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German registrar disables US shock site's domain name

Joker.com, a German domain name seller, has been ordered to disable the registration of a US-based on-line photo gallery featuring shocking images from autopsies and medical procedures, following a public prosecutor's order, according to CNet News.12 Feb 2003

In May 2002, the Ogrish.com web site posted 4-minute video clip of reporter Daniel Pearl being brutally murdered. The order to disable the site's domain name was apparently made by the Dusseldorf public prosecutor.

The domain name is to an individual with an Amsterdam address. At the time of writing, it redirects traffic to the new host of the site, US-based prohosters.com.

A message displayed at the site, which appears to be from Joker.com, suggests the name will be frozen and that the owner will need to take up any complaint with the German Government.

The district government of Dusseldorf county in Germany passed in 2001 regulations requiring more than 80 ISPs to filter web content and block access to certain foreign web sites. The measure initially targeted US-based hate speech sites.

German ISPs and civil rights advocates have claimed that the measure is in sharp contrast with German legislation and a unanimous declaration of the European Parliament against the use of blocking as a means of regulating internet content.

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