Germany's Justice Minister on Thursday called for foreign Internet service providers to remove neo-Nazi images, texts and other content that can be viewed inside the country in violation of laws forbidding any Nazi symbols.
German authorities have little control over German-language content hosted by servers in other countries, including the United States.
Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said her office would appeal to foreign Internet providers to use their own terms of service as grounds for eliminating content promoting the far-right ideal.
"The general terms of service that they have issued themselves say that hate should be discouraged, so take things down that go against that," Zypries said.
A separate debate over Internet monitoring in Germany broke out last month as federal lawmakers approved legislation to allow Web sites containing child pornography to be blocked.
Using ideology or symbols from the Nazis is forbidden in Germany, but far-right groups that do not associate themselves with Nazis directly have more leeway. Stefan Glaser, spokesman for a youth protection group called jugendschutz.net said it catalogued 1,600 sites run by far-right extremists last year, and that the number was growing.
The Internet has become the number one propaganda platform for far-right extremists, Glaser said.
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