The blocking of the porn platform xHamster in Germany has been in place for a few days (we reported). Internet provider Telefónica Deutschland wants to have the blocking order by the state media authorities reviewed in court and file a lawsuit against it.
Telefónica is considering legal action against xHamster blocking
The network block against the porn platform xHamster was implemented by the Internet provider Telefónica Deutschland in accordance with the requirements. Nevertheless, the company plans to “file an appeal in order to establish fundamental legal clarity regarding this network block,” company spokesman Klaus Schulze-Löwenberg told Golem.de.
The responsible state media authorities had ordered the five largest German Internet providers Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefónica, 1&1 and Tele Columbus to block the address de.xhamster.com via DNS.
The reason for the blocking is major concerns about the protection of children and young people, which is why the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM) envisaged blocking access from Germany, which was implemented accordingly at the beginning of the week. The corresponding blocking was also quickly implemented on the part of the Internet providers.
xHamster blocking could be easily circumvented
xHamster itself sees a blocking of the German appearance as a sub-optimal solution. Young people and children could thereby simply switch to smaller sites with a similar offer, which defeats the purpose of the block.
In principle, the company is prepared to cooperate with German authorities and to use age verification when accessing its own website. However, this would then have to be enforced throughout the industry so that the company, which is based in Limassol (Cyprus), does not suffer any competitive disadvantages.
In December 2021, the Düsseldorf Administrative Court had obtained a ban on access to porn websites, allowing Internet providers to block access to corresponding sites. A reliable age verification is mandatory in order to be able to continue to make corresponding offers available in Germany.
However, it is easy to circumvent such an access provider block, as is currently the case with xHamster. The KJM also knows this. It merely serves as a first“hurdle that children and young people must consciously circumvent. In addition, it is very difficult, especially for younger children – those who are particularly in need of protection – to circumvent access provider blocks.”