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Preventive State Intervention in Mass Media Internet Communication

Preventive State Intervention in Mass Media Internet Communication

As they apply to mass communication, exercising fundamental freedoms under the Basic Constitutional Law is subject to a particular protection under constitutional law, according to which the state is forbidden to intervene preventatively in processes of creativity and publication. This is, on one hand, guaranteed by the prohibition on censorship according to Article 5, paragraph 1 section 3 of the Basic Constitutional Law. On the other hand, particular principles under constitutional law apply, such as the „Press Immunity from Police Action“

The project tackles the question as to how far these principles prohibiting preventative influence by the state are transferable to Internet communication in the media. 

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Project Description

A point of departure for these considerations is the blocking decree of the Düsseldorf regional government against various access providers in Northrhine-Westfalia. After unsuccessful action against the content provides of an illegal Internet offering, there exists as a second step the possibility of obliging the access provider to block the content in question. This measure, merely reactive – and with that to be regarded as permissible censorship after the fact – could, however, be possibly considered as improper censorship or as a measure tantamount to censorship, on the basis of the particular circumstances existing in the internet, for instance, as regards the process of reception and publication. In the literature, initiatives are discernable, which support correspondingly extending the concept of censorship and accommodating it to new media offerings.

Project Information


Duration: 2006-2009

Involved persons

Arne Laudien

Third party

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Christiane Matzen, M. A.
Head of Science Communication

Christiane Matzen, M. A.

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 41

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