German extremists shifting Net sites to US

AFP, The Straits Times, 22 August 2000

Move to evade crackdown by the authorities

BERLIN—German extreme-right groups are transferring their Internet sites to access providers in the United States in order to evade a crackdown by the German authorities, NDR radio said yesterday.

In a report on neo-Nazi activities, the radio said that about 90 extremist groups had transferred their sites to the US as Germany sought ways to fight a recent wave of violence that had left an African immigrant dead and 10 other immigrants injured.

Among other measures, Germany is currently examining the possibility of a ban on the far-right National Democratic Party.

Nearly 360 extremist Internet sites used by neo-Nazi militants had been identified by the domestic security agency in Germany's Lower Saxony region, the radio said in a statement released ahead of its broadcast.

Agency spokesman Ruediger Hesse told the radio that neo-Nazi sites had become more aggressive since German debate on the extreme right had intensified.

Some, he said, provided instructions on how to make bombs.

The Internet was accused in early August of fostering neo-Nazi activities by Mr Paul Spiegel, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

He urged the authorities to investigate the Internet, where he said something is happening today that we have never known before.

The German federal domestic security service, BfV, which has identified about 320 neo-Nazi Internet sites, said on its own site that right-wing extremists have made extensive use of the Internet since mid-1997 as a means of communication. --AFP