Germany was "astonishing" and highlighted the need for global co-operation on how to regulate the Internet. The European Union executive has been pushing countries to adopt an international charter setting out procedures for addressing legal and technical questions affecting the Internet and other electronic networks. A spokesman said liability for information carried across borders on the Internet needed to be addressed.

The Bavarian court convicted Somm even though Germany's new multimedia law says that access providers are not generally liable for Internet content, although they are required to take reasonable measures to block access to banned material. The Commission has promised to propose EU legislation this year on the liability of on-line service providers for content carried over their networks in areas such as obscenity, defamation, privacy and misleading advertising. 2 June 1998

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