The Zugangserschwerungsgesetz (Access Impediment Act, or ZugErschwG) is a German law that aims to make it difficult to access sites on the World Wide Web with depictions of sexual activity by and against children (child pornography). Prosecution solely because of accessing a blocked site or domain is prohibited.
Shortly after the law was passed by the parliament, representatives called for a widening of the law, allowing sites with other content (gambling, "killergames", copyright protected material,...) to be blocked.
The newly elected coalition of CDU/CSU and FDP agreed upon a "non application directive" for the law. For one year, the access blocking should be replaced by stronger efforts to tighten international cooperation regarding deletion of incriminated sites.
In November 2009, German President Horst Köhler refused to sign the act into law without further information, as it is considered by many legal experts to be unconstitutional. The "non application directive" created a curious situation: Without the President's signature, the law is not yet active. On the other hand, the government decided not to care about it once it will be signed (which is highly doubtable from a legal point of view).
Also, the SPD party, which in June 2009 voted for the law, changed its opinion on this subject. According to them, they passed the law for the only reason to protect civil liberties which would have been in greater danger by contracts between the federal police BKA and most of the local ISPs. These contracts contain the same DNS poisoning based filtering concept as the law.
- "Internetsperren". Spiegel Online. 2009-11-28. http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/0,1518,663980,00.html. Retrieved 2009-11-30.