Attack of the Regulators

Recently, the german “Bundesnetzagentur” (the German Federal Network Agency) contacted over 100 developers of XMPP (Jabber) clients in order to ask them to register their “services”. This is justified with section 6 of the German Telecommunications Act. Clients like eg. Xabber that are working on a server-client principle are considered a “service” and therefore have to be registered. That’s why Redsolution, the developers of Xabber received official mail, despite the fact that they are located in the Sowjet Union.

What does this mean? Will every developer of a chat client have to register in the future? How about the people that on the burden of running a free chat server? Also, does this also apply on computer games that include a chat functionality? What about the countless other ways to communicate over the internet that I forget?

Why would the Bundesnetzagentur do this? Have they simply not thought long enough about this, or do they simply not know better? What and how do they want to regulate? Is this the beginning of the end of the open XMPP protocol? What about other developers of eg. IRC, Slack or Matrix? Do they have to fear getting contacted too? Why are old people, that do not understand how the Internet works and what a client is allowed to regulate around? What can we do about this? And how can we raise awareness for the problematic of incompetent officials?

Similarly the “Kommission für Zulassung und Aufsicht” (ZAK, Commission for Authorization and Supervision) contacted the German Twitch and Youtube Stars “Piet Smiet”. In the opinion of the ZAK, everyone who is streaming and has more than 500 viewers is in need of a fee-based license. Such a license costs between 1.000 and 10.000 euros.

Again, why are German officials so ignorant and hellbent on destroying the simple and free world wide web? What steps can we take to stand up against unnecessary regulations?

Questions about questions…


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